AFC Rushden & Diamonds are pleased to announce the launch of a new Elite male squad aimed at attracting, developing and progressing players on a path to semi-professional or professional football. 

This new exciting Academy squad is looking to attract players from 16 years old from across the region. A dedicated team of FA qualified coaches will provide high quality coaching programme for the Elite squad, playing competitive games in the high quality and challenging Midland Football League. The players will have the opportunity represent AFC Rushden & Diamonds in friendlies against other professional and semi-professional football clubs.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds Chairman Ralph Burditt said “The new squad, aimed at recruiting and developing the best 16-20 year olds, is ultimately aimed for those wanting a pathway to a semi-professional or professional football career. We already have well-established professional coaching and team facilities in place to provide an excellent platform for each and every player’s development. Successful squad members  have the opportunity to become involved with the AFC R&D first team and hopefully higher semi-professional and professional leagues as a result of this”.


Elite Squad key facts:

  • Players – aged 16-20 looking to take the next steps on the path to high-level men’s football.
  • Training – two nights per week, Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Coaches – FA Qualified Coaches, with specialist Goalkeeping Coach and dedicated Sports Therapist.
  • Matches – Saturdays in the Midland Football League, the Northants Lower Junior Cup and high quality friendly opponents.
  • Loans – Active loans system to enable player development at Step 6 (United Counties League) and above, with regular scouting and reviews to ensure each loan is delivering the required development.
  • Pathway – defined pathway for the most able players to be involved with the AFC R&D 1st team, both training and matches (Step 4 – Evo-Stik Northern Premier League)



Open trials are being held in May for those completing their football season. Places are limited, so please register early below. 

  • 9-May (Tuesday 7-9pm) at Malcolm Arnold Academy, Trinity Avenue, Northampton. NN2 6JW.
  • 23-May (Tuesday 7-9pm) at Islip Sports Field, Toll Bar Road, Islip (nr Thrapston). NN14 3LH.


For more information and to register your interest in attending trials, please contact Richard Maxwell :



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