Young Harrow Borough loanee Matthew Hall hoping to follow in the footsteps of Nick Pope

Harrow Borough manager Steve Baker (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Harrow Borough manager Steve Baker (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

The youngest goalkeeper in the Southern League Premier South –Matthew Hall – is hoping he can follow in the footsteps of Premier League shot-stopper Nick Pope.

Hall, 17, is on loan at Harrow Borough from parent club Southampton until January to develop his game.

Harrow are a club at which England international Pope spent time on loan and now Hall is taking inspiration from that as Burnley’s number one has risen through the ranks to make three appearances for the Three Lions.

“Nick Pope is someone I looked up to even before joining Harrow, and that is because he is one of the best keepers in the Premier League, and of course I would like to follow the same path that he has,” Hall admitted.

“Playing for Harrow is a great experience in my opinion because the demands are higher than playing in academy football.

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“This is because you are playing for points on the league table or to progress in the FA Cup and FA Trophy.

“I’m also thankful to Steve Baker who gave me the opportunity of playing at Harrow and how they take time out to talk to me and help me with areas of the game that I’m not used to.”

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Hall, who only started playing football at the age of 11, was with Chelsea from under-12s up to under-15s before then joining Southampton where he has been for the last two years.

He is currently a second-year scholar with the Saints and spent the majority of last season at AFC Totton playing in the Southern League Divison One West at step four level.

Now Hall is hoping to impress at Harrow to earn himself a professional deal at Southampton as his contract expires at the end of the current season.

“Regular game time is probably the most important thing for a keeper as our game is all about decision making,” he added.

“No matter the amount of training that you do and how technically good you are nothing can compare to the decisions you have to make it a game.”

The youngster also explained what he felt the main differences are between men’s and academy football.

“One of the biggest differences is the physicality and also the style of football that is played,” he said.

“A lot of academy football is a lot of intricate passes along the floor and creating opportunities that way as opposed to men’s football which is very direct.

“Also in men’s football they utilise set plays as one of their main ways to create opportunities at goal.”

Hall is also thankful to Southampton for aiding his development continuously and believes it’s the perfect place for talented youngsters to improve their game.

“Southampton have helped with my development of me as a player and also a man,” he added.

“Their set-up is the perfect place for young players as they do produce a lot of professionals and give a lot of opportunities for the youth and have been doing this for many years.”

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