Young centre back Ashton Hall is determined to prove boyhood club Sheffield United wrong.
The 17-year-old Matlock Town Academy player was released by the Blades at the age of 14 after being told he was too small for a centre-back.
Since then, Hall has overcome that big disappointment to earn himself a two-year contract at Evo-Stik outfit Matlock.
“I want to prove Sheffield United wrong,” he said. “They released me due to being too small. At the time I was 5ft 9ins tall and now I’m 6ft 2.
“I’ve proved them wrong to an extent, but I need to keep working if I want to make it as a professional.”
The Gladiators’ starlet, who also had a brief spell as a youngster at Rotherham United, was also critical of the Blades.
“I do support Sheffield United but I didn’t enjoy it there. I like it at Matlock, they bring out the best in me.”
Hall is relishing the challenges ahead as he targets a career as a professional player and dreams of one day making the Premier League.
His coach, Jamie Yates, has backed Hunt, captain of Matlock’s under-17s, to make it far in the professional game.
Yates said: “I would expect at the very minimum for Ashton to reach our first team.
“He’s both-footed, reads the game well, understands it and is also a leader. At the age of 17 it’s hard to say exactly where he will end up, but he’s extremely focused with good parents backing him, so who knows.”