Last weekend the academy took sides from the under 8s to under 14s to Boston United's Pilgrim Cup, a very well organised and well attended annual tournament.
It was a 6 v 6 competition with the academy entering two teams per age group. On tighter pitches the players were able to express themselves and showcase their skills and creativity, which they did tremendously throughout the weekend.
On Saturday the under 13s won their competition, defeating Nottingham Forest in the semi-final and Lincoln City in the final.
In the quarter-finals both Chesterfield sides were pitted against each other and thanks to the heroics of Jake Allen in goal for the 'A' side it was they who progressed with a 3-1 win.
The 'B' side had just come off an 11-0 win in the previous group game so they certainly had their scoring boots on. Brett Gallear scoring 16 goals in four games in the group stages. However, 'keeper Allen was in majestic form and denied some certain goals.
The semi-final saw Chesterfield face Forest and this game was all about the talent and skill of Kian Tansley. Able to play anywhere on the pitch, Tansley was put up front by coach Rob Bernthal and he delivered a fantastic hat-trick which took the side through to the final.
There was some great play both in attack and defensively, with Tom Wood and Morgan Richards putting in some incredible tackles; the team earning their progression to the final.
In the final the team faced Lincoln and after the difficulty of the semi-final this game wasn't close. Tansley opened the scoring once again, scoring another after the 'keeper could only tip Tom Wood's thunderous strike onto the post, before Matt Simmons finished the game off with a nicely taken 1-on-1. Both teams were fantastic throughout the day and did the academy proud.
Under 13s winning squad: Jake Allen (GK), George Wilkinson, Tom Wood, Morgan Richards, Matt Simmons, Olly Papworth, Kian Tansley, George Weaver
Coach: Rob Bernthal
On the Sunday the under 12s and under 14s reached the semi-finals of their respective tournaments.
The under 14s were knocked out by a very strong Nottingham Forest side, while the under 12s were unfortunate to go out on penalties, playing out a superb 2-2 game in the allotted 16-minute match.
Two goals from Jacob Barrass, one wonderfully assisted by under 11 Kyrell Wheatley in the final seconds, took the game to penalties. It was a real shame for the lads who had played and worked fantastically all day.
Overall it was a great weekend for the academy, who played some excellent football and entertained the many parents and spectators at the event.
It is pleasing to receive so many compliments about the quality of the players, team and style from opposition coaches and parents.