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Caldwell: "We want to make a statement."

21 June 2017

Chesterfield manager, Gary Caldwell, is very happy that the Spireites first match of the season will be taking place at the Proact.

The Spireites will face Grimsby Town on Saturday, August 5 (3pm), in what will be the curtain raiser for the 2017/18 campaign.

And Caldwell is urging the Spireites faithful to come out in numbers for the clash with the Mariners.

Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Caldwell said: “As manager and players we have to play everyone twice over the course of the season, so no matter how it comes up we’ll take it.

“It’s always nice to have the first game at home for the fans to come out and it’s nice to have the games at home over Christmas, so all in all we’re pretty happy.

“We want there to be a big crowd and we want to make a statement in front of our own fans. It’s great for them to come out and get behind the team from day one, in what’s a very important season for the club.”

Caldwell be forgiven into thinking ahead and identifying crucial parts of the season, but while the announcement of the fixtures brings excitement, the focus at the moment is getting the players ready to go for the new campaign as well as the upcoming friendlies.

“It’s very early days in terms of pre-season so we’re still getting to know the new players and they’re getting to know the new team mates and we’re gradually building the players fitness up,” said Caldwell.

“It’s a gradual process throughout seven weeks of pre-season, to get ready for not only the first game but the for the season as a whole and maintain and develop that fitness over the course of the season.”

The first-team squad returned to training on Monday and the manager has been impressed with the level of effort shown by the whole squad.

The Scot commented: “Their attitude has been first class and their fitness levels have been good.

“We have to now build their bodies up so there are no injuries and gradually build them up ready to play games against the opposition we have, with the first game being in less than two-week’s time.”

The Spireites first pre-season friendly match will see them come up against Sheffield FC at the Coach and Horses Ground on Tuesday, July 4 (7.30pm), while they will also take on Matlock Town and Buxton during the same week.

Following those matches, the Spireites will then head to Spain for a training camp where they will play two matches against opponents who are yet to be confirmed.

Once they return to the UK they face three home fixtures against Sheffield United (July, 18), Rotherham United (July, 25) and Doncaster Rovers (July 29).

Caldwell is happy with the matches that have been lined up and he believes that they’ll be more than beneficial to the squad.

He added: “I feel that it’s important to have so many pre-season games.

“We will give the players game time based on what they’ve done so they won’t play 90 minutes straight away, they’ll play 35-45 minutes and build up their game time.

“It’s important that we start to develop understanding within the units of the team, partnerships in the team and those games will be very important to do that.”


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