the npl

Gladiators shake things up with three incomings and one outgoing

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Gladiators shake things up with three incomings and one outgoing

It’s three in and one out as Matlock Town manager freshens up his squad ahead of tonight’s home meeting with Liversedge. The incoming moves are subject to approval by the FA and NPL.

Joining Matlock is full back Akeem Hinds, winger John Johnston and midfielder Brad Abbott. Callum Chippendale is leaving the Proctor Cars Stadium to join Guiseley as part of a deal that sees Johnston make the move to Matlock. Meanwhile, Hinds’ Matlock debut could come against the side he has just left.

Sheffield born Hinds (22) joined the Sheffield United Academy as a 13 year old but switched to Rotherham United two years later. After loan spells at Frickley Athletic, Hyde United and Bradford (Park Avenue), he joined Lincoln City in 2020 for a short spell before his non league career got under way in earnest at Brackley Town, Buxton for whom he made 22 appearances last season and a return to Bradford (Park Avenue). He joined Liversedge during the summer.

Johnston (28) has vast experience in the National League North with Salford City, Altrincham, Chester, Alfreton Town and Guiseley, winning league titles at both Salford and Altrincham. He has also played for Kidsgrove Athletic.

Matlock have faced Johnston earlier this season when his direct speedy running caused the Gladiators’ defence countless problems in a 2-1 Guiseley victory at Nethermoor Park.

Abbott (27) joins the Gladiators from manager Craig Elliott’s last club Boston United. He began his career at Barnsley and was loaned out to Harrogate Town, Chester and Barrow before the Tykes released him in May 2016. He then joined Buxton before moving to Boston United for a first of two spells, interrupted by a stay at Spennymoor.

Chippendale, who joined Town from Buxton in the summer of 2020, moves closer to home and will join fellow ex Gladiators Luke Dean and Spencer Harris in West Yorkshire.

Elliott says he is delighted with his three new signings and would have liked to have kept Chippendale.

“I saw Akeem playing for Rotherham Reserves a few years ago and liked what I saw so I’ve kept a close eye on him ever since. He’s got a lot of quality and fits the bill for us. He also lives not too far from Matlock so for me he ticks all the boxes. John Johnston for me is the best winger in the north, not just this league, so I’m over the moon that we’ve managed to get him. He wanted to come and be at a club nearer home and I’m really excited about this signing for I feel he's just what we need. Brad’s played a lot of games, probably over 100 for me at Boston United, he’s fit, aggressive and presses really well. Again he’s at a good age, has good experience and lives about an hour away from Matlock. These are the types of players I wanted to bring in, they know how I work.”

Elliott had good things to say about Chippendale.

Chippy had spoken about the travelling involved, Guiseley came in with an interest in him and it’s a good deal for everyone involved. He’s a great lad and I wish them all the best for the future.”

Ian Richardson