Chesterfield finished 22nd in League 1 this season and got relegated and will therefore be playing in League 2 next year but they have still given their fans some joy this season.
The fans at least got to make the trip to Wembley and see their team lift a trophy which is a fantastic experience for all the fans and players even if the season didn’t go quite as well as hoped. During the season they beat Sheffield Wednesday at home 1-0 which must have given the fans a lot of pride as their rivals from Sheffield went on to win automatic promotion and in recent weeks they beat relegation rivals Wycombe Wanderers 4-0.
The question is can they bounce back from this relegation and return to League 1 at the first time of asking? Well if they stick by their manager John Sheridan which seems very likely, they will have a fantastic chance because he has proven he is a good manager and has more ability than League 2 level. The problem could be if a manager in League 1 gets sacked early on, they may want to give Sheridan the job.
So they have the manager but what about the team? In goal they have Tommy Lee who I rate quite highly because he has produced some stunning saves and will be vital to the squad next season if he stays because there is no doubt he will have teams looking at them as he is better than a lot of League 1 goalkeepers. The defence may need improving though because it wasn’t the greatest and conceded 81 goals throughout their league campaign. But Neal Trotman who was signed permanently in January after an initial loan spell should perform better in League 2 and could even become captain next season.
From the midfield they should get goals as Danny Whitaker has very good instincts and knows when to arrive late in the box. In his Chesterfield career he has scored 23 goals for the club including eight this season which is a good record for a midfielder. Alongside him in the midfield they have Mark Allott who does a lot of the work that goes unnoticed and he does a good job in front of the back four.
In the striking department they do have a good mix of youth and experience. They have Jordan Bowery who at just the age of just 20 has played over 100 games for the club but this has been his real breakthrough season. He has played 48 games this year and has scored 12 goals so if they can hold onto him, I believe he could finish as top scorer in League 2 next season and could interest a lot of clubs in the future and may even have the ability to play in the Premier League one day. Craig Westcarr alongside him up top also added 11 goals this season with eight of them coming in the league. His pace will cause a lot of teams problems and will be a massive threat next season.
The Chesterfield fans have a lot to look forward to next season if they can keep the squad together and this relegation experience may actually do them some good. The fans need to make sure they are right behind the manager and the players because they are a good team but underperformed this year and I personally think it was just a bad year and they will come back stronger.