Diamonds squad takes shape ahead of opening friendly

Sam Warburton and Ben Diamond have been confirmed as AFC Rushden & Diamonds' first summer signings

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 11:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 11:30 am
Sam Warburton has swapped Steel Park for Hayden Road after he joined AFC Rushden & Diamonds from Corby Town. Pictures courtesy of Hawkins Images

AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ squad is taking shape as they gear up for the new Southern League Division One Central season.

Diamonds are already back in training and get their pre-season campaign under way on Sunday when they head to Eynesbury Rovers in the Harry Robinson Trophy (3pm) before their next game in the friendly tournament is at Kempston Rovers next Tuesday night.

And fans attending those matches will be able to get a first glimpse of new signings Sam Warburton and Ben Diamond.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ben Diamond is back at AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Left-back Warbuton has joined Diamonds after leaving Corby Town having made 93 appearances for the Steelmen

He said: “I am delighted to join the club and am looking forward to the season ahead and the challenge of stepping up a level.

“I know it’s a well-supported club with a good following so I’m looking forward to getting going.”

And boss Andy Peaks was happy to land one of his big targets for the summer.

“I am absolutely delighted that Sam has agreed to join us,” the Diamonds boss said.

“I’ve known him a long time and have admired his game.

“He comes to us with a long connection to the Diamonds and a reputation for showing a great attitude. He will be a fantastic addition to the squad.”

Diamond, meanwhile, needs no introduction to fans at Hayden Road after he scored 17 goals in 68 appearances for the club, including one on his debut against Moneyfields in 2017 before leaving to spend time travelling.

Diamonds assistant-manager Neil Champelovier added: “It’s great to have Ben back with the club. He was brilliant for us before he went away travelling and I know the fans loved him.

“It’s exciting to have him back and it’s another piece in the jigsaw as we build towards the new season.”

Diamonds also confirmed this week that stalwarts Liam Dolman and Tom Lorraine along with Ryan Hughes, Paddy Casey, Matt Slinn, Jesse Akubuine, Fernando Bell-Toxtle and Alex Collard have signed forms with Diamonds for the new campaign.