Young defender Laurence Maguire is relishing his involvement in the Chesterfield first team after making the step up from captaining last season's youth team.The teenager - younger brother of Hull City's Harry - was part of the strong youth team in 2014/15 and, along with striker Jake Beesley, was offered his first pro contract towards the end of the season.
Maguire played the second 45 minutes at Matlock Town on Thursday, partnering Charlie Raglan in the centre of defence, and played again on Friday night at Buxton.
Speaking after the pre-season opener, Maguire was pleased with his performance and the start of his first professional pre-season.
"It went really well," he said. "It’s good for the fitness but it’s also nice to get the ball going, passing it around. It’s a good experience for me especially to play alongside Charlie Raglan who’s helped me this week.
"Charlie's been talking to me and it's been the same with Ritchie [Humphreys] and Ian Evatt. I’ve been getting on really well and it’s been a great week and a great start."
However, Maguire was willing to admit that the step up has been a challenge, though one he's been relishing.
"It’s a lot different because you’re playing with different players," he said. "You can see in training that the standard’s better. With no disrespect to the youth team, you’ve got the likes of Ian Evatt who’s played in the Premier League who’s playing alongside me.
"It’s been good, it’s been a bit different not being with Mark [Smith, youth team coach] but it’s been good and I’ve really enjoyed this week."
With the high standards of incoming fitness coach Mal Purchase, Maguire was expected to come back to training ready to go, and the young defender feels he's in good shape.
"To be honest I did a lot in the off-season," said Maguire. "I feel fit and I’ve been doing it with my brothers doing fitness abroad. I feel fit and out there I didn’t feel too bad, I feel like I could do a whole nighter tonight."