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Matt Whitehouse and Neil Cluxton on new academy roles

8 June 2019

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It was announced in the week that there will be a restructuring of the club’s academy, with Matt Whitehouse taking the role as Academy Manager and Neil Cluxton heading up the Professional Development Phase as U18s lead coach.

The pair took the time to speak about the reshuffle to Spireites Digital on Thursday, with Whitehouse starting off by stating how pleased he is to be Chesterfield’s new academy manager.

“I’m delighted about it,” he said.

“I’ve been at the club for quite a few years now and this will be my seventh season at the academy.

“I’ve done a lot of different roles across the age groups and I’m delighted to take that on further as academy manager.”

Last season a number of academy graduates made their first team debuts, with the likes of Levi Amantchi and Jamie Sharman making the step up.

Amantchi and Sharman, along with Luke Rawson, also signed their first professional contracts last season and the new academy manager stated that this shows that the academy is working well, by saying: “The academy is in a really good place.

“Through all the age groups over the last few years from recruitment to coaching.

“We have got some really talented players across the programme and our job is to continue pushing them on from there.”

The youth team players arrive back for training early next month and Whitehouse stressed the importance of beginning preparations for next season early.

“The key is to get everything right now,” he explained.

“If we get our planning right for the next month when we start in pre-season we’ll be good to go.

“It’s about getting our team together now and get ready for the new season.”

Newly appointed professional development phase lead coach Cluxton has worked with the club’s academy in various roles and claimed that his main aim in his new position is to make sure his players are ready for first-team football.

“The key aim is to support the first team,” mentioned Cluxton.

“I think the youth team is there to pull on as and when required.

“I see my job as to create players when they are called up, they can fit into the team seamlessly.

“We are going to have a good look at how the first team play and train so we’ll try and replicate that as much as we can.”

Cluxton then spoke about how he will talk to members of the first team backroom staff in order to gain an understanding on how they would like the youth setup to play, by pointing out: “During the summer I will get to know the first team staff and find out how they want the youth team to play.

“I’ve had a look over the past few months so I know they like to get on the ball and keep the ball, I think that is the main priority.”

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