Roeder set for rethink on reserves

Chris Lakey Norwich City could pull their reserve team out of the Pontin's Holiday Combination League next season. Canaries manager Glenn Roeder has joined a growing band of managers disillusioned with the quality of reserve team football and may be prepared to swap the league system for a series of friendly matches - which might involve newly-crowned South League champions King's Lynn.

Chris Lakey

Norwich City could pull out their reserve team out of the Pontin's Holiday Combination League next season.

Canaries manager Glenn Roeder has joined a growing band of managers disillusioned with the quality of reserve team football and may be prepared to swap the league system for a series of friendly matches - which might involve newly-crowned South League champions King's Lynn.

Roeder admitted yesterday that while City would maintain a reserve team, the question of who they would play was still unclear.


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“That's yet to be decided,” he said. “I think the face of football has changed a lot - there is hardly any difference between under-18s on a Saturday and reserve team football in midweek.

“Most managers don't play their senior players in reserve team football anyway. There is an argument does it make sense to take a kids team to play Grays Reserves or Stevenage Reserves?

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“We are looking into that, like other clubs are. There are a lot of suggestions and ideas that are swilling around the reserve bucket at the moment.

“I don't think anyone is absolutely certain what's going to happen this year, but I don't think it's necessary for a club like ourselves to be playing a reserve game every week.”

City played the final game of their league season against MK Dons on Thursday evening, but of the starters only two players - Robert Eagle and Michael Spillane - had ever started a league match for the City.

Senior players have rarely appeared for the second string, in keeping with other Championship sides, but Roeder insisted he was keen to maintain a level of competition for the reserves.

“I would want reserve team fixtures,” he said. “I suppose there is a scenario at reserve team level that if you weren't in a league you could have someone like King's Lynn over at Carrow Road on a Tuesday night for what is perceived as a reserve fixture, and instead of them training they'd have, if you want, a training session at Carrow Road and bring their first team.

“It could be a number of top local teams and I think those teams would give us much harder opposition than playing MK last night - it was a youth game. Lovely, great for the lads, some of those might never play on Carrow Road again, but really I know it's called a reserve game but it was a glorified youth game.”

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