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Club News


24 November 2016

Connections between City and their weekend opponents

DERBY County have a total of four former City players among their current roster, as well as a further graduate from the Canaries' Academy out on loan.

The quartet of Alex Pearce, Bradley Johnson, Jacob Butterfield and Jason Shackell have all previously represented Norwich in their careers, while Chris Martin is away from his parent club at Fulham.

Pearce spent time on loan at Carrow Road from Reading during the 2008-09 season, remaining with the Royals until last summer when he made the switch to the iPro Stadium.

Shackell was another to join City on a temporary basis towards the end of the same campaign, returning to the Club where he made his professional debut in 2003.

The defender left to join Wolves in 2008, and is currently in his second spell at Derby having also represented Barnsley and Burnley.

Meanwhile, Johnson joined City from Leeds United in July 2011, going on to spend four seasons with the Club; three of which were in the Premier League.

His final full campaign in Norfolk was a memorable one, the midfielder playing a vital role to help the Canaries earn promotion back to the top-flight at the first time of asking.

Netting 15 times across the 2014-15 season, Johnson was named Player of the Year ahead of becoming the Rams' record signing towards the end of the 2015 summer transfer window.

The paths of Johnson and Butterfield would have crossed between 2012 and 2013, with Butterfield spending 18 months at City after joining from Barnsley.

With first team opportunities limited, the midfielder moved on to Huddersfield via a stint at Middlesbrough and signed for Derby permanently last summer.

Multiple defenders have represented both clubs over the years, including Andre Wisdom, Daniel Ayala, Marc Edworthy, Spencer Prior and Zak Whitbread.

Wisdom was on loan to Derby and then Norwich from Liverpool during the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons respectively, being joined both times by Chelsea's Patrick Bamford.

Ayala also moved to Derbyshire from Merseyside on a short-term basis in 2011, before signing for City later that same year and subsequently going on to join Middlesbrough in 2014.

Prior established himself as a key part of Norwich's 1995-96 season, winning the Club's Player of the Year award in recognition of his efforts; subsequently leaving for Leicester before moving on to Derby in 1998.

The same accolade went the way of Lee Croft for the 2008-09 season, ahead of the winger departing to sign for the Rams.

Several others have played for both clubs, including strikers Ashley Ward and Robert Earnshaw, while former Derby midfielder Bruce Rioch managed City between 1998 and 2000.

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