March 12 2014 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, EDP Sports Writer
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Adam Drury last night revealed he turned down offers from home and abroad before agreeing a two-year deal with Championship club Leeds.
"I had offers to go abroad or to other clubs, but Leeds was the stand out choice. I had other options, but the challenge of going to Leeds really appealed to me. "
The Hall of Famer’s Carrow Road exit signalled the end of an era at Norwich City for the club’s longest-serving player. Drury had been offered a new Canaries’ contract by former boss Paul Lambert, but his 11-year association will officially end next month with his proposed Elland Road switch. The left-back completed a medical in Yorkshire yesterday and will be unveiled as Neil Warnock’s second signing of the summer on July 1.
“Leeds United is a great opportunity for me,” he said. “I had offers to go abroad or to other clubs, but Leeds was the stand out choice. I had other options, but the challenge of going to Leeds really appealed to me.
“My medical was on Tuesday morning, and it was weird really, because I haven’t had a medical for 11 years, so I was thinking, ‘What actually happens in these things?’ It was a similar sort of feeling I had to when I joined Norwich in 2001 –feelings of excitement at a fresh start. This was the first time I’ve met Neil Warnock, and it was good to hear what he had to say. I’ve played against his teams before and you know what you’re going to get. “He won’t settle for anything less than challenging for promotion, so he’ll want the same next season and it’s something I want to be part of.”
Drury’s loyal service to the Canaries was rewarded with a testimonial game that attracted nearly 19,000 fans to Carrow Road for Celtic’s visit in late May. The 33-year-old conceded it will be a huge wrench to leave that sort of support behind in Norfolk.
“The club have always been brilliant to me and I’d like to think I’ve done all right for the club in return,” he told City’s official site. “I’ve had 11 great years, but it had to come to an end at some point, and I’m happy to be leaving the club in a healthy position in the Premier League. Having a testimonial was a fantastic way to end things at Norwich City, and I could think of no better way to finish.
“I’ll always look to see how Norwich City get on - their result will always be the first result I look for, without doubt. Being a Norwich City player was a huge honour, and a part of my career that I’ll look back on with pride. It’s a wonderful club with an incredible set of supporters.
“My time at Carrow Road has come to an end, but I wish them all the best for the new season and a new era under Chris Hughton. Hopefully with the new manager it will keep things going the way they have been, which I’m sure it will.”
Hughton labelled the defender an ‘outstanding servant’ to the Canaries, after making 361 appearances for the club and being involved in three successful promotion campaigns during his career.
“I would like to wish Adam all the best for the coming season and in his future career,” said Hughton. “He has been an outstanding servant to Norwich City, and I was very aware of what he had done for the club before I arrived here. For a player to be at a club for 11 years, and to play so many games in that time is a very rare thing and a truly outstanding achievement.”
Leeds boss Warnock is confident Drury is just the character to help him restore former glories to the one-time European Cup finalists.
“He’s a very good professional,” he said. “I think he’s a good defender, he’s quick and I thought we needed a bit of experience in certain places, and that desire and will. And with Adam you know what you’re going to get. I’m delighted to have him.
“He’s got the experience we need. He played 16 times for Norwich last season and he’s better than a lot of full backs in the Premier League. He’s a good lad. That’s half the battle as well.
“It gives us a good mix because we’ve got young Pearcey (Jason Pearce) on that side as well so we can put that to bed now and move on to a different area.”
Warnock was delighted to finally land a player he had coveted since his days managing Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United.
“When you speak to him he’s full of enthusiasm and when you get released from a club you want to prove people wrong,” he said. “There’s a few times I’ve wanted to kick him over the years. We’ve always had a rapport when my teams have played against him and I think he knows I’ve always respected him.
“I tried to sign him at Sheffield United a few years back and it wasn’t to be, but I’ve kept my eye on him ever since. He’ll love it here. You can’t play with fear at Elland Road and I think Adam will enjoy that part.”
Drury admitted completing his own personal Premier League journey with the Canaries last season was a fitting end to a memorable 11-year cycle at the club.
“I honestly never thought I’d be back in the Premier League with Norwich after getting beaten 7-1 on the opening day of the League One season, which just goes to show what an amazing journey it has been,” said the defender. “There have been so many highlights when I look back, like winning the player-of-the-season award in 2003 for instance. That is a memory that really sticks out for me, and it means even more because it’s voted for by the fans.”