Spireites begin their pre-season games with a trip to Matlock Town on Thursday (7.45pm kick-off).
It will give new manager Dean Saunders the first opportunity to see his charges in a full-scale game and he’s indicated he’s hoping to see all of his players in action either at Causeway Lane or 24 hours later when they travel to Buxton.
New conditioning coach Mal Purchase has been working the players hard but smartly in a bid to get them fully fit for next months’ league opener at home to Barnsley using hi-tech monitoring equipment similar to that used by Real Madrid. Saunders has regularly said that his squad will be the fittest in the league this season.
Supporters will be hoping to see Sylvan Ebanks-Blake in action; he’s Saunders’ only signing to date as Spireites other new face, Rai Simons from Ilkeston, had been snapped up during Paul Cook’s tenure.
Ebanks-Blake, twice the Championship’s leading scorer, is key in Saunders’ plans and ensuring he’s fit and ready for the second Saturday in August is the staff’s aim. He was working with Purchase for a couple of weeks ahead of pre-season formally starting on 1st July as part of a plan to get him fully fit after injuries have limited his last two pre-season stints.
Matlock are currently managed by former Doncaster Rovers player Mark Hume who’s assistant, Scott Maxfield, also played for Rovers whilst former Miller Martin McIntosh is in charge at Buxton, a position he’s held for over three years.