Smith looking to the future after committing himself to Canaries
Korey Smith is already working towards his next contract even though the ink is hardly dry on his new one. The City midfielder signed his first pro deal in the summer of 2008, and on Saturday put pen to paper on a contract which will keep him at Carrow Road until at least 2012, with the club having the option on a further year.
Korey Smith is already working towards his next contract even though the ink is hardly dry on his new one.
The City midfielder signed his first pro deal in the summer of 2008, and on Saturday put pen to paper on a contract which will keep him at Carrow Road until at least 2012, with the club having the option on a further year.
“It's a dream come true,” said Smith, who has come through the club's Academy ranks. “My goal when I was under 16 was to get my first contract and obviously each time you get one your goal is then to get another one, so now I have got this I need to keep pushing on and hopefully there will be more to come. Hopefully I've got a bright future with Norwich City.”
Smith is one of an emerging group of home-grown players who have burst on to the scene in recent months, particularly under Lambert.
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But the 18-year-old's season didn't get off to the most auspicious of starts, with a groin injury sustained on the summer tour to Scotland hampering his pre-season.
Smith didn't appear under previous manager Bryan Gunn, but was given his first start of the season - and only the second of his career - in Paul Lambert's first game in charge, the 5-2 win over Wycombe Wanders. The only league game he's missed since was the defeat at Leeds a week ago, when a thigh injury ruled him out.
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“I was injured in the early days and when the new manager came in I had to try as hard as I could,” said Smith. “I did well in training and got myself a place in the team and I think my work rate has helped me keep the place.
“We have a very good squad, but I don't consider myself that I am going to play every week. I don't think like that, I have to think about the other players in the squad and I know if they come in they will do an excellent job as well.
“But I've started to get my fitness back and the manager has shown faith in me and I thank him for that. It's been excellent working for him - he is strict, but fair and gives everyone a chance and if you do well he is not going to drop you for no reason. He's just a fair manager.”
Lambert said: “I think it's great for the club to secure a promising young player like Korey and it's great for him as well that he wants to continue his development with us.
“He's part of a nucleus of good young players we have here at the moment and he's worked really hard and done really well since we've been here, so I'm delighted he's committed to a new contract.”
Lambert may not have been active in the transfer market, but he's now tied three youngsters down, with Luke Daley and goalkeeper Jed Steer recently signed up until 2012.
The most recent players to come through the ranks has been George Francomb, although he succumbed to the injury jinx which has hit the right back position and didn't come out for the second half at the weekend because of a thigh injury.
Yet again Smith filled in, having done the same when Jon Otsemobor and Michael Spillane picked up hamstring injuries.
“All the right backs have been injured and I'm not a natural right back, but I will play there for the team and fill in,” Smith said.
“I thought George today was excellent and really did well. He got into his opponent and really got going up the pitch and showed confidence. I was so happy for him and to be playing with him on the right was excellent.”