Dereham Rugby Club look to bright future

Dereham Rugby Club under a blanket of snow at the weekend. Picture: Ian Clarke.

Dereham Rugby Club under a blanket of snow at the weekend. Picture: Ian Clarke. - Credit: Archant

Dereham's perfect league record this season has provided hope of a bright future for the club.

After dropping out of the Eastern Counties League, Dereham have regrouped in Norfolk Merit League Division Two, winning all 12 of their fixtures to date.

It is a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for a club whose future was threatened by a lack of players and president Graham Eaglesham believes Dereham are now on a sound footing: 'We have consolidated,' he said. 'Most of the team are under the age of 30 and we have a young coach, Matt Goodwin, who is doing the RFU coaching course at Easton College, and he is a very good lad, full of enthusiasm.

'We've got good numbers at training and the thing we have now is consistency. The young lads want to play week in, week out and we have the makings of a very good side who will grow and get better.'

Dereham, who play their home games at Moorgate, are five points clear of their nearest challengers, Lowestoft & Yarmouth II and this Saturday – weather permitting – they travel to face fourth-placed Holt III.

Eaglesham said: 'Hopefully we can get up in to Division One next season, which is probably the level we should be at now. We want to get back into the Eastern Counties League as soon as possible.

'We have some good ball carriers in the side, but we maybe lack a bit of pace in some areas, so we are not the complete team yet. We play to our strengths.'

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He praised the contribution of captain Craig Chester as well as club stalwarts Billy Parfitt and Ray Drew and added: 'Everyone is enjoying their rugby at the moment and the atmosphere at the club is very good. We are solvent and the social side is strong, it is a very inclusive club.'