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'It's a crazy feeling' - Norwich City star beams at being the EFL's top of the pups

PUBLISHED: 12:46 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:46 08 April 2019

Norwich City defender Max Aarons is named EFL young player of the year, at the 2019 EFL Awards in London. Photo: Michael Zemanek/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

Norwich City defender Max Aarons is named EFL young player of the year, at the 2019 EFL Awards in London. Photo: Michael Zemanek/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

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From hoping for a Norwich City debut to being named the hottest property in the EFL - even Max Aarons can't quite believe the journey he is on this season.

Both Max Aarons and Teemu Pukki made the cut for Norwich City - and for the EFL team of the year for 2019. Photo: Michael Zemanek/BPI/REX/ShutterstockBoth Max Aarons and Teemu Pukki made the cut for Norwich City - and for the EFL team of the year for 2019. Photo: Michael Zemanek/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

The Canaries’ academy product had not played a single moment of senior league football before being handed his Championship debut, in the East Anglian derby at Ipswich that kicked off September.

Since then, Aarons’ rise is perhaps the only one to rival that of his club – with the 19-year-old named the best young player in the three Football League tiers, at Sunday night’s swanky EFL Awards in west London.

“When you put it like that, it’s a crazy feeling,” smiled Aarons. “I’m just really grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given this year and it’s been a great season. I can’t really put it into words – 100pc I have to pinch myself.

“A year ago I was preparing for youth cup games. My main expectation this season was just to get a debut or feature at some point. So to think what’s happened in 12 months, to being in the team at Norwich and then to nights like this – it’s amazing.

Norwich City's Jamal Lewis, Teemu Pukki and Max Aarons were all named in the EFL Championship team of the 2018-19 season. Photo: Andrew Fosker/BPI/REX/ShutterstockNorwich City's Jamal Lewis, Teemu Pukki and Max Aarons were all named in the EFL Championship team of the 2018-19 season. Photo: Andrew Fosker/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

“The boss (Daniel Farke), Stuart Webber (sporting director), there are so many I could reel off at Norwich – and especially my family have been massive in me getting to this position.

“I can’t thank them all enough. There are loads of names I could say.

“Obviously it’s been a great season for us and we’ve picked up a load of form recently, which has been really good for my season personally and as a whole. But the opportunities are definitely there (for young players at Norwich) – you could see that this season.”

MORE: Norwich City’s success at the 2019 EFL Awards – how it unfolded

Aarons’ was not the only success, with Teemu Pukki being named Championship player of the season and joining his team-mate in the EFL team of the season – the pair and Jamal Lewis were all included in the Championship XI of the campaign.

“He’s unbelievable really,” said Aarons of his Finnish colleague. “He’s so quiet and he’s got such a good temperament, but when he’s on the pitch he’s got bags of energy and goals.

“He’s an amazing player to play with and this year he’s been great for us. He completely deserves everything that’s coming his way.”

And that big prize remains at the top of everyone’s wish list, with Reading’s visit on Wednesday (7.45pm) one of only six obstacles now standing between Norwich City and winning both Premier League promotion and the Championship title.

“Definitely, that’s the main aim for this season,” Aarons added. “We’ve just got to stay with how we’ve been playing and not change anything, because what we’ve been doing has been great.

“Now it’s just about getting over the line, which would be the icing on the cake.”

For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…

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