Chesterfield captain Jamie Grimes on 'fantastic' Paul Cook, his new contract and making himself faster aged 32

Spireites captain Jamie Grimes wishes he could have worked with manager Paul Cook earlier on his career.
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The defender, 32, has just signed a new contract which will keep him at the club until summer 2025. He has started every league game since Cook returned to Chesterfield in February 2022 and he is on track to reach 100 consecutive league starts.

"To work with a manager like Paul Cook is fantastic,” Grimes told the DT. “I feel like if I had had that guidance when I was younger I could have played at a higher level but I feel blessed to have that privilege now. He has shown such belief in me. I think he has brought my game on a lot while I have been here so I would like to thank him for that.”

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Grimes was set to be out of contract at the end of this season but his superb performances have rightly earned him a new deal.

Jamie Grimes.Jamie Grimes.
Jamie Grimes.

He said: “I am delighted with my new contract. I love the club. I want to stay here and see it progress and be a part of it so it is a no-brainer for me to sign again. I am really happy with that. I really appreciate it. It gives me security. There were no second thoughts at all. It is the most I have loved my football at a club. I feel settled and at home at the club. I want to help get this club back to where it belongs. It is the closest club to home so my family get to follow it. It is nice to have your family closer because you can just enjoy your football and they can be a part of it with you. I have played further away and it is harder for them to get to games.”

As well as staying free from injury, eagle-eyed Town fans may have noticed that Grimes is moving quicker across the grass. The centre-back received a bonus when he reached the FA Trophy final with Hereford in 2021 and he has been using that money each summer to improve his game physically. This year he went to Loughborough University to work with Speedworks – a team of experts who specialise in speed for athletes.

He explained: "They work with footballers, athletes, rugby players and sprinters. They leave no stone left unturned. They video everything, measure everything, and look at things you can do. I went to see them this summer and they said I had one stride longer than the other so they rearranged that, got that sorted, and then you are less likely to get injured during the season.

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"My GPS readings are the fastest I have ever had. I am not the fastest – Miguel Freckleton is an absolute speedboat – but I am right up there and I am proud of that. I still think I can get faster. I am not the fastest off the mark because I’m 6ft 4. Hopefully I can keep progressing physically as long as I can. I am constantly trying to be better, read the game better, and if I do get caught out of position I know I can get back. It has helped me a lot. I feel like I am in the best shape of my career. I can move better and jump higher and that is all down to the work I am putting in off the pitch.”

Chesterfield are flying high at the top of the National League and they will take some stopping. But Grimes says there’s no chance of complacency creeping in. The reason? Cook.

He added: “It is all about the next game and getting three points. We have just got to keep going until we cross that line. We can’t get carried away – we’ve got the gaffer! He is always at us and giving us clips on what we could do better. We have got such competition for places, it is so intense, you have to be on it otherwise you get made a fool of. That is driving our standards.”