Profile: Norwich City legend Bryan Gunn believed son Angus had “opportunity to be a top goalkeeper” with Manchester City
- Credit: JASON DAWSON
Canaries legend Bryan Gunn spoke to David Freezer about his son’s bright future after Angus signed a five-year contract with Manchester City in the summer of 2015.
As Norwich City close on a loan deal for Angus to return to Norfolk, here’s a look back on Bryan’s hopes for his Norwich-born son’s career.
Is former Norwich City Academy goalkeeper Angus Gunn on the verge of following his father’s footsteps and playing top-level football?
The answer: “He’s got the mentality to be a top goalkeeper and now he has got the opportunity to be a top goalkeeper as well.”
Those are the words of Canaries legend Bryan Gunn, whose family have recently been celebrating after 19-year-old Angus signed a new five-year deal with Premier League giants Manchester City.
The long-term deal hints at the big-spending club’s change in policy in the new era of financial fair play rules and homegrown quotas.
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The north-west club are clearly looking to the future, following the opening of the £200million academy training complex opened at Eastlands in December – which Gunn junior now gets to feel the benefit of.
Angus brought an end to his long association with the Norwich academy when his family moved to Cheshire in 2011, with the Citizens ordered to pay £250,000 to the Canaries in compensation by an independent tribunal – with further add-ons due depending on the level of Gunn’s progress in the game.
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With his contract now extended until 2020 with the two-time Premier League champions, that progress could well be substantial.
“Most importantly Angus is pleased with it,” Bryan said of his son’s new deal.
“He’s at the stage where he’s coming into his own at Manchester City, he’s 19 and he had the opportunity to make his own decision.
“He chose to sign the contract and now has a great opportunity in front of him. It is a long-term contract from the club’s side of the deal and Angus decided to take that opportunity of working alongside the likes of Joe Hart, Willy Caballero and Richard Wright – which can only do him well in his development.
“The next challenge for him now is how quickly he can go from being a talented young goalkeeper to challenging for a place in the first-team squad.”
More than 7,000 Canaries supporters got a chance to see the extent of the former Framingham Earl High School pupil’s development in February, when he played in a 2-1 loss to Norwich at Carrow Road in the Barclays Under-21s Premier League.
Angus impressed that night and throughout the season in the league for Patrick Vieira’s side, as well as in the Premier League International Cup, and in helping his team reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Youth League.
That has led to the Norfolk-born keeper being one of three players nominated for the club’s Elite Development Squad player of the year award. He is currently in Australia as part of City’s first-team squad during pre-season – with his future looking full of possibilities.
“Angus has been treated fairly by the club and has progressed through the different levels of the club fairly quickly and I see no reason why that should stop,” Gunn senior continued.
“Working with the goalkeeping coach Xabier Mancisidor and taking part in the first-team training sessions and the quality of the players that he is going to be playing with is going to be excellent for his development.
“He’s part of the squad which has gone to Australia and is probably doing three training sessions a day, so he will know how tough being a pro at Manchester City is.”
Can Angus follow in his dad’s footsteps?
Bryan made 477 appearances for Norwich between 1986 and 1998, having begun his career in his native Scotland with Aberdeen. He was also capped six times by Scotland, played regularly in England’s top flight for the best part of a decade and starred in City’s famed UEFA Cup run of 1993/94.
So Angus has some big gloves to fill – although at 6ft 5ins, and already taller than his father, he is looking in with a good chance.
“I was at Aberdeen when they were challenging in Europe and was the number two and managed to get a European Cup Winners Cup medal when I was 20, so I’ve got that!” the Canaries’ Hall of Fame member joked.
“But in all seriousness, instead of the training ground sometimes we would train on pitches near the beach at Pittodrie. So it was a bit different to the fantastic facilities they are able to use at Manchester City.”