OPINION: New signings offer stability and hope for Chesterfield
After last season's disaster and multiple players out of contract, this summer's transfer activity was always going to be an essential job.
If not only for Gary Caldwell to be judged on managing a team he has assembled, but also to rejuvenate a threadbare and largely inexperienced squad.
Before any signings came through the door, fans were pleased to hear the announcement of club captain, Ian Evatt, signing on for an extra year.
This in itself is a huge positive as the skipper was our best player last season and it can be seen from the way he plays, that he cares about the club.
His experience will also prove invaluable to the youngsters who will inevitably be amongst next season’s squad.
On the new player front, first through the door was Bradley Barry. A relatively unknown quantity, but a player who comes well regarded and has a good level of league experience for a 22 year old.
Barry is described as a ‘marauding full-back’ which would definitely fit with the wing-back system that Gary Caldwell favours.
What is most interesting about this signing though is that Barry plays the same position as Paul McGinn. Where will he figure in the manager’s plans now?
Next was a double signing from Scunthorpe. Both Joe Anyon and Scott Wiseman come to the club with bags of league experience and impressive CVs.
Both have played at a good level, particularly Wiseman, and are said to still be able to cut it at League One, never mind League Two.
Anyon will provide genuine competition for Tommy Lee and may turn out to be an essential signing should Tommy’s on-going injury troubles remain next season. Wiseman is arguably the highest profile signing made so far for the Spireites.
He has been in a promotion winning team before and can play multiple positions, specifically across the back four. This should give Gary Caldwell various options depending on his tactical response to the opposition and cover should injuries occur.
Finally, and most recently, was the signing of Gozie Ugwu from non-league.
Ugwu scored 19 goals last season for Woking, however prior to that, his stint in league football with Wycombe and Yeovil was far from inspiring.
Hopefully his new found form is the Ugwu that we will see in a royal blue shirt next season.
He is apparently keen to take his second chance in league football and could definitely be the physical presence we have missed up front.
I am optimistic that both him and Kristian Dennis are able to cause opposition defences a headache, through their tireless running up top and hopefully a good return of goals.
I think it’s fair to say that all the signings so far can be described as safe, rather than exciting. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as I think fans want to see some stability return to the club.
It is obvious from the players signed that the manager wants to carry on with his preferred formation of 3-5-2 and it is quite refreshing to see that positionally, the new signings will largely be round pegs in round holes, rather than what we have seen previously. Hopefully the next signings that are in the pipeline are more exciting and have a more attacking focus.
Rumours of previous fans favourite Donal McDermott would certainly fit the bill, as would Sheffield United youngster David Brooks if references from elsewhere prove to be accurate.