New signing David Shade determined to be challenging at the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North top end with Diss Town
‘I have not dropped down a division for the fun of it’ – it is fair to say that new signing David Shade is expecting big things at Diss Town next season.
The defender is one of a number of new arrivals at Brewers Green Lane for the 2019/20 Thurlow Nunn League First Division North season, having signed on the dotted line from Gorleston.
Shade had spent the previous couple of campaigns with the Greens, helping them to finish seventh and 15th in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.
He had planned to embark on a third term at Emerald Park, but following discussions with Diss boss Jon Abbott, the 30-year-old took the decision to drop down a level with the Tangerines.
However, if he gets his way, Shade will not be away from Step 5 football for too long.
“I have always kept an eye on Diss’ results because they are one of the biggest non-league clubs in the area,” he said.
“I had a chat about coming over when Ross Potter was in charge but it was not the right time.
“It is probably a sleeping giant of local football at the moment. When you look at Diss, the facilities they have, the infrastructure, there is so much potential there.
“And with the players that are coming in, added to the ones that were already there, you can see the potential on the pitch as well.
“We need to starting realising that potential now because I have not come in for a season like last one when the club struggled.
“I have not dropped down a division for the fun of it or a relegation battle, I want to be challenging at the top end of the table.
“The club wants to get back up to the Premier Division where it belongs and that is my personal goal as well.”
Despite a rotten run of form that saw Gorleston collect just one point from their last 10 fixtures in 2018/19, Shade was of a mind to stay put, believing that things would improve with a summer of recruitment.
But having seen team-mates Angus Mackie and Aarron Taylor also make the switch to Diss – coupled with his good relationship with boss Abbott through work – it became clear to Shade that the time was right to move on.
“At the end of the season I was 95 per cent sure I was going to stay at Gorleston,” he added.
“It was a really hard end to the season. We had players leave, got some injuries and played against some of the top teams, but that run of form is not good enough no matter who you are playing. Despite that I always thought it was going to get better and I still do.
“But with Angus and Tays moving across as well it just felt right and when Jon said he wanted to have a chat about next season I liked what he had to say.
“I am 30 now and I am not sure how much longer I will play. If it is two or three years, then I want to spend them challenging for trophies and I think I can do that at Diss.
“It was a tough call to leave because I really liked it at Gorleston, but Jon’s and Diss’ ambitions match mine and that was a key thing.”
At 6 ft 5, Diss are getting a defender that will look to dominate opposition centre-forwards.
His height also means thatis bound to pose a goal threat up the other end of the pitch – something he highlighted last season by finding the net on six occasions in a Gorleston shirt.
Shade sees scoring goals as an important part of his game and he is hoping to improve on the previous campaign’s return.
“Last season was the most prolific I have had for a while and that is at the highest level I have played as well, which is very pleasing,” said the defender.
“My height means that I like to dominate in the air, if the ball is put in the right area I will do everything I can to attack it.
“I like to think I can also strike a ball well and true, so I can get goals on the floor as well.
“There are a lot of young players and reserve teams in the First Division so hopefully I will be able to use my experience and height to my advantage.
“I want to improve in every aspect each year and I want to score more goals. I would be happy with eight next season.”
More by this authorLiam Apicella