Chesterfield FC have confirmed a new partnership between the club’s academy and the Spireites Community Trust that will give more local youngsters the chance to progress in football.
Town’s academy manager Mark Smith first brought the idea to club director and Trust chief executive John Croot, before the ball got rolling ahead of today’s launch at the Proact.
The Chesterfield FC Emerging Talent Centre will use open trials, soccer schools and partnerships with local education providers and junior football clubs to allow the Spireites to pick up talent from a much wider pool.
Weekly sessions, run by the Trust’s coaches in partnership with academy staff, will give local kids the chance to experience professional, FA qualified coaching.
The plan is to help guide children into educational options as well as boosting their prospects of future involvement in the sport.
Smith says the idea is that kids coming through the ETC should transition easily into the club’s academy and ideally, all the way through to the senior side.
“The weekly sessions will be delivered in an environment designed to help young players develop and give them the opportunity to have a future in the game,” he said.
“Working alongside the academy, the ETC coaches will work to the same schemes of work, meaning the transition for a player from the ETC to the academy should be seamless.
“A total of nine academy graduates appeared in the first team during the 2016/17 season and we feel that the ETC will help us to continue producing home-grown talent, through a pathway supported by all parts of the club, including the academy and the Trust.”
Pick up next week’s Derbyshire Times for more reaction to the scheme from Trust coaches, scheme partners and Spireites head of recruitment and development Guy Branston.
Trust CEO Croot says the entire club can contribute to make the scheme a success.
“The Emerging Talent Centre is a fantastic way for the whole club to work together with the main focus being to develop young players and give them the opportunity of having a future in football,” he said.
“The ETC project is something that everyone at the club is very excited about and we are looking forward to getting it started.”
Open trials will be held at the Proact this month.
To book a free place for your child visit www.spireitestrust.org.uk, click on the Player Registration document link, complete the form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any youngster who earns a place in the Emerging Talent Centre following the open trials will be invited to join for an initial three-month period.
The cost for a player to join the ETC is £25 per month.