Double signing for Norwich City

David Cuffley Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder today spoke of his delight at securing 18-year-old Gambian striker Omar Koroma on a season-long loan from Portsmouth. Koroma - nicknamed “OJ” - could play in tomorrow's final pre-season friendly against Colchester United at Carrow Road (5pm) if the Canaries get international clearance in time.

David Cuffley

Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder today spoke of his delight at securing 18-year-old Gambian striker Omar Koroma on a season-long loan from Portsmouth.

Koroma - nicknamed “OJ” - could play in tomorrow's final pre-season friendly against Colchester United at Carrow Road (5pm) if the Canaries get international clearance in time.

City have also signed goalkeeper Stuart Nelson, released by Leyton Orient at the end of last season, on a one-year contract.


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As first reported in Wednesday's Evening News, Pompey boss Harry Redknapp has snapped up Koroma after a trial and immediately made him available for loan.

Said Roeder: “I'm very pleased. He's 18, looks very, very lively and in a couple of eleven against elevens we've had, he's knocked the ball in the back of the net a couple of times.

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“So he looks well above average for an 18-year-old and I'm very pleased that Harry Redknapp has allowed him to come to us because we've watched him play in a couple of pre-season friendlies and so had other Championship clubs, and everyone was on the phone wanting to take him.

“We've had to beat off three or four other Championship clubs. Fortunately Harry and I know each other and he's happy for him to come here. He knows the football club and he knows me and he will play games for us.”

But Roeder said it was important not to expect too much too soon from Koroma.

“He's 18. Supporters are going to have to be patient with him. He'll make a few mistakes, but so do 28-year-olds and 38-year-olds,” he said.

“I've always been a manager who's played young players. There's a rawness and a hunger about their play and OJ has shown that in the small amount of time we've had him on the practice ground, how energetic he is.

“We're just waiting for get clearance but he's all signed up. We just need to get clearance for him to be able to play tomorrow. I hope that comes through.”

Nelson, meanwhile, has done enough in City's pre-season programme and in training to earn a contract.

Said Roeder: “He's impressed us with his attitude, his work ethic. We feel he's actually improved this pre-season as a goalkeeper. Tommy Wright's doing a great job at the moment.”

Defender John Kennedy, on loan from Celtic for five months, should make his first appearance in City colours tomorrow, but full-backs Ryan Bertrand and Adam Drury and on-loan striker Arturo Lupoli are unlikely to figure.

Bertrand suffered an ankle injury in the 5-1 defeat by Tottenham and Drury is recovering from a hamstring problem.

“Ryan is struggling. If it had been a league game we would probably have pushed him in but we are making sure he's 100 per cent fit for Coventry. He will be,” said Roeder.

“Adam played part of the practice game this morning and was fine. It's unlikely that we'll risk him tomorrow, though.”

Roeder is angry that Lupoli's international clearance has still not come through.

He said: “Lupoli won't be involved tomorrow because of international clearance. Unless it comes through from the Italian FA by five o'clock this evening, he won't be able to play. We're pulling all the stops out to make sure he's OK for next week at Coventry.”

Kennedy is also waiting for clearance but did not officially sign until today - August 1 - so his loan can run for five complete months until January 1. He will be available up to the home game against Nottingham Forest on December 28.

“We're not expecting the Scottish FA to hold that up today, so he'll be able to play tomorrow,” said Roeder.

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