Llera impressed with Spireites' emerging talent
Miguel Llera has been impressed by the quality of Chesterfield's academy players since taking up the role of professional development phase lead coach.
Llera, a fully qualified UEFA Pro Licence coach, wasted no time in surveying the Spireites’ talent pool by watching two youth matches on his first day in the job.
The former Sheffield Wednesday defender has been charged with the big task of developing the club’s aged 17-18 players for consideration for the first team.
Not one to back out of a challenge in his playing days, Llera has the same approach to life on the other side of the white line as an enthusiastic academy coach.
He said: “My job is to try and get as many players as I can into the first team and help them become professional players. I want to help and do my best for the club.
“I need to adapt as quickly as I can to my role, to the players and to the staff around the scenes. I feel like it’s a club that is looking to move in the right direction.
“I thought the standard was very good.”
Llera played more than 500 professional career games and made 91 appearances for Wednesday during a two-and-a-half-year stay between 2011 and 2014.
He was a key figure for Wednesday in the 2012 promotion winning season to the Championship, scoring four goals in the last six games of that campaign.
The much-travelled defender also played for MK Dons, Charlton Athletic, Blackpool and Scunthorpe United during his time playing in England.
The 38-year-old retired from playing in 2015 and has been coaching Wednesday’s under-14s for the past three years and has an enjoyment for nurturing talent.
“I met Gary (Caldwell, Spireites boss) the other day. I think he is a really good professional who loves to train and work with the younger ones,” said Llera. “I’m going to try and do my best for him to bring players into his squad.”
“That age (17-18) is really difficult. They are close to being professional footballers and my job is to try and develop them from academy football.
“I want to help them adapt as fast as possible to arrive at that level. Not all of them are going to get there but it is something that I want to do.
“I have many years of experience as a professional footballer to help them reach that level. I enjoy it because I like the environment.
“With them I can compete, I get that feeling like when I was playing, I love to try and make players better. It’s very rewarding.”