With the youth team back in action against Lincoln City on Saturday we spoke to young midfielder Charlie Wakefield about life at the Proact.
Young midfielder Charlie Wakefield is confident that the youth team can return to winning ways when they travel to Lincoln City on Saturday (11am).
Wakefield was part of the Spireites line up when Lincoln ran out 6-2 winners at Clay Cross the last time the two teams met in October, and he along with his team mates are desperate to avenge that defeat.
He said: “We owe them one after last time; it was a bit embarrassing to be honest.
“They’re a physical side, but we didn’t turn up on the day, though if we get the ball down and put a performance in we can get back to winning ways.
“We’re confident of getting a result.”
Saturday’s match will be the youth team’s first league fixture since a 3-0 defeat at Scunthorpe United on December 16, after last weekend’s scheduled match with Oldham Athletic was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
It’s been an inconsistent season to date, something that Wakefield acknowledged and is confident of his team’s ability to turn it around.
“Our season has been up and down,” he said. “We had a very good start but recently we’ve not had many good results.
“But I think if we put one performance in and get a win we can go on and get more points on the board and push up the league.”
Capable of playing at left back, central midfield or as a left winger Wakefield has enjoyed a fruitful season so far.
“I’ve been quite happy with my own performances; I feel I’ve been playing well,” he added.
“I didn’t think I would be starting as many games as I have done this year but I’ve been happy to do so.
“I enjoy playing all of those positions, but if I could say one that was my favourite then it would be central midfield, as I enjoy getting on the ball.”
Wakefield, 16, is in his first year as a scholar after progressing through the ranks at the Proact, in total he’s been with the club for five years.
So where did it all begin?
“Originally I was playing for Breedon Wanderers, and my father got in contact with Mark Jules and he arranged my trial,” he explained.
“I started in the under 11s, where I was on trial for six to eight weeks and I was offered a one year contract to play for the under 12s, and I’ve been here ever since.”
His rise to the youth team has also seen him play in the reserve team, scoring in the 8-0 Derbyshire FA Senior Challenge cup match with Aston United last month. While throughout the season he’s trained with the first team, picking up some advice along the way.
Wakefield said: “I train with them once a week and it’s been a great experience.
“It’s very good to see what the senior players are doing and also seeing the level you have to get at, when you’re there.
“Ian Evatt has given me quite a bit of advice as I’ve been on his team a few times, he’s mainly told me to keep working hard whilst I’m a scholar and if I do I’ll have a good chance of making it as a pro.
“Playing for the reserve team is a lot different to playing for the youth team, the pace of the game is a lot quicker and also it’s more physical as well.
“It’s a lot harder, but it’s good to see what level you get to after you’ve come through the youth team.”
And with enjoying a rewarding season thus far, Derby-born Wakefield has ambitions of it continuing long term.
“I’d like to earn a professional contract here at Chesterfield and play at as high a level as I can,” he added.