the npl

Phillips signs Lees as Yates & Kimberley retentions confirmed

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Phillips signs Lees as Yates & Kimberley retentions confirmed

Midfielder Mark Lees takes Matlock boss Paul Phillips’ tally of new recruits into double figures.

The tenth new arrival, Lees (31) has National League North experience with Stockport County, Altrincham and Ashton United and has also played for Hyde United and Stalybridge Celtic before Matlock’s current assistant boss Dave Wild took him to Seel Park last season.

Phillips, who was Wild’s assistant at the time, has managed Lees at Ashton United when the Robins qualified for the NPL Premier Division play-offs and Stalybridge Celtic and he says he has signed a winner.

“He’s another lad who’s been there and done it and can play in a number of positions. He’s as fit as a fiddle and knows the standards I set on the pitch. He’s looked after himself and has that winning mentality which is so important.”

Lees signed on Thursday night when club captain Adam Yates and young midfielder Adam Kimberley also committed to Matlock for the coming season.

Yates will therefore begin his eleventh full season with the Gladiators and needs just two more games to clock up a magnificent 500 appearances in Matlock’s colours.

“Yatesy’s been here a long time and seen many different managers. He’s seen a few departures and he too knows the standards I set on the pitch. I see him more as a centre half, he played very well in the centre in the last game we played up at Warrington although he can go in at full back if needed. He’s been a great player for the club as his 498 games suggest, he’ll go in there with everyone else competing for his place in the side. He’s a bit behind the others at present with his wife working for the NHS and with the Covid situation that’s totally understandable but I expect that he’ll be fit and raring to go when the training routine’s stepped up.”

Kimberley joined the Gladiators just before the Covid 19 outbreak on a dual registration basis with Clay Cross Town.

Ian Richardson