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Hoole Handed Gladiators Post

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Interim boss Dave Hoole has been confirmed as the new manager of Evo-Stik League Premier club Matlock Town, with currently injured top scorer Shaun Harrad as player/assistant-manager.

The current reserve team boss at the DCJ Group Arena, Hoole took over on a temporary basis when former joint bosses Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins departed by mutual consent a month ago.

Since then Hoole, with the help of Harrad and captain Adam Yates, has overseen the Gladiators’ best form of the season.

Having been third bottom when he initially took over, Matlock now find themselves in a comfortable mid-table spot with only one defeat in eight matches, against Ashton United on Tuesday after six successive league victories including a great comeback from two goals down at local rivals Buxton to win 3-2.

Hoole and the team have received great praise for the entertaining football played and this, combined with the run of results, appears to have convinced Gladiators’ officials that he is the right man to take over on a permanent basis.

Speaking shortly after his appointment was confirmed, the former Chesterfield midfielder could not hide his delight: “I’m really, really pleased with the decision, I’m looking forward to the new season already.”

The Gladiators’ season ends with a trip to Shaw Lane AFC this weekend, and Hoole acknowledges there is a busy summer ahead to bring the squad up to strength with loan players likely to return to their parent clubs.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Hoole admitted. “But anyone who has seen us play will know that our style of football should attract quality players. We’ll all have to work really hard, but we’ve got plenty of contacts in this league and the one above as well as in the Football League.”

Positive results while he was in temporary charge look to have swung the decision in his favour.

“The way the boys have turned things around in those last few games to move up the league in the way we did and what we’ve all managed to achieve in that short space of time certainly didn’t do us any harm,” Hoole continued. “The way we play won’t change, It’s my own personal ethos, we’re playing the game the way I think it should be played and we’ll get the lads in we want accordingly. In our training sessions, we’ll develop this and educate them into moving the ball that bit more quickly.”

Hoole was also delighted to have Harrad alongside him: “I’m over the moon for Shaun. I’ve not had the chance to see him play but his career record speaks for itself. He’s been a superb number two and having him with me has paid dividends with his concise attention to detail. He sees a lot of things I don’t, and we bounce off each other really well. We’ve had some great moments together already and I’m sure that will continue.”

As to hopes for next season, Hoole declined to give any promises about where Matlock could finish but there was a pledge to the Town faithful.

“Our style of play will hopefully get bums on seats. I do have a target in the back of my mind but I’m keeping that to myself at present.”

Hoole also had praise for predecessors Kirkwood and Hopkins.

“I owe Glenn and Craig a big thank you for they were the ones that brought me to the club in the first place. They also put my name forward as caretaker when they left so I can’t thank them enough and I wish them all the very best in their future in football.”

Matlock chairman Tom Wright added: “We’re delighted that Dave and Shaun have accepted our offer to manage the team. Recent performances and results have been outstanding, and I know that the supporters have liked what they’ve seen. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who applied and wish them all the best for the future. I’m sure everyone at the club and our fans will give Dave and Shaun their full support”.

Ian Richardson

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