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Dereham target play-offs ahead of opening game of the season

Joe Gatting in action during Dereham's 3-2 friendly defeat to Norwich City U23s at Aldiss Park on Monday Picture: Ian Burt

Joe Gatting in action during Dereham's 3-2 friendly defeat to Norwich City U23s at Aldiss Park on Monday Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Dereham Town boss Neal Simmons is targeting a play-off spot as he prepares for the Magpies’ first Bostik League North game of the season at Aveley this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

The Magpies enjoyed a decent 2017/18 campaign before falling away towards the end of the season but Simmons believes he has strengthened his squad enough to sustain a promotion charge this time around.

“I am looking forward to the coming season and excited to watch the squad progress further,” he said. “We have managed to keep the core of last season together and added Joe Manning (Wroxham), Tom McLeish (King’s Lynn), Adam Hipperson (Norwich United), Dylan Edge (Kings Lynn) along with the returning Joe Gatting and Adam Smith.

“The aim is to improve on our points per game ratio from last season which we hope will get us closer to the play-off positions, however this will be the aim of every team in our division and we have to be realistic about this.”

Simmons, who took over from Matt Henman last summer, hopes the town gets behind his side as he looks to cultivate an exciting style of play,

“Our brand of attacking football will always excite supporters and I believe that we have a number of attacking players who will get you off your feet and want to watch the team,” he added.

“We have a good history in developing young players and the club is in a fantastic position with DESA blossoming and another great group of youngsters being available for the coming season.

“This is a really exciting time for all involved with the club and I am sure that as long as the town and local community get behind the team we can have a great season.”

Chairman Neil Sturman insists a lot of hard work has gone into the club over the summer to set up a successful season.

“We feel these are really exciting times for the club,” he said.

“There has been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes at the club and hopefully fans will see the benefit of this when they come and support us.”

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