Mr Reliable – O’Grady on leading the line and why he picked Town over League Two rivals

Chris O'Grady has penned a two-year deal at the Proact
Chris O'Grady has penned a two-year deal at the Proact
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Chris O’Grady is quite at home with the expectation that rests on his shoulders following his high profile move to Chesterfield.

The big frontman is stepping down two divisions having featured in the Championship last season and his two-year deal has made him the club’s record earner.

He admits there’s a responsibility that arises when you become the ‘main man’ of a club’s attack.

But the crown doesn’t appear to lay particularly heavily on the 6ft 2ins striker’s head – he’s ready to lead the line for Town.

“That’s what I do anyway, hopefully that’s second nature really,” he said.

“I pride myself on being reliable, working hard and leading the line.

“I’ve got to familiarise myself with the players, the level and adapt, bring my experience of playing at a slightly higher level.

“So if I can do as I’ve done before then hopefully we’ll have some success.”

Chesterfield have made no secret of the financial investment they’ve poured into the arrival of former Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley man O’Grady.

There were other aspects of the deal that helped bring him to the Proact, however, including the timing of boss Gary Caldwell’s first call to the striker and the desire to play closer to his family home in Nottingham.

“It was the first call I’d had in the summer and it came at a time when I wasn’t feeling great and just wanted to switch off from football,” he said.

“It was vitally important (to feel wanted).

“Without that it’s basically going into the unknown, which I’ve had a few times in the past couple of years, where possibly an agent gives you an opportunity or shows you some interest.

“But unless it’s personal, which this definitely was, then you’re going into the unknown.

“It was important to me at this stage of my career, the age I’m at, to find the right club so I could say to the family I’m going here, I’m happy with this and we’re looking to stick around.”

O’Grady did his homework before signing on the dotted line.

He spoke to fellow new recruit Scott Wiseman about the potential move to Chesterfield.

“(Scott and I) were together at Rochdale, a similar sized, family club so he said it replicated the same sort of feel.

“If we can get the same sort of results then we’ll be happy.”

And another part of his due diligence was to hold the Spireites up against their League Two rivals – some of whom were also chasing his signature.

“You compare them,” he said.

“Especially if there’s interest from other teams, you do your homework.

“You look at how equipped the side is already, what kind of signings are coming in, it shows the ambition and the intent.

“I’m pleased with my decision and just want to get started.”

One would presume a plethora of options would be a welcome and flattering situation for a player, the right kind of headache to have.

But O’Grady was keen to sort out his future and, luckily for the Spireites, Caldwell made a big enough impression to keep Chesterfield’s offer at the forefront of the forward’s mind.

“There were offers in League Two and League One, up to a point where I said I’m not really interested in any more offers, I just wanted to get this done.

“If you do get too many offers it confuses things.

“I was pretty much decided from very early on, from the call from Gary, where I wanted to go.

“If you get too many more offers it makes the process a little more difficult, you’re listening to other mangers say different things just for the sake of it almost, because I was pretty much decided.”