Magpies’ striker flies the nest

Dereham Town will kick off next season's quest for Ridgeons League honours without leading striker Danny Beaumont, who has signed for King's Lynn Town's UCL outfit.

The signing was announced on Monday, but came as no surprise to Magpies manager Matt Henman, writes John Cushion.

'There had been rumours since the end of last season. It didn't come as a complete surprise. We got to the stage where their offer was acceptable to us and it made sense for us to accept that. He made it clear he wanted to speak to them and we didn't want to stand in his way.'

The Linnets sealed a two-year deal for the 21-year-old Monday night at The Walks after agreeing a fee with the Ridgeons Premier Division runners-up prior to the weekend.

Beaumount plundered 29 goals in 49 appearances last season – and was on target in the Magpies' emphatic 4-1 Norfolk Senior Cup final win against Lynn at Carrow Road.

'I'm delighted to be here. I'm really looking forward to it,' said Beaumont. 'I look around the stadium and it has developed so much since I was here before playing against Lynn Reserves. It has changed so and it really looks like it's geared for everything to go onwards and upwards.

'If I'm honest, it took a bit to convince me because I had been at Dereham for quite a while, but comparing the positives to the negatives, the postives far outweigh those.

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'We played them twice last season and I know they have a lot of quality in the side and they have managed to keep those players so it is looking good for next year. It'll be great to link up with a player like Jack Defty. His record speaks for itself and I know it will be difficult to get in the side.'

Beaumont joins fellow close season recruits Callum Reed, Paul Cousins and Stuart Wall at the ambitious FA Vase semi-finalists.

'Danny is a natural goalscorer and has been up around the top of the Ridgeons scoring charts for the past two seasons,' said Lynn joint manager Kevin Boon,

'He has a big future ahead and is really keen to play for us, he will also be the perfect partner for either Jack (Defty) or Robbie (Harris) up front so what more can we ask for.'

At Aldiss Park, Henman said: 'We have got plenty of strength within the club, lads who have played in the first team last year and lads coming through. It gives them a chance to stake a claim.'

He did not rule out signing a replacement for Beaumont, nor adding to his squad in other departments. 'If the right player comes along who we think is right for us, we would look to sign an additional player, that applies to all positions.'

But Henman admitted of Beaumont: 'His goals have been a big part of what we have done in past years.'