Norwich City’s summer continued on its merry way this evening with a 8-0 win over the combined might of RSV and Sparta Gottingen in the opening game of the club’s pre-season tour to Germany.
Fresh from Saturday’s 7-0 stroll over Gorleston, two goals from new-boy James Vaughan and centre-half Elliott Ward coupled to one apiece from Messrs Francomb, Morison, Jackson and Bennett completed a comfortable evening’s work for Paul Lambert’s men.
The Canaries have yet to concede a goal this summer and were tonight reported to be close to strengthening their hand again transfer-wise in the shape of Spurs right-back Kyle Naughton.
The 22-year-old, one-time Sheffield United starlet was reported to be on the radar of his former, teenage mentor at Bramall Lane – QPR chief Neil Warnock.
However, this evening the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle claimed that Lambert had stepped in at the eleventh hour in a bid to give Scottish international Russell Martin competition at full-back.
Naughton certainly fits the Lambert mould having twice found his way into the PFA Championship Team of the Year – once with his home-town club and once again whilst on loan at Leicester City last season.
That, in itself, is no mean feat given the season that the ever-present Martin enjoyed in City’s promotion-winning season. He’s young, hungry, athletic and keen to get on. He would certainly keep Martin on his toes – as well as offering further options on the right-hand side of midfield.
Naughton was part of a £9 million double raid on United in the summer of 2009 when he and fellow Blades defender Kyle Walker popped up on Harry Redknapp’s shopping list.
Neither, however, have been able to force their way into Harry’s first team thinking – Naughton’s learning curve continuing at Middlesbrough for the final stages of the 2009-2010 season, before last season’s highly-successful stint at the Walkers Stadium where he became Sven-Goran Eriksson’s first signing for the Foxes.
If tonight’s reports were true, it would complete a busy 48-hours for the Norfolk club with one-time Academy youngster Luke Daley exiting for the West Country and a one-year deal with Peter Reid’s Plymouth Argyle outfit.
In the meantime, City supporters who took a punt on their 2011-2012 season ticket delivering Premier League into their laps were today counting their many blessings as the Canaries announced their casual ticket prices for the forthcoming top flight campaign.
So for those who bought early and snapped up their season tickets at the top, discounted rate, a guaranteed home ticket to watch the Manchester Uniteds and Chelseas of this world roll into Norfolk averages out at just over £22 in standard areas.
Try to get one on the day on a ‘casual’ basis, and for such category ‘A’ grade games, the same adult ticket will cost £43. Almost double the price that the club’s 22,000-strong army of season ticket holders will be enjoying.
In fairness, the price drops to £33 for an adult ticket to a Grade ‘B’ clash; £26 for a Grade ‘C’ game.
In accordance with City’s strong tradition of offering decent deals for their younger and older supporters alike, considerable discounts are available for both the Over-65s and the Under-16s.
The bigger challenge will actually be getting hold of a ticket – with every one likely to be proverbial gold dust.
‘Super’ members get the first bite at the cherry; followed by members. After that season ticket holders will be offered the opportunity to purchase an extra seat – only after all three channels are exhausted will the truly ‘casual’ fan be given his or her chance to grab a ticket to see Premiership football return to Norfolk.
In many ways, it is a rightful reward for all those thousands of Canary fans who stuck with their heroes through thick and thin – in particular, those leanest of lean times that followed the club’s relegation to League One.
Now they are back in the big time – their loyalty and faith earning rich reward.
“We have worked hard to establish a fair pricing structure,” the club said, as it announced the new ticket prices. Tickets for the opening home clash of the campaign against FA Cup finalists Stoke City go on sale on Monday.
“[We] believe the prices for the games in each category represent excellent value for money for what promises to be another exciting season at Carrow Road.”