Diamonds boss Peaks relishing Rushden move

Hayden Road will host AFC Rushden & Diamonds from next season
Hayden Road will host AFC Rushden & Diamonds from next season

Andy Peaks is already relishing the prospect of AFC Rushden & Diamonds playing in Rushden from next season.

Diamonds are set to begin a groundshare with United Counties League Division One side Rushden & Higham United at Hayden Road once they leave Wellingborough Town’s Dog & Duck ground at the end of the current season.

A vote by the club’s members went in favour of a move to Hayden Road by an overwhelming majority after it was presented as one of three options.

Diamonds will have to carry out some work on the ground to bring it up to the appropriate grading for the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

But for boss Peaks it will also be a trip down memory lane after he played there for Rushden Town before the merger with Irthlingborough Diamonds in 1992.

“I think it’s fantastic news,” the Diamonds manager said.

“As good as it has been at Wellingborough, I think the fact it will be moving to Rushden is great for everyone concerned.

“It’s where I played for Rushden Town back in the day and to be able to go there as manager of this club next season is something that will be very special.

“I always thought it was a great ground to play at, the atmosphere was always great when we had 300 or 400 people watching us.

“There is a lot of work for us to do but I know some of the people at Rushden & Higham and they good, hard-working football people and I am sure we can all help each other.”

A game between Rushden & Higham and Diamonds at Hayden Road back in 2012 when the two clubs were in UCL Division One attracted a big attendance of 1,157.

And Peaks is hoping that will be measure of what could lie ahead for Diamonds in the future.

“Obviously that game sticks in my mind because we were getting similar crowds of 400 or 500 and then everyone was gobsmacked by the number of people who went to that match,” he added.

“I think that day shows the level of support there is for the club in the town and hopefully that will show in the attendances when we are there.

“I think the move there can really help bring everyone even closer together and that will be no bad thing for the club at all.”