Robbie Weir on why he stayed this summer, why Chesterfield have struggled and how he's welcomed a (very) distant relative to the Proact

John Sheridan's backing was the biggest factor in Robbie Weir's decision to stay put at the Proact this summer.

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 6:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th July 2019, 7:30 pm
Robbie Weir has explained why he stayed this summer (Pic: Tina Jenner)

The Chesterfield manager wanted Weir to be part of his plans for the 2019/20 National League promotion bid.

After a rocky two years as a Spireite, Weir might have sought pastures new.

Town were relegated from League Two in his first season, after which he appeared to be on his way out, before an unexpected turn of events saw him named as captain by Martin Allen.

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After Chesterfield got their first National League season off to a poor start, the captaincy was taken off him and by October Weir's name was on the transfer list.

He was back in the team in December, the month that saw Allen sacked.

And under Sheridan's management, from mid-January onwards, Weir was a regular starter, providing cover for the Town back line.

The Ulsterman insists the Proact has remained an enjoyable workplace, despite it all and Sheridan's desire to keep him around made it an easy decision to stay.

"It's a great place to be," he said.

"I've been here two years, obviously the first year we were relegated but it's a great club all round.

"Obviously the gaffer wanted me here and that was the biggest thing, that he wanted me to be part of his plans for next year.

"His plans are to get out of this league, so for him to want me to be part of it is a massive plus for me."

The second half of last season was Weir's best spell as a Spireite, so far.

Sheridan masterminded an escape from relegation trouble and Chesterfield actually put together title-winning form, over a 15-game period.

That gives Weir hope for the new campaign.

"The run we were on after the gaffer came in was very impressive, it was probably promotion form.

"You ask any footballer or fan, it's when you're winning games that you're most enjoying it.

"We won a lot of games and picked up a lot of points and hopefully we can carry that on.

"The gaffer is very experienced and I've no doubt it will be an enjoyable season."

The arrival of Sheridan and his assistant Glynn Snodin, the tweaks they made to the team and the few signings they made clearly turned things around for Chesterfield after a miserable few years.

Weir can't quite believe how bad things had got before the upturn in fortunes and struggles to explain exactly why the club has had it so rough.

What he can say, however, is that the only way is up.

"We've had a lot of managers, the chopping and changing of the team every other week, players not performing," he said.

"The gaffer came in, didn't really change too much about the team but gave us some basic guidelines of what he wanted us to do, the way he wanted us to play.

"I think a bit more structure was the biggest improvement.

"In the last couple of years it's just crazy what's happened to the club, a club like Chesterfield.

"We're there for a reason.

"I can't tell you the answer, I don't think anyone can give you the answer as to why we're there.

"But it's a massive club that shouldn't be where it is.

"The aim for the gaffer, his staff and the squad is to get us out of this league."

The Town squad has been boosted by some new faces this summer as Sheridan plots that return to the Football League.

For Weir, one of the new boys is very familiar, not just as a former Northern Ireland Under 21 and Tranmere team-mate, but a relative of sorts.

"They're all good lads, they look very good," he said of the new recruits.

"We had a meeting and the gaffer was saying they're all good lads who want the same thing as everyone else, to get out of this league.

"I've known (David) Buchanan for a long time.

"Funnily enough his wife, her brother is married to my cousin.

"I was at Tranmere with him, he's a good lad and a top, top professional.

"He looks after himself, gives absolutely everything, wears his heart on his sleeve."

Weir, pinpointed last season by Sheridan as one of the only vocal leaders at the club, welcomes the addition of experienced players like Buchanan and Anthony Gerrard, who can help set the standards for the club's youngsters.

"That's obviously what the gaffer wants in and around the changing room, standards are a massive part of it.

"We're setting ourselves high standards.

"If we want to get out of this league there has to be high standards.

"There's leaders being brought in, to bring the young lads on, the likes of Joe Rowley and Charlie Wakefield.

"Hopefully they can give the benefit of the experience they've had to the young lads."