Chesterfield’s new head of recruitment is on the lookout for young Football League players in need of a second chance.
Charlie Williamson will combine his scouting role with coaching duties for the new development squad, which will require a few new faces to bolster the young talent already at the Proact. The former Town player believes it’s an important step for the club, creating opportunities for the club’s youngsters to play regular football and opening up a pathway from the academy to senior football.
“The development squad is what we’re trying to build at the moment,” he said.
“We’re trying to formulate a squad that replicates what John is going to try and do in the first team.
“Hopefully we can have some of these 18, 19, 20-year-olds pushing for a role in the first team.
“What that will do is give the 16 to 18-year-olds already involved in the club an opportunity to jump into the development squad.
“So there’s room for progression, rather than training all week and not playing games.
“We’re going to try and arrange and lot of games, there’s no substitute for getting that 90 minutes playing time.”
Williamson is currently working on identifying players who can be groomed for first team football through the development squad.
“We’re looking at quite a few people who have been released from clubs in the EFL,” he said.
“We’ve got lists. You can imagine the amount of fall out there is from other clubs, and abroad if I’m honest.
“It’s just a case of trawling through to see if there’s anyone that fits in to what you’re putting together.
“I’m busying away doing that.
“We’ve got the hardcore of who is here at the moment and it’s just about adding to that to make a team.”
One player the club could look at is Jay Sheridan, who has inevitably been linked with Town since his dad became boss.
The defender was released by Oldham this summer.
Already in place at the Proact is a group of young men who have come through the youth system and flirted with first team football.
The likes of Charlie Wakefield, Jamie Sharman, Luke Rawson and Levi Amantchi have been named by first team boss John Sheridan as those he hopes to see developed.
Williamson has been made very aware of the manager’s hopes for the group.
“He speaks very, very highly of them. He sees the potential in some of them.
“Throughout the season, because obviously quite a few players have left the club, hopefully that will open one or two doors for some of these players.
“I know he thinks very highly of one or two of them.
“If we can add to that and give John more people to select from, that’s even better for him.”