AFC Rushden & Diamonds have announced that they have passed the ground grading inspection required to play in the Evo-Stik League South, East at Hayden Road.
The successful inspection of the former home of Rushden Town and currently ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Division One outfit Rushden & Higham United, which took place on Monday, was confirmed by the FA, meaning that Diamonds will able to play home games in Rushden from the start of the season.
This news is thanks to the massive effort made by a number of hardworking volunteers who have put in many hours of their spare time over the last weeks and months.
Diamonds chairman Ralph Burditt praised the volunteers: “This is a truly amazing result for the club, the transformation of the ground has been wonderful to see. Each volunteer should feel incredibly proud of what they have achieved at Hayden Road and the way in which they have supported the club over this time. We are incredibly lucky to have so many wonderful and dedicated people willing to give up their time to help AFC R&D and my heartfelt thanks goes to each and every one.”
Burditt continued: “As fans will be aware we have an agreement to play our games at Kempston Rovers until Hayden Road was brought up to the required standard. We will now begin games in Rushden a lot earlier than anyone could have imagined and I would like to express our thanks on behalf of the club to Andy Kirby, Russell Shreeves and everyone at Kempston Rovers for their support at a time when AFC R&D needed it most. We are truly grateful for their help and their dedication and hard work in ensuring that everything was in place for AFC R&D to be based at Hillgrounds. I would also like to thank Rushden & Higham United and Rushden Sports for all their support over this incredibly busy time. It is a really exciting time for football in Rushden and our partnership with R&HUFC promises great things for both clubs.”
Manager Andy Peaks also spoke to the club`s official website, afcdiamonds.com: “To get Hayden Road ready this early is incredible. It will be a massive boost for the players and for the fans to begin playing games in Rushden. The fantastic support which we enjoy really spurs the lads on and I can’t wait to hear the roar when they walk out of the tunnel for the first time.”
Burditt added: “With all the work completed, we now need to continue the momentum and ensure we meet our fundraising target to pay for all the works. It’s vital that the club raises the £30,000 needed to pay for all of the work”.