Newly arrived Barrow ready to challenge ideas and wants points on the board early on

Chesterfield's new assistant boss Graham Barrow (Pic: Bernard Platt)
Chesterfield's new assistant boss Graham Barrow (Pic: Bernard Platt)

Graham Barrow has only just got his feet under the table at the Proact but he’s already pushing for a winning start to the League Two season.

The 63-year-old is Gary Caldwell’s new assistant – alongside Steve Eyre – but also takes on the title of chief scout.

He says his role is a general one, which will see him take some training sessions, work on finding talent with head of recruitment Guy Branston and sit in the stand to offer in-game advice to Caldwell.

The Scot hasn’t ever stopped tapping into Barrow’s experience.

“I kept in touch with Gary all the time, we had a good working relationship at Wigan,” he said.

“(This summer) we spoke almost on a twice-weekly basis about players and stuff.”

The job came as the former Wigan and Chester manager was starting to get frustrated, having spoken to other clubs about possible recruitment roles.

“I just feel at this moment in time that I’ve still got a bit more to offer than that – although it’s a very important part of the game,” he said.

“I’ve been in the game that long I know quite a bit about Chesterfield, I played against them at the old stadium in the John Duncan days.

“It’s quite exciting for me to still be involved at my time of life.”

The elder statesman of the management team, Barrow is happy to challenge ideas because he wishes someone had done that for him in the past.

“I think I’m at a stage in my life where I’m not afraid to question anything,” he said.

“What is there to be frightened of? It can be a healthy discussion. Every manager deserves that. When I was a manager I wished I’d maybe surrounded myself with people who would challenge me a bit more.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not on a daily basis because we basically agree on a lot of things, but it’s good for somebody to challenge the manager and have positive ideas.”

Barrow says his initial impression of the squad has been positive: “There’s a freshness about the players. I came to the Sheffield United game and they showed a lot of promise.

“They’re still looking to add one or maybe two but there’s experience in the right places, I’m very excited with the strikers and they’ve got experience right at the back.

“It’s now about building on a good result against Doncaster and like any season, a steady start or a great start is the key for me.”

“In an ideal world that’s what you want. It’s not the end of the world (a defeat) but in football I’ve always pushed for that and we’ll be pushing for it on Saturday.”

Barrow has had a look at Saturday’s opponents and likens them to the squad Caldwell has put together at the Proact.

And the game presents an opportunity to start putting together the kind of start to the season that could prove vital come next May.

“I went to Grimsby last weekend and they’ve got a similar blend of experience.

“Every opening game is going to be tough but it’s one we’ve got to look to get the points from.

“As we found last year at Wigan, it’s about getting points on the board in the early months of the season to always keep within the frame.

“A great start would be fantastic, but certainly a sensible start and then be in the mix for the end of the season.”