Patience is the key for Matlock Town fans awaiting news of fresh signings ahead of the new Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division campaign.

Boss Mark Hume is keeping his cards fixed firmly to his chest as he talks with potential new players and competes with other clubs in a money driven market.

He knows he has to bring in a new goalkeeper following last season’s fans Player Of The Year Jon Kennedy’s return to former club Worksop Town but he is targeting other areas too.

“Defensively I think we’re okay although I’m hoping to strengthen us there as well” Hume explained. ” In midfield we’ve got people capable of getting a foot in but we need to look at things offensively. A striker, wide man and a creative midfielder are on my shopping list and if I can get two, or even all three, then that would be great.”

Another defensive option is likely to be player coach Grant Black, the former Buxton right back who has spent most of his time so far at Matlock on the sidelines.

“Grant’s had a couple of moves that haven’t worked out, so he’s been out of the game for a while. Micky Harcourt and Oscar Radford were also doing well in the full back positions but hopefully Grant will be fit and raring to go and play a big part for us this season” Hume added.

He admitted that he will be utilizing the loan market again, a move that proved to be key in last season’s successful survival battle.

As well as bringing in midfielder Ted Cribley from Barrow who has now signed a contract for the coming season with the Gladiators, Sheffield United trio Julian Banton, Otis Khan and Jamie McDonagh were also drafted in.

“Loan players will come in during the season but people need to remember how lucky we were to have the Sheffield United lads, and Ted with us. They were probably the best we could have wished for and it’ll be asking an awful lot to have lads of that calibre again this season, it could be a long time before that happens. If it does all well and good” Hume warned.

Pre season training for Matlock begins on 4 July ten days before their opening pre season match at home to Chesterfield in the Autoworld Cup on Tuesday 14 July. The Gladiators have added another fixture to their pere season schedule, visiting Ossett Albion on Saturday 1 August (2 pm kick off).

IAN RICHARDSON

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