Young forward tries non-league in pursuit of happiness following early Norwich City exit

PUBLISHED: 17:31 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:31 07 January 2020

Anthony Spyrou celebrates with Alan Fleming, left, and Adam Idah after Norwich City U18s' FA Youth Cup fifth round win over Newcastle in 2018 Picture: Nick Butcher

Anthony Spyrou celebrates with Alan Fleming, left, and Adam Idah after Norwich City U18s' FA Youth Cup fifth round win over Newcastle in 2018 Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Anthony Spyrou has returned home to Essex and dropped down the non-league pyramid following his Norwich City exit, as he “just wants to be happy”.

The striker's contract was brought to an end six months early after a mutual agreement was reached with the Canaries in December, following the conclusion of a loan spell with struggling National League side Chesterfield.

The 20-year-old has now signed for Holland FC, who play in Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties First Division South, at step six of non-league, the equivalent level to Norfolk clubs including Diss, Great Yarmouth and Fakenham.

Holland boss, Paul Phelan, said: "To be truthful, he should be playing at a much higher level, in front of big crowds. But things haven't worked out for him in the pro game and, to his great credit, he just wants to be happy.

"He's been homesick and hasn't enjoyed living far away, in hotels and flats. He wants to be back in the area, near his parents and girlfriend, and I admire him for being so honest.

"People will suggest he's unambitious but he's just a really decent, grounded lad who wants to be happy. He wants to be near his family and there's nothing big-time about him.

"After being in the pro game, he could have looked down his nose at non-league football but nothing could be further from the truth.

"To say I'm over the moon that's he's agreed to join us is an understatement."

Spyrou was part of the City U18 team which reached the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals in 2018, partnering Adam Idah in attack, who has moved into first team football this season, scoring an FA Cup hat-trick on Saturday during a 4-2 win at Preston.

After a short loan stint with Wrexham at the end of last season, the forward returned to the National League and made five appearances for Chesterfield.

"It's one of the most exciting signings I've ever been involved in, in all my time in management," Phelan continued, speaking to the Chelmsford and Mid Essex Times. "Bringing Anthony here is an enormous coup for our club and shows the ambition we have.

"We don't want to plod or stand still - we want to evolve and more forward. Anthony can help us do that because he's a very talented boy."

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