Former Magpie Clunan feels Ryman North Dereham Town are on the up


Football. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Midfielder Michael Clunan believes Dereham Town have the right tools in place to make their own move up the non-league ladder, writes Gavin Caney.

The playmaker departed Aldiss Park this summer to join higher-level King's Lynn Town. But the former Magpie feels it won't be long before Matt Henman's side will also be plying their trade alongside him at Step Three.

'Dereham are a great club and I really enjoyed my time there,' said the former Norwich City youngster, who arrived at Aldiss Park from Lowestoft Town in August.

'But I'm still a young lad and I need to be playing as high as I can. When Setch (Gary Setchell, Lynn boss) came along and offered me a position here, I couldn't really turn it down. That's the reason why I joined, just to play a higher level of football.

'I definitely think Dereham can get up to Lynn's level (one above) in the near future though. They've got a great set of coaches and lads who all work hard so there's no reason the club can't progress.'

While the Magpies went close to going up last term – they finished seventh in Ryman North – the Linnets were dangerously close to dropping back down to the same tier. They avoided relegation – thanks mainly to a fine first half of the campaign – and Clunan is keen to improve the fortunes of his hometown Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division outfit.

'They (Lynn) sort of managed to scrape through last season,' added the 21-year-old.

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'It's a fresh season and anything can happen now. We'll be looking to finish as high as we can. I've always been a Lynn lad, so it's nice to come back and actually play for the team.'

While Clunan begins his pre-season at Harlow, Dereham kickstart their own plans to get ready for the big kick-off by playing St Ives on Neatherd High School's 3G pitch on Saturday (2pm). On Tuesday, they host Norwich City Under-21s (7.45pm) at Aldiss Park. Admission for the latter is £6 for adults, £4 concessions and £2 under-14s.