Laken Torres – Academy Player of the Year

Laken Torres has been named as Chesterfield FC Academy’s Player of the Year for his brilliant performances for the academy.

The striker boasts 51 goals during the 2021/22 campaign, aiding the U17s in their title charge and getting the side to the National League U19 Alliance League Cup semi-final.

Torres has led the front line, smashing in goal after goal all season. Not only that, but Torres also brings his team-mates into the game with his smart link-up play and has collected plenty of assists to add to his goal contributions.

Having impressed at multiple levels throughout the academy, Torres has also been called up to train with the first team and learn from the more experienced players at the club.

The academy’s head of coaching, Kevin Fogg, has been full of praise for the player, saying: “His goal return is incredible. He’s nearly at a goal a game, which is phenomenal at that level.

“He’s got the change of pace, he enjoys taking the ball in the narrow spaces, and has shown great turning ability in tight areas.

“He has been a brilliant student, who wants to learn. But most importantly, especially in today’s football, he has a positive personality. There is always a smile on his face around the club, which is lovely to see.

“Laken is what I would call a ‘street footballer’. He has all the skills but is not quite the finished article.

“We look forward to nurturing him as he looks to make further progress.”

Academy manager Neil Cluxton added: “Laken thoroughly deserves the Player of the Year award.

“He’s had a fantastic season, representing the club and the academy at multiple levels: U17s in the league, cameoing in the U18s FA Youth Cup, and aiding the U21s when needed.

“He has a great attitude and desire to play football, a willingness to learn, and he listens to all the staff at the club so he can become a better all-round player.

“Over 50 goals speaks for itself. He is strong – mentally and physically – and has so much potential. We look forward to seeing him progress next season!”

Commenting on his award, Laken said: “I’ve had a really good season and I’m really happy to be awarded Young Player of the Year.

“I know that I can improve. More goals could be a stretch but there are definitely aspects of my game for me to work on.

“I just want to keep going. Hopefully, I can get in and around the first team a bit more and possibly get a professional contract in the future.”