The suspension of the season was another challenge on top of a number of obstacles the former Buxton manager has faced since arriving at the Proctor Cars Stadium in January.
He said: “Nobody expected this pandemic, least of all me on top of what’s happened at the club in the last few months. We’re now preparing for a return to action as best as we can.
“We’re talking to players and trying to sort the pre season friendlies. We don’t know though what we’ll have to spend, everything’s in limbo, but we’ve got to have our plans in place, in short we’ve got to do the best we can.”
Matlock’s fundraising appeal via their Just Giving page, as the Gladiators strive to bridge the gap in lost finance caused by the cancellation of their last six home matches of the season, has reached £8215 by 10pm on Tuesday night. The initial target is £15,000.
That total includes an amount submitted offline by supporter and Social Club Treasurer Dave Apperley who will be in the manager’s hot seat for one of Matlock’s pre-season games. The idea came from Phillips.
He added: “I’d seen it done at other clubs higher up the pyramid and I thought why not here for a donation to the appeal. We asked for £1000 and Dave was first in, he obviously has great feeling for the club and it’s helped us massively in where we want to go. He’ll pick the team for the game and he’ll do what he needs to do during the game.
“To see the appeal pass the £8000 mark is truly amazing and I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed, I can’t believe how generous people have been “
Over 220 people have donated so far and each person will enter a draw to win either a shirt signed by the 2020/21 squad and in a separate prize, the chance to train with the squad, play in a pre season game and receive a video of the match.