Chairman Barnes urges people to come and witness a historical day for Dereham Town
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Chairman Simon Barnes wants the people of Dereham to witness sporting history being made at 3pm.
Dereham Town, last season's Thurlow Nunn Premier Division champions, will play their first game at Step Four of the non-league ladder - just 15 years after moving into semi-professional circles. Matt Henman's men kick-off their maiden Ryman Division One North campaign with a home clash against Heybridge Swifts. And Barnes hopes townsfolk head to Aldiss Park for the momentus occasion.
The Magpies chairman said: 'There's a hell of the buzz around the club and everyone is really looking forward to it. Ten to 15 people were down at the ground yesterday sprucing it up and getting ready for today. If we can get 60 to 70 extra people through the gate it will really make a difference to us. I know Norwich City are a pull but I think people will be surpised by the standard and quality of football we deliver at Dereham.'
Dereham are taking part in the Bobby Robson National Football Day and will be running a series of coaching events before the game and at half-time. Magpies merchandise will be given away to children who come through the turnstiles on what is sure to be a special day for the Norfolk outfit.
'I'm proud and excited,' said Barnes. 'The Ryman League chairman (Alan Turvey) visited recently and said he hasn't been to such a positive club with such a good outlook for a number of years. It was lovely to hear that and makes it all worthwhile. It's going to be a big day for the club and everybody here behind the scenes. It was a day we never thought would come and we've got here by doing things the right way too.'