Matlock Town’s already busy pre season schedule has been added to further this week, but with the welcome boost of a match at home.

Leicester City’s under 21 squad will visit the Reynolds Stadium on Thursday August 8 (7.30pm) in what promises to be a good test for the part timers. The Foxes outfit finished top of the 23 team Professional Development League Two ahead of second placed Derby County last term.

Gladiators fans had felt frustrated by the lack of home games in the pre season build up this year, that was heightened by last week’s news that League Two neighbours Chesterfield are unable to visit this summer. The Spireites tie gives Matlock a huge financial boost each year with the game regularly attracting a four figure gate.

“We’re delighted to welcome manager Steve Beaglehole, his staff and the under 21 squad from Leicester to our ground” said Town Chairman Tom Wright. “Leicester obviously have some very good young players and it will be good for our fans to see us face new opposition in our preparations for the forthcoming season. We share our fans disappointment that there are fewer home pre season matches than normal and we are grateful to Leicester for their help and look forward to a splendid evening’s entertainment.”

The Gladiators’ other home friendly is against Derby County on Tuesday July 30.

Meanwhile assistant boss Nick Buxton along with experienced midfielder Martin Foster are supervising training while manager Mark Atkins is on holiday. The opening practice game is at Teversal on Saturday week.

But tomorrow (Friday), Matlock will have some idea of their opponents in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy in 2013/14.

They had differing fortunes in these competitions last term, going out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle to Belper Town in a First Qualifying Round replay. But in the Trophy Matlock proved to be giantkillers for after overcoming Eastwood Town and Leek Town in the opening two rounds, they then knocked out Blue Square Conference North Stalybridge Celtic and then soon to be crowned Blue Square Conference Premier champions Mansfield Town before Luton Town netted a last gasp winner against them in the Second Round Proper.

IAN RICHARDSON

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