The vastly experienced Steve Kittrick has been charged with improving the fortunes of Matlock Town after he was appointed the club’s new manager.
Kittrick, 61, successful former boss of Scarborough Athletic and Guiseley, is the Gladiators’ pick to replace Dave Frecklington, who left the Proctor Cars Stadium after a disappointing season in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Premier Division.
Matlock chairman Tom Wright said Kittrick was “the outstanding candidate” for the post, which attracted a long list of applicants.
“We had 40 applications, and some very good ones at that, and we’d like to thank everyone who applied,” said Wright.
“But we felt that Steve was the outstanding candidate to take this club forward. His CV is impressive, and we now ask all our fans to get behind him.”
Frecklington joined the club last September. But he left after the Gladiators’ final-day defeat at Stafford Rangers, which left them in 15th position in the 22-team division, only four points above third from bottom.
Kittrick, who has won promotion from the division in the past, says Matlock will be targeting the play-offs and silverware next season.
He said: “It is an honour to be manager of Matlock. They are a well-established club who have under-achieved on the pitch during the last two or three years.
“We are wanting a team hungry to win things. They’ll be fit and play entertaining football. All of the teams I have managed have played good football.”
Kittrick will be meeting the current Matlock squad later this week before assessing the players he has at his disposal and deciding on transfer targets.
He added: “I’ll be chatting to the players to see where we are. I understand the club has a really good academy, and my belief if that if they’re good enough, they’re old enough.
“I have plenty of targets for new signings. It’s a funny time of year with players going for who pays the biggest money. We’ll be fishing in a different pond for our players, but we aim to get a really good side together to entertain the fans.
“My assistant, Chris Bolder, and I haven’t come to make the numbers up. We want to win something. Off the pitch, everything is right. People are working really hard. Now we want success on the pitch.”
Bolder is a former midfield player with Grimsby Town. He has previous managerial experience at North Ferriby United and was with Kittrick at Scarborough.
Kittrick’s career in non-league management began in local football in west Yorkshire, and in the Northern Counties East League.
He moved up to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s Premier Division when taking over the reins at Ossett Town, and he led the Ingfield outfit to a sixth-placed finish in 2006/07 before switching to Guiseley.
Under Kittrick’s guidance, Guiseley won the league cup in 2008/09 and then the Premier Division title a season later. They went on to make the promotion play-offs in the Conference North, but could not gain promotion and Kittrick left Nethermoor during the early part of the 2013/14 campaign.
Next, he was appointed boss of AFC Telford in December, 2014, with the Bucks struggling near the foot of the Conference National. Despite an upturn in results, they were relegated from the non-league pyramid’s top tier. After a poor start to the following season, he and Telford parted company.
In the early part of 2016, Kittrick returned to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League when he was appointed manager of Scarborough Athletic. The Seadogs finished the season as league cup runners-up before making the First Division play-offs final the following year when losing to Ossett Town.
Kittrick led Scarborough to promotion to the Premier Division in 2017/18, and they were in and around the top six of the table for long spells last term, and even leading at one stage, before he was controversially dismissed in March this year.