Neil Adams delighted for Jamar Loza – but now the striker is competing with Norwich City’s big boys
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It’s been a wonderful finish to the football season for Jamar Loza – but there is plenty more to do if he wants regular club action next season.
Having enjoyed a handful of loan moves, the 20-year-old Norwich City academy product added a final-day Premier League substitute appearance to his first senior goal while with Southend.
That was enough to earn a first call-up to Jamaica’s senior squad, and Loza went on to make his international debut in their post-season friendly with Egypt. But even with the prospect of the Championship, City boss Neil Adams wants Loza to appreciate the challenge in front of him.
“Jamar had an excellent debut against Arsenal, he’s now a full international and I bet he can’t believe what’s happened to him over the last month or so,” said Adams. “He thoroughly deserves it. He was excellent all season for the Under-21s, scored plenty of goals and was a big threat. So I was delighted he got a few minutes for Jamaica and it’s a tremendous rise for him, from his scholarship that I oversaw with (academy manager) Ricky Martin. Jamar came in, and we saw a player evolve and develop into the position he’s in now.
“But obviously he is now competing for places with your Lewis Grabbans, your (Ricky van) Wolfswinkels, your (Gary) Hoopers and your (Luciano) Becchios, and any more that come in. That’s the same for all the players. They know me. They know if they’re not good enough or not performing well enough, they won’t be playing – but similarly if they are, I won’t have any hesitation involving them in the team if I feel it will win us a game.
“The links and ties I’ve got with the younger players, it’s a big advantage. I know what they can do and what they need to be better at.
“I played Josh (Murphy) at Fulham and put Jamar on against Arsenal, and it’s sent a message to everybody that age is no barrier, and if they’re good enough in their position and performing better than any of the seniors, then they will play.”