Stephenson likes what he sees

Potential new Norwich City first team coach Paul Stephenson has held talks at Carrow Road and admits he likes what he sees.

Potential new Norwich City first team coach Paul Stephenson has held talks at Carrow Road and admits he likes what he sees.

Current Hartlepool United youth team coach Stephenson met with City manager Glenn Roeder and club officials on Wednesday to discuss the long-standing coaching vacancy and looks set to be installed in the Colney set-up as soon as his current employers and the Canaries agree terms.

Stephenson said yesterday: “Yes, I've been to Norwich.

“Hartlepool gave me permission to speak to Norwich and I met up with the club on Tuesday. It's a very nice area and a nice place, but there's not a lot to say because it isn't finalised with Hartlepool.


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“I have to pay respect to my current employer. I owe them a lot. I ended my football career there, and began my coaching career there, so I have to respect that. I'm sure there'll be more to say over the next few days.”

After retiring in 2003 from a playing career which included spells at Newcastle United, Millwall and Hartlepool, Stephenson joined the coaching staff at Hartlepool in 2003.

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He was swiftly promoted to youth team coach, where the 39-year-old guided the club's young charges to several honours, including victory in the prestigious Dallas Cup at Under-19 Group A level in 2004.

Stephenson also took temporary charge of Hartlepool United's first team at the end of the 2005/6 season and was undefeated in his first five games in charge, despite the club being in turmoil.

But he was unable to prevent Pools' relegation to League Two and lost out on the permanent job to Danny Wilson, leaving him to return to his youth coaching role.

Current City boss Glenn Roeder managed Stephenson as a player during his time in charge of Gillingham and approached Hartlepool with a view to Stephenson joining him on the bench at Newcastle United when Roeder took charge at St James's Park in 2005, but the move never materialised.

Norwich have failed to appoint a first team coach since Martin Hunter left to join Watford last July, leaving then City boss Peter Grant furious.

But it seems Glenn Roeder will be able to complete his backroom line-up with plenty of time to prepare for City's next fixture against Coventry, at Carrow Road a week tomorrow.

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