(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
League One strugglers Chesterfield have handed three academy players their first professional contracts.
Dylan Parkin, Jack Brownell and Jay Smith join Ricky German and Joe Rowley in joining the first-team ranks at the Proact Stadium as the Spireites continue to plan for the future.
Goalkeeper Parkin, 17, has been on the bench for Chesterfield twice this season, and academy manager Mark Smith said: “Dylan Parkin is a goalkeeper who has made a steady improvement.
“Over the last six months he has shown a lot more maturity and he is starting to take on leadership as well.
Commenting on Brownell and Smith, the boss added: “Jack Brownell is somebody who’s shown us over the course of two years that he is worth persevering with.
“Jay Smith is a defender who’s strong and he’s got that bit of pace.”
Sadly, in a footballing world that is highly competitive world, not every young academy prospect will make it in the game, and Smith has sympathy for those who haven’t been handed professional contracts, but wants them to continue playing.
The boss said: “These are our opinions and we make these decisions, but that is what football is all about.
“Those who don’t get the contracts are given the challenge to go and prove us wrong and it is down to the kids to do that.
“Sadly you have to make these decisions because you can’t take everybody and we wish them all the best for the future.”