WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Norwich City’s 2014/15 Play-Off winning team
Norwich City are currently top of the Sky Bet Championship after 15 games in the 2020/21 season. The Canaries were relegated from the Premier League last year after just one season back in the top-flight.
It is fair to say Daniel Farke’s side struggled last season, but the start of this campaign has shown that they are more than capable of performing in the second tier.
While they enjoy holding that top spot in the Sky Bet Championship, we thought it would be nice for Norwich fans to have a look back at one of their successful promotion teams in the past. The most recent promotion in 2019 contained several players that are still at the club, so we’ve gone for a bit more of a throwback and instead will take a look at the team that won the 2014/15 Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final and see where they ended up:
Goalkeeper: John Ruddy – Truth be told, Norwich’s keeper did not have much to do in their 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough back in 2015, but he played a key role in the club’s promotion. John Ruddy remained with the Canaries until July 2017 when he opted to move to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Ruddy is still on the books at Molineux but rarely gets a look-in, with Portuguese international Rui Patricio being preferred.
Defender: Steven Whittaker – Assisting one of the goals in the famous 2-0 victory, Steven Whittaker is perhaps one of the players from that day that Canaries fans may have forgotten about. The Scottish full- back stayed at Carrow Road until July 2017 before moving to Scottish Premier League side Hibernian. Despite being 36 and nearing the end of his career, Whittaker still plays regularly for Scottish Championship side Dunfermline.
Defender: Russell Martin – Martin is Mr Norwich City, so it’s unlikely that many Canaries fans have forgotten about him, but his career has certainly taken a different path since the 2014/15 Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final. The central defender was on the books at the East Anglian side until 2018 before moving to Walsall as a player/coach. Martin was at the Midlands club for just a matter of months before moving to MK Dons. He featured regularly as a player there, helping them achieve promotion from the fourth tier of English football, before retiring in November 2019 to take charge of the club as a manager. He remains in charge of the Sky Bet League One club and is one of the youngest managers in the Football League.
Defender: Sebastien Bassong – The former Cameroon International is one of the most experienced players on this list but unfortunately currently finds himself without a club. Similarly to other names on this team sheet, Bassong was a Norwich City player until July 2017 when his contract at the club expired. The central defender remained without a club for over a year before he joined Sky Bet League One side Peterborough United. Things didn’t quite work out for Bassong in Cambridgeshire, and he joined Greek side Volos NPS. His contract at the Greek club ended in January 2020 and he has remained without a club since then. Reports over summer did suggest that Bassong had been training with an unnamed Ismithian Premier League side, however nothing was confirmed.
Defender: Martin Olsson – Perhaps another player that Canaries fans may not have followed the career path of Olsson is currently plying his trade in his native Sweden, representing Helsingborg. Olsson moved back to Sweden after spending just shy of a year without a club. He played for Norwich City until he was sold to Swansea City in January 2017. The left-back spent two years with the Welsh club before they opted not to renew his contract in July 2019.
Midfielder: Nathan Redmond – Redmond is one of just two players in this team that are currently still in the Premier League. This one is quite simply as well, as Redmond is still at Southampton, the club that he left Norwich City to join. It is fair to say he is a regular as well, playing six times this season for the Saints. Since leaving Norwich, Redmond has also gone on to play for England at senior level, making his first and only appearance in 2017 in a defeat to Germany.
Midfielder: Jonny Howson – I expect that all Norwich fans will know where Howson is nowadays. The central midfielder lined up against the Canaries on Saturday November 23 for Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship. Middlesbrough are the only club that Howson has played for since he swapped Carrow Road for the Riverside in July 2017.
Midfielder: Alex Tettey – Well this is an easy one. Alex Tettey is the only player from the Starting XI that day that is still currently on the books at Carrow Road. Although he isn’t much of a regular this season with just two league appearances, the Norwegian will always be remembered fondly by Norwich City fans.
Midfielder: Bradley Johnson – There are a number of names on this list that Norwich fans will come up against this season and Bradley Johnson is one of them. The versatile midfielder currently plays for Blackburn Rovers in the Sky Bet Championship and has started the season well, scoring three goals in nine league games. Johnson left Norwich just months after their promotion, moving to Derby County where he spent four seasons before moving to Lancashire.
Midfielder: Wes Hoolahan – Ten years of service for Norwich City ranks Hoolahan highly amount Canaries’ greats. Those ten years came to an end after his contract at Carrow Road expired in July 2018, but he was not without a club for long, joining West Brom in September 2018. His time at West Brom barely amounted to anything, and the former Republic of Ireland star moved to Australia to join Newcastle Jets in August 2019. Hoolahan clearly struggled down under, and he moved back to England in July 2020, joining Sky Bet League Two side Cambridge United.
Striker: Cameron Jerome – We’ve saved perhaps one of the most bizarre transfers for last, and it is in the form of Cameron Jerome! The proven goal scorer remained a Norwich City player until January 2018 when he moved to Sky Bet Championship side Derby County. Things did not work out for Jerome at Derby, and he was sold to Turkish side Goztepe at the end of the 2017/18 season. Jerome spent two years playing in the Turkish top-flight before joining Sky Bet League One side MK Dons on a free transfer in October 2020.
So that’s it, our look back at Norwich City’s 2014/15 promotion team is complete. Norwich fans will be hoping that this year’s crop of players can achieve what this group did over five years ago and they’ve certainly put themselves in a position to do so with their start to the 2020/21 campaign.