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Mark Smith on Academy Graduate Duo

17 May 2016

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Curtis Morrison and Derek Daly were recently offered their first professional contracts and their former coach Mark Smith runs the rule of their abilities.

Academy manager Smith, then the Spireites' caretaker manager, gave Daly a professional debut on Boxing Day at Peterborough United and thinks the Irishman now has the chance to push on.

He said: "He's physically capable, he's got a bit of pace and he has a good fitness level - though he will get even fitter.

"He has a good left foot and is a good dribbler with the ball. He came to us as a left winger, but I looked at him and saw that when he was up the pitch with people around him he wasn't always aware of others.

"We moved him back slightly to a left-back position were the game is generally in front of him, which benefits him. The times he's been with the first team he hasn't let himself down and he did make his debut and got 45 minutes. Now it's up to him."

Also offered a contract was forward Morrison, and Smith says the youngster's pace gives him a chance to go further with his career.

Smith said: "Curtis is a strong, powerful striker who is a willing worker with a great attitude. He needs to work on his finishing and his hold up play a little bit.

"He likes to get on the half turn and have balls over the top to change, so from a tactical side he will cause problems for the opposition side because of his directness and with stretching the game.

"He needs to understand both sides of that, both going longer and coming short and receiving it to feet to link play. He'll be right under the manager's eyes and he has the chance to take things forwards."

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