Local boy welcomes influx of new faces at the Proact
If anyone at Chesterfield FC can give the summer signings a comprehensive guide to their new club it's Connor Dimaio.
A Town lad, Spireites supporter and first team midfielder, Dimaio is well placed to inform the new boys on their 2017/18 surroundings.
But despite the fresh competition for a midfield berth that has arrived in the building, Dimaio believes the positives of the rebuild outweigh the negatives.
“Obviously you thrive on competition, that’s what you’re here for, to push yourself,” he said.
“New players coming in is only going to make the team a lot better in different ways.
“You’ve just got to push yourself as an individual.”
One half of the job when several new faces join a club is ensuring they are welcomed, the other half of the job is down to the signings themselves.
Dimaio says they’ve all done their bit.
“They’ve settled in really well, we’re quite a young group and they’ve all fitted in perfectly,” he said.
“I know Reedy from Sheffield United and he’s settled right in.”
The former Sheffield United prospect says he’s arrived back in pre-season fitter than he’s ever been and has enjoyed the club’s pre-season tour of Spain and Portugal so far.
Boss Gary Caldwell’s desired style of play has had a lot to do with that enjoyment.
He said: “Since we’ve got in the first day we’ve taken a lot of information in on what the gaffer wants and we’re just trying to deliver it on the field.
“It’s probably the best gaffer I could have here, to be fair.
“I’ve always wanted to play football and that’s what he wants to do here, so it’s great.”
With family and friends who sit in the Proact stands every week, Dimaio is acutely aware of the atmosphere in and around the club at any given time.
On the back of a bitterly disappointing relegation but ahead of a League Two promotion bid, he says there’s a mixed feeling at present.
And it’s down to the players to generate a good feeling.
“I think there’s been a bit of negativity and some positivity,” he said.
“But when the season starts we’ll see if we can turn those negatives into positives.
“Last year wasn’t the season we wanted but we’ve got a great group here, it’s genuine, the banter is genuine and I think we can do really well this season.”