Canaries youngster inspired by progress of fellow full-backs Lewis and Aarons

Caleb Richards in action for Norwich City during a friendly at Dereham Town during pre-season Picture: Ian Burt

Caleb Richards in action for Norwich City during a friendly at Dereham Town during pre-season Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Norwich City youngster Caleb Richards is hoping he can follow in the footsteps of fellow full-backs Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons.

The left-back joined from Blackpool this summer and has started all nine matches for Matt Gill’s under-23 squad so far this season.

Richards, who turned 20 last month, got a brief taste of first-team football last season when he came on as a late substitute for Blackpool during a 2-1 loss at Wigan in the League Cup first round.

He also started a 4-1 victory over Middlesbrough U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy group stages and won the Player of the Round award for his performance at right-back, setting up the first goal with a cross and making two goal-line clearances for the Tangerines.

“Look at Max and Jamal, they’re both full-backs and both of them are playing regularly for the first team, so it gives me extra motivation as they were here in my position,” Richards said.

“Gilly has had a really big impact on me because he speaks to me and the other players regularly, individually and as a group. He helps us progress every day in training and has been really good.”

Richards signed ahead of pre-season starting, joining on professional terms alongside Ciaren Jones from Luton Town and former Everton midfielder Tom Scully.

“I think I’ve settled in really well, all the lads and staff have been welcoming,” he continued. “It’s quite different than Blackpool, in terms of the area, it’s a lot quieter down here. As a club the facilities here are really good and the pitches are better.

“Everyone gets on really well on and off the pitch. It’s actually really great, everyone’s lively before the games, and we all do things outside of football as well, so we’ll go out and do different things regularly with each other.”

City’s U23s suffered a third successive defeat on Monday when they lost 7-2 away to Stoke but have the chance to get back on track against Fulham at Carrow Road on Monday (7pm).

“On a personal note, I just want to progress in each game I play and take each game as it comes,” Richards added, speaking to City’s matchday programme. “Starting and playing games really helps with that, so I want to stay in the team and keep playing games – and keep improving with every game.”

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