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Mark Smith on the Youth Team's Pre-season Progress

26 July 2015

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The youth team are now midway through their pre-season programme, and academy manager Mark Smith assesses his squad's movements as the new campaign approaches.

Most recently, the youth team - supplemented by Laurence Maguire, Jake Beesley and Rai Simons from the first team squad - fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat away at Staveley MWFC on Friday night.

Derek Daly had given the young Spireites the lead in the first half with a deflected effort, before Steve Carty and Keiran Watson turned things round ahead of the break to give the hosts a lead they would maintain until the end of the match.

After the contest, Smith spoke about the match, and his decision to face mainly senior men's sides during the youth team's pre-season warm-up.

He said: "I think it was exactly the kind of game that we were looking for, that's why we've designed our pre-season around playing against men's teams, because they give you a lot more problems then you get when you're playing with the kids.

"You get away with things when you play with kids, where as with the men you don't get away with so much so hopefully you learn more. In that respect, I thought tonight was really good."

Smith was encouraged by the way his players were able to adapt their outlook to the game after half time, and feels his troops are marching the right direction.

"I thought we were better in the second half than in the first," said Smith. "I had a bit of a go at them at half time, because we are looking for people to make good decisions and for intelligent footballers, and I just thought that their style, especially in the first half, was very high tempo and high pressing. We were trying to play out from the back.

"Sometimes the thing that disappoints me is that when the opposition play a certain way you've actually got to react to that and deal with it. We didn't deal with it very well in the first half, but in the second half I thought we were a lot better.

"The team is starting to work itself out now, we're still two weeks away from the start of our season so there are still chances for lads to play themselves in - as well as chances for kids to play themselves out of the team. We're happy enough with where they are."

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