Adeyemi passes first exam with flying colours
Chris Lakey Tom Adeyemi is too young to drink the sponsor's champagne for his man of the match performance on Saturday - but there are likely to be plenty more opportunities in the future.
Tom Adeyemi is too young to drink the sponsor's champagne for his man of the match performance on Saturday - but there are likely to be plenty more opportunities in the future.
The 17-year-old scored on what was essentially his senior home debut, putting in the sort of performance that will have Bryan Gunn banning visiting scouts for fear of losing such an asset. It was the stuff of dreams for Adeyemi, but now it's a question of turning his ambitions into reality and staking a genuine claim for a starting place in Gunn's midfield.
The evidence - just like the Norwich School pupil's collection of exam passes - is impressive. Two goals against local side Fakenham a week and a half ago, eye-catching performances in Scotland - where he was excellent against St Johnstone - and then this.
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The 20-yard shot which gave City the lead midway through the first half was the icing on the cake - now he has to convince Gunn that he has enough about him to consign new signings like Matt Gill, Owain Tudur Jones or Stephen Hughes to a place on the bench. Adeyemi is as happy as a teenager should be in his position - and confident enough to slug it out with all-comers.
“It's amazing, a real dream come true just to score at Carrow Road really,” he said. “It was quite a good goal. I'm not normally known for my shooting ability, but it was good to score one like that today. The ball just came to me, I had a touch and I just hit it really. I probably should have scored one or two more, but it was nice to score today.”
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Adeyemi has been on the Norwich City scene since he was seven years old, getting his first pro contract under Glenn Roeder last November.
“We played United at youth level last year and they beat us,” he said. “They were outstanding compared to what I was then and I think it shows I have come a long way since then,” he said. “Last year I got in the positions, but I wasn't getting the goals and I wasn't getting the shots off, but this year, so far, I have had a few more shots and a few more goals. Hopefully I will be able to continue that.
“It looks like a really strong squad. I think there is going to be a lot of competition, especially in midfield because obviously we have Stephen Hughes just coming in and it's going to be tough to work my way in, but I'm up for the fight.
“I think when you see people come in it is another person in between you and the first team, but I am confident enough in my own ability that I can force my way past all of them. You just have to be confident in your own ability and I think I am.”