Matlock Town Academy graduate Max Hunt has signed for Derby County on a two year deal.
Hunt was the first academy graduate to sign a professional deal with the Gladiators in 10 years and has today become the first Matlock Town product in the club’s 140-year history to be sold to a professional club.
The young centre-back had initially been linked with a move to Premier League side West Bromwich Albion after going on trial at the Hawthorns and featuring in two Premier League 2 fixture.
However, the Rams were quickest off the mark and secured the youngster’s signature for an undisclosed fee.
Town’s Development Manager, Justin Tellus, was delighted for Hunt and praised the youngster whilst looking ahead at what more success can come from the academy.
“It’s not just a historical moment for the club, but a clear statement of our hard work and intentions going forward as a development sector,” Tellus said.
“Max has been a shining example of our system, coming in from local football and being nurtured to be mentally, tactically and physically prepared for professional football.
“It has always been our aim and objective to give our young players entering our system at the age of 16 the foundations to sustain a career in semi or professional football and this landmark transfer proves how far forward the club has come in the last two years.”
Tellus also paid homage to Max’s new club and the staff that will be coaching the 18-year-old whilst with the Rams.
“Derby is a fantastic club that are moving in the right direction for a young talent like Max,” he said.
“With superb facilities and coaching staff that I am sure will continue developing his talents to take him to the next level.
“Craig Short is a superb coach within their set-up and with his vast experience in the game at the highest level will help Max in his progression.
“I think Derby County have also obtained a great talent in Max and his physic, heading ability, composure as well as two footed distribution could make him a special asset for their club long term.
“We are all very proud of Max and I personally think it’s a great deal for all concerned at Matlock Town, Derby County and the player himself,” the former Champions League player added.
The 18-year-old had spent two years in the restructured academy set-up before signing a professional deal with the club at the start of the season and being loaned out to Belper Town.
Hunt captained his academy side during his two year stay in the system and leaves as the most successful development captain in the club’s history, having won two major youth trophies during his time with the Gladiators, the Derbyshire Divisional Cup North and the Blackpool Cup.