the npl

Gladiators appoint Craig Elliott as First-Team-Manager

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Matlock Town have appointed Craig Elliott as their new manager following the departure of Paul Phillips last week.

The announcement was made by Chairman Jay Beaumont on Saturday following interviews this week. Elliott’s first game in charge of the Gladiators is at FC United of Manchester on Tuesday night.

Elliott (44) is well thought of in non league circles and was most recently at Boston United before being dismissed by the Pilgrims for the first time in his career in January 2022. Boston stood seventh in the National League North table when he left, but were in a relegation scrap when he arrived in November 2017. Under him, the Pilgrims narrowly missed out on a place in the National League, suffering defeat in the National League North play off final to Altrincham and they also reached the 2nd Round proper of the F A Cup losing to Rochdale in a replay during the 2019/20 campaign.

Prior to managing Boston, he brought Shaw Lane up through the non league pyramid to the NPL Premier Division. Based in West Yorkshire, he won promotion with Glasshoughton Welfare and later managed Ossett Town.

The Matlock Chairman is convinced that the club have the right man to take them to the next level and above.

“I’m absolutely delighted to appoint a man with Craig’s history and credentials as our next manager. He’s been a name on a lot of peoples’ lips and when the vacancy became available he applied immediately . From talking with him it’s very clear that his ambitions for the club are closely aligned with ours, promotion is the target.”

As for Elliott himself, he can’t wait to get started.

“I’m excited about getting going again, doing the thing I love. I’ve had a nice break, the first one in thirteen or fourteen years and I’m joining a fantastic club that ticks all the boxes for me. I’ve loved going there over the years, it’s a nice ground with an excellent fan base and I can’t wait to get stuck into the job.”

Elliott says promotion to National League North must be the aim.

“Promotion definitely” he responded when asked the question.

“I have a good record of challenging for league titles most of my career. Matlock is already in a good position and I want to build on the good foundations that are already in place. I’ve had five promotions, let’s make it six! I know 95 % of the players, they’ve either played for me or against me and I’ve watched Matlock on and off and in particular the last few games. I want us to be successful, win games and get the fans enjoying themselves when they come to matches.”

Ian Richardson