Updated: Oct 21
No Pressure Then!
Welcome back Spireites, it's the start of the new football season and unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months, then you can't fail to have noticed the excitement building around the club again for the new campaign. Let me cut to the chase. Promotion, that's what we all want, plain and simple!
As we made it to the playoffs last season resulting from the massive turnaround by the new owners and manager, I'm hungry for more and you know what, I can see us getting it, I really can! This is James Rowe's first start to a Spireite season including the pre-season stage and he's not been messing about since close of play last season.
There have already been many changes at the club including a new assistant manager and a few new signings, including a couple of keepers. Fundamentally the club continues to give Rowe their full backing to lay down the tracks in shaping his master plan, to eventually start his first football league campaign in League 2. Given what James achieved last season in his first six months for us, imagine a full season with him at the helm. I feel a few bets have been placed among the fans for winning the league outright this time around and I can't blame them.
Let's recap on events since the final whistle at the Notts County game back in June, the play-off game that ended our 2020/21 season.
We start with the sad news that club legend Ernie Moss passed away in July. Ernie was given a proud CFC send-off in August. His coffin was driven around the ground on a final emotional lap, on route to his funeral service. Standing at the ground it was very moving for all us fans and staff saying goodbye to the greatest ever Chesterfield FC goal scorer. He won't be forgotten!
The Spireites played six friendly games of which they won 5, including away at their annual Matlock Town and Alfreton Town pre-season fixtures. Both at Matlock (where Ernie managed and won the Derbyshire Senior Cup with Matlock Town in 2004) and at the home game against Bradford there was a minute's remembrance/applause before the kick-off by the teams and the fans, to celebrate and pay tribute to Ernie. Chesterfields only defeat came against Ernie's old club Port Vale where the Spireites fell to a single goal at the Technique Stadium.
James has brought in many players, including another 2 goalkeepers (Scott Loach – from Barnet) (Melvin Minter – Harrogate Town) on free transfers. The talk of the town however has clearly been our new striker Tshimanga, signing on a 3-year deal. Who, with Danny Rowe and Asante to play alongside when he returns from injury, will be an unstoppable force! Tshimanga can only be described as a mouth-watering signing of epic proportions. A superb in form striker. He had already banged in 40 odd goals in 2 seasons for his previous club Boreham Woods, so he has some clout behind him and at just 24 years of age, there's more to come. Tshimanga started in the opening match of the league campaign against Aldershot Town and also got onto the score sheet after a penalty slotted home by Danny Rowe, which ended 2-0 to the blues. This took us to 5th in the table after the first game, with a clean sheet. And to be honest, with James Rowe in charge and the players clearly playing for him, I would be amazed if we dropped into the bottom half of the table this time around. This is why I believe CFC, after spending a good few seasons in it, are competing in their final season in the National League.
As Del Boy once said, “if you don't have a dream, then how you gonna have a dream come true?” Amen to that. Oh, and if you go to the games or listen on the club's new free online app “1866 Sport” to all live matchday commentary, there's only one thing to say...come on You Blues!
Text & Images: Michael South