City coach Ian Crook was promising a radically different Canary team will start next season compared to the one that finished the last.
With David Marshall gone, rumours abounding over the future destination of Sammy Clingan and Wes Hoolahan and Lee Croft out of contract and away, there's four familiar faces that won't be teaming up with the City playing legend again this summer after he, boss Bryan Gunn and Ian Butterworth were all charged with getting Norwich out of League One next term.
Add that list to the likes of Alan Lee, Alan Gow, Ryan Bertrand, David Carney and David Mooney – all of whom arrived in Norfolk as part of that now discredited loan policy – and the Canaries were always going to have a new and unfamiliar look come August 8.
But as Gunn made clear after that Charlton debacle, you always sensed the City management trio were always of a mind to take an axe to those that had left their own reputations under a critical spotlight; that all three were determined to build a Canary side much more in their own, playing image than the mis-match of characters they inherited from Glenn Roeder.
“Will it be a very different side? Yes – it has to be,” said Crook, as he prepared to return Down Under for his own summer break.
“We've sat down and spoken about the way forward as a three previously – hoping that we'd get it – and we have a belief that we have a need to start developing and bringing the boys through from the Academy,” said City's first team coach, his cause helped by the fact that the Canaries will now have a reserve league to call their own again after last season's ill-fated attempt to get the odd friendly or two up and running.
“The benefit of us going back into the reserves league is that it'll take up all of that sort of area; that we can try to develop the boys up through the reserves and then on into the first team as soon as possible.”
One of the first beneficiaries of Marshall's swift exit is England Youth keeper Declan Rudd who along with his teenage pal and fellow prospect Jed Steer now has an opportunity to make that No1 gig his own should he shine in pre-season. Exciting prospects?
“They certainly are,” confirmed Crook. “Both of them – I think – will be top class keepers in their own right. And does the club's situation now bring it a bit closer now as opposed to what might be the ideal scenario?
“I don't know. But, for me, if you're good enough, you're old enough. Whether it's as a 17-year-old boy or a 38-year-old man, age really becomes irrelevant – if you're good enough.”
Both young men and the likes of Korey Smith and Co have a willingness to listen and learn; that, says Crook, is a big start.
“You usually find with the players at that age that they're like sponges – they just take everything on board and try to the best of their ability to take that forwards.
“And that's something that I'm looking forward to doing through that reserve team next year. I'll have them as a group in the afternoon a lot more – and in the mornings as well. That and work with Ricky [Martin] a lot in trying to take them to the next level.”
There was a strong sense of relief that – for better or worse depending on any supporter's stand-point – things were now sorted; that there would be some sort of continuity installed at Colney over the summer – even if Crook was only ever persuaded to return from Australia with the offer of an initial 18-month deal.
But, this being football, any change at the top would inevitably have cast a large question mark over his future as a 'Team Robins' or a 'Team Dowie' or whoever took to the throne.
“At least we now know what we're going to be able to do in terms of going forward; at least we've got some certainty in it now; that we know where we stand,” said Crook, his roots starting to settle back into the Norfolk soil.
“I left [Australia] with 24 hours notice and have now established a base here – and it's not like I could just up and leave. There would have been a lot of things to clear up, so I'm glad in terms of that aspect and looking forward to the challenge now.”
Given the way that Crook himself played the game – and the strong sense of footballing tradition that the club likes to carry into battle – is there a place to do that in League One?
“I think you can play in any particular way in any particular division – if you've got the right players,” said Crook, as a strong sense of practical purpose came to the fore, ie you can only play as well as the players you've got.
“But I think Swansea proved that you can play football and get out of this division; Doncaster have done it previously.
“So I don't think there is a 'set' way to play. But, realistically, most sides would want a nice, physical presence in certain areas – certainly at the back and up front. And then with some pace in the wide areas. And people that are mobile.”
At which point you start to bang the likes of a Luke Daley, a Chris Martin and a Tom Adeyemi into the coach's thinking. All strengthened by whatever Gunn is ever given to spend in this sumemr's transfer market.
“I think it's important to play in a style that suits the players that you get,” he said.