New contracts for Chesterfield's James Rowe and Akwasi Asante is a big statement of intent
It has been a week of intent on and off the field for the Spireites.
Not only did the Blues brush aside play-off chasing Eastleigh and Yeovil Town, they also tied down manager James Rowe and star man Akwasi Asante to new contracts until the summer of 2024.
Credit must go to chairman Mike Goodwin and chief executive John Croot, as well as the rest of the board, for acting swiftly and not letting any speculation about their futures potentially cast a cloud over Chesterfield’s impressive form.
Rowe is already reportedly attracting interest from Football League clubs and you can bet your mortgage that Asante’s 10 goals in 14 league games will not have gone unnoticed by those higher up the football pyramid.
To secure a bright young coach like Rowe and a top striker in Asante on longer-term deals is a superb bit of business by Town and shows the club is forward-thinking and has a clear plan. It is a big statement of intent.
It won’t stop other clubs sniffing around them, of course, but I imagine there is a bigger compensation clause in Rowe’s new contract and they will be able to demand a higher transfer fee for Asante.
The forward has worked his way up to fourth in the National League goalscoring charts despite playing much fewer games having only joined Chesterfield in November. Bromley’s Michael Cheek leads the way with 15 goals but he has made 11 more appearances. Asante is averaging a goal every 119 minutes for the Blues, compared to Cheek’s 147.
On signing his new deal, the Dutch-born 28-year-old said he is enjoying his football and that he could not be happier - music to everyone’s ears!
If the Spireites board want to earn some more brownie points then offering the excellent Tom Whelan a new deal would go down very well with the Town faithful. The 24-year-old looks an absolute gem and is only heading up in his career.
The club is definitely moving in the right direction now and fans tell me they are now looking forward to games rather than dreading them.