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Veteran Hill Commits To Avenue

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Vastly experienced defender Matt Hill has agreed to remain at Vanarama National League North club Bradford Park Avenue, both in his role as a player and as academy coach.

The former Bristol City, Preston North End and Sheffield United defender made forty-one appearances in all competitions last season, having joined in the summer from Tranmere Rovers.

Hill, 36, proved a key figure in Avenue’s astonishing escape from relegation, scoring two memorable last-gasp winning goals at the Horsfall Stadium against Brackley Town and Altrincham.

“We’re pleased that Matt Hill has agreed to stay and continue in his roles as both a player and Academy coach at the club,” manager Mark Bower told the club`s official website. “We were delighted with his contribution both on and off the pitch last season and we are confident that he will again be a real asset to the club in both roles.

“Having played at the highest level, Hilly sets a great example to all the players at the club with his professional attitude and winning mentality and he is looking forward to a successful season for both the first team and Academy.”

A glistening career has seen Hill make 452 appearances in the Football League, including two in the Premier League for Wolves in 2009.

The defender started his career at home-town club Bristol City, where he made his debut aged 17 in 1998.

He went on to establish himself as a regular at Ashton Gate, making 246 appearances in all competitions and spending three years playing alongside Avenue’s academy head coach Alex Meechan.

Preston paid £100,000 for Hill’s services in 2005, taking him into the Championship for the first time.

In five years at Deepdale, Hill made 119 appearances before commanding another transfer fee as he was signed by Mick McCarthy’s Wolves.

He played fourteen times as they gained promotion to the Premier League and lifted the Championship trophy.

Having made two appearances in the top flight, Hill spent the second half of the season on loan at Queens Park Rangers, before joining Barnsley at the end of the campaign.

A year at Oakwell was followed by a year at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road, before Hill joined Sheffield United, where he made ninety-five appearances in three seasons ahead of his move to Tranmere in 2014.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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