Gladiators part company with Hopkins and Kirkwood

Craig Hopkins (left) and Glenn Kirkwood.
Craig Hopkins (left) and Glenn Kirkwood.

Matlock Town have parted company with joint managers Craig Hopkins and Glenn Kirkwood.

The duo have left the club by mutual consent following a run of poor results that culminated in a 1-0 defeat at Rushall Olympic on Saturday, the Gladiators now third from bottom in the Evo-Stik Premier Division although only one team will be relegated this season and they are 12 points above the bottom-placed side.

Hopkins said: “It’s been a very difficult conversation for us, but football is a results-driven business and this season has been far from good enough.

“After the wonderful season that we had last year, with the incredible FA trophy and FA cup runs and Derbyshire Cup success, and a play-off challenge which only ended in the last week of the season, this season has been difficult with several off field hurdles which the supporters don’t always know about or appreciate.

“Kirky and I have made plenty of mistakes this season, which we will analyse, dissect and learn from. It’s been our first disappointing season in our ten years as joint managers, but we’ve certainly learned a lot from it, and after a break to recharge our batteries, we’ll be back stronger for it.

“Kirky and I would like to thank everybody who has supported us during our two years at the club. Not only the supporters who have been fantastic, and have continued to come in numbers, with attendances increasing by something like 40 per cent since we joined which is incredible.

“Also everybody else who make it such a wonderful club. The chairman and committee, the secretary, the groundsman, the bar girls, the gatemen, and all the volunteers who are unbelievable. We’d also like to thank Coxy, Sol and Mugger, who are all great people to have in your corner.

“We’d also like to thank the players and wish them all the best for the future. We thank you all again and look forward to seeing you all at some point.”

Matlock Town Chairman, Tom Wright, said: “I would like to thank both Glenn and Craig for their time at Matlock Town Football Club as joint managers.

“Last season they succeeded in taking us to the late stages of several cup competitions, the final of the Derbyshire Senior Cup, and we finished a very respectable ninth in the table, giving our supporters one of the best seasons in recent years.

“This season we have seen mixed results, and both Glenn and Craig will be the first to admit that things haven’t gone as well as expected.

“It has been a real pleasure working with them both over the past two years, and I know my colleagues on the management committee would like to wish them all the very best of luck for the future."