Branston: Senior Spireites players need to be challenged

Chesterfield vs Doncaster Rovers - Tommy Lee and Sam Hird at full time - Pic By James Williamson
Chesterfield vs Doncaster Rovers - Tommy Lee and Sam Hird at full time - Pic By James Williamson
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Guy Branston says Chesterfield’s senior players need to be challenged by those coming into the Proact this summer.

The Spireites are out to create competition for places in all areas of the pitch.

For perhaps the first time in several seasons goalkeeper Tommy Lee will go into pre-season with a genuine fight on his hands for the number one spot.

Joe Anyon has arrived after his release by Scunthorpe United and has put on record his desire to play.

Fellow ex Glanford Park man Scott Wiseman and former Swindon Town defender Bradley Barry will provide natural competition for Paul McGinn on the right hand side of the defence.

Branston is pleased that senior players will be looking over their shoulders.

“I think the most important thing is for people to have competition,” he said.

“Any player who sits there and thinks someone is not behind or in front of them, gets a bit relaxed.

“It’s a positive thing for everyone that there’s solid competition.

“We’re going to have six or seven forwards, we’re going to have five or six centre-halves, it’s good for a squad.”

The arrival of two right-sided defenders shouldn’t mean bad news for McGinn, in the eyes of Chesterfield’s head of recruitment and development.

“Paul McGinn ended the season, scored against Sheffield United and did reasonably well for himself,” he said.

“I wouldn’t discard Paul McGinn.

“I think he’s got to challenge for his place now, which is healthy in the grand scheme of things.”

And the club having two goalkeepers fighting tooth and nail to get the nod from boss Gary Caldwell is another positive situation, Branston says.

“Tommy hasn’t been challenged.

“He’s one of the best keepers in League One when he’s fit and that’s where we’re at with him.

“If he comes back fit, Joe is going to be pushed.

“Joe went to the Championship and a move broke down, we’ve got a quality keeper here now challenging Tommy.

“Tommy will have his opportunity to show what he can do, physically and then game time, and then we’ll go from there.”

The idea for the new-look Spireites is that everyone is constantly working to get better, never settling for their previous standards.

“That’s how we need to be all the time so everyone wants to come in and work, all the time, push themselves and develop, whatever level they’re at in the team,” said Branston.

“Sam Hird and Evo (Ian Evatt) need to be challenged.

“Sam Hird is a really, really good player, so is Evo.

“But Evo needs to know there’s a young buck in the building who is going to take his position, or he’ll just be how he is.

“We need him challenged and he needs someone testing him because he needs to be in the dressing room educating these young lads to make them better players.”