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

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 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.”

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