In his first pre-season with the Norwich City first-team, centre-back Andrew Omobamidele is relishing his time in Daniel Farke’s side.
The academy graduate was quick to acknowledge the clean sheet from Tuesday’s 1-0 win against Lincoln City at Lotus Training Centre, despite accepting the Canaries weren’t at their most free-flowing going forward.
“It wasn’t perfect today but as a centre-back all you really care about is the clean sheet,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a friendly, you pride yourself on clean sheets.
“We struggled a bit to find the solution in the final third, the last pass and final touches weren’t quite on it, but we got the win.
“It was a bit more competitive and aggressive [than against King’s Lynn Town] so we had to move the ball quickly.
“Going into the best league in the world, you need to be tested in pre-season so these games are perfect.”
There have been plenty of new experiences for Andrew and his younger teammates in the past few days and weeks, but he’s learning to adapt quickly.
“I’m just cherishing every minute I can get,” he said. “I’d play 90 minutes every week if I could!
“We’ve been in a lot and doing a lot of running. It’s a new challenge because it’s my first time with the first-team during pre-season.
“Recovery is so important, it’s like half your day. Train, eat, sleep, repeat. It’s as important as training.
“I knew it was going to be hard because of the step up from the Under-23s but I didn’t really know what to expect. It’s been hard running but I’m getting used to it now.”
As for the senior teammates who have helped the younger players and new signings settle in, Andrew need look no further than Ben Gibson and Grant Hanley.
“Gibbo and Grant are great, especially for young players, and I’m in their position, so I’m just trying to pick from each of them and get bits of experience on and off the pitch,” he said.
“It’s a great group. Anyone coming into it can settle in well. We have senior players and younger ones but the new players have settled in really well already.
“Even though it’s a friendly, we’ve won two from two now and we want to take the momentum from pre-season into the league so we’ll go into [Huddersfield on Friday] with the same mentality. We want to win games and work on stuff that needs to be worked on.”