‘Professionalism will drive Joe on’

Sam Hird puts an arm around teenage goalscorer Joe Rowley
Sam Hird puts an arm around teenage goalscorer Joe Rowley
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Sam Hird says its professionalism off the pitch that will drive youngster Joe Rowley to a higher level in football.

Rowley, 17, scored his first goal for the Spireites on Saturday in a 1-0 win over Port Vale.

Hird, wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of Ian Evatt, says the teenager appears to have a good temperament.

“He seems level headed,” said the 29-year-old defender.

“He’s only been with us maybe, playing wise, something like three weeks and he’s seemed like that.”

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Rowley, getting an agent, signing his first pro deal and scoring his first Town goal.

With talk already turning to that kind of career the midfielder can go on to have, Hird’s hope is that Rowley keeps things on an even keel off the pitch.

“It’s tough when you’re 17, a young lad, he’ll have people in his ear all over.

“Hopefully his parents are obviously really good for him behind the scenes and from my experience it will be professionalism that will push him forward.

“If he plays how he is on the pitch that will take care of itself and it will be everything else that comes with it.”

Having been in the Football League for a decade now, Hird has seen countless talented teens come and go.

But he sounds as excited about Rowley as Town boss Gary Caldwell, who raves about him.

“To be honest with you he’s up there with the 17-year-olds I’ve seen,” said Hird.

“So far his temperament looks good, when you’re a young player that’s what you’ve got to control.

“His ability is there, everyone can see that.

“He’s got a great chance to go higher, his temperament, his personality, how he is off the pitch, how he trains day in and day out, that will be what sends him higher.”