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Academy News

Academy players discuss time away from football

1 April 2020

As football remains postponed until April 30, many Norwich City Academy players were sent home to be with their families through these unprecedented times.

After such a long pause in the middle of a season, reached out to a few of the players, to see how they’re getting on through this period and coping without such a big part of their lives.

Tom Scully (Under-23s midfielder)

“It’s just finding what to do with myself every hour, that’s just the way to look at it, find new things to do every few hours.”

“I’ve been seeing what everyone else is up to on social media, getting out in the back garden, or doing some home workouts.”

“Some of the lads are doing that toilet roll challenge, some of them are good, but I’m the best at it!”

Zach Dronfield (Under-18s captain)

“In terms of keeping busy, the club has given us a lot of support. The player care manager Clive [Cook] has given us a lot of support in terms of mental health and just making sure we’re not getting bored.

“He’s sent us loads of documents and things we can look at to try and keep ourselves entertained, as well as all the runs and the gym work we’ve been trying to do at home that they’ve sent through for us to keep us fit and busy.”

Alfie Payne (Under-23s midfielder, currently on loan at King's Lynn Town)

“I’ve been going on a few bike rides with my dad, a few runs, just to keep my fitness up and get a bit of exercise in. I’ve been doing a few home workouts, which I’ve had to get creative with because, like most others, gym equipment in my house is very bare.

“I’ve been making use of different body weight exercises, picking up tables and chairs to do different exercises, which is quite amusing!

“I even got a message from Stuart Webber [Sporting Director] recently. It’s just nice to know that, even though we’re not at the training ground every day, we’re still in contact.”

Jordan Thomas (Under-23s defender)

“I spoke to Wrighty [David Wright Under-23s Coach] and Jay [Eastoe-Smith Head of Academy Sports Science], they’ve asked how things are and how my body is, just wanting to see how I’m getting on with the programme.

“I spoke to Clive [Cook] on the phone a couple of days ago, just to talk about my mental health and wellbeing, how I’m getting on in this time. There’s been really good support from the staff who have been in contact with me.”

Harry Pitcher (Under-18s defender)

“I’ve been keeping myself busy without the Academy by using this time away to firstly keep my fitness levels up by completing the conditioning sessions that are being provided by the sports science team at the Club.

“I’ve been spending time with the family, catching up with friends through FaceTime and watching series on Netflix, generally doing the things we normally wouldn’t have the time to do.”

Ethen Vaughan (Under-18s defender)

“We have a group chat for the Under-23s, which is a laugh, because everyone’s putting their challenges in of what they might have ran, or some exercise they’ve done.

“I think the current challenge at the moment is the 5k run, seeing how quickly you can do it. The other day it was the press-up challenge, to see how many you can do in a minute.”

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