Pre-season preview – game 9
Opposition: Norwich City XI
Date: Thursday July 31, 7.30pm
What they did last year: City’s first team end a three-year stay in the Premier League as a tough run-in proved too much and they finished in 18th place with 33 points from 38 games. Their under-21 side fared considerably better, coming tenth in the 22 team Premier League under-21 competition with 31 points from 21 games seeing them finish ahead of the likes of Arsenal, Everton and Spurs.
How they’re getting on this year: Thursday will be City under-21s’ fifth pre-season friendly, with a mixed bag of results, so far. They lost the opening two, 3-1 at Boston United and 2-1 at King’s Lynn before winning 1-0 at AFC Sudbury and drawing 1-1 at home against Swansea City under-21s on Sunday.
We’ve met before: The Canaries provided the opposition for the first ever game at Woodside Park when we met in August 1999, and we nearly recorded a memorable victory to open our new home before two late goals saw the visitors grab a 2-2 draw. City also visited Rhodes Avenue twice, winning one and drawing the other game, while our under-18s regularly played Norwich’s under-16s in the Essex & Herts Border Combination, with City’s “A” team also featuring in the reserve division a the short spell.
They’ve played for both: Unsurprisingly it’s a pretty short list. Apparently Steve Morison was fairly successful after leaving Blues, moving on to Stevenage, then Millwall before scoring ten goals in 53 games for the Canaries. Apart from that, I can only think of youngster Rod Young who joined on loan on deadline day last season. The speedy forward certainly made an impression, but with Blues playing three times a week and Young being needed for Friday games in the under-21 league, his time with Stortford proved to be fleeting.