Foundations in place as Collard and Dolman commit to Diamonds

Captain Liam Dolman will be playing for Andy Peaks at AFC Rushden & Diamonds again next season
Captain Liam Dolman will be playing for Andy Peaks at AFC Rushden & Diamonds again next season

Andy Peaks believes some solid foundations have already been put in place for AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ second season in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central.

It’s been a calm and quiet summer at Hayden Road so far but boss Peaks has already made a couple of moves to keep two key players at the club for the next campaign.

At the end of last week, Diamonds confirmed that highly-rated central defender Alex Collard has signed a contract with the club for the new season.

And boss Peaks provided a further boost this week as he revealed captain Liam Dolman has already agreed to stay with the club.

“It has been fairly calm so far,” Peaks said.

“I am hopeful that the vast majority of last season’s squad will be back and obviously we will be looking to add some new faces.

“It was great to get the contract done with Alex. I watched him a couple of times before we got him in and he just got stronger and stronger and better and better as the season went on.

“And I am really pleased because Liam has agreed to extend his stay with us so it already gives “us a solid base to build on.

Whether we play with two or three at the back, we have two strong players already committed.

“It’s really important that we are as solid as possible defensively and having those two already on board gives us a good start.”

There was cause for celebration for Peaks last weekend.

The Diamonds boss is also the manager of the club’s Under-16 team and they rounded off a superb season by being crowned the NERF Junior Premier League National champions after beating FAB Academy 3-2 at Oxford City.

Charlie Pearson scored twice and William Jones grabbed what proved to be the winner for the Diamonds youngsters.

And Peaks said: “I am massively proud of the boys, most of whom have been with the club since under-12s.

“To be crowned National Champions for the under-16s is a great recognition for this group of players and reward for their efforts and commitment to AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

“This is a very strong group coming through the academy structure and, as I have worked with and trusted them for so long, provides genuine optimism for potential future first-team players."