A year is a long time in a football club

What a difference from 12 months ago! Last year, Lee Croft was the only player to have arrived at Carrow Road after a summer of total inactivity in the transfer market.

What a difference from 12 months ago!

Last year, Lee Croft was the only player to have arrived at Carrow Road after a summer of total inactivity in the transfer market.

We were told that the then manager was the man for the job. The squad as a whole were going to bring back the good times.

I think the only thing that was accepted as fact by the long-suffering City faithful was the chairman telling us how loyal and passionate we all were.


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A year later, we have a new manager who has spent the summer assembling his team for 2007-08. Gone are the deadwood squad members who we all know were not up to the job. Gone are the players who do not want to sing from Peter Grant's hymn sheet.

Only time will tell whether we are moving in the right direction and one can only read between the lines as to how much the manager knew about certain contract escape clauses when he took the job.

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But it has amazed me how much criticism has been made over the signings of Jamie Cureton and Darel Russell. Some people obviously would rather still have Peter Thorne on the books or the far too often AWOL Dickson Etuhu.

Many fans were unhappy about the never-ending procession of goalkeepers last season, so Grant has gone and set his stall out to pay decent money for a quality young keeper who I have little doubt will be our No 1 for the duration of his time at Carrow Road.

Let's just hope that when he moves on in a few years' time - which will certainly happen in today's modern game - that it will be for good money and we will all be happy and proud that he played for Norwich City.

What we do need still is a new central defender, and the experienced Calum Davenport would fit the bill.

But speaking personally, it is a shame that Ryan Shawcross has gone to Stoke. A few seasons back when our Under-14s played Manchester United at Carrow Road in a game to publicise the Academy, I was one of the match sponsors and was asked to pick the visitors' man of the match. I chose Shawcross, and it would have been fascinating to see him back at Carrow Road a few years later in the yellow and green.

An early-season date for your diary: the NCISA annual meeting will be in the Norfolk Lounge at Carrow Road on September 6 (7.30pm), followed by one of our player forums at 8pm.

Last, but by no means least, do not forget the NCISA Canary Challenge, sponsored by Woodforde's. Our secretary Kathy Blake eagerly awaits your entries - see page 12 for more details.

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