Club marks finale of its first season

AFC Rushden & Diamonds will celebrate a turnaround in fortunes and its first season as a new club with its final competitive game of the season tomorrow.

The club was formed after the demise of Rushden & Diamonds Football Club in the summer last year.

Since then committed volunteers have been working hard to reform the club by playing an under-18 team in the Northants Senior Youth League. The team will take on AFC Kempston Rovers in the Northants Senior Youth League Cup Final tomorrow at Steel Park in Corby.

Vice-chairman Jon Ward said the club was attracting crowds of just under 300 now and was going from strength to strength.

Mr Ward said: “It’s been astonishing, from having not even a club in July to forming a club, not having a team and then getting a team.

“We just wanted to be competitive really. To qualify for the cup final is brilliant for the team but it’s also brilliant for the fans and people off the field, we couldn’t have wished for more in the first season.”

Mr Ward said a lot of hard work by a lot of people had gone into making the club a success. He said: “The whole club has put in a lot of time and a lot of effort. Something like the cup final is the icing on the cake. It will be a good celebration of what we have achieved, as well as having everyone together and being able to create a bit of an atmosphere.

“It will be fantastic for everyone off the pitch and it will be a good experience for the players on the pitch as well.”

Mr Ward said AFC Rushden & Diamonds was already looking forward to next season. Trials for players for the under-18s team will take place in May and for the senior team in June.

He said the last year, from Rushden & Diamonds’ demise to the creation of the new club, had been a “learning curve”. Mr Ward said: “You look back on it and this time last year I was watching football as just a fan, as were all the other members of the committee.”

Kick off for the cup final is at 7.45pm. Admission is £3 for adults, £1 concessions.