Caldwell hopes midfielder returns safely from international duty

Chesterfield's Connor Dimaio turns away from Shrewsbury's Gary Deegan
Chesterfield's Connor Dimaio turns away from Shrewsbury's Gary Deegan
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Gary Caldwell hopes he’ll get a fit and well Connor Dimaio back from international duty.

The Chesterfield boss has lost his young midfielder to the Republic of Ireland Under 21 squad this weekend.

Dimaio will take on Kosovo at Tallaght Stadium in a UEFA U21 Championships qualifier.

The Chesterfield local lad wasn’t in the starting line-up when Town played at Bristol Rovers last weekend, despite having started the two previous games.

But the 21-year-old’s omission wasn’t due to form.

Caldwell said: “He’s been fantastic since he came into the team.

“Last week I felt his energy levels were a bit low before Saturday.

“I would have loved to pick him but to play three games in a week having not played any regular football it would be a big ask for him.

“He managed to come on the park and do okay against Bristol.

“I would have liked to have played him (this weekend).

“He’s away on international which is good experience for him but we’ll be glad to get him back, safe, after the game.”

Dimaio is one of a large number of youngsters at the Proact, some of which haven’t yet enjoyed the same opportunities as the former Sheffield United prospect.

Caldwell says timing is key.

“I think we have quality at the club in the young players but we have to make sure they’re ready for the challenge,” he said.

“It is a challenge coming into the team but I’m seeing every day the quality the younger players have.

“When the time is right I’ll bring them into the first team and see if they can produce it on a matchday.”