Decisions, decisions for Law as he assesses Matlock Town squad

Nicky Law has had a busy first week in charge at Matlock. Photo: Kristen Duffy.Nicky Law has had a busy first week in charge at Matlock. Photo: Kristen Duffy.
Nicky Law has had a busy first week in charge at Matlock. Photo: Kristen Duffy.
‘Busy’ was the operative word from new Matlock Town boss Nicky Law as he reflected on his first week in charge of the Gladiators.

Law took charge last Friday following the conclusion of a season that saw Matlock finish 15th in the NPL Premier Division standings.

And he admitted he has had plenty of talking to do and decisions to make already.

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“The big thing thus far has been speaking to the players, deciding who’s leaving and who we want to keep, but also speaking to potential new players,” said Law .

“What I want to do is to get some new lads in as soon as I can. It’s always a tough time at this part of the year, it’s what I call the most expensive period but it is what it is and we have to get the numbers in we need.”

Law added that he was satisfied with the way things are progressing on the new signings front.

He said: “It’s a positive that I’ve had a good response from players about joining, the aim is to get three or four in as soon as possible and then see what happens after that.”

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Law also revealed that after talking to existing players and with some still to be spoken to, he has laid his cards on the table relating to player retention.

He added: “Three players have been offered terms, two or three more have been asked to return in pre-season, no final decision has been made regarding the remainder.”

So it seems that the Matlock squad is likely to undergo a major rehaul after a below par campaign in 2023/24 which saw them slip alarmingly from possible play-off contenders in the autumn to have minor relegation worries by the spring, the Gladiators eventually rallying by winning three of their final five matches.

Next season the league is likely to be as competitive as it has ever been, especially as Macclesfield were beaten at home by Marine in the NPL Premier Division play off final on Bank Holiday Monday.

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With an increased representation from the traditionally strong north-east following the relegation of Blyth Spartans and the promotions earned by Hebburn Town and Stockton Town to add to the already installed Morpeth Town and Whitby Town, it again looks a case of anybody being capable of beating anybody on a given day.

Worksop Town and Warrington Rylands will be expected to maintain their promotion challenge after being beaten in the play-off semi-finals, and Hyde United and Ashton United will again be strong contenders.

Mickleover, who were beaten in the Southern League Central play-off semi-finals, could be transferred back to the NPL after a break of two seasons.

Law said: “It’ll be a tough league next season but we know it’s always tough and competitive. Clubs will increase their spending power, but it’s up to us to be more competitive and do the best we can after the tough season the club has just had.

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"The hard work has started now, and for the next two weeks I expect things to be very hectic.”

Meanwhile, there are only just over 500 tickets left for the home friendly with Chesterfield on Saturday, 6 July (3pm).

Matlock’s Ticketing Officer Graham Mumby is delighted with sales so far.

He said: “To sell over three quarters of the allocated tickets in just about a week is fantastic, it just shows how popular this game is . A big thank you to all who have purchased a ticket, don’t hesitate now as we expect the remaining tickets to be snapped up very soon.”

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