Football club’s rallying cry to help the Magpies soar and ‘achieve something really special’
- Credit: Archant
It was formed 135 years ago with a goal for success.
Now Dereham Town Football Club is calling on local people to come and support the team in what organisers are promising will be one of its best seasons yet.
For the past 13 decades, the club, based at Aldiss Park, has gone from strength to strength.
Now its vice-chairman is hoping to encourage more people to get behind the team.
Ashley Bunn said: "We are extremely proud to represent both Dereham and Norfolk at the level we do.
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"We know the emphasis is on us to show our value and to work hard to get everybody's buy in to our project and what we are doing. We are working on many community initiatives that will hopefully only benefit the local area and its people.
"I have no doubt that if we all pull together, we can achieve something really special - the support of the local community, its people and its businesses is integral to any future success the club may have - we really do need you behind us."
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Founded in 1884, the club spent most of its early years in the local Norwich district and Dereham district leagues. In the 1993/94 season the club won its very first Senior Knockout Cup and in 1996 it moved from the town's recreation ground to Aldiss Park.
The first full season at Aldiss Park in 1997/98 saw the club reach the Eastern Counties League following them winning the Anglian Combination Premier League.
At the start of the 2000/01 season, Norwich City arrived for a pre-season friendly and a new record attendance of 1,800 was achieved. The first team were promoted to the Eastern Counties Premier league. Norwich City returned in July 2001 and once again a new attendance record of 3,000 was set.
By the 2012/13 season, the club had earned its first promotion since 1998 to the Isthmian League - where they are still playing today.
The club remains the second biggest non-league club in the county.
Manager Adam Gusterson added: "We are very clear in our model and values as a football club from top to bottom. We don't have anywhere near the budget of others at our level so we have to do things differently.
"Through the academy and the youth we have to produce our own players that go on and get in to the first team. There is a long list of players that we have produced, with some even going on to play professionally - It is something we have always done, will continue to do and it is something we are very proud of."
The club has also outlined its vision for the future and those plans include:
Embedding itself as a community club
Contributing to the local area, its people and economy
Continuation of producing players through the academy to give them a platform to achieve their dreams of making it professionally
Offering the best facilities and a location where people can come together
Aspiring to be the best non-league club both on and off the pitch in Norfolk
Welcoming all young Magpies aged three to 16
Creating active working partnerships with local businesses / organisations to benefit everybody
The club is always welcoming new players for its youth team as well as volunteers to help on match days, and it regularly holds events, including a monthly quiz. Aldiss Park also offers a number of facilities for the community to come together.
You can follow the club on Twitter @Derehamtown, Facebook via Derehamfc or Instagram via Derehamtownfc. The club is also on YouTube via Magpies TV.
For more information, or to enquire about sponsorship, visit www.derehamtownfc.co.uk or ring 01362 690460.
Do you want to win a season ticket to watch all of Dereham Town's league games at Aldiss Park? Pick up a copy of this weeks Dereham Times for more information about the competition and details on how to enter.
Helping improve lives with Football
In 2013, the club launched a new education programme to provide young footballers in the area the opportunity to gain a qualification while combining their interest of football.
The Dereham Education and Soccer Academy (DESA) was formed in partnership with Dereham Sixth Form College and since its inception, has provided several success stories.
Fraser Blake-Tracey has signed for League One outfit Peterborough United while Luke Hannant has forged a career in the EFL via Port Vale and currently, Cambridge United.
Charlie Clarke has been to the USA and played four years with Bryan College and then Chattanooga FC. Since graduating, he returned to Norfolk and signed with Dereham Town first team.
Louis Mason graduated and is working as a football coach in Shrewsbury.
And Jason Ward, who started at Dereham aged five, played for every youth age group and was captain of the under 18s. He was also the first captain of the DESA programme and captained them to national cup final at St Andrews - home of Birmingham City FC. He now lives in Alabama, USA, and is studying for a master's degree.
We Are Dereham Documentary to be filmed this season
The club's 2019/20 season is currently being filmed as part of an access-all-areas documentary entitled We Are Dereham.
Documented by Connor Southwell, Ben Ambrose and Robert Groom, with MyFootballWriter.com, the films will cover all aspects of the club and will be released monthly.
The first one is expected to be out early August.