Gorleston boss Jon White has admitted that the club is 'buzzing' ahead of tonight's clash with the Canaries at Emerald Park.
And while he wasn't bold enough to predict an upset, White will be hoping that some hard graft in pre-season will pay off against Glenn Roeder's men.
White, who took charge this summer after the departure of his cousin and business partner Glenn Haylett, called his squad in for training almost a month ago and under the guidance of ex-Marine Andy Gray, they have been putting in some gruelling shifts.
Promotion back to the Ridgeons Premier League is certainly the number one aim this season, but the new Greens boss is hoping that they can put up a good fight against their more illustrious opponents this evening.
“We started pre-season training on the 19th June so we've been back a while,” White told me earlier. “We came back a little bit earlier this year and we've played a couple of friendlies already.
“I've been trying to find out what some of my newer players are all about. Some lads have come up through borough football that I don't know much about so it's been an interesting time.
“But hopefully I've got a squad that can give City a half decent game. I've got a fitness coach here, Andy Gray, who is an ex-Marine and a former pro boxer and he's been coming in and putting them through their paces.
“He's put some hard sessions on and the players have felt it. I've been watching and it was certainly tough; the lads should be fit.”
Whatever the outcome of tonight's match ? and only a very brave man would predict anything other than a convincing win for the Championship side ? it will be an occasion to remember for the Greens.
With a capacity crowd expected on the East Norfolk coast, these nights don't come along very often for clubs of Gorleston's ilk. And White insisted they are determined to enjoy it.
“The club is buzzing at the moment and all the people behind the scenes will be up there now putting the final touches together to make sure everything will run as smoothly as possible.
“It costs a fair amount of money to run a club of our stature and this is the perfect start to the season for us. Hopefully with the money we make this evening, we can aim to make more in the future. With tonight's revenue, it can help us put on other events.
“There is a capacity of 1,350 and I would have thought that it will be sold out. As it stands, there are only about 40 tickets or so left in my shop.”
Coming up against a team who ply their trade just one tier below the most powerful league in world football is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some of the Gorleston squad.
And with the prospect of facing Messrs Hoolahan, Marshall and Cureton on the horizon, White revealed there were some heartbroken faces when he announced the team to face City tonight.
“They're excited about playing against Championship players,” continued the Greens' chief. “We had a training session last night where I announced the squad and who was going to be involved and there were some disappointed lads; but it had to be done.
“We'll be taking a squad of 21 but only 17 will play a part in the match and it will be interesting for me as the manager to see how they get on.”
It's certainly been a period of upheaval for their Norfolk neighbours this summer and with nine players being released from the club ? including talisman Darren Huckerby ? it will be a new-look squad that travels down the A47 this evening.
And while there are sure to be more additions to come, White believes City are heading in the right direction.
There may be a hangover after the failed Peter Cullum takeover and it's fair to say that Canary supporters are not at their most optimistic at present.
But under Glenn Roeder, the Greens boss is not ruling out a successful season for Norwich – which, after last season's relegation-haunted campaign, will be a big ask for the Carrow Road club.
“Things can change very quickly in football,” White continued. “I think they have got one of the best managers in the Championship and I'm sure he'll do whatever is necessary to get them back into the Premier League.
“It will be good for me and my assistant, Martyn Sinclair, to pit our wits against an ex-Premier League manager.
“I'm not sure I'll be asking him for any tips, we'll have to see how the game pans out. But I'll be happy if we keep them at 0-0 for the first 30 minutes and then we'll go from there!”
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