Chesterfield: Spireites to take Northern Ireland striker Liam Boyce on trial

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Chesterfield are already looking ahead to next season, with manager Paul Cook set to bring Northern Irish striker Liam Boyce to the Proact for a trial.

Spireites - who could seal promotion to League One this weekend should they better Fleetwood’s result, with the north west side at home to Southend on Saturday while Cook’s men travel to Burton on Sunday - have been tracking Boyce and will bring the highly-rated Cliftonville frontman over to have a closer look.

The 23 year-old has just helped his club to back-to-back league titles in Northern Ireland, and has found the net 24 times this season.

Boyce began his career with the Belfast side and after scoring 19 goals in his debut season, his talents drew the attentions of Celtic and they, too, took the player on trial. Interest grew further afield however, and in Sepetember 2010 after a move to Bundesliga 2 side SpVgg Greuther Furth broke down, Boyce made an unexpected switch to German giants Werder Bremen.

Boyce never settled in Germany, though, and a little over a year later, after an unsuccessful trial at Kilmarnock, he was back in Belfast, re-signing for Cliftonville in the January transfer window. The following season the four-times capped international, who made his Northern Ireland debut against Scotland in the ill-fated Carling Nations Cup in February 2011, played a crucial role in the Reds’ first title triumph since 1998 and was similarly talismanic during this campaign.

Chesterfield face competition with a number of teams in England and Scotland having watched the forward this season.

Meanwhile, Spireites veteran Ritchie Humphreys is calling for cool heads as promotion beckons.

Humphreys and his team mates travel to Burton knowing that victory is likely to be enough to stave off the threat of Fleetwood, who are three points behind but currently 13 goals worse off, even if the Cod Army win their match with Southend, while with two points separating Chesterfield and top-of-the-table Scunthorpe, Cook’s side could still be promoted as champions.

“We’re almost there, it’s not done and dusted by any means,” he said. “We all wanted to be promoted four weeks ago but that doesn’t happen in football. I’ve been in it long enough and I’ve been promoted out of this division a couple of times - any promotion is tough and when you achieve it you should celebrate it as well.

“We’ve two very tough games against teams who are up and around us.”