As the pre-season of the 2021-2022 campaign nears, we’re getting to know Norwich City Academy’s players in a bit more detail!
Next up is City winger Tony Springett. You can watch our video below or take a look at our transcription of everything you need to know about the young forward!
How long have you been at Norwich City and what’s your story of joining?
TS: “This is my sixth year now, so I’ve been here a pretty long time to be fair! I started at grassroots football back in London, then one day I got scouted by a guy called Jay. Then I went to one of the clubs’ centres of excellence and it kind of went from there, I was going there for a couple of months then Jay bought me up to Norwich with one of my best mates actually, and we both got signed together!”
What position do you play?
TS: “I’m currently a winger, but I’d like to say I’m quite versatile, I used to play as a centre attacking midfielder, I’ve played striker a couple times and at Under-15s I actually played full-back a couple times!”
How would you describe yourself as a player?
TS: “All the coaches say I wriggle a lot! When I get on the ball, and because I’m not the fastest player in the world, I tend to use my body a lot and push my way past players. When I’m dribbling, they say, ‘Go on, wriggle Springett!’, that’s my nickname, the wriggler! That’s one word that I can use to explain my game at the moment.”
Who have you known the longest at the club?
TS: “I’ve known quite a few lads. The few I’ve probably known the longest are Jaden [Warner], Abu [Kamara], Nelson [Khumbeni], Jon Rowe and Tyrese [Omotoye]. I’m really close with Tyrese.”
What is your biggest achievement to date?
TS: “Definitely my professional contract, I think that’s quite a common answer, but it’s such a big achievement for all of us lads”
What team did you support growing up?
TS: “I support Millwall Football Club. Everyone is pretty surprised when they hear that, but I’m a Millwall boy at heart. The stadium was close to me, and I didn’t like growing up to be known as a glory hunter, so I went with my local team and stuck by that.”
Who is your favourite player of all time?
TS: “My favourite player of all time? It has to be Lionel Messi, just watching that guy is electrifying. Everyone watches him and they’re in awe of what he can do, even to this day, even though he’s getting ‘older’, he still seems to produce on a daily basis. Messi is definitely my favourite player of all time.”
What is your favourite skill move?
TS: “I’d say the step over! Sometimes I like to chuck in a cheeky little step over in training just to see if I’ve got that bit of flair. Every training session I try and chuck that in at least once and see what happens really. I’d say I’ve mastered it! That’s the only skill I’ve done, and I’ve done it so many times now that I think I’ve got it in the locker.”
What job would you do if you weren’t a footballer?
TS: “I’d say I want to go down the route of mental health, as you can tell I’m a very talkative person, I’m bubbly. I like making sure that everyone is okay. Even though I’m bubbly, if you want to have a serious conversation with me, everyone knows they can. That’s the route I’d go down because I’m not really scared to open up or have a conversation with anyone.”
Can you tell us more about your role as a mental health ambassador?
TS: “I joined that at the start of the season and since then Clive [Cook, head of player care] has been helping me a lot in progressing in that area and educating me more on the subject of mental health. People think when you say mental health that it’s all about one subject, but a lot of things can combine to make that like racism, homophobia, they can all come together and effect your mental health. It’s about learning that it’s not just how you’re feeling, it’s about all the aspects that can go towards why you’re feeling like that. It’s complicated, but interesting at the same time.”