THE matches and the medals, the occasions and the ovations, will come in time for Todd Cantwell. Right now and first and foremost, it is all about the smiles and the sense of belonging.

Moving to Rangers last month was not the first time that Cantwell had decided he should leave Norwich. Unlike when he headed on loan to Fortuna Sittard or Bournemouth, this exit was a permanent one and the call was naturally tougher to make.

He finds himself in the right place at the right moment. Having fallen out of favour at Carrow Road with Dean Smith and successor David Wagner, Cantwell now has a manager that understands him as a person and motivates him as a player and the ways in which his vision intertwined with that of Michael Beale convinced him to sign on at Ibrox.

Cantwell has crammed plenty into a relatively short career so far but his potential has perhaps not be fulfilled yet. He has been honest about the more trying circumstances in recent years and a fresh start in new surroundings will act as the spark that the 24-year-old requires to scale the heights that he is undoubtedly capable of reaching.

"I think I have had a pretty dramatic start to my career, really," Cantwell said. "I have had four promotions, a relegation and had some different bits and pieces.

"To be honest, it puts me in a good place where I know what it is I want to be and where I want to get to. I am a winner, I want to be a winner and coming to Rangers was definitely a good idea.

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"I think every footballer wants to play at the highest level, they want to believe in themselves and try and get themselves there.

"For me coming here, it is important to get back playing and enjoying myself. That is my priority at the moment and the rest will hopefully come, if it comes."

That process started even before Cantwell put pen-to-paper on a deal to become Beale's first signing as manager and of the January transfer window. The interest that was made and reciprocated early on evolved as all parties ensured the switch would have the desired impact for Cantwell and for Rangers.

The first challenge for Beale is to get Cantwell back to his best and to the levels that he has achieved already. The next one will be to find the improvements to allow him to become the player that he was tipped to be when he first emerged through the Canaries ranks.

James Maddison was Cantwell's partner and peer in those days. Their paths have diverged in the seasons since but an old friend can act as an inspiration as Cantwell plots his own path to the top of the game for his new club, and potentially his country once again.

"I have kept in touch with him," Cantwell said of the England and Leicester City star. "It is difficult when you have such busy schedules, as you will be aware.

"There are lots of games going on and bits and pieces. Listen, if I needed any advice from him I am sure he would reply, that is for sure.

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"I have had a taste of it. I have played in the Premier League, I have scored goals. I have played against the best teams and played well. I don’t doubt my ability.

"Everyone’s journeys and situations are different. He is a fantastic footballer and he has done amazing things in his career so far. Everyone has a different journey and I am hoping that mine can end well as well."

The steps that Cantwell has taken at Ibrox have been positive ones. A debut against St Johnstone has been followed by a cameo at Tynecastle and starts against Ross County and Partick Thistle and supporters have been given an indication of what the playmaker will bring to Beale's side.

He speaks about Beale putting an arm round him, of the importance of feeling supported and understood away from the game. The carefree way in which Cantwell plays doesn't point to a crisis of confidence but every high and low has shaped him as a player and a person.

"It is probably something that has been dented externally but internally it is not something that you lose," Cantwell said when asked if his belief had been dented after a difficult couple of years. "Unfortunately as a footballer you have to isolate yourself from a very young age and have that ‘me against the world’ type of mentality.

"There are a lot of people that want to become professional footballers so you have to come through a pretty tough journey. It is something that I have never lost internally. But, yeah, you are right, obviously any one in any line of work can have their confidence dented from external people."

Rangers is a club where the demands are incessant and the pressures unforgiving. For all that Cantwell achieved at Norwich, life here is a very different prospect and players with more established reputations than him have failed to live up to the expectations.

His move to Scottish football attracted the usual responses from those that are ignorant to the game here but some comments have been more pointed towards Cantwell. A video montage of his rise and rise at Norwich was uploaded on his Instagram when he departed, while a post earlier this month promised to reveal 'the truth' over the situation in time.

"It was more to do with the fact that when I left Norwich I didn’t really do the standard type of opening up letter," Cantwell said. "That, for me, is because there is timing to that and right now the important thing for me is to continue to play and enjoy myself. When it is right to say how I feel about certain situations then I will."

It is just over five years since Cantwell made his Norwich debut in an FA Cup tie with Chelsea. Just days later, he was on the move for the first time and he would head to Holland after discussions with manager Neil Adams reached a common ground and it was ruled that League Two or League One options were not best for his development.

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Cantwell describes his time at Fortuna as a 'fairy tale' as a place in the Eredivisie was earned after 16 seasons. Even now, he keeps an eye out for their results and takes satisfaction from seeing them continuing to hold their own amongst the biggest names in the Netherlands.

"It was brilliant," Cantwell said of his Eerste Divisie campaign that saw Sittard finish behind Jong Ajax and win promotion. "It was really important for me at that time in my career. I had played Under-23s for two or three years.

"It starts to lose its benefits at that point and I needed to play first team football. I needed to start having a responsibility when I played.

"Under-23s football is brilliant but it gets to a certain point when you need to play in front of a fan base and need to know what it is to win and lose."

That competitive edge had been nurtured within Cantwell from an early age. His siblings, Jordan and Amber, both play the game, and his mother and father were amateur players in Norfolk.

Growing up with football such an enshrined part of family life helped the highest-profile Cantwell, even if he jokes there were arguments over fouls that weren't given in the garden.

Some of his friends and family made the journey to Ibrox for his debut against the Saints. A return for a proper behind the scenes look around the iconic stadium is in the pipeline but Cantwell's new home made quite the first impression.

"My family have followed me around the Premier League stadiums and some of the Championship stadiums are brilliant," Cantwell said. "But playing for a team that has that sort of fan base is something I have not experienced.

"It is something they haven’t experienced watching. You can always talk about stuff like that and feel stuff like that but when you are actually there and the emotion of it and you can physically feel it, that is what made it different."