No hard feelings for ex Spireites prospect as he joins the Class of 92's ambitious club
Former Chesterfield prospect Jake Beesley harbours no ill feeling towards the Spireites, who were the '˜perfect' club for him.
The 20-year-old was released at the end of last season and was subsequently snapped up by Salford City, the National League North club owned by a group of Manchester United legends.
Having gone to school in Chesterfield and been a Spireite from the age of 14, the Dronfield lad would be forgiven for feeling a little bitter.
But he appears to have parted on the best of terms.
“It’s never nice but I don’t want to say anything about the club because it’s a club that’s close to my heart,” he said.
“I’ve been with them my whole football career, coming from Sunday League and signing at 14 years old, coming all the way through.
“Making my debut was a proud moment for me.
“It was perfect, it’s a club that’s 10 minutes from my house. I love the club and only wish them the best.”
Last season Beesley broke into the first team under Danny Wilson and made 10 appearances in total.
The 6ft 1ins frontman feels like a better player for that experience.
“With the season I had the year before, if someone had offered me what I got last season I think I probably would have taken it,” he said.
“From going from not even making the bench to being involved that much, I probably would have taken it.
“The games I did play I thought I made a bit of an impact, I know now I can cope with that level.
“If I had nicked a goal or two things might be a bit different now but I feel more confident in myself, I feel I’ve come on a lot more as a player and it’s massive, mentally.
“I’ve had that break and I can use that experience as a stepping stone at Salford and wherever I go in my career.”
He gives a lot of the credit for his opportunity to get involved in the first team to the man championing his cause at the Proact, a staff member whose contribution he’s grateful for.
“Mark Smith was unbelievable, he’s been nothing but help the whole way through my journey,” he said, of the club’s academy manager.
“When I was in the youth team he was pushing for me to train with the first team and fighting my corner all the time.
“He’s someone I could always go to, I feel, if I needed something from him.”
And the fans played their part in his Chesterfield experience too, encouraging the young striker when he did appear in League One, FA Cup and EFL Trophy action.
“I always got a good reception from them when I came off, I never once got a bad word from anyone.
“The fans were unbelievable with me, I couldn’t ask for any more.”
His hope is that the Spireites supporters will have something to celebrate come the end of next season.
He’s tipped several players to be key in their attempt to return to League One.
“The likes of Sam Hird, Tommy Lee, Evo (Ian Evatt), players like that.
“Loz (Laurence Maguire) has got his breakthrough and I’m expecting him to play a big part for the club.
“Obviously their aim is to get promotion and those players will be vital if they want to go and do it.”
Beesley’s release means he won’t be part of that promotion bid, but he’s likely to be involved in another.
Just an hour after news of his release by Chesterfield hit the internet, Salford City – who are going full-time – were on the phone and have since secured the youngster on a two-year deal.
Salford make no secret of their ambitions, led by part owners Phil and Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt.
The club’s lofty aims impressed Beesley from the outset.
“To be fair they rang me about an hour after it got announced on Twitter.
“From the moment I got the call I thought I liked the sound of this.
“Obviously it’s not a league club but from everything that’s happened with the takeover you can tell they’re going places and it would be a good move.
“It’s somewhere I think is on the up and that’s the main reason I chose there.”
Most people will be aware of the Ammies from their participation in a BBC documentary.
Joint managers Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson featured heavily and came across as big characters.
Beesley’s dealings with them have left him in no doubt as to their emotional investment in Salford City.
“They seem like they really care about the club and their aim is to get in the league, from what I can gather.
“They’ve got a new ground getting built, really good facilities and they seem really involved and wanting to go places.”
Beesley is the son of former Sheffield United and Leeds man Paul and says his dad has been the biggest influence on his career.
But he has also sought the advice of one of his closest Chesterfield team-mates, who was on loan at National League North club Fylde last season, ahead of a new challenge.
And he knows what he needs to do to progress from here on in.
“I’m not going to go there and expect to walk straight into the team, I know it’s a good standard,” he said.
“Obviously Loz played in that division last season and when I spoke to him about it he said it’s no walk in the park.
“I’ve got to have a really good pre-season, impress the managers and just take it from there, try and do as well as I can.”