‘If I’m playing terribly then he definitely lets me know!’ - City legend keeping a close eye on son at Wroxham
Wroxham defender Tom Huckerby talks to Mark Armstrong about what it’s like to have a Norwich City legend as your dad and the Canaries connection at Trafford Park
Holt and Huckerby in the same side – a pairing to dream about for Norwich City fans of a certain vintage.
Their paths never crossed as players at Carrow Road although it didn’t stop either Grant or Darren gaining legendary status among supporters.
But there’s something happening at Trafford Park, the home of Wroxham this season, but not in quite the way you would expect.
Darren’s son, Tom, has made the step up into the Yachtsmen’s senior side this season having starred for the reserves in the previous campaign. The 20-year-old, who turns 21 on Monday, has played his part in Wroxham’s unbeaten start to the season, which most recently was exemplified by their 4-0 demolition of Gorleston on Tuesday night.
But far from being the flying winger of his dad, Tom, is impressing as a central defender. His defensive partner? You guessed it... a certain G Holt.
Tom admits it’s been a learning curve since being converted from a winger in the middle of last season, but says the experience around him is helping him make the transition.
“I’ve only played as a defender about 15 times so it’s a bit different,” said Huckerby. “But it’s been going well – it was nice to score (in the 5-0 win over Arlesey) and we’ve kept a few clean sheets now as well.
“Stepping up a level this season has been really enjoyable and it’s been a great experience for me having older players around me like Holty and Lapps (Simon Lappin) is always in my ear as well!
“Having Holty next to me definitely helps. It’s good when you do things well anyway! Seriously though we’ve got some experienced heads in the side, which can only help a player like me.”
The Huckerby name has been a blessing and a curse at times for Tom. Having a father, who is widely regarded as one of Norwich City’s best ever players hasn’t always been easy for him, but his dad is there every game telling him what he did right... and wrong.
“He likes to come and watch but if I’m playing terribly then he definitely lets me know!” said Tom. “We’ve had a few arguments in the car on the way home! I think he’d prefer me to still be a winger – I do a lot more heading than he did. He couldn’t defend to save his life!
“He’s very supportive though. I’m my own player but it’s great that he’s there to watch me play. He tells me when I’ve had a good game and he definitely tells me when I’ve had a bad one!”
Tom reserved praise for the way manager Jordan Southgate and his assistant Adam Drury have helped him make the transition from the reserves to the first team along with reserve team chief Mark Rowe.
“They have a way that they want to play and that’s really helped with me coming up from the reserves this season,” added Tom. “I’m really thankful to both of them for giving me a chance this season. Mark Rowe also really helped me last season in developing me as a centre half. We were short in that area one game and Mark asked if I’d give it a go and I’ve mainly played there since.”
Wroxham travel to Stanway Rovers in the league on Saturday afternoon looking to build on their perfect record so far. They are also into the first qualifying round of the FA Cup where they will meet Royston later this month.
“The first priority is the league for us this year,” added Tom. “We really want to have a good go – but you also obviously want to do well in the cup competitions and we’ve made a good start, carrying on the form we showed in pre-season.”