Date:Monday July 31 2006
Lee Croft has just, as expected signed up with Norwich on a three year deal and most of us wouldn't really argue with City's decision to let him go.He'd found it increasingly hard to break into the 1st team and secure a regular place, so it was no surprise to see him leave.
Now I'd just like to say what a top bloke Crofty is, having seen him a few times at Junior Blues events, where he was always a big hit with the kids and he will be greatly missed around the club.
However, it strikes me that with all the recent hype about a couple of our other Academy players, namely Sturridge and Richards, it wasn't that long ago that Crofty was being tipped for greatness when he was in his mid to late teens.
As far as I know, Crofty is still the most capped young player to have played for England's various junior levels and was enjoying the same sort of rave reviews that Micah and Sturridge are getting these days.
It seems therefore something of a disappointment for Crofty and City fans that he now finds himself dropping down a division in his search for a regular starting place; something that seems to be happening increasingly to City's academy graduates.
Football is a funny and sometimes cruel game, where early career potential is not always fully realised. There have been a catalogue of young players who in their early days set the world on fire, but who faded into obscurity quickly once they started to play at the higher levels.
Crofty's, and to a certain extent BWP's departure to the Championship should sound a warning note to Richards and Sturridge that future greatness is not assured and as well as talent, to make it at the top level requires hard work, dedication, avoiding injury, a level head and a good helping of luck.
You may well be the toast of the town one minute and then history in a very short space of time; an unpleasant, but timely lesson for all young starlets to remember.
So farewell then Crofty and I'm sure most Blues will wish you well. I guess we'll be watching out for the Norwich v Southampton game with added interest to see how he matches up against BWP.
* I'm heading off into the sun for the next couple of weeks, although I got a call this evening from Thomas Cook to say they've stuffed up our accommodation - no favours from the Club sponsors then !! **
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