Angus Gunn described his return to Norwich City as a dream come true after signing on a permanent deal on Wednesday.
Speaking to canaries.co.uk, the Norfolk-born goalkeeper was delighted to be coming back home and couldn't wait for pre-season to get started.
canaries.co.uk: Angus, welcome back! How does it feel to have the deal signed and sealed?
AG: Quite surreal, to be fair. It’s a few years ago now that I was here on loan, and it was an unbelievable feeling then. Again today, getting the deal done feels the same, if not better because it’s more of a permanent thing now. I’m really looking forward to it.
canaries.co.uk: When did you first hear about the club’s interest in you and was the plan always to look for a move away from Southampton this summer?
AG: There wasn’t really a plan. My old club wasn't looking to have me back, so we had a few conversations over the past year and obviously I know a lot of the staff here, so I’m delighted to get the deal done and I’m really looking forward to coming back.
canaries.co.uk: When you heard that Norwich was interested in you, was it a no-brainer because you always wanted to come back?
AG: It’s the club that I grew up supporting and the strides that it has made over the last few years show it’s a club still on the up. So many positives from my side and I’m looking forward to hopefully playing a big part in the future.
canaries.co.uk: What’s it been like seeing the development of the club over the last three seasons that you’ve been away, when there have been two promotions and one relegation?
AG: On the pitch, they’ve been doing great things. Off the pitch, coming back and seeing the training ground and what it is today is another thing they’ve progressed with. I’ve been watching from afar with the team doing really well.
Hopefully, this season we can get our place in the Premier League and make sure that we have a good start and stay there.
canaries.co.uk: The training ground has changed a lot since you were last here so were you blown away by what you’ve seen today?
AG: Yeah, I think the academy building that we’re sitting in was getting built in the season I was here. The gym and training ground have taken massive strides in recent years and it’s a credit to the club and Stuart and everyone who has put it in place.
canaries.co.uk: What were the conversations like with Daniel and Stuart over the last couple of weeks?
AG: I spoke with Daniel and Ed, the goalkeeping coach, a few times over the summer, and they’re relationships that I have had for years now after the times I was here before. They know a lot about me, and I know a lot about them.
I’m looking forward to getting back here, enjoying my football, and winning some games for Norwich.
canaries.co.uk: Having that sort of familiarity with people at the club already will help you going into pre-season.
AG: Yeah, I think it will be a good thing for me. A lot of the lads who have come in over the last few years have done really well and I’ve seen them from afar. Hopefully, I’ll get to know them better and it seems like a really good atmosphere around the club at the moment so I’m really looking forward to adding something to that.
canaries.co.uk: Off the pitch for you a lot has changed and you’re now a father! How has that changed your outlook on life and what you’re like as a person?
AG: It’s obviously the biggest thing that could have happened to me, so it’s definitely changed me for the better, if it has changed me. I just want to enjoy life with my daughter and bringing her up in Norwich will be really nice. It will be a nice thing for me and my girlfriend to come back here and be a family together. I’m really looking forward to showing her Norfolk and hopefully she’ll enjoy it.
canaries.co.uk: Your father, Bryan Gunn, is a massive legend at the club - what was his reaction when you first told him that you were coming back to Norwich City?
AG: I speak to him daily and he’s quite involved in my career. It was something we spoke about over the summer. Obviously, he’s delighted with it, and it means he can come back and have a few more golf sessions in Norfolk this year! From my side, the main thing is to get settled and start pre-season well and make sure that we start as a team and hopefully stay up.
canaries.co.uk: The squad has changed quite a bit since you were last here, but you know Hanley, Zimmermann, Hernandez and Stiepermann, so already having a bond with those guys is going to help you coming into pre-season, isn’t it?
AG: One hundred percent. There are a few guys at the Euros as well, so they’ll deservedly get a bit of extra time off and we’re all watching their progress over the summer. I know a few of the lads and a lot of the staff as well so from my side it will be nice and hopefully, I’ll feel comfortable from the off.
canaries.co.uk: You’ve got some important Premier League experience over the last couple of seasons. Do you think that will help you to give some of the lads without that some advice and guidance?
AG: I’ve been in that situation before. When I first went to Southampton, I had to bide my time and by the end of the season I thought I’d done a good job and helped them stay in the league. Hopefully, there will be many more players coming in this summer. I want to add something to the group, make bonds with everyone and make sure we’re a strong team.
canaries.co.uk: There’s plenty of competition for places in your position, which is going to help push everyone on isn’t it?
AG: Watching from afar over the last few years, Tim’s done a great job and last time I was here Michael was here too, so I know him quite well. We’re going to have a great working group with Ed and I’m really looking forward to the first day of pre-season and working really hard.
canaries.co.uk: Finally, can you sum up, as someone who’s grown up in Norfolk as a Norwich City fan, how it feels to be back as a permanent member of the first team?
AG: It’s a dream come true. When I came back on loan, that was something I really wanted to do but it wasn’t permanent. Now, coming back as a permanent signing feels more real and I can’t wait to see a full Carrow Road, hopefully at the start of the season.
I can’t wait to see that atmosphere and be there for the first game of the season.