Former City skipper hopeful charity game could also be 'amazing' promotion celebration
Russell Martin thinks Norwich City are strong enough to remain in the Championship promotion race for the rest of this season.
The former Canaries captain was back at Carrow Road this week to announce a celebration match featuring City legends, to mark his and Wes Hoolahan’s long service, as well as raise charity funds.
That has been arranged for Monday, May 6, the day after City’s final game of the season at Aston Villa, creating the possibility of an almighty promotion party – should Daniel Farke’s current league leaders manage to last the pace.
“Hopefully it’s a big party for everyone, it continues the celebrations and gives people the chance to come to Carrow Road and celebrate – that’s the plan, it would be a bonus for everyone,” Martin said.
“It would be amazing and with the team doing as well as they are now I don’t see any reason why that can’t happen. But fingers crossed it’s a continued celebration of the day before.”
Both are still playing though, with Hoolahan at West Brom until January and Martin player-coach at League One side Walsall, playing regularly and helping seal a 1-0 win at Sunderland on Tuesday to earn an FA Cup third round tie at Bolton.
Martin trained and played with City’s U23s during pre-season before mutually agreeing to end his contract early, and had been encouraged by what he’d seen at Colney before his exit.
“The recruitment has been really good, I don’t think there was ever any question of the strength of the squad,” the 32-year-old said.
“It was just them coming together and keeping everyone fit and things like that, and they’ve found a way that works.
“You could see the young lads were going to play a big part this year, and I was hoping they would, especially Max (Aarons). I thought he was ready. Obviously Jamal (Lewis) played last year so we knew he was going to play a big part this season.
“Toddy (Cantwell) has finally come of age a bit, which is great, his loan spell was superb for him last year, you could tell. So I’m pleased for the young boys with how it’s going and the impact they’ve had, maybe I didn’t see them being used so early, but I’m glad they have and have been successful.”