February was a busy month for each of the AFC Rushden & Diamonds academy sides with cup/shield games added to the mix alongside the regular league matches.
Our U12 side’s hard work in training shone through to the match days as they continued to be a dominant force in both the league and cup, progressing through to the quarter-finals and finishing the month at the summit of the Junior Premier League.
Their success was matched by the U13s side who also progressed to the quarter-finals and this month, two players were given the opportunity to play a year up for the U14s side.
The U14s have also progressed this month in their development, with tough fixtures including a trip away to Coventry City. With an upcoming trip to Bristol on the horizon, the young Diamonds will be hoping to secure a place in the shield quarter-final on March 5th. Similarly to the U13s, two members of the U14s were given the opportunity this month to play a year up with the U15s.
The U15s side have already secured their place in the quarter-final after making the long trip to Bridgewater and will either face Yeovil or FC Wilts for a place in the semi-final of the shield.
The U16s have played a number of friendlies this month and have continued to progress and produced some great performances along the way. They will travel away to Birmingham City to contest for a place in the quarter-finals of the shield.
With all of the upcoming cup action, March will certainly be an exciting month for the young lads. The U12s and U13s also have an away day at Sheffield United on March 19th to work forward which will be a fantastic experience for them all.
February has also been a busy month for our development squads, and during half-term Kettering Town visited us at the Malcolm Arnold Academy for a day of games with all of our U9-U13 sides.
Each and every one of the games was a great advert for development football, and the players of each club were a credit to themselves and their clubs. It was fantastic to see competitive games played in the right spirit, and we would like to thank both the Kettering Town coaches and players for making the day a positive experience. We would also like to thank Barratt’s Snooker Club for their generous post-match hospitality.
We will keep you updated with how all the squads are doing and what’s going on with these academy and development updates posted monthly.
Academy fixtures, results and subsequent match reports can be found on the Junior Premier League website here: http://junior-premier.co.uk/Home.aspx. You will also find a link to these pages from the academy section of the AFC R&D website here. You can find the initial academy season preview from last Autumn here.