Looking to Luton

I hope I will be forgiven for already gazing into the blank sheet of next season, but the possibilities that arise at the dawn of a fresh campaign are simply too enticing not to be speculated upon.

By OLIVER CLIFFORD

I hope I will be forgiven for already gazing into the blank sheet of next season, but the possibilities that arise at the dawn of a fresh campaign are simply too enticing not to be speculated upon. Of course it is only right and proper to point out that the question of which league this new season will take place in has yet to be answered, but one thing is for certain, Norwich City have some exciting young players.

Who? Where? How? I hear you cry. Well, look no further than a little Bedfordshire town 99 miles south-west of our fair city. I talk of the winners of this years Johnstone's Paint Trophy, Luton Town, and particularly of the two Norwich City players that played all 120 minutes of their 3-2 extra-time victory over Scunthorpe United, Chris Martin and Michael Spillane.

Together with a surprising number of other former Canaries - Paul McVeigh, Ian Henderson and Rossi Jarvis - Spillane and Martin have been making notable waves for themselves whilst on loan with the Hatters. The former England Under-19 striker, Martin, has topped scored for Luton this season with 12 goals, one coming in that Wembley Final. Even during Luton's somewhat hopeless attempt to stay in League Two, after beginning the season on minus 30 points because of financial irregularities from the previous season, Martin's current tally far exceeds any player's at Carrow Road.


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Likewise, the Jersey-born Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, Michael Spillane, has been Mr Consistent in the Hatter's back line. A series of excellent and mature performances for club and country have made Spillane into a very sought after commodity indeed.

All this raises the question what are two of Norwich City's brightest young stars doing 99 miles away whilst the Carrow Road fans have to cheer on players from other clubs every week. City played Saturday's game against Sheffield Wednesday with five loan players in the starting eleven and another one on the bench.

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So, whichever league Norwich play in next season, I hope it is known in Carrow Road's corridors of power that consistency and longevity of performance and success are built on faith in young Norwich players, not necessarily on the players of rival clubs.

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