Dereham Town boss plans a summer evolution at Aldiss Park
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Dereham Town boss Matt Henman is feeling positive about next season – even though he looks set to lose Dan Morphew and Shaun Bammant.
Defender Morphew, the players' player and supporters' player of the season, will be continuing his studies at university in Birmingham while striker Bammant looks likely to make his loan move to Lowestoft Town a permanent one.
While Henman admits both will leave big holes to fill, he is not overly concerned as he plans for a summer of evolution rather than revolution at Aldiss Park.
The Town manager said: 'Having established ourselves in the Ryman League (Division One North) last season in a really positive way, the next stage is all about continuity.
'The next development is to add one or two players to our squad who are good enough, hungry enough and young enough, so that in the next two or three years we can look to try and get up to the next level.
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'We're keen to add a little more depth and bringing in good young players has always been our policy. We want players whose ambition matches our own as a football club. We had a lot of changes last season, what with the Academy, the reserves playing at Step Six, and the first team moving up to Step Four, so now we're looking at reviewing what has happened.
'We'll make slight changes here and there where things need to be improved but obviously we've already adapted well.'
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Henman said he had 'one or to irons in the fire' as he looks to improve his talented squad which finished a more-than-respectable seventh in their maiden Ryman Division One North campaign.
He is confident that the void left by centre-back Morphew will be filled in the next week or two – but was quick to praise the departing players' commitment after continuing to play for the club despite moving to Birmingham at the back end of last year.
The Town chief said: 'I've had a phone call from a manager there asking about him and I gave the best recommendation I could. He's been great in the dressing room, is a great lad, has a great attitude and has been so committed. He will be a fantastic addition to a team in the Midlands. As for Shaun, the indication is Lowestoft want him next season and although he'll be playing two levels higher than he did for us, I think he deserves to give it a go.'
The Magpies' manager is not expecting a squad overhaul even though Town are now one of the most tempting places to play semi-professional football in Norfolk.
'Dereham is a great prospect as a club for any footballer,' added Henman.
'We won't be rushing around to bring in players though. We're getting a lot of interest, players think what we're doing would be good to be part of, but we don't want to change too much. It's all about evolution.'