City starlet aims to follow in some big shoes
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City’s development captain Akin Famewo is in very good company as he bids to catch Daniel Farke’s eye in Tuesday’s opening EFL Trophy group game at Oxford United.
Famewo arrived at Carrow Road earlier this year from the same Luton Town talent factory that produced club mates Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis.
The 20-year-old also played alongside James Justin in the Hatters' youth set-up, who sealed a big money move to Leicester City in the summer.
Famewo's own progress with the Canaries was halted by a hamstring injury but there is plenty of added incentive for David Wright's squad against League One level opponents.
"You look at the progress of Max and Jamal and that tells you this is a club where the head coach will give young players a chance," said the centre back. "There is a pathway for us if we can show we are capable of making the step up. It is a massive thing to see that. You might be at a club where that is spoken about but here you can actually see the progress with the young players in the first team.
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"There is a genuine belief in bringing through young players and that gives us something to really aim for and underlines why we are working so hard. It is everything I wanted coming here.
"I guess Luton just have a way of developing young players, not just those two you see James Justin who has gone to Leicester City in the summer. I played with him for many years."
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Ben Godfrey and James Maddison both featured for the Canaries during the club's last tilt at this competition and Famewo believes games against Oxford, Crawley and Portsmouth will be a real test.
"I believe this is a great platform for us," he said. "You can speak about those type of players and that is what we are aiming for. The teams we play in this competition have seasoned, experienced professionals. That means they are more likely to punish our mistakes because they either expect us to be a bit naive or they know how to take advantage.
"We are going to go in the Oxford game fired up and looking forward to it. They might look upon us as a young team or it could go the other way and they see us as scalp. We are ready to showcase ourselves.
"It will be a good challenge and a great experience for us in our careers. This is a first chance for a lot of the boys to play men's football. They are a club in League One and that is a good standard for us to test ourselves. If you are in any competition it isn't just about trying to perform, you want to go as far as you can. You never go into a game looking to be second best.
"This is a massive opportunity for this group. Let's see how far we can go."
Famewo is one of the few in Wright's squad who has played in this competition previously for both Luton and Grimsby and the defender aims to lead from the front.
"It is my first team being a captain this season. I am always being told I have good leadership skills so for me it is a great thing to take on board and understand this is my role," he said. "I would like to say I try and lead by example but when the time is right I don't have a problem giving the guys a blast or two as well. That works both ways and we have that trust together as a group that we know it is not a personal thing.
"We are all working towards the same goal.
"It was frustrating to be injured last season when I first came here. I just wanted to be playing games. It is annoying because when you come to a club you think, 'right I am the new boy here so I have to show something,' so it was hard being on the sidelines.
"But they trusted in and got me back as soon as they could."