Grant's pledge to Canary youth

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:45 14 September 2010

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant has given Norwich City's young players a major boost in his first week at the club. The new Canaries boss says he is no believer in reputations and will field the best players- regardless of age.

Peter Grant has given Norwich City's young players a major boost in his first week at the club.

The new Canaries boss says he is no believer in reputations and will field the best players- regardless of age.

Grant has seen teams at all levels within the club - and he liked what he saw.

“I watched the Academy on Saturday morning, I watched the reserve game the other evening and I watched the young kids yesterday, so I have tried to get to see everybody,” said Grant.

“I am very, very pleased with what I have seen. They have obviously been coached very well, they try and play the game in a proper manner, with a lot of thought - the traditional Norwich way.

“There were a lot of things there that give me high hopes and hopefully one day these boys can come through that Academy and we can see the fruits of the work the coaches are putting in at the younger level.”

City fans have long wondered whatever happened to the youth system which produced the likes of Craig Bellamy, Chris Sutton and Dale Gordon.

The dearth of talent - and the lack of opportunities afforded those who did come through - has rankled many City fans and was one of the biggest negatives of Nigel Worthington's reign as City boss.

The likes of Ryan Jarvis and Ian Henderson have failed to establish themselves while Michael Spillane and Rossi Jarvis, who have looked the most likely candidates to break through in the past year or so, have just four senior starts between them. Jason Shackell is the only current first team regular whose career was nurtured on the playing fields of Colney.

But the message from Grant is loud and clear - “you'll play if you're good enough.”

“If it's a young boy who is doing ever so well and I think he is doing better than somebody who is an experienced pro, then he will play,” said Grant.

“It doesn't bother me, age means nothing to me. If the boy can play, he will play, it's as simple as that and that is never going to change.

“I know it is a difficult league and there are a lot of experienced people in the league, but if I think somebody will do a better job for me I don't look to see what his date of birth is, I look to see if he has the ability to play in the first team.”

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