Spireites: Chesterfield keeper keen to put in the hard yards

Goalkeeping coach Eric Nixon and new signing Aaron Chapman
Goalkeeping coach Eric Nixon and new signing Aaron Chapman
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Pre-season can’t come soon enough for Chesterfield’s Aaron Chapman.

With the ink still setting on his first professional contract, the Spireites’ new signing revealed his eagerness to strap on his gloves and go to work on the training ground.

“I have waited a long time for a professional contract, I’m so pleased to get it signed and to finally get the chance to show what I can do,” said Chapman, who has penned a one-year deal with the League Two club.

The 22-year-old was spotted playing for Belper Town when they visited the Proact Stadium in the quarter-finals of the Derbyshire Senior Cup in February.

The Nailers lost 4-2 to their League Two opponents on the night, but it was a game that lives long in the memory for the stopper.

He said: “I must have done something right because it all started from there really.

“It was hard to leave Belper, I have some very fond memories there, but this was a chance I couldn’t turn down.

“There was a bit of speculation but I’m just happy to have put pen to paper.

“We’re in League Two but there’s a feeling we should be higher up and next year we’ll be pushing for promotion.”

With the exit of Richard O’Donnell, Chapman said he is looking forward to competing with Tommy Lee for the number one jersey.

“His (Tommy’s) achievements are there for all to see.,” he said.

“He’s a top keeper who is highly regarded and rightfully so. I want to learn from him and push him as hard as I can.

“I’ve come here to enjoy my football. Coming from non-league and working my way up has made my appreciate it more now that I’m here.

“I’m going to work as hard as I can and make sure when I look back I have no regrets.

“I’ve got high hopes, as many footballers do. I’ll make sure I work as hard as I can and we’ll see where we are next year.”

At 6’8”, Chapman believes one of his strengths is how he commands his penalty box.

He added: “I like to command my box and feel I’m strong on crosses. Given my height, it would probably be a surprise if I wasn’t.”

Born in Wolverhampton, Chapman also played cricket from a young age.

He has turned out for Todwick in recent years but said the time has come for him to hang up his whites.

“I’ve played cricket for years and it was a good experience at school,” he said.

“I do a bit with the bat and ball but none of that now. I’m concentrating on football, it’s not worth risking an injury.”

While at school, Chapman started out as a centre-forward before he eventually tried his luck between the posts, and hasn’t looked back.

He said: “I used to play up front because I was tall enough to win all the headers.

“Gradually I made my way back and ended up in goal, thankfully it’s working out for me.”

Related story: Aaron Chapman delighted to sign first pro deal