New Matlock Town full back Ben Gordon is relishing the chance to shine at the Proctor Cars Stadium following his move from Gainsborough Trinity.
Gordon (28) is one of the first four signings announced by manager Steve Kittrick last weekend, joining returning striker Luke Hinsley, midfielder Luke Dean and winger Piteu Crouz.
While not at the veterans stage in his career yet, Gordon acknowledges that experience gained earlier in his career will be particularly valuable as the Gladiators strive to improve on last season’s 15th placed finish.
Gordon began his footballing travels at Leeds United but moved on to Chelsea. He didn’t make the first team at Stamford Bridge so was loaned out to gain experience in the Football League with Tranmere Rovers, Scunthorpe United, Peterborough United Birmingham City and Yeovil Town.
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Spells on loan at Kilmarnock and Ross County in the Scottish Premiership would add to his cv before moving to Colchester United in 2014. He played 104 first team games north and south of the border before his move into non league.
“I’m still only 28 but have gained some good experience over the years and played a fair few non league games as well,” said Gordon.
Most of those non league games were for Boston United and Shaw Lane before he moved to Gainsborough at the start of the 2018/19 campaign when Shaw Lane dropped out of the Evo-Stik NPL.
He said: "I hope I can bring experience to the side and be able to talk and help the younger players through the game. I’m really looking forward to getting started.
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"I played for Gainsborough at Matlock last season, there was a good crowd in and I’m confident we can get a good side together, push up the table and get the crowds in again.”
Gordon is looking for the Gladiators to have a positive 2019/20 campaign with Kittrick at the helm.
He added: “I’ve known about Steve in non league football for a long time and as soon as he got the job he spoke to me, sold the club and what he wanted to do to me and I’m glad to get it all sorted.
"Last season it looked as if Matlock might make the play offs at one point when they were on that good run. We’ll be looking to get a good squad together this year and I know how ambitious the manager is to do well.”
Gordon sees himself as the typical modern left full back with responsibilities at both ends of the pitch.
“The game’s evolved a lot since I was younger, the role of the modern day full back isn’t what it was 14 or 15 years ago," he said. "It’s my job to not only defend, but to also get forward. I can’t wait for the season to start.”