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Fixture News

Academy U16 Side Head to Ireland

22 August 2015

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The Chesterfield academy Under 16 side are travelled to Ireland on Friday for the Mayo International Cup, taking part in the international tournament against other development teams.

The tournament, which takes place in County Mayo, will see the Spireites take on the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland development sides, as well as FAI Castlebar and Millwall teams, and will give them good experience of football away from home.

The academy manager Mark Smith took the side to the tournament last year and knows the importance of such football to help the youth side develop.

"It's a really good experience for them," he said. "It gets the lads away from home and you get to know a little bit more about them. It's only for three days as we're back on the Monday afternoon, but we'll definitely play at least four games and the standard of the teams that we're playing is very good. 

"It will be a bonus if we get into the final and have an extra game but the main thing is that it's a good experience for the lads."

The team are already travelling all over the country for games in Nottingham, and have a game against Sunderland's development team further north. 

Smith is taking a squad of 15 for the trip and believes there is a lot to take from the challenge: "Tournament football is good for them, especially at this time of the year. You get games in a relatively short space of time, so you've got to work out strategies and preparation and recovery for the next game very quickly between matches."

Smith also commented that he values the team bonding aspect that his side will gain from the trip, and states that it is one of the main reasons that they are going.

"You see the lads who mix and the ones who don't and you see their personalities as well, because you're with them 24/7. It's something different and there are good facilities and good surfaces to play on, so the lads can take a lot from it."

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