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Match Previews

League 1 Preview: Chesterfield

20 October 2015

We continue our look at next season's opponents by previewing Chesterfield.

We continue our look at the opponents the Blues will face this season by heading to Derbyshire, to take a browse at Chesterfield.

Who are this lot then?
Chesterfield Football Club reached the Sky Bet League 1 play-offs last season in their first campaign back in the division following promotion from League 2 in 2013. They surprised a few with their results and lost former manager Paul Cook to Portsmouth at the end of the campaign, appointing Dean Saunders as his replacement.

Did they get up to much last season?
A finish in the play-offs was somewhat unexpected for the Spireites in their first season back in Sky Bet League 1, with the Derbyshire side eventually suffering play-off heartache against Preston North End in the two-legged semi-finals. Striker Eoin Doyle was the top scorer in England during his time with the Spireites and scored 25 goals in all competitions last season before moving to Cardiff City in January.

Who's the boss?
Dean Saunders (below) took over at Chesterfield fairly recently, after coming to the end of his short-term contract as interim manager at Crawley Town. Saunders was formerly with the likes of Wrexham, Doncaster Rovers and Wolves before pitching up at Crawley following a spell out of management. Born in Swansea, Saunders started out at his hometown club as a striker and went on to play for the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion, Oxford United and Derby County before getting a great move to Liverpool. He spent a season with the Reds and went on to represent Aston Villa, Galatasaray, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Benfica and Bradford City.

Any stand out players?

Jay O'Shea is a player capable of scoring goals and creating them from midfield and will be a key player for Dean Saunders' side this season, especially considering the loss of the influential Gary Roberts to Portsmouth.

O'Shea has been with the club for a number of years now and has previously represented the likes of Birmingham City, Stevenage and MK Dons amongst others.

Any links?
Kevan Hurst was born in and played for Chesterfield before making the move to Southend United, spending three separate loan spells with the Spireites between 2005 and 2007. Jamal Campbell-Ryce is another former Chesterfield and Southend man, as is Leon Clarke and Franck Moussa – who appeared ten times for the club in 2012 on loan from Leicester City. 

What's the ground like?
The Proact Stadium is fairly new, with Chesterfield moving into their current home at the start of the 2010-11 season after departing their famous Saltergate home. 

How far away is the place?
A trek to Chesterfield is a 364-mile round trip for Blues fans leaving from Southend.

Any big name fans?
Famous goalkeepers Gordon Banks and Bob Wilson are believed to be Chesterfield supporters. Banks, of course, earned legendary status as an England 'keeper, whilst Wilson was an Arsenal stalwart and Scotland international, despite being born in Chesterfield. Tony Benn was also believed to be a Spireites supporter.

Good memories against them?
Southend United wins: 20
Draws: 14
Chesterfield wins: 22

Although Chesterfield shade the overall record between the two sides, the Blues have beaten the Spireites on the last two occasions; in League 2 and in the FA Cup.

The first meeting between the pair was way back in January 1939 in an FA Cup game. The game finished 1-1, went to a replay at Southend, with the Blues winning a pulsating match 4-3!

What are the odds on that?
Chesterfield are proved at 7/1 with Sky Bet to win promotion from League 1.

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