‘I feel really happy in this group’ – Stiepermann savouring life at multicultural Norwich City
- Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd
‘All the Germans’ may well be the affectionate song Norwich City fans have enjoyed this season but Marco Stiepermann says speaking English has been a key part of team unity.
With a head coach, 10 players and a back-room team from Germany, Daniel Farke made it clear he wanted the overseas imports to mix fully with the British core of the dressing room.
Influential midfielder Stiepermann believes that has played a key part in the team spirit which has helped the Canaries seal promotion to the Premier League – celebrated with flags representing the various nations of City’s stars at Carrow Road at the weekend.
“To be honest I am one of the first guys who says to our Germans, come on, don’t speak German, we are at an English club, so speak English,” the 28-year-old explained.
“For me it’s really important to be more English than German in the dressing room and I also hang around with all the Scottish guys. But I just want to say I feel really happy in this group. The language is not always easy for us but the guys make it really easy for us.”
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Part of that team spirit saw Stiepermann opt to spin a ‘wheel of fortune’ at Colney as he gambled on trying to get a reduced fine for a minor misdemeanour at the training ground – only to land on the ultimate forfeit.
To the delight of his team-mates, who posted videos on social media earlier this year, he had to wash the head coach’s car.
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“It was an unlucky day for me!” he added with a grin. “Because it was one of the worst things I could get, to wash the manager’s car.
“He was really happy about it and said ‘yeah, can you start right now’ and I was like ‘no, give me two more days’. But the job was done and I think after my career I can be a car washer!”
The Borussia Dortmund youth product has been getting plenty of congratulations from back home as well, since City sealed promotion with a 2-1 home win against Blackburn on Saturday.
“After the game I opened my phone and there was like 50 messages,” Stiepermann added.
“For me it was unbelievable to see how in Germany, no one is interested in the Championship to be honest, but they can see how we’ve worked for that – and we can be proud of that.”