After a summer which has included a series of discussions with last season’s squad as well as contacting prospective new players, Andy Peaks has given an initial view on his squad for next season following the July 1st “green light” for signing on players for the new campaign.
He has been able to bring back striker Jake Newman who has had recent success in both the Premier and First Divisions of the Northern Premier League – more details on that signing are here.
Also rejoining the 2016/17 squad is Sam Brown who returns from his spell abroad to sample the Northern Premier League First Division.
A third player joining the squad is 22-year-old midfielder Joe Curtis. He is used to Step 4 football, having been with Daventry Town and Spalding United last season and has also been with Brackley Town and Stamford. He graduated through the youth system at Southampton, having also been a junior with Leicester City before a serious injury saw his release. He can play in central or wide midfield.
A further player who signed for the club at the start of the month is Pradeep Bahrey. Pradeep is a versatile player who has played in a number of roles including wide midfield for clubs such as Atherstone, Oadby, Lincoln United and was most recently with Kirby Muxloe in the UCL Premier, where he appeared 44 times last season, scoring 12 times.
Additionally Andy has lined up a number of possible signings who will take part in pre-season games as triallists before any possible move is confirmed. These will also include possible graduates from the U18 and U21 squads.
Along with this many of the squad that reached the Step 4 playoffs last season have agreed to return next season – Matt Finlay, Liam Dolman, Jack Ashton, Brad Harris, Richard Bunting, Tom Manship, Lewis Leslie, Tom Lorraine, Jon Stevenson, Nabil Shariff, Luke Hipwell, Joe Ackroyd and Alex Vitue, along with the aforementioned Sam Brown. Andy Peaks is still in discussions with a few further Diamonds players from last season’s squad, and further updates will be provided as appropriate.
Leaving the club are Tom Liversedge (retirement due to injury); Claudiu Hoban (relocation); Elliott Sandy, Andy Hall (Stamford); Shawn Richards, Jack Bowen (Brackley Town); Dan Quigley (Kings Lynn); Robbie Parsons, Connor Kennedy (end of loan periods). The club would like to thank all of these players for their efforts in recent seasons, and wish them well in their future careers.
Diamonds Manager Andy Peaks commented on the ongoing squad developments:-
“Firstly, regarding the players who have left, I would like to thank them for their efforts last season. At this time of year every club has a full budget and some have had their heads turned because of what people say they can offer. Obviously to lose Claudio is a big blow, through no fault of his or the club’s, as he’s relocating due to work commitments.
“I also feel gutted for Tom Liversedge as well, as football is a massive part of his life and he is a great lad, so to have to retire at such an early age is terrible.
“I’m really pleased that Jake Newman is joining as I’m sure he’ll bring something different to the team. He has a great work ethic and is a natural goalscorer. I tried to get Joe Curtis involved last year but he decided to join Spalding as we had quite a few midfielders at the time, I’m sure he will be a great asset to the club.
“Having Sam Brown back is a massive boost, everyone knows exactly what he brings to the club and saw how much we missed him when he left.
I still have quite a few players to look at in pre-season. Some of these I know and some have been recommended, but I don’t want to rush into signing players for the sake of it – they need to be the right players with the right mindset and attitude to succeed at this club.”