Dean Saunders is hoping a blend of youth and experience will provide a winning formula for Chesterfield next season.
The former Doncaster Rovers and Wolves manager has revealed there will be a balance in the Spireites’ side that takes to the field in August for a second season in League One.
Saunders has a reputation for being a hard worker and doesn’t expect anything less from players at every age group, as he prepares to address all age groups with the same message.
He will tell the younger players on Chesterfield’s books there is a pathway for them to progress in to the first team under him and they will get their chance if they impress.
“There’s a good academy here and we want young players in the team. I’ll try and develop them, the dream is to get young local lads playing every week,” said Saunders.
“It’s not going to work like that, we’re in League One and it’s a tough league. We can’t have a team of young 18-year-olds, we need some experienced players with them to get the results they need so their heads don’t go under water.
“It’s a gradual process, we can’t afford top experienced players so sometimes you have to sign players who are getting on a bit, who can actually coach the players in the dressing room and help the younger ones.
“I’ve got time to see these boys come through. I’ll tell everyone from the under 11s to the under 18s there is a pathway in to the first team.
“It’s not going to be like Chelsea where they’re thinking ‘am I ever going to play’ and the club are going to spend another £30 million on playing in my position.
“There is a route through here and I will explain to them if they do well and stay at the club there is a route through to the first team.”
The Spireites won many plaudits last season for their entertaining brand of football and Saunders not only recognised that but wants to add other elements in his approach.
He added: “We have some good footballers. I can’t argue with what has happened this year because you can’t win every game.
“I have to try and find a way of us winning games if other factors stop us playing the way we want to like teams, tactics and the weather - if those factors come in to it then we need to find another way to win.
“At the moment we probably haven’t got the tools to do that but we need to. I’ve played for some big clubs and managed some big clubs and you don’t play well every week, you’re lucky if you’ve played 15 good games if you’ve done well.
“The rest you have to scrap over the line and get over the line through determination and through a different route.
“Sometimes you have to become hard to beat and I need to come up with a formula to make us better than we were last year.”
Pre-season plans are yet to be finalised and further changes to the back room staff are expected with long-term assistant Brian Carey expected to join Saunders.