'I won't get mad' - Christoph Zimmermann on his respect for Norwich City rivals
PUBLISHED: 17:30 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 21:11 07 August 2018
Christoph Zimmermann will never get shirty at trying to force his way past Timm Klose and Grant Hanley this season.
The towering centre back was an unused substitute, behind the international duo, in the opening Championship draw at Birmingham City.
Zimmermann’s meteoric rise from the fourth tier of German football was rewarded with a new, improved deal last season.
The 25-year-old, however, insists he is still learning his craft and could not have two better operators ahead of him in the pecking order.
“With Timm and Grant I have two very good players in my position and of course I am fully aware of that,” he said.
“It is not a drama if they are playing and I am not.
“I won’t get mad. Grant is a Scottish international, Timm is a Swiss international, so we have very good quality in those positions. I am happy when I am on the pitch and I will try my best to help.
“If we play three at the back at times of course I would be happy to play with both because I can still learn a lot from them and they helped me last season to settle in.
“I hope, firstly, the team is doing well, we have more success than last year, and then on personal terms I would be happy to get the same minutes on the pitch as last season, because that was quite a lot; a bit unexpected for everybody.
“I had some very good games and others when my performance was quite poor so I hope to learn from that, to become more consistent, and obviously I know the teams and the players a bit better now in this league.”
Zimmermann was the star attraction on Tuesday at the Community Sports Foundation’s summer soccer school event, held at Carrow Park.
The Canaries’ defender took part in some of the coaching drills and was on hand for a grilling from the 56 children attending the week-long event.
“I enjoy the programmes and if I can help in any way then I always will,” he said. “When I was a child I would have loved to have this experience so I am happy to help. We didn’t have this in Germany.
“It is nice to take a step back from what you do every day because it makes you realise what a privileged position we are in. Just a few words or to sign something to put a smile on the children’s faces and make you feel better as a person.
“There have been some tough questions from the children, like who is my favourite player? That is something I would think about when I was younger but not now. It was easier to answer how many goals have I scored in my career.
“With me as a defender that is not a tough one.”
CSF coach Paul Loveday and his team know the wow factor attached to such high profile visitors.
“It is fabulous for them. We have 56 children here this week, four coaches, two volunteers and it is a big deal,” he said. “This is one of the soccer schools we run during the half-time period and in the summer holidays.
“We have one every week, and in different places. The children come along and have five days of coaching, lots of fun and as you can see they get to meet Norwich City footballers, which is a brilliant opportunity.
“We have had two or three of the City players attend and here the children were bombarding Christoph with questions.
“The CSF is a massive operation. We have our new building at the Nest and the soccer schools will continue there and that is going to be a fantastic place.
“Any parents interested in perhaps finding out more about what we do can either phone the CSF office or go on the CSF website. There is a list of the soccer schools, availability and the pricing.”