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‘It really is an honour’ - Club joins forces with UEA to strengthen future of football

PUBLISHED: 06:17 25 August 2020 | UPDATED: 06:25 25 August 2020

UEA joins forces with Dereham Town Football Club.  Ashley Bunn (Dereham FC chairman in white) and UEA Team Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

UEA joins forces with Dereham Town Football Club. Ashley Bunn (Dereham FC chairman in white) and UEA Team Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

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Two organisations with the same vision of supporting local football are joining forces to strengthen the future of the sport.

UEA joins forces with Dereham Town Football Club Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANUEA joins forces with Dereham Town Football Club Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Dereham Town Football Club (DTFC) is collaborating with students from the University of East Anglia to create a new partnership to benefit both parties.

As part of the link, the UEA men’s football 1st team - which plays in the Anglian Combination Premier League - will be playing its home games at Aldiss Park, home of DTFC, during the 2020/21 season.

Magpies manager, Adam Gusterson, said: “It is great that we are working closer with such a forward-thinking club and organisation in the UEA. They have made significant strides as a football club over the last few seasons and its good we can support their development by offering a ground share which will benefit both clubs.”

Last season, the UEA 1st team made the Norfolk Senior Cup finals and competed for promotion. It is hoped that the facilities at Aldiss Park will enable the team to progress to the Thurlow Nunn League this season.

UEA joins forces with Dereham Town Football Club Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANUEA joins forces with Dereham Town Football Club Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

DTFC also hoped the collaboration would be mutually beneficial, including within its educational programme.

Dereham Education and Soccer Academy’s (DESA) manager and course leader, Lee Perry, described it as “an exciting time”.

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“Last year we spent a day training at the UEA, touring facilities and looking at the education pathways available to our students at DESA,” he said.

“This partnership allows us to show our students a clear pathway through their education, from students at Dereham Sixth Form College to studying a degree at the UEA.”

Club chairman Ashley Bunn added: “This is a much bigger partnership than just football.

“We are a big football club with huge potential and I think this shows that.

“For us to be partnered with the UEA really is an honour and I am excited about what the future holds as we work closer together moving forward.”

Finally, the UEA’s head of football, Paul Neary, and head of sport, Adam Garford, said they were looking forward to the season ahead.

Mr Garford added: “With committed and like-minded members striving to create the best opportunities for local talent, I can’t wait for the season to get under way.”

- Season tickets for DTFC are still available. For more details ring 01362 690460. The club is also looking for sponsorship and volunteers. Visit the website at https://www.derehamtownfc.co.uk/ for more details.


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