Norwich City full-back Bali Mumba savoured every minute of his first season at the Club, and can’t wait to see what the future brings.
After signing a new contract with City, Mumba spoke to canaries.co.uk about his time in Norfolk so far, promotion celebrations and aspirations for the Premier League.
“It feels great,” he said. “I’m blessed right now to have the chance to sign a new contract here. It’s been an amazing spell, an amazing experience and I’m grateful to be here and continuing that.
“The experience has been crazy, especially coming from where I’ve come from. Having the season that I had with Norwich is one to remember. Not many lads get the chance or opportunity to have the experience of getting promoted and playing in the Premier League, so I’m buzzing about that.”
Mumba’s first league appearance for Norwich came in October last season, shortly before he made an impact coming off the bench in a 1-0 win at home to Swansea City.
“I was training hard and waiting for my chance,” he recalled. “When it came, I felt like it was time for me to really show what I can do and how I can impact the game.
“Unfortunately, I got an injury after that game which brought me down a bit, but it’s a process that happens in football. You have to go through that and now I feel like I’m back where I was and pushing to get more games.”
A number of appearances with City’s Under-23s team gave Mumba the chance to continue developing at Lotus Training Centre, and they were opportunities that he relished.
“I like the philosophy,” he said, discussing David Wright’s academy side. “It’s the same in the way they want you to play in the 23s as how the first-team want you to play - good football starting from the back.
“It’s good to have that connection between the 23s and the first-team, which will help some of the younger lads when they come up because it’s sort of similar and nothing new.”
Towards the end of the season, Mumba was back in the first-team squad, featuring against Preston North End and Reading as Norwich fought for the Championship title.
“It was an exciting moment,” he said. “I had to do the job because we had a few injuries at the time and it was a good chance for me to show once again what I’m capable of doing. Being back on the pitch and getting game time was good.
“The celebrations were just crazy. I was obviously gutted that we didn’t have the fans in the stadium to celebrate with us, but after the Reading game when they were outside, I got a good feel of what the atmosphere would be like if it was full.
“That was my first promotion so everything was new, but it was great to see everyone happy and see how proud people were around us. I was happy for the team and the lads with the hard work they put in in training behind the scenes. For it to pay off and get the result was good to see.”
Since then, Mumba has been hard at work to get himself ready for pre-season and the start of the Premier League in August.
“I’ve been preparing and trying to do everything I can to set myself up right so I’m ready when the chance comes again to grab it and take it,” he added.
“It’s exciting. It’s every young teenager's dream to be in the league that we’re in. Hopefully, I can just keep my head down and work hard and the chance comes, and I take it.
“I’m excited for Carrow Road to be full. I’ve seen videos and heard people tell me how good it is. I just need to see it for myself now which I’m really excited about."