Loan move would suit Lewis

PUBLISHED: 20:18 25 May 2007 | UPDATED: 10:18 14 September 2010

Young Canaries keeper Joe Lewis is preparing himself for another loan move in his fight to break into the Norwich City first team. The 19-year-old Academy product has yet to start a game for City and had to wait until the end of last season for his first taste of senior football - in a five-match loan stint with League Two promotion chasers Stockport County.

Young Canaries keeper Joe Lewis is preparing himself for another loan move in his fight to break into the Norwich City first team.

The 19-year-old Academy product has yet to start a game for City and had to wait until the end of last season for his first taste of senior football - in a five-match loan stint with League Two promotion chasers Stockport County.

The ink has only just dried on a new three-year deal with City, but if manager Peter Grant's search for a new number one comes up trumps and relegates Lewis to reserve duties or bench-warming, then the local teenager says another move away would be more productive.

“Obviously I appreciate the manager is looking to get someone in,” Lewis told the club's official website.

“But it's up to me to compete with them to prove I'm better or more worthy of a place in the first team. Of course, if I couldn't manage that then I would look to go out on loan again.

“I don't want to be sitting on the bench. You sometimes have the chance to play if there's an injury or suspension or loss of form, but I want to get first team football after the experience I've just had.”

Lewis kept three clean sheets in five games for Stockport - not enough to earn himself a play-off adventure, but sufficient to smooth a few rough edges.

“It was good, I really enjoyed it,” he said. “It was good to get the games under my belt. Obviously it was disappointing to miss out on the play-offs, and we were unlucky with that. But on the whole it was thoroughly enjoyable.

“I had three clean sheets out of five, but I was helped by a strong defence. That was probably the strongest part of the team.

“It was a relatively inexperienced defence, which in a way gave me a bit of a licence to be a bit more commanding at the back. They didn't really have anyone at the back who had been there and done it. And that may have helped me in a way.”

Lewis has been no further than City's bench and reserve team outings, and says he learned a lot from playing in front of bigger crowds.

“You get fans behind the goal who are giving you stick, which you don't get in a reserve game,” said Lewis. “And to play in front of seven or eight thousand as opposed to 700 at Norwich - the pressure is there. You know that if you don't get the right result it can cost people their jobs and it's that kind of pressure.

“In the reserve team you are encouraged to pass the ball a fair bit. If you are losing games it doesn't matter so much because it doesn't affect your league status, whereas at Stockport you get told to kick it forward and squeeze up. The reserve team was more about personal performances than results.”

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