Former Portsmouth and Wigan Athletic midfielder happy to be closer to family after Chesterfield move

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
It is probably a side of football that we don’t think about too much as fans.

Being away from your family and friends, living in temporary accommodation, travelling up and down the motorway for hours. It is a team sport but it can be a lonely game at times.

But thankfully those days are over for family-man Tom Naylor, who signed for Chesterfield on a free transfer in the summer after leaving Wigan Athletic, penning a three year deal.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The move was ‘perfect’ for him, he says, because it allows him to be closer to his loved-ones.

Tom Naylor. Picture: Tina Jenner.Tom Naylor. Picture: Tina Jenner.
Tom Naylor. Picture: Tina Jenner.

On his time at the Spireites, he told the DT: "I love it. It is perfect. Being back at home with my family and being with my kids day in, day out, is what I wanted to do. I am really looking forward to the rest of the season and the remainder of my contract here.

"I just wanted to be close to my family. I am 32 now. I had offers elsewhere in the Football League but it wasn’t for me. I have been at Portsmouth and Wigan and I have got two kids now. When Chesterfield came calling it was perfect.

"I have been away probably for the last five years. It is hard to keep in touch with friends and family. It is what I have wanted for a while and I am so glad I signed the papers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It is always nice to go back home after training, 20 minutes down the road, and see your kids.

"When I moved to Wigan I had just had my first girl and it was my hard. My partner could not really get to Wigan as much. People probably don’t see that side of things but sometimes you have got to do it. I am settled down now and I just want to stay put.”

It has not taken long for Naylor to make a big impression, scoring three goals and putting in a number of man of the match displays.

He said: "I feel like I am playing well at the minute. I have been playing week in, week out, Obviously the suspension last week was frustrating.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I have always chipped in with a few goals everywhere I have been. Three goals this early on in the season is good and hopefully I can build on that and get my tally up.”

Naylor made 36 appearances in the Championship last season, three divisions above the National League, but the quality of the fifth-tier is something he has been impressed with.

He continued: "The standard has been really good. In the first couple of games I was surprised how good the standard was. When we got three or four games in we started sussing out the league. The quality that we have got in our 11, 16, and squad is brilliant. We have got loads of quality.”

Chesterfield are in top spot and they don’t plan on letting anyone else overtake them easily.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He added: “Our aim at the start of the season was to be top as much as we can so we are pleased. We need to keep picking those points up to make that gap even bigger. We just need to keep pushing and pushing and it is up to other teams to try and catch us.”