Youth, pace, energy, EFL experience and a bit of unknown - analysing Chesterfield's transfer business as nine arrive

The National League season gets underway in one month’s time and Chesterfield have been busy in the transfer market, bringing in nine new players.

By Liam Norcliffe
Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 3:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 3:23 pm

After losing in the play-offs for a second successive campaign, manager Paul Cook has opted to change things up as he aims to get the Spireites back in the Football League after five years away.

Let’s take a closer look at the recruitment they have done so far...

NICE BLEND

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook.

Cook wanted to bring in some ‘young and hungry’ players to freshen up the squad and all nine of his new additions are in their 20s.

Bailey Clements, Branden Horton and Armanda Dobra are all 21, Joe Cook and Michael Gyasi are 22, Darren Oldaker is 23, Ryheem Sheckleford and George Cooper are 25 and Ollie Banks is the oldest at 29.

On paper, that looks like a nice blend of ages which should ensure the Spireites have got plenty of pace, energy and athleticism in the side.

EFL EXPERIENCE

A lot of people will understandably be excited about the younger players but for me the two key additions are Cooper and Banks because of their Football League experience.

Whereas in the past the club has signed ageing EFL players whose careers were heading south, I don’t think Banks and Cooper come under that bracket.

Banks scored 12 goals from midfield for a struggling Barrow side in League Two last season and has a soft spot for the club, while Cooper has scored and created goals at all three of his previous clubs. If it had not been for a couple of tough years with injuries, he would seemingly still be playing in and around that level. If he stays fit, Chesterfield may have just landed themselves one hell of a player for the National League. He is the one I am most intrigued to watch.

EARLY

The fact all nine players have come in before the first full week of pre-season is a major plus for me. This will give them plenty of time to gel and to get used to Cook’s methods and style of play. Town will of course want to hit the ground running and getting the new players in early will give them every chance of doing so.

Only two of the nine incomings have cost a fee, but a good chunk of the budget will have gone on wages.

Credit to the board for backing Co ok all the way, but I suppose you don’t bring in a manager of his pedigree to the club and not go for it.

PATIENCE

As I have just mentioned, it is going to take some time for the team to gel and, given the youthfulness of the side, it might not be plainsailing to begin with and I am sure there will be some speedbumps along the way.

As a young-ish group, playing in front of big crowds, they might take a few weeks or even months to adapt so we should not expect too much of them too soon.

UNKNOWN

It is hard not to get excited about the upcoming season if you are a Chesterfield fan, in my opinion. What’s not to like about it so far?

But, erring on the side of caution just for a second, recruitment at any club can’t be rated as a success just because they have signed a load of new players. I’ve seen it before in the past where fans of different clubs have been cock-a-hoop because they have brought in 15 new boys only for most of them to flop.

I can’t see that happening here, but if we are honest, not many of us had heard of some of the new additions until a few weeks ago so there is a bit of ‘unknown’ about some of them. However, no doubt Cook and his background staff know them inside out and that is all that matters.

MORE

Chesterfield are not done yet in the transfer market.

We will obviously see another goalkeeper come in, whether that is as a number one or back-up to Scott Loach remains to be seen.

Just my opinion, but I think they still need an experienced right-sided centre-back to play alongside Grimes, someone with a bit of EFL know-how, a leader.

Other than that, unless they lose someone like Kabongo Tshimanga or a special player suddenly becomes available on loan, then that will probably be it.