Matlock Town defender Ashton Hall has earned a dream move to Premier League side Sheffield United.
Hall, 18, has signed a professional contract with the Blades having had trials both at Bramall Lane and with Leeds United following his breakthrough into Matlock’s first team last season.
The teenager came through the Gladiators’ academy, captaining the club’s reserve team before signing a first team contract in October 2018.
And he now heads to join a club about to embark on their return to the top flight under boss Chris Wilder.
Matlock Town chairman Tom Wright says the club is delighted and proud of Hall’s progress.
He said: “The aim of the academy is primarily to bring players through that could play in our first team, but in Ashton Hall and Max Hunt (now at Derby County) we’ve had players who have gone on to professional clubs and it’s fantastic.
“It’s a great move for Ashton who has been brilliant around the club since arriving and we wish him all the very best. He had lots of scouts watching him so we’re delighted he’s earned his move.”
Matlock will receive an undisclosed compensation payment for the development time Hall spent with Sheffield United, with future incentives also written into the deal which takes him to Bramall Lane.
Wright added: “There are add-ons involved in the deal that will benefit us should Ashton leave Sheffield United for a fee. We negotiated a good deal in the end.
“It will be great if players like Ashton and Max make a good professional career out of the game having started at Matlock because it will give young players here the belief that they can do similar if they work hard.”