Date:Wednesday August 9 2006
We talk to Richard Matthews, the editor of Vital Norwich, about the upcoming game, and the oldest surviving club anthem.
How was pre-season (transfers etc) and the start of the season?
Many fans at Norwich are frustrated at a lack of signings. New boy, Lee Croft, is already proving to be value for money, but we still lack a tall striker. Their are all kinds of rumours about top level strife as Worthington dismissed Chris Sutton's personal approach to play for his first club, which many believe is the reason that the board refused to stump up the cash for Steve Howard.
What are your hopes for the season?
After such a poor display last season that saw us hovering above the relegation zone at Christmas when so many of us expected to be at least in the play of places, most will say that promotion is the minimum expected, whether automatic or via Cardiff (as it seems Wembley won't be ready in time). The games against Leeds and Preston have sounded
far more like a Norwich of old, so we have much to be cheerful about. Top 6, at least.
What do you think the score will be?
As I have mentioned, much more of the Norwich game seems to be turning towards the style loved by so many, which means that skilfull players of the ball on the floor are getting better chances. I would have to say 2-1 to Norwich, especially as we now have a third
option of attck in Lee Croft and we aren't so dependent on Darren Huckerby to make all of the plays.
What do you think of Luton as a team?
Luton have done exceedingly well over the past few seasons, especially the good hiding that they gave Norwich at Kenilworth Road last year. It is good to see them heading back to the days when they were amongst the top flight clubs, and the players attracting
interest from other clubs. It shows that Luton has made its mark. No longer the underdogs
of the Championship, they will certainly be knocking on the door to promotion back to the Premiership. And good luck, so long as it isn't at Norwich's expense
Who will you be looking out for from us?
I think that Worthington's interest in Carlos Edwards shows that he thinks the
Trinidad and Tobago international would be safer when playing for us rather than against us. Edwards's winning goal on the opening day of the season is proof of that. Other than Edwards, Norwich seem to be capable of dealing with most, especially with Jason Shackell and Gary Doherty putting up an almost impenetrable defense.
And lastly, what songs should we listen out for from your fans?
Most Norwich songs are aimed at near neighbours and arch rivals, Ipswich Town, but you will hear On Th Ball City frequently. Our club anthem is the oldest surving club song, although only the chorus is sung nowadays. The whole ground now sing it before kick-off, Norwich's answer to the All Black's Hakka. The words are
Kick it off, Throw it in
Have a little scrimmage
Keep it low, splendid rush
Bravo, win or die
On The Ball City
Never mind the danger
Steady on, now's your chance
Hoorah, we've scored a goal
As you can tell, rather old. Believed to have been written by a club director as the club entered the twentieth century, the words have hardly changed, although you will wonder at how the words fit the tune today.
In conclusion, I anticipate a good game with both clubs out to win. May the best one do so, although I hope, of course, that Norwich is the best on the day.
Thanks to Richard for this, and best of luck to both teams on Saturday (slightly more to Luton perhaps....)
Date:Wednesday August 9 2006
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