Young Diamond Jones already 'generating interest'

AFC Rushden & Diamonds made a winning start to their pre-season friendly programme but it was a product of the club's academy who stole the show

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 11:46 am
Will Jones hit a hat-trick in AFC Rushden & Diamonds' opening friendly at Kempston Rovers. Pictures courtesy of Hawkins Images

Andy Peaks says Will Jones is already “generating a lot of interest” after the young striker made a flying start in pre-season for AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

Diamonds ran in six second-half goals with Jones, who signed a contract with the club this summer, bagging himself a hat-trick in the 7-1 success at Kempston Rovers in the Harry Robinson Cup.

Lorrell Smith was on target in the first half as Diamonds held a 1-0 lead but they ran riot after the break with Jones’ hat-trick being supported by two goals from the returning Ben Diamond and another from a trialist.

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Lorrell Smith is congratulated by Fernando Bell-Toxtle after opening the scoring for Diamonds

But it’s Jones, a product of the club’s academy, who has already got people talking.

“It was tough for the first 45 minutes and there were a few changes for both teams and Will came on because Lorell jarred his ankle and it was perfect for him,” boss Peaks said.

“He was excellent in the second half. We are going to have to look after him because he won’t be able to play all the time but he has shown what he’s all about.

“He gets his shots away, he caused them a lot of problems and he is generating a lot of interest already.

Sam Warburton made his debut for Diamonds in their opening friendly

“I am pleased, he deserves it because he puts a shift in and he epitomises what I want us to be all about.

“He works hard and he has a bit of quality but he also has loads to learn. It was a great start for him.”

As far as pre-season is concerned, Peaks was happy with the start his team made as they build up to the new Southern League Premier Central campaign which begins on August 14.

“We have a run of matches now which is great,” he added.

“There will be players unavailable along the way, which is to be expected but it gives us a chance to have a look at everyone.

“We have to look after our ship and I am confident we will have a strong squad come the start of the season and we will be looking for that mix between experience and youth. We want to create our own identity.

“It’s been a nice start, we have had some good training sessions and now we have some good tests coming up.”

Diamonds head back to Kempston’s Hillgrounds home to take on Eynesbury Rovers in another Harry Robinson Cup match tomorrow (Thursday) night before hosting Cambridge City at Hayden Road on Saturday, which is then followed by a trip to Stamford next Tuesday night.