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Craig Hopkins full of praise for Matlock Town academy

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Joint boss Craig Hopkins has praised the work of Matlock Town’s academy.

The praise came after goalkeeper Jordan Pierrepont became the latest player to have trials with a Football League club after Sheffield Wednesday showed interest.

He follows in the footsteps of midfielder Zak Brunt, who has been at Leicester City, and central defender Max Hunt, who had trials with both West Bromwich Albion and Derby County before the Rams snapped him up.

“The Academy staff are doing a great job,” he said. “We had eight or nine of the young lads training with us last Saturday, we’re taking a good look at them as we know they have potential and we’ll continue to watch their progress closely.

“Age is not a barrier for them, if they’re good enough then they’ll play. There’s not many step three clubs like ourselves that have that many young lads training with the first team, they’ll be given every chance to progress.

“Some people think we’re overlooking them and that’s not the case but at the same time people need to recognise that there’s a massive gulf between step seven and step three.

“Take Merthyr, who play at our level but in the Southern League. Circumstances meant they had to put out largely a development side in their game at Chesham in November. They were 9-0 down at half-time and eventually lost 13-1.

“We have some exciting talent here at Matlock but we need to be careful how we utilise that talent both for the player’s benefit and the good of the club. We’re all really pleased for Jordan and hope he’ll end up playing at a high level.”