THE PREVIEW | MTFC Vs Derby County U21s - Clowes Developments Cup - 29.7.22
Matlock Town host Derby County's academy side on Friday evening in an all-Derbyshire pre-season friendly.
The Gladiators secured their first victory of the 2022/23 pre-season schedule on Tuesday night after they beat Ramsbottom United away from home 1-0. Summer signing Jake Day scored the only goal of the match for the Gladiators. It was a welcome victory for Paul Phillips's men who were missing several key players due to a mixture of injuries and holidays plus the fact that their previous two scheduled pre-season games ended up being cancelled altogether.
Derby County's U21 side play in the Premier League 2 Division 1 league in the junior level of the game.
They're managed by Pat Lyons who is also the club's Senior Professional Development Phase Coach. Lyons played for Derby County's youth team himself but was released at the age of 18. He went on to play for a number of non-league clubs. Lyons is assisted by former Derby County defender Jake Buxton.
On the 19th of July, Derby's youngsters were defeated 4-0 by Mickleover away from home.
One to Watch
21 year-old striker Bobby Duncan will be a key player to look out for on Friday evening at the Proctor Cars Stadium.
Duncan is a highly-regarded young forward and has played previously for the academies at Manchester City and Liverpool. Duncan played in the Liverpool academy side that won the FA Youth Cup in 2019 before soon moving abroad to play for Fiorentina's academy side in Italy. Duncan joined the young Rams from the Italian outfit in September 2020.
Duncan has represented England at numerous youth levels including the England U20 side. Duncan also made his debut for the Derby County senior side in the 2020/21 campaign when the Rams faced Chorley in the third round of the FA Cup.
The Gladiators will be without a few key players for this pre-season friendly. Ryan Qualter, Alex Byrne and Alex Wiles are all away on holiday but Reece Kendall should be available once again.
New signings Reon Potts and Remi Efunnuga should be available for selection.
These sides played each other just over a year ago in a pre-season friendly ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Matlock Town won the game 2-1 at The Proctor Cars Stadium.