Column: Caldwell's relationship with new Guy is key for Spireites rebuild

Journeyman is not a particularly complimentary tag for a footballer.

Wednesday, 5th April 2017, 12:20 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:12 pm
Football League Two Chesterfield FC v Torquay Utd Guy Branston, left and Jack Lester

But it’s Guy Branston’s extensive travels around the country, via 19 different clubs, that have shaped his post-playing days.

“I’ve been most places and bumped into most people,” he told me this week.

In fact it sounds like Chesterfield have pulled off a bit of a coup in employing a man, in Steve Eyre, who Branston hadn’t met until Monday.

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Everyone else at the club seems to have bumped into the former centre-half.

It was bumping into Ashley Carson at the Peterborough game that led to his application landing on Gary Caldwell’s desk.

It was all the people he’s bumped into over a two-decade career in the game, all the numbers he’s stored in his phone, that helped land him the job.

His modus operandi sounds relatively straight forward – go to lots of games (500 in the last three years by his own count), bump into lots of people and gather lots of information.

It’s the information and what he does with it that appears to be the part of his job that he really focuses on.

Branston wants to pluck information from a myriad sources, acting as a hub, interpreting and communicating it to Caldwell to help the gaffer make decisions.

Scouts, his contacts and club coaches will all feed into that hub.

The relationship between Caldwell and Branston is going to be vital if Chesterfield are to transform their recent fortunes.

The manager needs to trust his head of recruitment and the head of recruitment needs to feel valued by the manager, that his skills are being put to good use.

Chesterfield cannot afford for Caldwell and Branston to follow the path that Danny Wison and Paul Mitchell found themselves on, a path that led to Mitchell’s exit.

For his part, Branston has made it clear the final decisions are all Caldwell’s to make, he knows his place in the process.

“The gaffer will choose to do whatever he wants with my information,” he said.

Caldwell has made clear how vital Branston’s role is.

Although League Two is almost confirmed as their 2017/18 destination, it’s unlikely they’ll throw the baby out with the bath water.

It won’t be, as Kristian Dennis hypothesised, a completely new squad.

It’s upon those decisions, on who stays and who joins, that Caldwell and Branston will both be judged.