Prior to Tuesday’s win at Hyde United, former Sheffield Wednesday keeper Wallis informed Phillips he no longer wanted to play for the Gladiators after making just two appearances since returning to the club, meaning Phillips had to move swiftly to bring in Wolverhampton Wanderers custodian Joe Young for the rest of the season.
Young made his debut at Hyde and is the fifth goalkeeper that NPL Premier Division leaders Matlock have used in 28 league and cup games this season.
Regular number one Shaun Rowley broke a finger in November and is believed to be a good month off a return. Deputy Paul Cooper came in but could not win a regular start so Wallis was brought in during December. Wallis was cup tied for the FA Trophy defeat to York City meaning Matlock had to draft in Sam Ogden.
Phillips is bemused by Wallis’s move, especially after impressing in the wins over Stalybridge Celtic and Buxton in his return to Matlock after a break of two years.
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Speaking to Matlock Town TV, Phillips said Wallis had “bottled it“.
In a separate interview, Phillips added: “Dan doesn’t feel he can progress at the club which I can’t really understand. Whether he’s had his head turned by other people I don’t know but I’m not aware at this stage of anyone in for him.
"He’s played in two big games - he did ever so well at Stalybridge where he kept a clean sheet and then he’s played in a big local derby in front of over 2,000 fans and finished on the winning side. If you can’t take to the club after that then I don’t know what will make him take to the club!”
As well as signing Young, Phillips has brought in full-back Liam Bell from Kidsgrove Athletic and Matlock have extended the loan of midfielder Nathan Okome from Chorley.