Sam’s back from his travels and set for a Diamonds return

Sam Brown is set to be back in AFC Rushden & Diamonds colours for the start of next season
Sam Brown is set to be back in AFC Rushden & Diamonds colours for the start of next season

Sam Brown looks set to be back in AFC Rushden & Diamonds colours next season.

The left-back departed the Dog & Duck at the start of the year to go travelling, which resulted in him missing the remainder of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central campaign which ended in a play-off final defeat to St Ives Town.

But Brown is now back on English soil and Diamonds boss Andy Peaks is already looking forward to adding him into next season’s squad.

“Sam is back and that’s going to be a good addition for us,” the Diamonds manager said.

“I knew he was returning to the country and he will be welcomed back here, which was always going to be the case.

“Everyone knows my thoughts on him. He is a good player and we missed him when he went.

“It will be good to see him back out there for us.”

Peaks, meanwhile, insists he is hopeful of retaining the majority of last season’s squad for the new campaign, which looks set to see Diamonds switching into the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South.

The manager confirmed a number of conversations have already taken place with more to follow, although he insists there will be fresh faces in the squad once August rolls around.

“I have spoken to most of them (last season’s squad) and there are further meetings this week,” he added.

“I am quietly confident we can keep most of the squad together, the vast majority seem keen to stay which is great.

“We are bound to lose one or two but if we can keep the core of the squad that did so well last season then it will stand us in good stead.

“It never hurts to bring two or three new faces in and that’s something we will look to do.

“I am relaxed about it at the moment. I don’t think there will be as much pressure on us next season.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for us, it’s a new division but I am looking forward to it.”

Diamonds have now completed their pre-season line-up ahead of the new campaign with a further friendly at Didcot Town on Saturday, July 30.

Diamonds pre-season schedule

July 16: Rushden & Higham United (a, Chris Ruff Memorial Cup), July 21: Peterborough United (h, Maunsell Cup), July 23: Deeping Rangers (a), July 26: Wellingborough Town (h), July 30: Didcot Town (a), August 2: Raunds Town (a), August 6: Hednesford Town (a).