Matlock Town boss Mark Hume assures fans new signings will come

Matlock Town v Trafford (green), Micky Harcourt
Matlock Town v Trafford (green), Micky Harcourt

Mark Hume has assured Matlock Town supporters work is ongoing behind the scenes to bring new signings to the Autoworld Arena.

The Gladiators boss has a number of slots to fill after the departures of Sheffield United loanees Julian Banton, Otis Khan and Jamie McDonagh and goalkeeper Jon Kennedy to Worksop Town.

Matlock vs Chesterfield - Matlock manager Mark Hume - Photo By James Williamson

Matlock vs Chesterfield - Matlock manager Mark Hume - Photo By James Williamson

Full back Micky Harcourt looks like he may also be nearing the exit door, having appeared in two pre-season friendlies for Buxton - but the Silverlands club are yet to confirm his capture.

Hume said: “We’ll have a good team with the budget we have. I know what I’ve got and what I want but we’re going about our business quietly and keeping things to ourselves at the moment.

“Other clubs are wanting our players all the time and we’re not prepared to do all the hard work just to see others have the benefit.

“An offer was put to him (Harcourt) but not a contract and that maybe upset him somewhat but it was still a decent offer.

“We want him to stay here but at the moment he’ll probably think that the grass is greener up at Buxton but we’ll have to see.

“The door is open for him should he want to stay here, there’s no problem as far as I’m concerned if he wants to play here.”

The Gladiators pre-season programme got under way last Thursday night in the re-scheduled match with Chesterfield that saw the visitors comfortably retain the Autoworld Trophy in a 3-0 win.

Whilst things did not go the way of Matlock on the pitch, they most certainly did off the field with a fine 1,119 attendance in Dean Saunders’ first game in charge of the Spireites.

Hume admitted that the Chesterfield game, which was brought forward five days from its original date, came a little too early for his side but said it was important financially for Matlock.

“I would have preferred four or five sessions prior to the game but we had to play it for the good of the club,” said Hume. “We had players still on holiday and they (Chesterfield) were miles in front of us.

“It was hard in terms of fitness but it will have done us a lot of good. It’s a bigger fitness test when you’re chasing and don’t have the ball so we’ll have benefitted from the hard graft we put in.

“The scoreline didn’t disgrace us, Chesterfield looked a good side and it bodes well for them this season. I expect them to do well.”

Matlock named a number of trialists in their squad and that theme will continue in two further friendlies this week. The Gladiators take on Handsworth Parramore at Worksop’s Sandy Lane ground on Saturday (3pm) before facing a home game against Belper Town on Tuesday (7.30 pm).

“Results aren’t the be all and end all during pre-season,” said Hume. “ Obviously it would be nice to win every game you play but I’ve had about 20 pre-seasons and you can lose all your friendlies and then win the first three or four league games and vice versa. It’s a case of working hard and preparing well for the new season.”

Matlock have reduced admission prices for the Belper game and their other home friendly against Sheffield United to £6 (adults) and £4 (concessions).

The league fixtures for 2015/16 are scheduled to be released today (Thursday, July 16) but Matlock already know their first round opponents in the Integro League Cup.

They will travel to First Division South Spalding United on Tuesday, November 10. Hume has also taken time out to welcome maiden academy coach Jamie Yates to the Autoworld Arena.

The 26-year-old midfielder, currently playing at National League North Gainsborough Trinity, had a spell on loan as a player at Matlock last season from North Ferriby United.

His father Lenny was a crowd favourite at Matlock in the 1980s.

“In my view, Jamie was the outstanding candidate and I’m delighted he’s come to Matlock to work with our academy and I believe he’ll do very well,” added Hume.