In the first of a new series, we profile our League Two opponents for the 2017/18 season, starting with Grimsby Town.
Where and when?
Grimsby travel to the Proact on the opening day of the season, Saturday, August 5, with the reverse fixture taking place at Blundell Park on Saturday, April 7,2018.
The Mariners have played their home games at Blundell Park since 1899; remarkably this has been their fourth home ground, previously playing at Clee Park, Lovett Street and Abbey Park.
Blundell Park’s capacity is 9,027; however there are plans underway for Grimsby to relocate to the Peaks Parkway area of the town.
The summer so far
Grimsby have made four summer signings so far this summer.
Experienced defender Nathan Clarke - who has signed on a one-year-deal - is expected to take over the captaincy, after former captain Craig Disley was released.
Winger, Sam Kelly and midfielder Mitch Rose have both agreed two-year deals, after joining from Port Vale and Newport County respectively.
Meanwhile, Nike academy youngster, Siriki Dembele has also joined the North Lincolnshire club, on an initial one-year deal.
Last season and 2017/18 expectations
The Mariners finished 14th in Sky Bet League Two last season, which was their first back in the EFL following relegation in 2010.
They are expected to finish in a similar position once again this season.
- To win League Two: 40/1
- To be relegated back to the National League: 15/2
Russell Slade was appointed Grimsby manager for the second time in April, after previously departing Blundell Park 11 years ago, following a two-year spell.
The vastly experienced 56-year-old has managed ten clubs during his managerial career including Yeovil Town, Brighton & Hove Albion, Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic and Coventry City.
Unlike most managers, Slade never had a professional football career; instead starting out as a PE teacher at Frank Wheldon School in Nottingham.
Players to watch
25-year-old striker, Adi Yussuf, came through the youth ranks at former Premier League champions Leicester City, though he failed to make a first team appearance for the Foxes.
Following a loan spell with Tamworth, Yussuf joined Burton Albion in 2011 where he scored twice in 31 appearances.
After signing for Lincoln City, Yussuf would go on to have loan spells with Gainsborough Trinity, Harrogate Town and Histon, before joining Oxford City, where he enjoyed his most productive spell to date with 29 goals in 37 games, his form earned him a move to Mansfield Town.
After failing to make an impact with the Stags, Yussuf spent the first half of the last campaign with Crawley Town before joining the Mariners on January 1, scoring on his debut versus Carlisle United a day later.
Yussuf is also a full international with Tanzania, with whom he made his debut in 2015.
Midfielder, Sean McAllister, started his career at Manchester United, before joining Sheffield Wednesday’s academy in 2003. He would go on to make 68 league appearances for the Owls between 2006 - 2010.
He signed a two-year contract with Shrewsbury Town in 2010, helping them to promotion into League One in 2012, before joining Port Vale before the start of the 2012/13 campaign.
The then Vale assistant, Mark Grew described McAllister as: "A good passer, with excellent vision and great energy.”
After a spell in Scotland with Cowdenbeath, the 29-year-old joined Scunthorpe United in 2013 where he would spend three seasons.
He joined the Grimsby last summer, though he only managed to play four games due to a reoccurring groin injury, an injury free season this time around could see McAllister make a big impact for the Mariners.
The last time
The sides last met seven years ago at Blundell Park, where they played out an entertaining 2-2 draw, with both the Spireites' goals coming from Jack Lester, as they recovered from a 2-0 deficit.
Chesterfield’s overall record with Grimsby is as follows.