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Llera: "We got what we wanted from the game."

19 January 2018

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Academy coach Miguel Llera says that giving the players minutes to keep their fitness up was the “most important thing”, about Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Handsworth Parramore.

Luke Rawson opened the scoring for the Spireites, before the non-league side levelled in the closing stages.

Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Llera said: “In the last three weeks we haven’t had any league games, so it was good to give the players minutes.

“The conditions were difficult, but I think we did well. We played at a good tempo and we got what we were looking for from the game.”

The game was initially scheduled for Handsworth’s King of Soho Stadium, but was called off on the morning of the game due to a waterlogged pitch. 

However, it was rearranged to take place at Sheffield Graves on a 3G pitch, but in difficult conditions as heavy snow caused a blizzard at the match. 

But Llera said he was happy with his players for dealing with the conditions. 

“I think the players did alright,” he asserted. “Even with the conditions we still did the best we could.” 

Reflecting on the importance of friendlies games for his team, Llera said: “It’s really important for the squad because they are competing against adults. 

“So, if Jack (Lester) needs them for the first team, they’re prepared. That’s why we look to arrange these kinds of games. 

“I think they’re doing really well. We’re still involved in the Derbyshire Cup too which allows us to play against those kinds of teams more often.” 

The youth team have their first EFL Youth Alliance North East game of 2018 next Saturday, when they travel to Doncaster Rovers. 

A week off follows the clash with Rovers, before a run of nine games over consecutive weekends. 

In preparation for this, the players have been improving their fitness with training at the Spire Boxing Academy and Llera says it’s another good way to keep the players healthy. 

“I think it was a good idea for the players to do boxing on Mondays,” he added. “They seem to be enjoying it and it’s really useful in order to keep their fitness up doing something different.” 

“When you enjoy something, you put more effort in. That’s what we were looking for with this kind of session with them.”

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