Lucky charms! City’s promotion gold dust rubbed off on pre-season opponents
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Teams will be queuing up to face lucky charm Norwich City in pre-season this summer, after six of their eight friendly opponents from last year went on to earn promotion.
Ahead of a campaign that would conclude with a remarkable Championship title success for the Canaries, few on either side during pre-season could have predicted the success that was about to follow for all involved.
Daniel Farke's team kicked off with a 2-1 win over local side King's Lynn Town, who went on to finish as runners-up in the Southern League Premier Division Central.
Managed by Norwich legend Ian Culverhouse, the Linnets wrapped up play-off success afterwards to seal promotion to step two of the non-league pyramid.
Next up was a 3-0 win over Lincoln City and the Imps went on to win the League Two title, returning to the second tier for the first time since 1999.
Another fourth-flight team were beaten 2-0 next but Crawley Town proved to be the only anomaly of the schedule, going on to finish 19th.
Next up was a training camp in Germany, kicking off with a friendly against Paderborn, who had City midfielder Mario Vrancic within their ranks during a Bundesliga campaign in 2014-15.
They had slipped down to the third tier but having lost their friendly against Norwich 3-2, Paderborn have gone on to win automatic promotion back to the top tier, finishing second in Bundesliga II.
That was on goal-difference ahead of Union Berlin, who beat Farke's team 2-1 in the next friendly, and who have gone on to beat Stuttgart in the promotion play-off to seal promotion to the top flight for the first time.
Drawing 1-1 with Bundesliga side Wolfsburg completed the tour for the Canaries, who may not have been promoted but did enjoy a hugely improved season.
Timm Klose's former club had flirted with relegation during 2017-18 but finished sixth to qualify for the Europa League this season.
Back in England it was another promotion side in waiting, with City winning 3-1 at Luton Town, who have gone on to win the League One title.
Joining them in the Championship are Charlton Athletic, who beat Norwich 1-0 in the final friendly of pre-season, and went on to beat Sunderland 2-1 in the League One play-off final on Sunday.
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So far the Canaries have only confirmed Paderborn as an opponent for the approaching pre-season, as part of another training camp in Germany, but they could well find plenty of teams are now looking to get in touch.
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