Steve Kittrick soon became aware of the injury curse which struck the club last season when just hours into his new job, he discovered that winger Craig King is likely to miss much of the upcoming campaign.
King, 29, joined the Gladiators from Alfreton Town for an undisclosed fee last October and played a huge part in Matlock’s rise from the bottom of the table to the cusp of the play-off places by the turn of the year.
King extended his contract at the Proctor Cars Stadium in February but within another 48 hours, he limped out of the home game with Farsley Celtic with a knee injury and King’s and Matlock’s worst fears were confirmed when a scan revealed a damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Kittrick could not hide his disappointment about the diagnosis on King who would have been a key part of his Matlock side.
He said: “Losing Kingy is a massive blow, he’s one of the better players in this league.
“He’ll hopefully bounce back and be back with Matlock once he gets himself right.”