Tranmere’s James Norwood is enjoying the best season of his career in England’s basement division, with 28 goals in 42 games so far, the striker has been simply unstoppable in front of goal.
Starting his career off at Devon based club Exeter in 2009, Norwood made his debut on the first day of the 09/10 season against Leeds. However, over the next two seasons Norwood struggled for game time and only made four league appearances, being shipped out on loan to Sutton, Forest Green and Eastbourne Borough with limited success.
Following his release, Norwood resigned for Forest Green this time on a permanent basis. His first season was a struggle as he managed only three goals in the National League as Forest Green finished 10th. The next three seasons were much more fruitful for Norwood as he adapted to Non League and becoming a regular starter, to score 16, 19 and 11 goals, helping Forest Green finish 10th, 10th and 5th narrowly losing in the play off semi-final to Bristol Rovers.
After his contract expired in the summer of 2015, Norwood joined newly relegated National League side Tranmere on a two year deal. He continued his fine form as Tranmere initially struggled to gain promotion, but 17/18 saw the striker enjoy the best season of his career, as he notched 23 goals as Tranmere won the play off final, Norwood scoring the winner as Rovers overcame Boreham Wood 2-1 at Wembley.
Tranmere’s first season back in the football league since 2015 has been a huge success, as they currently sit comfortably in the Play offs and won’t have ruled out going up automatically. Much of this success can be attributed to Norwood, who is the type of striker that scores goals in patches, scoring 7 goals in the first 7 games of the season, 9 in 9 over October, November and December and is currently on a run of 6 in his last 6.
But one fear they will have is their top scorer and best players contract is set to expire this summer, and with little progress being made on an extension fans must be beginning to sweat.
The striker won’t be short of offers, with Championship side Ipswich already rumoured to be monitoring the situation. With back to back top scoring seasons at National League and League Two level, the logical next step for the 28 year old would be a step up the pyramid, whether that will be with Tranmere or elsewhere remains to be seen.