Defender vows to be a Spireites leader with or without armband

Ian Evatt captaining Town last season
Ian Evatt captaining Town last season
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Ian Evatt has vowed to help lead the 2017/18 Spireites, whether he wears the captain’s armband or not.

The centre-half is preparing for his fifth season in Chesterfield colours and admits he’d like to be the skipper once again.

But regardless of Gary Caldwell’s decision on who is the ‘official’ leader of his side, Evatt will be his usual vociferous self in the changing room.

When asked if he’d be sticking his hand up and offering his services when it came time to pick a captain he replied: “Of course.

“With or without the armband I will always be the same but it would be nice to captain this football club.

“I’m very proud to play for Chesterfield and to have captained the club and hopefully I can do that again this season.”

The 35-year-old picked up a host of Player of the Year awards in what was a disappointing 2016/17 campaign for the club.

But having roared back to form following an injury-hit start to the season, he ended it on the sidelines with a knee problem.

That personal set-back has been put firmly in the past, however, thanks to a relentless bid for fitness.

“I’ve not given myself a day off over the summer,” he said.

“I missed the last eight weeks of the season which was frustrating but I said to myself I was going to have a really good go at getting as fit as I possibly can be.

“I’ve trained all through the summer and hopefully now it’s going to pay off.”

Caldwell had his men in early this summer and his elongated pre-season schedule might have left a few summer holiday plans inconvenienced.

But Evatt has welcomed the Scot’s exhausting regime.

“It’s tough but we need it to be tough.

“I’ve said before we just weren’t fit enough last season, I don’t think we trained hard enough, pre-season wasn’t hard enough and I think it cost us in the end.

“This season we’re getting ourselves a lot fitter, we’re working a lot harder and it’s only going to pay off when the season starts.”

Chesterfield did indeed look a physically strong outfit when they took to the field in their pre-season opener last week.

But more important, for Evatt, is the strong bond they’ve formed already as a group.

“The new lads who have come in you can see the impact they’re going to make and the most important thing for me at the minute is that everyone has settled in really well,” he said.

“The changing room is in a really positive frame of mind.

“Hopefully we can get a few positive results in the next few weeks.”