The 2022/2023 National League campaign gets underway on August 6 and finishes on April 29.
The play-offs begin at the start of May.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the big talking points from the fixture list...
A trip to newly-promoted side Dorking Wanderers on the opening day has a bit of an FA Cup upset feel about it and it could be a potential banana-skin for the Spireites. Promoted from the National League South through the play-offs in dramatic style, the Surrey opposition will go into the fixture on a high and with a nothing-to-lose mentality. The clash will also see new Blues midfielder Darren Oldaker face his former club after leaving in the summer.
At the other end of the scale, Paul Cook’s men will face likely promotion contenders Wrexham at home and Notts County away in the first four games so that should give us an early indication as to where Chesterfield are at, although it will be too soon to read too much into the outcomes.
September will give Chesterfield a first look at three of the new teams coming into the league, with a trip to face Oldham Athletic, who could be under ownership by then, and former Spireites manager John Sheridan first up that month.
National League North champions Gateshead then visit the Technique Stadium the following week, before the month ends at National League South winners Maidstone United.
You never really know whether it is a positive to play relegated/promoted teams early on because there are a lot of unknowns and uncertainty so we shall see.
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR
Boxing Day will be spent at Scunthorpe United, relegated from League Two last season, with the reverse fixture taking place on New Year’s Day. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of optimism among the Iron fans at the moment and I think, just like Chesterfield and Southend United did in their first season in non-league, that they will struggle at least in the first-half of the campaign.
Promotion could well come down to who comes out on top in the head-to-heads so it’s worth taking a look at some potential key clashes.
As already stated, there’s an early trip to Meadow Lane on August 20, with the reverse fixture on January 21.
Wrexham also visit Derbyshire in August, with Chesterfield heading to Wales on December 13.
I’m backing Southend to have a better season than last year and those contests take place on September 13 at the Technique and March 7 at Roots Hall.
There will be nine midweek games – five at home and four away.
The first three Tuesday night matches will all be on home soil against Wrexham, Southend and Dagenham and Redbridge. The other two later in the season are against Altrincham and Wealdstone.
A visit to York City’s new stadium will be the first Tuesday night away trip, which I’m sure will leave many Town fans disappointed that it is not on a Saturday.
There will also be long trips to Wealdstone and Southend, and a shorter one to Wrexham.
The 500-mile round trip to Torquay United will take place in…November! It could be a bit breezy on the seafront. Let’s hope the football is better than last time.
The August Bank Holiday will involve a short hop to Altrincham, which has not been a happy hunting ground in the last two seasons.
As previously mentioned, it’s Scunthorpe on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
There’s a tasty-looking home clash against York on Good Friday (April 7), and a less appealing trek to Dagenham three days later on Easter Monday.
The season ends in April with home games against York, Eastleigh and Maidstone United (last game of season) and away matches at Maidenhead United, Dagenham and Redbridge and Bromley (last away day).
Let the fun begin!