Main Menu
What's New
Gone but not forgotten:
Jason Norville
Position: Striker
From: Youth team
Record: Played: 6(9) Scored: 1
To: ??? - free transfer - May 2005
Career stats: Soccerbase
See also: Past player profiles
He was: Jinxed.

My record on sponsoring players' kit is perhaps best described as "patchy". This is not due to a lack of effort - I sponsored a player's kit for years. The problem arose because whoever I sponsored disappeared from view shortly thereafter, from Matt Langston right the way through, now, to Jason Norville. It may have taken a couple of years, but I jinxed him, basically.

Which is a shame, because, as his last player profile on here said, Jason has a lot of qualities. A striker's selfishness, certainly, although relative to that of Scott Fitzgerald, who Norville played several of his first-team games alongside, that was always going to be understated. A striker's confidence, too - he never appeared short on belief on or off the pitch, as his tendency to knock on the manager's door and say he thought he should be in the team showed. He also had a surprising tenacity for a forward - he was no goalhanger, he put himself about. His only first team-goal, away at Sheffield Wednesday, came from his own harrying of the defender on halfway. And he was keen, and he had a spark, and given the improvement he showed when he was playing, he looked like someone who could develop into a dangerous player.

That was recognised by a number of people - he actually turned down an England U-21 callup from David Platt in favour of becoming one of Watford's few internationals, having played for Trinidad and Tobago in a friendly against Morocco in September 2003. Reports were favourable, as he earned the winning penalty, which was taken by former Watford target Stern John. Small world, eh?

He also had injuries, repeatedly, and when you spend half the season on the treatment table, you have to start from scratch again pretty much every time. When he got a run towards the end of the year in the reserves, he looked good, scoring five in five - and he was, as ever, agitating for a first-team place, and ruffling a few feathers in the process. A loan was lined up at Colchester, where he'd been earlier that season - but the board cancelled it after they'd sacked Lewington, and back Jason sit in the reserves again, score those goals, and then get released as part of the "strikers? Who needs 'em?" moving-on clean-sweepery of AB. Which seems a little unfair, as no subsequent move to Colchester has appeared, leaving Norville without a club.

I liked Jason on the occasions I spoke to him - he was laid back without seeming lazy, confident, and he clearly wanted to play. I liked what I'd seen on the pitch, too - he was a good young player, inconsistent certainly, but with a certain joy in his play which can get coached out of people. And I think he'd have been worth a shout, if only because he would have been a cheap and keen striking option whose attitude couldn't be doubted - but I hope you do well, Jason, wherever you end up, and I'm sorry I jinxed you.

Nick Grundy