Dereham Town squad taking shape ahead of pre-season games
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
Pre-season preparations have stepped up for Dereham Town with news that two key players have committed themselves to the club for the new campaign.
The Magpies are heading into their fourth season at step four of the non-league pyramid, having finished seventh in Ryman League Division One North for the second season in a row.
Two of the players who have helped the club make that step up, goalkeeper Will Viner and midfielder Adam Smith, have now signed on for the coming season.
Former Lowestoft Town midfielder Dawid Radomski had already committed to Dereham after returning from Poland and former Ipswich Town academy player Max Melanson has now also joined.
The 18-year-old former Thetford Academy pupil completed his scholarship seasons at Torquay and Yeovil after leaving Ipswich, with the attacking midfielder scoring a late winner for Yeovil in a pre-season friendly against Bristol City last summer.
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'Max played for us as a youth player, at under-13 and 14 level, so he's already known to us and played in the same youth team as some of our other academy boys,' Dereham boss Matt Henman said.
'He was taken on by the Ipswich academy and then went to Torquay and Yeovil as a scholar. He's just moved back home and wanted to get some games under his belt locally, so it's a good opportunity and hopefully we can be good for each other.
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'It's a good signing for us, he's a good lad, a good footballer and he complements what we already have at the club.'
Dereham have also confirmed that Ryan Crisp, Rhys Logan, Vadim Costandachi and Dion Frary all have contracts rolling over to the new season.
Craig Bussens and Dan Morphew have committed to the club and skipper Sam Borrer has had successful knee surgery and is beginning rehabilitation which will see him return to action in September.
Henman hopes to have some more signings to announce soon as well, continuing: 'We are going about our business quite quietly and there are still some more we are trying to bring in, players that have been associated with us in the past and some new players that I'm hoping we can confirm next week as we go into the King's Lynn game.'
That clash with the Linnets next Saturday (3pm kick-off) begins Dereham's pre-season friendly schedule. Norwich City's under-21 squad then provide the opposition in the Norfolk Invitation Cup final, earned by the Magpies by beating Norwich United 2-0 in the Norfolk Senior Cup final at Carrow Road last season.
That match will be played at the Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe at 7.30pm on Friday, July 15.
Trips to Thurlow Nunn Premier Division sides Thetford Town (July 19, 7.30pm), Gorleston (July 23, 3pm) and Kirkley & Pakefield (July 29, 7.30pm) follow, with a match at Anglian Combination Division One team Mundford also in the mix (July 27, 7.30pm).
'I'm pleased with our pre-season arrangements, all told,' Henman added. 'We start with King's Lynn and then we play a Norwich XI at the FDC which should be a good test.
'We then have some good local games, so we've designed it to give us some good tests.'