Spireites striker Josh Tipping is itching to get back into the youth team starting XI, after a frustrating period on the side lines.
Tipping suffered an injury last month, when playing for Northern Ireland’s U18s in a match with Denmark.
“It’s getting better and I think I’ll be back in training today,” Tipping explained.
“Half an hour into the game, I just felt a tweak, and then I went down for treatment.
“The Northern Ireland physio told me that I’d got a grade II tear of my hip flexor. I’ve been out of action for three weeks.
“I’m not exactly sure how it happened, I felt fine in the warm up but it started to tighten up during the game. Maybe it was something to do with the surface as we were playing on a 3G pitch.
“I was gutted, because we had a real chance against Denmark – who despite being a good side were beatable. It was a pity we couldn’t get something from the game.”
So how does international football compare to life at the Proact?
Tipping said: “It’s not as different as people would think it would be, it’s actually pretty similar to what we get here.
“It’s always a good experience to play for your country, and it’s very professional.
“The next matches will be next year now, as we go from U17 to U19. We had the U18 games because they wanted to keep us together.”
Tipping arrived at the Proact after impressing for the green and white army last year, where he played and scored against the Spireites.
The striker was offered a scholarship after the tournament, and he’s loving life in Chesterfield.
He said: “I was playing for Northern Ireland in a four team tournament called the Mayo Cup; Marc McKenna (Spireites and international team mate) was playing as well!
“We played against Chesterfield, and I scored against them in a 2-1 win, so I must have impressed! I played against the likes of Harry Taylor, Jack Brownell and Dylan Parkin.
“It’s been a really good year, which was what I expected it to be.
“I’ve haven’t played a match in a while due to postponements or injury, but when I have and been I’ve been training I’ve really enjoyed it.”
So how does Tipping view his performances in the first year with the club?
“I’d say that my hold-up play is a big strength, though my finishing could get better. I started the season well goals wise, but it died off in the middle of the season.
“In all competitions I’ve got 10 goals, six in the league.
“We started the season with me and Ricky [German] up front and that worked well. Ricky then moved up to the first team so I played up front with Owen Darwent, and more recently we’ve switched to a three up front.
“I think I prefer playing in a three, I like playing against two centre backs with wingers supporting me, and there are also midfielders who get involved, so I think it suits me more.”
The youth team take on Hartlepool United at Clay Cross on Saturday (12pm), as they bid to notch up their fifth straight league win.
Tipping added: “We played against them earlier in the season at their place, we beat them 2-1 and I scored the winner.
“They’re a very hard working team, when we played against them they scored their goal through high pressing, so we’ll have to be aware of that on Saturday.”