'My biggest achievement', says former England, Newcastle United and Ipswich Town midfielder after Chesterfield win promotion

Spireites coach Kieron Dyer has hit back at critics who have ‘disrespected’ Chesterfield this season.
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The Blues won the National League title on Saturday after beating Boreham Wood 3-0. And they have done it in style by scoring 100 goals and breaking a number of club records along the way. They have clinched it with five games remaining and only need five more points to each a century.

Some people have tried to pour cold water on their achievement but Dyer is having none of it.

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"The playes deserve all the love – I think they have been disrespected this season,” he told TalkSport. “I heard numerous times before I came here that the National League is the hardest league to get out of. But, all of a sudden, because this season we are romping it, it is now the easiest league because Wrexham aren’t in it. I think it is disrespectful to the players.

Chesterfield were crowned National League champions on Saturday. Picture: Tina JennerChesterfield were crowned National League champions on Saturday. Picture: Tina Jenner
Chesterfield were crowned National League champions on Saturday. Picture: Tina Jenner

"I always hear we have the biggest budget – we haven’t got the biggest budget – we are third or fourth in the league. So that is another slight against us.

"Then we hear that we’ve got the biggest squad when in fact we have used the fewest players in the league.

"The players have been a real credit to this football club and us as staff are really proud of them.”

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Saturday was an emotional for a lot of people including Dyer, who recently underwent a liver transplant. He was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic liver condition that has no cure, in 2019.

"When the final whistle went I was sat on the bench and was probably crying for five minutes because I was thinking of my donor,” he said. “The family of the donor have reached out to me. I have spoken to them. They know who I am. The family asked me to kind of continue the legacy of my donor so that was for him today as well.”

Dyer, 45, was capped 33 times by England and played in the Premier League with Newcastle United among others but he now has a new favourite moment.

He explained: “I have had a decent career, I have played for my country and I have been to World Cups, but this is probably my biggest achievement in football – winning the National League.

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"Being a coach you have the responsibility of the whole team and you cherish these moments – they are like your family.”

Interestingly, Dyer said that planning for next season – whatever league they were in – started months ago.

He added: "When we were 18 points clear we had a meeting with the manager, the recruitment team and the owners. We started to plan for what league we were in and stuff like that. Players were identified. We have been planning month and months in advance and now we have officially got it confirmed. The gaffer is big on giving players a chance to prove themselves so there won’t be a major overhaul. But as you have seen this season when we got (Will) Grigg, (Michael) Jacobs and (Tom) Naylor in…hopefully there will be a few marquee players.”