Tangerines in peak shape to mount a push for promotion

REGIMENTAL APPROACH: Diss Town manager Ross Potter conceded he has been tough on his squad to whip them into shape

REGIMENTAL APPROACH: Diss Town manager Ross Potter conceded he has been tough on his squad to whip them into shape

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Ross Potter revealed he has whipped his Diss Town troops into shape as he targets an immediate return to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

Having taken the reins from Mark Reeve in July, the former Long Stratton manager has been busy stamping his authority on his new side as well as building a squad capable of challenging ahead of the season kicking off with a visit from Dereham Town Reserves on Tuesday (7.45pm).

But while the manager has conceded he does not know what to fully expect from his squad at this stage, he is adamant there will be few teams as physically fit as the Tangerines after turning regimental on his players during the summer.

“I think we will be competitive this season but it is difficult to truly know until the season has started,” he said.

“However, one thing is for definite no-one will be able to question the fitness of the players this season.

“I am meticulous with my preparations and have been regimental with them over the last few weeks to whip them into shape.

“That is the one thing we’ve worked hardest on. In a way my methods have been quite old fashioned with pure fitness and hard running and a lot without the ball.

“That might seem unusual to some but the players have adapted and reacted brilliantly to it and I’m confident in my methods. For me, if the fitness of the squad is sorted than there can be no worries during the season andI can focus on other specifics. The boys are looking in peak condition.

“Promotion is definitely a possibility for us. I didn’t come to a club the size of Diss Town and not expect to compete.

“The board have made it clear that we need to be competitive and that is what I expect us to be.”

In preparation for a promotion push, Potter has been actively recruiting new players to re-shape his squad.

Captain Jacob Brown and top scorer Matt Dixon departed following relegation to the First Division but the manager has been able to keep hold of key players Ben Lewis and Chris Holmes, and add the likes of Jamie George (Wroxham), Luke Appleton (Mulbarton Wanderers), Jason Armes, Chris Bartrum (Long Stratton and Sam Wenham (Long Stratton) and also secured the returns of Kyle Downes and Danny Self.

“We need to hit the ground running and that is why I’ve looked for players who are hungry to prove a point and do their best for Diss,” he added.

“I have taken a number of players from below in the Anglian Combination League but I have no concerns about their ability at this level.

“There might be teams with bigger individual names than us but no-one will have a better collective in their group.

“We will have plenty of ability as well but that collective spirit will be key; that can take us far.”