‘I thought I was ready for a big move like that’ – Norwich City youngster pleased he didn’t join Forest at 16
Exams are the focus for Norwich City academy midfielder William Hondermarck, before focusing on making a name for himself on a full-time basis with the Canaries.
The strapping 18-year-old was signed in January and made two appearances for the under-23s, as well as six for the U18s, but begins his Leaving Certificate exams on Wednesday.
Completing his studies was always part of the plan and the France-born youngster is pleased with the way things are working out with Norwich, having almost joined Nottingham Forest when he was 16.
"I was too young," he reflected on that trial spell. "I thought I was ready for a big move like that, but I was nowhere near mature enough.
"It's better off that it didn't work out. Going over at this age is much better for me. Some people are ready at that age, but I don't think I would have been.
"I've really enjoyed the time I've spent over at Norwich so far. I've already learned a lot. When you play against teams like Tottenham and Arsenal, you get more of an understanding of the technical and tactical side of the game.
"Everything — the players, the pitches, the training — is of a high standard. To be able to go into an environment like that is a dream come true.
"Is it a challenge? Of course. But I wouldn't say it's daunting. To get a chance like this is a gift."
Having moved to Ireland at five years old, Hondermarck made 14 appearances in the Irish second tier with Drogheda to earn his move to Norwich and a contract until 2021 - with Brentford and Dundee United also interested at the time.
"I don't tend to look too far into the future. I prefer to focus on what I have now," he continued, speaking to Irish website The42.ie.
"In life, what you have now will determine what you have ahead of you. There's no point in worrying about what might happen.
"Concentrate on what you can control right now, which — for me — is the Leaving Cert. After that I'll have pre-season at Norwich, but I'll worry about that once the exams are done.
"I prefer to put 100% into each day as it comes. You can only reap what you sow."