New Chesterfield assistant manager/chief scout Graham Barrow, says that the chance to work with Gary Caldwell was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.
Barrow joined the club yesterday, once again linking up with Caldwell, with whom he worked with at Wigan Athletic and he admits his arrival may have happened a lot sooner.
Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Barrow said: “It feels great to be here, having finished with my last club in May and watching others going back into pre-season training I became a bit frustrated sitting at home, so I’m delighted to be here.
“Gary and I have had a player-coach relationship and then we had a manager–assistant relationship. I kept in touch with him last season when he came here and we met up a few times and he kept hinting at me coming here and it was only due to contractual reasons that I couldn’t get away.
“Eventually I left Wigan and it’s been ongoing since then and I’m delighted to be here.”
Barrow’s role at the club will involve assisting Caldwell on the training ground and in the stands on match days as well as helping out the club’s head of recruitment and development Guy Branston.
And Barrow is confident that his vast experience will help him and the club achieve success during the new season and beyond.
“My role at Wigan when I went back there with Roberto Martinez, was a general one,” he explained. “I helped with the U21s, the first team and recruitment, so I hope to bring my wide range of experience to the club and make a contribution.
“I’ll be working on the training pitch and doing a lot of observing as well, one thing Gary likes me to do on match days is to be up above watching and to be in touch with the bench, then at half time we’ll go down and have our discussion and go from there.
“He also wants me to help Guy Branston with recruitment which I’ve always done. There’s a lot more work for managers and coaches to do and I hope to help them with that.”
Barrow has been a keen observer of the Spireites during pre-season and believes that the squad put together by Caldwell possesses the required talent to challenge for promotion.
He added: “I can’t speak too much about last season, but I’ve been in a similar situation at Chester myself, sometimes you have to make sweeping changes.
“You can see over this pre-season that there’s been a steady improvement and there seems to be a happy balance of youth and experience which is one thing I like and looking at them, we’ve certainly got the firepower to upset teams and have experience at the back.
“The best thing that I did was attend the Sheffield United game, it was a good performance on the night and I got a good feeling about the place, walking outside onto the car park I overhead supporters talking about their excitement about the performance, so it’s all ready to take off!”