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Debut leaves Korey eager to play again

PUBLISHED: 15:35 07 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:37 03 July 2010

NORWICH'S latest young debutant Korey Smith fulfilled a lifetime ambition after his first team bow against Sheffield Wednesday.

The club's academy captain was introduced for the final ten minutes of City's 1-0 Championship defeat following his recent elevation to Bryan Gunn's senior squad.

NORWICH'S latest young debutant Korey Smith fulfilled a lifetime ambition after his first team bow against Sheffield Wednesday.

The club's academy captain was introduced for the final ten minutes of City's 1-0 Championship defeat following his recent elevation to Bryan Gunn's senior squad.

Smith was previously an unused sub in the battling draw at Birmingham ahead of the international break but earned a late cameo against the Owls after impressive displays in the youth team's run to this season's FA Youth Cup quarter-finals.

“I was so excited. I worked all my life to get somewhere like here,” he said. “To get on the pitch was a great experience for me but unfortunately, we lost. You go on there and I thought you would see the crowd and things. But as soon as you go on it seems to be blocked out, apart from when the game stops and you hear the crowd. Apart from that you go on adrenaline. I thought I had played a lot longer than I did, because it's tiring. Hopefully I'll be able to push on now.

“The first touch came in the air and I volleyed it to Sammy (Clingan). It could have gone anywhere but luckily it went to Sammy and I just got on with the game. I won a free-kick, made some passes, kept the ball and made a good tackle so I thought I did ok.”

Smith had a pivotal role in the build up to David Mooney's controversial disallowed goal in the closing stages. Referee Mike Russell adjudged the teenager had fouled Owls' goalkeeper Lee Grant prior to Mooney's goal bound effort - but Smith was quick to protest his innocence.

The youngster's goal celebrations were cut short by the match official although his assistant appeared to have flagged for Richard Wood's hand ball on the goal line.

“I thought it was a goal,” he said. “I went in there, two defenders I think jumped on me and I didn't even know if I had scored or not. I ran off to the corner flag, as I thought we'd scored. I thought he (the referee) was pointing to the centre spot and they went off and started attacking. I didn't know what had happened.”

Smith insists his immediate priority now is to remain a part of Gunn's first team pool for the tense Championship relegation run-in.

“We lost the game but we've got to try to push on and keep the club up,” he said. “People will blame the ref and that but at the end of the day we've just got to get on with it now and try to win the points and stay up. Hopefully we will. I want to keep in and around the first team. Rusty (Darel Russell) will be back from suspension but hopefully I'll keep in the squad and push on.”

Smith was also upended by Tommy Spurr for the first of the Owls' defender's quick fire yellow cards but Wednesday boss Brian Laws insisted his youngster deserved to go.

“I don't think there was any doubt, the ref had no option,” he said. “Tommy was excellent. Norwich's strength was down the right-hand side, through Croft and Otsemobor but Tommy and Jermaine Johnson did really well to stop them getting through us.”


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