Chesterfield's Laurence Maguire on signing new contract, interest from Football League clubs and enjoying life under manager James Rowe
Laurence Maguire says it was a ‘no-brainer’ to extend his Chesterfield stay despite interest from Football League clubs.
The 24-year-old has penned a new deal at the Spireites until the summer of 2023.
Loz believes ‘times are changing’ at Town and he wants to be a part of an exciting future.
He told the DT: “I am delighted to get it over the line. It has been going on for a few weeks now and I am glad it is all sorted because now I can concentrate on my football and hopefully get the club back where it belongs in the Football League.
“I love the club, I am pretty local, I want the good times to be back at Chesterfield and I want to be part of it so it was a pretty easy decision and now it is time for me to kick-on.
"I feel like the club has got it right with the new gaffer coming in and his philosophy and how he wants to play and hopefully we can achieve something special.”
The defender worked incredibly hard to get himself fit for the start of pre-season after suffering a serious knee injury on Boxing Day in 2019.
The support he received from everyone at the club played a big part in him wanting to stay as well as the progress which is being made under manager James Rowe.
The interest in him from Football League clubs was flattering but he was keen to remain loyal to the club he has been at since the age of 15, making him the club’s longest serving player.
“I was coming up to the end of my contract at the end of this year and there was quite a bit of interest there in January,” he said. “The gaffer offered me the new deal and I wanted to stay as loyal as I could to Chesterfield.
"It is a decision what you make if you want to go and play higher or if you want to stay and carry on playing games and the main thing for me after my injury I want to carry on playing games and I can see the progress what it is happening at the club and I want to be part of a successful Chesterfield team.
“I had a couple of opportunities to go and play in the higher leagues, obviously I can’t name any clubs but there were opportunities there but for me it is a no-brainer because I can see what the gaffer is doing. He has brought a new philosophy to the club and he has shown a lot of trust in me and he has given the squad belief and confidence.
"I feel like the club is on the up and I want to be part of that. It has been a tough few years with the relegations but for me I can see the times are changing and I want to be a part of it.
“I am happy playing every game and with me being a local lad to Chesterfield I wanted to stay and the main aim is to get back into the Football League with this club and if we do that I will be very proud.”
Maguire, who has been used in various different positions during his time at Town, has nailed down the left centre-back spot this season and he believes he is playing the best football of his career so far.
He was aware of how big a season it was for his development and that he happy with how it is has going so far.
"For the gaffer to offer me a new contract I want to repay him by carrying on the performances on the pitch,” he said.
“Under previous managers I got played quite a lot around the pitch in centre midfield, centre-back, left midfield, left-back and I didn’t really get settled I don’t think. I would say that it (left centre-back) is my best position. I feel like I am settled now and it has been really good.
“I feel like I am playing the best football of my career. I am getting to the age now where I feel like I have a lot more experience of the game and I have got people around me who have got a lot of experience as well.”
Chesterfield have suffered just one defeat in 11 in all competitions under Rowe and the squad has adapted to his new ideas quickly.
Maguire says Rowe wants them to play with high energy and press the opposition from the front.
“He has shown a lot of faith in me, he believes in my ability,” Maguire said. “He wants me to get forward. You can see recently we have kept the ball better and I have always felt like that is more my style of play. Recently we have done well with the defensive record as well so it is about getting the balance right and I think we have done that really well.”
Despite it being February Chesterfield have only played 18 games so there is more than half of the campaign to go.
It has been stop-start for the Spireites since December because of Covid but when the pandemic eases Maguire is confident they will be ready for a push for the top seven.
“I think there is still a lot that can be achieved still,” he added. “We have got a long, long way to go but I still think we can go and push for the play-offs and go to Wembley at the end of the year and I feel like the gaffer does as well. That is our main aim, we want to push for the play-offs and see where we end up. Hopefully we can achieve promotion and get the smiles back on the faces of the fans.”