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Yatesy comes home to the Gladiators!

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Yatesy comes home to the Gladiators!

There is an early Christmas box for Matlock Town and their supporters with the return of club legend Adam Yates.

Yates signed on the dotted line on Thursday night to bolster the Gladiators defensively following the departure of Akeem Hinds to Stafford Rangers.

He announced his retirement at the beginning of the 2020/21 season due to wanting to spend more time with his family but he was back during that campaign when he showed he had lost none of his fitness and excellence when Matlock had injury and unavailability issues in their back line.

Earlier this season he helped out his friend Martin Foster who was assistant manager at Guiseley, playing a couple of games for the Lions before Paul Phillips took over as their manager.

Yates has played over 500 matches in Matlock colours since making his debut as a substitute in a 2-1 win against FC United of Manchester in March 2009. His career as well as his standing in the non league game has since gone from strength to strength.

It is typical of Yates that when the call for help arrived, the answer was a resounding yes.

"Fozzie asked me to help him out at Guiseley, I played a couple of times for them before Phillo came in, It was nice to see Phillo and Kayde (Coppin) again but Guiseley's an hour and a half away from me and training's at Bradford which is a bit further still, so it didn't really work out for me. Guiseley's a very good club and I wish them all the best. Phillo told me Matlock had put seven days notice in for me and then after that Jay (Beaumont) got in touch with me with an update of what was happening at Matlock and said Matlock would like me to become involved again if I was available. When I spoke to the manager Martin it was all positive, and this works much better for me and for my family with training being quite close to my home. I'm delighted to help out in the short term, we'll take it week by week and I'm delighted to be back involved again , filling in wherever and whenever I'm needed."

Matlock boss Martin Carruthers has been in the opposing dug out many times when Yates has played a starring role for the Gladiators and he says he is delighted to get the opportunity to work with him.

"I know what Adam's all about, I wanted to sign him when I was at Basford, he was a much sought after player. He's only 32 so he's a spring chicken in footballing terms and he will undoubtedly be a boost to the football club for the short term and hopefully we'll be able to make it a more long term arrangement . We're grateful to him for having the willingness to help us out, particularly over the busy Christmas period, he's a fantastic player and I'm delighted to have him on board."

Chairman Jay Beaumont echoed the thoughts of many as he expressed delight at the early Christmas present.

"Yatesy's a great clubman, someone who has a great affection for Matlock Town Football Club and we're over the moon to have him back with us. We know how well respected he is by club officials, fans and those in general in the non league game so to have him wearing a Matlock Town shirt once again is absolutely fantastic".

The signing is subject to NPL and FA approval with Yates being added to the Gladiators squad for the Boxing Day home derby with Belper Town.

Ian Richardson