Norwich City’s top 100 appearances: Adam Drury (14) – Captain reliable on his home club spell
361 appearances/4 goals
As we near the summit of Norwich City’s top 100 appearance makers, Michael Bailey catches up with former captain and title-winner Adam Drury…
Michael Bailey: Hello Adam. You were at Norwich City as a kid before you were released. So how weird was it coming back and City actually spending money on you?
Adam Drury: When you get released, you can get your head down about it but luckily I went the other way, got a decent offer from Peterborough and went there. Then Norwich showed their interest. I’d supported them as a kid, used to watch the lads like Gossy and Gunny. So when I left the club I was gutted. It was heartbreaking. But I was still a fan, so it was great to come back.
MB: Your boyhood club comes in and you finally get to play for them at Carrow Road. Does it take time to adjust to it?
AD: A little bit. You think of you standing on the terraces watching, and then to come back and actually play was unbelievable. I’d got to the point where I needed to play at a higher level and it was a great opportunity. I knew they needed a left-back too, so as long as I did well, I’d have a fair chance of playing.
MB: So they needed a left-back then as well?!
AD: Yes they did! I think Aidy Boothroyd had left Peterborough to Norwich as a coach, gave me a good reference to Nigel Worthington and they decided to take a chance on me.
MB: It was 361 City appearances – that’s a lot, isn’t it?
AD: It’s a decent amount. I loved every minute of it. It might sound ungrateful but I probably could’ve had more. I had a big spell out injured; missed a season and a half with that. But when I joined, if you’d said to me I’d spend 11 years and play that many games and have so many good times at the club… There were disappointments too, but the pluses outweighed the minuses.
MB: Any tips for Wes ahead of his testimonial season?
AD: Just soak it up and savour it. They’re great memories. People still talk to me now about mine. They still remember Celtic coming down and the atmosphere.
MB: So what sticks out from all your big moments at Norwich?
AD: It’s tough to choose… Being captain was a massive honour because I was quite young with a few older pros in the side. That and winning things. When you win a title, they’re the best times and I won’t forget any of it.
MB: Did you have to change once you became captain?
AD: Looking back on it now, the first year was brilliant. We got promoted, won the title, City Hall and all that. Unbelievable. But then going into the Premier League, maybe I tried to play up to the captain role a bit too much, tried to get involved in everything, rather than doing what I did before. It took away a little bit from what I was doing as a player. Maybe I felt I had to do an extra 10pc in games, rather than just concentrating on my playing. That’s one thing I look back on and think I could’ve done a bit differently – but I wouldn’t change it because otherwise I’d have never lifted the title at City Hall.
MB: So what does it take to stay at a club for so long? Some could have regrets about not getting to play elsewhere.
AD: I don’t regret it at all. I did have chances along the way. I missed a lot of the Glenn Roeder and Gunny eras because I was injured, but once I came back and the club had been relegated to League One, I felt the club had been so good to me I owed it to them to stay and help get us back. I was proved right and the three years under Paul Lambert were unreal. It was just a good fit for me. Maybe if I’d pushed and kicked up a fuss I could’ve moved on, but the grass isn’t always greener. I wouldn’t go back and change anything or wish I’d gone there for a couple quid more.
MB: What hurt most while you were here? You got your teeth knocked out at some point!
AD: I had a few injuries and yes, I got an elbow in the face, went down, felt something in my hand and said to Hucks ‘what happened there?’ – and he just burst out laughing because my front tooth was missing. The play-off final against Birmingham (2002) was weird because to this day, I still remember it as one of the best atmospheres I played in. And there was the Fulham game (2005), in terms of hurting and the way we lost. That was a massive disappointment.
MB: it remains the only game I’ve ever left early.
AD: People would argue some of the lads did too!
MB: You loved to defend. Why can’t all defenders be like that?
AD: Good question. Every day in the Peterborough youth team I used to practice one-on-one defending and it was something I thrived on. In the days of 4-4-2, you were always up against a key threat in their winger and if you stopped them, you’d stop 75pc of their game. One-on-ones, clearances, I loved it.
MB: So with that in mind, how much fun was it playing behind Darren Huckerby?!
AD: Well I got a lot of practice at one-on-one defending! It’s a joke – we both joke about it too – but we were a team. Although he didn’t tackle, he’d track back and do his job. And a lot of the time I was a decoy for him on the overlap, if I could catch him! We just had it down to a tee.
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