Peaks wants more of the same for Diamonds in 2016

Liam Dolman battles for possession during AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 2-1 success at Bedford Town on Boxing Day
Liam Dolman battles for possession during AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 2-1 success at Bedford Town on Boxing Day

Andy Peaks believes 2015 was a great year for AFC Rushden & Diamonds and now he wants more of the same in 2016.

Diamonds kick-off the new year with a clash against Arlesey Town at the Dog & Duck tomorrow (Saturday).

Peaks’ team got back on track after two defeats in a row when they claimed a 2-1 success at Bedford Town on Boxing Day.

It means, at the turn of the year, they sit in second place in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central, three points behind leaders Chalfont St Peter with two games in hand.

Diamonds have continued on an upward trend after winning the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division title in April.

And Peaks said: “We are saying goodbye to 2015 and it has been a great year for the club so I am just hoping for more of the same in 2016.

“We got out of a league we desperately wanted to get out of and we have given ourselves a fighting chance at the new level.

“The aim was to be in and around the play-off places and we have given ourselves a good chance to achieve that and perhaps go even better.

“But I am not one to rest on my laurels. We are focused on the next game against Arlesey, who have improved a lot of late and we will continue to take it game-by-game.

“I think any one of the top six or seven could still mount a serious challenge.

“There are a lot of very capable teams in this league and I am sure there will be highs and lows in the second half of the season.

“It’s been shown that any team can beat another and I think it makes for an exciting league. “These are exciting times for our club and me as a manager.

“But we will just concentrate on the next game and try to make sure we follow up a good win on Boxing Day.”

Sam Brown is set to play his last match for the club this weekend as he is set to travel to world during the next year.

But Peaks believes the left-back, who has made over 150 appearance for the club having been with them since they formed a senior side in 2012, will return in the future.

“I am sure Sam will have a part to play in this club’s future,” Peaks added.

“He has been with us from the start, he gives 100 per cent, he always turns up for training and “I believe he will captain the club in the years to come. It is a blow for us but we knew this was coming.

“He has been honest with us all the way through. He’s not the sort of lad to just drop something on you and that says all you need to know about him.

“Despite him going, I think the squad still looks good. There is competition for places all over the team and that’s what you need if you want to progress.”