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Adeyemi believes young ones can show way

PUBLISHED: 00:15 16 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:50 06 July 2010

Tom Adeyemi believes Norwich City's Academy youngsters can help fly the Canaries flag in League One next season. Adeyemi is one of a clutch of young home-grown players who are now being given a chance to impress manager Bryan Gunn and force their way into his first team plans.

Tom Adeyemi believes Norwich City's Academy youngsters can help fly the Canaries flag in League One next season, writes Chris Lakey.

Adeyemi is one of a clutch of young home-grown players who are now being given a chance to impress manager Bryan Gunn and force their way into his first team plans.

Midfielder Korey Smith did it at the end of last season, after Luke Daley had set the ball rolling.

Goalkeepers Declan Rudd and Jed Steer are waiting in the wings, as are central defenders Dario Dumic and David Stephens. But the brightest light of them all could be the imposing Adeyemi, a 17-year-old who, according to Gunn, has put inches of muscle on during the summer and looks a real chance to make it to the top.

Two goals in the 6-0 win at Fakenham on Friday didn't tell the whole story of a dominant performance, but now he's part of the first team squad he's eager to grab his chance with the seniors.

With money tight, unearthing a home-produced gem or two could be City's salvation, but Adeyemi - a star pupil at Norwich School - says he feels no pressure as he sets out on another learning curve.

"I think with all of the young lads there is a certain degree of pressure because we are under pressure to perform because we come highly recommended from the academy, but I think I just have to keep working hard and hopefully I get the chance," he said.

Adeyemi (right) signed a three-year deal with City a year ago, but has yet to make his debut - although an impressive performance this afternoon when City face St Johnstone in the second game of their three-match tour in Scotland, could change that.

"It is a really good opportunity just to catch the manager's eye and if I can play well in games like this he should think I can do well in games further down in the season," he added.

"There is still going to be a really strong squad and there is still going to be competition for places, but hopefully I will be able to force my way in. I might be given the opportunity and that will just help me to kick on.

"There are going to be new players coming in and you are never going to be guaranteed a place, you are always going to have to work hard and improve and just make sure you show you are better than other people."

Adeyemi is on his first pre-season tour, but there's a solid crew of youngsters who have a camaraderie of their own even before heading north to Scotland, after reaching the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals and finishing second in Premier Academy League Group A.

"We are all in it together - last year we had the Youth Cup run and things like that so we are quite together as a group and we mix together when we're here," said Adeyemi. "It's been really good, obviously to just get involved with all the senior players.

"It's been quite tough; we've been doing a lot of fitness work but I've enjoyed it so far. With (Academy chief) Ricky Martin and the youth team there is a really good fitness programme, but there is just a higher intensity here because everyone is that little bit more experienced and that little bit fitter so you have to work really hard to keep up.

"I think I have learned a lot from some of them and they help you through some of the fitness stuff and it's been really good to mix with all of them. They have their little groups and we are a little bit on the outside but they welcome us in, so it's really good."

Adeyemi got just 11 minutes of action on Tuesday when City kicked off their tour with a 1-0 win against Raith, but should get more today, when he will be hoping for a repeat of his eye-catching performance against Fakenham, when work on the attacking side of his game came off.

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