Full-back is a doubt for Chesterfield's National League opener at Aldershot Town

Full-back George Carline appears to be the only doubt for Chesterfield’s first game of the new season against Aldershot Town on Saturday.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 11:24 am

The 28-year-old played through the pain barrier in the final few games of last season and he has still not fully recovered.

Last season’s Spireites player of the year has only started one game in pre-season, which came against Tamworth.

Manager James Rowe, who said everybody else was available for selection, has wanted each player to get 300 minutes under their belt and Carline has not managed that.

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Spireites manager James Rowe.

Speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference, Rowe said: “With regards to George it is clear he has not had sufficient minutes to have too much of an impact tomorrow.

"If he started he could only play a certain amount of time, if he comes off the bench he can only play a certain amount of time.

“We are slowly building him up so we don’t lose him again for the long-term.

“Credit to him because he played at the back end of last year with that injury, we obviously kept it quiet at the time but he was struggling in those last four games and it is a lay-off from that.

“However, we have managed him well and he is probably back ahead of where we thought he was going to be at this stage, we didn’t think he would be able to start the season, he can, so that is a real positive.

“Getting the player of the season accolade was an outstanding achievement for him coming into the team in November so well done to him and for the staff for getting him back for the first game of the season.”

The Spireites won 1-0 at the EBB Stadium last season, with Alex Whittle scoring the winner.

“It will be different this time because the fans are back in and the supporters were wonderful when I was there, they really got behind the team, so I know what we are up against,” Rowe added.

“We know what their strengths are and where perhaps we can hurt them.

“We must remember our own DNA and we have been working hard in the pre-season to promote our DNA even more and take the way we want to play to the next level.”