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City youngsters could be set for loan moves

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:45 06 July 2010

John Terry's done it, Rio Ferdinand's done it. Even David Beckham has done it. They've all been "farmed out" on loan to better their careers.

And what's good for them could be good for Norwich City's growing band of young stars of the future.

John Terry's done it, Rio Ferdinand's done it. Even David Beckham has done it. They've all been "farmed out" on loan to better their careers.

And what's good for them could be good for Norwich City's growing band of young stars of the future.

Lincoln City's new manager Chris Sutton - who knows a thing or two about coming through the Carrow Road ranks - has been watching the City starlets' progress from the stands, making sure that he's first in the queue if there's a loan to be had that fits his bill and Paul Lambert's.

Sutton has seen the last two City reserve games at Carrow Road - and there's been plenty to admire.

Josh Dawkin grabbed two goals in the midweek 7-0 thrashing of Stevenage Borough's second string, but he's just one of half a dozen lads who might just benefit from a spell in first team football.

Lambert won't let his former Celtic team-mate have anyone as a favour; it needs to be mutually beneficial, which is probably why City's boss takes a hands-on approach to reserve team games that wasn't always the case with some of his predecessors.

Lambert was in the dug-out for the Stevenage game, next to reserve boss Ian Crook, with Sutton a dozen rows back in the directors' box - all eyes on possible stars of the future.

"Obviously he was here for a reason," said Crook of his former Canaries team-mate. "He is wanting to improve his side. I don't want to pick his side or telling the gaffer who he should and shouldn't look to let out, but I think it has been proved in the past. Manchester United loaned the likes of Beckham down, at the time, into the so-called lower reaches and it certainly didn't do him any harm.

"It's a case of if the gaffer feels it's right that they can go on loan, but I have no doubt they would do a job, the likes of Dawkin and George Francomb, I think they could do a job and it's a good part of the development for them.

"He (Sutton) has obviously seen this club bring him through and there have been a lot of players brought through over the years.

"It's been a bit of a breeding ground for good players. It's maybe been a little bit quiet but now all of a sudden the likes of Korey Smith, Tom Adeyemi, Francomb, Declan Rudd and Dawkin have all come in and hopefully we have got a little production line there again now."

Crook's reserve team was almost a mirror image of Lambert's first team in midweek - with Dawkin playing the unenviable role of Wes Hoolahan, just off the strikers, at the head of a midfield diamond.

"It's a huge role because that suits Wes' game down to the ground," said Crook.

"They are different players, but I think Josh has got a huge amount of ability. He is probably a bit more direct with the ball - Wes is very good with the ball close in to him, but again Josh will get better the more games he gets.

"For me, whether it was 100 years ago or now, if you can run with the ball and affect defenders, if you take players on and beat them it just opens things up.

"In today's game, where defences are so well organised and they work a lot on defensive shape and stopping the other team playing, you need somebody like a Josh Dawkin or a Wes Hoolahan at the moment to open things up for you.

"Josh does it in a different way, but I have got a lot of time for him."

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