Peaks believes Diamonds can continue to climb

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks
AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks

Andy Peaks believes he can take AFC Rushden & Diamonds into the top flight of non-League football.

Diamonds kick off next season in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central after securing the UCL Premier Division championship and Peaks is confident the club can continue to climb the non-League ladder.

Peaks, who returns to pre-season training with his squad on Tuesday, June 30, said: “We have gone up two leagues in the last three seasons and now we are looking to kick on, then we will reassess where we are again.

“We have the backing and the right people behind the scenes to keep climbing and we want to go as far as we can.

“I won’t say we will get as far as we did before (Diamonds reached League One), but I would like to think we can get to the National League North or the National League itself.

“Whatever we do, it has to be sustainable. We don’t have a rich benefactor anymore, so we have to work within our means.”

If Diamonds are to keep climbing the leagues, on thing they will probably need to do is find a new ground.

Since being formed four years ago, Diamonds have shared the Dog & Duck with Wellingborough Town.

Vice-chairman John Ward revealed he has held talks “with as many people as possible” as he looks to find a new ground for the club.

He said: “We knew when we moved to Wellingborough we could be there for 10 years, but it will affect the growth of the club if we achieve two more promotions.

“We will have to move at some stage because playing at the Dog & Duck will stop us growing and the more promotions Andy gets, the greater the pressure there is to find our own ground.

“We are having talks with as many people as possible and if someone said we can rent or buy in the area we would sit down and look at it.

“Ideally, we would like a stadium with its own training facilities and we aren’t greedy. We would be happy to share it with other sporting clubs in the area.

“But because of the housing developments planned for Rushden, Higham and Irthlingborough, anyone who has any land has held onto it.

“The people we’ve spoken to have been asking for housing development prices and that’s proved to be an obstruction.”