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Weekly News - 20/5/20

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Weekly News - 20/5/20

Matlock officials continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of people from far and wide as donations to their Just Giving fund, set up to cover the void in finances due to the Covid-19 outbreak, have passed the £17,000 mark.

The vast majority of the money collected has come from online donations but the club stress that donations can also be made using the more traditional methods of sending cheques or posting cash donations through the door of their club shop at the entrance to the Proctor Cars Stadium.

During the last week two keen fans of the Gladiators based in New Zealand have pledged £500 and more local fans have kept the donations coming in, including an amount of £130 from the Matlock Town Juniors under 14 girls team.

“Helen Cordin from the girls team organised a collection and it’s brilliant that they’ve done so well” said Matlock Chief Executive Keith Brown.

“We’re so grateful to them and to everyone who’s contributed. In many ways it’s very typical of the response we’ve had since the appeal was launched, it shows there’s true community spirit around the place and that the football club is still very much vitally important to a lot of people, not only here in Matlock but further afield. Money has continued to come in, the appeal is still ongoing and people can make donations online through the Just Giving page or by sending cheques to the club, all of which will be acknowledged on our social media pages” added Mr Brown.

While there is talk of football at Premier League and Championship levels returning in the none too distant future, albeit behind closed doors, this option is not viable for clubs such as Matlock, who rely heavily on gate receipts plus other associated matchday income from for example, 50/50 draws, tea bar and social club sales to survive.

At present nobody knows when non league football will return and how that return will be managed with social distancing measures likely to be in force.

“ Our manager Paul Phillips and his staff have been working hard preparing as best they can for the new season whenever that may start” said Chairman Tom Wright.

“Despite all of the problems that this outbreak has caused for clubs like ours, it’s important that we’re set and ready to go once we get the green light to resume playing. How that will work with say our Social Club remains to be seen and we’ll

obviously adhere to any guidance and rules that come in. I’m sure our fans are as keen as we are to see matches being played again in a safe environment for everyone. The response to the appeal we made has been phenomenal and we can’t wait to welcome fans old and new to our ground”.

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Matlock boss Paul Phillips says assistant manager Brian Wilson will again be doubling up as a player next season.

But the vastly experienced Wilson who turned 37 earlier this month, has told Phillips of his desire to be a manager in his own right, a situation Phillips is happy with.

“Brian will again be on the playing staff next season as well as being part of the management team” Phillips confirmed.

“He has a wealth of experience with over 400 Football League games under his belt, but Brian has also told me he wants to be a manager in his own right and will be applying for jobs. He has my full support, he’s one hundred per cent professional and as a club we’ll do all we can to help him. But until the time that the management job comes his way, he’ll be giving one hundred per cent to Matlock Town.”

Phillips has been busy shortlisting for two scouting positions with the Gladiators during the last few days.

“We had eighty eight applications which just goes to show what a good club Matlock is and how people regard it” said Phillips.

“We’ve got it down to the final three and will be making a decision shortly. It’s been a terrific response and I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time and trouble to apply.”

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With Matlock Town’s Just Giving fundraiser having passed the £17,000 mark, the Gladiators management team has decided that all monies raised from their bike ride will go to the NHS in the Matlock area.

The ride stretches for a total distance of 865 miles, the equivalent distance from John o’ Groats to Lands End.

Manager Paul Phillips and his back up team set up the Just Giving page initially to raise funds for the Gladiators with a proportion of the money raised going to the NHS, but they have now had a change of heart.

“We were all over the moon with the response we received at our time of need and I understand money is still coming in for the Football Club’s Just Giving Appeal. It’s now our time to give something back to the community so we’ve decided that all of the money we raise from the ride will go the NHS .It’s the least we could do, where would we be without the outstanding work being done by the NHS during this crisis?”

The target was to raise £2,500 and as at teatime on Tuesday a total of £1,065 had been pledged.

“Any amount, small or large would be gratefully received. We as a management team and as a club care about what happens in the local community. Now I’m back working again I’m confident the money will come in and we’ll reach the £2,500 mark and if we can beat that, all the better” Phillips added.

Donations can be made through Matlock Town’s social media pages or by the following link: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/matlock875cycle

Joining Phillips on the fundraiser are assistants Brian Wilson and Dave Wild, coach Dave Noble, sports therapists Mark Mullins and Hanson Stevens, goalkeeping coach Steve Shuttleworth, sports analyst Brian Entwistle and player analyst and scout Liam Hudson.

Ian Richardson