Matlock may make late addditions to new-look squad

Matlock Town v Chesterfield, Dave Hoole
Matlock Town v Chesterfield, Dave Hoole

With only just over a week to go until the big kick-off Matlock Town manager Dave Hoole admitted his summer recruitment may not yet be over.

He also said he was having to keep a lid on his excitement after some excellent pre-season displays.

“We are still getting players asking if they can come down and have a trial so all our business may not be done. It’s still open,” he said.

“We’ve brought in eight new faces so far but there may be more.

“We need to have a chat with a few of our current trialists and see if we can strike a deal with the ones we want to keep on and we already have a couple of new faces turning up this week.

“It’s all moving forward and with this being the last pre-season game we’ll be making our decisions sooner than later.”

Matlock’s latest recruit this week has been 18-year-old left sided defender/midfielder Alex Hurst.

Trialist Hurst played for Crewe Alexandra at U18 and U23 and played for the Gladiators against Derby County, Gresley FC and Chesterfield, where he got an assist against the Spireites.

“He has done really well,” said Hoole. “He has trained really hard and applied himself really well. “He has been no bother at all and just gone on and played in positions we’ve asked him to play.

“We have been looking closely at him and the other trialists and his performance against Chesterfield against some very good players was really a decision-maker for myself and Shaun that we wanted him on board. He is a great asset to the squad.”

After Saturday’s battling 0-0 draw at NPL new boys AFC Mansfield, he added: “I am trying to keep my feet firmly on the ground and not get carried away, but I am very pleased with how it’s gone.

“I know we’ve had a couple of decent pre-season games against decent professional sides. But I am trying to keep a lid on it and the excitement contained.

“If I am honest we looked a bit leggy on Saturday and I gave the boys Tuesday off.

“It was a bobbly pitch on a hot sticky day and the boys put a decent shift in. In patches we played some really good football and proved what we are capable of doing. It was a god, battling performance.

“But I’m taking nothing away from AFC Mansfield as they applied themselves really well, working really hard to deny us space and close us down.”

This Saturday they play their final pre-season game at Belper Town in the annual battle for the Caroline Melbourne Trophy (3pm).

“It’s come round pretty quickly to be honest,” said Hoole. “It’s an annual match for a cup and it should be a good game.”

Hoole is hoping to name as close a side as possible at Belper to the one that will face Lancaster City on the NPL season opening day on 18th August.

He said: “It won’t be a million miles away. We have one or two coming back from injury and we have Keiren Watson missing at his brother-in-law’s wedding.

“But it is still a bit early doors as we have the rest of this week and all of next week to finalise the squad.”

On first opponents Lancaster, he added: “We’ve not paid it too much attention as yet.

“All the attention has been on ourselves. If we apply ourselves like I know we can then we really shouldn’t fear anybody.

“Shaun Harrad will no doubt put the feelers out and get a little bit of information for an insight on their set pieces and so on. But we are more bothered about ourselves.”

Matlock will be running a coach to the first away game of the season against Scarborough Athletic on Tuesday, 21st August (7.45pm).

The coach will leave the ground at 3pm and pick up at Bluestoops at 3.15pm.

If you wish to book a place contact Tom Wright (07850065968), call in at the club shop, or put your name down on the forum.