Liverpool invited two of Chesterfield’s youth teams to their Kirkby Academy this week to experience the Premier League side’s category one academy.
As well as seeing the facilities on offer the under 10s and under 12s played two friendly matches against the Merseyside giants.
The young Spireites didn't let themselves down in the matches, the under 10s winning their game 8-7 and the under 12s managing to secure a 3-1 victory of their own.
Foundation phase lead coach Darren Malloy explained how the visit came about: “We were lucky enough to get an invite to Liverpool from their academy manager and he offered for us to go and spend the day and see what they do in comparison to what we do.”
While the results were not the main focus of the visit, the two Spireites victories against their Liverpool counterparts gave a great deal of pride to Malloy.
“It was a brilliant challenge for us to gauge how far off we are, and as it turns out, we’re not at all” said Malloy. “Technically we were excellent, we played with high intensity and Liverpool struggled to cope with our players.”
The main aim of the day was to compare the quality of the Kirkby Academy to that of Chesterfield's, which Malloy says was a valuable experience: “There were a lot of similarities to what we do, it’s quite identical really. The main difference for me was staff numbers and facilities.”
The Spireites’ academy received great praise during their visit, a testament to the work the academy has done in the last two years in developing skilful and intelligent players.
Malloy said: “Thankfully we’ve gone away leaving a bit of a reputation for ourselves to get more invites back to clubs like Liverpool. When they speak of Chesterfield people will hear that we’re doing good things across the board.
“It should have created a few good memories for the kids. Now they can say ‘remember the time we beat Liverpool,’ and to be a part of something like that should give them great pride.
"We can also we can put our name out there and people can say ‘they’ve got some talent there.’”