Leesley signs Matlock contract

Eighteen-year-old striker Joe Leesley has been put on contract by Matlock Town.

Something of an unknown quantity after turning out for Winterton Rangers last season, Leesley went on a trial at Bradford City for a fortnight and was advised to sign for Matlock by former Gladiators scoring hero Ross Hannah, now of course a full-time professional with the Bantams.

Impressive all round performances and four goals have persuaded manager Mark Atkins to offer him a contract which Leesley signed after Wednesday night’s narrow defeat to Sheffield United.

“We’re pleased he’s signed a contract. He’s raw but he’s done very well, working hard and scoring some great goals. There’s enough in him for us to work on, the potential’s there and he could turn out to be a very good player,” said manager Mark Atkins.

Meanwhile, central defenders Laurence Gaughan and Ryan Laight will be looking for some game time in the Gladiators’ two remaining friendlies before the league campaign gets under way at home to Nantwich Town on August 18.

Gaughan has a hamstring injury while Laight has been on holiday.

Matlock travel to Rainworth on Saturday before hosting Derby County on Wednesday evening.