Matt Gill raises the bar higher for Norwich City’s young guns
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Matt Gill’s Norwich City development squad aim to go out on a winning note in Friday’s German tour finale against Eintracht Braunschweig’s Under-23s at City’s Klosterpforte training complex (KO 12pm UK).
The young Canaries hit back to win 2-1 at regional side SC Rot-Weiß Oberhausen in midweek, but Braunschweig mark a up a step in quality after their senior side just missed out on promotion to the Bundesliga last season.
Gill will again be able to call on a trio of trailists, with Club Brugge striker Pierre Fonkeu on target earlier in the week. Former Liverpool midfielder Adam Phillips and Hitchin defender Will Wright also get another chance to impress.
“They are on tour for the duration and we are continuing to have a look at them,” said Gill. “They are working really hard and of course with Richard (Money) and Stuart (Webber) out here it is an opportunity to impress the right people. It’s an on-going situation, like any trialist in pre-season. Sometimes it is tough to impress but they have worked hard.
“We have had some hard days training and the mentality from the group has been superb. They are getting an information overload. We have six first years, four under-18s and it is a lot of information. We are almost trying to microwave it because with one or two going out on loan during the season they will be needed. They have to be ready to step up.”
Highly-rated keeper Aston Oxborough proved the difference against Oberhausen.
“Aston was superb. I tried to reiterate to the boys after the game they should go straight over to him because on another day there will be three points at stake and he has more or less won us those,” said Gill, who has academy coach Darren Huckerby alongside him in Germany. “He was outstanding towards the latter part of last season, when he got an opportunity, and he has carried it on. There is a really good pairing between Aston and Jake (Hallett). When one is playing on the pitch and the other is not it is probably the furthest apart they will ever be.
“They dovetail well, they push each other along and work well with Ed (Wooten). Aston is willing to work to get better and it is amazing how many boys are not prepared to put in that work to improve. He is a great lad to work with. He doesn’t give much away, which is probably a good thing, in terms of temperament.”
• Paddy Davitt will have live updates across all our channels. Norwich City U23s’ final tour game gets under way on Friday at 12pm (UK).