Norwich City winger handed new long-term deal after superb Championship season
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City winger Onel Hernandez has signed a new deal, tying him to Carrow Road until the summer of 2023.
Hernandez joins Marco Stiepermann, Tim Krul and Timm Klose in committing to the Canaries for the coming seasons, following on from City's Championship title win and return to the Premier League.
The 26-year-old Cuban winger signed from Eintracht Braunschweig in January 2018 for an initial three and a half years, with his new deal set to extend his stay for another two seasons.
"It feels amazing to sign a new contract," said Hernandez. "It was a very special season and for Stuart (Webber, sporting director) and the boss (head coach Daniel Farke) to put their trust and belief in me going forward, it's a great feeling.
"Throughout last season there was togetherness in the changing rooms, training ground and everywhere around you. Everyone supported each other including the players that weren't much involved on the pitch, which was incredible and a massive part of the team's success.
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"When I first arrived I could only say one word in English but the players we have including Tom (Trybull), Marco and Mario (Vrancic) all speak my language, so it helped me a lot to settle in. The rest of the boys were great too and have helped with my English.
"Before I came to England, it was a dream of mine to compete in the Premier League so for me to achieve it with Norwich, I feel very happy and proud.
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"It is the toughest league in the world so I know I will have to work hard to achieve my targets of creating more goals and assists for the team.
"The whole club has worked so hard for this and now we can show everyone that even though Norwich is a small place, it's a big club."
Although signing six months earlier, it was from August that Henandez really broke through - an opening-day brace at Birmingham bringing his first goals in England. He would go on to score eight in 42 league appearances, alongside 12 assists.
The winger admitted City's celebrations with the Football League trophy were special - and the same will be said when the winger inevitably becomes the first Cuban to play in the Premier League.
"I have never lifted a trophy in my life and to lift it in front of all the fans and them celebrating with us, the feeling was incredible," he added. "You can never forget those memories and I will have them for the rest of my life.
"Football in Cuba is not so big like other sports such as basketball but after winning the Championship, I had so many messages from people back home saying they are very proud of me and for me it was crazy to see. I'm very proud to be the first Cuban player ever to play in the Premier League.
"We have a few weeks left but I'm buzzing to start pre-season and I can't wait to come back to the training ground to catch up with all the lads."
City's Premier League fixtures for the 2019-20 season are released on Thursday, June 13 at 9am.
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