A member of Matlock Town’s academy setup has revealed how the Gladiators rescued his passion for football after the pressure of playing for a professional club left him no longer enjoying the sport.
Louie Davies, 16, played for Sheffield Wednesday’s academy from a young age, but left as he began to enjoy playing less.
And he’s now grateful for the chance presented to him by Matlock.
He said: “I played for Sheffield Wednesday for about four or five years and towards the end I wasn’t enjoying my football as much.
“I decided to leave and then decided to continue playing grassroots whilst I was enjoying it, and that’s where Matlock picked me up.
“Now I am enjoying it more than ever.”
Davies highlighted that the added pressure of playing for a professional football club was one of the main factors which caused him to lose interest in playing.
He said: “At pro clubs there is a lot of pressure on you to be the best and go further to get to a higher standard
“At Matlock they want you to get to a higher club, and they work hard to get you there, but there is not as much pressure and they give you more time which helps.”
Davies spoke highly of Matlock Town’s academy and praised the education the young players at the football club receive alongside playing for the club.
“Because of the set up and how they run everything, it is just very good,” he said.
“The education is great and the tutors are great. I work very hard and try my best but I always enjoy it.”
Matlock Town’s development centre was established in 2015, and in the three years since it was set up the club have successfully sold two players to professional clubs in the Championship.