Why Chesterfield had to cancel friendlies against Premier League club and against Manchester United and Liverpool youth teams

The Spireites had to cancel a number of pre-season games, including one against Premier League Burnley, boss John Pemberton has revealed.
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The Blues have been back in training for the last two weeks and have arranged friendlies against Belper Town, Matlock Town, Alfreton Town and Guiseley.

But Pemberton told the DT they did have more matches pencilled in but had to opt out for various different reasons including coronavirus regulations.

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He explained: “We would have played Northampton Town on our ground last week but we haven’t been able to do it because we’ve been working in a ‘bubble’ so we couldn’t do it.

The Spireites get their pre-season friendlies underway this week.The Spireites get their pre-season friendlies underway this week.
The Spireites get their pre-season friendlies underway this week.

“We were going to play Burnley’s first team but we couldn’t do that because they were miles ahead of us so we had to cancel that game and then we had an invite to go to Liverpool and Manchester United (vs youth teams) but we couldn't do that because we couldn’t go onto their facilities (Covid regulations).

“At the moment players have to travel individually in cars so the big thing was we tried to stay as local as we could because we don’t want 30 cars driving miles away. We want to protect the players, the last thing we need is any players catching something and then we have to go into lockdown having put all the work in that we’ve done so it makes sense to do what we have done.”

When asked how pre-season is going, he added: “The lads are in a good place. I have to say they have worked really, really hard. They are flying at the moment. They are probably in front of where they need to be at this moment in time. They have certainly looked after themselves during lockdown and they have certainly been adhering to the programmes we have given them.”

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Pemberton has brought in John Dungworth, 65, as his assistant and he says one of the reasons is that he trusts his judgement.

“I like to split the team up and do unit work and he is very good at those things,” he said. “When I knew he was available it was a no-brainer.”