‘It’s amazing, an absolutely amazing story!’ – City forward bounced back from kidney transplant to score in brave Trophy defeat
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City’s young guns did themselves proud at Oxford United and there was an ‘absolutely amazing’ back story to their narrow EFL Trophy defeat.
Shae Hutchinson, an 18-year-old forward, had fired the young Canaries 1-0 in front in the 63rd minute away to the League One side last night - just short of a year since he underwent a kidney transplant.
It was a joyous moment for a very young City side, without their youth internationals, but Oxford did hit back to avoid an upset and scrape a 2-1 win in the Group J opener at the Kassam Stadium.
"It's amazing, an absolutely amazing story," Canaries development coach David Wright said. "A kidney transplant, less than a year ago and now he's back playing!
"He's had a few health issues that led to the kidney transplant but it's full credit for him to go through such a major health issue in his life and to be put through such a major operation.
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"Full credit to him and his family because what they've been through must have been extremely tough, but he got what he deserved, which was a goal, it's great."
The U's equalised through former Liverpool midfielder Cameron Brannagan in the 77th minute and then Shandon Baptiste curled in a winner with five minutes remaining for Karl Robinson's team.
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"I'm really pleased," Wright said of the performance. "I know we've come out on the wrong end of the result but I asked the players for three things: being brave in possession, being brave out of possession and then to work their socks off for each other.
"They did all three so I can't ask for any more from the players, really proud of each and every one of them, I thought they were excellent."
Next up in the Trophy are trips to Portsmouth and Crawley for City's youngsters.
Wright continued: "You go into the dressing room and they're absolutely gutted. They all wanted to come here and win, and to be so close to getting an excellent result, they're really disappointed.
"But I've got to keep reminding them about the journey this group is on because they are a really new group and where we are now to where we were even a month ago is credit to the boys because of how hard they've worked, how they've listened to the messages that we've given them and then been brave enough to go out on the pitch and deliver it."