Sixteen is sweet enough for debut

Matlock Town have been hailing their latest teen star and the EVO-STIK League club's youngest ever player.

Zak Brunt is pictured signing for Gladiators chairman Tom Wright on his 16th birthday before making history last weekend by coming on as an 87th minute substitute in the club's 3-3 draw at Witton Albion.

The teenager recently made his England Futsal U19s debut and was snapped up by joint manager Craig Hopkins and Glenn Kirkwood having already played for Derby County, Manchester City and Spanish giants Athletico Madrid!

Despite his pedigree and early introduction to the EVO-STIK League's top flight, the Gladiators have no plans to rush his development at the DCJ Group Arena after the teenager pledged his immediate future to the Derbyshire club.

Hopkins told supporters: “Zak’s been training with us for a few weeks and has enjoyed it. He was only sixteen on Friday and technically he’s very good but when he went on at Witton he found the NPL as a bit of a shock as he couldn’t believe how quick it is and what little time you get on the ball.

"So we’ve got to look after Zak and do what’s best for his development, bring him along at the right pace and the right time. We’re delighted to have him with us, he’s been first class so far.”

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Where next?

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