Thurlow Nunn League preview: Premier Division drop is not a Diss-aster for manager

Diss, orange, will be playing Thurlow Nunn First Division football next season. Picture: SIMON FINLA

Diss, orange, will be playing Thurlow Nunn First Division football next season. Picture: SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Boss Mark Reeve believes top-flight relegation will provide the perfect reality check for Diss Town.

Diss manager Mark Reeve. Picture: SIMON FINLAY

Diss manager Mark Reeve. Picture: SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The Tangerines have finished in the bottom six every season since gaining promotion to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division in 2011. Their inevitable drop back to the First Division, after another campaign of struggle, was finally confirmed at the weekend. Yet the club's manager insists going down should provide the ideal platform to create a period of progress at Brewers Green Lane.

Reeve said: 'If I'm honest I don't know if the club was really ever ready for the Premier Division. It's struggled over recent seasons and been through a fair few managers. Going down could do the club a lot of good so we can start getting things sorted behind the scenes rather than just concentrating on the pressure of trying to stay up.

'Our performances and results have improved during the second half of the season so the club is just feeling a lot more positive than it was. We're disappointed to go down but it's not all doom and gloom.

'The objectives for next season are two-fold. Gain promotion, and I don't care whether that's by finishing third, second or first. And trying to stay in one of the FA Cup competitions into the new year.'


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Reeve – who is hoping to appoint a non-playing assistant and director of football to oversee an improvement in Diss' youth set-up this summer – says the majority of his squad are willing to stay to try and clinch an immediate return.

'I think we were always on the back foot even if we did have a fair few games to try and turn it around,' said the chief of the 1994 FA Vase winners, who was appointed in mid-November.

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'There are two main reasons we've gone down. One; the deficit of points we had after the games we'd played when we came in and two; since me and Selfy (Dan Self, player-coach) have been here we've just drawn too many games.

'If we'd have been given a reprieve again (like last season) I wouldn't have taken it as a manager. The club might have taken the offer up but I think if you finish in the bottom three you deserve to go down. Equally I'm a big believer if you win the league or finish in a promotion position you should be forced to go up. It's counter-productive for the league if that doesn't happen because you end up getting the same teams at the top and bottom every season.'

Diss are without a game tomorrow. Champions-in-waiting Norwich United travel to FC Clacton. Elsewhere, Thetford Town visit Brantham, Fakenham host Kirkley & Pakefield and Gorleston travel to Whitton. In the First Division, Swaffham entertain Stowmarket while fellow promotion-chasing Great Yarmouth welcome Team Bury Reserves. Downham host Halstead, King's Lynn's second-string welcome Woodbridge and Dereham Town Reserves take on their Needham Market counterparts.

In the UCL Premier Wisbech visit Newport Pagnell.

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