Chesterfield will head into the 2023/24 National League season with high expectations of winning the entire division, but today TheRealEFL’s Callum will take a look at four reasons why they will win the division.
The fixtures for the National League season are yet to be released but the club have already begun their summer transfer window by adding two very experienced new signings to the club’s side, as well as further young additions to the club.
Last season, we saw Wrexham and Notts County run away with the division, with both sides finishing over 20 points clear of Chesterfield in third place, but heading into next season, both of those sides are in the EFL, making the fifth tier much more open.
So far (including academy players) there have been over 90 new signings across the National League, but Chesterfield have only made four. However, those four have already increased the quality within Paul Cook’s side.
However, as stated above, every National League side (except Southend United and Oxford City) has added players to their sides, ahead of the 2023/24 National League season, further adding to the competitiveness of the division.
Chesterfield is unlikely to be the only side competing for the title, with the likes of Oldham Athletic, Eastleigh and Woking strengthening their sides, as well as several dark horses like Boreham Wood, Gateshead and Solihull Moors in the mix.
With that being said, let’s take a look at four reasons why I believe Paul Cook’s side will win the 2023/24 National League title…
A strong start to the window
At the time of writing, Chesterfield has made four signings, ahead of the new season. Beginning with the youth options, creative midfielder Bailey Hobson arrived from Alfreton Town as well as Everton goalkeeper Harry Tyrer who joined on a season-long loan. Similarly, Archie White, Sam Hooper, George Wilkinson and Alexander Duhameau have also penned their first professional contracts.
Among the more experienced additions, Wigan Athletic midfielder Tom Naylor joined the side on a three-year deal, fresh from making 36 appearances in the Championship last season. Former Northern Ireland international Will Grigg also arrived from MK Dons for an undisclosed fee for a player that was playing in the European Championships just seven years ago.
With the four additions, each player adds a unique element to the National League side, whilst also continuing to bolster the quality within the squad. Several other players including loan star Andrew Dallas have been linked with the club and would continue to bolster the options for next season.
A more open division
Last season, both Wrexham and Notts County walked away with the division, leaving sides like Chesterfield to fight for third place, which the Spireites won. However, heading into this season both sides are in the EFL, whilst clubs like Scunthorpe United and Yeovil Town will be playing sixth-tier football.
This divides a whole much more openly. Rochdale and Hartlepool have joined the league from the EFL, but need to strengthen in several areas before being considered as challengers next season. Taking a look at the rest of the division, Chesterfield is likely to be clear favourites to win the title and although that brings a unique amount of pressure, Paul Cook has the experience to be able to cope with those demands.
Following the opening of the summer transfer window, striker Kabongo Tshimanga has completed a permanent switch to League One side Peterborough United for an undisclosed fee. Similarly, the club have also moved on several players such as Tom Whelan and Ross Fitzsimons who have joined Boreham Wood and Scunthorpe United respectfully.
It is no secret that Chesterfield will have the biggest budget in the division but that doesn’t always guarantee success. The six-figure fee from Tshimanga (believed to be £300k) will make a significant boost to the club’s transfer budget, further allowing them to secure better players, before the new season begins.
Chesterfield has already managed to bring in two former Championship players and doesn’t appear to be slowing down their recruitment anytime soon, even despite having the likes of Armando Dobra, Ash Palmer and Ollie Banks.
Leading from the sidelines
As well as having several young stars, experience always goes a long way and that is something that Chesterfield has in several areas. In midfield, Mike Jones penned a new contract, helping to become a leader on the pitch but the bigger focus should be on the sidelines.
The club have recently confirmed the addition of former England international Kieron Dyer to the backroom staff, whilst having Paul Cook as the leading man. Cook has won the EFL League One title with Wigan Athletic as well as enjoying silverware with Irish side Sligo Rovers, even winning the double in 2010.
Cook is a huge name in English football and it has already helped to attract the likes of Tom Naylor and Will Grigg as players will be willing to drop down to the National League to play under the Englishman next season.
Do you think Chesterfield will win the National League title next season or do you think someone else will beat them in the race?