Danny Wilson believes Sam Hird has done “superbly well” under difficult circumstances this season at Chesterfield.
Hird, voted Derbyshire Times Readers’ Chesterfield FC Player of the Year, has been an ever-present this season for the Spireites.
And Chesterfield manager Wilson says he has been able to depend on the 28-year-old defender’s influence both on and off the field.
Wilson said: “Sam’s been very consistent and I think that’s the reason why he’s got the award. In an inconsistent season for results he’s been the stand out performer week in-week out.
“From his point of view it’s been a very successful season. Frustrated, I presume, because he’s been consistent.
“He’s been a seven out of ten every week and that’s what you look for in every department.
“Sam has had different partners throughout the season in defence, even before I came.
“We’ve had injuries, we’ve had loans come in, we’ve had full backs playing in centre back positions.
“To keep his quality of performance up has been very difficult but he’s managed it superbly well.
“You know you can pencil in two or three straight away and know you’re going to get a performance from them.
“You want that type of player in there that you know will do a job and that’s Sam.”
He added: “He is a senior player. Next year is the big challenge, it’s a tough league next year.
“With the three teams coming down from the Championship and those coming up from League Two will be strong as well.
“If we thought this year was a tough league, next year is going to be really tough and we’re going to need the same quality of performances next season as well.”