Grant Holt’s name is still worshipped in these parts, with memories of his goal-scoring exploits still looming large in supporters minds.
As a talismanic figure in Paul Lambert’s swashbuckling side who gained back to back promotions, Holt registered 68 goals in 154 games for Norwich. Holt has since had spells with Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa, Huddersfield, Wolves, Rochdale, Hibernian, King’s Lynn and Barrow.
He returned to the Carrow Road pitch as part of the team of legends who faced Inter Forever in May and impressed the 20,000 plus supporters who witnessed the game. Now, Holt is keen to host another event similar to the legends game after the success of that game and the money raised for the Community Sports Foundation.
“It was fantastic. A lot of us hadn’t seen each other for a long while. Even the older lads, they’ve got their little bunch of when they played together”.
“We always overlap and see each other, I see Rob Newman all the time and others as well, so you kind of see each other but you never get to be in that dressing room and have a chat and a beer together.”
Holt added, “I think everyone that came enjoyed it. If we can then I think we’ll try and do something similar. Maybe not this year but hopefully we can sort something out. We’re having chats about that between ourselves at the moment and hopefully we’ll speak to the club.”
“To still have that pull and get people through the door for a group of old men, essentially, it’s really good. Everyone came, everyone enjoyed it and it was a great atmosphere. It was nice and relaxed which everyone enjoyed. I wouldn’t rule out doing it again”.
He was left to rue a couple of misses on that occasion, something which he is confident won’t happen too often to new City recruits Teemu Pukki and Jordan Rhodes after they completed moves to the club from Brondby and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.
“They’re good. I’ve seen them before. With Jordan, you know what you’re going to get, Jordan scores goals. If you put things in the box, then he’ll score them. That’s not all he does, I think he gets pigeonholed that it’s all he does but he does a lot of work you don’t see”.
“Pukki’s different. He’ll back in and he’s strong, he’s deceptive. We played him when he played for Brondby, so I watched quite a lot of him. He does a lot of good things in the box, obviously he can bring other people into play.”
“It’s just about getting the best out of the two of them. They didn’t do that last year, it was a case of not moving it quick enough when they got into good areas, so it can only be a good thing for the club”.
He also discussed his tempered optimism surrounding the season as he highlighted the difficulty of the division, due to the money spent in the division.
“I think so [on being optimistic], it’s always difficult and you can never really say. No matter how well they do, there could be someone else. You go through the list and you think ‘they won’t do that well’, but then you look at Leeds getting Bamford, Middlesbrough’s pumping and Derby brining Lampard in to name but a few, Villa as well.”
“You look through the division and you can never tell who it will be. The most important thing is that they come on the pitch and entertain the fans and try to do what they want to do as a group. Holt added, “They’ve looked different this pre-season, more attacking minded as well as defensively pretty sure”.
“The most important thing is getting on a run. Get on a run and getting the fans behind you, people believing they can do something and trying to achieve something.”
“If you win games, no matter how it happens, 1-0, 2-1, then no one will care about entertainment. I’ve seen the best games in the world at Carrow Road but they’ve been beat and everyone remembers you’ve been beaten. You’ve got to win games, supporters will keep coming as long as they win games.”
Holt has now been appointed as an academy coach as he returns to the club to assist part time with the youth players at Colney, and arrives with a glowing reference from Norwich City Sporting Director Stuart Webber.
Holt, 37, has been working towards his coaching qualifications and gained more hands-on experience last season when he joined National League side Barrow as player-coach, making 23 appearances for the Bluebirds.
The full interview with Grant Holt is available to listen to below. Holt speaks to TalkNorwichCity.com’s Connor Southwell and MyFootballWriter’s Jack Goddard regarding his thoughts for the season ahead as Norwich City unveiled Woodforde’s Brewery in a new, long term sponsorship deal.