AFC Rushden & Diamonds are pleased to announce that R&DFC stalwart Andy Burgess has agreed to help the club out with some scouting next season, taking advantage of the fact he is based “up-north” as the club starts its campaign in the Northern Premier League First Division South. Andy spoke to afcdiamonds.com about the link-up.

 

Welcome back to the club Andy, how has this come about?

Thanks, I’m delighted to be back involved in a club that gave me so much. I had one or two message dialogues with Peaksy over the last few weeks, and with me being located in the North West and the club moving to a more northern division it’s a good opportunity for both parties.

 

Is scouting something you have done before?

Yes, I’ve a fair bit over the past few seasons. I covered the North for Rotherham United a few seasons back, then more recently I was Chief Scout under Chris Hargreaves at Torquay United for a spell. It’s a great way to get about watching games and makes you watch them from a different angle. I’m very much looking forward to getting around the clubs in this division and visiting a few new grounds.

 

The last time we saw you was when you were playing in a pre-season friendly at Stamford a couple of years back. What have you been doing with yourself since?

As well as the bit of scouting I mentioned, largely I’ve been involved at Barnton FC in the North West Counties League. We achieved promotion last season through the play-offs which was a great achievement. I’m also involved at Man City Academy doing some coaching and scouting, so its been all very much football related.

 

Do you know much about the Northern Premier League First Division South?

Not a massive amount no, but I’ve been doing my homework already, and it’s going to be quite a competitive league I think. There are some big non-league clubs at this level. Witton Albion and Northwich Vics are both in there from next season, and the likes of Sheffield and now Stamford of course will make it tough. I’ve seen enough of non-league football to know that you have to earn everything you get and this season will be no different I’m sure.

 

Have you followed what the club has been doing in the last few years?

Absolutely. I was jumping around the living room when Jack scored and we beat Kettering in the Hillier Senior Cup last season! It’s fantastic that the supporters have created such a successful club on the back of such a terrible situation that happened at Nene Park. I’m delighted I’m now going to play a tiny part in helping that continue growing.

 

What are your thoughts on the current planning application to demolish Nene Park and to replace it with a retail park?

It’s devastating what’s happened to it, but it can’t stand as it is forever I suppose. Obviously it would be magnificent to see the club back playing there, and without knowing the ins and outs at the club I’m not sure how far away that likelihood is, but it is heartbreaking seeing it all in its current state.

 

Will we see you at the Dog & Duck at all this season?

Definitely. It’s important for me to see what we’ve got, and how we play as a squad, to let me do my job properly. I think that’s overlooked sometimes within scouting at clubs. I’ve pencilled in Dale’s special game against Didcot in pre-season and I hope to be at a couple more pre-season games also.

 

Do you have any message for the fans?

It’s great to be back! Only this afternoon I was with a Hartlepool fan reliving that amazing afternoon at Nene Park when we won the League Two title! Get behind the boys, and stick with them through thick and thin, like you always did, and I’m sure we will all enjoy an exciting season! I look forward to seeing and speaking with you all at the Dog and Duck very soon!

 

 
 
 

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