Academy players provide update

A trio of youth-team players have provided an update, explaining how they have coped with the restrictions in place during lockdown as they prepare to return to training today.

Youth-team defender/midfielder Dan Grierson:

The academy is coping with lockdown very well at the minute with the staff and volunteers all helping to keep us all active and fit.

At the moment there are up to seven Zoom fitness calls each week, varying between fitness and football skills. I think this is a great way to keep the lads fit and also for the lads to socialise and see each others’ faces.

As well as the several Zoom calls a week we (the youth team) are allowed to train every Monday morning to help support the first team and personally I was delighted when I heard we were allowed to train again, even once a week.

The training sessions have been good as it helps us get back into a routine and actually have safe face-to-face contact with our team-mates again whilst also allowing us to play a good standard of football. We’re also online for our education which is also useful as it keeps our minds active in these tough times. 

Youth-team goalkeeper Charlie Preston:

As a local player, I am thrilled to play for this club and it is great to see players coming from as far as Ireland to play for this club.

Since we are now facing a return to training full time, we are all excited to get back to full fitness and playing matches.

Recently we have been training on Monday mornings to support the first team in case a few of us are needed to help. We train at Staveley Miners Welfare on their newly constructed artificial pitch, which all our academy teams use.

For the rest of the week, we take part in Zoom calls as Dan has spoken about above. Our sponsors at Unit 1 Fitness & Martial Arts host most of the Zoom calls and involve the academy players in martial arts workouts.

We are all using this time off to develop and better ourselves both physically and mentally. 

Youth-team defender Josh Burkitt:

My time so far with Chesterfield U19s has been great. Travelling one hour 40 minutes a day on the train from Newark with team-mate and youth team goalkeeper Harry Chapman has been great but unusual with COVID-19 restrictions.

Waking up at 6am every morning to get to Chesterfield for football training in the morning followed by education at the Technique Stadium with SCL Education.

Since December we have moved online with education lessons being on Microsoft Teams and with our football specific fitness sessions being via Zoom whilst recording runs via Strava for the Run for Rashford food bank campaign.

With the good news that lockdown restrictions are easing, we will be back training full-time from today and back to playing competitive fixtures by late March/early April.