Roeder set for rethink on reserves

PUBLISHED: 07:30 03 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:33 10 September 2010

Chris Lakey

Norwich City could pull their reserve team out of the Pontin's Holiday Combination League next season. Canaries manager Glenn Roeder has joined a growing band of managers disillusioned with the quality of reserve team football and may be prepared to swap the league system for a series of friendly matches - which might involve newly-crowned South League champions King's Lynn.

Norwich City could pull out their reserve team out of the Pontin's Holiday Combination League next season.

Canaries manager Glenn Roeder has joined a growing band of managers disillusioned with the quality of reserve team football and may be prepared to swap the league system for a series of friendly matches - which might involve newly-crowned South League champions King's Lynn.

Roeder admitted yesterday that while City would maintain a reserve team, the question of who they would play was still unclear.

“That's yet to be decided,” he said. “I think the face of football has changed a lot - there is hardly any difference between under-18s on a Saturday and reserve team football in midweek.

“Most managers don't play their senior players in reserve team football anyway. There is an argument does it make sense to take a kids team to play Grays Reserves or Stevenage Reserves?

“We are looking into that, like other clubs are. There are a lot of suggestions and ideas that are swilling around the reserve bucket at the moment.

“I don't think anyone is absolutely certain what's going to happen this year, but I don't think it's necessary for a club like ourselves to be playing a reserve game every week.”

City played the final game of their league season against MK Dons on Thursday evening, but of the starters only two players - Robert Eagle and Michael Spillane - had ever started a league match for the City.

Senior players have rarely appeared for the second string, in keeping with other Championship sides, but Roeder insisted he was keen to maintain a level of competition for the reserves.

“I would want reserve team fixtures,” he said. “I suppose there is a scenario at reserve team level that if you weren't in a league you could have someone like King's Lynn over at Carrow Road on a Tuesday night for what is perceived as a reserve fixture, and instead of them training they'd have, if you want, a training session at Carrow Road and bring their first team.

“It could be a number of top local teams and I think those teams would give us much harder opposition than playing MK last night - it was a youth game. Lovely, great for the lads, some of those might never play on Carrow Road again, but really I know it's called a reserve game but it was a glorified youth game.”

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