Matlock Town’s new management team of Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins got to work immediately following their appointments last week.
They brought in Danny Cox as coach and have already been speaking to a clutch of players even with pre season training still six weeks away.
“It’s been really busy already” Hopkins reflected. “We’ve spoken to a number of lads and still have some more to talk to and hopefully we’ll have some of them tied down fairly soon. We’re looking for hungry lads, there’s those words we like to use, hunger and desire, seventeen or eighteen hungry lads that want to do well for Matlock Town Football Club.”
Predictably the managers are keeping their cards close to their chests as regards players’ names, but Hopkins spoke about Cox who was with him and Kirkwood at both Heanor Town and Mickleover Sports.
“We’ve had Danny with us for the last four years, his enthusiasm knows no bounds and he’s great to have around on matchday. He’ll look after the warm up , he’s popular with the players and above all he’s trustworthy and positive” said Hopkins.
Thoughts turned to a night at North Ferriby United in November 2008 when Hopkins and Kirkwood, as caretaker bosses ruled themselves out of the running for taking the job on a full time basis following the departure of Phil Brown and Gareth Williams.
“We knew we weren’t ready then” Hopkins admitted. “We didn’t have the contacts to manage at this level for a start and we didn’t have the necessary experience. But we’ve been learning our trade at other clubs and have now built up a lot of contacts, we have good association with all of the local professional clubs as well as getting on really well with Nicky Law at Alfreton and Kevin Wilson at Nuneaton. When we left we knew we had to prove to ourselves that we could do the job and we took clubs up playing against sides with far bigger budgets. That was especially true at Mickleover against the likes of Stafford Rangers and then staying up last season with Mickleover with the resources we had was really tough.”
So Hopkins believes that past experiences in the managerial hot seat will stand them in good stead as they begin their managerial stint at Matlock.
“We learnt more than anything about how to treat players and it has been good experience for us. Matlock is a bigger club with better resources, a better fan base and a club that hasn’t done as well as it would have hoped or wanted in the last few years. We want to take the club forward and give the club the team it deserves.”
The popular annual pre season visit from neighbours Chesterfield has been set for Tuesday 19 July with a 7.30 pm kick off and Matlock also look set to announce further pre season matches shortly.