Academy quartet sign professional contracts

Academy quartet Alexander Duhameau, George Wilkinson, Sam Hooper and Archie White have all signed professional contracts with the Spireites.

Commenting on the news, academy manager Neil Cluxton said: “The four lads have worked extremely hard. They’re very good characters, good players and I’m sure they are going to go on and represent the club very well.

“Phil Kirk recognises the importance of the academy, and we are grateful to him for making the funds available to allow us to secure the four players on professional agreements.

“It’s a fantastic day for our academy. The academy was closed down when the club’s Football League status was lost, and John Croot and the Community Trust made it a priority to bring it back when they took over the club.”

Duhameau impressed during Chesterfield’s FA Trophy tie with Coalville Town back in December before helping Matlock Town to the Northern Premier League Premier Division play-offs.

The winger also scored the winner as the young Spireites won the NYFL U23 League Cup final at The Hawthorns. Duhameau topped his season off by being named Academy Player of the Year.

He said: “It’s an amazing feeling; it’s a dream come true. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without many people: my mum, my dad, my sister and obviously the academy coaches as well.

“[The academy] have helped me all the way to get to this point. They’ve been unbelievable for me.”

Defender Wilkinson also featured in the FA Trophy game, scoring the Blues’ only goal with a smart header inside the box.

A loan move to Coalville followed, where the Ravens narrowly missed out on promotion to the National League North.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” Wilkinson said. “It’s been a dream since I was young to get a professional contract– especially at Chesterfield as I’ve been a fan all my life – and it’s finally come true.

“I’ve been here since U9s, so throughout my whole time different coaches have helped me develop throughout the years and they’ve been excellent.”

Hooper has caught the attention of many this season during his loan spells with Staveley Miners Welfare and Matlock Town – getting on the scoresheet regularly for the Trojans.

The wide midfielder also made his first-team debut in the FA Trophy, replacing Ollie Banks in the second half.

“It’s like a dream come true and to play here as well because I’ve been here that long. It’s a great feeling,” Hooper commented. “I’ve got to keep pushing now so I can hopefully play a bit more.”

Similar to Hooper, White also had loan spells with Staveley and Matlock throughout the 2022/23 season.

The versatile player capped his campaign off by putting in a Man of the Match performance in the NYFL U23 League Cup Final.

He said: “I’m buzzing. This is my hometown – I’ve lived here all my life – and I’ve been at the academy for a good seven or eight years now.

“This feels like all of the hard work that I’ve put in over the years has finally come to fruition. My whole life is about football, and this is the first step of hopefully a good career.”

Duhameau, Hooper and White will all return to Matlock Town on loan for the forthcoming campaign.