AFCR&D Moving to Rushden

Jemfy

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AFC Rushden & Diamonds
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AFC Rushden & Diamonds are moving to Hayden Road, Rushden. This means we will be playing in the old home of Rushden Town.

At the start of last season both Wellingborough Town FC and AFC Rushden & Diamonds were given notice to leave the Dog and Duck, Wellingborough by the private landlord by activating the break clause in the lease (1 year notice period). Since then Wellingborough have managed to negotiate a new deal with the landlord to stay at the Dog and Duck, however this has left AFCR&D moving on.

After discussions with the suitable clubs a members vote took place with several options on offer for the ground share for the foreseeable future. A near unanimous vote selected Hayden Road, the original home of Rushden Town, and the current home of Rushden & Higham FC. Hayden Road is owned by a trust called Rushden Sports as opposed to a private landlord, suggesting it may also provide more stability in the long term.

The problem with this is that Hayden Road is only graded for step 5 currently. This means volunteers are working hard to do what we can to bring it up to standard for step 4. There are a lot of expenses involved of course, and therefore the club have launched a crowd funding project to help pay for this. The most expensive is probably fitting in the removable De Banke terrace which is brought over from the Dog and Duck.

Full details of the crowd funder - http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/our-new-home?tk=04a597d7337cfdbb549894de2f04a9cc89d3e313

For this season we will initially play at Hillgrounds, home of Kempston Rovers, until Hayden Road is certified up to standard and the Southern League ratify the change for home league games. Currently it's a little unclear where home FA Cup/FA Trophy games would be played.

As soon as it is up to standard for step 4 of course work will then move on to pushing it up to the required grading to enable us to be eligible for promotion to step 3.

The aim long term is still of course to eventually get our own place in the future.
 

Paddy

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Ugh break clauses & those who activate them are just the worst aren't they.

On the plus side at least it's kick started your move to Rushden, sometimes it takes a little push like that for it to work (& other times it makes you move 10 miles away from your home town with little to no hope of ever returning but that's another story).

At a guess you might be switching all your home FA competition ties to away games?
 

Jemfy

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Ugh break clauses & those who activate them are just the worst aren't they.

On the plus side at least it's kick started your move to Rushden, sometimes it takes a little push like that for it to work (& other times it makes you move 10 miles away from your home town with little to no hope of ever returning but that's another story).

At a guess you might be switching all your home FA competition ties to away games?
Mixed thoughts to be honest. We were comfortable at Wellingborough while the search for potential future homes was ongoing. This obviously eats a chunk of finances.

Moving to Rushden has a big potential increase on our crowds. The ground is in a better location within the town for people to walk to etc. The time we played Rushden & Higham in the league the crowd was about 1100 (not that it would transfer in to a regular home attendance of that level of course). That said there is basically no parking at the ground!

In the long term though we will probably need our own place. Hayden Road will struggle to go beyond the grading for step 3 probably, or it will require significant investment to do so. It would probably have been better for the club to just be moving to our own home after our time at the Dog and Duck was up, but that wasn't an option either financially or in terms of available sites it seems.

As for switching FA competition ties to away games - I don't have a clue what's going on there. I think we're hoping to play them at whichever appropriate home we can. At the end of the day home cup games are money makers, both directly due to crowds (which will likely be larger if we are at home, whichever home it is) and in bar and food takings. I'm not sure we can afford to give up that income if we are drawn at home. We're away in the FA Cup anyway (possibly to Wellingborough!), and home in the FA Trophy. I wonder if it will depend on deadlines and when we can get the grading up to scratch.
 

Jemfy

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Who uses Nene Park nowadays?
It has been knocked down (n.b. still no planning permission granted for the owner to put anything on the site and profit from it though...)
 

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