Forget Theo, meet Ryan

PUBLISHED: 14:31 12 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:26 14 September 2010

Theo Walcott's inclusion in England's provisional World Cup squad at just 17 was a sensation, but in Ryan Jarvis, Norwich City have another young gun who could just be the next big thing.

Theo Walcott's inclusion in England's provisional World Cup squad at just 17 was a sensation, but in Ryan Jarvis, Norwich City have another young gun who could just be the next big thing.

In April 19 2003 and at the tender age of 16 and 282 days, Jarvis became the Canaries' youngest player when he took to the field against Walsall. Since then the Fakenham-born teenager, a product of the academy set-up, has regularly featured in Nigel Worthington's first-team squad.

A wonder goal in a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Carrow Road during City's brief Premiership encounter and representing his country at Under-19 level in the European Championships have been among the highlights of his fledgling career which was last season hampered by injury.

But with the ink on a new two-year deal at Carrow Road barely dry and younger brother Rossi on the cusp of the first team, life is good for the Jarvis family. Although you will not find it going to the head of the young striker - his girlfriend Kat and friends ensure he leads a grounded life.

“I'm always in touch with them every week,” said Jarvis, who will be 20 later this summer.

“I try to see them as much as I can - all my old school mates. Today I've been playing golf with one of my best mates, it's just good to take your mind off things.”

While most people his age are out down the pub with their mates, Jarvis said he spends much of his spare time with his girlfriend, going to the cinema, or having a meal at one of his favourite city restaurants, Zizis or Zaks. “When I go on holiday with my girlfriend I have a few beers now and again but I'm not really an alcoholic drinker,” he said.

Although the season is over it will not be long before pre-season starts and Jarvis is following a training programme.

“We start back on June 26,” he said. “There's a programme to follow that the sports coaches give us over the summer and we try to follow that and do a few runs and keep fit.”

But even if he wanted to, Jarvis would not get the chance to rest too long as his 18-year-old girlfriend works at a city gym.

“She wants to become a dancing teacher and is really into aerobics and has got her eyes and heart set on her own career,” he said.

The couple will be heading to Majorca later this summer before he goes out to Cyprus for a week with his mates where he hopes to watch the World Cup.

Jarvis hopes to see Walcott make a big impression on the huge stage, as well as his Canaries team-mate Robert Green.

“When I heard the squad my brother called me and said Aaron Lennon was in and I was pleased for Aaron because he's a mate of mine,” he said.

“Then he said Theo Walcott was in and I was really surprised because Darren Bent has had a good season and so has Jermain Defoe.

“It's a good chance for Theo to become another Rooney.”

Jarvis said it was good younger players were being picked for England and hoped to be considered himself in the future.

Ü Are you a teenage sensation with a precocious talent? Call Peter Walsh at the Evening News on (01603) 772439 or e-mail peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

Ü Chris Woods's advice for Robert Green - see back page

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