Jake Newman is determined to continue his prolific form in front of goal after his return to AFC Rushden & Diamonds was confirmed.
The striker was one of three new recruits unveiled by the club during their ‘signing day’ last weekend with former Daventry Town midfielder Joe Curtis and ex-Kirby Muxloe man Pradeep Bahrey also being snapped up by boss Andy Peaks.
Newman enjoyed an impressive first spell with Diamonds in the United Counties League Division One when he fired 26 goals in 37 appearances during the 2012-13 campaign.
He then joined Kettering Town for what proved to be a disappointing stint at Latimer Park but his free-scoring form at Wellingborough Town earned him a move to Spalding United and then, during last season, to Stamford where he was again prolific.
The 24-year-old revealed a move back to the Dog & Duck could have happened as early as last season but, now he is back in Diamonds colours, he is ready to show what he can do again.
“It’s good to be back,” Newman said.
““I was close to coming back in the middle of last season before I signed for Stamford.
“I wanted to have a go at a higher level and I thought I did pretty well.
Stamford had a new manager and they were 10 points adrift of safety when I went there and we just missed out on surviving by a point.
“But I have spoken with Andy Peaks a lot and I was always hoping I would get the chance to come back this summer.
“I really enjoyed my first spell at the club. I probably shouldn’t have left but that was another chance to play at a higher level.
“It didn’t work out but I have gone on to play at other clubs and I have managed to score a lot of goals and I am hoping I can carry that on here, that’s the plan anyway!
“Someone messaged me and said I need 25 goals to become the club’s all-time leading scorer so that’s something to aim at!”
While Diamonds unveiled the trio of new additions last weekend, they also confirmed their retained list with Matt Finlay, Liam Dolman, Jack Ashton, Brad Harris, Richard Bunting, Tom Manship, Lewis Leslie, Tom Lorraine, Jon Stevenson, Nabil Shariff, Luke Hipwell, Joe Ackroyd and Alex Vitue all being kept on.
Diamonds will be in the new surroundings of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South.
And while Newman expects it to be tough, he insists Diamonds should be setting their sights high once again after the club just missed out on promotion when they were beaten in the Southern League Division One Central play-off final back in May.
“It’s going to be a tough league,” Newman added.
“I have played at Spalding and Stamford recently so I am sure they will be strong, Shaw Lane were in the play-off final last season and Northwich Victoria are in there as well.
“There are some big teams in the division so it will be hard.
“But we have got to aim for the play-offs.
“To be honest, the aim at the start of every season is to try to go and win the whole thing.
“I think the manager is putting together a decent squad and hopefully we can challenge.”