Talented Kruz bidding to make the grade at Norwich City
After signing his first contract with Norwich City, Hardwick Primary School star Kruz Carter is dreaming of making it all the way as a professional footballer.
The eight-year-old from Bury St Edmunds is set to travel to the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal to play in an academy league from next month, when he will begin a full day a week with Norwich at their Colney training base.
After seeing his potential while playing an age group up in their pre-academy for the last two years, the Canaries swooped for Carter’s signature to fend off interest from other clubs as they look to develop him into a future star for their first team.
Father Tom Carter, owner of Carter’s Barber Shop in Risbygate Street, said he is mindful of the statistics regarding academy players of his son’s age going on to make the grade, but believes he has every chance.
“He is excited for the future challenge,” he said. “He is sad in some respects as he has to leave the kids behind he has been playing with.
“He started playing for his school team at four years old. He has an older brother and sister, so if someone didn’t turn up he’d pull on a shirt to play four years above.
“He wasn’t allowed to play all the time though and that is probably why, when his chance came he was ready for it.
“His mindset is he wants to be a professional footballer.
“He has had a few ups and downs where things have got a bit too much but I have always said it is his career and his choice. If he does not want to do anything, we will stop.
“But at the same time he is gifted and deserves to play with kids of equal ability.
“All that is important to us is he is smiling and enjoying it, and he is.”
Kruz was first spotted playing at a tournament in Sudbury for Moreton Hall Under-9s, with a Norwich City development coach inviting him straight to the academy, bypassing the normal PDC (professional development centre) pathway after hearing how young he was.
“Against 72 other boys they pretty much put a shirt on his back the same day,” said his Ipswich Town-supporting father, who ended up making the decision to chose Norwich’s category one academy despite Kruz having started to play a few pre-academy games for Ipswich the same summer.
“It was a strange feeling cheering on the Canaries for the first time, but when it is your son’s development, it is different,” he said of Kruz, who is currently being developed as a striker and possesses lighting quick pace.
And his dad revealed he has an extra motivational tool, should the Hardwick pupil, who is set to go into Year 4 from September, ever need it.
He said: “It is easy to run away with you kids being superstars but if things don’t work out he can always come and cut hair like his dad, which is probably the motivation for him to make it!”