Dereham Town boss Henman pleased with his side’s planned Ryman Division One North schedule

Matt Henman is still smiling. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Matt Henman is still smiling. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Dereham Town boss Matt Henman admits his side's fixture list holds no fears as the countdown to their Ryman League bow continues.

The Magpies learned who they will play, and when, on Wednesday morning as they close in on their first season at Step Four of the non-league ladder.

The Aldiss Park club's history-making foray into Ryman Division One North begins with a home match against Heybridge Swifts on Saturday, August 10.

And later that month the familiar face of former Wroxham boss David Batch returns with his AFC Sudbury outfit before Henman's troops make the short trip to Trafford Park two days later for a Monday, August 26, Norfolk derby.

As a result, the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division title-winning manager believes he couldn't have asked for a better start to life outside of the Eastern Counties League.

He said: 'I think we were hoping to be at home at the start. It's a new league and it's an opportunity to get a bit more interest locally. Lots of people are talking about the first game and now it's at home hopefully we'll get a good crowd.

'Being at home gives us the opportunity to start the league season by hitting the ground running on and off the pitch.

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'I'm really pleased looking at the first month. It gives us some good games. I'm sure they'll all be tough, but we've got some exciting ones. There will be interest in David Batch being here with Sudbury and their support is good. I'm sure there will be a good atmosphere for that and when we make the short trip to Wroxham, where it will be good to renew rivalries with them.

'I'm just really pleased looking at the fixture list as nothing jumps out at you and says 'that's a really tough fixture at a tricky time'. Generally everything has worked out really well for us.'

Dereham's festive schedule has also been kind with a Boxing Day derby at home to Wroxham before a short trip to AFC Sudbury on New Year's Day, 2014.

Henman was also delighted that his men, at this stage, have only been handed one midweek away fixture in the first half of the campaign – at Cheshunt on Tuesday, August 13. But he concedes that is likely to change due to postponements and cup runs.

Back on the pitch, the black and whites started their pre-season schedule with a 2-0 win at Deeping Rangers on Saturday. Ross Gilfedder and teenager Liam Upton found the net. On Tuesday, Danny Beaumont scored his first goal since his return to Aldiss Park to put Dereham 1-0 up against Lowestoft Town. However, they ended up losing 3-1. Henman's heroes return to action at King's Lynn Town on Tuesday night.

Off the pitch, chairman Simon Barnes was delighted to announce Barconn have become the club's main sponsor. The George are the first team's sponsor, MW White the reserve team and Big Fry the under-18s. William H Brown is the veterans' outfit main backer while DESA (Dereham Education and Soccer Academy) will be sponsored by Barnes Print (East Anglia). DESA's Under-18s will be sponsored by Thurlow Nunn, Dereham.