On Wednesday 8th October at 13:00 AFC Rushden & Diamonds scholars travel to face Gemeg Football Development Centre from Leicestershire in a friendly. They play in the league above Diamonds so it will provide a more difficult test for Purse’s lads compared to league games.
Purse said: “Because we’ve got a free week, I took the opportunity to arrange a friendly. I’m trying to arrange as many friendlies above higher league opponents as I can because the league we’re in at the moment isn’t testing the lads as much as I would like it to. Now we’re out of the FA Youth Cup it allows us time to play these sorts of matches. We’ll concentrate on the league and then play these friendly matches against sides from the division above.” He added: “This match allows us to test ourselves and see how far we have come over the last few weeks of being in full-time training. It will be a big test for them, but one I think they’re up to if they perform who they have in the last few games.”
On Monday 13th October at 16:00 AFC Rushden & Diamonds travel to face The Robert Smyth Academy in the third round of the English Schools KO Trophy.
Manager Darren Purse said: “This is a big competition for the college itself as it’s a national competition with over 500 college’s entering it. So we’re in the third round, the last 100 or so, so it’s one we’ll look to do well in and earn a reputation for the college.” In terms of team selection, he continued: “The last couple of games have been really informative for me. I’ve now seen three or four players that I hadn’t seen play before. I’m more confident now about the quality of squad I have at my disposal then I was a week and a bit ago, because I’ve seen everyone play and they’ve done really well, so I’ve got some selection headaches.
On Wednesday 15th at 14:00 AFC Rushden & Diamonds scholars will play at the Dog and Duck for the first time this season. They host Moulton College in the league. It will be their second league game of the season.
Darren Purse said: “We’ve got to look to do well in the league if we want to get up to the first division to face some of the harder teams. It’ll be better for the lads to be playing in the league above where the football is at a better standard.”
The fixture and results list for the AFC Rushden & Diamonds / MAA U18 side is here.