Adam Yates one step nearer Matlock Town landmark after decision to count last season's games
Matlock captain Adam Yates should be able to celebrate his 500th Gladiators first team appearance in the second league game of the 2020/21 season if everything goes to plan.
With the 2019/20 campaign being declared null and void, it was feared that his 32 appearances would be scratched from his playing record, as would usually be the case when results are expunged.
But given the number of games involved, Matlock made enquiries with the Northern Premier League and Yates’ league and cup appearances for the Gladiators will count.
“There isn’t a clear rule within this but we discussed the matter with the League and in the circumstances the games Adam played in during the 2019/20 season will be taken into account and his 500th Matlock appearance will be in the second game he plays during the forthcoming season,” said a Matlock spokesman.
Yates has become a firm fans favourite at the Proctor Cars Stadium. His Matlock debut came in a 2-1 home win over FC United of Manchester in March 2009, after being signed by Mark Atkins who was impressed by his performance in a Derbyshire Senior Cup semi final against Shirebrook Town a few weeks earlier.
Now after eleven years with the Gladiators, Yates is desperate for Matlock to challenge near the top end of the league and he remembers the impact that former Premiership title winner Atkins had on him.
“I’m a step closer to the 500 mark but I’d like to cap it with some success, especially in the league,” said Yates.
“We’ve had some good results in cup games during my time with the club but we’ve not done so well in the league so it would be amazing to get into the play-offs.
“I won’t lie, I never thought I’d reach this landmark when I made my debut against FC United. Atko (Atkins) was brilliant with me, he had trust in me and I played in a lot of games for him, I learned so much from him and I can’t thank him enough.”
Whenever that 500th game comes around given the current health crisis, Yates is sure to receive a marvellous ovation from the Matlock supporters.
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