Danny Cox can be the life and soul of the party, showing infectuous enthusiasm, happy, excited and full of beans.

Cox was taken on as coach at Matlock Town when Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins were appointed as joint managers during the summer, having played for the duo at Heanor Town before becoming coach with the Lions and later at Mickleover Sports.

Cox jumped at the chance of coming to Matlock when the opportunity arose.

“The minute I walked through the doors at the club and met the Chairman and committee I knew this was a step up” said Cox,

“You only need to look around the place to see what the club means to so many people. To be here and involved day to day is something I’m extremely proud of.”

Cox was actually released by Hopkins and Kirkwood aged 30 and was replaced by Nico de Girolamo, one of a glut of summer signings at Matlock.

“I’ve been with Kirky and Hoppo now for five years but we don’t like to talk about that very often they released me But I never held that against them, even though it was a massive mistake on their behalf! ”

There comes the confidence and the humour from Cox, qualities acknowledged by the Gladiators joint managers.

“His enthusiasm rubs off on everyone else, he’s a great lad, someone like Adam Sollitt and Mark Mullins you would trust with your life. When he stopped playing he came to us and said ” I want to stay involved, what can I do to help?” You need honest, trustworthy lads like Coxy who plays a vital role for us in preparing the lads on match day. All the lads like him and he’s keen to learn” said Hopkins.

Cox added “We’ve had some great times together but we’re still learning year by year, game by game even. The minute they got the job I couldn’t wait to get started and it’s been non-stop ever since.”

He believes Matlock have made a satisfactory start to the season .

“It’s so far so good as far as I’m concerned. We’ve had a few setbacks, a couple of league defeats at the start of the season when we were finding our feet and most notably the Altrincham game when we genuinely believed we had a chance to get through to the 1st Round but it wasn’t to be. It’s back to business now, the FA Cup was a bit of fun, but the league is what we’re all judged on. The response we showed at Halesowen tells you all you want to know about this group of lads.”

With Matlock being the highest ranked club Cox has worked at, it’s not surprising that he rates the players highly.

“I can’t speak highly enough about every single one of them. This current squad is hands down the best group I’ve worked with and they can only get better. The belief we have at the moment on top of our recent performances bodes well for the next block of games between now and January.”

But there is also the realisation that there is still plenty of the season remaining.

“We’re heading into a period where the games are coming thick and fast and we have to be bang at it every game. This is an important time for the club at a point we all have to pull together, we have a competitive squad for this very reason, We’ve had a few people come out of the team of late with knocks or illness and it makes our lives so much easier when we’ve got quality to slot in and are still able to pick up results. It’s great to hear all the comments coming from the fans about the team, the way we play and the results, however we all need to stay grounded. The reality is we’ve played a quarter of the season and there’s a long way to go, We’re all riding the crest of a wave at the moment and it’s great to be around but there’ll be times when we need everyone pulling together so we ask the fans to be behind us one hundred per cent,”

Ian Richardson

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