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Duke Enjoys First Week Back With Spireites

8 July 2016

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It's been over 20 years since his last association with the Spireites, but newly-appointed goalkeeping coach Matt Duke is finally back and looking to push forwards.

In the mid-nineties a teenage Duke was on the Chesterfield books in the youth team and hoping to make his way in the game as a goalkeeper.

While it didn't work out for the Sheffield-born stopper with the Spireites, the education did lead him onto a long and successful career of league football with clubs including Hull City and Bradford City.

Most recently the 39-year-old has been balancing coaching and playing roles, as he explained: "I was coaching the under 21s at Sheffield United on a part-time basis and then playing for Alfreton part time, and the two roles complemented each other really well.

"My long-term goal was always to become a full-time goalkeeping coach, I was still enjoying the playing and I wanted to play as long as I could, but you have to make a decision when something like this comes up."

That opportunity came around as somewhat of a surprise after Mark Crossley moved to Notts County as their new assistant manager at the conclusion of the season.

Duke - who today spoke at the weekly Spireites Speakeasy session at The HUB - explained how the call to take over came his way: "With the connection with Sheffield United, Darren Ward's there and he knows Morgs (Chris Morgan) really well so when the chance came up my name was put forwards and it went from there.

"I jumped at the chance because it's a great football club. I was here as a kid, way back in 1994 or whenever it was. Chesterfield is a club I've always looked out for with them being a local team and now I'm really privileged to be given this chance."

Now a week into pre-season training and Duke says he's already settling in and enjoying the challenge with the Spireites.

"It's been really good, I've settled in nicely. "he said. "It helps that I know people: the gaffer, Morgs and I've known Ritchie (Humphreys) for a long time, so it's been really good.

"I'm really enjoying it and now really looking forward to getting the season under way."

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