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Introducing Alex Render

24 November 2017

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Young Spireites defender Alex Render feels like his ability to adapt has helped him hugely since joining the club, as he begins to feel the excitement ahead of an FA Youth Cup clash with Swansea City (to be played before Saturday, December 16).

As well as the cup, the team have been in good form in the league and although there isn't a game this weekend, Render has already began preparing for the fixture with Notts County next week. He commented: "With a weekend off people can slack off in training but the coaches don't allow it, you've got to keep concentrated.

"Even though we have the weekend off your mind is still preparing for the game next weekend, so we'll just go again in the week and do all the things we've been doing to prepare."

Render may be focused on the league, but the FA Youth Cup is what's he's looking forward to the most. "I'm buzzing," he said.

"If it's in their stadium it will be nice to have a run out at the Liberty, a Premier League stadium, so everyone's buzzing about it," Render stated.

The defender meanwhile says that the challenges presented in cup football compared to the league are vastly different, with the players also getting the chance to play on the Proact throughout the run. "It's always nice when you get a run out on a professional pitch.

"It's a lot more competitive than the league. It's knock-out straight away so everyone wants to beat each other and get past each other," Render explained.

Coach Miguel Llera has been a huge factor in the youth team's success so far this season, and Render has only good things to say about him. "I had him when I was at Sheffield Wednesday, so I was the only one in the team that was used to what he was like.

"It shocked the lads a bit when he came in and was very passionate, so I just told the lads it's going to be like this. I really liked Miguel when I was at Wednesday and I was happy to see him come in here because I knew what a good coach he was," Render reflected.

Having previously spent time with Sheffield Wednesday, Render's move to Chesterfield came about after not being offered a scholarship at the Owls. "I went to an exit trial at Barnsley Football Club and then Chesterfield saw me - Kev Wilds - the chief scout for the academy, and he invited me down. I came here, played a few games for the U18s and then got offered my scholarship," he told.

Earning a scholarship with the Spireites was a testament to his hard work and commitment, and Render spoke of how he got over the disappointment of having to leave Wednesday. "When you've been turned down from a club obviously it gets your confidence down and you've just to get that out of your head and try and build your confidence up.

"Obviously you're coming in, new faces, new bodies and you've just to put that all aside and just let my feet do the talking. I feel like that's what I did," he asserted.

Since his time at Chesterfield, Render has had to adapt to new roles. Originally a centre half he has also featured at full back and in defensive midfield. "It's nothing but positive when the coach can rely on you to play in a different position. I feel like I've been playing in the full back position pretty well.

"It's adaptability - being able to play in more than one position and it's just going to put me in good stead," he expressed.

Adaptability seems to be one of Render's biggest strengths, but he also described what else makes him the player he is. He revealed: "I'm a bit of a classic centre half – header, tackle, those kinds of things."

He also assessed areas of his game he feels he needs to get better at. "I need to improve on my speed a bit and I've been getting in the gym and improving on that. I need a bit of power, to win those defensive headers - I need to just jump higher than the striker," he noted.

Render meanwhile looked ahead to the rest of the season and spoke about having one eye on working his way into Jack Lester's plans. He concluded: "I'm looking forward to seeing what it throws at me. Hopefully by the end of the season I want to try and force myself into the first team as a first year."

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