Former City fan prepares to mix it with good friend

Michael Bailey Robert Earnshaw and Lee Camp will not be the only Norwich City links in the Nottingham Forest side at the City Ground tonight. There will also be a City fan in their ranks, or a former one at least, in the shape of 21-year-old Norwich-born midfielder Chris Cohen.

Michael Bailey

Robert Earnshaw and Lee Camp will not be the only Norwich City links in the Nottingham Forest side at the City Ground tonight.

There will also be a City fan in their ranks, or a former one at least, in the shape of 21-year-old Norwich-born midfielder Chris Cohen.

"I was born in the city and only lived there for six months, but I supported Norwich as a kid and got to go to a few matches," said the Forest regular. "It was only me who ever supported them in the family and I don't really know why. But I was at West Ham from the age of eight until I was 19, so I changed allegiances. That's not very good is it?"


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"But it will be nice playing them. I supported them when they came third in the league. That was my first-ever football memory. And I went to an Ipswich derby which was brilliant, I can't remember which one though. I was really young."

Cohen was a product of the academy at Upton Park and remained a West Ham player until two years ago, his football upbringing given a helping hand by then Hammers' youth team coach - and current Norwich boss - Glenn Roeder.

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"He was there as I was coming through and he helped put me into the first team there," added Cohen. "I was getting into trouble at school and had a few meetings with him which weren't very good, but he was always good to me and I always look to see where he's gone. I doubt if he remembers me, but I'll definitely say hello to him."

Cohen certainly made an impact at West Ham, making his debut as a 16-year-old to become the Hammers' youngest player to appear for the first team in 80 years, a record he still holds today.

"I played a few games," added Cohen. "Alan Pardew was the manager and he said there probably wasn't a chance I would be involved. I went on loan to Yeovil for a season and West Ham didn't want me when I came back, so I joined Forest on a permanent deal."

There is one further link for Cohen to revel in tonight, that of his former Forest team-mate and golfing partner, Sammy Clingan, set to face his former club for the first time at the City Ground.

"We've been doing really well but not had that bit of luck. I'm good friends with Sammy as well and speaking to him it seems the season has gone quite a similar way for Norwich," said Cohen. "So we are in a similar position, but we've got more than enough to play and get plenty more results and be higher up the league.

"Sammy was my golf partner when he was here and I've missed him since he's left. I hadn't played golf for six months but I rang him up the other day while I was playing golf on my own, and he was playing golf on his own. So maybe we're both missing each other a bit.

"But it will be great to see him and play against him."

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