Haydn Hollis says returning to Chesterfield was 'no brainer'
Chesterfield defender Haydn Hollis says signing for the Spireites on a permanent deal was an easy decision to make after a successful loan spell last season.
Hollis originally arrived on loan from Forest Green Rovers in August last year and went on to make 35 appearances for the club, scoring once.
And having now been released by Forest Green after his contract expired, Hollis was delighted to be able to return to the Proact.
He said: “It was no-brainer really and something John Sheridan had indicated he wanted to happen when we spoke about it a few weeks ago.
“To be fair to Forest Green, they told me in January that there wouldn’t be anything for me there once my contract was up. I’ve nothing against them and enjoyed my time there, but it was difficult for me with the travelling involved given it was a seven-hour round trip every day.
“I had some interest from other clubs but Chesterfield are a big club for this level and I was happy to come back.”
Hollis praised the impact made by Sheridan following his appointment back in January following Martin Allen’s departure.
He said: “The first-half of the season was really bad but credit to John and Snods (Glyn Snodin) who came in and turned it around to the point that we were one of the best form teams in the league at the end.
“Credit also has to go to the players because we only had two or three new faces come in yet were still able to improve like we did.
“Now it’s a case of maintaining that momentum going into next season. There are bound to be a few new faces come in but there’s no point in rushing into it - the group we have now I would expect to be up at the top end next season.”
Hollis believes the National League will once again be a tough division to participate in next season but is hopeful that after a difficult first season at non-league level, Chesterfield can push on and be challenging for promotion.
He said: “I’ve played lots in Leagues One and Two but I’d say that this level has actually been the toughest I’ve competed in.
“But the key will be not taking our foot off the gas and the mentality of the gaffer means we won’t be allowing that to happen.
“With that in mind I’m confident we’ll be challenging. It will be important to get a good start, be consistent week in, week out and be up in the top spots around Christmas to then really push on.”
An added bit of spice will be added for Hollis on a personal level next season with his former club Notts County having been relegated from the Football League, the Magpies being tipped to be up challenging with the Spireites for honours next season.
He added: “I spent a long time with Notts County and have already spoken to a few of their lads who are confident we’ll be battling at the top with them next season.
“But it won’t be easy for them, as was shown with us last season when a lot of people expected us to just bounce straight back up.
“It could well be tougher than a lot of people think at Notts, especially with the things going on off the pitch there too, but if they can adapt and get used to it quickly then you’d fancy them to challenge for promotion.”