City announce pre-season friendlies

Chris Lakey Norwich City are to play friendly matches against three local teams who are celebrating their 125th anniversaries this year. The Canaries have included money-spinning games against Fakenham Town, Dereham Town and Thetford Town in July as part of their build-up to the 2009-10 season.

Chris Lakey

Norwich City are to play friendly matches against three local teams who are celebrating their 125th anniversaries this year.

The Canaries have included money-spinning games against Fakenham Town, Dereham Town and Thetford Town in July as part of their build-up to the 2009-10 season.

“We're delighted,” said Canaries boss Bryan Gunn. “We're starting to get our pre-season programme together - we've got games against Fakenham, Dereham and Thetford, and all of those teams are celebrating their 125th anniversaries.


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“It's great that we can support local clubs in this way. We'll be sending a Norwich City XI and this is part of our build-up to August 8 in the hope we can get as many players out and about around the county so fans can see them in action.”

City had already confirmed one friendly - at Dartford on July 11 as part of the deal which brought Darts' striker Cody McDonald to Carrow Road in the January transfer window - and are currently working on two home games as well as their pre-season tour.

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City visit Fakenham on Friday, July 10, kick-off to be confirmed, before they head to Dereham on Wednesday, July 22 (7.45pm) and then Thetford a week later.

The local matches have always been a highlight of the summer calendar, with big crowds ensuring a healthy input into the coffers - although this summer's clearly have extra relevance.

Dereham chairman Simon Barnes says City's visit to Aldiss Park would be the icing on the cake of a fine season.

“We are delighted to announce that Norwich City will be visiting Aldiss Park again on July 22,” he said.

“The confirmation of this fixture is the icing on the cake for this season, having been our most successful ever, and the club is in good shape both on and off the pitch.

“We wish Norwich all the best for the last few games of this season and all at Dereham Town FC have our fingers crossed that they can gain the necessary points to stay in the Championship.”

The Magpies are challenging for a best-ever second place in the Ridgeon's League Premier Division, in a season which has seen them reach the last 16 of the FA Vase for the first time in its history.

“The most pleasing aspect this season is the atmosphere in and around the club,” said Ginny Barnes, manager of the Aldiss Park club facilities.

“The players have a fantastic relationship with the supporters and this has shown in some of the football this season. Much of this is due to our manager, Matt Henman, who has taken the club up a level.”

Dereham hold their annual presentation night on May 2, with supporters able to vote for their player of the season at Tuesday's home match against Woodbridge Town. The trophy will be presented before their last home match of the season on April 28, when they entertain Felixstowe & Walton United.

“It would be good if the people of Dereham could come and support their local club for our last three home matches of the season, as we push for a top-two finish,” added Mrs Barnes. “And as a goodwill gesture children under the age of 14 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult for our final home match of the season against Felixstowe and Walton United, on April 28.”

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