Player-boss Harriman excited as he takes on the top job at AFC Rushden & Diamonds

New AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Michael HarrimanNew AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Michael Harriman
New AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Michael Harriman
Michael Harriman says he 'absolutely delighted' to have been handed the chance to manage AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

The former Northampton Town defender was unveiled as the new player-boss at Hayden Road on Tuesday night, just under three weeks after the departure of Chris Nunn by mutual consent.

Harriman joined Diamonds as a player last March, and then in the summer was appointed player-coach.

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Following Nunn's departure, Harriman was placed in joint temporary charge alongside Tom Lorraine, and the pair had an immediate impact, with Diamonds claiming their first win of the season against Coleshill in their first match in charge.

A 2-0 defeat at Sutton Coldfield followed last Saturday, but the pair had done enough to impress chairman Rob Usher and the Diamonds board that they are capable of changing the team's fortunes.

Harriman has been named manager, with Lorraine his assistant, and the new boss is excited by the challenge ahead.

“I’m absolutely delighted to take on this role moving forward," said the 31-year-old, who made 317 senior appearances in his Football League career, with clubs such as the Cobblers, Wycombe Wanderers, Luton Town, Gillingham and Queens Park Rangers.

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"This is a fantastic football club and to be given the chance to test myself in a new role is something that really excites me.

"The group of players we have here are an exciting bunch to work with.

"They are keen to learn and improve and will ultimately give 100 per cent for this football club and that’s all I can ask."

Harriman becomes the club's fourth manager in the past 12 months.

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Last season started with Andy Burgess in charge, before he was sacked and briefly replaced by Richard Maxwell, with Nunn taking the reins last December.

It has been a difficult year for Usher and the Hayden Road board, but the chairman feels the partnership of Harriman and Lorraine is a good fit for the club.

“The decision to appoint Michael became a straightforward decision in the end, for two reasons,” said Usher.

"Firstly, it was clear to us all that the reaction from the players to Michael and Tom stepping in on an interim basis was overwhelmingly positive.

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"Myself and Alex (Raspin, deputy chairman) have been down to watch training sessions that have been incredibly lively, intense and enjoyable and we’ve already seen this translate onto the pitch.

"Secondly, during the interview process the board of AFC Rushden & Diamonds and those that assisted us with the process were blown away by Michael’s passion for the club, his vision, his playing philosophy and his desire to do whatever is required to ensure that our club is successful once more.”

Harriman's first match in charge is this Saturday against Rugby Town.

It is a huge game, with Diamonds knowing a win will take them off the bottom of the Pitching-In Northern Premier League Midlands Division, with another home date with third-from-bottom Boldmere St Michael's on November 4.

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And Harriman wants to see the supporters come out to back the team in numbers.

"We have two really big games coming up at Hayden Road and we need you more than ever," Harriman appealed to the fans.

"So please come out, be loud and proud and support these players. Let’s move forward together.”

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