Jackson ready to play catch-up

Michael Bailey Simeon Jackson admitted he is already playing catch-up to his new team-mates as Norwich City's pre-season training camp in Germany comes to an end.to Carrow Road on August 6.

Michael Bailey

Simeon Jackson admitted he is already playing catch-up to his new team-mates as Norwich City's pre-season training camp in Germany comes to an end.

Although his �600,000 move from Gillingham was officially confirmed on Thursday, the Canaries' newest recruit has already been on the Continent with Paul Lambert's first team squad for a couple of days as they step up preparations for their opening Championship salvo - Watford's visit to Carrow Road on August 6.

The City players return to Norwich on Sunday ahead of a friendly at Stevenage on Tuesday night, and Jackson cannot wait to get some game time.

“It's been all good so far, the lads have been really welcoming and I'm just excited and looking forward to it all,” said the 23-year-old hotshot, whose signature City had been trying to secure for most of the summer.

“The lads have told me it has been quite brutal here in Germany but I've been lucky enough that I wasn't here for the beginning stage!

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“Pre-season is always going to be tough and I'm going to be playing catch-up for the next couple of days but it's all part and parcel. I'm pretty sure the gaffer has a programme for me so I won't miss out.”

The striker should not be too rusty, having played games for Canada during the close season - action Jackson was glad for, having being out of favour at Gillingham towards the end of their ill-fated campaign that ended in relegation from League One.

The striker has at least one familiar face in the Norwich squad in the shape of his former Gills team-mate Andrew Crofts, who also arrived at Carrow Road this summer, from Brighton.

“He's helped me settle in and it's good to have him on board as well,” said Jackson, who signed a two-year deal with City this week.

“He brings a lot to the table and we got on well at Gillingham, so it's good to carry on that relationship as well.

“I didn't really need to speak to him about the move though. When I first heard Norwich were interested, I wanted to play under the gaffer and it just made my mind up.”

The former Rushden and Diamonds striker was approaching the final year of this contract at the Priestfield Stadium - a situation that saw Jamaican-born Jackson pay more attention to the summer transfer speculation than in the past.

“It was at the end of the season I heard a bit of a rumour that there was some interest and when I found out about the first enquiry, I started to really think about it and it didn't take long to decide,” said Jackson.

“The website and newspaper rumours were where I first heard of it, and some people - friends and that - that's when it throws you, when people ring you up and tell you you're going here and there.

“Coming to the end of your contract you do pay more attention to that. When you've got two years left or whatever it is a little different, but there comes a time when you do think about your future.

“I had a conversation with the Gillingham chairman and he kind of knew where my heart was, so that did play a part in the whole thing.

“I had a good time there, and I learned a lot and developed as a player. It feels good to get the opportunity at a higher level and I'm going to take it with both hands and kick on.

“As a player, it's where you want to be. You want to be playing at the level above and that's what I'm aspiring to do and I'm going to keep working hard to get there. I'm still young there's plenty of time for me.

“But it's good to put pen to paper now and lay it all to rest, and now I can settle down and move forward.”