The international break - a time to reflect

So there’s no Premier League football this week. Some Norwich City players are on international duty in the World Cup qualifiers, and Chris Hughton will be hoping that they all return safely, preferably not too tired from their exertions on the pitch or by their travels, and certainly not injured.

When there is no breaking or current news about Norwich City, journalists have to scratch their heads to find something to write about.

Obviously I share Hughton’s hope that our players return in good physical and mental condition from their international duties. It is good for their morale to come back to Carrow Road with the added recognition of having been selected for their country and added one or more caps to their collection. If they have played well and covered themselves with glory, so much the better. They will approach their next game in the yellow shirt with even more confidence in their own ability, and their opponents will be that much more wary of their growing reputation. And the international break allows us more time to help our injured players recover from their knocks and regain fitness.

I have to say that I was disappointed to read the news on the Pink Un message board that the Norwich City Independent Supporters Association is thinking of folding. Earlier in the week I heard that the Friends of Norwich City Youth (FONCY) was also taking voluntary redundancy. It is organisations like these which have in the past nurtured supporters’ interest in Norwich City Football Club and raised money on the club’s behalf. I am older than most people, but I remember well in the late 1950s and 60 when the Norwich City Supporters Club played a major role in the club’s affairs and was a major force to be reckoned with.

I suppose that with news about the club now available at the flick of a switch on various different websites or on Canaries World, supporters clubs’ roles in disseminating news about the football club, and raising interest in it in the community has diminished. Also the slub has new regular sources of income like television money and increased season ticket and other revenue, so that one off injections of funds generated by supporters groups are less important. That may be a more modern view, but at the risk of being nostalgic, I enjoyed the days when a few individuals like Stan Springall and Roy Blower selflessly gave their time and strove mightily to represent the views of supporters to our club hierarchy, and raised funds to help the club. I know that we now have Football in the Community and all that jazz today, but I believe that our club is still benefiting from the close links to the community generated in those days in a different way.

So Saturday it is back to real football with City at home to West Ham. Capital Canaries have to contend with the dreaded engineering works on the line from London to Norwich. This means another early start, a longer journey time, and a delay while we savour the delights of Cambridge station. And we have been told that there will be engineering works every weekend until Christmas. Being a London based Canary fan can be tough. But well worth it when we win. Come on you Yellows! Three points against the Hammers would make it all worthwhile...