For the first time in over two years, the Norwich City Fans Social Club were delighted to host a players forum at Carrow Road, welcoming Mathias Normann and Sam Byram to the event.
After two years of Zoom events and limited access to those heroes in yellow and green, this was a chance for just under 150 City fans to put their questions to two influential players hoping to help guide the club to Premier League safety.
Compered by the talented Michael Bailey, those in attendance were afforded a peek behind the curtain into the life of a Premier League footballer. The personalities of Mathias and Sam shone through without, with their humour and banter making them an excellent double act on stage.
From Byram’s love to DIY to Normann reiterating his desire to stay at the club beyond his current loan spell, it was an engaging, insightful and enthralling two hours of chat.
The Norwegian midfielder also made a commitment with those in attendance to return his hair to the popular silver colour if he was able to score and Norwich beat Southampton on Friday or the Canaries are able to remain in the Premier League.
From talk around footballing heroes, candid conversations about recovering from injuries and the changes implemented by Dean Smith since he became City boss – both were open and honest in their answers to questions posed by both Michael and those in attendance.
Some would have thought it was Westlife on stage, as was the strength of the vocals when Mathias Normann led a rendition of Happy Birthday for one very happy City fan in attendance.
After two years of watching events on a screen, this was a welcome return to in-person fan forums.
We would like to thank our brilliant sponsors Fosters Solicitors who have helped through an incredibly difficult period owed to the pandemic and also our friends at Norwich City Football Club, as well as Mathias and Sam for their time.
Selections of questions asked of the players
Mathias, when are you going to dye your hair silver again, please?
Question for both – What’s the best and worst thing about living in Norfolk?
Question for both – You have played for a number of managers and coaches. How has the style of coaching differed at your different clubs and as players what type of Coaching motivates you?
Question for both: What are your biggest strengths/ weaknesses as footballers?
Sam – How did you manage to stay mentally strong while recovering physically from such a long term injury?
Question to both – who are your sporting heroes and why?
Sam – How hard was it recovering from injury, especially during the very difficult time going through the pandemic?
For Mathias – What’s the difference in standards, between the Russian premier league and the English one
Question for Mathias – Where is your favourite place to eat in Norfolk and do you prefer a roast or fish & chips
Mathias – Would you consider staying if we get relegated as we love you here?
Sam – Does your injury play on your mind while on the pitch or do you no longer think about it?
Question for both – Which players are you closest to in the squad?
Mathias – You have a fair amount of tattoos, do you have a favourite and will you have any more?
Mathias, who was your role model growing up, please?
Question for both – What did you think of the drum in the away end of Watford?
Mathias – Do you like the song that the fans sing about you? ( person who asked the question sang it to Mathias’s delight )
Question for both – What would you like to do when you’ve finished playing football?
Question for both – Do you still have to get in ice baths, how long do you have to stay in there and does it hurt?