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Smith Assesses New Academy Recruits

2 July 2016

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The new youth team season gets underway along with the first team on Saturday, August 6, and academy manager Mark Smith has nine incoming players to work with.

Among the incoming players four exciting first year players from the Emerald Isle are in the young Spireites' squad and will be hoping to make an impression on their new manager.

"We've got nine lads who’ve come in, including four from Ireland," said Smith. "We've got a couple of Northern Ireland internationals, which is quite a coup for us. One is a centre-forward called Josh Tipping, who's a big, strong lad and we've got a goalscoring midfielder called Marc McKenna. They're the two Northern Ireland lads. 

"We've also got two from the Republic of Ireland, who're slightly older than the others due to the education system over there. It's a bit like Derek Daly, who came in when he was a little bit older. 

"Connor Fowler is a left-back and Dylan Hands is a utility player who can play anywhere across the back."

As well as the Irish contingent there are some players from closer to home with a chance to make a step towards a professional career in football.

Smith continued: "We've also taken on some local lads, together with Ify Ofoegbu who is from Huddersfield Town. He’s an athlete and we think that if we can get him stronger, he’ll be physically equipped.

"Aaron Sennett-Neilson is a local lad who plays in midfield. Brad Jones is a keeper who was released by Nottingham Forest; he’s a good size and there’s some good potential to work with there.

"Charlie Wakefield has come through our academy and he’s from the Derby area. He’s got a slight build but he’s really tenacious. 

"Joel Phillips is a centre-forward who was released by Rotherham United. He’s very direct.

"We’ve got three or four of the second years who should be really knocking on the door. It’s looking positive for the coming season."

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