No excuses for awful’ display

DAVID CUFFLEY Manager Peter Grant refused to use City's hectic schedule of matches as an excuse for what he described as an “awful” first-half showing at Cardiff. The Championship match at Ninian Park was the Canaries' eighth game in three and a half weeks.


Teenage striker Chris Martin has been rewarded for his flying start to first team football with Norwich City with his first England call-up.

Martin, below, spent his first full day with the England Under-19 squad yesterday as they prepare for a friendly against Turkey at Doncaster's Keepmoat Stadium.

The 18-year-old from Beccles has earned his place in coach Brian Eastick's 18-strong squad - alongside another City youngster, Rossi Jarvis - after a sensational start to the year for Peter Grant's Canaries which has seen him score five goals in 12 appearances.

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Martin's name had not been included in the original squad named at the end of February, but his explosive introduction to Championship life proved difficult to ignore - and saw City's Academy chief Ricky Martin finally get his man into the international set-up. "We got a call last week from the FA indicating that they would like to call him up," said the Academy man. "The FA take recommendations from clubs and we have put Chris up in previous years and they have been monitoring him. He has been put up along with Rossi Jarvis for the last couple of seasons - as head of the Academy I get the opportunity to recommend players and they take a decision to monitor their progress.

"The England coaches have obviously read the reports and seen all the headlines of Chris' games."

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The player has slipped through the England net to some extent, with the majority of players coming up through the ranks from under-16 level.

"Teams are usually gelled together from the 16 and 17 years age groups and they try and work with the same squad," said Ricky Martin. "But the FA monitors other players as soon as they get into their club first teams."

The player travelled up to the Doncaster area after Saturday's game and was due to take part in cooling down exercises yesterday, with his former mentor confident the striker would settle in easily.

"We have all seen him in action, nothing fazes him and to deal with other 18-year-olds won't be a big transition for him," he said. "He is able to deal with playing alongside the likes of Darren Huckerby and Dion Dublin and he will know a lot of the other lads anyway."

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