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Darren Molloy Looks Ahead to the Academy Season

18 July 2015

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Academy coach Darren Molloy this week spoke to Spireites PlayerHD about the upcoming season throughout the club's academy.

With Mark Smith stepping up to replace Gerry Carr as the academy manager this summer, Molloy spoke about the new start for the academy ahead of 2015/16.

"There's been the recent change with Mark Smith becoming academy manager," said Molloy. "It's been a case of us all coming in, having some meetings, putting some plans together and working out what we can do to keep improving on last season."

Molloy was particularly enthusiastic about the progress being made with the youngest age group in the academy, and he hopes that the latest recruits will do well - with even the following season's group starting to take shape.

He said: "We've recruited a lot of players that in previous years we might not have got the same high level of young kids coming through - and they're really enjoying themselves, which is brilliant.

"Our reputation's grown in that sense in that we've now got some names and a starting group among the under 8s for the following season and we're having some discussions about getting a pre-academy group going and how and where we could do that."

Elsewhere, a number of the different age groups are taking part in events ranging from a tournament in Nottingham to a futsal competition in Birmingham - with the under 16s are due to travel to Ireland for the second successive season.

"Myself and Mark are taking the under 16s to the Mayo International Cup," explained Molloy. "That will be a great trip. We did it last year and it's a great tournament and a great opportunity for the lads to get experience.

"It's brilliant going as an academy as it's something people want to see over there. That gives the kids a little bit of pressure but also a little bit more realism with their hopes of becoming professional footballers.

"The facilities there are fantastic: two excellent pitches where they'll play the Republic of Ireland development group, the Northern Ireland development group and there are two other teams still to be confirmed.

"It will give our group another piece of experience, an elite level of experience. They'll play three games and if they do well they'll get to the final. Last year the boys certainly didn't let themselves down and I've no doubt that this year's group will be the same."

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