Norwich on tour – Scotland, Italy and Malaysia reunited

Pub crew, questionable half-time entertainment, international diplomacy – pre-season tours conducted by … Chris Lackey reports

Norwich City’s pre-season schedule came to an abrupt end this summer due to the COVID pandemic.

In recent years, Germany has been the city’s favorite pick, but so far it has been a trip up to King’s Lynn Town with the A47 and two closed-door matches at the Lotus Training Center in Colney filling the schedule.

Check out some last summer – and some experiences….

Delia Smith and her grandson Tom – with the Petronas Towers, the tallest building in the world in Kuala Lumpur
– credit: Archana


The city made its way into Southeast Asia and Malaysia, which were home to their patron, the Proton.

The trip to the automaker’s factory in Kuala Lumpur was part of the inevitable business commitments of Nigel Worthington and his players.

And for Worthington himself, there were inevitable questions from local reporters about the prospect of one of them playing English football. Diplomacy is the key here – and Worthy has implemented it well.

“I will watch Malaysian players play during two friendly matches against Selangor MBPG and the Malaysian national team,” he said. “If any of the Malaysian players are exceptional, we will pick them. If he wants to play for the club, he has to work as hard as any other player. There will be no compromise on the board of directors to attract players.”


Who can forget the Giro d’Italia, when City can best be described as a pub team: a friendly that requires some PR and some apologies.

The first game was cancelled, and less than 24 hours later, City’s next game went on just as Novara had outdone their opponents.

Somehow opponents have been found for the match with the local Serie D team SC Vallée d’Oste. City won 13–0, but their opponents were not SC Valli d’Oste.

The Italian club has denied any role in the match – who wants a 13-0 win over their record? — and he also issued a statement: “The [club] He denied reports on some websites and football news by playing a friendly against Norwich (at his retreat at St Vincent, Sunday 20 July).

Some of the City teams he played with were local amateurs who took the opportunity to play with both hands. So what did Norwich actually play against? Well, the municipality website described it as a regional choice in Aosta – and that’s how it stayed.

Goran Maric takes a volley during City’s friendly against St Johnston at St Andrews
credit: David Lamb


Scotland was an obvious choice for then-Canarian team boss Brian Jean. St Andrews was the norm… The golf city/university suddenly took on a distinct yellow-green color for a week. They’ve stunned those whose game comes with a baton and plaid pants.

A game against St Johnston would be played on the university grounds, a stadium only, with no stands or seats. But City fans don’t need to be invited to watch their team, and long before kick-off, a huge crowd has formed. The ropes were soon found and the crowd formed a safe distance from the stadium – with some hums and murmurs of locals who had lost the parking lot on the side of the road. City won the match 1-0. He won all six games before the season. They then lost their first season 7–1 at home to Colchester.


Half-time entertainment has taken on a whole new meaning in the quaint Swedish village of Ahlavors. How to describe it is probably better to leave to Chris Gorham of BBC Radio Norfolk than a column at the time…

“My limited knowledge of Swedish means I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but a boy in his twenties, I think, picked up from the crowd, had to run from midfield to the edge of the penalty area and put on a cardboard goalkeeper. Six balls from the top of .

So far, it’s been great, but after each kick, our new friend had to go back about 25 meters from the door and run around a cone before preparing his next shot to the tune of “Yaketi Sachs.” fell. Benny Hill. . Even if it’s just a side dish in this lag treat.

“The next job for this pro was to run where the center line meets the seam and smash burgers and drinks from a well-known fast food chain (yes, they’re in full effect here too…) close on the big screen of the earth. All this time and to make sure he walked with at least mild indigestion, our willing volunteer had to load across the field, climb into the front seat of a Volvo and blow the horn to stop the clock.

“Those of us more accustomed to the humble atmosphere of Carew Road watched it all in awe, tinkering with the idea of ​​how it could be adapted for a Norfolk audience. It wouldn’t have flopped as much, I’d admit. I am, like a Gutenberg stomach.”

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