Youth team goalkeeper Teddy Marris says everyone’s “really excited to get playing again” as the academy side gear up for their first league match of 2018 on Saturday, away at Doncaster Rovers.
The team haven’t played an official competitive fixture since they faced Swansea in the FA Youth Cup on December 15.
Marris said: “It’s very frustrating as we felt we played well against Swansea, so in a way it was a bit of an injustice, but we now want to get out there and we’re looking forward to get back playing as a team again and showing people what we can do.”
The team drew 1-1 with Handsworth Parramore in a friendly last Tuesday and Marris says he was happy to get some game time after so long without.
The snowy conditions at the venue didn’t help either side, but both sets of players battled through for an eighty-minute game.
“From a personal point of view, it was brilliant to get out on the pitch again as I’d not played since the end of 2017,” Marris said.
“When we got out there, we could see the pitch but as the game went on, it was white all over, but we dealt with it pretty well.
“As a team we passed the ball really well considering the conditions were difficult.”
Having been with the club since he joined the U12s, the youngster has grown up at Chesterfield and talked about the changes he’s seen recently since he moved up to the youth team from the U16s.
“It’s been a very big few months for me,” he recalled. “It’s a huge change going from training three times a week to going full time and not having to deal with school work.
“It’s definitely been a big change, but it’s one that’s good cause I’ve wanted to play football all my life.”
Marris, who’s still only 16, is competing for the goalkeeper’s jersey with second-year scholar Brad Jones. He says it’s benefited both of them to have such close competition within the team.
He commented: “It’s not one of us sitting back and letting the other one play.
“We work well off each other, so we both push each other when either of us isn’t playing because we both want the shirt.
“We’re friends, but I want to play at the weekend and that’s my main aim - to keep getting minutes and trying to impress people.”
Marris, having been at the club longer than a lot of his peers, knows what it takes to get noticed and to keep impressing the higher powers at the club, in the hope of eventually securing a professional contract.
“It’s not just about what you do on the pitch, it’s about what you do off it as well,” he said.
“Everything has to be right for you to play – you can’t just be performing well, you need to be doing your jobs right and helping others.”
Marris lives in Wingerworth and grew up a Chesterfield fan.
His favourite Town player was legendary goalkeeper, Tommy Lee, whom he used to turn to when he needed advice.
“I was his boot boy!” he said. “So I saw him every day and used to talk to him quite a lot. If I was ever stuck on something, I’d go and speak to Tommy and he’d help me out and tell me his thoughts.”
Marris, in his own words, is a good communicator who’s loud on the pitch, good at shot stopping and good at commanding his area.
He attributes the team’s desire to manager Miguel Llera.
The goalkeeper commented: “He’s very passionate and that’s what we needed. I think we needed that kick up the back side to get us going a bit more.”
With the manager’s passion and the quality of the team, Marris hopes the side can win the league.
“I think we can achieve big things. We were hoping to go quite far in the Youth Cup and were unlucky not to,” he added.
“It’s always difficult in the league as you could beat someone and then they could go and beat you 5-0, so we’ve got to work hard and go into games with the right mind set.
“I think we’ve got a good chance though,” he continued. “We’re in good form and are training well.”