Former Norwich City attacker Craig Bellamy has spoken at length about his time as a young Canary, discussing his formative experiences at Carrow Road.

Bellamy arrived in Norfolk in 1990, spending six years in City's youth setup before becoming a leading first-team player. He scored 34 goals in 91 senior appearances for Norwich, but was most impressed with the welcome he received as a youngster.

"I remember Chris Sutton, Dave Stringer was the manager, and they all knew my name," Bellamy revealed. "I was only 11 or 12 years of age and they'd come and see you at the training ground. They made you feel really welcome. They made you feel like you were part of that club."

The Welshman was a young talent with a reputation, and stayed with the Canaries despite offers from larger clubs.

He told the Central Club podcast: "I remember I got to the age of about 14 and Leeds offered my parents money to sign for them. Chelsea and Liverpool offered me schoolboy forms, but I just felt like 'this is the place for me'.

"They said: 'We know there's other clubs you can go to, but if you come to see, you will play in our first team way before any of those other football clubs'. They kept to their word with that.

"We had a youth team pitch no one could train on, it was only youth team games. It was the best pitch I've ever played on, even to this day. That was the care and detail they'd given to the youth, because they felt it was their future.

"In Europe (when City reached the third round of the UEFA Cup in 1993) there was Ruel Fox, Chris Sutton, Darren Eadie, Lee Power, Jeremy Goss, six or seven playing in that first team from the academy, and they finished third in the Premier League.

"So it was evident that you'd get an opportunity here. It (was) geared for that."

Despite a strong start once he burst into the senior team, Bellamy received a rude awakening as a school boy. "I was lost to start with," he continued. "I wanted out.

"It was really difficult for me, and I actually realised this game was quite tough. Getting spoken to like you meant nothing wasn't nice, but that was natural at that time."

The 43-year-old, who is currently assistant manager to ex-teammate Vincent Kompany at Burnley, felt that one particular target helped propel him into the first team picture at Carrow Road.

He said: "Darren Eadie was the main kid in the first team. He was playing for England under-21s and he was 'the star'. Me being me, I had to go for him straight away, like: 'I'm better than him. I don't think he's as good as what everyone thinks he is.' I remember saying to myself: 'Give me a year, he'll be gone.'

"I needed that goal. I got into the first team that year, I scored 13 goals from centre midfield. Crystal Palace came in for me during that time. There were other clubs like Spurs."

That period of success didn't come without its chastening experiences, however, as Bellamy revealed.

"We played Neil Warnock's Bury," he said, "and we went to look at the pitch before we got changed. Two of them were waiting in the tunnel, and they looked tough. It was like 'oi, Bellamy'. So I've looked around, and they've gone 'we're going to break your legs today'. And they were serious.

"One of our players heard it as well, and he went and told Bruce Rioch. He (Rioch) was fuming. He was like, 'he's told them that, that's Warnock. Don't worry about them.' Lucky enough, he got sent off after seven minutes!

"I remember Warnock shouting as I was playing: 'Break his legs'. An 18-year-old kid. Can you imagine? Shocking. I never experienced that before or after. But it was an education.

"At 19, I became Norwich's main player at the time."