Rams confirm friendly date with Gladiators

Steve McClaren will bring his Derby County side to the Autoworld Arena on July 3.
Steve McClaren will bring his Derby County side to the Autoworld Arena on July 3.

Matlock Town’s pre-season programme continued to take shape this week and it’s another prestige home friendly for the Gladiators as Derby County announced they would be visiting the Autoworld Arena.

Only days after the Rams’ heartbreaking Championship play-off final defeat by Queens Park Rangers at Wembley, their head coach Steve McClaren and chief executive Sam Rush confirmed the match which will take place on Thursday, July 3.

This is currently Matlock’s opening pre-season encounter and one everybody at the Autoworld Arena is looking forward to.

“We’re delighted with the news,” said Matlock Chief Executive Keith Brown. “We’d like to thank Sam Rush and Steve McClaren for making these arrangements and we hope that locals will turn out in force for what without doubt will be a very attractive fixture.”

The Derby game is followed by Chesterfield’s Autoworld Trophy visit six days later on Wednesday, July 9 and Town fans also have two further visits from Football League clubs to look forward to.

Sheffield Wednesday visit on Wednesday, July 16 and Championship winners Leicester City are also due at Matlock on Tuesday, July 29.

The Gladiators have also arranged a visit to Toolstation NCEL Premier Division Retford United on Saturday, July 19 to add to the visits to Handsworth Parramore on July 26 and Sheffield FC on August 9.

The Staveley fixture arranged for August 2 has been brought forward to Friday, August 1.

Meanwhile, shock news emerged from Worksop Town last week when they tendered their resignation to the Evo-Stik NPL following the departure of owner Jason Clark.

Clark is moving south after allegedly telling club officials last March he would not be providing finance to the Tigers this campaign.

Despite Clark leaving Worksop debt free, club officials feel that it is not possible to continue at Evo-Stik Premier Division level without incurring losses, although it is understood that attempts have been made to rescind the resignation which had been accepted by the league.

News of whether that request had been successful was unknown as the Mercury went to press. A statement on the official Evo-Stik League website says that no further comment will be made relating to the constitution of the league until confirmation is received from the Football Association, who had last week announced the proposed constitution of leagues within the non-league pyramid.

If Worksop do leave the league, Matlock will miss out on one of their local derbies.