One Club Story 1 – Community Youth

The One Club Group have decided to issue regular news stories, each from a different section of the club.

Here is the first story from the Community Youth Section.

Hello everyone, this update comes off the back of the latest “One Club” committee meeting where it was agreed that all parts of our club would provide snapshots from their section over the coming months, the first being ours; Community Youth football.

Although football has stopped for all-but the elite game, work still goes on behind the scenes throughout the club to develop and get ready for when we get the green light to start up again. Coaches, volunteers and players alike are all still working together to bring at least some kind of football-related content to our players in these difficult times.

This stop-start season has been frustrating of course as we haven’t had much opportunity to play football and when restrictions were lifted the weather decided that was a good time to have the heavens open leading to most of our central venue matches being postponed.

Despite the distinct lack of competitive matches, one very exciting change to our set up I’m happy to report is the joining of forces with Freestyle Soccer Academy, a leading professional provider of sports and arts training throughout the county. We brought them in to deliver our Little Diamonds product and this has been a huge success in terms of the sessions now available to the youngest of our players (3 years and up) – watching these sessions is a pleasure and very exciting for our future. Sessions will be available to book for children 3-6 once we get back to some normality – have a look here for 3+ years or here for Under 6’s for more information.

Off the field has been a much more positive period, one particular tie up I want to mention. Croyland Motors are a very well-known brand within the town and we now have the pleasure and good fortune to count their General Manager as one of our coaches which has led to us gaining support from their marketing company as well as access to a host of other opportunities that we hope to make use of in the coming months and years. We recently raised funds through a Christmas draw which Croyland not only created the flyers for but also allowed us to hold the draw in their Rushden Showroom in the
presence of their mascot Cooper who was looking splendid in his Diamonds coaches coat. A huge thank you and welcome to the club to Mark Swindells.

We have been awarded our Charter Standard from the F.A. recently (15 years running) after we had a virtual validation visit from Maria Murphy at the NFA, her feedback from that visit is happily stated below;

• AFC Rushden & Diamonds Youth is an established club offering youth football to both boys and girls.

• The club has a strong and diverse committee who work well together for the benefit of the club and its members.

• The club is fortunate to have two dedicated Welfare Officers who are committed to ensuring that the club operate with safeguarding as its highest priority.

• Excellent website with CWO information accessible.

In conclusion, we see the club as being in a very good position and the NFA continue to be here to help and support the club.

Nice words that are testament to the hard work our coaches and volunteers put into making our section of the club the best it can possibly be.

Our website has recently had a re-fresh and looks all sparkly, head over and check out the latest Newsletter or just have a look around at the who’s who at

Well, that’s about all for the moment, we are always contactable via our website. If you have any questions or suggestions, we want to hear them so please get in touch.

Please keep safe and well, look after each other and we hope to be back at Hayden Road soon.

Mark Cullen
AFC R&D Youth C.I.C