Surman - Greatness always beckoned for Norwich City
Andrew Surman knew he was coming to a club on 'the verge of something great' when he dropped down a division to join Norwich City last summer.
The 24-year-old moved from Premier League strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers for a reported �1m fee almost 12 months ago, with the aim to establish the 2009-10 League One champions back in the Championship.
At the time, the former Southampton man sounded as convinced as anyone the Canaries could earn promotion to the Premier League sooner rather than later – yet, in the midst of Norwich's second promotion party in as many years, even Surman admitted top flight football arriving so soon was an unbelievable feat.
'I know the club celebrated promotion last year as well, but to do it two years in a row… it's a massive thing for the players, staff and fans; it's absolutely amazing,' said Surman.
'When I first joined obviously I had only just spoken to the manager and what I heard I really liked. I had followed a few of the things that had happened in League One with Southampton being there, and everyone was saying how well Norwich had done. I knew they had been promoted so well, and I knew that I had the chance of joining something that may be on the verge of something great.
'Obviously you don't know what is going to happen at the start of the season, you can't tell, and I think probably the expectations of everyone would have been to stay in the league and build from there.
'But from the word go – or at least the second game onwards – it has just been getting better and better, and it has been amazing.'
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An injury-hit start to his Norwich career eventually came good from February, when Surman's 16 appearances brought three important goals and only one defeat – in fact, Norwich lost only twice with the classy midfielder on the pitch this season. The injuries were a hangover from his previous season at Wolves, where a big money move from Southampton brought just seven top flight appearances.
And while there is clear delight in Surman's eyes over returning to the Premier League so quickly, he admitted there is plenty more determination to build on his return to form at Norwich.
'Until the fixtures come out I don't think promotion will sink in for everyone,' said Surman.
'To think we will be playing at places like Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge next season, it's hard to comprehend really.
'But I think once the fixtures come out it will be brilliant. Obviously I feel like I've got a point to prove. I feel like I didn't really get to prove myself last season at Wolves for whatever reason.
'I'm not bitter about it, it has just given me more determination to succeed here.
'So it's just great to be back involved in the Premier League. I know there are going to be new players coming in and players going out as well, and there will be competition for places next season.
'Everyone wants to play in the Premier League and hopefully I will be one of those who gets the opportunity to.'
Surman was only too happy to share another day of celebrations with the Canaries' impressive legion of fans – said to total 40,000 during last week's celebratory parade through the City – and conceded there was a tinge of sadness at the season having to end.
'The support has always been there, all season – even in League One the club was still getting 25,000; absolutely amazing,' added Surman.
'You can see how much it means to everyone anyway, but on days like this it is great to be celebrating with the fans – that's what it is all about really.
'It will be a nice summer. To be fair, we've been on such a good run it is almost like you don't want the season to end. Everyone has been enjoying their football but to end with a promotion, it's been unbelievable. So yes I am looking forward to having a break, but I think after a week or so I'll be looking forward to getting back into pre-season.'