New City 'signing' Robert Eagle has revealed that while he is over the moon with his extended Carrow Road deal, there is a sprinkling of sadness at the departure of a clutch of his Colney pals.
The Leiston-born winger put pen to paper on a fresh, one-year contract this morning and despite seven fellow youngsters being given their P45s last week, Canary chief Glenn Roeder obviously sees something he likes in the 21-year-old.
But after 12 appearances under former boss Peter Grant, Eagle only managed to break into the squad of 16 once last season.
And after a while on the fringe of things, there is one main goal for the Academy product ? becoming a first-team regular.
“I'm really happy with my new deal,” admitted Eagle, speaking to MFW this afternoon. “It's another year for me to try and improve and to try and get myself in the first-team.
“I didn't have any idea as to what my fate would be. I just kept trying hard in the reserves and ended up playing some good games there and now I've got my contract ? which is very, very pleasing.
“I've been a member of the first-team squad for nearly three years now and this one will be my big year.
“The manager has told me I've got good ability but that I just need to get stronger really. The division we are in is very physical and every player is well built. I just need to be more like that.”
But whilst Eagle prepares for 'make-or-break' time, a whole host of his former team-mates are left searching for new employment.
And the Suffolk-born midfielder admitted it was a shame that so many young Canaries ? including the Jarvis brothers, Andrew Cave-Brown, Bally Smart and Steven Arnold – had been forced to fly the nest.
“There are a lot of people who have left, and a lot of them were close mates of mine,” added Eagle. “But that's football really. I've just got to get on with it and see what I can do this year.
“It's been hard to see them leave though. They weren't just work mates; they were good friends who I had been with for the last five years.
“We socialised a lot out of football and it was a real shame to see them go. But that is the way it is.”
The Canary youth graduate, of course, has versatility on his side after starring for Paul Stephenson's second string this season ? mainly at left-back.
But whilst Eagle would take one for the team if it meant appearing in the starting eleven, he sees himself in his more natural role as a left-winger.
And with the dust now settling on the departure of a certain D Huckerby, there is finally an opening in his favoured position.
Roeder will no doubt strengthen in that area, but with Huckerby ? a permanent fixture in the City line-up for so long ? now seemingly heading for an Indian summer in the MLS, Eagle's path to first-team glory now looks a little clearer.
“I don't mind playing at left-back but I see left-midfield as my best position. I have been covering in defence for the reserves because there is no-one else to play there really but my defensive skills are not the best.
“I've been trying my hardest in that position and if I have to do a job there for the first-team then I'll give it my all.
“But left-midfield is where I see myself playing and with him [Huckerby] leaving, there is an opportunity there – that is why it's a big year for me.
“He's been a massive player for us and over the past few years, there was no way I was going to play in front of him.”
In truth, at the ripe old age of 21, this season could be the biggest of Eagle's whole career. An impressive season at Championship level and the wing-wizard is soaring.
After that, anything can happen and there will be plenty of Premier League vultures sniffing around the second tier this coming campaign.
On the other hand, another season of reserve 'action', against the might of Grays and Stevenage Borough, would probably consign Eagle to the same fate as his now departed Colney pals.
But, for Eagle, it is all about the here and now. Is he confident he can hold his own in the Championship?
“Yes,” Eagle replied emphatically. “I played a few games the year before last under Peter Grant and we'll have to see when I get my chance. But I'm confident I can play at this level.
“If I do break into the first team, that would be brilliant and if I am getting games week in, week out, then I can get myself a long term contract and be at Norwich for a lot longer.”
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