Dereham Town prepare to roll out the red carpet for Norwich City
- Credit: IAN BURT
Dereham Town club chairman Simon Barnes admits Norwich City's visit is a special occasion for the town.
Matty Henman's Magpies enjoyed an impressive debut season to finish seventh in Ryman League North and the Canaries' visit to Aldiss Park is the perfect way to embark on a new campaign with more than 2,500 expected for the high profile summer friendly.
Norwich boss Neil Adams is also poised to unveil a memorial to honour a quartet of former Dereham officials and Barnes is confident the hosts will play their part on the pitch against a strong visiting squad.
'We are all really looking forward to welcoming Norwich City to the club,' said Barnes. 'Over the years we have always been delighted to have a good partnership with the county's senior club and it's great to have the 'Yellows' back this year.
'It is going to be a very special day for us as a club with the game looking like it is going to be very close to a sell out, which is a great achievement for us. As well as a special day for the club it's also an exciting day for us as we will be able to welcome new faces from across the local area and hopefully when they see what we are about they will return in the future, when City are away.
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'I would also like to personally thank Neil Adams for unveiling a memorial to four club stalwarts who have sadly passed away over recent years. The memorial is dedicated to Norman Barnes, John Nichols, Beres Brooks and Jack Wiseman, and it is a lovely touch from Neil to agree to unveil it for us.'
The Magpies' are poised to hand debuts to summer signings Matt Hockley, James Hadley, Nathan Howard and Ben Lewis who will all look to push their claims to feature in Town's Ryman League opener, scheduled for August 9. With Henman absent the Magpies will be managed by assistant manager Neal Simmons and first-team coach Tom Parke, but Henman is backing his charges to impress.
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'To welcome Norwich City to Aldiss Park is always a great way to begin pre-season and the fact that we will play their first team squad is exciting for everyone on and off the pitch,' he said.
• Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £1 for children under 16, with car parking passes £2 per vehicle. Tickets will be available on the turnstile from 1pm.