Norwich City midfielder Smith has made extraordinary start to career
Midfielder Korey Smith considers himself very fortunate to have kicked off his Norwich City career with two successive promotions.
Some professionals go through their playing days without lifting any silverware or enjoying the kind of celebrations Smith has experienced two years in a row with the Canaries. And though the 20-year-old has had to take a back seat in the closing weeks of the Championship campaign, his cause not helped by suffering a broken wrist, he is positively beaming at the prospect of Premier League football.
“I’m very lucky because I’ve gone through this in my first two seasons in football so it’s quite exciting for me, of course, and a dream come true for the lads.
“I’m very happy for everyone,” he said, before boarding the open-topped bus for his second city centre parade.
Hatfield-born Smith first watched top-flight football at Highbury, and would dearly love to face his boyhood team next season.
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“My team was Arsenal so it will be a dream come true if I can be involved against them, against some of the best quality players in the world,” he said.
“I used to go when I was younger to watch them – that was my first experience.
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“It’s all I’ve dreamed about since I was young and if I get a chance next year I hope I’ll be able to grab it with both hands.”
Smith signed his first professional contract in 2008 and his first two senior appearances for the Canaries came at the end of the relegation season of 2008-09, but he missed only nine league games as they claimed the League One title last season.
Back in the Championship, he was a midfield regular for the first half of the season but made just five appearances as substitute from mid-January onwards.
“It’s a little bit frustrating but that’s football,” he said.
“The first 25 games I was maybe keeping other players out and they weren’t getting games, but even if you’re out of the side, everyone has to train hard for each other and in the end it’s a team effort.
“We’re all there for each other, we all understand that if the team is playing well, you can’t get back in easily. But you’ve just got to work hard.
“I can’t complain. In my first two seasons I’ve played quite a lot of games. Last season I played most of the games and this season I’ve played 30 games so I can’t really complain.”
The current season ended in injury but the summer break will give Smith plenty of time to recover.
“I’ve got to have the cast on for another four weeks, unfortunately, because I fractured a bone in my wrist. But I’ll be OK for next season and I’ll be ready to go again,” he said.
Smith said City had known from early in the season that they were capable of challenging for promotion.
“We started to realise we were a match for anyone in the league and I think we all had this self-belief that we could do it,” he said.
“I don’t think a lot of people thought we could, but inside the camp, we all believed in each other. It’s come true and we’re just looking forward to the Premier League.”