At the end of August the under 9s, 10s and 11s from the Chesterfield academy were invited to Premier League side Sunderland to take part in their Foundation Phase Festival.
The category 3 Spireites academy saw the invitation to visit a category 1 side as too good to turn down and the three age groups performed well against their illustrious Black Cat hosts.
Darren Molloy, Lead Coach, Development Stage (U9-U11) in the academy fed back about the chance for the young sides to travel up north and test themselves.
He explained: "We were invited up to the festival as we've been linking up with category one and two clubs and we've seen this as a great opportunity to challenge ourselves against what we can consider to be some of the best academies in the country.
"It was a really good experience for our boys. We went to Liverpool last year and did really well, even winning the games. Since then that's put out feelers for us and other clubs have been in touch with us.
"We've now been to Leicester, Derby and a couple more category one clubs. After our trip to Sunderland we've been invited back up again because of how we performed and the competition we gave them and from there we have upcoming tournaments in Liverpool.
"In terms of the academy and the club it's great to get these links, but ultimately it's a great experience for our boys to get these tests against good sides."