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Academy News

Matt Gill on taking pride from seeing Academy graduates in First-Team

16 October 2018

Matt Gill says he takes immense pride from seeing young players take their First-Team opportunities.

Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell both featured for Gill’s Under-23s side last season and both have been regulars in Daniel Farke’s starting eleven over recent weeks.

Having worked with the two last year, and with Jamal Lewis and Ben Godfrey in previous seasons, Gill says it’s pleasing to see them grasp their chances.

“It’s pleasing to see the boys grasp their opportunity,” he said. “Having got their chance, we’re all desperate for them to do well and they have done.

“There’s a real feeling of pride when I watch the home games and see them in-and-around the First Team and training with them every day.

“They’ve all worked really hard themselves but a lot of staff have been a big part of their journey so I think for all staff, it’s very pleasing.

“Ultimately, they’ve worked hard and I’m just really glad they’ve taken it.”

Gill thinks his current Development Squad will be spurred on by the likes of Aarons, Lewis and Cantwell being rewarded with opportunities to play in the Sky Bet Championship.

“The motivation goes up massively,” he added. “Saying that, they’re all motivated but there’s now an opportunity they can almost feel with their mates now in the First-Team.

“Max and Todd sat in the dressing room with a lot of this year’s Under-23s last season. There’s a clear pathway there now and if you’re good enough and you work hard enough, you’ll get a chance.”

The Under-23s Head Coach was speaking at the Colney Training Centre, which has undergone improvements following the £5 million raised from the Canaries Bond.

“We’re fast moving forward with the facilities. The pitches are up-and-running now and we’ve been on them for a few weeks.

“The lads are enjoying the flat pitches and the quality of the surfaces. The groundsmen have done a fantastic job in getting them ready for us.

“Obviously the building is nearing completion as well so it’s exciting times and I think the lads appreciate all the work that’s going into it.

“With the floodlights going in in the summer and the stand due to go up pretty soon, it helps with the realism of the games for the players.

“They’ll have a much better feel about them. It’s a positive step forward for the training ground, the Under-23s’ fixture list and the games programme.

“Nottingham Forest is our first game at Colney under the lights and the lads are really looking forward to it.”


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