Former Canary goalkeeping coach Jim Hollman has again insisted that there was no great mystery as to why he left Carrow Road last season – that's football, was about as near an answer as Ipswich Town's new No1 coach could muster.
?There was no cloud over the way I left – I was happy with what I did there,” said the one-time Portman Road apprentice, as both manager north and south of the Waveney make sweepig changes to their back-room staffs ahead of the new season.
For if City boss Glenn Roeder has been free with the axe over the last nine months, Town chief Jim Magilton has been equally ruthless in his shake-up.
What is interesting is the number of ex-Carrow Road employees now finding a living at the Canaries' East Anglian neighbours.
Ex-fitness coach Dave Carolan is the latest of a clutch of familiar faces to find a new home within an hour's drive of home – Alan Pearson's predecessor teaming up with Geraint Williams' U's this summer after his exit from Colney.
Up the road in Suffolk and former Academy chief Sammy Morgan and ex-City first team coach Steve Foley have both found a home under the Magilton/Evans regime. And while all concerned my be too polite to admit it, given the abrupt manner of their respective departures, all three might be in the mood for a spot of revenge as and when the East Anglian clubs bump into eachother.
Hollman's sudden departure attracted more speculation than most. He, however, insists there was nothing untoward going on – a fact given further weight by the sight of him becoming Town's new goalkeeping coach.
Football being football – and East Anglia being East Anglia – word would have swiftly spread had Hollman had a real skeleton in his closet.
As it was, he simply suspects his face didn't fit within 'Team Glenn' – all parties simply move with Norwich this summer appointing ex-Northern Ireland international keeper Tommy Wright to Hollman's old role.
Given that both Roeder and his No2, Lee Clark, knew Wright from their days at St James' Park together, it was just 'one of those' – a face they knew, they trusted and they wanted. The writing was on the wall from the moment that Roeder got the job – that's the way football is. In comes the manager; in comes his crew.
?As you can see the evidence is there that there was a change coming,” said Hollman, as he watched his close pal Carolan follow him out of the door this summer – for the fitness consultancy team Roeder worked with at West Ham. Pearson is putting City through their pre-season paces as we speak – locked away in Nigel Mansell's Devon country club.
?I work for Glenn for about two or three months and I knew the writing was on the wall and that changes were going to be coming,” said Hollman, now well-versed in football's cut-throat ways with kit-man Terry Postle and the whole phsyio team moving on to pastures new. One or two jumped – head physio Neal eynolds principal among them – most were pushed.
It's a brutal, nasty business – as the club's majority share-holder Delia Smith is fast discovering in her increasingly bruising takeover battle wit the 'King Of Deals', insurance bilionaire Peter Cullum.
?Sometimes things are portrayed as being shrouded in mystery, but they weren't at all. Managers want to bring in their own people and that sort of thing happens all the time. He has made a lot of changes ? in fact everybody I worked with last season is now working in football elsewhere,” added Hollman.
?Glenn is a well respected manager and he is going to give it everything and if he wants his own people then that's what he is going to do.”
Following Messrs Morgan and Foley across the border was made even easier by the fact that his blood runs blue.
?I grew supporting the club and I used to stand on the terraces. Then of course I had a brief spell here and when this job became available I worked hard to get it and I'm very happy,” said Hollman, a one-time youth team charge of Magilton's No2, Brian Klug.
?I obviously knew a few people here. A lot of faces are still here from when I left,” said Hollman, happy for his track record in Norfolk to be put up to scrutiny.
According to Roeder, the two teenagers that Hollman leaves behind – England Youth internationals Declan Rudd and Jed Steer – could be the best yet. No mean boast given that includes the likes of Robert Green and, of course, Peterborough's Joe Lewis.
?I think my record whilst I was at Norwich ? getting Robert Green in the England squad and getting him the move ? with regard to the Academy as well there were three England internationals to come out of that at the time [Lewis, Rudd and Steer].
?I put in a lot of work to building a reputation, now I'm going to give everything to Ipswich.”
Which, for now, finds Hollman turning his attentions to Shane Supple.
?I've worked with him a few times. He is looking very good ? he has got a tremendous work ethic and he is looking very strong,” said Richard Wright's one-time rival for that Youth No1 gig.
?I'm going to carry on with my principles and philosophies and he has shown in the last few days that he is prepared to work and prepared to listen. The combination of working in the right direction and him doing everything that is asked of him is a recipe for success.”
And the fact that he has returned to his roots merely adds to the 'buzz'. He's moved on; as has Roeder and Norwich.
?I used to scream and shout with the best of them in the North Stand,” he admitted. “Every time I came back here in scouting for Norwich or whatever you get a little bit of a buzz coming back to the team that you supported.
?I've got no regrets whatsoever and I'm delighted to be back here.”