New Matlock Town joint bosses Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins announced their first new recruit of their managerial reign at Matlock Town when striker Marc Newsham signed on Tuesday night.

Twenty nine year old Newsham was at Gainsborough Trinity last term netting six times in twenty appearances for the National League North outfit.He began his career at Rotherham United, netting seven times in forty eight times but after loan spells at Sheffield, Gainsborough and Ilkeston, he moved to Boston United, enjoying his most prolific scoring sequence as he netted 110 times in 209 appearances for the Pilgrims between 2009 and 2013.

“We’re delighted to have Marc with us, he’s been on our radar for a long time, we’ve admired him for a while”said Kirkwood with fellow boss Hopkins adding “He’s as keen and enthusiastic as us , he has that hunger that we have and wants to do well.”

The managerial duo have been busy talking to other prospective new Gladiators and to “five or six” of the last season’s squad.

“Talks with them are ongoing, we’re pleased with the way things are going and everything’s been positive so far” Hopkins added.

Pre season training begins on June 25 ahead of what is anticipated to be a busy build up to the 2016/2017 league campaign which gets under way on Saturday August 13.

Included in the pre season fixture list is a rare Saturday home meeting on July 23, and a highly attractive one at that, when Championship new boys Burton Albion come to Causeway Lane. Chesterfield are in town four days earlier while other confirmed matches are visits to Sheffield on Saturday July 30 and Staveley on Tuesday August 2.

Having had a successful Academy side at their last club, Mickleover Sports, Kirkwood and Hopkins are pleased with the progress of the Gladiators Academy side and are keen to see them integrate with the first team.

“We’ll be liaising regularly with Jamie Yates (Academy Coach) and it’s our intention to have three or four who Jamie recommends training with the first team. It’ll help them to improve and it would be nice for one or two of them at least to eventually break through to the first team. It’s a massive leap for them but we have the reserves in between where they can develop the physical side to their game. The club’s really well structured and the opportunity’s always there for them if they can take it” said Hopkins.

Meanwhile Matlock have announced that season ticket and matchday admission charges will remain unchanged from last season.

Season tickets ordered before 30 June cost £160 for adults and £105 for senior citizens with prices rising to £170 and £110 thereafter. Pay on the gate rates are £10 for adults, £6.50 for concessions, £5 for students with a valid students card, £3 for children between 10 and 18 with under ten’s again gaining free admission.

“Buying a season ticket represents a considerable saving of up to £3 a game for adults and £2 for seniors so we think it’s great value” said Chairman Tom Wright.

IAN RICHARDSON

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