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New Venues for Academy

28 June 2016

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Academy manager Mark Smith has revealed that the academy will train at new venues this season and the youth team fixtures will be played at a different ground.

In an interview with Spireites Player HD, Smith said: "The pitches at Shirebrook are not as good as we'd like them to be to help players develop so we have been trying to secure new training venues for both scholars and the 9-16s. I think we've got there now because we've secured the venues and it's all systems go now. I think in the long term it will benefit everybody.

"We've had to go into Sheffield to use Sheffield Park Academy after exhausting all options in and around the Chesterfield area. There was nothing very similar to the one we were leaving, so we've come up with Sheffield Park Academy, which is just off the Parkway when you go into Sheffield. 

"It's actually closer to the ground than Shirebrook and it's got everything you need for EPPP purposes. It's got a 3G pitch and grass pitches as well, which we can use on Sunday mornings for the games when they start in September.

"Also, the agreement with Langer Lane and Chesterfield College finished so we had to look for a new place for the youth team to train. We've got the use of a brand new, FA-backed place in the south of Sheffield, which is only at the other end of the Dronfield Bypass. We can use the 3G pitch and the dressing rooms there, which will be great."

A new venue for youth team fixtures was also required following Staveley Miners Welfare's decision to stop hosting the games due to their pitch being over-used. "We tried to do something at Sheffield FC and looked into Clay Cross, but drew blanks, so we've gone back to Shirebrook," Smith explained. 

"It will be good there because they only have a first team so the pitch should be good all the year round. It's got the feel of a stadium and I think that type of environment helps the kids along their development path."

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