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Opinion: We want NCFC players who care as much as we do

10:17 31 May 2014

Football - Norwich City - Neil Adams Press Conference - Carrow Road - 23/5/14
Norwich manager Neil Adams poses after the press conference
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Matthew Childs
Livepic
EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Football - Norwich City - Neil Adams Press Conference - Carrow Road - 23/5/14 Norwich manager Neil Adams poses after the press conference Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Matthew Childs Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Archant

So where were you when the surprise announcement was made on Thursday night? I have no idea where the man himself was.

Ian Clarke (right) and his best mate Tony Jarrett after their big match at Carrow RoadIan Clarke (right) and his best mate Tony Jarrett after their big match at Carrow Road

The newly confirmed manager certainly wasn’t on the Carrow Road pitch holding up the City scarf for the cameras.

I know Neil Adams wasn’t there - because I was.

Yes, as the news filtered through that the City had plumped for the former spot kick king to be the new permanent boss, I was huddled in the entrance lobby in the City Stand at the home of the Canaries.

I was there along with a couple of dozen others who were preparing to take part in a charity game on the perfect surface where Adams would be paraded in front of the media the following day. I actually wish Neil had been there.

No-one in the two teams playing in charity game was a professional and not everyone was a Norwich fan – but we all had one thing in common.

We were thrilled to bits to be playing on one of the best pitches in the country and at a ground with so much history attached to it.

Sadly it is no longer a Premier League stadium. Hopefully in 12 months’ time it will have regained that status.

What doesn’t change is that in the past nine months it has graced some of very best players in the world and several stars who will showing off their skills at the greatest footballing festival on earth in Brazil.

Apart from the win against Hull (vital victory at the time but not a classic by all accounts), I saw all City’s home games during the season.

From my position at centre back, I have to say that the 3-3 draw between Plunky’s All Stars and FNF FLK Mercanaries was the most exciting match I have witnessed at Carra.

I’m sure Neil would have been impressed with the silky skills from several of the guys taking part. Special mention to our hat-trick hero Rob Balls and tricky winger Alex Williams who was a constant threat to my ageing legs.

One of Rob’s goals ended as a good a counter-attack as you will see for many a year.

Paul Saroya got the moment of the match for a stunning strike which left the River End cross bar shaking. And I have to big up Steve Plunkett who brilliantly organised the game and sneaked in to score the equaliser late on – and helped his team win on spot kicks.

What I’m sure would have impressed City’s boss even more was the desire and endeavour from every single man on that pitch.

We can all name players who have pulled on the yellow and green shirt this season who will not be able to look themselves in the mirror and know they have given their all.

Fans can stomach being beaten by better teams. But they don’t accept anything less than total commitment to the cause.

I had been fortunate enough to have played at our own theatre of dreams twice before. However, I still loved every minute,

My best mate Tony Jarrett – another lifelong City fan – had always wanted to play in between the sticks in front of the Barclay and River Ends. He couldn’t have enjoyed it more and is stll grinning from ear to ear.

Tony’s joy was in stark comparison to that of two other really good pals. Jason “Mr Norwich City” Ellis had been due to play but injury forced him out of the game. He was devatasted.

And Gary “Beetley Pele” Hinchliffe had to hobble off in the opening stage of the match after pulling his calf. He can at least say that he got more minutes of action than Carlo Nash this season. But he was really gutted,

My plea to Adams is to ensure that every single member of his squad has the pride, passion and fire in their bellies for the Championship battle ahead.

We were thrilled that Peter Mendham was our host for the night on Thursday. If City’s players show the commitment he did for City during his career then we won’t be far away in May.

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