the npl

Weekly News | 20.6.23

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Weekly News | 20.6.23

Matlock Town’s players are back for their first session of pre season training on Saturday as they prepare for what will again be a demanding Pitching In NPL Premier Division season.

Fourth and fifth placed finishes in the last two seasons saw Matlock reach the end of season play-offs, only to be eliminated at the semi final stage on both occasions.

The new season does not get under way until Saturday August 12 so with some challenging pre season matches and their training sessions, the Matlock players will be working hard from Saturday onwards.

“We’ll make the most of the midweek sun in the coming days before we report back on Saturday” said manager Martin Carruthers.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back. We’ve made a few new signings and we’ll have one or two trialists with us. The aim is to have a really good pre-season so we can be organised and solid out of possession as well as effective going forward. It’s important to hit the ground running , I’m itching to get back.”

Carruthers is biding his time as he looks to make further additions to his squad.

“The odd ones keep popping up that could be of interest to us. We don’t need many” he concluded after doing much of his business early in the summer.

Meanwhile a look at Matlock’s attendances compared to ten years ago show a dramatic increase of 146.774%. During 2012/13 the Gladiators had a season average of 310, but a look at 2022/23 shows that average having catapulted up to 765.

Chairman Jay Beaumont is naturally delighted wit the upsurge in interest in the Gladiators.

“Our support is fantastic and shows that we’re definitely moving in the right direction. It’s so good to see families and younger people attending our matches, we know the youngsters are our fans and possibly officials of the future. There’s a real community feeling about the place. Obviously the team did very well last season, despite the challenges we faced and I think our fans acknowledged and understood what the challenges were and how we sought to overcome them. Let’s hope that our attendances can continue to improve, everyone connected with running the club truly appreciates the level of support.”

It was the NPL AGM and Awards Evening held last Saturday at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. New Matlock striker Jon Margetts was in attendance to collect the NPL Midland Division’s Player Of The Season while playing for Stamford. Margetts also won the Golden Boot for the Midland Division, netting 33 times for the Daniels in league games. A Matlock goal scored by Kallan Murphy , who moved on to Guiseley, was voted as the NPL Goal Of The Season, his acrobatic overhead volley giving Matlock a 2-0 lead in the 3-1 home victory over Stafford Rangers on September 6. Al Byrne, whose departure for Ashton United was confirmed last week, was named in the NPL Media Team Of The Year.

Ian Richardson