Harry Arter was a surprise name on the team sheet as Nottingham Forest Under-21s took on Ollerton Town in the Notts Senior Cup.
The Reds lined up with a relatively young side, with Arter playing in central midfield as an experienced head.
Forest were given a scare by the Northern Counties East League Division One outfit.
An early goal from Nathan Murr gave Ollerton the lead but it wasn’t to be for the non-league outfit.
Lewis Salmon was the skipper on the night and he restored parity on 16 minutes with a goal from close range.
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The game was finely poised for large parts but Forest did find a winner with just 10 minutes of the contest remaining.
Detlef Esapa Osong was so often the hero last season and he scored an emphatic goal to break Ollerton’s heart.
It was the inclusion of Arter in the team, however, that offered Forest fans some surprise.
The player hasn’t featured in the Reds’ first team since January 2021 when he played in the FA Cup against Cardiff.
He’s made just 13 appearances for the Reds and reportedly cost the club around £5 million from Bournemouth.
Arter is hardly on pittance when it comes to wages either; signing as one of Sabri Lamouchi’s stellar arrivals in the summer of 2020.
It’s been claimed previously that the former Premier League player earns £38,000-a-week at the City Ground.
It would appear that the Reds are wanting Arter to earn his salary despite being banished from the first team by Forest.
Arter surprise name on Forest team sheet at Ollerton
Fans turning up to catch a glimpse of Forest’s future will have been shocked to have seen Arter strutting around wearing the number four.
The 32-year-old spent time on loan at Charlton and Notts County last season, with his career on a downward spiral.
Arter was encouraging his teammates throughout last night though and perhaps a coaching career is next for the midfielder.
The player has a contract at Forest until next summer and it’s guaranteed that he won’t be receiving another one.
It seems as though the club will be making him earn his money over the next few months by coaching in the academy ranks.