Laughter and smiles aplenty as Norwich City’s key figures savour success
After a lengthy promotion debrief at Colney, David Freezer provides an insight into the mood at Norwich City after a return to the Premier League was sealed.
“The word recipe is banned,” said Delia Smith with a beaming smile, as the feelgood factor flowed around Colney amid a very special promotion debrief.
Members of the local and national media were invited to Norwich City's training ground to speak to some of the key figures involved in this season's remarkable Canaries success.
First up was sporting director Stuart Webber, who shook hands and accepted congratulations warmly, before quickly returning to business mode and emphasising that hard work and togetherness has been the key elements to promotion, sticking to the “values” and “culture” which he has spoken of ever since arriving.
As ever there was little sugar-coating from the sporting director who has masterminded City's triumph, dismissing comparisons to repeating the trick he managed at Huddersfield as “lazy” and saying “If you have a team of old men, you don't get promoted”.
Things took a light-hearted turn once a bubbly Delia entered the room though, hailing Webber as a “genius” and speaking so proudly of the “amazing” success which Daniel Farke's team have managed.
Fellow majority shareholder, and husband of course, Michael Wynn Jones joked of Webber's huge potential in the game: “I think he's got his eyes on Barcelona!”
Delia also said with a laugh “we're very old aren't we” before adding that she still feels like a 19-year-old at heart, even if the sands of time suggest the Stowmarket couple are in their late seventies.
Next up was the players, sobered up from their weekend promotion parties and still grinning, with Kenny McLean and Teemu Pukki clearly keen to get on with wrapping up the title at Aston Villa.
McLean upped the banter stakes when aiming “I saw him up at Celtic, I didn't expect 28 goals” in Pukki's direction, to which the Finn happily laughed along.
Then it was Ben Godfrey's and Mario Vrancic's turn, with the latter's surprise reveal that a friend back in Germany's mum was from Norwich – and Godfrey jokingly groaning “not again!” as the midfielder was asked to talk about his superb strike against Blackburn on Saturday.
It may have been an epic three-hour media event but there were so many facets of this great story which needed discussing.