Matlock Town have appointed Jason Beaumont as their new chairman as preparations begin for the 2022/23 season. The 46 year-old, who was born in Matlock and grew up in the town, has become the club's youngest ever chairman in their history. The Gladiators finished in an impressive fourth position in the Northern Premier League Premier Division last season and reached the play-offs in the division for the first time in 15 years. While no summer signings have been announced yet, Beaumont's appointment is Matlock's first significant development as they prepare for another promotion bid for next season's campaign. Beaumont replaces Bryn Apperley who reluctantly resigned from his role shortly before the end of the 2021/22 season due to other work commitments which have increased significantly. In an interview with Derbyshire Media Company, Beaumont was quick to praise Apperley's tenure as chairman and concedes that he has big shoes to fill: "Firstly, I've got to say a massive thank you to Bryn. A huge well done to what he's done over the previous few years. I've known Bryn virtually all my life...a couple of months ago, Bryn invited me for a pint and a chat and that was where he informed me of his decision to step down as Matlock's chairman. I think myself and a few others who are on board with me knew there would come a time where we would all have to step up to the plate. Bryn's decision at the time was a bit of a bombshell, to be honest. I wasn't expecting him to make this decision now. It was then that he said that he would like me to consider taking the position of chairman on. Initially, I thought; I could do with this being in a few years time. But then I sat back and thought; well, when would be the right time? And I do now think: the right time is now. The work that Bryn has done in terms of the community reach of the club can't stop. That's something I'm really passionate about. I think the club has a great future, so let's crack on." Jason has very close links with the town of Matlock in general and not just with the football club. The love he has for the town and club was made very clear: "I was born and bred in a kid, I remember going down to Causeway Lane listening to 'March Of The Gladiators' playing over the tannoy and me and my brother would run down the hill and try and be at the ground for kick-off. I've been a ball boy for Matlock Town, I've sold programmes too. I support Nottingham Forest but Matlock Town is home." "I'm very proud to officially be Matlock Town's chairman. I don't think I fully understood how it made me feel until the news was released by the press. I feel a huge amount of pride knowing that I'm in this role and my dad can see how I get on. I've been to a lot of football games in my life with my dad. But also; seeing the online reaction to the appointment and messages I've received fills me with huge pride. Hopefully, I can make the town proud too with what we achieve at the club." Beaumont already has a clear vision for the future of the club and has plenty of ideas in place. It's also abundantly clear that community is the key focus for what he wants to achieve as Matlock Town's chairman: "Part of what I will do will be a continuation of what was achieved while Bryn was chairman. I don't see my time at the club as a revolution - it's more evolution. I absolutely buy into the football operating model that is: this is a community club. The club is there for people of the community. I want as many people as possible to feel that Matlock Town is their football club. That Causeway Lane is their home. That's whether you're a player for Matlock Town, a player for Matlock Town Ladies, whether you're a Matlock Town junior player - it's your club. I have plenty of experience in setting up additional girls teams. We've got at least three new junior girls teams that will be starting out in leagues later this year. I'll be really trying to drive Matlock Town into the community - even more than it is today. We need to be sustainable too. We all know of clubs that are going through financial distress. There's not one owner for Matlock - the club is ours. For me, it's about: how can Matlock Town FC be the heartbeat of the community? Because we're not just a football club." "We can improve the matchday experience. We're in talks, at this moment in time, of putting on additional bar facilities, additional tea facilities and additional toilet facilities at different areas of the ground. One of the great things about Bryn's tenure as chairman was that attendances have increased at Causeway Lane. It's what I call a high-class problem: attendances are on the rise which is great, but that means the facilities need to improve on match days because it's harder for people to quickly grab something to eat or drink. So areas like that will improve so that Causeway Lane is a home for more people. There should be some exciting news soon about new players being added to the squad." Jason also went into detail about certain areas of the club that can improve significantly, which includes how it is run and how diverse and all-inclusive it is: "I'm also wanting to increase the representation of ladies and children at the club as well. So whether that's on match day to do with, for example, junior children being invited to the game. There's some really great initiatives there. I think we're seeing more women come to Matlock games - but what about on the committee? We're very light in terms of female representation on the committees. Come on board. This is an all-inclusive club. I also want to set up a junior committee at the club as well. We have more children coming to games, so we need to understand football through a junior's eyes. Let's listen to them and ask what they want from match days and their own games." Beaumont is keen to stress the importance of linking up with other local teams and how best to work with them. The new Gladiators chairman is very keen to ensure that Matlock Town is seen as the height of football within the Derbyshire Dales region of England while also assisting and benefiting other local teams in this area of Derbyshire. With Derby County naturally dominating support in south Derbyshire and Chesterfield receiving the majority of support in north Derbyshire, Beaumont is adamant that Matlock Town is seen as the major football force when it comes to the Derbyshire Dales region of the county: "We should be the pinnacle of football in the Derbyshire Dales. We have close links with local teams like Wirksworth Ivanhoe. But how do we develop those links further; not just with Wirksworth but with other local teams in the area, whether it's at adult or junior level? Everybody should see Matlock Town as the pinnacle of where they can reach in the Derbyshire Dales region." There's no mistake that Beaumont is very excited and positive about Matlock Town's prospects on and off the pitch for next season following an impressive 2021/22 season which saw a sharp increase in home attendances. The new chairman has urgently called for the growth of support to continue and recognises the importance of the fan base to aid Matlock's success: "This is an exciting time to be a Matlock Town supporter. Absolutely. No matter how this next season starts; whether we start like a train again or if we lose the first three or four games - let's all stick together and get behind this club. Let's all be in it together. The players are important, the management are important, the committee is important and the fans are important. Without one of those parts, we're nothing as a club." Matlock Town's league campaign for the 2022/23 season begins on the 13th of August but the fixture list has not yet been published by the Northern Premier League. Four away trips have already been arranged and announced though as part of Matlock Town' pre-season friendly schedule. Matlock's home pre-season friendlies will be announced in due course. The pre-season friendly schedule for Matlock Town at this moment in time is as follows: Northwich Victoria (a) - Sat 9 Jul Macclesfield (a) - Tue 19 Jul Ramsbottom United (a) - Tue 26 Jul Carlton Town (a) - Sat 6 Aug

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