Burgess expects assistant Willmott to 'have an impact' at Diamonds

Andy Burgess believes Chris Willmott will have “an impact throughout the club” at AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

Thursday, 9th June 2022, 10:05 am
Andy Burgess has his backroom staff in place at Hayden Road
Andy Burgess has his backroom staff in place at Hayden Road

Boss Burgess appointed his former Oxford United team-mate as his assistant-manager for the forthcoming campaign.

Willmott has since also been confirmed as Diamonds’ new Head of Academy following the departure of Scott Carlin.

Willmott will combine both roles at Hayden Road as he makes up part of a new-look backroom staff for Burgess who is embarking on his first full season at the helm.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Martin Whalley has taken on the role as head of performance while Dominic Wheway will be the performance and recruitment analyst. Goalkeeping coach Nathan Gaunt and sports therapist Roisin O’Farrell are staying on in their roles.

Willmott replaces Lee Glover, who was Burgess’ assistant after he took over for the latter stages of the Southern League Premier Central campaign but has since taken on the manager’s job at Kettering Town.

And Burgess believes he has the perfect man for the job alongside him for next season.

“Obviously Gloves (Glover) came in at a time where we all knew it was going to be temporary,” the Diamonds manager said.

“He did a good job for us, he’s a good friend and I appreciate the work he put in.

“Chris was always somebody who I had identified. He is so different to your typical type of footballer I played with. He was sensible, down to earth and normal. He is a really good character.

“He’s not going to be someone who just comes in and agrees with me, he is going to say what he feels and I think he will have an impact throughout the club.

“He’s played professionally in this area with Northampton Town and he comes with a great reputation.

“He will put a different set of eyes on things, particularly defensively.

“I am delighted to get everything sorted and in place with the backroom staff. We have had a few meetings already and we will now focus on the players and getting a squad ready.”

Diamonds were hit by another departure this week with left-back Sam Warburton confirming he has left the club after both Liam Dolman and Alex Collard departed to join former manager Andy Peaks at Tamworth.

Diamonds, meanwhile, have confirmed their pre-season schedule.

It kicks-off with a trip to Kempston Rovers on Saturday, July 2 (3pm) before they host a Milton Keynes Dons XI at Hayden Road on July 5 (7.30pm).

Diamonds travel to Stamford on July 9 (3pm) and then play Carlin’s Cogenhoe United in the first round of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup at Compton Park on July 16 (3pm).

Burgess’ team entertain a Northampton Town XI at Hayden Road on Tuesday, July 19 (7.30pm) and Brackley Town a week later on July 26 (7.45pm) with a friendly at Daventry Town in between on July 23 (3pm).

Their final friendly will be against a Luton Town X at Hayden Road on Friday, July 29 (7.45pm) with the new season kicking off on Saturday, August 6.