Happy birthday! Canaries star Maddison pleased with career progression as 21st celebrations kick-off
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The Colney cakes are on James Maddison today, as the Canaries starlet celebrates his 21st birthday.
Having established himself as a Championship player with City this season, to earn his first England Under-21 cap, the Coventry City academy product can be pleased with his achievements so far.
With 83 senior appearances and 13 goals on his CV, Maddison has achieved plenty ahead of the traditional landmark that sees a boy become a man – and is happy with his career so far.
“You never know how it’s going to go but I always knew I had the ability and it’s about getting your chance, everyone has a different path,” the playmaker said.
“I started out at a lower club in Coventry, in League One, and that was probably the best thing for me because I played a lot of games from a young age but I’m here now and I’m enjoying it.”
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Maddison won his first U21 cap as an 81st-minute substitute during the Young Lions’ recent 2-0 win in Ukraine, playing alongside Norwich team-mate Angus Gunn.
The win keeps Aidy Boothroyd’s squad on course to qualify for the 2019 European U21 Championship in Italy and San Marino.
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“One of the most positive things about myself in that group is that I’ve played a lot of minutes this season and that’s the reason I got called up,” Maddison reflected. “Me and Aidy had a few chats and he was really good, honest chats and he just said to keep playing for Norwich, keep showing everyone what I can do and I’ve played in the qualifiers now so now I can finish the campaign.
“But I don’t want to think about that too much now, the next international break is in March, I’m just concentrating on keeping the best form that I can for Norwich and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.”
With England winning the U17 and U20 World Cups this year, as well as the U19 Euros, there is added pressure on the U21s after their shoot-out defeat to Germany in the semi-final of their European Championship.
Maddison added: “It’s brilliant for English football, brilliant for young players coming through and that only bodes well for the future. Maybe it does add that extra bit of pressure when the other age groups are winning and the U21s haven’t won anything big recently – and hopefully we can get success from that.”