Peaks: I've taken Diamonds as far as I can

Andy Peaks has given an emotional interview after he departed AFC Rushden & Diamonds to take over as manager at Tamworth

By Jon Dunham
Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 1:07 pm
Andy Peaks has left AFC Rushden & Diamonds after eight years in charge
Andy Peaks has left AFC Rushden & Diamonds after eight years in charge

An emotional Andy Peaks insists the “bigger picture” came into play after he decided to leave AFC Rushden & Diamonds after nearly eight years in charge to take over as manager at Southern League Premier Central rivals Tamworth.

In bombshell news on Tuesday night, Peaks was appointed as the new Lambs manager after they made an approach to Diamonds for him on Sunday afternoon.

He leaves Hayden Road having overseen two promotions to get Diamonds to Step 3 while, this season, he has led them into the play-off places after a superb run of form since the middle of October.

By contrast, Tamworth have seemingly under-performed this season having been touted as one of the promotion favourites last summer, and Peaks takes charge of a club sitting just above the relegation zone.

From the outside looking in, it would seem an unusual step to make at this particularly time.

But Peaks admitted he feels he may have taken Diamonds as far as he can while an opportunity to fulfill his own ambitions may lie with the Lambs.

“The timing is not ideal, I get that, with Diamonds being in such a good position,” Peaks said.

“But opportunities of this magnitude don’t come along very often.

“I looked at Tamworth and where they should be compared to where they are and I just think there’s an opportunity to get the club up and running again. That appealed to me.

“Then I look at where I was with the best group of players I have ever had, and I said that to them on Tuesday night, and I just looked at it and asked myself how much further I could take it with what I’ve got. That’s me being honest.

“I have had some great times at the club, loads of highs and not many lows and I have a lot of time for a lot of people at the club and a lot of the supporters.

“But I just looked at the bigger picture and I thought it was difficult to do better than what we have been doing.

“Even if we had won the play-offs, it would have been very hard next season.

“I respect the club for it. They don’t go over and above their budget, they never have done and I do respect that.

“But I am still very ambitious and I looked at this opportunity and if I didn’t take it, I know I would always look back and say I should have done.

“I am emotional about it. I know it’s not ideal timing but I don’t want any ‘what ifs’.

“It’s been a pleasure working with that group and I told them I want them to kick on and not waste the effort they have put in. I want them to stay in the play-offs.

“For me, it’s a new chapter and I just have to get on with it now.”

After eight years at Diamonds, which included numerous highlights including promotions from Steps 4 and 5 as well as a memorable NFA Hillier Senior Cup final win over Kettering Town in 2016, Peaks has nothing but positive feelings towards the club.

“There have to be lots of positives on both sides for a manager to stay that long,” he added.

“I must have enjoyed it and I must have done reasonably well.

“I am a loyal person. I’m not someone who has been touting for jobs left, right and centre. I never applied for anything.

“This was just something that came up. I know there’s a lot of work to be done at Tamworth, you can see that from looking at the league.

“But it’s a fresh challenge for me and it’s something I needed to have a go at.”

Peaks also confirmed assistant-manager Neil Champelovier and coach Tom Chapman would be going with him as part of his backroom staff at Tamworth.