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Canaries returning to Aldiss Park

PUBLISHED: 11:40 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 14:34 07 July 2010

Dereham Town's bid to improve on their best ever season will get off to an ideal start with the visit of a Norwich City team - which could include some of the expected influx of new summer signings.

Dereham Town's bid to improve on their best ever season will get off to an ideal start with the visit of a Norwich City team - which could include some of the expected influx of new summer signings.

A Canaries' XI - managed by first team coach Paul Stephenson - will visit the Magpies on Friday, July 25.

The match comes just after the two-game tour of Sweden on July 19 and 22 and just before the high-profile pre-season friendly with Spurs at Carrow Road on Monday July 28.

While the Dereham match is likely to be mainly aimed at giving fringe players a run out, there is a chance that new signings and first team regulars needing extra match practice could feature.

Norwich and Dereham have built up a close relationship in recent years and thousands of fans have flocked to Aldiss Park for previous pre-season friendlies.

City spokesman Joe Ferrari said: “We are delighted to be sending a team to Dereham. We have been there previously and it has always been a great facility and a very good pitch.

“There are a lot of Norwich fans in the Dereham area and it will be good experience for the lads as they prepare for the next Championship season.”

Dereham will be hoping for a crowd of at least 1,000 - which could be boosted even further if news emerges of high-profile City players being on show.

Dereham chairman Simon Barnes said: “This is what the club is all about, to have big fixtures like this.”

He said it would be a great preparation for the new campaign as the Magpies look to build on their best ever finish of fourth in the Ridgeons League.

“We want to progress,” said Barnes. “And we need the support of the community.”

He said an extra 50 people on the gate every match would really help the club.

“Our average has been 150, and if we could get it over 200 it would make a lot of difference. Some of the football we have played has been excellent.”

Dereham manager Matty Henman has just re-signed Danny Beaumont on a two-year deal and other promising players Scott Gray, Stuart Garner and Jay Eastoe-Smith on one-year deals and expects others to re-sign as well as bringing in new faces.

Henman has made a new striker his main priority for next season.

The announcement of the City XI game comes as Dereham officials are launching a fresh push to promote the club for the whole community.

Aldiss Park will be hosting a summer fete on Sunday, June 29 from 1pm with a range of attractions including a fun fair, go karts, dozens of stalls, a charity match between Dereham and Radio Broadland.

Events manager Nicki Marshall said: “We're really going for it to show people that the club is not just a football club. We want to bring the town together.”

Among other events are a Magpies Ball on Friday, May 23, 7 for 7.30pm. A table for 10 is still available, £40 per ticket.

On Saturday, May 24 there is a live music evening in a marquee at the club, doors open at 6.45pm.

Dereham band Union Jacks will play from 7-8pm and then Norfolk groups Breathe, Second To None and Mister Pink will all play hour-long sets.

Tickets cost £5 in advance, £10 on the door.

Car boot sales are also held every Sunday from 9am-noon, pitches £5.

The club can be contacted on 01362 690460.

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