Claims of signing Hannah were ‘premature’

Ross Hannah
Ross Hannah

Matlock Town boss Mark Atkins says claims from Torquay that the Gulls had signed Gladiators star striker are “premature to say the very least.”

Torquay fans posted messages on the Matlock Town FC official website forum on Tuesday evening saying Hannah had moved to the South Devon club, but that clearly was not the case as Hannah notched his 43rd goal of the season and Matlock’s winner in the 2-1 win at Whitby on Wednesday night, to lift the Gladiators into second spot.

Speaking after the Whitby win, Atkins said: “Two or three weeks ago, a number of clubs, both Football League and Blue Square Premier, showed interest with four clubs making offers. We accepted one, the other three never came anywhere near what we are wanting.

“Ross had permission to speak to one club but nothing came of it. He was allowed to go to Torquay for a day’s training last Monday but he didn’t play in any game. I repeat, nobody has come up with a bid anywhere near his value except for one club. He is still our player until someone matches that value.

“Torquay have been very premature and it’s disappointing that it’s come out from their side on our website and forum. We have done everything in the right way, every offer has remained confidential, we’ve not named clubs and we never will. Torquay are the only club to let this out.”

The Gladiators have also put a new contract offer on the table for their most prized asset who, since joining them from Belper Town in the summer of 2008, has scored 102 goals in 130 appearances. Hannah now just needs seven more goals this season to overtake record holder Bobby Mountain for goals in a season for Matlock. Mountain netted 49 times during 1982/83.

“I’ve offered Ross a new contract back in early February and it’s still there for him. He hasn’t said yes, he hasn’t said no, but at the end of the day the bottom line is I and the club want Ross Hannah to stay. He enjoys it here and he’s playing with a great set of lads. These kind of things can happen anytime, it’s part of football.”