Manager Glen Clarence says he is confident that Heanor Town’s latest signing will strengthen the squad and help fuel the push for honours this season.
Defender Niall Mather, who was captain of fellow Midland League, Premier Division outfit Quorn, was snapped up before Saturday’s 2-1 win over Loughborough University.
And Clarence feels sure Mather will be “a good addition” as the Lions move into a busy and important period over the Christmas and New Year holiday.
“He brings experience, and he is a leader,” said the Heanor boss in a podcast on the club’s website. “He played centre-half at Quorn, but we plan to use him at left-back.
“He is a local lad and will buy into what we are doing down here. We haven’t got big money any more, but we do have local lads who are working hard and who are together. Niall will add to that. It’s not about individuals any more. It’s about the side.”
Clarence said he was happy with the win over mid-table Loughborough, who had beaten Heanor 3-1 in the reverse fixture at the end of last month. Goals from Greg Marriott and Elliott Reeves got them off to a flier and although the visitors pulled one back before the interval, the Lions held on quite comfortably in the second half.
“It wasn’t the greatest game, or the greatest spectacle, but it was all about getting the three points, so we are obviously happy with that,” said the manager.
“I thought we were disciplined and gave Loughborough the respect they deserved after passing us off the park at their place, showing great movement and organisation.
“They still had that in this game, but we were better equipped from minute one this time.
“We scored a couple of good goals to go 2-0 up, but then just got a bit excited and Loughborough’s goal came from not doing what he had planned and spoken about.
“The team talk at half-time was all about simply going back to what we had done in the first half-hour and stopping Loughborough doing what they wanted to do.
“The second half was end to end, but there were no clearcut chances, only half-chances.”
The victory lifted Heanor into eighth place in the table, only four points off fourth spot. It was also an ideal confidence-booster ahead of Tuesday night’s attractive Derbyshire FA Senior County Cup tie away to League Two Chesterfield, to which the club is taking two busloads of supporters.
“I’d have preferred five or six buses, to be honest,” said Clarence. “But I’m sure the fans will still make lots of noise.”