Norwich City appoint England coach Mark Robson as new Under-21 chief
Norwich City have appointed former Charlton and West Ham player Mark Robson as their new development coach to guide the club’s emerging talent.
Academy chief Ricky Martin confirmed the appointment after Monday’s 3-1 development league win over Middlesbrough’s Under-21s at Colney - Josh Murphy scoring a brace and a setting up Cameron McGeehan for the other goal in a comfortable win over the Teesiders.
Robson has been working with the FA in the England junior set-up and has extensive coaching experience at all levels of the professional game inclduing Charlton and Barnet, where he was briefly joint boss alongside Edgar Davids last year. The 44-year-old will officially take over the post left vacant since Scott Marshall’s summer departure for next week’s latest development game against Manchester City’s under-21s at Carrow Road.
“We are looking forward to welcoming him on board,” said Martin. “He has a great wealth of experience at youth development level and senior level. He is coming from the FA where he currently works there and he has done some coach education work with the England set-up. Prior to that he had spells at Barnet before Edgar Davids came in and also Peterborough and Charlton where he helped bring through a lot of excellent young players. He had a great playing career as well before that and I know he will be a fantastic addition for us as an academy and help us achieve our objective of moving onto the next level.
“Manchester City will be Mark’s first game, so all the best with that one. If we win it will be all down to him, if we lose I’m sure it will be because he was sat watching in the stands but, no, on a serious note that will be his first chance to watch the boys and a great opportunity for the boys to play at Carrow Road again. I don’t expect we will get 21,000, like the last time we were there in the FA Youth Cup, but it will be great to get a good support for what looks like it will be an interesting game. Manchester City haven’t started as well as they might like and we are looking for another three points to get ourselves into the top half. It might just be a good time to take on a Manchester City side.”
Martin revealed some of City’s highly-rated youngsters could also be poised for loan spells to aid their development.
“There may be one or two go out on loan as part of their education,” he said. “It’s all part of tasting football in the real world and to feel what its like to play at stadiums where the majority of the fans are against you. I feel as a group we have lads with the potential to play first team football.
“I constantly talk to the manager and there is a balance to be struck. We don’t want to send players out for two or three months and leave ourselves short, but those who do go out will come bit a little bit wiser and a little bit stronger.”
• Norwich City’s development squad have been drawn at home to Arsenal’s under-21s in the last 32 of the inaugural Premier League under-21 cup. City will host the Gunners in late November following the draw conducted by former England striker Michael Owen. Norwich and Arsenal both enter the round of 32 at this stage along with all the category one academies following two regional qualifying rounds in category two and three football clubs. The under-21 Premier League Cup takes the form of one-off fixtures which are played on a regional basis until the round of 16, when the draw becomes national. The final will be played over two legs at the main stadium of both teams.