David Buchanan says Chesterfield’s promotion bid will start on the very first day of pre-season training, not on 3rd August when the National League kicks off.
The experienced left-back signed a two-year contract at the Proact midway through last week and he’s keen to add a third promotion to his CV.
He played the first half of Preston North End’s 2013/14 season, when they escaped League One via the play-offs, ironically at the expense of Chesterfield, who they vanquished in the semi-finals.
Buchanan then played every minute of Northampton Town’s 2015/16 League Two title winning campaign.
He says players have to get off on the right foot and put their trust in the manager’s plans.
“I think you’ve just got to work hard every day, from when you come in.
“From the moment we get through the door for pre-season, we’ve got to listen to what the manager wants to do, the way he wants to go forward and it’s up to me to be part of a dressing room that wants to achieve things.
“You’ve got to buy into what the manager wants to do, what his staff are trying to implement.”
At 34 and with over 500 career appearances, Buchanan has earned the ‘veteran’ tag and believes it comes with a responsibility.
He says it’s up to him and the likes of Robbie Weir, his former Northern Ireland Under 21 and Tranmere Rovers team-mate, to pass on their knowledge to the club’s youngsters and demonstrate the right attitude and application.
“For players like myself, the experienced ones in the dressing room, we have to lead by example,” he said.
“When things aren’t going well you’ve got to regroup and get everyone together, especially the talented young players.
“For me it’s about showing your professionalism every day and setting examples in training.”
He preaches honesty and team spirit, even when you’re not part of the manager’s matchday plans.
“If things are not right you can’t be afraid to speak your mind,” he said.
“You have to make sure everyone is happy, keep everyone going – not just the starting XI.
“As a squad you’re only as strong as your weakest link.
“In teams that get promoted, the guy who is sat in the stand is wanting the guy in his position to do well, to get three points.”
Barring a year north of the border with Scottish Premier outfit Hamilton Academical, the 2019/20 season will be Buchanan’s first outside the Football League.
He’s played 187 games in League One and 273 in League Two.
But he’s got plenty to say about the division he’s hoping to spend a single season in.
“I always say this about the National League, it’s just getting stronger and stronger,” he told the Derbyshire Times.
“I’ve said for a while that I think three teams should come down from League Two and two should go up automatically from the National League, one from the play-offs.
“I think the league is that good.
“There’s big clubs like Wrexham, Notts County, Fylde will be looking to go again, Harrogate have strengthened, Solihull had a great season, Yeovil have come down and will want to bounce straight back up.
“We’ve just got to look after ourselves.”