Keeper could be next to turn pro

Matlock Town keeper Jordan Pierrepont is being backed to fly the flag for the Gladiators and the Northern Premier League Football Academy all the way to the professional game after earning a trial with Sheffield Wednesday.

The 17-year-old's potential to become the NPLFA's next star graduate was hailed by Town’s development manager and academy director Justin Tellus on Monday as the teenager prepared to join up with the Championship club's squad later this week.

Pierrepont, pictured, became the 15th NPLFA student since the ground-breaking academy's foundation in 2014 to make his senior debut in the EVO-STIK League last season after helping the next generation of stars at the Gladiators lift the prestigious Blackpool Cup in 2016 by scoring the winner in a penalty shoot-out against Scottish Premier League Hamilton Academicals.

After seeing the EVO-STIK League Premier Division club's Max Hunt win a contract at Derby County and Zak Brunt go on trial at Leicester City since the start of 2018, Tellus told fans he wasn't surprised to see the teen stopper emerge as the latest success story from the NPLFA's increasingly successful sport and education programme at the DCJ Group Insurance Arena.

Tellus said: “Jordan, technically and physically, has all the attributes to make it in the professional game. He has always been a special talent from when we picked him up as a schoolboy. I’ve seen a huge improvement in his performances over the last year and that makes this news no surprise at all.

“I keep telling our players and coaching staff to continue to work hard and we will achieve, as the level of interest from top sides across the country and abroad increases on a constant basis around our development system at Matlock."

The academy director added: “We’re producing players ready for Football League progression and I really hope he follows in the steps of Max Hunt to continue his career at a professional level.”

The NPLFA was founded with the backing of the Football Association at five pilot clubs in September 2014 to provide career pathways into the football industry with youngsters studying on two year BTEC courses.

Still the only league-wide academy in English football combining sport with education and now expanded to 12 members clubs, the NPLFA welcomed its fourth intake of students this season while launching a new higher education partnership with Loughborough University so students could continue their studies to degree level within the Northern Premier League.

For further details and information on the football education programme, visit or contact them at

Image courtesy of & @Matlock_TownFC/Twitter

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