City boss counts cost of international duty

Dimitris Giannoulis is one of the Norwich City players who had a hectic international schedule ahead of Preston

Dimitris Giannoulis is one of the Norwich City players who had a hectic international schedule ahead of the Championship game at Preston - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

Daniel Farke has revealed how heavy the international toll is as Norwich City bid to keep their Championship promotion bid on track. 

The City head coach had eight players dotted around the continent less than 48 hours before Good Friday's league test at Preston. The Canaries trained later on Thursday afternoon to allow more time for his internationals to return to Norfolk after plenty of sleepless nights. 

Farke used Greek international Dimitris Giannoulis as a case study to illustrate just what City are dealing with ahead of a Deepdale mission. 

Giannoulis played the full 90 minutes of his country’s 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw against Georgia in Thessaloniki on Wednesday night. 

“He played for Greece at 9:45pm local time, so the game finished just before midnight,” said Farke. “He is at the hotel for 1am then you have to eat, go to bed. But he is not sleeping before 2:30am.

"Then a flight back to the UK at 6:50am local time. First to Athens and then to Heathrow. If you want to catch a flight in these times then you are at the airport for 5:30am. 

"So you can imagine how long he was able to sleep. Maybe two hours if at all. He catches two flights, lands at Heathrow just before midday. Then heads straight to our training ground.  

Most Read

“He plays 90 minutes for his country, more or less no sleep, then when he gets back we have to get a Covid test, assess and speak to him and see whether he can travel to Preston. Then I have to make a decision whether I take him in the squad. For others it was a bit easier. 

"(Przemyslaw) Placheta didn’t play for Poland and was in London at Wembley so he was at home for 2:30am. Max Aarons and OIly Skipp, it was 4:30am.” 

The City duo, along with Todd Cantwell, were part of the England Under-21s' failed bid to qualify for the last eight of their European Championships

“I felt for them. You can learn more from tough times and it will be a valuable experience in terms of growing up,” said Farke. “Now they have to respond on a club level and work towards something to celebrate. I am happy they played and it is proud moment to represent your country but if I am honest I was hoping for not that many minutes. 

"What I can confirm is that we won’t put all eight in the line up at Preston. That wouldn’t make sense. We have to be smart in terms of what we do and who plays. 

“Lads like Tim Krul, Orjan Nyland and Onel Hernandez got back to the UK earlier in the week. They were able to return negative Covid tests and are available. But this is a tricky situation.” 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus