I'm lucky Jim, says new boy Brennan
from the Norwich Evening News
NEW boy Jim Brennan has given his switch to Norwich City a big thumbs-up ahead of tonight's opening pre-season friendly.
The 25-year-old Canadian international – whose international team-mates played Cuba yesterday in the CONCACAF Gold Cup – is expected to make his Canary debut at the Royal Oak home of Harwich & Parkeston (7.45pm) tonight, with another outing on the cards at Brewers Green Lane, Diss, tomorrow evening.
And it appears the former Nottingham Forest star is more than happy with his summer move.
"I can't speak highly enough of them all – the players, the manager, the coaches," said Brennan.
"I didn't know any of the lads before I came here – only through playing games against them – but they've all been really welcoming and everything's been going really, really well."
Certainly, the Colney fitness drive has done little to ruffle the Canadian's feathers – pre-season is pre-season wherever you play your football.
"It's been going fine – everyone knows that it's just something that's got to be done and it's just a question of getting through it," said Brennan.
The last two weeks have at least allowed him the chance to get to know his team-mates and, in particular, to see City's rising young stars at work.
"Impressive," was the new boy's verdict on players such as Ian Henderson, Ryan Jarvis, Dean Sinclair and Jason Shackell.
"There seems to be a lot of good prospects at the football club and I've been very impressed. "Hopefully, it's just a matter of time before they develop into some great players."
Fitness regimes aside, away from work Brennan has begun to sample life outside Colney and, once again, he likes what he sees.
"Have I had much chance to see the city? Kind of," he said. "I've managed to have a wander round after training and it all looks really nice."
Worthington has pencilled in most of his players for a 45 minute run-out tonight, with the manager planning a complete change of team at half-time.
Phil Mulryne, Craig Fleming and Alex Notman are all likely to miss the trip to Essex with minor strains – but Worthington stressed last night that the trio's fitness was no cause for anxiety.
"At this stage of pre-season it's all about playing safe. There's no point in taking any risks," said the City boss, who is likely to include one or two Academy youngsters in his travelling party.
Harwich were the opposition when City played their very first match on September 6, 1902.
The Essex side travelled to Carrow Road last season to take on a team of ex-Canaries as part of the club's centenary celebrations and now City are making a reciprocal visit.
Harwich were relegated from the Jewson League Premier Division last season, conceding 126 goals in their 44 games, but manager Mitchell Springer has been busy recruiting new players during the close season and is delighted to be kicking off with such a high-profile friendly.
"It will be a good experience for the lads and I know they're looking forward to testing themselves against professionals," he said.
"We are very grateful to Norwich for bringing a strong team down here and I'm sure my players will get a lot out of the game, even though there will obviously be a huge gap in class between the two sides.
"One thing I can guarantee is Norwich will have a good surface to play on. Our groundsman has done a tremendous job during the summer and the pitch looks like a bowling green at the moment."
Harwich are hoping for a crowd of around 1000 for tonight's game at the Royal Oak ground in Main Road, Dovercourt. Admission is £4 for adults and £2 for children.
City's pre-season matches:
July 15: Harwich & Parkeston (Royal Oak) 7.45pm
July 16: Diss Town (Brewers Green Lane) 7.45pm
July 19: Peterborough United (London Road) 3pm
July 22: Tottenham (Carrow Road) 7.45pm
July 25: RBC Roosendaal 7.30pm
July 27: Young Heerenveen (Langezwaag) 3pm
July 29: Sportclub Cambuur-Leeuwarden (Franeker) 7pm
Aug 2: Utrecht (Carrow Road) 3pm