Hello again Spireites. Well, let’s kick off with a little dé jà vu. Last month I started with the old saying “football is a funny old game” and it certainly still is!
I had already written this article before we played (and lost) at home to Bromley. The game before this was a goal-less draw against Boreham Wood. But now, well since last night in fact, we lost again at home against FC Halifax Town…and this got me thinking.
Comparing the last 5/6 years to now is easy. The club is better in many ways than it was under the previous owners/management. If you’re a Chesterfield fan, the difference is as obvious as the sun in the sky. But for the non footy readers flicking through this magazine, who have decided to stop and read this (as the photography clearly is very eye catching ) let me summarise.
The club is now owned by the Chesterfield FC Community Trust and run by fans of the club who see the future of this great club as long term and not just as a short-term money investment.
The key word here is “investment”.
Back in August 2020 the new era of the club began and with it came some risk. It was the first club to be owned by a Trust in football. The club needed to account for every penny and invest their limited funds wisely. So, three months later the club announced our new manager James Rowe (37) a pretty much unknown manager with limited first team experience, recruited from the league below us.
Fast forward five months and we are in the play offs. We have a new work ethic and more importantly, the board back James to bring around change and a brighter future. To date since November there has been around 17 new signings. This is also thanks to the new chief scout, Paul Lemon, also recruited by the Trust to bring in the players of the future.
So, back to the present climate of the Technique Stadium.
Like any manager in any new club the boss needs time to settle in to adjust and find his feet which does involve results not going our way. James to be fair seems like a top manager and from what I hear from staff at the ground he is also a top bloke too. I haven’t heard a bad word about him. Before each game James can be seen watching the squad warm up on the pitch. He also waits on the pitch to fist bump the players as they leave the field, whether we win or lose. This to me shows the man's character. They're all in this together, as a team, as a unit and I for one like that. On social media (since last night's loss) CFC fans continue to have their opinion about his team selections, tactics and formations and that is every football fan’s right. It would be boring if everybody agreed.
So, my point.
Be thankful for where we are now. Sat pitch side photographing the Spireites and James it is clear the team and the boss are passionate about getting back to League 2. But after last nights result, the second home defeat in a “Rowe” (sorry, pardon the pun) we need to restock and look at where we currently sit in the National League which is 7th, in the play offs! I for one didn’t expect to be in this position six months ago. If we get promoted through it then that’s bonus!
No, next season will be our year. The fans will be back, and we will surely be favourites to win the league outright. Given how the current climate of football is at the moment with the European Super League shambles, winning and earning promotion back to League 2 will be worth it! That’s what real football is all about in my book!
Words & images: Michael South