Diamonds are everywhere for Ryman League Division One North Dereham Town boss Henman
Boss Matt Henman is happy to keep taking gambles as he tries to unearth more hidden gems for Dereham Town.
The Magpies manager has given plenty of grassroots players the chance to make the step up to the non-league arena since taking over from Rob Taylor in March 2008.
He was at it again on Saturday when he gave a debut to Vadim Costandachi – the first Moldovan to play for the club. The 24-year-old had only been in England for two weeks but Henman had no qualms in throwing him in at the deep end against Harlow Town. And he was left delighted as Constandachi did much more than just keep his head above water.
Henman said of the right-back, who can also play in midfield: 'He was recommended to me by a friend of a friend who had seen him play for a Sunday team. He said he looks quality and had a good pedigree because he'd played for Moldova Under-21s. You do get a lot of that floating about, about who people have supposedly played for and how good they are, but I always investigate every single one. I'm certainly glad I did this one.
'Vadim's just got to get used to the style of football and the inconsistency of our pitches. He needs to overcome the lanaguage barrier too but he's made a promising start and he could prove to be a real find.'
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Costandachi, who has four under-21 caps to his name, is in line to play his first Ryman League Division One North away fixture at Maldon & Tiptree this evening. Craig Bussens is rated as 50/50 with a thigh problem while Jake Anema and Lewis Butcher will return to the squad after missing Saturday's 2-2 home draw against a team who had won all of their last 12 league matches.
'If you take away the results from the first two or three months of the season we've been in play-off form,' added Henman, who recently handed wideman Rhys Logan a contract until the end of the 2017/18 season.
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'We've lost two games in something like 15 matches and have won at Cray and drawn against Harlow in our last two games. It's been an exceptional week. Our youngsters took a bit of time to settle but they're growing all the time.
'On Saturday we had an 18-year (Dion Frary) at centre-back and a 17-year-old in centre midfield (Robbie Linford). They'll really benefit from that experience and they did outstandingly against what is a very good side.'
Wroxham's game at Aveley last night fell foul of the weather.