Matlock Town boss sorry for players after latest lockdown

Matlock Town boss Paul Phillips says he feels sorry for the players as the Covid-19 pandemic increases it’s grip on football.

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 6:46 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 6:57 am
Matlock Town's return to action is a long way away, with boss Paul Phillips fearing the season is now over.

All non-elite football is banned in all of it’s forms -playing, training, spectating - and Phillips now fears the NPL season being declared null and void for a second successive campaign.

“I think the league’s done although you can never say never and we’ll need to be ready if and when we’re asked to play again,” said Phillips.

“But I feel sorry for all of the players, managers like me have had their playing careers, at present players’ careers are being shortened.

"Let’s face it all players want to do is to play football and it’s hard on them to have to try and prepare with everything being stop start, stop start.”

With elite football, from the National League North and South continuing, Matlock’s target man and popular captain Liam Hughes has joined Kettering Town for a month until February 2.

Phillips said that he would consider other loan approaches for players and with Hughes it was a move he was particularly happy to sanction.

“We’ll look at any approaches from Conference North clubs at face value, if we get back playing in two months then it’s better for us that these lads have games under their belts,” he said.

"Liam came to me and asked if it would be okay for him to play for Kettering while we aren’t able to play. I think people know Liam’s been in a bad place earlier in his life, everyone at the club has helped Liam on his way to recovery and we feel that by allowing Liam to play for Kettering in the short term, it will do him a power of good.

"He knows his main focus is with us, and he’s said Matlock is his main aim, it’ll be good for both Liam and Matlock Town.

"It’s a pity that the North West Counties League and Northern Counties East Leagues are not playing their fixtures for we’d have sent some of the lads out on loan to maintain their match fitness .”

Talks between the three Trident leagues will take place with discussions also being held with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the County Football Associations and the FA will be issuing further updates.