'Seeing myself in FIFA 19 was a bit surreal' - Pollock's journey from Hashtag United to Northampton Town

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Scott Pollock Northampton Town 2018-19
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The teenage midfielder tells Goal about his path from being man of the match at Wembley to the professional football ranks

Hashtag United’s worlds collided recently as one of their own Scott Pollock was added into FIFA 19 after making an appearance on Northampton Town’s first-team bench.

As a 16-year-old, Pollock applied for, and won, the Hashtag United Academy series, earning a cash prize and playing for the non-league football team of FIFA YouTuber Spencer Owen.

The young midfielder then went on to claim man of the match in front of 34,000 people at the Wembley Cup final, playing alongside legendary players including Steven Gerrard. That performance resulted in a lot of eyes on Pollock and, shortly afterwards, he was handed a trial with Premier League club Crystal Palace.

While the Eagles did not sign him, he was instead offered a place at local club, Northampton Town. Pollock has already taken his chance, earning a place on the bench for one of the club's League Two fixture against Mansfield at the end of September.

That achievement prompted EA Sports to add him into the game, much to the surprise of Pollock, who told Goal: “Seeing myself in FIFA 19 was a bit surreal really. To be on the game when you are still a youth team player seems strange but it shows the level of detail the game goes in to.”

Pollock is just 51-rated in the game, with 67 acceleration as his best stat. It’s a low rating but the youngster says he is content with those numbers for now.

He added: “I’m happy with the rating, the stats are fair and I was quite chuffed to have three-star skills! I don’t have any control over the stats at the moment, so I don’t really spend too much time worrying about it.

“I know some of the first-team squad have some banter over their ratings but, for me, at my age, it is what happens out on the pitch that concerns me more. And, if I do perform out on the pitch, then the ratings will take care of themselves anyway!”

With Hashtag United competing in both football and FIFA esports, you can understand why Spencer was over the moon to see the team produce a player good enough to make the game.

Meanwhile, Pollock is thankful himself, believing Hashtag not only helped him to find opportunities but also to improve as a player.

“Playing for Hashtag United certainly helped with my profile and publicity," he said. "Spencer was great to work with and gave me lots of opportunities and experiences around the world.

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“Playing in Wembley in front of 34,000 live fans was an amazing experience. It gave me confidence to now play in front of any crowd with no fear, and also it was great to play with and against some of the best footballers of all time.

“I am from Northampton and a Cobblers fan so this feels like home for me anyway. Hashtag gave me a great start and now it is fantastic for me to be playing with my home club in a successful team and, while there is a long way to go, I am really happy with where things are at the moment.

"I am working with good staff, alongside some really good players and I think I am in the best place possible.”