May 22 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Students at a city school have been challenged to make the most of their natural talent by following the example of Norwich City captain Grant Holt.
Canaries boss Chris Hughton handed out more than 60 awards last night to students at City Academy Norwich, in Bluebell Road.
And Hughton told those gathered about his early days trying to break into the game, including his devastation at not securing a professional deal at 16 - but also his decision to turn down Tottenham Hotspur’s offer two years later to complete his engineering apprenticeship.
He also picked out four examples of footballers who had worked hard to be successful.
They included Stoke City’s Peter Crouch, who first worked with Hughton as a teenager at Tottenham Hotspur, former England captain David Beckham and Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs.
But Hughton also reserved special praise for Norwich’s number 9, Holt, who has worked his way up from the lower leagues to the Premier League.
Hughton said: “I was asked one of the questions: what do you have to do to be successful? I think you need to ask the question: what is a success? For me, it’s very much about achieving what you are capable of achieving,
“From a football sense, we’ve seen over the years some really talented young players that have not made the grade, have not made the progress everyone thought they were going to make, some young players we thought would be future international players that have fallen by the wayside.
“What are the reasons for that? The primary reason is it’s not just about talent, because I am sure with your students here, we’ve some that will be regarded as natural talents and we all know when you are doing your revision there are some that have to revise day in, day out and some that it comes to that little bit more naturally too.
“That’s talent. I prefer to think about words like commitment, application, attitude and hard work and I wrote down probably four examples.
“Our very own Grant Holt. Somebody who scored 70 goals in three seasons, 72 including this season, and most of you see him now playing in the top league, the Premier League.
“But this is a player that’s had a lot of disappointment along the way, played in all the divisions and has worked incredibly hard - he’s 31 now - to get where he always wanted to get and that’s down to the dedication and commitment he has shown.”
Hughton earlier spoke about how he finally snared a deal at Spurs - but only after years of uncertainty.
The City gaffer started training with the London club from the age of 12.
But when no pro-deal was offered to him he was given a chance to continue training with Spurs for two nights a week as an amateur, while attempting to get qualifications for another job.
Hughton agreed and started a four-year apprenticeship as an engineer.
He said: “I had a very big decision to make after two years. I stayed on at Tottenham, I had made progress and one of the things that happens in our game is that little bit of luck and fortunately for me a change of position saw an improvement in my game.
“After two years I was offered a full-time professional contract at Tottenham. That was the dilemma. Do I forget about the apprenticeship or sign for Tottenham?
“I chose to continue with my engineering apprenticeship, stayed on at Tottenham as an amateur and fortunately at the end of four years I got offered a professional deal.”
The former Newcastle United and Birmingham City boss said he had no regrets about his decision to see out his apprenticeship.
He said: “I look at that one as a fortunate time for me. A big decision to make and one I never regretted. If you asked me anything about engineering now I probably couldn’t tell you much but in those few years after I could have done.”
The City boss arrived at Carrow Road in the summer to succeed Paul Lambert, who departed for Aston Villa.
He said: “It’s a job I’m delighted to have taken. I feel very comfortable and at home. It’s a tough job and one that I very much would like to be very successful in. But it’s a tough one, as you all know.”