Profile: Chesterfield caretaker boss Mark Smith starred for Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle and Barnsley in long playing career

Chesterfield youth team coach Mark Smith at the training ground.

Chesterfield youth team coach Mark Smith at the training ground.

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Chesterfield’s caretaker manager is a former professional who made over 500 appearances in the Football League.

Over a 17-year career, Mark Smith played for Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle, Barnsley and Notts County.

He also had loan spells with Port Vale, Huddersfield and Chesterfield themselves, before finishing his playing career at Lincoln City in 1994.

His 10-year stay at Hillsborough resulted in a total of 282 appearances and 16 goals.

The defender spent three years with Argyle, playing 82 times, and then made over 100 appearances for Barnsley.

In 1993 he played six times for Spireites in a loan spell, scoring once.

The 55-year-old moved into coaching at Sincill Bank, and then had a stint as assistant manager with Notts County under Sam Allardyce.

Sheffield-born Smith then moved to another of his former clubs, Barnsley, and took their academy youngsters to the FA Youth Cup semi-final, beating sides like MAnchester United en route.

He left his post as assistant academy director in 2003 and went back to Wednesday to take over the Under 19s.

The departure of Chris Turner allowed Smith to take charge of the Owls first team for one game before Paul Sturrock came in.

Leaving Hillsborough, Smith took on a coaching role at non-league Ilkeston but was soon back in the Football League, becoming international youth director at Sheffield United, and latterly a development coach.

In 2013 he became youth team coach at Chesterfield, and earlier this year was appointed academy manager.

Speaking in June he told the Derbyshire Times: “I am delighted to have been given this opportunity. I really enjoy working at the club and I am passionate about the development of young players so it is a challenge that really excites me.”