First-team

Omobamidele and Mumba presented Premier League debut balls

Norwich City duo Andrew Omobamidele and Bali Mumba have been presented with Premier League debut balls following their first appearances in the topflight.

Omobamidele made his debut when he started September's match at Arsenal.

"It was a really proud moment for me," he said. "It's what every young player dreams of, playing football in the Premier League.

"It's the best league in the world I think and to make my debut at an early stage of my career was a great moment."

The 19-year-old progressed quickly through the Norwich City Academy to form part of Daniel Farke's Championship-winning side in 2020/21, before playing at the highest level.

"It's been great," he said. "When I came in at 16 until now, I feel like I've developed a lot.

"I still have a long way to go development wise, but I think all of the coaches from Under-18s to the first team stage have helped me a lot on and off the pitch.

"For the team, our main goal now is to stay up and finish in a strong position, which I think we're very capable of.

"Individually, I just want to get as much game time as I can and keep on developing."

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For Mumba, his debut came as a half-time substitute in August's game away to Manchester City.

"It meant a lot," he said. "It was a proud moment for me and my family. It's something that I've always wanted to do and dreamed of since I was a kid.

"To get it against Man City was a proud moment for all of us.

"Getting the ball is a great gesture because there are so many players my age who want to get that ball.

"For me to receive one myself is a really good feeling and it's something I'll keep with me forever. Wherever I am, it's always going to be with me."

The young full-back couldn't be blamed for having to pinch himself with the pace of his career's progression. Mumba was playing non-league football for South Shields as recently as 2020.

"To be honest, things go quite quick in football," he said. "People remind me that two seasons ago I was playing non-league.

"To be in the position I'm at right now is a blessing for me and it makes me appreciate everything in life.

"The hard work really does pay off if you keep your head down, humble yourself and work.

"It's a story to tell for the rest of the lads who are in a position that I was in two seasons ago. Anything is possible. Nothing's impossible if you believe and work.

"When I look back, I can forever be grateful and thankful."

So what are Mumba's targets for the rest of the season?

"I just want to keep improving, never getting comfortable with the position I'm in," he said. "I just want to be hungry for more.

"As a team, our goals are to keep working and prove ourselves in this league, and to our fans that we can show more and give it our all."

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