There's been plenty made of the new era for Norwich City's men's team.

The excitement surrounding a reboot aiming for attractive football under a highly-rated young coach is understandable, especially given the frustrations of recent years in NR1.

But flying under the radar is another section of the new era, where change is the theme for more than one of the club's sides.

Arriving at the same time as Johannes Hoff Thorup is Andy Cook, the man tasked with leading City's women's team to promotion from the fourth division.

General manager Flo Allen is to him what Ben Knapper is to Thorup, and she's delighted to have appointed the former Nottingham Forest boss.

Allen appointed Andy Cook as her new head coachAllen appointed Andy Cook as her new head coach (Image: Denise Bradley/Newsquest)

"We're super excited to have Andy in the building," she said. "We went through a really diligent interview process, recruitment process, and Andy's experience, knowledge, appetite for growth stood out.

"He's got experiences at some top class clubs who have been making waves in the women's game, and that's what we're trying to do as well. Every conversation I've had with Andy has been super positive around what we need to do to get from this level to the next level.

"Every one percent adds up, and it's about making those small but steady steps. Super excited to have Andy in the building, his track record on player development and experience of what it takes to win is exceptional.

"I can't wait to see Andy get down to work with the players when the balls come out on the pitch. I know he's itching to get going, and so are the rest of the staff.

"I'm really pleased that he's our first full-time head coach as well, which is a landmark moment when you look at the evolution of our women's programme. We're making some real waves, and I'm delighted that Andy's joining us for the next step of the journey."

Joining the head coach will be new players, with work on signings already well under way this summer. After an impressive campaign last season, however, Allen says home-grown talent will be the focus going forward.

Home-grown talent like Eloise Morran (centre) will be the focus going forwardHome-grown talent like Eloise Morran (centre) will be the focus going forward (Image: Richard S. Brown)

"We've had some great discussions already, we have a real strong recruitment strategy, which does centre around home-grown talent," she continued. "So next year the squad will be based on our home-grown talent, which will be a core of what we try to do.

"There will be some exciting players that we see in a Norwich shirt next year, some new faces that we're delighted to bring to the club already. So keep yourselves posted, and there's more news to follow on that."

Investment will always be welcome despite that focus on player development, and £200,000 of it came when Mark Attanasio bought shares from the Appeal Fund Trust.

Allen's been pleased by the impact of support she's had from her colleagues both financially and with expertise, saying: "For us as a club we're all about long-term stability, long-term sustainability, so we've been able to invest in the programme for next year and beyond.

"We've increased the training load, the contact time for players, we've brought in expertise and specialised staff like Andy.

"We're doing some really good work at the training ground, we're embedded into the operations there. We operate out of an open-plan office where we've got experts in different pillars of the game, whether it's sports science, psychology, nutrition.

"That's credit to the club and credit to what we're building."

Mark Attanasio invested £200k in the women's team via the purchase of sharesMark Attanasio invested £200k in the women's team via the purchase of shares (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Part of that building process includes playing at City's home stadium, with league games semi-regularly held at Carrow Road since the women's team's integration in 2022.

Allen says more are planned for the 2024-25 campaign, and hopes benefits can be reaped from past experiences there.

"There will be two games here, minimum, that's already in the pipeline," she revealed. "It's massive for us; games at Carrow Road have such an impact on our community, our long-term plans.

"We see the success of the three games we've had in the last two years here, let alone County Cup finals. We've captured some real good data on who our audience is and what it is that they want to see as well.

"We think it's important that we create an event they can come to and have a real sense of belonging, go home and want to come back again. That's really important for us.

"But ultimately it's a football match as well, and to steal Andy's favourite quote, 'pressure's for car tyres'. It should be an enjoyable moment as well, and we've had lots of practice at it now. Hopefully it's just ingrained in what we do."