There’s still plenty of life left in Dereham Rugby Club
- Credit: Ian Burt
Dereham Rugby Club is staging an end-of-season match with a difference on Saturday, May 6.
There is no title at stake or silverware to be collected as the First XV take on the President's XV in a match that organisers hope will start the revival of the 43-year-old club.
The loss of nine first team regulars this season saw Dereham forfeit games and withdraw from their league.
But the club is looking positively at the future and sees the match at Moorgate as the start of a recruitment and rebuilding campaign for next season.
President Graham Eaglesham, who at the age of 62 will be the oldest player on the pitch, said: 'It's been a tough year but we have a fine core of committed players and a team of experienced officers who are determined to restore the fortunes of this much-loved club. I
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'f I can survive a few tackles I hope to have the breath to chat to a few new recruits in the bar afterwards.'
Dereham is launching a poster and advertising campaign, and will step up its social media activity to attract experienced players and those who would like to take up the game.
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It is also planning a series of Introduction to Rugby training sessions to help new players better understand the game and raise their fitness levels.
'We will be going all out to reinforce our reputation as a community rugby club, making match days a real family affair and organising social events that people of all ages can enjoy,' said Graham. 'Since its inception in 1974, Dereham has always been a family-focused club and that's a message we want to get across in the months ahead. Anyone who is interested in the sport is welcome to come along on May 6th.'
Some of the players who turned out for the club in its early days will be on the touchline, reminiscing about tackles and tries, and lending their support to the drive to recruit Dereham's next generation.
There will be a barbecue on the day of the president's match, which kicks off at 2.30pm.
Dereham had been due to take on Fakenham earlier in the season in the first round of the Norfolk Plate, but their neighbours were given a walk-over.