Matlock Town can now confirm the transfer of 18-year-old Max Hunt who has joined Derby County.

– First Matlock Town FC Academy product in its 140-year history to be sold to a professional club.

– Max Hunt was part of and captain of the first academy side when it started 2 years ago.

– Max Hunt Leaves as the most successful development captain in the club’s history winning two major youth trophies during his time within the system.

The towering 18-year-old centre-back has signed an 18-month deal, which will see him link up with Darren Wassall’s U23 Rams side, whilst they hold the option to extend his stay by a further year.

Standing at 6ft 6in, Hunt, a former Nottingham Forest and Mansfield Town Academy prospect, has spent the last 18 months within the Matlock Town Academy and Reserves structure before signing a contract for the First Team in July 2017. A loan spell at Belper assisted in his development before making his Matlock debut on 2nd December– starting in their 2-1 win over Lancaster.

The defender’s form has also seen him recently have a trial with Premier League outfit West Bromwich Albion, but it is Derby that has stolen a march on their rivals to complete a deal.

Speaking on the move, Hunt told “This is a dream come true and is what I have wanted since I was a young kid. I want to be a professional footballer, but in truth, the hard work just starts now.

“I’m happy to be here. I want to progress as much as possible and I have ambitions to just better myself every day and just work hard. At the same time, this is a great opportunity to work with some top-quality coaches every day.

“I want to be here for a long time.It’s a massive club, the set-up is fantastic, and I loved my time on trial.

“I want to say a big thank you to Matlock too. Craig Hopkins, Glenn Kirkwood, Jamie Yates, Steve Heath, Justin Tellus and the all the people in the development system have helped me as a young lad and gave me my first taste of men’s football, which was a big moment for me. I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for me.”

Joint manager Craig Hopkins had the following to say “Max has been a pleasure since the first day he trained with us. He improved massively during the 7 weeks of preseason and we’re sure that if he keeps working hard he’ll have a future in the game. He’s very popular in the changing room, a great lad. Kirky and I, and all the players, and everybody at Matlock Town wish Max all the best for the future. We’ll be watching his progress. Good luck Max!!!”

As part of the deal, a Derby County XI will travel to the DCJ Group Insurance Arena to face the Gladiators in a pre-season friendly ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.

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