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Army challenges for academy scholars

5 December 2018

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In an event set up by Chesterfield FC Community Trust, scholars from the academy were put through their paces by members of The Mercian Regiment.

A variety of different challenges were set up for the youngsters, including an assault course, an airsoft shooting range and a batter reaction board.

The was done as a team-building exercise, with leadership skills put to the test.

Academy manager John Pemberton believes that this type of training is brilliant for the youngsters. He said: “One of the great ways to build these skills is by working with the military, with the disciplines and leadership skills that they can offer football clubs.

“My old manager Dave Bassett was a great believer in it. When you have a group of players, you want to bring them together. You sometimes get the ones who you think are leaders, but when you put them in an environment they're not used to, it’s a great leveller.

“The ones who you are think are a little bit quieter, they come to the forefront and it’s a good opportunity to find what other players are about.

"I very much like different ways of working and I’ve done a lot of this myself. It’s good to get there and understand what’s needed for the team to come together.”

The Mercian Regiment have worked with several football clubs in the community, including Notts County, Nottingham Forest and now the Spireites.

Sergeant Neil Orton is pleased that he and his colleagues are working with football clubs. “It’s great exposure for us," he said. "We want to be involved in our local community and we want people to know that we are out there.”

The event was set up by Oli Barnes from the Community Trust, who previously served with The Mercian Regiment.

Oli said: “It's massive to have The Mercian Regiment here. They are all from our local area, even some around the same age as the players. I think it’s important to have close ties between your local regiment and your local football club.

"With the traineeship programme that the Community Trust runs, we are looking at getting The Mercian Regiment down once every eight weeks, so hopefully it will start to become a more regular thing.”

Take a look at a Spireites Digital video feature here.

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