Matlock Town’s squad continued to grow this week as three more new signings were confirmed.

Defenders Alex Pursehouse and Liam Marsden and winger Ryan King have arrived at Causeway Lane and add to the five players already signed in the close season.

In addition, existing Matlock players Liam Needham and Ted Cribley have both agreed deals to remain at the club for next season.

Joint-manager Glenn Kirkwood has hailed the new arrivals and says he and fellow boss Craig Hopkins are excited by the squad being put together.

He said: “We’re really happy with the signings we’ve made and I feel we have a very strong squad, which is important as it’s about more than just 11 players. That strength in depth is crucial

“We still need three or four more and are always on the lookout, but things have progressed well so far.”

Pursehouse, 24, is an attacking full-back who was with National League North side Bradford Park Avenue last season.

He began his career at Tranmere Rovers before playing nine times in the Scottish Premier League for Kilmarnock and then moving onto Brechin City.

After moving back to England he was with Worksop Town before being snapped up by Bradford.

Twenty-one-year-old right back Marsden began his youth career with the Gladiators before making the move to Mansfield Town where he progressed through their youth ranks to the first team.

But although he played several times for the Stags, first team opportunities became limited for him and, after loan spells at Guiseley AFC, Brackley Town and with Hopkins and Kirkwood at Mickleover Sports, Marsden was released by Mansfield in the summer.

Winger King, 19, began his career with Burton Albion before joining Gresley FC where he would become a first team regular last season.

Kirkwood added: “Alex can play on either side of defence and likes to get forward, which suits our style.

“Liam was Mansfield’s first choice right back for a while and played 15 times for them so we’ve got a really good player there.

“Ryan is an exciting player we’ve wanted for a while. He doesn’t look like a footballer in that his build suggests he’d be knocked off the ball quite easily, but he’s always done really well whenever we’ve seen him and I’m certain he’ll go on to player at a higher level.”

Meanwhile, one player who won’t be returning to Matlock is defender Micky Harcourt, who has ended a five-year spell at Causeway Lane by joining Northern Counties East League Premier Division side Handsworth Parramore.

The full-back, who has also played for Alfreton Town and Belper Town in the past, made over 200 appearances for Matlock after joining ahead of the 2011/12 season.

He was crowned Players’ Player of the Year last season having won numerous awards throughout his stint with the Gladiators.

Kirkwood added: “We wanted to keep Micky but he’d decided his future lay elsewhere so we respect that and wish him well.

“He’s the only one of the players from last season that we wanted to keep on who hasn’t signed a deal to do so, which is a shame but is part of the reason we’ve brought in two able replacements.”

Matlock’s players will return for pre-season training this weekend.

Marc Duffy

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