In the latest in our introducing series, we caught up with young Spireite George Lynam, who tells us about life at the Proact.
In football it’s quite easy for excitement to turn into woe, especially when a new season comes around.
George Lynam is one player to have suffered such misfortune, after getting injured in the youth team’s first game of the season against Mansfield Town.
“I did my medial ligament and was out for eight weeks,” he said. “It was a 50/50 with their ‘keeper then I came back and got injured again and was out for about four weeks! But I’ve been fine since November.
“It was probably my first proper injury. It’s horrible not playing. I went to the gym, did running and watched the lads every game, I even travelled to Wrexham (when the youth team took them on in the Youth Alliance Cup).
“It hurt not being able to play, I can’t handle not playing and having to watch.”
As he alluded to, Lynam has now made a full recovery and is enjoying a regular run in both the Spireites reserve and youth teams.
He was part of Dylan Kerr’s side that beat Burton Albion 3-2 on Saturday, a result which could lead the youth team to a strong end to the campaign, after an inconsistent few months.
Lynam said: “It’s been up and down. We’ve not really done what we want to do, we thought we’d be higher and we’re mid-table.
“We’ve had a few games called off so we have a few in hand but we’re not where we should be with the team we’ve got.
“We’re on a good run at the minute so if we can keep it going we could get up there. Hopefully we can finish top in the top four/five.”
Lynam is also set to be included in the reserves’ fixture with Grimsby Town on Tuesday, a fixture that will further enhance his development.
On playing at a higher level, Lynam said: “It’s much better, the quality and learning off other players is great, it’s also played at a quicker pace.
“I’ve been playing a lot with Laurence Maguire at centre back so I’ve learnt quite a bit from him because he’s been through it and Connor Dimaio as well.
“They’ve been telling me what’s expected of you in the first team so I’ve been trying to put it into my game.”
Further evidence of Lynam’s development can be seen in his versatility, he’s capable of playing as centre half as well as his more familiar central midfield role. Which begs the question, where will he be playing in future?
“I feel centre midfield is my position but I’ve been playing well at centre back,” he said.
“From under 15s onwards I’ve been a centre midfielder but in pre-season we tried a new formation and it worked!
“I was part of a back three and was in a sweeper type role, but as the game went on I had to do quite a bit of marking so it changed quite a bit
“I see myself playing in both positions. I like competing and winning my headers at centre half and winning the ball like in midfield as well.”
Lynam also has the useful knack of popping up in goal scoring areas, as shown in the reserves 2-2 draw with Shrewsbury in January, while he also came close to scoring in last week’s match with Wigan, a match the Spireites went on to lose on penalties.
Reflecting on his chance against the Latics he said: “I should have scored. I just thought hit it as quickly as possible.
“I get in the positions but it’s just the finish, but we work on it most training sessions so I think there’s definitely more goals in me.”
A second-year scholar, Lynam is more than aware that decision day for the offering of professional contracts is fast approaching.
It would be natural for any young player to feel the added pressure the uncertainty brings, but Lynam is confident of his chances, and would love to extend his stay at the Proact.
He said: “I’ve been here since under 15s. After my first year as a Sunday league player Nottingham Forest picked me up so I was there for seven years.
“I left there at under 14s then had trials at Coventry City and Aston Villa, then I came here and after one game against Sheffield United - which I scored in - they signed me.
“You have to play your best every game you can, I don’t feel the pressure, but it's personal pride I always want to play well.
“I want to get as high as I can, I want to be a regular player here.”