Diss Town boss pleased ahead of one-year anniversary in charge
When Jon Abbott was appointed Diss Town manager, he spoke of a strong desire to build a club and not just a successful first team.
Twelve months on and it would appear that Abbott – along with the hard work of a number of other people behind the scenes at Brewers Green Lane – is delivering on that ambition.
From the outside, Abbott is well aware that all eyes are on his senior side and at present they are producing the goods, currently occupying one of four Thurlow Nunn League First Division North promotion places at the turn of the year.
But the boss, who will celebrate one year at the Diss helm on Wednesday, has been equally pleased with how the under-18s and resurrected reserves have acquitted themselves so far this term.
“We have always spoken about building a club but I also appreciate that if the first team is not doing well then I would not be in a job. You have to find a balance,” he said.
“One of the first things we wanted to do is make the under-18s stronger because they have finished bottom the last four or five years – and we also wanted to bring the reserves back.
“We have managed to do both. The first team would have struggled without a strong core behind it because we have had injuries and suspensions this season – thankfully there have been players able to step up.
“The results are not the main thing with the under-18s, it is more about performances, but the coaches deserve a lot of credit because they are getting both.
“As for Jamie Scales (reserves manager) he probably has the hardest job because whenever we have unavailable players we are taking off him, all while he is getting a new team to compete in a new league.
“But we all work together. It was a busy summer but all three managers at the club are local people who know the best young players in the area – that is what we want at the club.
“Diss is a big club in the area – everybody knows that – but people have not always wanted to play there in recent years and we want to make it an attractive place to play – at all levels.
“Things have not changed overnight and we have to keep pushing because things can change quickly in local football, but I have been delighted with how things have gone so far.
“If we can keep producing young local players, that is us pushing in the right direction and will give us a big boost in the club’s long-term aim, which is ultimately to get back into the Premier Division.”
The big question is – can Diss achieve that ‘long term-aim’ this season? They are in the promotion places at present, but with plenty of football left to be played, Abbott is keeping his feet firmly grounded.
“It is an old cliché but we just have to keep trying to win games,” added the ex-Scole United boss.
“Promotion is not the be all and end all this season. If we did achieve it, that would be brilliant and I think it would have come sooner than a lot of people expected.
“We are up against sides like Downham, Lakenheath, Mulbarton, March and CBS – these are sides that have been competitive at this level for two, three or even four years whereas it has been a few seasons since Diss were challenging.
“We will see what happens. If we are in a similar position come March then we can really look at it but there is no pressure.”
More by this authorLiam Apicella