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Loan plan for Norwich City's rising star keepers

PUBLISHED: 11:00 19 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:37 01 July 2010

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert looks set to give both his rising young goalkeeping stars the chance to learn their trade with spells away from Carrow Road next season.

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert looks set to give both his rising young goalkeeping stars the chance to learn their trade with spells away from Carrow Road next season.

Big things are expected of Declan Rudd and Jed Steer, but at 19 and 17 respectively, they are not considered ready to be plunged into the heat of the Championship battle.

And now City will do exactly what Newcastle United did with City's regular number one last season, Fraser Forster, and loan the pair out to clubs further down the ladder to gain valuable experience.

All parties benefited from Newcastle's decision to allow Forster to spend almost all season at City, where the 22-year-old was voted players' player of the year and was runner-up in the fans' poll for player of the season.

Lambert will try and persuade Newcastle boss Chris Hughton to allow Forster to return to Norwich for another campaign, at a higher level - and it looks likely that Rudd and Steer will alternate in the role of back-up keeper.

It is understood that the plan is to allow Steer to go out on loan to a club in either League Two or the Conference and that while he is out, Rudd will be on the City bench.

Rudd's loan experience will follow, most likely at League One or League Two level - with Steer, complete with valuable experience at first team level under his belt, taking his place on the substitutes' bench.

Rudd made eight senior appearances last season after making his debut as a substitute at Gillingham. Steer was on the bench for 12 first team games without getting on the field.

City's ambitions for both players have already attracted attention from lower league clubs, who will be keen to benefit from the latest talents to emerge from the Carrow Road school of goalkeeping excellence.

Both players have represented England at junior levels. Rudd has played for the under-16s and under-17s and has been named in the under-19 squad for the qualifying rounds of the European Championship, which take place in Ukraine, from May 26-31. Steer has played for the under-16 and under-17 sides.

Alternating the teenagers means Lambert looks likely to be searching for just one keeper during the summer - with Forster top of his list.

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