McDonald adds different element to new-look City

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:09 10 September 2010

Cody McDonald has barely missed a step in his introduction to the professional ranks after signing for City in the January transfer market from non-league Dartford.

Cody McDonald has barely missed a step in his introduction to the professional ranks after signing for City in the January transfer market from non-league Dartford.

Chris Lakey

Cody McDonald is proving to be something of a bargain buy for Canaries boss Bryan Gunn. The 22-year-old has barely missed a step in his introduction to the professional ranks after signing for City in the January transfer market from non-league Dartford.

Cody McDonald is proving to be something of a bargain buy for Canaries boss Bryan Gunn.

The 22-year-old has barely missed a step in his introduction to the professional ranks after signing for City in the January transfer market from non-league Dartford.

While the fee was never revealed it is thought to be around the £25,000 mark - and if McDonald keeps up his present scoring rate you can start adding noughts.

Two more goals for the reserves in the 4-0 friendly win over Wroxham on Monday didn't tell the whole story. His first, just before half-time, came courtesy of a leap that beat the keeper all ends up, leaving a neat header into an empty net.

The second, just after the hour mark, was a sign of the skills he has brought to City: chasing a long ball into the inside right channel, he looked about to lob the keeper, but chose to take it to the right. At first sight it appeared he had pushed it too far, but then he expertly went to ground to shoot low, from a difficult angle, into the net.

It was his last kick of the game - Crook and Gunn had clearly seen enough to suggest that an hour here and there is sufficient to keep the newcomer ticking over.

McDonald scored on his reserve team debut, scored another in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Chelsea, scored on his full debut against Cardiff and then added a brace on Monday: the only time he hasn't scored was when coming on as a late sub against Plymouth - and even then he went mighty close with a long-range effort.

“He has got a good habit of scoring goals and to be fair it's something you can't really coach to be honest with you,” said Crook.

“You look at somebody like Cody - he has just got a natural ability of being in the right place at the right time and sticking the ball into the back of the net. It is something you can't practise, he has that as a natural ability.

“I think what it has done is it has given us a threat coming off the bench - we know there is somebody on there that has got the possibility of hitting the back of the net if he gets a chance.

“He scored against Cardiff and had a good strike against Plymouth as well. He didn't get on at the weekend but he gives you another element.”

City gave plenty of their youngsters a chance to shine, with all eyes on Tom Adeyemi and Korey Smith, who were on the bench at Birmingham.

But Crook is keen for others to emulate their achievements.

“Obviously Korey and Tom came into the side at Birmingham,” he said. “They have made the step up now and they are performing adequately. Now it's the likes of David Stephens and others that need to step up to the plate and make sure they are the next Adeyemi, Luke Daley, Korey Smith and start pushing themselves into the first team picture.”

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