A sweet Carrow Road return for Bennett
Elliott Bennett looked ruefully up at the empty seats of the Barclay Stand, the memory of his last visit to Carrow Road clearly vivid in his mind.
It was November 2009, and Brighton were already 4-0 down, another victim of the growing Norwich City steamroller that was heading for the top of League One, and beyond.
'We lost 4-1 in the end,' said Bennett as he willingly went through the media duties that every new signing has to endure.
'It wasn't a very good night. Obviously it didn't turn out too badly for Norwich because they ended up winning the league, romping it. But it wasn't a memorable time for Brighton. I can remember, I think it was 4-0 because we only scored a consolation late on, just looking up at the stand there and just thinking, 'please stop the game now'.
'It was just one of those bad nights, but Norwich kicked on from there and so did we in the end, so it has been good for everyone all round.'
Bennett wasn't given a chance to walk the pitch – new seed is being carefully nurtured to maturity – but is desperate to pull on the boots and prove that he is capable of making the jump from League One to the top flight.
No doubt the reality of his move became more apparent when next season's fixture list was released, only a day or two after Bennett's arrival at Carrow Road was confirmed. His trip to hometown club Wolves comes just before Christmas.
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Everything else will be as tough – and as enjoyable – as they come.
'I don't think there are any games you wouldn't want to play in the Premier League, to be honest, but I have got to try and get in the team first,' said Bennett. 'One thing I can assure everyone is I will work my tail off and see what happens.
'I owe a lot to Wolves – they gave me a chance to become a professional footballer in the first place and there are many people who don't get that lucky. I don't think I have got a point to prove to anyone. I am just a normal person who plays football and I am very lucky to do so. The fact is, the gaffer has given me another opportunity to give it a go in the top league.'
Bennett needed no convincing but admitted he spoke to City midfielder Andrew Crofts, who left Brighton for Norwich last summer and has made a huge success of the move.
'I spoke to him recently and spoke to him this morning,' he said. 'He loves the club and he has told me how close the group are and that I'd fit in well. He just said to come in here, work hard like everyone has got to and see where that takes you, so I am really looking forward to getting back into pre-season training.'
City's interest in Bennett first became public in January when a bid was reportedly turned down, leading to the player handing in a transfer request – an episode to produce another neat little shimmy from the new boy.
'I didn't know really that there was anything definite, to be honest,' he said. 'I am just delighted to finally become a Norwich football player.'
Bennett stayed on the south coast, helping Brighton to the League One title before City went back to the Seagulls to get their man.
'Obviously when I heard about it I was delighted that it was a club like Norwich, on the up, got a great team and been used to winning for the last two years,' he said. 'I had a good season with Brighton this year and it was something I wanted to pursue because everyone wants to play in the best league in the world and hopefully the gaffer has given me the best opportunity to do that.
'It is going to be a massive challenge to even get in to the team in the first place, never mind playing. The team has done fantastic the last two seasons. I am just going to come in here and see where that takes me.'