Monday, June 16, 2014
Mark Robson arrived to lead Norwich City’s Under-21s – now he hopes those players will push to join him in the first team.
The 45-year-old arrived at Carrow Road last autumn tasked with ensuring City’s first Under-21 team entered into the Premier League’s new youth structure finished in the top half for next season.
“We’ve got a few lads now who are under 20 and you’ve got to be knocking on the door of the first team at under 20,” said Robson.
“You can’t not be, because at what point do you then do it? At that point you’d like to think you’ll get a few games by the end of the season. So we’ve got some players that have definitely got the potential and if they can show when they come back in for training and in the games, if they’re involved for the first team or under-21s, there will be a few that get an opportunity this year.
“And the one thing we are pretty sure on is that if they’re good enough, they will get a chance.”
Thanks to their top-half finish last season, City’s Under-21s will play in the Premier League’s top group next season – no mean feat given Robson’s late-season promotion away from the set-up.
“To finish in the top half, it’s a credit to all the players and staff,” said Robson. “Jerry Gill stepped up and helped us as well in the last few games, and with the Under-18s that came through there was Jerry and Darren Huckerby standing in.
“So there were a lot of people who played a part in that success and we were all very pleased. It was great to finish in the top half, but I think perhaps the biggest thing was watching the players develop and progress.
“Jamar Loza came into the first team right at the end after being out on loan. Cam McGeehan did exceptionally well on loan at Luton. One or two others excelled last year, like young Ray Grant who came in as a first year and did extremely well in the Under-21s.
“I got more enjoyment out of that than I did us getting into the top half of the league, because that’s what the role really is about – seeing these players develop.”