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Youth Team Set for Pre-season Start

15 July 2015

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The youth team start their pre-season schedule tomorrow with a match away at Clipstone, as the new-look young Spireites hope to reach the heights of their impressive last campaign.

The match is at the Worksop Van Hire Stadium (NG21 9DP) - with kick-off at 7:30pm - and Chesterfield supporters are welcome to attend the match.

New academy manager Mark Smith will take charge of the opening match, assisted by Darren Molloy, as was the case during last season's successful year.

Clipstone were crowned champions of the Toolstation Northern Counties East Football League in April and will offer a stern opening test for the young Spireites side.

"It's the first game so it'll be interesting, we're going to try and get two teams out of it so they'll all get 45 or so as I think it's a little bit early to ask them to do 90 minutes. We've been building up to the game and I think the players are ready for it.

"The main thing is to get the game and to have one against men, which will stretch us a little bit - hopefully they'll not knock us about too much. I think the players are ready for it now and can look after themselves having trained for two weeks."

Smith went into detail on his youth team squad's return to training and the methods used to get the players back up towards match fitness.

He said: "We came back on June 30, so we've been back for two and half weeks. Most of the work we've been doing has been fitness-based. We did seven days of endurance work to start off with to build up to a good level.

"The second phase is where we look at speed endurance where we do sprints, followed by recovery and then more sprints. Then the last week has been doing short, sharp stuff. 

"This is where you have the games and work more with the ball, so when we get to the first match we're ready and able to compete."

As ever, a new youth team season sees a large turnover in playing staff at Smith's disposal, but the academy director feels that the transition isn't as arduous as it might be.

"If you've got the link between the academy and the youth team right then the transition shouldn't be too hard," said Smith. "What we try and do is to take a lot from our own academy, so they're brought up the right way.

"The idea is that it's not so different for the next batch coming in so they have the same values and are used to the same kind of training as the previous players have had."

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