‘It’s not easy for us not from England’ – Midfielder’s admission over Norwich City’s homegrown balancing act

PUBLISHED: 15:56 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:56 15 August 2018

Moritz Leitner, left, has a discreet word in the ear of Marco Stiepermann after setting up his opening goal in Norwich City's Carabao Cup win over Stevenage. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Moritz Leitner, left, has a discreet word in the ear of Marco Stiepermann after setting up his opening goal in Norwich City's Carabao Cup win over Stevenage. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Marco Stiepermann feels he has a fresh start at Norwich City this season – but the EFL’s homegrown rules won’t make things easy for Daniel Farke.

The German midfielder opened the scoring with his second goal for the club – “One of the easiest goals for my life” – as City made safe Carabao Cup progress against Stevenage.

An injury-hit start to 2018 meant Stiepermann had limited involvement over the second half of last season.

But having started two of City’s three games so far this season – and come on from the bench for the third – the 27-year-old has high hopes for the current campaign.

“It feels like a new start for me because at the end of last season I only made four games in the last five months because of injury,” said Stiepermann, who was signed from German side Bochum 14 months ago.

“It was really unlucky for me so I’m really happy that I’m fit again, back at 100pc on my level and I want to give everything to be involved.

“And of course I’m enjoying it. That was the reason I came to England, to make this adventure. It was maybe an easier decision to stay in Germany but I knew how the football was here and I just wanted to say to my kids in 20 years that I played in England, and I think that’s a great thing.”

With sizeable recruitment from outside England again this summer, the EFL’s homegrown rules have already affected Farke’s selections this term.

With City limited to 11 non-homegrown players in each matchday squad of 18, Stiepermann is well aware of the fine line the City coach is having to play.

Marco Stiepermann is given the freedom of Carrow Road to head Norwich City into a first-half lead over Stevenage in the Carabao Cup. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesMarco Stiepermann is given the freedom of Carrow Road to head Norwich City into a first-half lead over Stevenage in the Carabao Cup. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“I think it’s a special rule and not easy for us who are not from England,” Stiepermann admitted.

“But I think we know that each and every player is important for the squad, even if you’re not involved for one game and you have to be in the stand.

“We have to know we are one team, and sometimes it’s not easy for a player when you are not involved. But you have to know that you are important and involved.

“I think it’s not easy for the boss because in each and every training, I can tell you everyone is giving 100pc because you want to be in the squad and you know if you are not training at this level, you can be out of the team.

“So sometimes I don’t want to be the coach.”

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