There's going to be an awful lot of wheat and chaff separation at Norwich City this summer.

Although tactics, culture and philosophy will all be subjects for new head coach Johannes Hoff Thorup to tackle, deciding which of the Canaries' players are good enough to play a role is a huge part of his remit in pre-season.

For many this centres around young players, those returning from loans or thriving in the academy, but at the other end of the squad management scale there's a large group of older ones keen to make an impression.

With sporting director Ben Knapper's mission to lower the age profile of the squad, it would be simple to suggest that they're all dispensable, and that all he needs is a new club to ship them off to. But it's not quite that simple.

The new head coach talked up the importance of experience at his unveilingThe new head coach talked up the importance of experience at his unveiling (Image: Denise Bradley/Newsquest)

At Thorup's official unveiling as City boss he spoke at length about how important experience was to him, highlighting the age of the spine of his team at Nordsjaelland. It's true that his first-choice goalkeeper was 28, his deep-lying midfielder 31 and centre-back Kian Hansen, his captain, was 35, only two weeks younger than Thorup.

The Dane is known for his development of young players, and that's part of why Knapper appointed him, but it's likely he'll bring the same principles with him when it comes to older heads.

The good news on that front is that he has a few to choose from. Although the end-of-season cull saw Danny Batth and Ben Gibson depart months after Adam Forshaw and Hwang Ui-jo had, there remains a lasting legacy from David Wagner's mission to add age to the dressing room.

George Long, Grant Hanley, Shane Duffy, Kenny McLean, Christian Fassnacht, Onel Hernandez and Ashley Barnes are all in their 30s, and many of them played key roles last term. In some cases, it's easy to see why.

Older players formed the base of David Wagner's squad last seasonOlder players formed the base of David Wagner's squad last season (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Duffy has had off-pitch issues and struggles in possession at times, but he was defensively solid on a regular basis and reliable when under pressure. Barnes has shone in the Premier League and helped Josh Sargent achieve the best from he's shown in a Norwich shirt.

Hanley made an impression on the Euro 2024 stage despite Scotland's meagre showing. McLean was voted City's player of the season and was almost faultless during the 2023-24 campaign. Even Long, Hernandez and Fassnacht had bright moments in their supporting roles, and they've all represented their countries at various levels.

They can't all be perfect, however, and they can't all justify considerable wages at a tough financial time for the club.

So Thorup's role is to decide who can make the grade, who's still capable of playing at the heart of a Championship side aiming for promotion, and analysing the ramifications with Knapper.

Thorup will work closely with sporting director Ben Knapper (left) on squad buildingThorup will work closely with sporting director Ben Knapper (left) on squad building (Image: Denise Bradley/Newsquest)

In any case it feels unlikely to be a removal of experience on par with Daniel Farke's in 2017, but much like that one it will take time. The new man's judgement doesn't necessarily mean players will leave straight away, as Farke found out over the course of his first year in English football.

None of Russell Martin, Cameron Jerome, Matt Jarvis or Steven Naismith played key roles in the promotion success of 2018-19, but they were all still at the club six months after the German's arrival and it took more than a year to get the last of them off the books.

Much like the rest of the new era, pruning the squad's older members will be a slow process, but likely not one as exhaustive as some that have gone before. Thorup's opening message was clear: everyone's a part of the regime until he says otherwise.

For City's more experienced players, it isn't quite as closed a door as many predicted. But with plenty to prove and youngsters keen to replace them, they'll have to be hard at work this summer.