Why Stefan Payne could be shrewd signing for Chesterfield

Google Stefan Payne’s name and that infamous incident at Grimsby Town last season dominates alongside the words ‘chaos’, ‘bizarre’ and ‘bust-up’.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 12:35 pm
Stefan Payne in action for Chesterfield against Matlock Town. Picture: Tina Jenner.

Now if they appeared next to mine or your name in an internet search you can guarantee we would not get an interview for a job.

But one mistake should not define a person and clearly Payne has a lot of talent otherwise he would not have spent a good chunk of his career playing in the Football League.

We are only two games into pre-season but the early signs are encouraging and the striker looks to have the bit between his teeth. Perhaps he feels he has a point to prove to others and that can only be a good thing for the Spireites.

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A fit, firing and motivated Payne should be a handful in this league and credit to manager James Rowe for looking beyond his misdemeanor last season and not overlooking the fact that the 29-year-old scored bundles of goals at this level with Dover Athletic, played for Barnsley in the Championship and it was not that long ago that he found the net 14 times for Shrewsbury Town as they reached the League One play-off final and EFL Trophy final.

Many other managers would have turned their nose up at signing this supposed ‘bad boy’ but I would back Rowe to manage him just fine and quickly find out what makes him tick.

Payne is described by his former Shrewsbury and Grimsby boss Paul Hurst as having a ‘little bit of edge to him’ and his other Shrews manager Sam Ricketts said he was delighted to re-sign him because of his ‘personality’.

Rowe is not exactly a shrinking violet, he has a big personality himself and is not afraid to let off the odd firecracker when required so I think he will quite enjoy working with him.

As well as his goalscoring record and character, Payne’s previous managers have highlighted his workrate, which we have seen for ourselves so far.

He is aggressive, fast and a bit of a throwback target man, according to Micky Mellon, who signed him for Tranmere.

Payne’s time at Chesterfield could be short and not-so-sweet if he doesn’t do the business, but I think he might surprise a few. It certainly won’t be boring.