Rudd may get place on bench

David Cuffley One of Norwich City's teenage England goalkeepers could get a stint of first-team duty before the end of the season, manager Glenn Roeder revealed last night.

David Cuffley

One of Norwich City's teenage England goalkeepers could get a stint of first-team duty before the end of the season, manager Glenn Roeder revealed last night.

Roeder believes the Canaries have two stars of the future in 17-year-old Declan Rudd and 15-year-old Jed Steer.

And he said Rudd could find his way on to the bench for a Championship game before the campaign is over.


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He said: "We have two fabulous goalkeepers. It's incredible - everyone in the country is looking for goalkeepers and they can't find a goalkeeper at academy level. And we have two absolute potential stars in Declan Rudd and Jed Steer.

"I have had them in working with the first team already. Jed's 15½ and he's a man. They tell me he's as close to Greeny (Robert Green) as you'll get at 15½ - character spot on, knows what he wants and I'm looking to him over the next few years.

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"And don't be surprised if Declan Rudd can get on to the bench at 17 before the end of the season. I certainly would like to put him on the bench."

Rudd was 17 in January and Steer will not be 16 until September, but Roeder believes in giving them a taste of life with the senior squad.

He said: "We take the boys away sometimes to get them used to the first team atmosphere and see what it's all about so when their turn comes round they're not frightened. Both boys play for England."

Roeder said he kept a close eye on City's academy but it was not easy to produce first team players.

He said: "I love the academy. I love the concept of the academy. I take a big interest in it.

"But we have a problem geographically at Norwich. I see Norwich as a city in a big field and it's lovely. It's absolutely fantastic and that big field extends not far away to the most wonderful coastline in the country.

"What we must not let happen to us - and I think our academy is well run - if there is one of these God-given talents born within an hour, we don't lose him. He doesn't end up somewhere else."

He added: "If you produce one first team player every two years, you are really doing well. It's that difficult."

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