Diss RFC plan to rebuild following relegation from London One North
Officials at Diss Rugby Club are planning to waste no time feeling sorry for themselves this summer – as a rebuilding process begins following relegation.
Diss never got their season going and finished second from bottom in London One North, after winning just three league games all season.
Norfolk rivals Holt and Norwich are set for trips to Mackenders next season now, as Diss drop into London Two North East and begin rebuilding their squad.
Former Norwich coach Simon Hill had picked up the reins from Phil Sharpe last season but Hill parted company with the club in February after five successive defeats.
The season ended with defeat at rivals North Walsham, losing 48-3 in the Norfolk Senior Cup final with a depleted line-up.
Rather than feel too abject about the Norfolk rugby crown returning to Scottow after two seasons at Mackenders, director of rugby Paul Cochrane pointed to Walsham as an example for Diss to follow.
“We’re here at Walsham where two years ago they did exactly the same, they went down to London Two,” Cochrane said following the cup clash.
“They’ve lost twice or three times at home in the last two years so they’ve made this place (Scottow) a bit of a fortress, and you could see that by the way they played, so we need to do the same.
“They’re a good club here, Nick (Greenhall, head coach) is a good bloke, he knows what he’s doing. We’ve got to bring a new coaching team in, which we’ve nearly signed and sealed, so we’ll move on.
“There’s a real determination within the club to do that, from the players side of it especially, so I’m quite confident.”
Last season Diss lost all 13 of their away games and won just three home games, although one of those was a 13-3 defeat of Walsham in December.
The season ended with five straight league defeats to seal relegation, but Cochrane already has reason for optimism that happier times are ahead.
“The last two months have been really difficult,” Cochrane admitted. “We’ve had all the really tough sides in the league at the end, we’ve travelled away and got seriously thumped.
“But there’s a good spirit at the club, we’ve got fantastic facilities, the squad as a whole is young, we don’t think the squad is going to leave, we’ve got new players already coming in, we’ve got some overseas players coming in next year from Australia, hopefully our New Zealenders are coming back, we’re going to have a new coaching team in place.
“So we’ll just have a break now, take two or three months off, readjust and think about where we are going to go.
“Whilst the club has spent a lot of money rebuilding and producing a fantastic facility to play from, we’ve got to focus on the playing side, get ourselves back into London One with an aim of getting back into National Three, a bit of a five-year plan really.”