Renton call is boost for youngsters
CHRIS LAKEY Canaries Academy chief Ricky Martin believes that 16-year-old Kris Renton's call-up for first team duties at the weekend has provided other City youngsters with a major incentive, even before the season is over.
By CHRIS LAKEY
Canaries Academy chief Ricky Martin believes that 16-year-old Kris Renton's call-up for first team duties at the weekend has provided other City youngsters with a major incentive, even before the season is over.
Renton was an unused sub for the 3-0 defeat at Colchester, missing out on as place in the history books as the club's youngest ever player because manager Peter Grant didn't want to throw the striker on during the latter stages of a dire performance by the first team.
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With a pair of Easter holiday fixtures coming up, the young Scot is still in with a chance of breaking the record set by Ryan Jarvis, who was 16 years and 282 days when he appeared against Walsall in April, 2003 - had Renton played on Saturday he would have beaten the mark by 20 days.
However, Martin believes he could have competition from his fellow youth team starlets, many of whom have the chance to impress Grant when they turn out for the reserves tonight.
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“For the manager to call on Kris will give a great incentive to the rest of the players and should spur them on to play well tomorrow,” said Martin. “There are two games over Easter he could call on another one or two. Certainly, good performances for the reserves will do their cause no harm at all.
“We were training this morning and when all the lads finished and saw the number 33 with the name Renton on it was a fantastic boost for them. It is great to see that the manager will call upon them. It was a bit desperate at the weekend because he has other strikers on loan or injured and then he had played call off with illness or injury and he was down to the bare bones, but it was a great incentive for the lads.”
Renton joined the City Academy last July, along with fellow Scot Paul Mclean, after both were spotted by Academy youth scout Karl Brady playing for Musselburgh Windsor.
He travelled with the Republic of Ireland Under-17s last autumn for a European Championship qualifying tournament against Azerbaijan, Latvia and Denmark in Baku although in February this year he played for the Scottish Under-17s against Northern Ireland in two friendlies.
At six feet two inches he has the physique, but Martin has set him targets for the summer to improve other aspects of his game.
“He can cope with the demands of the game physically, although technically and tactically he is still learning the system
“He came straight into the Academy system and hasn't had a full season under his belt yet. There are still areas to improve to the level he needs to get to and he is aware of that. He has targets for the summer and I am confident that next year he will have a lot clearer understanding of what is required of him.”
McLean is also in the squad for tonight's visit of MK Dons to Carrow Road (7.30pm) for a Pontins Holiday Combination East Division game when he will partner Alvin Quaye at the centre of City's defence in the absence of Michael Spillane, who is on international duty with the Republic of Ireland Under-19s in Portugal.
Andrew Cave-Brown takes the right-back spot in place of the injured Jurgen Colin with City reverting to 4-4-2 _ Renton and Seb Muddell up front - after last week's tough 2-2 home draw with Oxford Reserves.
Luke Chadwick is also missing from that team, with Robert Eagle and Cave-Brown the only players with first team experience.
“We scraped a draw last week,” said Marin. “Territory-wise we had m ore possession but needed a cutting edge up front.
“I will be keen to get back to winning ways.”
Norwich: Arnold, Cave-Brown, McLean, Quaye, Eagle, Eames, Bexfield, Lathrope, Smart, Renton, Muddell.