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Virgilio Leitao one of five players to leave Thurlow Nunn League First Division North side Diss Town

Having recruited seven new faces since his arrival earlier this month, Diss Town manager Jon Abbott has now allowed five of the players he inherited to move on.

The departures list is headlined by striker Virgilio Leitao, who last season scored an impressive 25 goals for the Tangerines from his 37 appearances.

And while the forward has not been as prolific so far this term, his return of nine goals once again sees him top the club’s scoring charts.

MDEP-07-10-2017-008 Diss No 9 Virgilio Leitao.. (6891464)
MDEP-07-10-2017-008 Diss No 9 Virgilio Leitao.. (6891464)

Nevertheless, with the return of Charlie Webb and the addition of Connor Kerry, Leitao’s starting opportunities would have become limited.

Abbott said: “In an ideal world we would have kept Virgilio but we cannot stand in people’s way when they want to play football.

“It is tough because it would have been good to have him as part of the squad, but it would not have been fair to him coming off the bench and relying on the odd start here and there.

“That is what happens when new players come in – you have to make some difficult decisions and that was one of them.”

Harry Moore, Stacey Payne, Will Goulding and Nuno Nogueira have also joined Leitao in heading for the Brewers Green Lane exit door.

Abbot added: “Like with Virgilio it all comes down to the amount of minutes those lads will have been given.

“We all want to have a big squad but at this level lads want to be playing and we accept that.”

Next up for Abbott’s new-look Tangerines outfit is a trip to bottom-of-the-table Needham Market Reserves tomorrow afternoon (3pm).

Diss have made a positive start under their new boss in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, picking up six points from six available.

They did suffer a 6-0 defeat to higher-league Dereham Town in the Norfolk Senior Cup, but on reflection Abbott is not overly concerned about that result.

“Looking back at the Dereham game it was probably a bit of a false result because a lot of the players we signed were cup tied,” he said.

“In the league the new lads – plus the ones we have kept – have been excellent.

“With new signings it either takes time to settle in or they hit the ground running, which thankfully ours have done.”

Meanwhile, on the Needham challenge, he said: “We are expecting a tough game and there cannot be any complacency from us.”

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