Exclusive: Simeon Jackson grateful for his growing time at Norwich City
Simeon Jackson has no hard feelings at the ride of his football life with Norwich City coming to an end - only gratitude to the supporters for three years that helped him grow up.
• October 2, 2010: Impressive brace at Bristol City shows promise.
• April 2, 2011: Hits a stunning hat-trick at home to Scunthorpe – as a 70th minute substitute.
• April 25, 2011: Second City treble – including a 90th-minute winner – beats Derby 3-2.
• May 2, 2011: Diving header on 50 minutes earns City automatic promotion at Portsmouth.
• December 2011: First Premier League goal arrives in a 2-2 draw at Wolves. He then hits a 90th minute equaliser against Fulham.
The Canada international was released by the Canaries this summer, following 21 goals in 86 appearances and a Premier League promotion in his first season.
Jackson, 26, cost City a reported £1m from Gillingham in July 2010 and although he only got limited opportunities under Chris Hughton last season, leaves City with his head held high.
“I had a great time at the club,” he told the EDP. “I’ve experienced a lot of things, a lot of joys and lows as well but I’ve enjoyed every part of it. The time has flown. I remember when I came to the club I was 23 and I was growing up – and now I’ve kind of left... I arrived as a boy and left a man. I’m just delighted with how it went for me and now I’m looking forward to a new phase.”
Jackson reserved special praise for the Carrow Road faithful – some who felt the striker deserved more than just five Premier League starts last term.
“I enjoyed sharing some special moments in my life and my career with the fans,” he added. “They have just been amazing and it was so heart-warming that even when things weren’t going too well and I wasn’t playing, they were still rooting for me and any time I saw someone they’d say ‘You should be playing’.
“Even now the messages I get via Twitter and when I speak to a fan, they tell me thank you and appreciate my time at the club. That’s something really special and something I’m really going to enjoy and hold on to.”
But it was not only the fans in the stands that made Jackson’s time at City so memorable.
“The journey of getting promoted and how it ended, all the joys that came with it, it was an amazing time and you don’t get many of those in a career – so I’m grateful and to share that with a group of lads like we had was amazing,” said Jackson, whose final goal for City came in their FA Cup third round win at Peterborough.
“There have been changes but it’s been a good group and it’s still going to be a good group moving forward. It’s about the core and where the club is at right now – it’s at a good place and you sense that from the bottom all the way up.
“So it’s been great to be a part of it and I hope that continues for the club.
“I’d back them to kick on. Chrissy Hughton has done a good job since he’s come in and he is going to look to progress and strengthen – and I think you’ll see that with the signings he’ll bring in moving forwards.”
As for Jackson’s future, new Millwall boss Steve Lomas has already gone on record about his interest in signing the striker but he will almost certainly have stiff competition.
Either way Jackson – currently fitness training in Barcelona – is in no particular hurry to make a decision, be it remaining in England or playing further afield.
“I’m not sure what happens next at the minute,” he added. “Things are open and it’s exciting, definitely, because it’s a new chapter, a new phase. I’m looking forward to it.”