Come 3pm this Saturday, one former Canary will return ‘home’, looking to continue his good form after an impressive start to 2010/11 for new club Barnsley.
Jason Shackell made the move to Oakwell in the summer after a frustrating period at Wolves. To be brutal, his career never really took off at Molinuex following the move to the Midlands from Norfolk in 2008.
However, after a productive loan spell at Doncaster last season, where Shackell teamed up with new City defender Elliott Ward, he secured a move to Mark Robins’ Tykes.
And his new career in south Yorkshire has started well, with a goal for his new side against Middlesbrough last time out part of a decent start for the Reds, with Robins’ men picking up seven points from a possible 12 so far.
Ahead of his return to Carrow Road this Saturday, Shackell put his stop-start couple of years down to injuries, after an early career in Norfolk which held plenty of promise.
But he’s fit now and hoping to put down some roots at Barnsley. His talent has never been in question, to be fair.
“I started at Norwich quite well and then I had a few years with injuries – nothing major – but it hindered my progress a bit,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post this summer.
“Then obviously I was delighted to get the move to Wolves, but that did not quite work out to plan. However, I learnt a lot from Mick McCarthy and I thoroughly enjoyed my time last year at Doncaster.
“Now I’m looking forward to continuing my career and enjoying my time at Barnsley. I want to push on my career and the gaffer has made his intentions clear to me – I think we’re both sort of on the same page.
“I’m hoping in the next couple of years we can at least be challenging in and around that top 10. I’m excited and it’s like I said when I first signed – the manager made a good impression.
“I’m looking forward to working with him and obviously I have been around this league for a few years now so I know a bit about the place.”
But the Stevenage-born centre-back, who rejoined the Canaries on loan for that ill-fated struggle to avoid relegation to League One, is well aware of how tough life in the Championship can be – especially at one of the second tier’s least fashionable clubs.
“You have to go game in, game out – even at the top. And teams at the top probably work harder than anybody else because you are big-timers and everyone wants to knock you off your perch.”
His last taste of life at Carrow Road is not a particularly happy one, being part of the team who fell out of the Championship on that miserable day at The Valley in May 2009.
And he knows only too well the dangers that could lie ahead for Barnsley if they don’t keep getting those points on the board.
“I have been involved in relegation. It’s not nice when you are down there and when you are, it’s tough; it’s very tough to get out. But I was around the Norwich squad when they got promoted and I played a bit in the Premiership with them.
“Everyone is coming to get three points off you and it’s a tough league, as it showed last year with how tight it was right from the bottom up to the top. It’s going to be no different this year but I’m looking forward to it.”
Another former Canary, Tykes boss Mark Robins, will be returning to Norfolk at the weekend and after a spell at Rotherham before joining their south Yorkshire rivals last year, it will be the Manchester lad’s first trip back since becoming a manager.
But the former United striker, fondly thought of for his strikes in 1992 on his Norwich debut at Highbury, will certainly be looking to put a stop to City’s recent good run on Saturday.
Yorkshire’s bright young thing certainly knows what he wants to achieve at Oakwell.
“We are building something here at the moment,” he said recently. “There’s already been a lot of hard work and a lot of ground work but there’s still a lot to do.”