Joseph is staying as Dog & Duck duo prepare for friendly

AFC Rushden & Diamonds continue their preparations with a pre-season friendly against Wellingborough Town tomorrow
AFC Rushden & Diamonds continue their preparations with a pre-season friendly against Wellingborough Town tomorrow

Scott Joseph is staying at AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

Joseph last season bagged 13 goals as Diamonds powered to the UCL Premier Division title, but because of personal issues, he didn’t put pen to paper on a new deal until the weekend.

He agreed terms before the goalless draw with AFC Wealdstone on Saturday and first-team coach Scott Carlin describes the news as “a massive boost for the whole club.”

He added: “Towards the end of last season Scott was scoring a lot of goals that pushed us on to win the league.

“He’s a good player and a good lad as well.

“Scott staying means we have options up front. They will all be putting pressure on each other to keep performances high this season.”

Last season, Joseph netted six goals in his last five appearances.

That includes a double in the 4-1 win at Northampton Sileby Rangers that secured the UCL Premier Division championship and two more against Wellingborough Town.

Diamonds and the Doughboys meet again at the Dog & Duck in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday night (7.45pm).

Diamonds go into game in confident mood having last weekend held AFC Wealdstone, from Vanarama National League South, to a goalless draw.

Carlin said: “We’ve played good sides from higher leagues in our last two matches (Biggleswade and Wealdstone) and have more than held our own. Watching the games, you wouldn’t know who was from the higher league.”

Steve Spriggs played in both games and while he has yet to sign a contract, Carlin expects him to play against Wellingborough tomorrow and agree terms in the next few days.

Nabil Shariff is also expected to play against the Doughboys having missed the Wealdstone fixture, while Diamonds are keen to see Jack Ashton return after he picked up a knock against Enfield.

Carlin, who also takes a team to Lutterworth Athletic on Wednesday night, says he expects “a feisty local derby” at the Dog and Duck.

Doughboys boss Jamie Wright said: “Diamonds are where we want to be and we want to go out there, have a go at them and see if we can compete.

“We have been progressing nicely in pre season and this game will tell us where we are.”

Wright revealed striker Jon Mitchell has left Wellinborough to join Raunds Town.

He said: “We didn’t need five strikers and Jon wanted regular football, so we agreed to let him go.”