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Weekly News - 6/5/20

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Weekly News - 6/5/20

Matlock Town have linked up with two junior clubs who like the Gladiators, have received financial backing from Hollywood film producer Rob Molloy who last week accepted an invitation from Matlock Chairman Tom Wright to become a Vice President of the club.

Wirksworth Ivanhoe from the Central Midlands League Division One South were this week added to Manchester based Denton Town of the Hallmark Security Cheshire League . Matlock will send a side to Denton in pre-season and Denton tweeted

“Exciting times. Absolutely delighted to have formed this link. Thanks to @Matlock Town and @phlillo 07 for allowing this to happen. We look forward to our pre-season game and welcoming some of the Gladiators faithful to Whittles Park”

Ivanhoe are also visiting Denton in the pre season build up to contest the Rob Molloy Trophy.

Gladiators boss Paul Phillips says the arrangement is good for all parties.

“Having these links will hopefully prove to be extremely useful, not only for ourselves, but the other two clubs as well” Said Phillips.

“It means we can keep an eye on any emerging talent at clubs in different areas. With not having a reserve side and with both Nathan Whitehead and Craig King coming back after long lay-offs, we can get them on dual registration and monitor their way back. It should also promote our club in both communities, even though Matlock is about forty miles away from Denton. Rob (Molloy) has also donated to both clubs.”

Uncertainty continues to hang over when non-league teams can return to action after the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We’re pushing on with what we’re doing and we’ve got a Zoom meeting later this week with Rob and senior officers at the club to try and clarify our position going forward. I’ve had a lot of players on the phone to me this past week but we need to know where we stand financially.”

Non league clubs lost valuable income when the 2019/20 season was announced as being null and void. The Gladiators had their last six home games cancelled, including the highly lucrative home clash with title chasing FC United of Manchester which would most probably have attracted a 1,500 attendance to the Proctor Cars Stadium.

Phillips and Matlock officials were overwhelmed with the reaction to the Just Giving fundraising page which has seen a total in excess of £16,500 raised including £3500 from Rob Molloy and any offline donations.

The Gladiators boss and his management team are also doing their bit with a bike ride of the equivalent distance between John o’Groats and Lands End to raise more money, with a percentage of the funds being passed on to the NHS.

“It’s going really well” said Phillips on Tuesday night. “I’ve done 24 kilometres today and can’t feel my backside! I think we managed over 160 miles in the first week. We were around the £1000 mark when I last looked and we’re tremendously grateful to everyone who has donated and supported us.”

Ian Richardson