Young Norwich City defender Jonathan Tomkinson is eyeing a spot in Dean Smith's first-team squad ahead of the new season.

The American defender has been exposed to plenty of minutes during City's preparations and is hoping to fill the vacancy in the heart of defence after the permanent departure of Christoph Zimmermann.

Tomkinson was the under 23s captain last season and is now fighting to establish himself among City's senior squad.

Andrew Omobamidele and Grant Hanley are expected to be the starting duo at Cardiff, with Ben Gibson still absent with a strain.

Tomkinson could act as cover heading in the new campaign, with Jacob Sorensen also an option.

Despite being disappointed to see Zimmermann depart Norwich last week, Tomkinson is hoping to snatch the opportunity that has been placed in front of him.

"I was sad to see Zimbo go," the American said. "He was one of those players who was always around to give advice and was someone to talk to.

"At the same time, it's football and it presents an opportunity for me so I need to try and take that with both hands."

The Texas-born 20-year-old was the most senior option in a youthful City backline during a 1-0 friendly loss to Scottish Premiership side Hibernian on Sunday.

Tomkinson has also been deployed as a right-back during the friendly matches, a position he played during his formative years.

Smith admitted post-match that he doesn't see him as an option in that particular position moving forward.

There remains a possibility that Tomkinson could depart the club on loan in search of regular game time to aid his development; the youngster is yet to find out his fate.

"It hasn't been decided yet. For me, I just want to play games at the highest level possible so I'd love to stick around here if possible and get some minutes.

"We've got a lot to think about and a lot to speak about. Let's see," he said.

"You have to learn to be comfortable whilst being uncomfortable sometimes. It's not always going to easy and you have to learn not to stress out about everything. I think I have done that pretty well."