The Spireites’ U19 side will be taking part in a “mini-league” next week against some other National League clubs, and the U21s will also be taking part in a similar tournament.

The youngsters have been back in training for a few weeks now and have played friendly matches against Rotherham United, Scunthorpe United and Doncaster Rovers.

They also beat a team of aspiring young Indonesian footballers led by former England internationals Dennis Wise and Des Walker at Loughborough University.

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“/>Neil Cluxton, Manager of the Spireites Academy. Image: Tina Jenner.

Kick-off for the city next Wednesday at AFC Fylde. Their home games are played on Inkersall Road, which has been renovated in recent months by Staveley Miners Welfare.

Neil Cluxton, manager of the Blues Academy, told DT: “The National 19s League couldn’t play the games, so some teams in our region got together and said should we start a mini-league so that we can have some competitive games by mid-May to have?

“They are competitive games, which is great for us. It only gives more meaning to the games when you need to aim for three points than just going through the moves that sometimes occur when playing friendly games. “

The academy was restructured last year after the club lost funding for the Football League.

There are players aged five and six up to 19 and 20. Most of them are from the Chesterfield area, while others travel from Sheffield, Rotherham, Derby and Nottingham.

Covid missed the chance to fully tackle the player recruitment campaign last year so that is the main target this summer. More information on studies will be published next month.

One player who has impressed is winger Louis Czerwak, who joined the academy on the recommendation of former Chesterfield goalkeeper Mick Leonard.

“He’s a Nottingham boy,” said Cluxton. “He’s a very, very technical player, very skilled, can play on both legs and has scored some great goals for us this season. He’s probably the standout player this stop-start season. “

Cluxton reports weekly to First Team Chief James Rowe and his assistant George Foster, and they are fully supportive of the Academy.

“The first team are flying right now, which is great, but if they ever need a player I just want to make sure our guys are prepared, ready to play and support them when needed,” said Cluxton.

“Everyone is moving in the same direction, we have some good local players and some good local people backing us behind the scenes with lots of volunteers in different roles and it has been great.

“We look forward to playing regularly and enjoying our football again. We have a good bunch of hardworking guys, honest players who are ready to work hard and improve.”

U19 mini league games:

May 12: FC Halifax Town (h)