Chesterfield: Gardner fighting to be fit to fulfil potential at Proact

Dan Gardner
Dan Gardner

One of the first assignments likely to be facing new Chesterfield fitness guru Mal Purchase will be getting Dan Gardner in shape to play his first 90 minutes for the club.

Though the midfielder has made close to 40 appearances since joining the Spireites from Halifax Town, he has yet to play a full game.

And as he enters the final year of his contract with the club, the coming season will be a vital one for the talented midfielder.

Boss Dean Saunders will be looking to trusted fitness coach Purchase to help Gardner find the fitness to play full matches on a regular basis.

During his time with the Spireites, he has shown undoubted ability and a desire to succeed but clearly needs to be fitter and stronger.

With Chesterfield battling to keep hold of their top players, a fully fit Gardner could be vital for them for the next League One campaign.

The 25-year-old was playing college football before being snapped up by Celtic, for whom he only played for the reserves before returning to Manchester’s non-league scene.

A short spell with Crewe Alexandra brought his league debut but he managed a total of less than half an hour of game time before joining Droylsden.

It was a switch to Halifax that saw Garnder’s career take off as he was instrumental in the Conference North play-off win. After a strong start to life in the Conference, Gardner was snapped up by the Spireites and made an immediate impact, scoring on both his debut and full debut.

Though Chesterfield supporters could see his incredible skillset, it was clear he was below the level of fitness required. And just when he looked to have secured a regular place, he was struck down with a nasty injury, a pattern that has blighted his Proact career.

Loaned to Tranmere Rovers for a month last season, Gardner returned to show the promise Spireites supporters will hope is finally fulfilled this season.

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