Matlock Town boss believes expectations will be high again this season

Matlock boss Paul Phillips says his Matlock squad will be expected to do well this year after last season’s efforts which saw them finish fourth in the NPL Premier Division table to qualify for the play-offs.

By Mark Duffy
Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 10:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 10:50 am

Their promotion hopes were eventually dashed as Scarborough Athletic beat them in the play-off semi-final, but the Gladiators will this year be one of the fancied sides in the division.

Phillips said: “Inside our dressing room the expectation last year was to do well and we couldn’t just get over the line in terms of promotion.

"It’s the same this season, everyone in the camp wants to do well and they’ll be expecting to do well.

Paul Phillips is expecting next season to come with many challenges once again. Photo: Craig Lamont.

"Now other teams will take us more seriously as it was perhaps a surprise for them to see us up there at the top after struggling in previous seasons. Our fans will expect more from us also. “

But Phillips pointed out that this season is likely to be equally, if not more difficult than the 2021/22 campaign.

South Shields will be there again with a big budget behind them and Warrington Rylands have now come into it, plus Liversedge, so while last season there was only Buxton with the big budget with South Shields, there are more teams paying out big money and pushing on.”

Phillips says Matlock’s aim is the same as last season, to gain promotion.

“We’ll work hard and try to ensure we do things right ourselves. The lads have had some good sessions at the British Taekwando Association before we step things up on 2 July,” he said.

“These days players tend to look after themselves better, even the older players who go to the gym and generally keep themselves fit.

"We’ll have some training sessions that will be a case of polishing up on what they’ve done but we’ve got friendlies lined up which is better for them as we work towards the start of the season.”

Phillips is anticipating to be able to add to his squad shortly, with three players who have been part of their get togethers so far expected to sign for the forthcoming season.

So far Phillips has brought in strikers Aaron Opoku and Jake Day, midfielder Simon Lenighan and goalkeeper Jim Pollard.