City's former £8m man retires
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Ex-Norwich City midfielder Steven Naismith has called time on his 18-year playing career to work behind the scenes at Scottish club Hearts.
Naismith failed to hit the heights at Carrow Road during a three-year spell that started with an eye-catching goalscoring debut in a 5-4 Premier League defeat to Liverpool in January 2016.
The 34-year-old notched six league goals in 44 appearances but fell out of favour when Daniel Farke arrived in Norfolk and was loaned out to Hearts for two stints prior to a free transfer move in 2019.
Former City team-mate, James Maddison, thanked Naismith for the guidance on his career via his social media channels following the announcement on Wednesday.
Naismith, who has revealed since leaving the Canaries their original offer to leave Everton was 'too good to turn down' during Alex Neil's reign, has agreed to become a football development manager with the Edinburgh club to help nurture the next generation.
"It is always a big decision for any player to hang up his boots, but I feel the time is now right to make a transformation from playing into a football development role," he said. "I have had great experiences and opportunities to learn from many great players, coaches, managers, analysts, sports scientists, doctors, physios, fitness, strength and speed coaches at club and international level.
"I will look to bring that experience and learning to the role and also seek to continue my path of ongoing education and self-development that have been part of my career to date."
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