Stuart Webber believes Norwich City would not be in the position they are now without the work of Daniel Farke and his coaching staff.
Webber appointed Farke as Head Coach in May 2017 and has now rewarded the German with a new three-and-a-half-year deal after his work with the first-team squad over the past two seasons.
“We wouldn’t be where we are as a club now without him,” said Webber, the Canaries’ Sporting Director.
“If we hadn’t had a head coach who was willing to develop players and play young players – who knows, we might not even have a club, because I’ve come on record before about the sales last summer which kept the Club afloat.
“This Club last summer will always be indebted to Daniel and his staff for that. He’s our main leader in what we’re trying to do on the football side. It’s great that he’s committed here longer, and he believes in what the Club’s about and the Club believes in him.”
One of the cornerstones to Farke’s reign so far has been his willingness to give young players a chance in the first-team. To date, Angus Gunn, Jamal Lewis, Todd Cantwell, Max Aarons and Ben Godfrey have all played in the Academy and been handed senior City debuts under Farke.
Webber believes the faith Farke has shown in youth should be applauded: “When I joined we spoke about three keys things: developing a style of play, developing young players and being really open-minded in the transfer market.
“Speaking about it is really easy, every club in the world will talk about it but finding people who can then implement that philosophy is really challenging.
“There was one point with Daniel last year which I feel was a really poignant moment and told me everything I needed to know about him as a person and as a coach.
“We played Birmingham away on Boxing Day and he gave Jamal Lewis his full debut and if you think back to that game, we were seven points above Birmingham and they were in the bottom three. If we lost that game, we would have been four points above the bottom three. So to have the bravery to play Jamal at that point – obviously we won the game 2-0 which was great and Jamal hasn’t looked back since.
“And also, when we went to Portman Road earlier this season just one point better off than Ipswich – to chuck an 18-year-old [Max Aarons] in with full faith and support is unbelievable.
“We’re really lucky to have a head coach who truly believes in that, that’s not him doing that to keep me, the Board or the fans happy - he does it because he has full trust in his young players.”
Webber is now looking forward to what the future holds with Farke at the helm and he’s urged City supporters to cherish the good times.
“I’m sure we’ve got lots more challenges to come, whatever division we are in. We’ve put ourselves in a great place to try and be in a different league next season and with that, there’ll be some challenges.
“If we don’t achieve it, that will bring some challenges but hopefully what we’ve demonstrated is a group of people at the Club: myself, Zoe [Ward], Ben [Kensell] and Daniel and his team is that we can put something together here and we can make it work.
“There are going to be some times where it will be difficult and we ask people to stick with us through them times. But really enjoy the good times because football is difficult.”