Grant Hanley signs Canaries' contract extension
PUBLISHED: 15:23 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:09 23 November 2018
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Norwich City captain Grant Hanley has signed a new contract keeping him at the club until 2023 and says he feels ‘over the moon’ to tie up his long-term future.
The commanding centre-back has missed the Canaries’ last 13 matches due to a thigh injury, having to watch on from the sidelines as Daniel Farke’s team have risen to the top of the Championship.
Sporting director Stuart Webber has shown his faith in the Scotland international despite that injury frustration though, signing fresh terms through until 2023, with the 26-year-old fit again and taking a full part in training during the current warm weather break in Florida.
“I’m over the moon, as soon as I heard they wanted to do it I was buzzing and just wanted to get it done as soon as possible, obviously always with those sort of things it drags along a bit before you get it over the line,” Hanley said, speaking at an open training session held in Tampa on Thursday.
“The injuries have been the frustrating part of the season but to get this done I’m really over the moon. As soon as I arrived in Norwich everyone has been so welcoming, the club itself has been first class, I felt part of it as soon as I came in, with the fans, the staff, players - and also my girlfriend, they’ve been great with her as well.
“It was a long way for her to go away from friends and family but she’s settled right in and loving her life in Norwich, so we’re settled and I’m really enjoying my time here. It was a no-brainer for me.”
Hanley was signed from Newcastle in a deal reportedly worth around £3.5million in August 2017 and has since made 40 appearances, scoring twice.
The Scot finished as runner-up to James Maddison in the player-of-the-season voting and enjoyed a strong campaign personally, even if last season did end in a disappointing mid-table finish.
“Football moves fast and obviously when I first arrived it took a while to get into the team because the lads were doing well,” Hanley continued. “Then I kind of get in and did well, and was in mainly until the end of the season and enjoyed it.
“I’ve been really enjoying my football at Norwich so it’s been frustrating this start to the season, the injury in pre-season and then just starting to get my match sharpness and another injury, for eight weeks or so, but I’m training now.
“So I’ve just got to keep myself right, keep going, work as hard as I can and hopefully get myself back.”
The former Blackburn defender underwent a series of injections to fix an issue in his quadriceps following the 1-1 draw at Ipswich at the start of September, having shaken off a pre-season hamstring issue to play every minute of the opening six league games.
With Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann performing so well in their skipper’s stead, Hanley knows he must be patient for his chance to return, but feels he is closing on full fitness.
“My rehab couldn’t have gone any better,” he added. “From the first day when we decided how we were going to do it, what the rehab was, because it was a bit of a strange injury, it’s been absolutely first class.
“The lads here, the physios, and Glyn (Lewis) as well with the sport science stuff has been unbelievable with the sessions he has put on for me. I really feel like I’m in the best possible shape I could have been for coming back into training.
“So I’m really grateful for that and thankful that we’ve got that support behind us, so it’s nice to be back in training with the lads.”
Head coach Daniel Farke told City’s website: “It’s brilliant news during this international break and Grant has proved a lot in the recent months and also last season how important he can be for us.
“Sadly, it’s a bit of a tricky season for him as he missed pre-season and has been out for eight weeks, but I think it’s a brilliant sign of the support of the club and the fact that he wants to sign a new contract shows how much he appreciates playing in the yellow shirt.
“It’s no coincidence we decided to give him the captain’s armband at the beginning of the season because he is a big leader and is always there with a great attitude and big fighting will for this club.”