Dereham’s warm welcome sets the bar high for season aheadIn the first edition of his monthly Press Blog, Senior Club Journalist Ben Mouncer reports from the Canaries' opening game of pre-season.
Victory, a clean bill of health and the bonus of his new striker bagging a debut goal – but it wasn’t just Neil Adams who got everything he wanted from Saturday’s trip to Dereham.
Reliable internet. Caffeinated drinks. A seat with a view.
Ask any football reporter worth their salt for the three most indispensable tools required to fulfil their duty, and it’s likely most would offer one, two or maybe all of the above.
Technology (and teabag generosity) has advanced to a level where these privileges are nearly always taken for granted both here at Carrow Road and in the pressrooms of our peers around the country.
When it comes to the busiest time of the year, however - pre-season - quite often that reporter’s world is turned upside down when the best Unprepared United have to offer is the equivalent of a 1G connection, tap water and a ditch.
It’s never actually that bad, of course, but a real example: while our very friendly colleagues in Sacramento last summer had little trouble in positioning a raucous brass band directly outside the media box just prior to our match against Dorados, no-one could get online. At least the sandwiches were tasty.
That brings me onto Saturday’s Aldiss Park adventure, my first visit there, and how the United States of America could learn a thing or two from one of Norfolk’s finest towns.
The press room was fully equipped with the aforementioned reliable internet and caffeinated drinks and similar in size to its Anfield equivalent.
Our in-game positions were bang on the halfway line in the Magpies’ solitary stand – and led to our Chief Executive David McNally remarking that we had ‘the best seats in the house’ when he passed just before kick-off.
A Canaries victory always makes our jobs slightly easier, but access all areas was offered with a smile after the final whistle and we could even shuffle the waiting press onto the pitch for our post-match media routine.
It wasn’t just us hangers-on that benefited, either – our players and staff (the important people) were welcomed with open arms, as the tweet below from our Sports Therapist Shaun Spurdens illustrates:
As Max Bell & I prepare to join the squad abroad for nine days from Friday, we’re hoping such hospitality as that at Dereham awaits us so we can provide the wall-to-wall coverage that is dominating our editorial planning.
A decent coffee should be attainable in the Mediterranean, but does anyone know the Italian for ‘broadband’?