Adeyemi: Norwich Past Not a Factor
Thursday, 7th Sep 2017 17:03
Tom Adeyemi has dismissed the notion that being an ex-Norwich player made it a tough decision to pledge his immediate future to arch-rivals Town.
The midfielder also denied his past could put him under more pressure to deliver the goods in his time with the Blues, clearly believing he can win over any doubters in the Portman Road stands now that he is fully fit again.
Illness and injury have sidelined him for a number of weeks, both in terms of preparing for the new season and also playing a part in the club’s opening seven games, but he is in boss Mick McCarthy’s squad for Saturday’s visit to West London to take on QPR.
Prior to agreeing his move on a free transfer Adeyemi was reported to be deciding between Town and the Canaries, where he graduated from the Carrow Road academy and clocked up 17 senior appearances before being released in 2013, whereupon he was signed by Birmingham City.
Adeyemi recalled: “I was born in Milton Keynes and when I was five my dad got a job in Norwich so the family moved there. I came through the youth team there and played in the season when Norwich were in League One and I was about 17. I think I played about 17 games then after that it was a case of going out on loan.
“I had three loan spells, at Bradford, Oldham and Brentford, then I was released when I was 21. I had joined the Norwich academy when I was about nine. Norwich had won back-to-back promotions and ended up in the Premier League so at my age I probably wasn’t ready.
“It wasn’t as if I felt like I shouldn’t have been released. I’d had a really good loan spell at Brentford and on the back of that I went to Birmingham, which was where I managed to establish myself as a Championship player.”
Adeyemi played 40 times, scoring three goals, in his first season at St Andrew’s but was quickly sold to Cardiff in 2014 and he remained there until his release this summer, clocking up only 23 games in three years in Wales and also appearing on loan for both Leeds and Rotherham in that time.
He reflected on his decision to join Town in July, at the same time dismissing claims that he also had the option of returning to the Canaries. “There was never any offer on the table from Norwich,” he revealed. “I’ve seen it reported that I had a choice between the two but that’s news to me.
"I’m happy with the fact that I played for Norwich a few years ago but now I’m an Ipswich Town player and I can’t wait to finally get started.
“Being an ex-Norwich player wasn’t really a factor for me. It was more about what was right for me at this time on the football side of things. I think it was the right club for me, with the right manager, and everything just came into place.”
Asked how his decision to join Town went down with family and friends in Norfolk he replied: “It wasn’t a problem because they all understand that I want to do what’s best for me. None of my family are Norwich fans anyway – they are Tom Adeyemi fans – so it doesn’t make any difference to them.
“I don’t see that I’m under pressure to win the fans over either. I’m just another player who wants to do as well as he can for the team and for himself.
"I don’t see it as any extra pressure for me but other people may look at it that way. I just want to prove myself to the fans and everyone else, just like every player wants to do really.”
Adeyemi is 25 and not lacking in experience, having made his debut as a teenager at Norwich, and he added: “I sort of feel I’m now in that in-between phase where I’m not really a young player any more. I see myself as an experienced player because I’ve played for a number of years in the Championship.
“I know the league and what is expected. It’s good to know that I’ve got that experience behind me – I think it can only be a good thing – and I’d like to think that my best years are ahead of me.”
Adeyemi also shattered another myth, that his academic record at Norwich School made him a candidate for a university place at either Oxford or Cambridge.
He laughed: “That’s another myth, like all the others. I did well at school and sat my A-levels when I was in the youth team at Norwich. I could have then gone to university but whether I had an offer on the table from Oxford or Cambridge, I’m not too sure about that.
“I always wanted to be a footballer. I was lucky that I was able to do well at school and at football but it was the football that always came first for me. If it didn’t work out I might have been able to go to university but in my head all I’ve ever wanted to be is a footballer. I’m glad it did work out.”
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