Management Team and First Team Squad Profiles 2013-14

The AFC Rushden & Diamonds Management Team and Squad as at the end of the 2013/14 season are detailed below. For individual profiles including game and competition stats see here, and for general player and game stats see here. Player ages are correct as of 19/4/14.

Management Team

First Team Manager – Andy Peaks. Andy had 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. He took over control of first-team affairs in a caretaker role following Mark Starmer’s resignation on 19th March 2014, and was installed on a permanent basis a month later.

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 Manager Andy Peaks over the last few seasons.

U21 Team Manager / 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 during 2012-13 season. For 2013-14 he has taken control of the Diamonds U21 side. His playing career was with Corby Town at Southern League Level.

First Team Physiotherapist – Kimberley Barton / Kelly Freeman.

Goalkeepers

Matt Finlay joined the club from Cogenhoe United at the end of January 2014. The 33 years old goalkeeper joined the Cooks in August 2013 after playing in the Northern Premier League Division One South to help Stamford win promotion to step 3 in the 2012-13 season, joining the Daniels from Banbury United. He had previously played for Woodford United, helping the Reds win the UCL Premier Division title and then playing for them in the Southern League. He has also played for Raunds Town, Bedford Town, Daventry Town, Brackley Town, St Neots Town, Wellingborough Town and Oxford City. He made 13 appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14.

Quincy Shorunmu is a 26-year-old keeper who played for Northampton Spencer in the UCL Premier Division during the 2011-12 season under AFC R&D 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. He missed most of the 2013/14 season whilst recovering from an operation to resolve a long-standing injury.

Adam Whybrow is an 18-year-old goalkeeper who is currently on the books at Luton Town, playing in their Youth Development side, and joined the club in October 2013 as cover for Quincy Shorunmu whilst he was out of action following shoulder surgery.

Connor Brown is a 17-year-old goalkeeper whose performances with the U18 and U21 sides earned him a chance to sign full UCL forms with the club in late October 2013. He had spells with the R&DFC and Peterborough United Junior / Academy systems before joining AFC R&D.

Defenders

Arron Parkinson is a 35-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, followed by a further 23(3) appearances in 2013-14.

Alex Deakin is a 6’2” 26-year-old Centre Back who joined from Cogenhoe United in June 2012, 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. He made 21(5) appearances in 2013-14.

Ryan Walker is a 24-year-old defender, who joined the Diamonds on a dual registration basis with Stamford AFC in March 2014. He joined the Daniels at the start of the 2013-14 season from Gresley FC. He had played the second half of the 2012-13 season with the Moatmen, appearing 21 times, having joined them from Thurnby Nirvana in November 2012. He appeared 3 times for the club before returning to Stamford.

Jack Ashton is a 23-year old defender, who joined the Diamonds on a dual registration basis with Stamford AFC in March 2014. He joined the Daniels in 2013 from Banbury United, with whom he had two spells either side of playing for Oxford City. He originally joined Banbury from Cogenhoe United. He appeared in the final six games of the season in 2013-14, and won the April 2014 Player of the Month award.

Joe Merrill is a versatile 22-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. He made 41(2) appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14, bracketing the season with goals at the start and end of the campaign.

Jamal Clarke is a 22-year old defender who joined the club at the end of July 2013 after impressing during pre-season games. He had spent the previous season with Evesham United. He quickly became a regular at centre-back for the Diamonds first team and made 38 appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14, despite having two periods of suspension.

Sam Brown is a 21-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. He made 48 appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14.

Jake Gillingwater is a 21-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. He made 12(10) appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14, including a memorable game in goal in an FA Vase game.

Joe Henderson is a 20-year-old defender / midfielder who joined the club in December 2013 on dual-registration terms. He is 6’1” tall and started his career with Coventry City. He made a substitute appearance for the Sky Blues in a Championship game in the 2011-12 season, followed by a start and a substitute appearance for them in League One in 2012-13, before going on loan to local clubs Bedworth United and Nuneaton Town. He was also dual-registered with Daventry Town, who he joined at the start of the 2013-14 season, making thirteen appearances for them prior to linking up with the Diamonds. He appeared in 15(3) games in 2013-14, and won the player of the month award at the start of 2014.

Midfielders

Richard Bunting is a 32-year-old midfielder who joined the club from Kings Lynn Town in November 2013. He had captained the Linnets to the Northern Premier League Division One South title in the 2012-13 season. In the previous season he was captain for Long Buckby when they won the United Counties Premier League title. He played for Cogenhoe United, Raunds Town and Brackley earlier in his career. He made 14(4) appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14.

Rashid Koriya joined AFC Rushden & Diamonds in September 2013, having played most recently for Wellingborough Town. At home in either defence or midfield, the 29-year-old has also played at Woodford United as well as in Ontario, Canada for Durham College Lords.

Matt Gearing is a 27-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. He made 37(7) appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14, scoring 17 goals and picking up two player of the month awards as well as the fans’ Player of the Season award.

Brad Harris is a 23-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 Manager Andy Peaks. After joining the Diamonds he made 19(3) appearances in the remainder of the 2012-13 season. He made 33(9) appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14, picking up the Player of the Month award in March 2014.

Séan McBride joined the club just before the start of the 2012-13 season. He is a 23-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. He made 31(8) appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14.

Louis Smith is a 19-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 in 2012-13 before moving to Burton Park Wanderers to gain first team experience, and then returned to the Diamonds in June 2013. He spent the 2013/14 season with the Diamonds U21 side.

Strikers

Fazel Koriya is a 32-year-old striker / wide midfielder who joined the club in June 2013. Fazel played for Rugby Town in the Evostik Southern League Division One Central in the 2012-13 season, making 37 appearances and scoring 11 times. Fazel has played at Brackley Town, Rothwell Town, Bedworth and Cogenhoe, as well as Evesham United where he played in the Southern League Premier Division. He has had several spells at Long Buckby, most recently in their 2011-12 UCL Premier title-winning side, where he played alongside Russ Dunkley. He made 35(8) appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14, scoring 22 goals.

Russ Dunkley is a 31-year-old striker who joined the club in June 2013, after helping Kings Lynn to promotion in the Evostik Northern Premier League Division One South during the 2012-13 season, whom he joined following a successful title campaign at Long Buckby in the UCL Premier in the 2011-12 season, scoring 35 goals in 39 games. His previous clubs include Ford Sports, Newport Pagnell, Cogenhoe United, Leamington, Brackley, Woodford United, Raunds Town, Northampton Spencer, Bedford Town, and Rushden & Diamonds academy. He made 39(2) appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14, scoring 23 goals and picking up two player of the month awards, as well as the FA Player of the Round award for his five goal tally against Cockfosters in the FA Cup.

Ben Morgan is a 30-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. He took on a role assisting with the Diamonds U21 side in 2013/14, although he still made 3(18) appearances for the senior side,

Greg Ling is a 26-year-old wide-midfield / wing player who joined the club in November 2013. He had won the UCL Premier Division title in the 2011-12 season with Long Buckby, and then the UCL Division One title playing for Northampton Sileby Rangers the following season. He stepped back up to the UCL level after playing for Kislingbury, and made 20(5) appearances for the Diamonds in 2013/14.

Scott Joseph is a 25-year old striker who joined the club from AFC Kempston Rovers at the end of March 2014. He had scored four goals in a game against Northampton Sileby Rangers earlier in the 2013-14 season, and was the top-scorer for Kempston, having scored 18 goals in 27 starts for the Bedfordshire club in the 2013-14 season. Scott had rejoined the Walnutboys from Barton Rovers, having started his senior career at Hillgrounds Road. He scored five goals in 3(2) games for the Diamonds at the end of the 2013/14 campaign.

Alfie Taylor is a 25-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. At the end of the 2013-14 season he went on loan to Burton Park Wanderers, having significant goalscoring success at Latimer Park. He scored 28 goals in 38(5) appearances in 2013/14, becoming the first Diamonds player to reach 50 goals for the club. He also picked up a Player of the Month award for October 2013.

Tom Lorraine is a 24-year-old striker who joined the club from Cogenhoe United at the end of March 2014, where he was registered with Daventry Town on a “dual-registration” basis. Tom had joined Daventry Town from Bedworth United at the start of the season, and after starting 21 times and scoring 8 goals, he registered on UCL terms for Cogenhoe a month earlier, but only had the chance to make a single start for the Cooks. He had appeared for Woodford United and Banbury United earlier in his career. He scored two goals in five games for the Diamonds at the end of the 2013/14 campaign.

Other Senior Squad Members

The following members of the AFC R&D Under-18 or Under-21 squads are also registered with the UCL as senior squad members, or have played in a County Cup game.

Jake Reynolds is an 18-year-old striker who was a regular with the Diamonds U18 side in 2012-13, scoring 20 goals, 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. He is still eligible for the U18 side in the 2013-14 season, as well as being registered with the U21 and Senior squads. He spent a period with AFC Kempston Rovers at the end of the campaign.

Mason Thomas was spotted playing for Irchester United in the UCL Premier Division before joining the Diamonds Youth setup in 2011/12. He missed the 2012/13 season due to an injury picked up in a youth team game. Turning 18 in August 2013, he signed senior forms for the club for the 2013-14 season, as well as being registered in the inaugural U21 squad. He normally plays as a striker, but picked up a serious injury early in the season and missed the rest of the campaign.

Ashley Meeks graduated from the successful AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18 side in 2011-12. He has 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 August 2012 he went out on loan to Roade where he spent the 2012-13 season. Now aged 20, he has signed UCL Senior forms for the 2013-14 season, and is also part of the inaugural U21 squad.

Liam Bond is an 18-year old who can play in defence or midfield, but most regularly appears at full-back. He has progressed through the AFC Diamonds youth system, and after a successful season playing in the NSYL he was registered for the senior team for 2013-14, as well as for the inaugural U21 squad. He had made his senior debut the previous season in the NFA Junior Cup.

Zach Farden is a 19-year old left-sided player who spent two seasons with the successful AFC R&D Under-18 side playing left-back or in left-midfield. He had played for Higham Colts since the age of 7 and won most improved player two years running. He played for the county under-15s. After two successful seasons playing in the NSYL he was registered for the senior team for 2013-14, as well as for the inaugural U21 squad.

Noah Bryant is an 18-year old midfielder who signed forms for the Senior Side in February 2014. He made his debut for the U18 side in their inaugural season (2011-12), and as well as being a regular for that side in 2012-13, he also played around 40 minutes for the senior side as a substitute in their County Cup game. After playing in both the U18 and U21 sides in 2013-14 he made his UCL debut on 29th March 2014 at Harborough Town.

Ashley Foulger is a 20-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.

Kyle Davison-Gordon is a young defender who joined the new Diamonds under-21 side in August 2013 after graduating at the U18 level at the Cedars Coaching Academy in Leighton Buzzard earlier in the year. He made his first-team debut in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup at the start of October 2013.

Jamie Inwood is a 17-year old defender who is part of the Diamonds U18 squad, normally playing at full-back, and he signed UCL forms with the Club in October 2013.

Other Players

The following players were registered on UCL terms for AFC Rushden & Diamonds, but also dual registered with other clubs, and were with those clubs at the end of the season.

Tom Cross is a 26-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. In January 2014 he signed for Southam United on dual registration terms.

Aaron King is 21-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. In March 2014 he signed for Rugby Town on dual registration terms.

Players Leaving the Club during the 2013/14 Season

Elliot Dent is one of the players that started in the historic first game for AFC Rushden & Diamonds against Thrapston Town as a 19-year-old midfielder. He had been 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. He had an injury hit season for AFC Rushden & Diamonds in 2012-13, and, on finding his first-team opportunities limited he left the club in October 2013 – details here. He made 24 appearances for the club, including 15 league games. He had a brief spell with Kettering Town before joining Northampton Sileby Rangers in December 2013.

Jack Wisniewski was a mainstay of the Diamonds team during their 2012-13 promotion campaign. He started in the first AFC Rushden & Diamonds game against his former team, Thrapston Town, and he went on to play 36 games in 2012-13, scoring 15 goals including two vital goals in March 2013 that helped him win the Player-of-The-Month award. Although he was in the first choice team for the opening of the 2013-14 UCL Premier Season, he missed a number of games due to other commitments, at a time that coincided with the team having a successful run, and he found his opportunities for first-team football limited, so moved on to Wellingborough Town – details here. He appeared in a total of 48 games for the club, including 34 league games, and at the time he left was third in the club’s all-time leading goalscorer list with 17 goals. He signed UCL terms for Thrapston Town in February 2014.

Deven Ellwood is a forward player who had spent much of his career at Wellingborough Whitworth before joining the Diamonds, but had 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, and played in the first ever senior AFC Rushden & Diamonds game. After a short spell with Burton Park Wanderers he rejoined the Diamonds for a short period from November 2013 to February 2014 before returning to Latimer Park. In total he has appeared 32 times for the Diamonds, scoring 4 goals.

Lance Allen is a forward who joined the club in November 2012 from Bugbrooke St Michaels aged 23, having 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. He left the Diamonds at the start of November 2013, having played 32 times for the club, scoring 8 times. He signed for Long Buckby AFC shortly after leaving the Diamonds, but in the following month moved on to Northampton Sileby Rangers. 

Dan Grainger was with AFC Rushden & Diamonds early in the 2013-14 season as a 26-year old midfielder who had begun his career with Rushden & Diamonds FC. After leaving Nene Park, Dan initially had a short spell at Corby Town, before joining Wellingborough Town. Daniel signed for fellow UCL side Thrapston Town in July 2011, but also took time out during the 2012-13 season to further his education. After a short spell with AFC Rushden & Diamonds he left to join Desborough Town in September 2013.

Nat Liburd is a wide-midfield player who joined the club in June 2013 from Daventry Town aged 26, having been an “ever-present” player during the 2012-13 season, in their Southern League Division One campaign, scoring 10 goals. He started in the Kettering Town youth system. Before joining Daventry at the start of the 2011-12 season he was at Southern League rivals Woodford Town, whom he joined in August 2009. He left the club at the start of November 2013, having played 18 games, two-thirds of which were cup games. After a short spell with Long Buckby he signed for Wellingborough Town at the start of December 2013.

Staff Changes During 2013/14.

First Team Manager 2012-14 - Mark Starmer. Mark, who holds a UEFA “A” Coaching License, 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. He led the senior team to promotion from UCL Division One at their first attempt in 2012-13. He then led the team to successful campaigns in the FA Cup and FA Vase in 2013-14 winning through 4 and 5 rounds respectively. After leading the first team to a top 6 position in their first season in UCL Premier Division he resigned his position on 19th March 2014.

 

 
 
 

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