Norwich City defender Ben Wyatt looks to the future ahead of FA Youth Cup defence

Norwich City's FA Youth Cup winner Ben Wyatt is gearing up for the club's opening defence agaisnt Preston in Wednesday's third round tie at Deepdale.  Photo: Steve Adams Norwich City's FA Youth Cup winner Ben Wyatt is gearing up for the club's opening defence agaisnt Preston in Wednesday's third round tie at Deepdale. Photo: Steve Adams

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
8:17 AM

Norwich City’s FA Youth Cup winner Ben Wyatt admits Josh Murphy’s progress is an inspiration to the latest generation bidding to emulate the teenage midfielder.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Wyatt was part of Neil Adams’ Under-18 squad who ended a 30-year wait to clinch the most prestigious trophy in youth football after last season’s epic aggregate win over previous holders Chelsea. City begin their FA Youth Cup defence with a third-round trip to Preston tomorrow, where Wyatt is one of the few survivors from that memorable triumph over the Blues.

Murphy is now part of Chris Hughton’s first-team plans after making a goalscoring senior debut in the Capital One Cup win over Watford earlier this season followed by his Premier League bow at Manchester City. Norwich-bred defender Wyatt knows the value of another run in the high profile competition with the likes of Murphy now bridging the gap from the academy ranks.

“You can actually see that people are getting through and there is a clear pathway and someone like Josh is proving that off the back of a good FA Youth Cup run,” said Wyatt. “The manager has shown that he watched the run we went on in the competition last year and if you play well then you will get noticed.

“The league games at our level are all about development and you want to win of course but in the FA Youth Cup if you do not win then you are out. It really is as simple as that. We got ourselves on television in the later stages (last season) and it is a platform to show people what you can do. If you play well like Josh you will get noticed.”

The 17-year-old accepts Adams’ new-look squad will be a prized scalp in this season’s FA Youth Cup.

“Perhaps we were seen as ‘little old Norwich’ last season but I don’t think that will be the case this time around,” he said. “That group of players showed what is possible and personally I don’t feel we can have that mentality now. We are a Premier League club, we are a Category One academy and there has to be an expectation that we can do well. We have shown what we can do and that brings a bit more pressure, but it is another challenge. As the holders I am sure whoever we faced would want to knock us out and Preston will be no different.

“They will want to cause an upset. I am sure about that. We know what we have to do but we have done so much analysis and Neil is different class in that respect.”

City’s win over the highly-rated Blues last season was extra special for Canaries’ fan Wyatt who has been part of Norwich’s academy since the under-11s age group.

“It was unbelievable. Maybe it was only when you had some time to go on holiday and properly reflect you realised just what we had done,” he said. “I think as much as that will always be a nice memory you cannot reflect on it too much. You just want to try and do it again.

“It’s definitely a different role for me personally this time around because last year I was probably getting guided. I was playing at left-back with second years to bring me through and I need to be able to do that now for the first years. Its nice to have a bit of experience in this competition and playing in front of big crowds. We can tell some of the younger lads what to expect. They are all looking forward to it and I feel we have a good, solid side.”






Classifieds, browse or search them online now

The Canary magazine
Order your copy of The Canary magazine