Pic: Mickleover Sports FC
FORMER Mickleover Sports management pair Craig Hopkins and Glenn Kirkwood have replaced Mark Hume as joint-bosses of Matlock Town.
The duo haven’t been out of the game for long having resigned from Mickleover at the end of the season after securing the club’s Evo-Stik NPL Premier status.
They joined Sports in 2012 from Heanor and transformed the club, taking them to the NPL Division One South play-offs in 2013-14 where they were beaten by Belper Town.
However, they went one further last season and won the league title in style, scoring over 100 goals in the process to earn a spot at Step 3 which they kept after finishing 20th.
Matlock moved quickly to get their men after Hume departed following a club committee meeting on Monday night. A run of two wins in 16 league games led to the Gladiators finishing 17th in the Evo-Stik NPL Premier and Hume’s exit.
Hopkins and Kirkwood are familiar faces at Causeway Lane having turned out for the club as players before managing the reserve side and having a brief spell in caretaker charge of the first team in 2008.
And Kirkwood believes they have earned the right to manage their local club, saying: “We were desperate for it, we’d learned our trade at Heanor and Mickleover for eight years proving some people wrong.
“Matlock was a brilliant club to play for and be involved with. We had a great time with Heanor and a brilliant three-and-a-half years at Mickleover. We left them in a far better state than when we arrived.
“We know it’s a challenge here at Matlock, but it’s given us fire in our bellies. We want to give the people of Matlock a club they can be proud of and get the feel good factor back.”
Hopkins added: “Matlock’s just ten minutes away from where we live, it’s on our doorstep and having played there we love the club. It’s our local club and we’re absolutely delighted to be managing here. When the offer was made to us we just couldn’t turn it down.
“Our sides have always scored goals so we want to bring an exciting brand of football to the club that both fans and players will enjoy.
“But we need people to be patient, it won’t all happen at once. We want the fans to get behind us so we can take the club forward. We’ll give it our heart and soul and we want the players to do the same.”