Back to the future – Lester reveals insight gleamed from one of his successful predecessors

Chesterfield Player of the Year - Jack Lester, with John Duncan, Phil Tooley & Simon Bullen
Chesterfield Player of the Year - Jack Lester, with John Duncan, Phil Tooley & Simon Bullen

Jack Lester has welcomed a special visitor to his office twice in just over a week – one of his predecessors and a successful one at that.

John Duncan, who led Town to a Fourth Division title, Division Three play-off glory and an FA Cup semi-final, works with the League Managers Association now and called in on the recently-appointed Lester last Tuesday.

And the Scot returned to the Proact on Saturday for a quick chat with Lester before the game against Carlisle.

Lester relished the chance to pick 68-year-old’s brains.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for me to speak to him and get some advice off him,” said Lester, of their initial meeting.

“He’s had a lot of success at this football club and he was great to talk to.

“We had a really good chat.”

Lester wouldn’t divulge exactly what was said between the two men, but the current Chesterfield manager did reveal that he was keen to gleam insight from the many years Duncan spent in football management.

“I just asked him to share his experiences, when he felt it went well, when he felt it didn’t go well and things like that.

“I was just trying to gain from his knowledge and experience, particularly because he has such a good understanding of this football club.”

Duncan was spotted at the stadium again at the weekend and Lester once again valued the ex manager’s input.

“He is a very experienced man and I would be a fool not to gain from his experience.

“We had a little five minutes before the game on Saturday.

“He’s a terrific man with some lovely insights and very useful information.”

Lester is on a quest to gleam wisdom from the minds of others and is lining up encounters with some ‘inspirational’ peers.

He hopes his players will adopt a similar approach.

“I’m fascinated to know where the next yard is for this team,” he said.

“Learning from other people’s experiences and collating ideas helps you make a better decision.

“So gaining from other people is common sense.

“There’s other managers I admire who I’ve managed to get meetings with, I’m going to meet another one on Monday and it’s just constantly trying to improve yourself.

“The idea is that the players do the same.

“We can put on certain things but really the players have to take control for themselves and that’s a powerful mindset for them, knowing the rest of their career is in their hands and not mine.”

Lester is on a well-trodden path seeking Duncan’s advice, in-demand Burnley boss Sean Dyche has remained close to the man who managed him at Saltergate.

In a previous interview with the Derbyshire Times Dyche said: “John is someone I still bounce ideas off, I’ve learned a heck of a lot from him and Kev Randall.”

“I didn’t know it so much at the time but as my career has gone on I’ve learned some real strong lessons from the two of them and helped form some of the opinions I’ve got about the game today.”