Trio of new signings as Diamonds’ squad takes shape

Former Daventry Town midfielder Joe Curtis has been confirmed as one of three new signings for AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Former Daventry Town midfielder Joe Curtis has been confirmed as one of three new signings for AFC Rushden & Diamonds
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AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ squad is beginning to take shape as they prepare for the new surroundings of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South.

After the registration window opened on Friday, Diamonds boss Andy Peaks wasted little time in retaining a number of last season’s squad, which was only denied promotion when they were beaten 2-1 by St Ives Town in the Southern League Division One Central play-off final.

Three new signings have also been confirmed.

As expected, striker Jake Newman has returned to the Dog & Duck while former Daventry Town midfielder Joe Curtis has also signed for the club.

Diamonds have also added the versatile Pradeep Bahrey, who was most recently with United Counties League Premier Division side Kirby Muxloe.

Sam Brown’s return to the club has also been confirmed after he left during last season to go travelling.

On top of those, Diamonds have also retained 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 from last season’s squad.

Claudiu Hoban has left the club as he is relocating while Shawn Richards has also departed and striker Tom Liversedge has been forced to retire due to injury.

Peaks said: “At this time of year every club has a full budget and some have had their heads turned because of what people say they can offer.

“Obviously to lose Claudiu is a big blow, through no fault of his or the club’s, as he’s relocating due to work commitments.

“I also feel gutted for Tom Liversedge as well, as football is a massive part of his life and he is a great lad, so to have to retire at such an early age is terrible.

“I’m really pleased that Jake Newman is joining as I’m sure he’ll bring something different to the team. He has a great work ethic and is a natural goalscorer.

“I tried to get Joe Curtis involved last year but he decided to join Spalding as we had quite a few midfielders at the time, I’m sure he will be a great asset to the club.

“Having Sam Brown back is a massive boost, everyone knows exactly what he brings to the club and saw how much we missed him when he left.

“I still have quite a few players to look at in pre-season.

“Some of these I know and some have been recommended, but I don’t want to rush into signing players for the sake of it – they need to be the right players with the right mindset and attitude to succeed at this club.”