Young Canaries give us all hope

PUBLISHED: 18:57 07 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:04 10 September 2010

Ian Russell, Capital Canaries

AT a time when the yellow and green net is being cast far and wide to gather up as many positives as is at all possible, we need look no further than our very own youth team.

AT a time when the yellow and green net is being cast far and wide to gather up as many positives as is at all possible, we need look no further than our very own youth team.

Congratulations to Ricky and the lads for Thursday night's fabulous victory at Everton, and roll on Man City in the quarters.

As the recession bites down on us a little harder, football clubs at our level and below will inevitably have to rely more and more on their Academies to replenish the first team squad. No transfer fee, no signing on bounty, no relocation issues, no agents - the investment into our youth system is surely a wise judgment.

Apart from anything else, I expect most football fans to agree that there's something special about a local boy working his way up and 'making the grade'. Ask yourself: would we have ever had the chance to watch Bellamy, Sutton, Eadie, Fashanu or Fox pull on the yellow and green if they hadn't been a Norwich City product? I doubt it.

Many, of course, promise so much yet fail to quite meet the high expectation; Martin, the Jarvis boys, Spillane and Co still have a lot to prove. But every so often a gem is uncovered and, given the right nurturing and man-management, Canary fans may soon have their new starlet parading the Carrow Road turf.

It's extremely encouraging to observe that the current crop of youngsters is making steady progress. Ricky Martin recently took part in first team affairs following the departure of Roeder and this, I'm certain, will only fuel his ambitions to convert some promising prospects into fully-fledged professionals.

My only hope is that the momentum and support in our Academy will not only remain but grow so we can really start to push a production line of new City kids.

Capital Canaries is already supporting the tremendous work of John Landamore and his committee at FONCY. Every Caps member's train fare to home matches includes a donation and we continue to take great pride in passing this directly onto the Colney youth set-up. It's a comfort to know that the money will reach its intended destination and if our modest contribution can go some way to help produce the next Chris Sutton then it'd be worth every penny.

Keep up the good work lads.

On The Ball City!

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