Yates scoops top honours at Matlock awards night

Matlock Town v Corby, Adam Yates
Matlock Town v Corby, Adam Yates

Captain Adam Yates scooped both the Matlock Town Supporters’ and Players’ Player of the Year trophies at the Gladiators Awards Night in the Shorts Lounge last Friday night.

Yates received the players award which was a brand new watch supplied by CW Sellors Jewellers, from manager Dave Hoole before stepping forward again to be presented with the fans trophy by Matlock Mercury Sports Editor Stephen Thirkill, the Mercury again sponsoring the award.

A delighted Yates, who was honoured last September when he made his 400th Matlock appearance in the 5-0 home win against Sutton Coldfield Town thanked both players and supporters in a brief speech.

“The players award is special because it comes from you guys, fellow players who see everything that’s going off,” he said. “I give one hundred per cent every week, that’s just me, I love playing for the club.

“It’s coming up to 10 years, I wouldn’t have been anywhere else. I’ve had chances to go elsewhere but for me and my wife it’s the place I enjoy being the most. I think it might be the second time I’ve won the Matlock Mercury award, it means a lot coming from the fans as well.”

Newly appointed assistant manager Shaun Harrad collected the Steven Greenhough leading goalscorer award after hitting 22 league and cup goals despite missing the Gladiators’ most productive part of the season, being ruled out for the final six weeks after ankle surgery.

The Young Player Of the Year award went to Jake Green who is becoming a utility player having played for the club as a striker and in both wide and full back positions. It prompted a tweet from Green saying: “Really pleased with this award, thank you @ Matlock Town FC”.

Club Person of the Year went to physio Mark Mullins, a fans’ favourite in his playing days with the Gladiators 30 years ago and is now playing an integral part in Matlock fielding a fit and healthy side on the field.

Mullins scored important goals in the run to the First Round Proper of the FA Cup in 1989/90 when they eventually went out at Scunthorpe United. He netted a last minute winner at Rushall Olympic in the First Qualifying Round before in the final qualifying round at home to Enfield, he hit a scorcher into the top corner to give Matlock an interval lead.

Meanwhile 16-year-old midfielder Zak Brunt has been at Sheffield United on trial after an earlier spell at Premier League side Leicester City.

With the season now complete after the play off final last weekend, it will be Ashton United who will be joining Altrincham in the Vanarama National League North next season.

Ashton had overcome Farsley Celtic 2-1 in their semi-final before securing a 2-0 victory against Grantham Town who had knocked out Warrington Town in an impressive 3-0 away win four days earlier.

Gainsborough Trinity and North Ferriby United are due to return to the Northern Premier after suffering relegation while prospective other new clubs set to face Matlock next season are South Shields, Scarborough Athletic, Hyde United and Bamber Bridge from the First Division North and Basford United from First Division South.

The final constitution of the league is likely to be confirmed after the Evo-Stik NPL Annual Meeting in Blackpool on June 16.