Diamonds boss Peaks is targeting a play-off push

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks is targeting a play-off push in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central next season
AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks is targeting a play-off push in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central next season

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks is targeting the play-offs next season.

Peaks was “pleased” with the news that Diamonds will play in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central next season.

He’s happy to avoid the extra mileage that playing in other divisions would have meant and instead, Diamonds go into the league won by Kettering Town last season.

Bedworth United also went up via the play-offs and Peaks says a top-five finish is a realistic target for his side in 2015-2016.

Peaks said: “I watched Kettering, Bedford and Daventry last season in anticipation of us going up, so I have some idea of what we’re up against.

“I’m not saying we will do what Kettering did last season, but I think we can be competitive and by Christmas I would like to think we will be in with a shout of the play-offs.

“In leagues where only one team goes up, if you get off to a bad start, you are out of it.

“But having the play-offs means we can afford to have a hiccup here and there and stay in contention.

“We’ve looked at the facts and know how many points gets you into the play-offs. We definitely think it’s achievable.

“We want to kick on and we’re looking forward to the challenge of going to new grounds and playing new teams.

“If we have the same attitude we had last season, I’m sure we can do well.”

Diamonds will take plenty of momentum with them having topped the UCL Premier Division with a 99-point haul.

Peaks reports he’s spoken to the players who took Diamonds up and said: “I think most of them want to stay.

“I have always said I will give the players the opportunity to play at the higher level and it’s down to them whether they want to take the opportunity.

“We will give them the best offer we can within our means to keep them.

“There will be extra travelling next season and that could be an issue for some of the players.

“I hope it’s not an issue, but if players do leave, we will look at bringing people in to replace them.”