The kids are alright at the Proact, says former Spireite

Academy manager  Mark Smith, Jack Brownell, academy coach Dylan Parkin, Gary Caldwell, Jay Smith and John Knapper (academy operations manager) (Pic: Tina Jenner)
Academy manager Mark Smith, Jack Brownell, academy coach Dylan Parkin, Gary Caldwell, Jay Smith and John Knapper (academy operations manager) (Pic: Tina Jenner)
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A man who has seen a few talented youngsters in his time has praised the attitude of Chesterfield’s crop of kids.

Ritchie Humphreys, who recently left the Proact after a four-year stint as a player, coach and reserve team boss, says he was impressed by the way the youngsters at the club conducted themselves.

Humphreys worked with the likes of first year professionals Dylan Parkin, Charlie Wakefield, Jack Brownell, Joe Rowley and Jay Smith and liked what he saw – particularly when more experienced heads were expressing themselves.

“The temperament the young players have is fantastic,” he said.

“I really enjoyed working with them, they’ve been really receptive to anything any of the coaches and managers have had to say and they take it on board.”

Humphreys believes that the club’s academy staff and coaches can take a lot of credit for the temperament of the teenagers.

“I like their attitudes and that comes from the people who have brought them through the system,” he said.

“You don’t want to put too high hopes on young shoulders, but they’re in good hands with the people at the club.”

The final game of the 2016/17 League One season at Sheffield United saw Humphreys come off the bench to replace Rowley, a man 22 years his junior.

Rowley was ever present in Chesterfield’s final seven games of the season under Gary Caldwell’s management and PFA chairman Humphreys is keen for the midfielder and his fellow youngsters to push for more starts in the new League Two campaign.

“Obviously it was great for Joe to have that run of games at the end of last season and now I suppose him and the other lads have to try and get in that squad come the first game of the season, that’s their challenge,” he added.