Fightback is on for crisis-hit Eastern Counties Greene King League Dereham Rugby Club
- Credit: Ian Burt
Dereham are in danger of folding for the second time in little more than five years due to a lack of players.
The Eastern Counties Greene King League Division Two North side had to forfeit their opening game of the campaign at Great Yarmouth-Broadland on Saturday. And while it looks like they should have enough bodies to take on Norwich Union at home this weekend, first-team captain Marcus Evans admits a recruitment drive is needed to stave off yet more heartbreak.
He said: 'I have personally been involved with the club as a player, and more recently as treasurer as well, for about eight years.
'This club has been a massive part of my life for many years so it would obviously be very disappointing to see us fold again. We are a players' club with no employees – so everything to do with the club, from top to bottom, is run by the players. So there's a lot of other people in the club who feel the same way.
'The efforts put into this club over the years by various members, past and present, cannot be described. We are a profitable club – which is more than can be said for some clubs in Eastern Counties – that has progressed dramatically over the last few years, and it would be such a shame to see it all go to waste
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'The club is by no means down and out, yet, but the fact is we need more players to keep us going.'
Dereham, first formed in 1974, were only born again in 2010 but have ended up in troubled waters once more after a summer of upheaval.
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'We have lost around 10 regular first-team players,' added Evans.
'This is for a variety of reasons. A few players are now playing, and starting, for teams in the league above ours, and some people's personal lives have changed, thus not allowing them to play.
'The club will obviously not stand in the way of anyone who wants to try and better themselves by playing a higher level however, all these people moving on seems to have happened in one off-season.'
There are fixtures in the diary for the second team – who don't take to the field until October/November time – but the ability to field these will depends on numbers.
Players of all abilities will be welcomed into the club with open arms and will even get free sausage and chips after each home game courtesy of main sponsor, the town's Railway Tavern.
Dereham have recently been awarded Rugby Football Union (RFU) Accreditation and were hoping to continue their upward curve – on, and off, the pitch in 2016/17.
'For us the season starts on Saturday and we are really looking forward to it,' added Evans, who is remaining upbeat.
'But we need more players. Anyone who wants to get involved, or volunteer, or support us on Saturday are more than welcome. We need your help and we need it now.
'Team spirit is everything here so why not come and get involved.'
n Contact Evans on 07837 238444 for further information.