Diss coach says league going to be ‘very open’ this season
Dave Smith believes this season’s London One North is going to be ‘very open’ with no team having the pre-season title favourites tag, writes Alex Moss.
Diss, who were promoted from London Two North East as champions in 2016-17, begin their second consecutive campaign at Level 6 with a trip to Colchester tomorrow afternoon (3pm).
And ahead of their season opener at Mill Road Playing Fields this weekend, head coach Smith says if his side can be competitive then they can improve on their 11th-place finish last term.
“We just want to be competitive,” he said.
“If we can take points from every game then it will give ourselves a chance (of finishing higher).
“If we can be competitive then I think we’ll get what we deserve during the season.
“I don’t think there is one big name team in the league this season.
“Brentwood (last season’s champions) were good last year, Chingford (last season’s runners-up) were as well, but there’s not a big team who I could say are the favourites.
“Colchester will be strong and (North) Walsham are always strong, but I think it will be very open this year.
“I couldn’t put a finger on who is going to win it. For us, it’s a cliché, but we’ll be taking it one game at a time.
“We’ve got a very tough game to start against Colchester, who were a top four side last season, and then we’ve got Walsham at home.”
It has been a relatively quiet summer of activity at Mackenders, with Steve Hipwell heading back to Cambridge the main departure, but Smith feels the arrival of James Alvis as the club’s new forwards coach, coupled with a few new faces, has been ‘refreshing’.
“It’s been a really good pre-season,” Smith said. “We went to Stowmarket for a tournament and have played Southwold in a friendly and did all right.
“We know it’s going to be a real tough season, but hopefully we can avoid having too many injuries and unavailability like we had last year.”