Rossi can a do a first team job - Hendo
PUBLISHED: 14:52 12 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:21 14 September 2010
Young gun Ian Henderson today said he believes there is now an "opportunity" for one or two of the next generation of Norwich City players to be given their chance - as the Canaries' play-off hopes lay in tatters.
Young gun Ian Henderson today said he believes there is now an “opportunity” for one or two of the next generation of Norwich City players to be given their chance - as the Canaries' play-off hopes lay in tatters.
City went down 2-0 at Preston on Saturday, therefore, losing even a mathematical chance of finishing in the top six with four matches still to play.
Henderson, 21, was the first player to come from Norwich's Academy and play first team football for the Canaries, when he made his debut at the age of 17 away to Coventry in October 2002, and he says it was an experience he will never forget.
“I made my debut when I was 17 and afterwards I must have had a smile on my face for a week,” said Henderson, who has also represented England at Under-20 level. “It's one of the biggest things that you can do in football is making your professional debut.
“It's the first step on what can be a very bumpy road. After that it's how you deal with the downs and just as important is that you don't get too carried away when you're on an up.”
It has been mentioned in some quarters that boss Nigel Worthington ought to pick players such as the Jarvis brothers, Ryan and Rossi, Michael Spillane and even giant teenage keeper Joe Lewis now the season is drawing to a close.
Striker Ryan Jarvis, who is still the youngest player to have made his debut for Norwich at the tender age of just 16 years and 282 days back in April 2003, was handed a new two-year deal yesterday and could certainly be in the running.
Henderson also believes that Ryan's brother Rossi would be capable of stepping up to the mark and producing the goods.
Rossi made his first senior start for the Canaries in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to West Ham back in January and has also been a substitute on four occasions, all of which might suggest he's ready to move to the next level.
“The young players will get a game I'm sure when the manager thinks they are ready,” said Henderson. “It's the manager's decision and they have got to be good enough.
“There's an opportunity now to maybe play one or two of the younger players. Rossi Jarvis is probably the one with the most natural ability. He's a gifted all-round player and has a lot of composure on the ball. In my opinion he could do a job.
“The experience of playing for the first team is a great one and would stand the young players in great stead. But as I said it is up to the manager. He is the one that will know when they are ready,” he added.
From Henderson's own perspective his season has mirrored that of the team's in that it has been very up and down. But having had a sniff of the action again on Saturday, coming on as a second-half substitute, he's desperate to build on that performance.
Henderson is also in possession of the captain's armband for the Reserves, since Jason Shackell regained his place in the first team, and is confident he'll be ready to make the step up should he receive the call.
He said: “I've just got to keep my head down and work hard. It was nice to be involved at the weekend but it's has been a bit of a frustrating season for me.”
Henderson played up front for the Reserves in the 2-1 derby defeat to Ipswich earlier in the week and relished the striking role, but admits he'll play anywhere the manager asks.
“It's the third of fourth time that I have been captain now since Jason Shackell got back in the first team and it's a real honour. I have been at the club a long time and I enjoy the responsibility of the role.
“I enjoyed the game and both teams had some good passages of play. I was playing up front, which is more my natural position. I'm more of a striker but I have also played on the right for the first team and I am happy to play anywhere the manager wants me to play.”
Henderson is desperate for City to prove a point to one or two people in the four remaining matches and with just one year left on his contract faces a make-or-break year himself over the next season.
“There's no question that the players want to win the remaining games,” said Hendo. “I think that over the next four games we have got a point to prove to one or two people.
“I want to play in some capacity before the end of the season, but that again is up to the manager. “I've still got a year to run on my contract and I am a Norwich City player for that time and I will be doing my very best for the club.”
Meanwhile, four more City youngsters are set to join the professional ranks at Carrow Road this summer.
As reported two weeks ago, Academy scholars Robert Eagle, Andrew Fisk, Andrew Cave-Brown and Matthew Halliday were all offered one-year contracts with the Canaries.
And today it emerged all four had agreed to sign, with the paperwork being tied-up on July 1.
Academy manager Ricky Martin said he was delighted to secure the signatures of the four lads.
“It's great the four have agreed to sign professional terms with Norwich City,” he told the club's official website.
“It will be interesting to see how they progress with the Club over the next year. The hard work for them starts now.”
Eagle, 19, and Fisk, 18, are both midfielders while Cave-Brown, 17, and Halliday, 19, usually operate in defence.
Once the four have put pen to paper in the summer it will bring the tally of youngsters from this crop to join Nigel Worthington's squad to six, with goalkeeper Joe Lewis and midfielder Rossi Jarvis already professionals.