Trip into unknown for City youngsters
Norwich academy boss Ricky Martin knows City's youngsters will have to do it the hard way to repeat last season's FA Youth Cup run in tonight's first round trip to Dulwich Hamlet (7.
Norwich academy boss Ricky Martin knows City's youngsters will have to do it the hard way to repeat last season's FA Youth Cup run in tonight's first round trip to Dulwich Hamlet (7.45pm).
Martin's squad head to south-east London looking to clinch a second round tie at either Southampton-based non-league outfit VTFC or Torquay United.
Martin admits it is a far cry from last season's memorable run to the quarter-finals, where they knocked out Premier League trio Wigan, Stoke and Everton before losing to Manchester City.
“It's the first time we've had to start at this stage of the competition since I've been with the Academy,” Martin told the club's official site. “But we will focus and prepare for the game just as we would for any game in the league or cup. I went to Champion Hill to watch Dulwich beat Chelmsford in the previous round as part of that preparation and we will certainly approach the match as we would any other.”
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The likes of Korey Smith, Tom Adeyemi and Declan Rudd have all graduated to Paul Lambert's senior ranks after impressing on the club's FA Youth Cup run to the quarter-finals 12 months ago.
“Some of the players who are in the squad for the game at Dulwich trained and played alongside team-mates in the youth cup last year who are now featuring in the first team squad,” said Martin. “At any club, progression to the first team is obviously the objective for a scholar and it's motivational for the young players to see others given the opportunity to play first team football.
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“The experience that playing in the FA Youth Cup gives a young player can be a very useful part of their development as a footballer. It's always slightly disappointing to be drawn away as obviously you'd prefer to play at Carrow Road in front of our supporters. Hopefully though some fans will be able to make it to the game to cheer us on.”