Di Cunningham:  My wish list after the Captain Canary makeover

The Norwich players celebrate with the fans after the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Nor

All for one - Norwich City players celebrate with the fans after the Reading game, when victory clinched the Championship crown - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

In my last Fan Zone column I called for an edgier mascot at Carrow Road - akin to Partick Thistle’s perennial award-winning angry yellow cheerleader Kingsley.

I suggested it might be time for the Norfolk Dumpling to make a return - and some folks commented that it was a tad too scary and might upset those of a fragile disposition or tender years. They were probably right; if you’re not familiar with the enormous papier-mâché head designed to rally supporters in the 1950s, search Google images or the Museum of Norwich. But brace yourself because the old mascot seems to have been channelling Chucky!

Disappointingly (for me at least) it seems the Norfolk Dumpling won’t be making a return to Norwich City any time soon - the good news, though, is that Captain Canary has had a makeover and is now a feistier, harder-edged captain with a spiky hairstyle and determined stare.

So, given that my wish, conveyed in print here, came to pass, I thought I’d aspire on a slightly grander scale - and see if those hopes are also successfully delivered.

So here's Di’s NCFC wish list...

That our team end their flirtation with the Premier League and make a long-term commitment. 

I recently heard someone describe us as a Mezzanine club; too good for the Championship but not good enough for the top tier. I have a sense that our side has been adapted sufficiently for the analogy now to be with an open plan, energy-efficient penthouse flat - sharing a skyline alongside other grander apartments, but bossing it in terms of design and running costs. Architects Webber and Farke have produced a sustainable development model that certainly gives us a good chance of staying up this time around.

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That those players who won’t be part of next season’s EPL journey find success elsewhere. 

As a fan it goes without saying that it’s been tough not to have been able to share the triumphs of this season in person - and one of the most mind blowing results of the pandemic’s behind closed doors games has been that there have been players arriving who will leave without fans ever seeing them play for us. But, to a man, every member of the team has contributed to winning promotion and the title and undoubtedly each has benefited from being at a special club with a fantastic manager. They may not always have that as their careers progress, but hopefully much of the experience from this year will continue to be valuable. In a season mediated to a large extent by social media, it’s been an absolute joy to see past players - from Bradley Johnson and Elliott Bennett to Ivo Pinto - use their social platforms to share their good wishes for their former team. There will also, of course, be established Canaries who don’t return next season - they must know that they will always be in our hearts (and notifications!).

Which brings me to.... we won’t need social media blackouts again - next season or ever.

Virtual channels for club chat have been an absolute lifeline this season - so the blackout on the weekend our club sealed the Championship title has been beyond challenging. But the campaign has sent a powerful message to global corporations and trolls alike. Social media giants must introduce the regulatory frameworks that other comms organisations have to prevent abuse. And maybe trolls will understand that their days of sharing online hate with impunity are numbered.

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