the npl

Weekly News - 16/06/21

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Weekly News - 16/06/21

Matlock Town boss Paul Phillips is excited by his latest two signings which, subject to FA approval, were confirmed on Tuesday.

Joining the ranks at the Proctor Cars Stadium are left sided full back or winger John Pritchard and midfielder Alex Wiles.

Pritchard (25) comes to Matlock from fellow NPL Premier Division outfit Ashton United having signed for the Robins in June 2019. He started out at Manchester United before moving to Oldham Athletic where he made one appearance. After two seasons at Boundary Park, Pritchard was released to join FC United of Manchester before short spells at Trafford, New Mills, Ramsbottom and Ashton followed. His next port of call was Chester in the National League North where he netted twice in thirteen appearances before spending time on loan at Buxton before rejoining Ashton.

“He’s a natural left footer, can score goals and his set pieces are fantastic. He’s been with me before and he’s a player that knows just what it takes to get out of this league” said Phillips.

Twenty four years old Wiles is a box to box midfielder whose last club was Gainsborough Trinity having had two spells at The Northolme.

Former Trinity boss Curtis Woodhouse signed him from Tadcaster Albion and the former boxer and professional footballer played a leading role in Wiles coming to Matlock.

“I’d like to thank Curtis Woodhouse who has been a big help to us in getting Alex to the club, Alex is a quality player and I think this is a massive signing for us as I think he’s well capable of returning to the professional game” Phillips added.

Wiles began his playing career at Rotherham United before he joined Buxton and he has also been at Stocksbridge Park Steels.


Matlock Town will head to Clipstone on Tuesday 27 July to take on the Cobras in a memorial game for Marcus Beddoe who passed away earlier this year aged 25.

Beddoe, a former Chesterfield academy player, had seven years at Matlock playing for the Gladiators reserve side which was managed by Dave Hoole who is now in charge at Clipstone.

Hoole also had a short spell as first team boss at the Proctor Cars Stadium before being appointed as Clipstone boss, so he was well aware of Beddoe’s talent.

Matlock Chairman Bryn Apperley says that the Gladiators are pleased to be able to help remember Beddoe.

“Marcus played at Matlock in our reserves and development squads for a good many years and we were all greatly saddened and shocked to hear that he’s passed away. We’re only too pleased to be involved in a game to remember Marcus and huge credit goes to Dave Hoole and our manager Paul Phillips in getting this match organised.”


Three more of Matlock’s 2020/21 squad have agreed terms for the forthcoming campaign.

Central defender Sam Egerton and midfielders Mark Lees and Craig Carney have all been confirmed as Gladiators in 2021/22 subject to FA approval.

Formerly club captain at his previous club Trafford, Egerton has showed leadership qualities at the heart of the Gladiators defence, forming a fine partnership with Ryan Qualter.

’“I’ve had Sam with me before, he’s a born winner” said Town boss Paul Phillips.

“He demands standards from everyone around him, basically he does what it says on the tin and you could see how well he and Ryan Qualter did with the number of clean sheets we had last season.”

Lees is another well known to Phillips having managed him previously at Ashton United.

“He’s the platform for all that we do and it’s a massive plus that he’s with us again this season. It might be an unglamorous job that he does, but if you don’t have these type of players then you don’t win football matches.”

Carney has only featured fleetingly so far having been signed from Warrington Town shortly before the league season was initially halted.

“He’s a fit lad and can play in a number of positions, whether it be as a ten, wing back or right back. He wants to come here and prove himself and I know that if I ask him to do something, he’ll do it exactly as I want it.”

The trio join goalkeeper Shaun Rowley, defenders Reece Kendall and Ryan Qualter, midfielders Declan Walker and Callum Chippendale, winger Alex Byrne and strikers Liam Hughes and Ross Hannah in agreeing terms. Matlock have also added to their squad with winger Jesurin Ubechegulam from Mossley, left sided full back or winger John Pritchard from Ashton United and midfielder Alex Wiles from Gainsborough Trinity.

On the flip side Long serving club captain Adam Yates has retired, while midfielder Spencer Harris and strikers Andre Johnson and Callum Dolan have left the Proctor Cars Stadium. Johnson has recently joined Belper Town.

Ian Richardson