Kirkwood itching to start playing for points

Heanor Town v Parkgate. Joint managers Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins
Heanor Town v Parkgate. Joint managers Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins
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Matlock Town joint-manager Glenn Kirkwood admits he is itching for the new season to start.

Kirkwood has been encouraged by what he has seen from the Gladiators squad through pre-season and says he is ready to “start playing for points”.

Matlock have just one friendly match to go before they kick-off their Evo-Stik League Northern Premier campaign away at Corby Town on August 13.

They go into Tuesday night’s last pre-season fixture away at First Division South side Belper Town on the back of a 2-2 draw with Staveley Miners Welfare.

Dwayne Wiley and Jake Green both got on the score sheet for the Gladiators, who bounced back from a disappointing showing at Sheffield FC last Saturday.

Kirkwood said: “We played a lot better than on Saturday, which was really disappointing. I thought we did okay.

“We conceded sloppy goals and missed a million chances but I’d never criticise our players for missing chances.

“It’s the hardest thing in football to do and that’s why goalscorers are so sought after.

“I would be more concerned if we were not getting into those positions and creating those chances.”

He added: “We’re a work in progress. We can’t wait for the season to start. We’ve been back in pre-season for six weeks now and we’re all bursting to start up.

“We have three or four sessions left and a last friendly against Belper on Tuesday, so I think we should be fit and ready for when the season starts.”

After the season opener at Corby Town, Matlock host Skemersdale United on August 16 and Nantwich on August 20.

The Gladiators play six league games in the month of August.

Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins were appointed joint-managers in May and both have a desire to see the club succeed.

“It’s a nice club that is close to our hearts that we want to see do well and we will be doing everything in our power to make a success of it this season,” said Kirkwood, who revealed there could be “one or two” new arrivals before the season opener at Corby.

“The lads have worked really hard. They’ve really put it in. We’re just looking now to get that extra bit of sharpness into the players.

“We have a really good squad that we’re more than happy with. The attitude that they’ve shown has been first class. We all just can’t wait for the season to start and play for points.”