Season is cancelled for six Canaries loanees
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The season has been confirmed as over for six of Norwich City’s loanees, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pose massive challenges for football’s governing bodies.
While all of England’s clubs in the top four tiers - including the Canaries in the Premier League - are still hoping to find a way of concluding the campaign when it is safe to do so, non-league football has now been totally cancelled.
The Football Association had already concluded the seasons from step three and lower in the non-league pyramid but National League clubs, including King’s Lynn Town have been eagerly awaiting news of their fate.
The National League this lunchtime confirmed their season was over and that decisions on how to settle the ‘sporting outcomes’ such as promotion and relegation, will follow after “careful and timely consideration” has been completed.
This immediately affects six City players out on loan, with defenders Timi Odusina and Caleb Richards with National League clubs Hartlepool and Yeovil respectively.
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Odusina, 20, had been an ever-present since joining play-off chasing Hartlepool in January, making eight consecutive appearances. Left-back Richards, 21, spent much of 2019 playing regularly for Tampa Bay Rowdies in the second tier in the USA and was yet to make it off the bench for fourth-placed Yeovil.
Irish winger Simon Power and midfielder Alfie Payne were both part of Ian Culverhouse’s squad at King’s Lynn, which sit just two places behind National League North leaders York with two games in hand, hoping to earn the club’s first promotion to the top tier of non-league.
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Payne, a midfielder, had scored three goals in 17 league games and Republic of Ireland U21 international Simon Power had joined in January and scored twice in his first six games.
Similarly, in National League South, Canaries keeper Aston Oxborough has been a regular for leaders Wealdstone and fellow goalkeeper Billy Johnson has been with struggling Braintree Town since January. Oxborough recently signed a new contract to remain at Norwich until at least 2022.
They are likely to be joined by other loanees, with Rocky Bushiri’s season in the Belgian top flight with Sint-Truidense seemingly over and fellow defender Akin Famewo waiting to hear of St Mirren’s fate, with the Scottish Premiership potentially being cancelled.
City midfielders Charlie Gilmour and Savvas Mourgos have been playing in the Dutch second tier for Telstar and Dordrecht respectively but the government has outlawed mass gatherings until September 1, seemingly putting an end to the football season.
Uefa on Tuesday opened the door to leagues being cancelled “in special cases” but is still recommending that top division and cup competitions should be concluded if possible.
Norwich City’s loanees
Belgian top flight: Rocky Bushiri (Sint-Truidense)
Scottish top flight: Akin Famewo (St Mirren)
German second tier: Philip Heise (Nuernberg)
French second tier: Melvin Sitti (Sochaux)
Dutch second tier: Charlie Gilmour (Telstar), Savvas Mourgos (Dordrecht)
USA second tier: Louis Lomas (Tampa Bay Rowdies)
League One: Sam McCallum (Coventry) Sean Raggett (Portsmouth), Carlton Morris, Louis Thompson (MK Dons), Isak Thorvaldsson (Fleetwood)
League Two: Mason Bloomfield (Crawley), Diallang Jaiyesimi (Swindon)
National League: Timi Odusina (Hartlepool), Caleb Richards (Yeovil)
National League North: Simon Power, Alfie Payne (King’s Lynn)
National League South: Aston Oxborough (Wealdstone), Billy Johnson (Braintree)