Management Team and First Team Squad Profiles 2012-13

The AFC Rushden & Diamonds Management Team and Squad profiles as at the end of the 2012/13 season are as detailed below and retained as part of the record of that season. Player ages are correct as of 5/4/13.

Management Team

First Team Manager – Mark Starmer. Mark, who holds a UEFA A Coaching Licence, was appointed as AFC R&D Under 18s manager in July 2011, and after assembling his squad from scratch he led them to a successful first season in the Northants Senior Youth League, capped by winning the Northants Senior Youth League Cup. He had previously managed the successful Rushden & Diamonds FC Youth Team, after earlier being Academy Manager at Nene Park. He was then appointed the club’s first ever First Team Manager in April 2012.

First Team Assistant Manager – Andy Peaks. Andy joined Mark Starmer’s management team in May 2012, bringing a wealth of UCL experience as well as his notable career history with Rushden & Diamonds FC where he was eighth in their all-time appearance list, having played 205 times for R&DFC between 1992 and 1997. He holds a UEFA B coaching license.

First Team Coach – Scott Carlin. Scott joined the club after leaving his post as Assistant Manager at Northampton Spencer. Scott, or Biff as he’s more commonly known, brings a wealth of experience having worked with AFC R&D Assistant Andy Peaks over the last few seasons.

First Team Coach – Dean Thomas. Dean joined the club to help out with the coaching of the Under18 side during the 2011-12 season, and then took on a role as a First Team Coach as well as being assistant manager for the Under18′s. He is currently working on his level 2 coaching qualification after a playing career with Corby Town at Southern League Level.

First Team Physiotherapist / Trainer – Colin Hodsden. Following his work with the Under 18s team last season, Colin has joined the club as the physio to all senior teams after fulfilling a similar role with Corby Town. A firm favourite with players and supporters alike, Colin always has a smile and a hand-shake ready for everyone.

 

Goalkeepers

Quincy Shorunmu is a 25-year-old keeper who played for Northampton Spencer in the UCL Premier Division during the 2011-12 season under AFC R&D Assistant Manager Andy Peaks. He won a number of man-of-the-match accolades during that season for his flamboyant performances. In 2012-13 he made 30 starts for the Diamonds, as well as a substitute appearance in the final game of the season. His home shirt sponsor was “Matt and Katie Hawkins” and the away was “International Soccer Network”.

Tom Cross is a 25-year-old goalkeeper who joined from Evesham United in April 2013, having appeared 21 times for them during their 2012/13 campaign in the Southern League South & West Division. After University he started his career at Corby Town and after spells at Irchester Town, Rothwell Town and Wellingborough Whitworth he spent much of the 2011/12 season as part of Bedworth United’s promotion campaign in the Southern League Central Division. After a short spell with Banbury United he joined Evesham United at the end of October 2012. After arriving at the Dog & Duck he appeared the final 7 games of the Diamonds season in 2012-13.

Ashley Foulger is an 19-year-old keeper who graduated from the AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 side, having previously spent 4 years at Northampton Town, 2 years at Kettering Town and then was at the Libero Academy of Football for 3 years. In 2012-13 he made 6 starts and 3 substitute appearances for the club. His home shirt sponsor was “Simon Lee”.

 

Defenders

Chris Hope is a 40-year-old centre-back who started his career as a trainee at Darlington before joining Nottingham Forest. In 1993 he signed for Scunthorpe United where he played over 280 league games before joining Gillingham for £250,000. In July 2006 Chris signed for Rushden & Diamonds FC where he firmly established himself as a pivotal player and firm fans’ favourite at the club. 2009 saw Chris join Corby Town, and he then helped guide St Neots Town to the Southern League Central division title in 2011-12. He is the AFC Rushden & Diamonds club captain. Chris made 35(2) appearances during 2012-13, scoring four goals, recording the most game time of any Diamonds player during the season. He won the Players’ Player of the Season award in 2012-13. His home shirt sponsor was “Tim Sams” and the away sponsor was “Distant Debankers”.

Arron Parkinson is a 34-year-old Northampton-born centre-back who joined the club early in 2013. He has featured in two UCL winning sides – Daventry Town and Woodford United, as well as being captain with Leamington and also playing at Banbury United and Brackley Town before joining Easington Sports who are also based in the Banbury area. After joining the Diamonds he made 8 appearances in the remainder of the 2012-13 season.

Alex Deakin is a 6’2” 25-year-old Centre Back joined from Cogenhoe United having also played for Wellingborough Town in the UCL Premier during the 2011-12 season. He had previously played for Northampton Spencer. In 2012-13 he made 29(2) appearances for the Diamonds, scoring 8 goals, and winning the club Player of the Month award in February 2013. His shirt sponsor was “Fuelsell Multifuel Suppliers”.

Joe Merrill is a versatile 21-year-old who can play as a sweeper, full-back or in midfield, and he also joined the club from Northampton Spencer in the summer of 2012. He made 29 league and cup appearances for the Millers in the UCL Premier in 2011-12. Joe made 25(5) appearances during 2012-13, scoring a goal in the game at Rushden & Higham and winning the club Player of the Month award in September 2012. His home shirt sponsor was “Yvonne and Amy”.

Sam Brown is a 20-year-old defender who played for Mark Starmer when Mark was the Centre of Excellence manager at Rushden & Diamonds FC. He joined AFC Kempston Rovers in 2009, aged 16, and helped them to reach the UCL Premier in 2010. Sam made 35(1) appearances during 2012-13, scoring two goals towards the end of the season, and winning the club Player of the Month award in January and April 2013. He also won the Manager’s Player of the Season award in 2012-13. His shirt sponsor was “Shenstone Plant Limited”.

Jake Gillingwater is a 20-year-old utility player who was a prominent member of Mark Starmer’s youth squad at Rushden & Diamonds FC. After the end of his scholarship, Jake signed for Soham Town Rangers, then went via Northampton Spencer to Irchester United, helping them to climb off the bottom of the league before joining Cogenhoe United in February 2012. Jake made 26(4) appearances during 2012-13, scoring four goals. One of those goals, against Basford United in the FA Vase, won the Diamonds Goal of the Season award at the 2012-13 Presentation Evening.

Jamie O’Grady is a 23-year-old right back, who spent much of the season on-loan at Winslow United in a dual-registration arrangement. He was in the Northampton Town Academy until he was 16 and then signed and played for Aylesbury United for 3 years. He then went over to Leighton Town for 2 years and during the 2011-12 season was at Olney Town. He made 2(1) appearances for the Diamonds in 2012-13.

 

Midfielders

Jamie Gilsenan is a 36-year-old midfielder who joined the club at the end of August 2012 from Thrapston Town. He has extensive UCL experience with Desborough Town and Stewarts and Lloyds, as well as playing at Southern League level for Corby and Stamford. He made 13(3) appearances for the club in 2012-13, scoring two goals. His home shirt sponsor was “Bernie Matthews”.

Matt Gearing is a 26-year old attacking midfielder who joined the club from Cogenhoe United in early November 2012. He started his career in the youth system at Northampton Town before several spells with Rugby Town and a period in Australia. During the remainder of the 2012-13 season he made 24(3) appearances, scoring 5 goals.

Peter Okechukwu is a 25-year-old winger who joined the club from Northampton Spencer. He made 24 appearances for the Millers in the UCL Premier in the 2011-12 season. He scored the historic first goal in the AFC R&D Senior Team’s first ever friendly game in July 2012. He made 6(6) appearances for the Diamonds in 2012-13. His home shirt sponsor was “Motivation & Co”.

Séan McBride joined the club just before the start of the 2012-13 season, having appeared in the final pre-season game. He is a 22-year-old ball-winning central midfielder, Séan spent the 2011-12 season playing for UCL Premier Division side Newport Pagnell Town, making 33 appearances and scoring 4 goals for The Swans. In 2012-13 he made 36(1) appearances for the Diamonds, scoring 3 goals, and winning the club Player of the Month award in December 2012. He also won the AFC Rushden & Diamonds Supporters’ Player of the Season award for 2012-13. His shirt sponsor was “Lee Pickering”.

Brad Harris is a 22-year old midfielder who joined the club from Desborough Town in December 2012. He can play in central midfield or at centre-back. He started his career at Rugby Town, and played at Daventry Town and Long Buckby before joining Northampton Spencer where he played under Diamonds Assistant Manager Andy Peaks. After joining the Diamonds he made 19(3) appearances in the remainder of the 2012-13 season.

George Cox is a 21-year-old central midfielder who has also played at full back. George was with the Rushden & Diamonds youth set up before joining Southern League Division One Central side Biggleswade Town in August 2010. He then joined Spalding United later in the season before signing for Deeping Rangers in July 2011. In 2012-13 he made 4(5) appearances for the Diamonds. His home shirt sponsor was “Richard Beeby” and the away sponsor was “Greg Johnson”.

Aaron King is 20-year-old midfielder who was part of the Rushden & Diamonds FC youth set up from the age of 11. In 2009 he was offered a two year scholarship with Liverpool, but he rejoined the Diamonds in 2010 after an injury in the North West. Aaron featured for RDFC on four occasions, then in 2011/12 he joined Woodford Utd before moving to Daventry Town where he had made 27 appearances and scored 3 goals before joining AFC R&D. After joining the Diamonds he made 14(6) appearances in the remainder of the 2012-13 season, scoring three goals.

Elliot Dent is a 20-year-old midfielder who was part of the Rushden & Diamonds FC League and Cup winning Under 18 squad in the 2010/11 season, a team also managed by Mark Starmer . Having spent a brief spell at Spalding United in 2011, he signed for Peterborough Northern Star going on to make 14 appearances in the UCL Premier Division. During an injury hit season for AFC Rushden & Diamonds in 2012-13 he made 6(6) appearances for the club, scoring a single goal. His shirt sponsor was “Michael Franks Creative Hairdressing”.

Alex McDonald is a 17-year-old utility player who was still a member of the AFC R&D Youth setup, but who earned a call-up to the senior side in October 2012, and after playing in League and County Cup games he made his league debut for the club in November 2012. He previously played for the highly-successful Higham Colts side with whom he won numerous honours, including the under-16 title. He won the U18 Players’ Player of the Season award for the 2012-13 season.

Ashley Meeks is an 18-year-old utility player who graduated from the successful AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 side. Last season he also played for Raunds Town in the UCL as well as in the NSYL. In his early youth days he turned out for Raunds Tigers, Gregory Celtic and Harpole. In mid-August 2012 he went out on loan to Roade where he spent the 2012-13 season.

Matthew Brady is a central midfielder, who spent the 2012-13 season on loan at Winslow United in a dual-registration arrangement. He was at Corby Town from January 2012, having previously been with Kettering Town U21 team and Spalding United. He had earlier played for Newport Pagnell Town and Wellingborough Town.

Louis Smith is an 18-year-old midfielder who came from Denbigh Academy in Milton Keynes. After a successful season with the U18 side he was rewarded with a place in the senior squad. He made 2(8) appearances for the club before moving to Burton Park Wanderers to gain first team experience, but remains a part of Diamonds long term plans.

 

Strikers

Ben Morgan is a 29-year-old striker / winger known for his pace. He has spent much of his career at Thrapston Town, with two spells at the club sandwiching a spell with Northampton Sileby Rangers. In the 2010-11 season he helped Thrapston gain promotion from UCL Division 1 to the UCL Premier. In 2012-13 he made 15(18) appearances for the Diamonds, scoring 9 goals, and winning the club Player of the Month award in October 2012. His home shirt sponsor was “The Letting Company” and the away sponsor was “Rachel Roberts”.

Deven Ellwood is a 26-year-old forward player who has spent much of his career at Wellingborough Whitworth, but has also been with Rothwell Corinthians, Raunds Town and Thrapston Town before moving back to Victoria Mill early in 2012. He also featured for Kettering Town in pre-season games before the start of the 2011-12 season. In 2012-13 he made 15(10) appearances for the Diamonds, scoring 3 goals. His shirt sponsor was “Mal Swinden Photography”.

Alfie Taylor is a 24-year-old striker with a wealth of experience at both UCL and Southern League levels. Starting his career at Wellingborough Town, Alfie played UCL Premier football for Northampton Spencer, scoring 23 league goals in the 2008/9 season and Cogenhoe United, bagging 30 in all competitions for The Cooks the following year. More recently, Alfie has regularly featured in the Southern League for Brackley Town, Daventry Town and Woodford Utd. He scored the historic first goal for the Senior Team in their first league game in August 2012. In 2012-13 he made 29(5) appearances for the Diamonds, scoring 22 goals, and winning the club Player of the Month award in August 2012. His shirt sponsor was “Neil & Sam Saunderson”.

Jack Wisniewski is a 23-year-old forward who joined the club from Burton Park Wanderers after a successful 2011-12 season at Latimer Park where he finished as the club’s top scorer with 20 goals in league and cup. He has also previously played for Thrapston Town. In 2012-13 he made 35(1) appearances for the Diamonds, scoring 15 goals, and winning the club Player of the Month award in March 2013. His shirt sponsor was “Distant Debankers”.

Lance Allen is a 23-year old forward who joined the club in November 2012 from Bugbrooke St Michaels. Lance scored 6 times in 14 appearances for the Badgers in the 2011-12 season. After joining the Diamonds he made 6 starts and 15 further appearances from the bench in the 2012-13 season, scoring 6 times.

Jake Newman is a 21-year-old striker who joined the club from Northampton Sileby Rangers in September 2012. He had previously played for Wellingborough Whitworth, for whom he scored 27 goals in the 2011-12 season. In 2012-13 he made 32(5) appearances for the Diamonds, and was the club’s leading scorer with 26 goals. He won the club Player of the Month award in November 2012. His home shirt sponsor was “Daniel Simister, Gareth Wibberley and Simon Campbell”.

Jake Reynolds is a 17-year-old striker who is a regular with the Diamonds U18 side in 2012-13, and after two hat-tricks in consecutive NSYL games he signed senior forms with the club in October 2012 and made a single substitute appearance for the senior team during 2012-13.

 

Players Leaving the Club in 2012-13

Aynsley McDonald started the 2012-13 season as AFC Rushden & Diamonds team captain. The versatile 20-year-old was well-known to Diamonds fans having joined the RDFC Youth Academy at Under 13 level and progressed to earn a place in the first team squad, making his debut in April 2010. Aynsley had represented Wales at Under 17 level was at Blue Square North side Corby Town during the 2011-12 season. He left the club in October 2012 after having made 11 appearances for the club.

James Allcock is a 24-year-old utility player who joined from Northampton Spencer. He made 38 appearances for the Millers during the 2011-12 season, scoring 11 goals in league and cup for the team during their season in the UCL Premier. He had also played 3 games at Kingsthorpe Mill in the 2010-11 season. He made a single appearance for the Diamonds early in the 2012-13 season and left the club at the start of September 2012.

Troy Johnston is a 20-year-old midfield player who has played in the Blue Square North with Corby Town, as well as a spell in the UCL Premier with Spalding United. He started out with the MK Dons academy, moving from there to the Northampton Town youth set-up and then on to Woodford United. He made a single appearance for the Diamonds early in the 2012-13 season and left the club at the start of September 2012.

 

 
 
 

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