WATCH: Rupp and Zimmermann among City players to start pre-season
- Credit: Norwich City/Matthew Usher
It proved to be a soggy start to pre-season for the Norwich City players involved in the early stages of training ahead of the Canaries’ first friendly next week.
Not all of City’s players are back at Colney yet, including the quartet who were at the European Championship: Teemu Pukki, Grant Hanley, Tim Krul and Przemek Placheta.
Head coach Daniel Farke and his staff were all smiles as they were filmed putting the players through their paces for the club’s YouTube channel, after initial fitness testing earlier in the week.
Angus Gunn was the only new signing on display in the video footage released, working alongside Michael McGovern.
As well as having been on Holland duty, Krul also wasn’t with his keeper colleagues as his wife gave birth yesterday afternoon, with the Dutchman proudly sharing a photo of his newborn son, Charlie, on social media.
There were a few encouraging fitness signs amongst the training drills, with both Christoph Zimmermann and Lukas Rupp involved having missed the end of last season with hamstring injuries.
Sam Byram wasn’t with the group that was pictured in action as heavy rain fell at the Lotus Training Centre but it’s believed the Canaries are hoping to involve the full-back fully in pre-season as he tries to recover from almost 18 months out of action after two hamstring operations.
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Hanley and fellow centre-back Ben Gibson aren’t expected to be involved during the first couple of weeks of full training as they recover from injury, ahead of the opening friendly at King’s Lynn Town on Friday, June 16.
Gibson is working his way back from the ankle ligament damage which required surgery and kept him out of the final eight games of last season and Hanley picked up a hamstring strain while on Scotland duty at the Euros.
Among the other players involved were Todd Cantwell, Kieran Dowell, Max Aarons and Adam Idah, as well as Jordan Hugill amid reports of Nottingham Forest being keen to take the striker back to the Championship.
Dimitris Giannoulis was also being put through his paces after seeing his loan from PAOK made permanent last week, as was Danish midfielder Jacob Sorensen, after surviving Hugill’s banter ahead of England’s victory over his country in the semi-finals of the Euros.
Young duo Andrew Omobamidele and Bali Mumba completed the small group shown working with head of performance Chris Domogalla before getting the footballs out for some skill drills under the watchful eye of Farke.
Some ruthless finishing from Ireland international Idah is also on show but Farke, acting as referee during a training game, wasn’t buying what Giannoulis was selling as the Greek went down easily under a challenge from McGovern only to be labelled a “diver” by his boss.
Summer signings Milot Rashica and Billy Gilmour were not shown in the published footage, with Gilmour having also been on duty at the Euros with Scotland. Rashica has been pictured on social media at Colney in recent days though.
Kenny McLean is another who will make a belated start to pre-season, thanks to the knee injury which ruled him out of Scotland's summer action, and winger Onel Hernandez has also been away with Cuba but saw Gold Cup qualification action cancelled by diplomatic issues last week.
Following the Lynn game, the Canaries crank up pre-season with Colney games behind closed doors against Lincoln and Huddersfield.
Trips to Premier League rivals Sheffield United and Newcastle follow but it’s thought there are more additions to the pre-season schedule on the way, with the hope of a possible Carrow Road friendly after the government confirmed that Covid-19 restrictions will end on July 19.
City usually base themselves in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany but with Covid-19 restrictions and travel complications due to the pandemic, that has not been possible this year.
Preparations for the Premier League opener are underway though, ahead of Liverpool coming to Carrow Road on Saturday, August 14 (5.30pm kick-off).
- You can watch highlights from the early stages of City's training in the video above