Weekly News | 17/6/20
Paul Phillips made his intentions for the upcoming season crystal clear in an interview for Matlock Town TV as everyone waits for news on when matches can be played again.
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the 2019/20 season being declared null and void, the Gladiators last being in action in a 3-2 defeat at Warrington Town on March 10.
Matlock would normally be recalling their squad for pre season training within the next two weeks but Phillips has been forward thinking in arranging training get togethers allowing new and old players to integrate under social distancing rules because of the unusually extended break.
“I’ve got to put my own stamp on things because no disrespect to anyone who’s been here before us, the highest Matlock finish in the past six seasons is fourteenth, it’s not good enough. Last year we had players who really wanted to play for the football club but we had players who didn’t care less, win lose or draw as long as they picked their money up. What we will see is that we’ll have players where it means something to them, when they go in the bar afterwards they can look people in the face and say we’ve given you one hundred per cent, win lose or draw, saying we will put things right or we will keep things going come the next game. That’s all I can ask for from my squad”
On aspirations for where Matlock might finish in the league, Phillips says the initial target is top, despite a succession of bottom half finishes recently.
“Top” he said unequivocally.
“Everyone asks me this question whether it’s at job interview stage or through the media and press. If I said if we finished tenth I’d be over the moon, what does that say, what kind of standards does it set to the players and to my management team and to the people who put money into the club week after week? For me, we’re all on zero points come September or whenever the season begins, we’ve as good a chance as the rest of the twenty odd teams. I’m not saying we’re going to win the league but that’s the aim when we set out. When we can’t win the league it’s a play off place and then to finish as high as possible but that’s where we’re setting the bar.”
Phillips has three new additions to date, firstly bringing in forward Kayde Coppin from Mossley who will double up as assistant coach. Then came the signing of Buxton captain Callum Chippendale and Radcliffe winger Callum Dolan.
“Everyone starts off now with a clean slate” Phillips added.
“No-one’s guaranteed to play week in, week out whether they’ve been here for ten years or they’ve been here for only two games. If a player comes in pre season, proves his fitness, shows a willingness to work and prove they’re good enough to play for myself, good enough to play for the club, they’ll get picked for the first game. Players will have to earn that right to play, I don’t want to go back to previous regimes but I don’t think that was always the case. This year I think you’ll see a team that’s hard working and hard to beat.”
With top scorer Marcus Marshall having moved on to Basford United, Phillips is well aware of the need to replace and add to Marshall’s goal tally.
“We’ve got to make sure we bring the right people in to score the goals that we struggled with last year. Everyone will be wanting to bring these people in, and we want to ensure that’s done
before the season starts, bringing that key player who can score twenty or thirty goals or two players that can score forty goals between them. We didn’t score enough last season, you don’t have to be a centre forward to score, you can be a centre half, goalkeeper or whatever, they all count whether you score them from five yards, one yard or fifty yards! Marshy (Marshall)’s a great player, he was brilliant both on and off the pitch but I didn’t think he was an out and out centre forward, I think we played better when Chib (Chilaka) played as an out and out centre forward. Marshy’s gone and we need to replace the goals and the talent he had. I’m excited by the players we’re bringing in and I’m sure the fans will be when we’re able to release the news of the .signings”,
A change of Chairman is not the only movement behind the scenes at Matlock Town.
Bryn Apperley took over the Chair from Tom Wright last week and there has also been a change of Club Treasurer with husband and wife team Scott and Hayley Bradshaw looking after the club’s accounts with Jeremy Taylor stepping down.
Jeremy, a lifelong Matlock fan, has watched the Gladiators since 1974, his first game being a League Cup tie against Morecambe. He took over the Treasurer’s role from the long serving Mike Tomlinson nine years ago and feels that the time is right for someone else to take over. He believes the Treasurer’s job will be in capable hands under Scott and Hayley.
“After nine years I feel I’ve achieved all I can so it’s the right time for someone with fresh ideas and impetus to come in. Scott and Hayley are finance professionals (they have their own business) and like me have been long time supporters of the club. The club will be in safe hands.”
Jeremy is not cutting his ties with the Gladiators completely.
“I’ll still be operating a turnstile on match day and I’ll always be there to give advice to Scott and Hayley if required” he added.
“The coming season will present great challenges for the football club, the loss of last season’s FC United game plus a lot of social functions in the Shorts Lounge hit the club hard financially. When football eventually returns, local businesses and the football club will need maximum support from local people. Bryn, Paul(Phillips) and everyone else behind the scenes have my full support, it’ll be nice to see some football again.”
The Bradshaws are delighted to be taking over the administration of the club’s finances in spite of the Treasurer’s position in any organisation being considered as one of the least glamorous roles. Money matters feature almost exclusively in their lives as they have their own accountancy business.
“The Treasurer’s role suits our skill set and the software system we specialise in will modernise the way we manage the finances at the club” Scott explained.
“That’s the attraction for us, we can make a real positive impact in an area that can be quite functional and some would say boring, but so important especially in these uncertain times. Hayley and me will be working together on this, we use an online system we can work together on which will modernise the way the club’s finances are managed. Club officials have access to it too so we can all work together on the finances online and in real time.”
Like his predecessor, Scott is a lifelong Matlock fan.
“I started watching Matlock as a child, saving up my pocket money to get in or occasionally sneaking in around the cricket pitch end. When me and Hayley started to go out I introduced her to Matlock Town and one of our first dates was an away pre-season friendly at Teversal! We’ve sponsored Matlock over the years through our accountancy business and now it’s a real family day out when we go and watch Matlock.”
Scott believes that Matlock’s fortunes are on the up but everyone must play their part.
“These are exciting times for Matlock Town Football Club and we’ve been impressed with the passion and hard work that everybody involved with the club is putting in. If we can all be excellent in every area of the club then we’ll be successful. Our area of excellence is finance, which is one cog in the wheel.”
Commenting on the change of Treasurer, Chairman Bryn Apperley thanked Jeremy and offered a warm welcome to Scott and Hayley.
“We as a football club would like to thank Jeremy for all he’s done for the club as Treasurer and naturally we’re delighted he’s staying on to help out on matchdays on the turnstiles. Being Treasurer can be a thankless job, always being the one who has to say, no, sorry but we don’t have the funds, but Jeremy has always been very supportive of everything we’ve wanted to do. We wish him health and happiness in whatever he does in the future and like I said earlier, we’re looking forward to seeing him at our matches. Now we welcome Scott and Hayley to the post, they’re big supporters of the club and I’m looking forward to us working together to provide the very best of support to Paul and his management team and bring success for our supporters.”