Matlock Town have seen another player from last season’s squad depart this week as versatile Laurence Gaughan signed for Premier Division rivals Worksop Town.
Gaughan, once with both Liverpool and Celtic as a youngster and a Republic of Ireland international at youth level, joined the Gladiators from Sheffield FC in February 2012, but his first full season at Matlock last term was blighted by injury.
Injury in the pre-season build up kept him out until the FA Trophy visit to Mansfield on November 24, but then he only lasted 20 minutes and apart from some brief substitute appearances, it was December 30 before he returned and looked rusty in Matlock’s 6-1 humbling at Worksop.
Gaughan was an emergency centre-forward when Matlock had a striker shortage in March, before towards the end of the campaign he was beginning to show some good form again in his preferred central defensive position.
But a torn hamstring sustained in the 3-0 home win over Kendal in April saw him miss the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final and the remainder of the season.
Gladiators boss Mark Atkins said he is sorry to see Gaughan depart.
“He got in touch with me saying he wanted to move to a club closer to where he lives,” he said.
“I’m disappointed he’s going, he did a very good job for us and it was unfortunate that he picked up a few injuries last season, but we wish him well in the future.”
Gaughan will be reunited with his former Sheffield manager, former Matlock midfielder Mark Shaw, who has recently been appointed to replace Simon Clark at the Windsor Foods Stadium.
Gaughan’s departure follows that of striker Massiah McDonald, who was released last week for financial reasons.
Meanwhile, Derby County manager Nigel Clough will once again be sending a side to the Reynolds Stadium to face the Gladiators in a pre season friendly on Tuesday, July 30.
The Gladiators also have pre-season games arranged at Staveley Miners Welfare on Friday, July 19 and at Clipstone Welfare on Saturday, August 3.