Martin Allen gearing up for Chesterfield’s National League charge

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Regardless of whether you’re a Chesterfield fan or not, chances are you’ve been keeping up with the Spirites transfer business this summer.

The Derbyshire club haven’t made any particularly outlandish signings. Yet the club has hit the headlines thanks to enigmatic manager Martin Allen and his penchant for writing press releases.

Mad Dog has taken it upon himself to inform fans of each of his new arrivals.

And with seven fresh faces through the door at the Proact Stadium, it’s been a busy couple of months as the club prepares for its first campaign outside the Football League since 1920.

Midfielder Curtis Weston is the most eye-catching of the group. The tricky winger has bundles of experience (and pace) and knows Allen after working with him at Barnet.

Veteran centre-half Michael Nelson has also made the move from the Hive.

The 38-year-old is a seasoned campaigner and can be to Chesterfield what Steve McNulty was to Tranmere Rovers at this level.

Add in dynamic box-to-box midfielder Sam Wedgbury and Shwan Jalal, a title winner last season with Macclesfield Town, and Allen already has the makings of a promotion winning side.

Even more importantly, the Spireites have retained the services of last season’s youthful core.

Sam Bird, Giles Coke and Kristian Dennis have all left. But Bradley Barry (23), Jerome Binnom-Williams (23), Laurence Maguire (21) all remain.

The defensive trio are still raw and will learn off the experience of Nelson and 26-year-old Will Evans, who joins from Aldershot Town.

Zavon Hines has also been retained after initially joining the club from Maidstone United in January. He unlocked countless National League defences during his last stint at this level.

His pace, trickery and quick-footedness will once again be a vital component in Chesterfield’s attacking play.

So too will the recent addition of 24-year-old striker Lee Shaw from Grantham Town.

The former factory worker joined the club earlier this week after bagging 33 goals in the Northern Premier League last season.

He gives the Spireites a much-needed focal point up top and will help share the load on ex-Woking man Gozie Ugwu.

Tenacious attacking play has always been a big feature of Allen’s most successful sides.

Chesterfield fans can expect more of the same as Mad Dog tries to bring some enjoyment back to the Proact this season.

Our traders think it could be an enjoyable season for the Derbyshire club too. They’ve priced Allen’s men up at 7/1 to win the league and 3/1 to gain promotion.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket, speedway and horse racing.