the npl

Weekly News - 14/8/19

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Weekly News - 14/8/19

It’s going to be a very much new look squad that takes to the field for Matlock Town in the season’s curtain raiser at home to Bamber Bridge on Saturday and manager Steve Kittrick has asked for patience from Gladiators’ fans.

Kittrick has brought in thirteen new players since being appointed in May and that total is likely to rise to fifteen by the weekend as he hopes to bring in two players with Conference National and Conference North experience.

The Matlock boss has this week released winger Niall Doran after recruiting two more wide players in Dan Bramall, released by Everton during the summer, and Scott Smith who is a loan signing from Guiseley. Smith can also operate as a central striker.

“We’ve signed a lot of very good players and some good young players and there should be two more added by the weekend so we need people to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day. There’s not many left from last season. Pre-season’s gone well, we’re putting a new team together and I think we’ve done as well as we expected”

Although Matlock won only one of their six warm up matches, drawing two and losing the other three, the last being the 2-1 defeat at Lincoln United last Saturday, Kittrick says people should not read too much into the results. “We competed very well against three very good full time sides. I didn’t expect us to be as good up at Frickley after the matches against Burton and Chesterfield. We played very well in the first half at Loughborough and I thought there were loads of positives to come out of the Lincoln game with all the changes we made. Both Scarborough and Gainsborough were there watching us on Saturday so it shows teams are respecting us”

It is also Kittrick’s and assistant Luke Potter’s first competitive game. “I’m looking forward to it, the lads are looking forward to it, we have a home game to start with which is good for us. Bamber Bridge will be a good strong side so it’ll be an interesting game.” The Gladiators will be back in action sooner than the vast majority of teams for their second game as they visit Basford United, highly fancied for a top five spot, on Monday night. “Every game’s difficult” said Kittrick.

“We’ll have to take each game as it comes. We’re probably not expected to set the world alight but we’ll give it a real good go and maybe we’ll surprise a few people.” There will be a minute’s silence before kick off at the Bamber Bridge game in memory of Philip Williams and Daniel Griffiths, two keen Matlock fans who died last month.

Ian Richardson