Academy youngster treasures memories of making his debut

Academy youngster George Wilkinson made his professional debut and scored a goal in the recent FA Trophy game against Coalville Town.

Plenty of the academy players were involved on the day, both in the starting XI and on the bench. First-team players such as Tim Akinola, Ollie Banks, Ryheem Sheckleford and Lucas Covolan also featured.

Wilkinson spoke about how it felt to make his debut. He said: “It was such an incredible day.

“In the week leading up to it, Neil [Cluxton] said we might be playing, and I was buzzing.

“I’ve been a Chesterfield fan all my life, so it was amazing to make my debut. I was a bit nervous in the day but as soon as I stepped out onto the pitch, I was alright.

“I remember making one tackle early on and it set the tone for me. I thought I’d be alright from then on. It was a privilege to make my professional debut for Chesterfield!”

He said that the experience will help him develop as a player and hopefully push on his career long-term.

“It was crazy to play with some of the first-team lads,” he said. “What an opportunity it was and seeing how the lads played and be alongside them was great.

“It will definitely help my ability and push me on. I want to play at this level one day.”

All the lads who were involved that day were given their debut shirts, signed by all members of the first-team squad.

Wilkinson said it wasn’t something that they had to do, and it meant a lot. He said: “It’s all about the club and the academy being connected together.

“The lads didn’t have to do this; they didn’t have to sign our shirt but they did and it’s a lovely gesture which we’re all grateful for, so thank you to them.

“I will keep this shirt for the rest of my life. It’s just brilliant from them.

“For me, now it’s all about pushing on and trying to improve as a player and develop into more men’s football.

“I want to become a professional footballer and hopefully this experience is a step in the right direction for me and all the other lads that were involved.”