Peaks still looking to strength his Diamonds squad

AFC Rushden & Diamonds have been in good form in pre-season

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 9:32 am
Updated Thursday, 29th July 2021, 9:34 am
Ben Diamond rises to head home AFC Rushden & Diamonds' opening goal in their 3-1 victory over a youthful Northampton Town side on Tuesday. Pictures courtesy of Hawkins Images

Andy Peaks insists he is still looking to add more players to his AFC Rushden & Diamonds squad ahead of the big kick-off in the Southern League Premier Central.

Diamonds are enjoying a successful pre-season so far having won all their friendlies this summer with the latest successes being a 5-0 victory over Rushden & Higham United in the Chris Ruff Memorial Cup last weekend and a 3-1 win against a youthful Northampton Town side at Wellingborough Town’s Dog & Duck ground on Tuesday evening.

A Will Jones hat-trick, his second of pre-season, and goals from Tom Lorraine and youngster Will Glennon sealed the win last Saturday before Ben Diamond, Lorraine and an own-goal wrapped things up in midweek.

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An own-goal wrapped a 3-1 win for Diamonds in midweek

“I think Tuesday was the first time we have had pretty much everyone available with no injuries and no-one isolating out of the senior players,” Diamonds manager Peaks said.

“In general, we were pretty strong and it was good to make changes without it weakening us.

“I want it to be competitive, I want us to have a good group. The signs are good so far.

“I am still looking to bring a couple in, that’s for sure. We have got quite a lot of young ones in there and when things are going well, they’re great with lots of energy and endeavour.

“But we know that we have some tough fixtures early on and when things don’t start well and don’t go quite right, we are going to need some leaders as well.

“So I am still looking to add a couple but I want to bring the right people in. I am not the sort of manager who goes and signs players just for the sake of it. They have to fit the profile of what I and the club want.”

Diamonds are back in pre-season action at Dunstable Town tonight (Thursday) before hosting Daventry Town on Saturday as the build-up continues towards their opening game of the league season against Banbury United on Tuesday, August 17.

And while Peaks has been pleased with the results so far, he insists getting the right amount of minutes into his players remains the priority at this stage.

“I don’t read too much into results because a lot of the fixtures we have had, I’d expect us to win if I am being really honest,” he added.

“Perhaps not on Tuesday night because Northampton had some good players out there, they had a mix of young players and first-teamers so we knew we would have to be good to get a result.

“I was really happy with what we did. The matches so far have been perfect for what we are doing.

“We are doing a bit of rebuilding after losing two or three players and it’s giving me a chance to have a look at some lad while also giving some of the younger boys a chance. The balance has been pretty good.

“We have Dunstable tonight and we will mix and match the squad for that.

“It will give more of the lads some minutes. People have had a long break and it’s all about building things up to make sure that by the time we start the season, the majority of boys have got those 90 minutes under their belt.”