Abu Dhabi break comes at the perfect time for Norwich City new boy Kei Kamara
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Norwich City’s short Premier League break has come at the perfect time for Kei Kamara, as the on-loan striker beds into life at Carrow Road.
The 28-year-old Sierra Leone star made an impact on his debut, given it amounted to little more than the final seven minutes and was arguably assisted by Saturday’s lacklustre contest with Fulham.
It also came after just two days of training with his new team-mates, with his feet barely touching the ground since his arrival in the UK from New York a day earlier.
So with the Canaries’ shock FA Cup exit to Luton offering a free weekend and a four-day trip to Abu Dhabi for warm weather training, Kamara can not only get to work on progressing beyond his MLS pre-season fitness programme – but also cementing his place among Chris Hughton’s squad.
“It’s a great time for the break; it gives me a chance to work my way into the team and work my way in with the guys, and really try to learn a lot more,” said the Sporting Kansas City star.
“It is just the perfect situation for me and all I have got to do is just keep working hard, and that is what I always do. I believe that if I can show the coach that and what I can do, he is definitely going to give me my chance.”
He added: “All I knew about Norwich was that the jersey was yellow. Obviously I didn’t know much, but I watch the Premier League a lot so I know a lot more about the coach and a few of the players than actually knowing about the team.
“And definitely when the move was something that came up, I’m a guy that is just glued to my computer so I started looking up everything I could just trying to learn as much as I could before I got here.”
Kamara’s loan stay is scheduled to run until the end of the season – something that may be extended if he proves himself in the Premier League. If not, few in Kansas would be disappointed to see him return.
However, for the remaining dozen fixtures there will be no player more determined to make their mark for City.
“A lot of people were asking, are you here to stay?” said Kamara. “But at the same time I belong to Sporting Kansas City. I’m here for a loan. I’m here to play a certain amount of games.
“But I’m not coming here to say ‘OK I’m just going to hang about around here’. I’m coming here to make a statement for myself, that I can do this.
“Players that I’ve watched a lot on television, I feel myself that I can play among them. So I’ll just have to wait until after all those games to decide what I want to do.”
And part of making his mark will come from scoring goals – something Kamara is confident he can bring to City.
“Yes I am a man that can score some goals, but also it’s just work rate,” he added. “Coming into a team like this you see everybody working so hard. Looking at Wes (Hoolahan) and (Robert) Snodgrass and all those guys, they work so hard on the field you just want to contribute.
“And obviously if you can work as hard as them, it helps out and the goals are going to come easily.”
For Kamara, goals mean celebrations – including his little number of making a heart shape with his hands: “Yes, hopefully I will get some goals and then I can bring that one out. ‘Heart-shaped hands’ is what they call me back in the US. Why? It’s a story that’s not been told yet so I can’t spill it out now.”
There is one thing the striker has already given Norwich so far: a new supporter base in his old US stamping ground.
“They have a new supporters’ club for Norwich over there; it’s already there,” beamed Kamara. “They were great out in Kansas. I was shocked to see how many positive messages I was getting when I was leaving, wishing me good luck and they were tuning in (on Saturday) watching the game, so it’s great.”