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Smith on Options for Released Youngsters

21 May 2016

While two second year scholars did get pro contract offers at the end of the season plenty didn't and academy manager Mark Smith explained what comes next for the released majority.

The let-go players now face the challenge of making their way in the game without the Spireites, though Smith explains that he and the club still provide support to them.

He said: "We had two players offered contracts in Curtis Morrison and Derek Daly, two offers is always our objective in any academy year - and I thought there were another couple who were quite close to getting an offer.

"There are a number of exit strategies that are put in place for the kids who are let go, it's not just a case of not getting a pro contract and forgetting about them.

"What we try to do is to go to the exit trials that are set up by the Football League, they'll get a lot of support from us with tutorial periods where they can come back, have a chat and seek some advice from us. Then really it's up to them to find themselves a niche in the game, getting advice from us all the time.

"Some players are only willing to stay in the League but it's getting harder and harder to do that. I think that sometimes they're as well to get back playing at any level, back into a team, even in non-league, and then start again from there playing regularly, enjoying it and seeing where it goes from there."

Players in the Spireites squad including Charlie Raglan and Ollie Banks have suffered the rejection of being let go at a young age by professional clubs before fighting their way back via non-league, showing that there can still be a football career possible to those who have been let go.

Smith said: "You'll always see players who have been released, have played non-league, and make their way back - Jamie Vardy was released by Sheffield Wednesday at 16 and is a prime example, eve though it took him many years to get back to the Football League.

"It's rare that it happens like that, but there are players that take two or three years out of the League, grow and bit and mature a bit and then get their break, and there are three or four members of the Chesterfield squad that pay tribute to that and what's still possible."







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