the npl

Weekly News | 22.5.24

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Weekly News | 22.5.24

Interest in Matlock’s two stella friendlies has shot through the roof in the short time since the announcement of both Derby County and Chesterfield visiting the Proctor Cars Stadium during pre season.

Tickets for the Derby game on Friday 12 July (7.45pm) sold out within twelve hours of the 9am release date last Wednesday. Matlock welcome Chesterfield six days earlier on Saturday 6 July (3pm) and at 3pm on Tuesday there were just 100 tickets remaining on line and 50 in the club shop.

With both the Rams and the Spireites sending first team squads , a feast of football is in store for local football fans.

News of further pre season games should soon be available as new manager Nicky Law works hard to restructure the Gladiators; squad.

That restructuring began last week with current club captain John Johnston signing on the dotted line once again along with prolific striker Liam Hardy, a deadline day signing who netted four times as Matlock found three wins from their last five games.

Then news filtered through of a couple of experienced defenders moving to Matlock in Shaun Brisley, with over 350 Football League games under his belt and Connor O’Grady who joins from Stalybridge Celtic after a spell at Buxton following his release by Sheffield Wednesday,

As a central defender himself with the likes of Chesterfield, Rotherham United and Barnsley, perhaps it is no surprise that Law is looking at the defensive positions first in his new recruits.

“I’m working logically from the back, the next thing is to try and build the midfield area. There’s big money floating about which makes life more difficult but we’ll keep chipping away” said Law who says that the Brisley signing is just what the club needs.

“He’s got a good pedigree and he’s a good character who’ll lead by example so I’m extremely pleased to get him, now I’ve got to try and move things along quickly in the midfield and forward positions.”

Meanwhile Matlock now know exactly the composition of the NPL Premier Division for the coming campaign after the FA announced the allocations for the various steps of the non league game last Friday. As expected, Mickleover FC have been transferred from the Southern League Premier Central while other clubs new to the division for 2024/25 are Blyth Spartans, relegated from National League North, Leek Town and Prescot Cables promoted from the NPL Western Division and Hebburn Town and Stockton Town from the NPL Eastern Division.