AFC R&D Announce Further Signings

AFC Rushden & Diamonds are pleased to announce nine further signings as they put together their squad ready for their inaugural season in the ChromaSport and Trophies United Counties League Division 1.

 James Allcock is a utility player who joins from Northampton Spencer. He made 38 appearances for the Millers last 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.

 Matthew Brady is a central midfielder, who 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.

 Jamie Burrows is a young left back / left midfielder who joins the club from the Newport Pagnell Youth setup.

 George Cox is a 20 years-old central midfielder who has also played at full back. George hails from Bedford, and joined Rushden & Diamonds youth set up at Under 14 level. He made his full debut for R&DFC in September 2008 against Rothwell in the Hillier Senior Cup. 

He went on work experience with Northampton Spencer during November 2009 and then Spalding United later that season. After being released by R&DFC he joined 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.

 Lee Gotch is a centre back who joined Cogenhoe United from Irchester United for the 2006-07 season, and he played in the same team as Alfie Taylor for the Cooks during the 2010-11 season. He then moved to Thrapston Town for their season in the UCL Premier when he was almost ever-present, only missing two games.

 Joe Merrill is a versatile player who can play as a sweeper, full-Back or in midfield, and he also joins from Northampton Spencer. He made 29 league and cup appearances for the Millers in the UCL Premier last season, and 20 the season before.

 Peter Okechukwu is a winger who also joins from Northampton Spencer. He made 24 appearances for the Millers in the UCL Premier last season.

 Jamie O’Grady (pictured below) is a 23 years-old right back who 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 has also played at Buckingham Town.

Luke Pritchard is a right back, who also joins from Northampton Spencer. He made 28 appearances for the Millers in the UCL Premier last season and 23 the season before.

These nine signings join the players already confirmed to have joined the squad –

Ashley Meeks (Utility), Louis Smith (Midfield), Ashley Foulger (Goalkeeper) – all graduates from last season’s Under-18 side, plus Quincy Shorunmu (Goalkeeper), Aynsley McDonald (Defender), Alex Deakin (Defender) and Alfie Taylor (Striker).


New signings George Cox and Jamie O’Grady spoke exclusively to to give us their thoughts on joining the club.

George described how he had always wanted to play for Rushden & Diamonds, and was gutted when he was released by R&DFC, so when the chance came to sign for AFC R&D it was an easy decision to sign. He had been a holding central midfielder in the R&DFC days, but said he had added a few goals to his game last season. He’d just completed his second session of pre-season training with the club, and felt that with Mark Starmer in charge the Diamonds should be one of the fittest sides in the league. Having played recently in the UCL Premier, George felt that the standard of signings being brought in was very good, and once the new players get to know each other he was confident about progress and is looking forward to playing in front of the Diamonds fans.

Jamie said how he was attracted to the club when he learn of its ambition, and how it was looking to push forwards. He was also looking forward to playing in front of the Diamonds crowd, and putting a good shift in for the team, as he is a “grafter” who will make himself heard. He too mentioned how tough the pre-season training sessions have been, as expected, but that the squad was taking shape nicely – and so is raring to go in the first friendly on 14th July.