Council support for Canaries link-up

AN innovative partnership between Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Football Club has been backed by county councillors, who hope the club and youngsters across the county will be helped by the team-up.

AN innovative partnership between Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Football Club has been backed by county councillors, who hope the club and youngsters across the county will be helped by the team-up.

Following Norwich City's 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Colchester United, council leader Daniel Cox might have expected a bit more ribbing over the wisdom of joining forces with the Canaries for a two-year sponsorship deal worth �200,000.

But, at a meeting of the county council cabinet yesterday councillors were delighted to support the scheme, and even expressed their hope it could unearth a footballing gem from Norfolk to help the Canaries return to the Premiership.

As part of the deal, budding young footballers, aged between eight and 16, are to be given the chance to win a place in Norwich City's Academy or the Girl's Centre of Excellence in a county-wide Search for a Star.


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Derrick Murphy, cabinet member for cultural services, said: “The idea that the county council is involved with encouraging excellence in sport is an excellent one. I am confident it is something which will benefit the whole of the county and Norwich City.

“I watched Norwich win promotion into the old Division One back in 1971 and I can remember there were three home grown players in that team.

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“If we can do anything to help find another home grown player who can help them back in that direction then that deserves to be applauded.”

Mr Cox added: “Hopefully we will find the next Chris Sutton.”

The scheme will also see a number of season tickets made available at Norwich City home games for young, disadvantaged people of all abilities and backgrounds, schoolchildren in with a chance of being selected as a county council mascot who will accompany the players onto the pitch at home games from September and the council working closely with Football in the Community (FITC) to hold a Mini World Cup tournament.

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