Everything falls into place for McVeigh
Michael Bailey Paul McVeigh admits 'everything has fallen into place' after signing a one-year deal and completing his dramatic full-time return to Norwich City. Two years ago the winger's seven-and-a-half-year spell at Carrow Road was ended by Peter Grant, with McVeigh moving to Luton Town as a free agent.
Paul McVeigh admits “everything has fallen into place” after signing a one-year deal and completing his dramatic full-time return to Norwich City.
Two years ago the winger's seven-and-a-half-year spell at Carrow Road was ended by Peter Grant, with McVeigh moving to Luton Town as a free agent.
But after joining Norwich for pre-season training in an “open ended” arrangement, the 31-year-old has been handed a 12-month contract with the Canaries by Bryan Gunn, and now the chance to become a fans' favourite once again.
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“I'm delighted, absolutely delighted,” said McVeigh. “When I actually came here it was only purely to train for the first two weeks, and now that I've actually signed, I'm really pleased.
“Pre-season itself has been really tough but I don't think I was ever thinking I wasn't going to get a contract because it wasn't actually in the equation. It was more a case of getting in training and keeping myself fit. I was trying to impress but it was never with a view to actually signing a contract here. The fact it has come along has been a complete bonus for me.”
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McVeigh has played in all four divisions of English football over the last five seasons, with his last two at Luton an experience which brings a wry smile from the nippy attacker.
“I had two years at Luton and a lot of experiences,” said McVeigh. “I'm quite ambivalent about it, because they've had some really tough times at Luton, but then they've ended up winning the Johnstone's Paint Trophy so there were good times and bad times.
“It doesn't feel like I've ever been away (from Norwich) but it's good to actually be back again. Everything for myself, personally, has fallen into place.
“It has been a really tough few weeks. I've played in every single game so far, so I've played quite a lot of minutes on the pitch and done a lot of hard training, and that can only benefit me when the season starts.”
McVeigh could well make the first home appearance of his second spell as a Canary against a Manchester United XI at Carrow Road on Saturday - with his last appearance as a substitute in a 1-1 home draw with Coventry in February, 2007 - and he admits he cannot wait to run out in a yellow shirt again.
“That's the other thing as well,” added McVeigh. “With the last few years, you play in League One and League Two, but coming back to Carrow Road, the fans are brilliant, the stadium's brilliant, the atmosphere is brilliant, so I can't wait to get out there again.”
McVeigh does not expect the City faithful to be watching a player much different to the one that left after a 235-appearance and 40-goal first spell at the club.
“Hopefully nothing different, because hopefully I'm the same sort of player. I haven't grown six foot and I'm not going to be whacking defenders out of the way!” said McVeigh.
“But hopefully I can bring good skill, a kind of quality and hopefully bring goals to the team as well.
“I think that's what I've done in pre-season and the manager has seen that, so hopefully I can carry on.”
The move will see McVeigh spend another season as team-mate to Michael Spillane and Chris Martin, who were both with the Ulsterman at Luton last season.
“They did really well last year,” said McVeigh. “It was a tough league and especially with the predicament Luton were in, minus-30 points starting the season.
“For Chris and Michael coming down and how well they did, obviously culminating with the win at Wembley last year, just shows how well they did. So hopefully I get the chance to play with them.”
McVeigh played a part in Norwich's run to the Division One play-off final in 2002, as well as City's title success two seasons later, and he sees no reason why he cannot add a League One medal to his collection at the end of the coming campaign.
“I don't see any reason why not, because of the squad the manager is putting together,” he said. “I'm sure he's going to be bringing in more players.”