City boss Glenn Roeder put the finishing touches to his backroom staff today by appointing former Wimbledon manager Stuart Murdoch as the Canaries' new goalkeeping coach.
Murdoch replaces Jim Hollman, who left the club earlier this month, and takes up his new post with immediate effect.
After the arrival of Lee Clark as Roeder's assistant and Paul Stephenson as first-team coach, the appointment of a new man to work with City's talented goalkeeping department looks to have completed the 'Team Glenn' line-up.
“I'm delighted that Stuart has decided to join us as our new goalkeeping coach,” said the Canary boss.
“I've worked with Stuart at Watford and he is an excellent football man and I believe he will gel well with the other members of the coaching staff as we look to take the club forward.”
Murdoch came under the spotlight during his ill-fated spell as manager of Wimbledon in which he experienced administration, relegation and relocation to Milton Keynes.
He was appointed as manager of the Dons in May 2002 after the controversial dismissal of Terry Burton and in his first season in charge he had guided Wimbledon to a tenth-place finish in Division One.
Murdoch remained in charge at Wimbledon throughout the disastrous 2003-04 season when, with the club in the hands of the administrators, it suffered the longest series of defeats at this level and with it, the inevitable drop into the third tier of English football.
The close season saw the birth of the Milton Keynes Dons, but the team's fortunes on the pitch remained poor and Murdoch was sacked on 8 November 2004 with the team second from bottom in League One.
He had recently been working at Bournemouth in a part-time capacity, but as he was keen to stress, the Wimbledon experience was all in the past.
All that mattered was the here and now and a great opportunity to be doing what he loves most ? working with goalkeepers.
“I learnt from my time at Wimbledon what a hard job football is,” said Murdoch during his introduction to the Norfolk press.
“It was a tough time, a unique time and it took me about eight months to recover afterwards because it was very draining.
“I was a goalkeeping coach before I was a manager and now I've gone back to it. It is a job I enjoy and it's one of my stronger points and I'm looking forward to it.
“Norwich City is a very attractive football club with a lot of good goalkeepers. I'm looking forward to working with them. Even at my age, you get excited about opportunities like this.
“I'm very pleased to be given the opportunity to get back into Championship football. I'll be working for a very good club and manager and look forward to helping get Norwich City Football Club back into territory that it's more familiar with.
“I've been out of full-time football for a while as I've have been working on a part-time basis down at Bournemouth but there is a very good squad of goalkeepers at Norwich and they will all be pushing each other right the way through the age groups. I'm really looking forward to it.”
It is the calibre of keepers Murdoch will be working with that should really be whetting his appetite with the likes of David Marshall, Matty Gilks, Steve Arnold and England youth prospects Declan Rudd and Jed Steer all at Colney.
The Canaries have always been blessed in the No 1 department and the former Wimbledon and Bournemouth man should have a lot of fun with his new charges.
There are high hopes for Rudd and 15-year-old Steer in particular and it is now Murdoch's task to push these young hopefuls into the first-team reckoning.
If he does, then the departure of Joe Lewis should not be as significant as some fans think it may turn out to be.
“It's an unbelievable situation to come into, with Marshall who's a Scottish international and the other lads as well,” added Murdoch.
“I had a good set of goalkeepers at Wimbledon ? with Neil Sullivan, who was a Scottish international as well, so I'm used to working with these types of players.”
He is also familiar with working alongside Roeder having been his assistant and reserve team manager during the City chief's spell in charge in Hertfordshire and Murdoch is confident they can carry on from where they left off all those years ago.
“I know Glenn from our Watford days but we've gone on our separate paths since and it will be interesting to work with him again.
“I'm not surprised at all at the job Glenn has done since he arrived here. Hopefully we can improve on that and keep going in the right direction.”
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