Luke hoping to last pace

DAVID CUFFLEY Luke Chadwick is hoping his proposed move to Norwich City will help give him extra staying power - after passing the 90-minute mark just twice so far this season.


Luke Chadwick is hoping his proposed move to Norwich City will help give him extra staying power - after passing the 90-minute mark just twice so far this season.

The 25-year-old winger is expected to sign for the Canaries on loan from Stoke City until January 3 with a view to a permanent move, though Carrow Road chief executive Neil Doncaster stressed this morning that, contrary to reports, the deal had not been completed.

Stoke's official website today claimed Chadwick's move had gone through, but Doncaster said: “That certainly isn't the case. None of the paperwork has been done yet.

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“He had a medical yesterday but we have not had the scan results. The deal has not been not finalised.”

Chadwick played under City boss Peter Grant when he was assistant manager at West Ham. Reports in Stoke say the fee will be £220,000, with a further £100,000 to pay if he helps the Canaries to promotion.

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He has made 15 senior appearances for Stoke this season, but when he scored in the 5-0 win over Norwich last month, it was only the second time since August he had lasted 90 minutes.

On the opening day of the season at Southend, he was stretchered off after an hour with a combination of heat exhaustion and dehydration - but played again against Derby three days later - and he has regularly been substituted in the final half-hour of matches.

Chadwick said yesterday that homesickness had been behind his desire for a move after becoming unsettled when his wife and two young children moved back to their family home in Cambridge. And he said making three-hour journeys to Stoke had affected his fitness and performances.

He said: “My wife and children moved back to Cambridge at the end of last season and I've got to say it's been a struggle for me doing all the travelling.

“The little boy was crying every time I went away for a couple of days and it was getting too much.

“I've been leaving the house at 5.45 in the morning and it takes anything up to three hours to get into the club.

“The lack of sleep has been affecting my performances, but also the travelling has given me a stiff back and doesn't make training easy.

“The situation was such that I'd have been prepared to play in the lower divisions if needs be to be nearer my family.

“I can't thank the club and the manager enough for their understanding. They know my desire to leave has nothing to do with them, and I just hope the fans also understand that.

“The Norwich thing happened at the start of the season when they showed an interest, but the gaffer said no. I was happy to come back to do my best, and felt I've done that.

“But I've got to admit my performances have been up and down because the travelling and upset has taken its toll. That's not good for anyone, so this has to be the best solution.”

Stoke boss Pulis said: “I'm disappointed to be losing a smashing member of the squad like Luke, but I understand his reasons.

”We looked into all the possible reasons for his failure to finish so many matches this season, but maybe the real explanation was travelling and the distraction of his family.”

But Chadwick said he was delighted to be reunited with Grant.

He told the Canaries' official website: “I'm thrillied to be coming to Norwich. I know Peter Grant from our time at West Ham and Norwich City is a tremendous club. I was devastated when the move fell through in the summer and I'm delighted to be joining now.”

Grant had hoped to sign Chadwick before the weekend, but Stoke boss Pulis delayed the move because he had been unable to find a replacement in time for their game at Crystal Palace on Saturday. Chadwick played the first 70 minutes at Selhurst Park as Stoke won 1-0.

He made 51 starts and five substitute appearances after joining Stoke initially on loan before agreeing a £100,000 move from West Ham last January.

Former City manager Nigel Worthington made an unsuccessful attempt to sign him in the summer.

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