Matlock Town shelve reserve and academy teams for the season

Matlock Town's academy side from last season.
Matlock Town's academy side from last season.

Matlock Town have confirmed they will not be running a reserve side or any academy sides this season.

The Gladiators reserve team have tendered their resignation to the Central Midlands League which has been accepted.

Chief executive Keith Brown said there were numerous factors behind the decision, which he said was a difficult and painful one for the committee to make.

“One of the underlying factors affecting the reserves was the completion of the second year students’ education at the end of May with the majority of them therefore no longer available for selection,” he said.

“The lack of volunteers to run the reserves was also a big problem. We made various requests for help, but unfortunately there was no response.

“We also had to consider the condition of our pitch which, in spite of the best efforts of our groundsman Richard Lomas, and Dave Reynolds, worsened considerably during last season.”

Mr Brown also spoke about the academy, which was due to operate with just one team this season.

“We had 19 Eliteform students with us at the end of last season, all of who were due to commence their second season with us in September,” he said.

“However, there were certain factors outside the control of Eliteform and the football club, with 12 students being persuaded to join another club outside of the system.

“With a further two students departing it left us with only five students when a minimum of 16 are required. It was therefore impossible for our provider to allow the team to continue for 2019/20.

“We are disappointed as we believe the development of young players is a key issue for Matlock Town FC and the community in the Derbyshire Dales area.”

He added: “Matlock Town juniors play a key role in fielding 22 teams with three girls sides and a senior ladies team plus a Saturday soccer school.

“During the next two or three months we will be in discussion with various bodies to look at the possibility of finding a suitable league where with our U19s, U21s and reserve teams, players can develop for potential senior football.

“We will endeavour to give our senior ladies and senior junior teams the opportunity to play one or two of their fixtures at the Proctor Cars Stadium.”