Norwich City goalkeeper Tim Krul has thanked the support of the fans after winning the 2019-20 Falcon Cranes Player of the Season award.
The 32-year-old has made 37 appearances in all competitions this season, the most notable displays coming against Manchester United at Carrow Road and Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, producing spectacular penalty saves in both.
Krul beat Todd Cantwell (2nd) and Alex Tettey (3rd) to get his hands on the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy and follow in the footsteps of last year's winner, Teemu Pukki.
Speaking on his journey at the club so far, Krul said a big part of his time with the Canaries has been his relationship with the fans.
“It’s been an amazing two years so far and some journey. From when I first came in to now, it’s been an incredible 24 months.
“I do feel there’s a massive connection there with the fans. It’s a shame they’re not at Carrow Road at the moment but leading up to the break, they were right behind us and the atmosphere is second to none.
“I had a rough start and everybody was doubting me after the first few games. And then the journey kicked in, I felt my confidence coming back and we started to get a few wins off the back of that.
“My relationship with the fans has gone from strength to strength ever since then.”
Acknowledging the challenges on the way, Krul says he felt he had to prove himself, especially when ex-City loanee Ralf Fahrmann was brought in to create competition for the number one spot last summer.
“It’s all about proving people wrong, especially after my injury, there was a lot of doubts about if I could go back to the level I was.
“Ralf Fahrmann came in and he’s a top-class goalkeeper with a great CV, so the pressure was on. I think that gets the best out of me. I’m hungry for more, I’m 32 but still feel like I’m in my early 20s.”
Despite the trials and tribulations of City’s Premier League campaign, the shot-stopper believes the season has been filled with moments to be proud of, regardless of position in the league.
“I always say that the Premier League is like a rollercoaster, but unfortunately this season had more downs than ups.
“There’s still been some amazing moments, like the penalties. Saving two in front of the Barclay [against Manchester United], celebrating with them and getting them all behind you, there’s no better feeling.
“Running towards 9000 Norwich fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, that lives with me forever, I still get shivers thinking about that night.”
Finally, discussing his Player of the Season award, Krul says it’s something to look back on and feel proud to have won in years to come.
“It’s a big honour. To be part of the history of the club is special.
“It hasn’t been the ideal outcome this season, we obviously wanted to stay up. But to get an individual accolade like this is something to be proud of.
“In years to come, I’ll look back on this trophy and realise in a few years how special it is.”