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Interviews

Tampa Bay Rowdies chiefs thrilled to host Norwich City

19 November 2018

Chief Operating Officer of the Tampa Bay Rowdies Lee Cohen (right) said it was "unbelievable" to host Norwich City's first-team during their recent visit to the city.

City visited Tampa for their warm-weather training camp during the recent international break and spent part of their time training at the Al Lang Stadium, home to the Rowdies, who compete in the United Soccer League Championship.

Cohen spoke to canaries.co.uk about the experience of hosting the Canaries and what he hopes the Rowdies can learn from their English visitors.

"We started this process in the early part of this year and never really thought that we’d be hosting a first, top of the table team here in Al Lang Stadium," he said.

"It’s been really exciting, we met with Sam [Jeffery, Norwich City's Head of Partnership Activation] and Ben [Kensell, Norwich City's Chief Operating Officer] the week before.

"There was that chance that you guys [Norwich City] would be at the top of the table and here it is, now we are hosting what is a team that is on the rise and is very similar to what we feel is for Tampa Bay Rowdies.

"Not only do I see a lot of the stuff that goes on with the players side of it but, but I also deal with the front offices and staff and just the uniqueness of the personalities that you have behind the scenes.

"We have been very fortunate to work with a lot of your staff over the entire duration of planning this trip and I tell you the crew that goes on behind it is very similar to the crew that we have over for the Rowdies and you have been a pleasure to work with and everybody is there.

"We don’t do soccer or football for ourselves, we do it for fans and you can see that everybody from your coaching staff to the administrators, to yourselves really care for being a good product on the field for the fans and that’s what we do here.

"It’s not for the players, it’s not for us, we do it for the fans and it obviously shows that you guys are the same way."

Head Coach of the Rowdies, Neill Collins (left), was particularly impressed with what he saw from the Canaries as they were put through their paces by Daniel Farke and his coaching staff.

Scottish-born Collins moved to the Rowdies in 2016 as a player and went on to be named as Head Coach earlier this year. He had previously spent the majority of his career at various English and Scottish clubs.

"First of all, I’ve played with and against some of the boys, so I know how good they are as players but watching the session, they worked very hard, something the lads said they do which is no surprise," he said.

"I think if you’re going to do well in the Championship you need to train hard and they are doing very well right now, top of the league.

"They worked hard but it was great quality, it was great for a coach to watch to see how another top coach works."


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