the npl

Weekly News - 3/3/21

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Continuity appears to be the name of the game as far as Matlock Town boss Paul Phillips is concerned as he starts to make preparations for the 2021/22 campaign.

The Football Association had announced last Friday that the 2020/21 season for clubs at steps 3-6 which includes all NPL clubs would be curtailed. Not null and void but in the scheme of things it means the same thing.

The decision was not unexpected but clubs wanted clarification on what was likely to happen.

Phillips made wholesale changes to the Gladiators playing staff last summer after another season of underachievement, the signs last term were that things would be different.

“I think we brought in something like thirteen new players last summer but it’ll be nothing like it this time” confirmed the Gladiators boss.

“I’m expecting it’ll be something like four in and four leaving, I’ve already spoken to a couple of players and one will be a real coup for the club if we can get it over the line.”

“I was pleased with most aspects of last season, you always want to improve, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs right if that wasn’t the case. The amount of changes will be small compared to last year because a lot of changes aren’t needed. We didn’t make a great start but as the season went on we got used to each other and built up momentum and the longer the season could have gone on, the better we’d have got. Okay we lost the last game at Coleshill but it was probably very harsh on the lads as thirteen or fourteen of them had been down with Covid..”

So it looks as if now fans will have to wait a few months longer for football at the Proctor Cars Stadium. There is talk of a slightly earlier start to the new campaign if circumstances allow, on Saturday 7 or Saturday 14 August.

“That’s a good idea” said Phillips. “It allows for games that might get postponed and it means we can return in July fully refreshed hopefully looking forward to a good season.”

Ian Richardson