'Livewire' - former Ipswich Town striker continues to impress at Chesterfield

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Chesterfield beat Alfreton Town 5-1 on Saturday in their second pre-season friendly.

Here are four talking points we have picked out from the game:


Trialist Harley Curtis has played close to 90 minutes across the two games against Matlock Town and Alfreton Town and he has impressed. He scored against the Gladiators and he put in another bright showing at the Impact Arena on Saturday. He is a willing runner, has bundles of energy, has got a bit of pace about him and he never gives the opposition a minute’s peace. You would hate to play against him. He’s the type of player you would file under ‘nuisance.’

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Armando Dobra scored in the win against Alfreton Town. Picture: Tina Jenner.Armando Dobra scored in the win against Alfreton Town. Picture: Tina Jenner.
Armando Dobra scored in the win against Alfreton Town. Picture: Tina Jenner.

We’ve only seen glimpses but his attitude has been positive and he looks determined to earn himself a deal. Other players might have strolled around and thought they were too good to play at this level but not him. Interestingly, he has actually been playing out of position as well. He’s been described as an ‘out-and-out striker’ but we've only seen him out wide so far.

He’s only 20, is available on a free after leaving Ipswich Town and the recommendation from Kieron Dyer looks a good one. If Chesterfield can’t get the Andy Dallas deal over the line and they still want someone with pace and a willingness to run in behind then Curtis could be a decent alternative.


Five more goals at Alfreton followed the nine plundered in at Matlock. The 14 netted have been bagged by eight different players - Will Grigg, Armando Dobra, Liam Mandeville, Joe Quigley, Curtis, Laurence Maguire, Ryan Colclough and Archie White.

Grigg leads the way with total contributions - three goals and one assist. Ollie Banks tops the assist chart with three, with Jeff King, Ryheem Sheckleford and Bailey Clements on two.


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The little press box at the Impact Arena is right behind the away dugout so we could hear the instructions Paul Cook and his coaching staff were trying to get across to the players throughout the game. The most consistent messages were to play out from the back quicker, to play forward and to keep the ball. He was also keen for his midfielders to get into the box more. Cook cut a frustrated figure on the touchline at times when one of his defenders opted not to play a forward pass and instead go sideways or backwards. And he was equally annoyed whenever someone gave away possession.

Cook’s expert understanding of the game came to fruition when he told Mandeville where he wanted him to position himself, seconds later the same player collected a pass in that space and executed a perfectly-weighted pass behind the Alfreton defence to King, who crossed for Quigley to score. “That goal happened because of your positioning, Liam” Cook bellowed from the sidelines.

After the game, coach Danny Webb said Cook had reminded the players of their standards and habits and told them they must not slip. There really isn’t anyone else you would rather be managing the Spireites.


Chesterfield have brushed aside two lower league opponents but now they will face tougher exams against Championship Sheffield Wednesday, Premier League Sheffield United and League One Derby County. These games will give us a good idea of where Chesterfield are at. They are all at home and there’s nothing to fear. There will be less rotation of players as we progress towards the opening day so we should get an idea of what Cook sees as his best line-up.