Diamonds ‘are ready’ for the traditional curtain-raiser

Andy Peaks takes AFC Rushden & Diamonds to Rushden & Higham United for their first friendly of the summer tomorrow
Andy Peaks takes AFC Rushden & Diamonds to Rushden & Higham United for their first friendly of the summer tomorrow
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Andy Peaks believes his AFC Rushden & Diamonds squad “are ready” for the traditional curtain-raiser to their pre-season schedule on tomorrow (Saturday).

Diamonds’ preparations for the forthcoming Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South campaign, which gets under way on August 13, will step up a notch when they head to United Counties League Division One side Rushden & Higham United for the annual Chris Ruff Memorial Cup match.

And while Peaks knows there is still more work to do to ensure his squad is ready for the big kick-off in just over four weeks, he feels the opening friendly has come at a perfect time.

“We are looking forward to it,” Peaks said.

“We aren’t working with a massive squad at the moment but that’s not a bad thing at this stage, it will give us chance to get a lot of minutes into the players.

“We have a few trialists who we need to have a look at and I think the lads are ready for a game because they have worked hard in the past two-and-a-half weeks.

“We do have one or two lads missing because of holidays and other things but we will be strong and we are just keen to get going.

“This fixture for the Memorial Cup is always our first one of pre-season, it’s become a tradition.

“It is usually very competitive and well supported and I am sure a lot of our fans will be keen to come and have a look at us.”

Diamonds’ next match action after this weekend sees them take on Peterborough United in the Maunsell Cup final at the Dog & Duck next Thursday.