COLUMN: Stats say Spireites haven’t lost too much experience but rebuild needs strong finish

Scott Wiseman
Scott Wiseman

All eyes are on Gary Caldwell to see if he can finish his summer rebuild as strongly as it began.

If the Chesterfield manager can capture the imagination with his final signings, it could go some way to turning a tide of cynicism into a wave of cautious optimism.

As it stands, some remain unconvinced and unmoved by the club’s ‘come back stronger’ campaign.

You’re never going to please all of the people all of the time, especially with a recent history like Chesterfield’s.

But plenty of Spireites are pleased with the look of Caldwell’s first seven signings.

The word ‘inexperience’ has been bandied about and when questioned on the subject last week, Caldwell bristled a little.

A look at the CVs of the dozen players who have departed since the final day of last season and the seven who have arrived shows that Chesterfield haven’t lost an overwhelming amount of experience – which is fortunate given the fact that they couldn’t really afford to.

Discounting Liam Graham, who appears to be on trial again at the Proact, the 12 other departures took the combined experience of 1,810 EFL games with them.

But Ritchie Humphreys boasted 650 of those and if you take him out of the equation, the players who left had an average of 105 Football League appearances.

The new boys have an average of 102 under their belt.

Admittedly, seasoned professionals Scott Wiseman and Joe Anyon bolster that total.

But Gozie Ugwu has played 79 times in Leagues One and Two, Jerome Binnom-Williams 59 and Brad Barry 58.

They might be wet-behind-the ears when compared with the likes of Jay O’Shea, but they’re not exactly green.

That can only be said of teenager Delial Brewster.

There’s plenty of promise among the seven, but it can’t be denied that the majority of Spireites want the next three or four additions to contain some older, wiser heads.

At least one of them has to know how to put the ball in the net at this level.

No signing is a guaranteed success – Chesterfield’s last couple of squads have contained a few cautionary tales, players who were expected to produce much and delivered little.

But as Sam Hird alludes to in the DT this week, experience brings reassurance.

Reassurance breeds expectation and expectation puts bums on seats.

Plenty of reasons to ensure these next few signings tick the been-there-done-it box.