I have to admit that I find international weeks frustrating. As an old codger I grew up with a football season that started in August and finished without breaks (except for exceptional weather) in May, with the FA Cup final. Matches were either played at 3pm on a Saturday or in midweek and internationals worked around the bread and butter stuff rather than the other way round. Consequently the football year had a flow to it that no longer exists.

While I see the logic in international breaks (although I am less accepting of Sky’s meddling) there is no doubt that they take momentum away, at least from a fan’s perspective. After Chelsea I couldn’t wait for the West Brom game, but seven days later, I still had another eight to go. It’s too long, particularly given the insipid fare offered by the current England team.

The break did mean that I’ve had more time to devote to my “other” role as NCISA’s acting chairman. The post is something that happened to me (a bit like acute appendicitis) rather than being actively sought, but I’ve always liked a challenge. Running a supporters’ group is a bit like upending a box of mice and hoping they’ll all run in the same direction, because the fact is that if you put 50 City fans in a room they’d all have different views on most issues. Consequently, the only way that such a group can succeed is by marginalising the things that push people apart and concentrating on the one thing that we have in common, namely our love for our club. I have to say that this is not something that I think that NCISA has always done well, which is why we are radically changing it, including renaming it, subject to the agreement of this month’s AGM.

Whereas other supporters groups are defined by geography, such as Capital Canaries, or a specific objective, such as the Shareholders’ Association, the role of NCISA has always been less clearly defined. Unfortunately all sorts of myths grow in an information vacuum, and consequently we have been seen as all sorts of things, from a protest group to a group of supporters who consider themselves in some way superior to their fellows. The truth is rather more prosaic. We’re just City fans, pure and simple, and that, along with a yearly subscription of a fiver, is the only membership requirement we have. However, if you’re the sort of person who only wants to be in associations where everyone’s views conform rigidly to your own we are not for you. Our aim is to be a broad church which is equally welcoming to all City fans, wherever they are located in the UK or abroad. We understand that some may want to socialise and meet other Canary fans, which can be done at our various social events and forums with ex City players and media personalities, whereas others may simply want to enjoy our free draws for City related prizes.

Equally importantly, as an independent body, we need to be able to articulate the views of our members to the Football Club in a constructive fashion on any issue that affects them, as this will be of value to both parties.

If our approach appeals to you, you can find out more at our website (www.ncisa.co.uk) or arrange to meet one of the committee at a game (contact details are on the site). You may be surprised to learn that most of us have just the one head and are (whisper it softly) nice people!