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Llera: "The standard was very high."

29 January 2018

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Academy coach Miguel Llera hailed a real team effort following the youth team’s return to winning ways at Doncaster Rovers last Saturday.

Two well taken goals by striker Levi Amantchi gave the Spireites a 2-0 lead at Cantley Park, before Rovers pulled a goal back late into the second half, however the young Spireites held on to secure a 2-1 victory - their eighth win from their last 11 matches in all competitions.

“I’m really pleased, because the lads took on board what we had been working on over the last couple of weeks,” Llera said proudly.

“We brought the U16s with us and finished with six of them on the pitch, we won the game because when they came on the game was very tough and really tight and they managed it very well, they even created chances as well.

“Overall the standard was very high, and it was good team performance.”

Josh Turner, Brandon Bradbury and Conor Emery all came off the bench against Rovers, while U15s and Welsh U16s international forward Will Russ started the game. All four have impressed in academy matches this season and Llera believes that the game time picked up last weekend, will further aid their development as players.

He said: “I think it’s important for them to be stepping up to play for us as it’ll be an easier transition for them for next season if they come through to us.

“We’re trying to get them onto the bench, but some are even starting because they are more than capable of playing.

“I want to give them minutes, even if at times it costs us the result, as I’m a person who likes to allow them to play. The player is the most important thing and we’re putting them into a position where they get to know me and how I work and what I expect from them."

Amantchi’s goals were his first in the EFL Youth Alliance North East since the 3-2 win over Oldham Athletic on October 28. And Llera expressed his happiness for the forward after what’s been a challenging few months for him, while also saying that he believes there’s a lot more to come.

“Before Christmas we spoke with him and he wasn’t feeling alright, he lives here on his own and is far away from home,” Llera explained.

“But since the break, he’s come back with fresh ideas and he’s like a new player, full of confidence, so I’m really pleased for him, he did a very good job and his goals were his reward for the hard work he’s done.

“He scored two good goals and I think in the future he’ll improve a lot more as a player.”

Llera’s side are next in action when they face Bradford City at St George’s Park Sheffield Graves on Saturday, February 10 (11am).

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