Diamonds will show respect, says boss Starmer

Desborough Town boss Steve Walker leads his team into an opening-day home clash with Huntingdon Town on Saturday

Desborough Town boss Steve Walker leads his team into an opening-day home clash with Huntingdon Town on Saturday

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Mark Starmer knows there will be those who will be looking to shoot down AFC Rushden & Diamonds during their debut season in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division.

But the Diamonds boss insists his team won’t change their approach as they look to make an impact following their promotion from Division One in their first-ever campaign as a senior club last time out.

Diamonds open their season with a tough trip to Deeping Rangers on Saturday and Starmer says his club will be full of respect for every team they come up against.

“There will be some who will want to shoot us down and want us to fail, we know that,” the Diamonds boss said.

“But we will do things right on and off the pitch and we will respect every team we meet.

“But fans will be fans and there will be some who won’t be happy with 300 or 400 supporters coming to their grounds and there will be the usual accusations about wages and budgets as well.

“The fact is, there is only a certain number of people who know the truth. We have a budget but it is not a great deal higher than last year.

“We have kept the players we wanted to keep from last season and we have added to the squad in certain areas.

“I want to give the lads who got us here the opportunity to push us on at the next level and I am sure they will grab it with both hands.”

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Wellingborough Town face a stern test on the opening day when they take on new boys and highly-fancied Wisbech Town at the Dog & Duck.

Boss Craig Adams led the Doughboys on an incredible run during the second half of last season to steer them away from the relegation zone and has revealed the club will be targeting a top-half finish this time round.

Desborough Town also start at home as they play Huntingdon Town at the renamed S6 Stadium with Steve Walker’s team looking to build on an excellent last campaign when they finished comfortably in mid-table.

It is, however, tougher times for Stewarts & Lloyds, who kick-off their season at Yaxley.

Lee Duffy is set to be in charge of the Foundrymen for the clash following the shock departure of manager Daren Young earlier this week. S&L’s hunt for their next permanent boss has now begun.