New-look Diss Town ready for battle – Mike Derbyshire
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Diss Town resume battle in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division with a trip to newly-promoted Ipswich Wanderers today.
Manager Mike Derbyshire's player turnover has been well into double figures as he tries to erase the memory of last season's relegation battle and push the Tangerines back to former glories.
'After an awful lot of work over the past couple of months, I think we now have a group capable of competing in what will be, as always, a very tough Thurlow Nunn Premier Division,' Derbyshire told his club's official website.
'The size of the rebuild that has been required here is perhaps best indicated by the fact that we welcome no less than 11 new signings into the first team squad for this season – Danny Cable, Chris Bird, Ady Ager, Calum Webb, Colin Wines, Eoin O'Herlihy, Jordan Rocastle, Chris Collins-Reed, Jordan Lake, Alfie Griew and Bradley Nelson.
'They are joined in the squad by two lads who I am pleased to have given a chance to step-up from the reserves – Luke Rowe and Arran Kohn. Also stepping-up from the under-18s is Joe Hooton, whilst several of his fellow youngsters will be featuring in Barry Riches' reserve team squad this season.
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'Meanwhile, staying with the first team from last season are three of the lads I brought in when I arrived – Chris Holmes, Ashley Mitchell and Kieran Patel, although Kieran's appearances will be dramatically affected by the fact that he has a new job in London.'
The Tangerines' final warm-up game was a 1-0 home defeat by a Norwich City youth side.
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City's England under-16 goalkeeper Aston Oxborough thwarted Diss early on and the young Canaries scored the only goal of the game when Lewis Byrne-Hewitt was put clear of the Tangerines defence and had the simple task of tucking the ball past Chris Bird.
Diss are now looking to improve on last season's finish in 18th place, which only saw them granted a relegation reprieve because of league reorganisation.
Former Yarmouth boss Derbyshire added: 'Also staying with the club from the 2013/14 first team squad are Mark Shadrack, Matt Dixon, Jacob Brown, Roscoe Hipperson and Ashley Baxter.
'Roscoe's game time may be reduced by the fact that he has a niggling hip injury, but he is an experienced player and a consummate professional who keeps himself in great shape and will therefore play an important role for us at times this season, I have no doubt.'