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Diss Town manager Michael King happy with incomings so far this summer

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Manager Michael King is well aware that a large number of summer incomings at Diss Town may have raised a few eyebrows.

After all, it was just 12 months ago that King – having been appointed as Steve Eastaugh’s replacement in the dugout – was tasked with having to put together a brand new squad from scratch.

But the boss had always planned for this off-season to also be busy, with the challenge being to improve upon what he managed to recruit ahead of the previous campaign getting under way.

Diss manager Michael King has made nine additions to his squad. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Diss manager Michael King has made nine additions to his squad. Picture: Mark Bullimore

And with nine additions through the door and just a couple of departures, he is happy with how it has panned out.

“I’ve had messages from some people I know outside of the club saying they were surprised by how many we had looked to bring in,” said King.

“They pointed out that we had to put a whole squad together last year, so why are we doing it again?

“The way I see it, this is the rebuild of a rebuild. Twelve months ago we had no choice, but this summer is all about improving.

“We’ve lost a couple but all the other players that remain will get a chance. It’s going to be hard to get in the team next season, even in the squad – that is how it should be.

“People have asked how I’m going to keep everyone happy, but in a way that isn’t my job. It’s down to the players to show me in training and in matches why they should be playing.

“We always planned to make ourselves stronger in every position, and we feel we’ve done that.”

Following last week’s arrival of Kehan Whitby, Lee Sim and Stephen Vennell, this week the Tangerines announced six further incomings; Goalkeeper James Bergin (Waveney), defender Marley Flute (Wroxham Reserves), defender Harry Atkins (Great Yarmouth Town), full-back/winger Max Lane (Harleston Town), midfielder Jack Simpson (Mulbarton Wanderers) and attacking midfielder Harry Hutt (Mundford).

It has made King feel more secure in how he is able to operate – and Tuesday’s 4-1 friendly win over higher-league Gorleston certainly pointed to a bright future.

“It’s hard to explain properly just how different it feels now to 12 months ago,” added the former Waveney boss.

“As a manager it felt quite fragile at times, wondering how good we were going to be with no real senior Thurlow Nunn League players. And also wondering who was going to leave next.

“That feeling didn’t really go away until we came back for pre-season training last month and we had numbers and quality around us.

“When you look at the players Gorleston have – and their budget – I’m sure they would have expected to beat us, even in a friendly.

“But we did well and after having our backs to the wall a little bit early in the second half, we went up a notch. It has given everyone a lift – players, management and the people watching who were very complimentary.

“We’re also well aware that in the grand scheme of things it counts for nothing, it’s all about the start of the season. But we can still look to use the momentum and confidence from it.”

Diss will continue their pre-season campaign tomorrow at home to Thetford Town (3pm), with the two sides battling it out for the Brian Major Memorial Cup in memory of the former club director.

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