Write up by Connor Southwell.
It was a night that peeled back the curtain on two of Norwich City’s most important and productive departments. Underpinning the success Daniel Farke and his squad have constructed on the pitch, there are plenty of people working tirelessly to ensure City’s boss has a constant stream of talent at his disposal.
Academy graduates have played an important part during Farke’s time at the club. Whether they have been developed for years in house such as Todd Cantwell or nurtured after joining from elsewhere as Max Aarons has done. Steve Weaver is tasked with overseeing the development of the club’s youngsters. Forging a pathway can be difficult for any young player, but the experienced head of football development is responsible for ensuring Farke has a constant stream of talented youngsters to integrate into his first-team plans.
Sometimes that requires tough love, as Josh Martin experienced after arriving from Arsenal but Weaver is keen to ensure Norwich don’t sell anybody a dream. That honesty ensures every player knows where they stand irrespective of whether they are progressing to the next age group or seeing their time at the club come to an end.
After care and preservation of mental health are both intrinsic pillars in any academy, especially given the low success rate of becoming a first-team regular at a professional club. Even though the likelihood has been greater at Norwich than other clubs, ensuring the correct provisions are in place for those who don’t make it is just as important.
Fortunately at Norwich, that is the case.The recruitment world has been somewhat of a secret industry in recent years.
The processes and approaches have usually remained somewhat secretive, that’s why Kieran Scott’s insight proved so fascinating. Norwich have a small recruitment set-up in terms of employees but have yielded great results with their use of data and more conventional scouting methods. Scott, a former Burnley, Bournemouth and Southampton scout, has been a crucial member of the backroom team and is responsible for uncovering talents such as Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki.
Norwich’s success in the Premier League next season may depend on the strength of their recruitment, and Scott revealed the work behind the scenes was already well underway. The Canaries will look to be ‘brave and quick’ in a highly competitive market as they look to bolster their squad.Around 85 people watched on as the Athletic’s Michael Bailey interviewed the pair, with supporters then being given a chance to ask their questions to two of the most senior people at the club.
Questions submitted for the event:
Kieran – What positions are you focusing on for next season?
Steve – Are you expecting any of the academy to feature in the Premier league, or are loans more likely?Craig
Steve: Any “parent” loves all their “children” equally, but is there a graduate from the academy that you’re most proud of?
Kieran: Having found players for free, like Pukki, are there still untapped countries in the world in your search for Premier League players?Catherine & Howard
Steve, are you expecting Soto, Sitti or Sinani to feature next season?
Kieran, do you think fans will be excited by any signings next season?Amy
Is there any young player we’ve let go who has gone on to be a success we should’ve kept?
How do we as a club support the mental health of the young players who have moved here away from home?Beverly
Kieran – Could you tell me the steps from when a scout spotting a talented player to us actually signing him, please?Diane
Have you found the next Emi Buendia yet?
Steve – What were your first impressions when you joined the Academy and how does your experience here compare to that of Wolves?
Kieran – How has the pandemic affected how you scout overseas for players?Jacob
How have your roles had to evolve during the pandemic?
Kieran – has this made scouting more difficult?Anita
What is your best advice for creating and implementing your own coaching philosophy with your team?
What is the most important areas to focus on when coaching young players to prepare them for the future game?Josh
What one thing in each of their present fields of scope at NCFC, provides the greatest room for further improvement?
How do they see their respective career paths developing and their aspirations for the future? Hopefully, with NCFCDavid
What effect has BREXIT had on the club’s recruitment strategy? Is it harder now to recruit players from Europe, and if so is it likely we will see an increase in the number of “home-grown” players joining Norwich City, or will you be looking for talent in other parts of the world?Philip
How do you persuade players that Norwich/Norfolk is a good place to come to apart from the football aspectDiane
Kieran – When do you get to take a holidaySophie
With all the interest in Max Aarons is there a temptation to try and do a swap with Skipp?Gordon
If fans aren’t allowed back to watch Academy games next season will the club stream them as other clubs have done this season?Judy
We’ve seen Academies in France , Spain, Germany lauded for the players they have produced, there now seems to be an exceptional young players coming through do you think English academies have caught up with the European equivalents?Jonathan
What are the 3 non negotiable behaviours the youth players have to play by?
Are you looking for a scout in Germany?Christian
How is due diligence worked in with the brave and quick on recruitment?David
Will we ever seen bargain signings like Zimmermann & Pukki again or has Brexit made that impossible?Jack
What type of signings are we looking for this time different than last time we went up?Josh
And here are the lucky raffle winners:
|NCFC T-Shirt||Barbara Long|
|Max Aarons Bobble Head||Gordon Anderson|
|Signed Darren Huckerby Book||Ian Mitton|
|Signed Grant Holt Book||Gary Dack|
|Norwich City Alarm Clock||Mick Dennis|
|Signed NCFC Pendant 2020/21||Sarah Purton|
Thank you all for your continued and amazing support.