After a brief hiatus for the international break, Norwich City Under-18s are back to business as they continue their season against Crystal Palace on Saturday (11am KO).
With two wins and one loss in their three games of the 2020-21 season so far, the City youngsters sit in third with a big +5 goal difference.
A win over the Eagles would give the Canaries nine points from a possible twelve and further solidify their third-place position in the U18 Premier League table.
Much like their Under-23s counter-parts just weeks prior, the U18s will be playing Palace for the first-time ever, since the Eagles academy have been awarded Category 1 status by the Premier League.
The U18s last game before the international break was a resounding success, taking all three points in a 4-2 win against Leicester City. A rapid-fire brace from Tom Dickson-Peters in the first ten minutes gave the Foxes a mountain to climb, whilst goals from Tony Springett and Joe Duffy guaranteed a comeback wouldn’t be on the cards.
U18s goalkeeper Sam Blair says everyone in the squad is excited for the game ahead, particularly the new first year scholars, who started making their appearances well before the break.
“Everyone’s excited, we’ve had four or five days off during international period, so everyone has come back ready to play again.
“We had a few good fixtures before, people getting 90 minutes in their legs, especially the first-years like Brad [Hills], Lewis [Shipley], Ola [Okeowo]. We’re all ready, people had their final preparations in there and we’re all excited really.”
Asked about the results during the season so far, despite not registering a clean sheet just yet, Blair was optimistic in saying the defending from the entirety of the team has still been top class.
“Defending wise in open play we’ve been really good, I still think we can be better on set pieces, everyone knowing their jobs and bits like that, but in open play we’ve been really strong.
“That’s everyone, the team starting right from the top with Jon Rowe pressing and things like that, I haven’t had too many shots to deal with to be honest.
“I think in one game I had eight passes and two saves to make, so that shows you how well we’ve been doing in front of me! The strikers are banging in goals, so we’re doing really well!”