Tampa Tour: Canaries royalty, intense training and thrilled fans made for a great day
The presence of Norwich City royalty made for a rather special day for the lucky fans able to make it to the Canaries’ open training session in Florida.
Kevin Keelan, the man who tops the club’s all-time appearances after 673 games between 1963 and 1980, was among a throng of yellow and green activity hosted at the Al Lang Stadium in St Petersburg yesterday.
The home of the Tampa Bay Rowdies provided the setting for the most public part of City’s tour of the Tampa Bay area, where Keelan played for before deciding to put down roots in the Sunshine State.
With the football and commercial sides of the touring party all present, Daniel Farke’s team got to work in training, with the likes of sporting director Stuart Webber and chief commercial officer Ben Kensell watching on.
It was a training session very much worth watching for around 100 supporters, some of whom had travelled from other parts of the US and others from close by, having chosen Norwich as their English team to follow thanks to the shared colours with the Rowdies.
It was no stroll in the Floridan warmth though; it was a session played at pace and intensity – with even a couple of flash points as exception was taken to a couple of challenges, before all was quickly calmed down amid team-mates. That is of course common place during team training, when players are so keen to impress their coaches and avoid injury while trying to make sure they are in the next starting XI.
There was even some drizzle to make the Championship leaders feel at home, as they showed off their skills under palm trees and with boats bobbing alongside them in the marina alongside the stadium.
An opportunity for fans to meet the players, get autographs and take photos with the players, with milder temperatures around the 20C mark having made for more bearable weather to play in for Farke’s squad, having sweated it out under bright sunshine the day before. The work continues on Friday and Saturday for the team, before arriving home on Sunday.
• See the Pink Un app for more photos and videos from the open training session