A dream has finally come true for new Canary signing Matt Gill after the 29-year-old Exeter City playmaker joined the club of his boyhood dreams.
The one-time Fakenham High School pupil yesterday became Brayn Gunn's first signing of the summer when he agreed a two-year deal with the Canaries and thereby ended a long and winding road back to Norfolk via Old Catton Juniors, Peterborough United, Notts County and the Grecians.
Not that he returns wholly empty-handed. Two back-to-back promotions with the West Country side and a Players' Player of the Season gong for last season's successful promotion charge are no mean return.
Few of his new colleagues at Colney will share that kind of winning feeling given the miserable path they've trod of late.
“I've said it before, but it's every boys dream to play for their home town club,” said Gill, as he signed in at Colney yesterday – and immediately, wittingly or not, confirmed the impression that Sammy Clingan would be on his bike this summer as one anchor midfield man arrived to replace another.
“So to have the opportunity to play for Norwich was an easy and quick decision to make,” said Gill, as he left St James' Park after three, valued seasons with the Grecians – first securing their place back in the Football League and then propelling them back into League One at the first attempt.
It would be some feat if he could add a third, successful promotion campaign onto his cv come next summer. But – of late – Mr Gill is not used to failure.
Gill met 'The Gaffer' on Sunday, but his mind it appears had been made up from the moment that Norwich made their interest known.
“We had a quick meeting in Cambridge; everything went well; the decision was made in my mind anyway,” he told BBC Radio Norfolk.
“It was really all about having a medical and when that was completed it was really a case of job done. So I'm really pleased that I've now signed.”
It will be a long way from the homely delights of Exeter where the Canaries played a pre-season friendly in the summer of 2007.
“The training ground is probably of Premier League standard and so's the ground down at Carrow Road, so it's going to be a great opportunity to be involved in it.”
For a passing midfielder of Gill's ilk – a player whose heart appears to beat green and yellow – the fact that one Ian Crook is now charged with his development as a player must add a certain something to the mix.
“In the past they've always been a very, very good footballing side which is the right way to play – and, hopefully, the way that I would like to play,” said Gill, who also managed to conjure up nine goals from somewhere last season – enough to make his City's top scorer last term.
It is that 'winning mentality' that Gunn, in particular, highlighted in his arrival speech; Gill has, hopefully, brings some decent habits to the party on the back of those back-to-back promotion successes.
“Obviously I've been used to winning a lot in the past two seasons,” he said.
“And Tuesday nights away in February don't worry me too much, so I'd like to think that I'll just continue what I have been doing and, hopefully, that'll work out OK.”
It all promises to be a big occasion as and when Gill finally gets to make his first competitive start in a Canary shirt at Carrow Road.
“It'll be tremendous – I'm really looking forward to it,” he said.
“My Mum and Dad are really pleased – to say the least – that I'll be moving back to the Norfolk area. It'll be great – and I just can't wait now.”