Norwich City ‘fitness test’ pleases Dereham Town boss Henman

Josh Ginnelly in action for Norwich City at Dereham Town. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

Josh Ginnelly in action for Norwich City at Dereham Town. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

Dereham Town boss Matt Henman is delighted Norwich City made his players put in the hard yards on Tuesday night, writes Gavin Caney.

While the Magpies were far from overwhelmed by the Premier League outfit's development squad during the 1-0 defeat, they spent large parts of the fixture without the ball. And that meant Dereham's manager got just what he wanted out of the friendly match at Aldiss Park.

Henman said: 'The valuable thing for us, when you play against any kind of professional outfit, is you know you're going to have work hard off the ball so there's no hiding place.

'It demands that players cover a lot of ground, get a lot of fitness work. There were times when we won the ball back I thought we kept it quite well. When the game went on we did get a bit tired and the quality went a bit but it was a really good work-out for us.'

The Magpies' first friendly of the summer on Saturday saw them lose 2-1 at home to St Ives Town after conceding a couple of late goals. That match was played on Neatherd High School's 3G pitch.

Next up is a trip to King's Lynn Town on Tuesday with Dereham expecting to field Harry Barker, Ryan Crisp, Sam Borrer, Dion Frary and possibly Dan Morphew – who all missed Tuesday's visit of Norwich – at The Walks.

'At this stage all we're looking to do is get minutes in to players' legs,' added the Dereham boss, whose men will train on Saturday.

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'Starting from next week (Lynn match onwards) we'll start looking at the shape we want to play and then it's up to players to try and nail down positions getting ready for the start of the season.'