Chesterfield’s new academy lead coach for the foundation phase, Neil Cluxton, has ‘really enjoyed’ his first full week at the club and spoke about his desire in developing the ‘great players’ at his disposal.
Cluxton joined the Spireites' academy on a full time basis last week, and has already hit the ground running in his new role.
Speaking exclusively to iFollow, he said: “It’s been good, I’ve really enjoyed the first week. There’s good staff behind the scenes that made me feel nice and welcome in all areas, not just the academy side of the club.
“I’ve had a couple of sessions with the kids, working with the foundation phase from the U8s-12s so I’m getting to know the kids.
“I’m working with a good group of coaches, we’ve got about seven or eight and it’s a good mixture between young, enthusiastic coaches who are looking to learn and a lot of experienced coaches as well, it’s been a good week.”
Cluxton explained how he had been working on and off with the club for the past 12-15 years but was seeking full-time employment in football. When the opportunity presented itself with Chesterfield, he grabbed it with both hands.
“I thought it was the right time for me to come in and I’m looking forward to it,” he noted.
“My role is both hands on and supporting the coaches, I’m looking to work with all four of the age groups getting to know the kids, supporting the coaches and making sure we create an environment that is positive for the kids coming in.
“I will make it somewhere they work hard, but where they enjoy every single session and enjoy the games. It’ll be nice and relaxed, and we will have plenty of communication with the parents.”
Cluxton believes in the link between the Spireites and the surrounding area, and he will be looking to strengthen the links between the club and the town’s junior teams
“We’re looking to recruit the best players in the area,” he explained. “So, I’m working with the scouting staff at the club and trying to forge links with the local grass roots teams and the local leagues to see if we can all do the best for each other and work together.”
The coach is already excited about the talent within his ranks at the Proact. “We’ve got some great players; the future is definitely looking positive for Chesterfield Football Club.”
“The kids coming in are covering all the areas, they are very technical and very knowledgeable about the game, they have obviously been coached well over the last few years,” he added.
Furthermore, Cluxton spoke of his happiness at the level of tactical awareness possessed by his players.
He, however, asserted the importance of developing the required character and emotional maturity to make it as a professional footballer and hopefully play in front of ‘this great stadium’ one day.
Cluxton is a UEFA B, Level 3 coach, with 25 years’ worth of experience. “I see myself as somebody who’s got a lot to give. I’m very enthusiastic about the game and very knowledgeable and I’m all about wanting to create that right environment where the kids can flourish,” he added.
“I want to let them, and their characters develop and then gradually input some tactical knowledge about the game, making sure that we cover what we call the four corners of coaching – the social, psychological, technical and physical – and making sure they enjoy themselves.”
Now in March, the season is coming to a close. Cluxton is hoping he can have an impact in the campaign’s latter stages and speaks about planning for the next one.
He said: “We would like to get a positive set of performances at this level, not looking too much at the results but looking at the performances of the team and the individual players and making sure the coaches work with them to enable them to have that success at the end of the season.
“We are just looking to have a good end to the season. My job is to have a good look at the players that we’ve got at the moment and make sure they are the right players for next season as there will be competition with those who will come in on trial.”