the npl

Atkins delighted to be back at Matlock Town

Posted on
Atkins delighted to be back at Matlock Town

​Mark Atkins says it’s good to be back at Matlock Town after a gap of nearly ten years.​

The 55-year-old former Premiership title winner with Blackburn Rovers in 1994/95 had a six-year spell in the managerial hotseat at Matlock between November 2008 and September 2014, steering the Gladiators away from the relegation zone in his first season and then securing some solid finishes in the NPL table plus winning the Derbyshire Senior Cup in 2010 with a 2-0 victory over Belper Town in the Pride Park final.

Now, having been named joint interim boss with Adam Yates following Martin Carruthers’ departure, he’s happy to be returning.

He said: “Matlock is the only place I would consider going back to.

“Yes I’m definitely glad to be back, it’s something I’ve missed in the past few years. I’ve been doing radio commentaries for some of the time but it doesn’t beat being in the dug out.

"We’ve got to discuss over the next couple of days exactly how this is going to work for everything’s happened so quickly. But Adam will be playing, the team still needs him.”

Atkins recognises that his return has come at a difficult time with Matlock out of form having collected just four points from the last 24 on offer and facing a tough double header of home matches over the Easter period with Marine on Saturday and an Easter Monday derby against Ilkeston Town.

“They’re all going to be tough games, especially when the team’s not in good form, it’s a case really of getting the players to play as well as they can play. I know some of them and have seen a number of NPL games this season including when Matlock played away at Worksop Town. They’ve done well in some games against good sides and we hope that can happen again in the games that lie ahead.”

Midfielder Jack Degruchy has been confirmed as the first new signing of the Yates/Atkins tenure and Atkins says he is hopeful of adding at least two more before the NPL transfer deadline of 5 pm on Thursday afternoon.

“Tuesday was a really hectic day, we’ve never stopped, we’ve been making lots of enquiries so we’re fully prepared for the rest of the season. It’s important we have a good go at it to try to string a few wins together if we can in the remaining matches and that we’ve got the personnel to do it.”