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Teacher Tells of Ify Ofoegbu's Progress

7 October 2016

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Tuesday night was, despite the result, a very special night for young full-back Ify Ofoegbu, with the 16-year-old making his first-team Spireites debut against Accrington Stanley.

In doing so, the youth team player became the club's fifth youngest-ever player, with Ofoegbu now pushing forwards as a role model to students at his former school, the South Leeds Academy.

Steve Waide, a PE teacher at the school, gave a window into Ofoegbu's rapid progress, with the player possibly being lost to rugby if he was a bit better with his dimensions.

"I started at The South Leeds Academy in September 2014 and before I came I'd already heard of Ify. Some pupils at my previous school knew him and they'd told me he was a bit of a footballer.

When I arrived I noticed they'd never had a football team while they'd been at the school and it was evident that there was plenty of ability within this year group in particular - then Year 10. So we set up a team and in that first year they won their league by 23 points! 

Ify was our top goalscorer: his pace, strength and power were too much for most defences and he helped himself to 27 goals. 

Outside of school he was playing for Glen Juniors and also doing very well so I did my best to get him an opportunity. Having contacted a few clubs in the area, Huddersfield Town were the first to watch him and they immediately invited him down to their academy. 

Although it didn't quite work at Huddersfield, their loss became Chesterfield's gain and their interest and desire to sign Ify convinced him it was the right move and that has been proven right.

At school Ify wasn't just a footballer, he was an all-round athlete who excelled in several sports. He won countless gold medals in the 100m and 200m, he was a talented table tennis player and even tried his hand at rugby. 

He nearly scored a full length try in the Leeds school's cup final, he ran the length of the pitch, holding off players before confusing the try line with the 10m line - he dived over thinking he'd scored to realise he was 10m short! 

He was also a sports leader (predominantly for the free t-shirt) and helped us run events for local primary schools and was also a member of the GCSE PE class, in which he achieved a grade B in August. To top it all he won prom king in July, dressed in an all white suit - legendary.

He is genuinely a great lad; he is polite, well mannered and his laugh is the most contagious you will come across. 

His success has already inspired pupils within our school and will certainly continue to do so - he is now a role model to all of our aspiring young sportsmen and women, proving that hard work and effort does result in rewards and a shining example of what can be achieved."

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