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Spireites in Gibraltar Link-up

15 August 2014

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Chesterfield have forged a link-up with Gibraltar league club Europa Point, who run an Under-21 side which will act as a feeder team for the Spireites.

Europa Point follow a similar model to the old Glenn Hoddle Soccer School, recruiting youngsters who have been in academies in this country and coaching them with the aid of League Football Education funding.

As part of the agreement, Chesterfield will have the first call on any player from there. Chesterfield's academy players will also be able to train with Europa Point, based at Castellar in Spain, near Gibraltar, to aid their development.

Spireites chief scout Paul Mitchell, who has been instrumental in setting up the link-up, said: "We are spreading our net far and wide and Gibraltar is a source of emerging talent. 

"Europa Point have some really good training facilities and John Gontier, who formed the club, is a great contact for us. I also have a good relationship with Pete Cotton, who acts as a scout for us over there. 

"We plan to take the development centre players over there in the early part of next year and it is possible that Europa Point's facilities could be used as a base for a summer training camp for the first team.

"There are two divisions in Gibraltar and Europa Point are in the second tier. The winners of the domestic cup competition qualify for Europe, adding another interesting possibility."

Gontier, who is Europa Point's chairman, said: "The club’s aim to be a stepping stone for young players to progress and get back in the game can now be realised as a result of this partnership and I’m sure that the players will be even more determined to do well here as a result.

"I would like to take the time to thank Paul Mitchell and everyone at Chesterfield FC for this amazing opportunity and we at Europa Point FC are looking forward to working together in the future game. Chesterfield and England will benefit from young English players who can come here to have senior match experience instilling 'international' experience in young players that I firmly think English football can benefit from. 

"Chesterfield will also have the first refusal on great young talent, many of whom would prefer to stay at home knowing that if they do well they will at least have a trial at Chesterfield rather than going to Malaga, Real Betis, Sevilla, Cadiz or even Real Madrid or Barcelona."

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