Norwich City Academy pair Jordan Thomas and Adam Idah are both relishing City’s match against Port Vale in the FA Youth Cup third round on Wednesday (7pm).
Thomas and Idah have both featured several times for City’s Under-23s this season, but will be playing for the Under-18s in the tournament the Canaries famously won back in 2013.
Full-back Thomas picked up an injury in pre-season which kept him out of the opening stages of the season, but believes he is back and ready to go in the competition.
“I came back early in November and played a couple of games for the Under-18s and Under-23s,” he says. “It was really frustrating at the time but I’m just happy to be back playing again now.”
Thomas was watching the Canaries when they lifted the FA Youth Cup trophy in 2013.
“I remember it quite well, when one of the legs was at Carrow Road it was a full stadium,” he says. “That’s good for us and all the boys are aware of that. It gives us more motivation to do well and hopefully get to that stage where we can play in front of that home support and put on a good show.”
Looking ahead, Thomas said that the Under-18s players have started to train as a group to prepare for the trip to Vale Park. “It’s good to get our full squad training and playing together a week before the game so we can just merge together,” he says. “Hopefully it gives us that edge when we come against Port Vale.”
City striker Adam Idah was involved in the competition last season, scoring a hat-trick in the early stages of the tournament against Barnsley.
“We scored four goals in every game apart from the final one, it was unbelievable,” said Idah. “I think we can reflect on last year’s performances and bring it to this year’s so hopefully we can do well.”
Idah believes that having more experienced players in the squad will help settle the nerves of the rest of the squad. “I think we [the experienced players] can offer a lot,” he says. “The players could be nervous because of the pressure when the crowd is there so we can just help calm them down.”
Despite Port Vale being in a lower league than City’s Under-18s, Idah knows it will be a tough test for the Canaries and wants to carry on as though it’s just another game.
“I think you have to play the game like you do normally, just treat it as a normal league game,” he says. “If you over-think it, it’s going to mean you’re not at your best.
“You shouldn’t take any team for granted. We have heard Port Vale are a good team, so we just need to go and play the way we play and hopefully get a result.”
Follow updates of the match at our Norwich City Academy Twitter page by clicking HERE.