Tomkinson 'very pleased' after brace for City U23s and award nomination
- Credit: Tony Thrussell
American defender Jonathan Tomkinson is enjoying something of a hot streak, after celebrating an award nomination with a brace as Norwich City U23s beat Aston Villa 4-2 at Carrow Road.
The 19-year-old Texan scored the third and fourth goals to make sure an excellent team performance earned the victory it deserved, before the visitors scored a late consolation.
“We’re extremely pleased. Aston Villa are going to be some top competition this year," said Tomkinson, after the win moved the Canaries up to second in Division Two of Premier League Two.
“We want to win every game so to beat them, who are strong contenders, it shows how hard we work and how determined we are to win.”
His first came after midfielder Nelson Khumbeni did well to keep a corner alive, turning in a mid-air finish from close range, and the second with a brave header to beat the Villa keeper to a Liam Gibbs free-kick.
“I’m very pleased. We work on these kinds of things at the training ground, so it’s just reward," he continued.
“All I have to do is be there and if the delivery is right, I’ll try and put it in the back of the net every time.”
It was a third win in four games for the City youngsters, who saw U23s head coach David Wright leave for a first-team role at MK Dons recently.
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Former Newcastle and Southampton defender Alan Neilson has stepped up to take charge, working alongside head of football development Steve Weaver.
“We’re a resilient group, so we try not to let anything hold us back, no matter who we’re playing against or who’s the manager, we’ll give our all," said Tomkinson.
“That shows on the pitch, the never-say-die attitude. We’ll always work hard for each other and that gives us the result we want.”
The victory comes after the centre-back was nominated for the PL2 Player of the Month award for August.
“I’m very pleased but I have my team-mates to thank for that," he added. "They push me every day in training and that’s what gives me results on the pitch.”
Tomkinson moved to England in 2019 and signed his first professional contract the following year after impressing in the FA Youth Cup.
“I’m loving it," the former USA U17 international said. "This is exactly what I came here for, to be challenged and push on to the next level.
“That’s exactly what I’m getting so I’m just going to keep working hard for it.”
With international travel starting to move back towards normality following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tomkinson hopes international involvement at youth levels will return - with City having a full US international in the first-team squad in striker Josh Sargent.
“Not so much, things have been a bit quiet since 2020," he explained. "I do want to be there, I want to be playing international football again but it’s one step at a time.”
The youngster has signed to the same agency that Ben Godfrey was with during his time at Norwich, which includes Rio and Anton Ferdinand among its high-profile ambassadors and mentors.
“They have a lot of former and current professionals who play at a very high level, so Rio, Anton and various other players," Tomkinson concluded.
“I look to Ben for advice as well, so I couldn’t be more grateful for that. These are people that I watch on TV on a weekend, so to get advice, that’s where I want to be one day.”