‘We were the fifth highest team in Europe’ - City academy chief proud of success
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Head of football development Steve Weaver has spoken about the pride of Norwich City’s academy staff as the club’s youth system continues to grow in importance.
Ben Godfrey and Jamal Lewis earned big-money Premier League moves this summer following City’s relegation, having played key roles for Daniel Farke in the past two seasons, alongside fellow academy products Todd Cantwell and Max Aarons.
“I’ve never really mentioned the sense of pride that we have within the academy for Ben Godfrey and Jamal Lewis,” said Weaver, in his regular column for the Canaries’ OTBC match-day programme.
“They both progressed brilliantly here and made moves to new clubs for substantial figures. I know that Stuart (Webber) in the past has spoken about our model here at Norwich City, but this is an example of it in action.
“Developing young talent, selling them and making the club a successful, sustainable model.
“It is always nice to be recognised for the work that we do and at the end of each season we get reports of performance and productivity.
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“It is with great pleasure that our academy was top of appearances for under-23 players in the Premier League last year.
“Not only that but we were the fifth highest team in Europe for a number of appearances for young players in their respective first teams.
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“We hope this year that the likes of Adam Idah and Josh Martin will continue to push through and have many more appearances at first team level.”
City’s under-23s sit third in Division Two of Premier League Two after seven games and have also qualified for the knockout stages of the EFL Trophy after victories over young first team squads of EFL sides Plymouth and Newport.
They head to League Two side Cheltenham on Tuesday (6pm) to settle who has won Southern Group F and will be seeded in the first knockout round, which remains regionalised.
Weaver, who was promoted from his position as academy manager earlier this year and now also oversees the U18s, continued. “With the way the under-23 and under-18 teams have started, we are very hopeful that the trend of young players coming to be part of Daniel’s (Farke) squad in the near future will continue.
“The under-23s will finish the EFL Trophy campaign next week away at Cheltenham Town, who like ourselves have six points. Let’s hope for a favourable result on the night so that we can top the group.”