Former Dereham Town midfielder signs for Cambridge United

Former Dereham Town midfielder Luke Hannant has jumped at the chance to return to Cambridge United, after bringing an end to his time at Port Vale.

The 25-year-old scored four goals and set up another seven during 50 matches for Vale this season but switches to the U's following the expiration of his contract.

Hannant, originally from Great Yarmouth, was part of Norwich City's youth system until he was 14 and then joined Cambridge, but following his release at 18 he started out in senior football with Dereham, while studying sports science at Northumbria University.

"As soon as I found out there was an opportunity to come back to Cambridge United, it was a no-brainer for me, and my family are equally pleased for me to have the chance to return to Cambridge," said Hannant. "It's really nice to come back and work together with a few familiar faces. Bonz (Mark Bonner, assistant head coach) was my youth team coach at the time and likewise Matt Walker (head of performance) was here too when I first came in at 15.

"It's great to move to somewhere where people know how I work and what my attributes are. The experience I have gained since I was last here has been massive because I don't feel at that time I was quite ready to go into the professional game.

"The time away and working my way back up has really helped me to mature and allowed me to now not take anything for granted and work as hard as I can."

Vale and Cambridge both avoided relegation from League Two, with Hannant securing his Football League future with a two-year contract. He helped Dereham win the Eastern Counties title in 2013 and joins another former Magpies player in making a move, with Frazer Blake-Tracy last week joining League One side Peterborough from King's Lynn Town.

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U's boss Colin Calderwood, a former Norwich first-team coach during Chris Hughton's time, told his club's website: "Luke has good experience in senior football and caught my eye against us at the Abbey.

"He can create from wide off of both feet and is one that I feel brings different options and additional goal threat. His industry and work rate stood out to all the staff."