As he prepares to reach a milestone in his career, Laurence Maguire can reflect on eight years spent with the Spireites.
Laurence joined the academy in 2012 and signed his first professional contract three years later, making him the longest-serving player at the club.
Commenting on what his longevity means to him, he said: “It’s a proud thing for me to be the longest-serving player. I’m from Sheffield but I’ve spent a lot of time in Chesterfield after going to school in the town.
“For each manager to keep their faith in me is really positive. Paul Cook gave me my first professional contract and I learned a lot from him. I’ve gone through a few more managers since then and they have all helped me along the way.”
The 23-year-old, who returned from a two-month lay-off due to illness last month, is now just three games away from making his 100th appearance for the Spireites. “That will be a proud moment for me and hopefully it will come sooner rather than later,” he admitted.
James Rowe is the ninth permanent Chesterfield manager Laurence has played under and he is delighted to see the club now on an upward turn under the new boss.
“It’s been a tough time for the club and the community as well but since the gaffer has come in, he’s added energy and different ideas,” said Laurence.
“When he first came in, he wanted us to get off to a great start and that’s what we’ve done, winning four of the five games under the new gaffer and drawing the other one. It’s only just the start and hopefully we can push on and get to where we want to be.”
Laurence also acknowledges the role played by assistant-manager George Foster, saying: “We’ve kept four clean sheets in the five games so there’s obviously something he’s done which has helped up.
“When he first came in, he wanted the clean sheet mentality within the defenders. He has meetings with us to talk about what we’re doing well and what we’re not doing right.
“It’s important that we’re switched on at the back and that’s what I feel we’ve done really well at the start of the new gaffer’s reign.”
Following an enforced festive lay-off due to positive Covid tests within the first-team set-up, Laurence is looking forward to returning to action at the weekend.
“It’s been a weird one because you don’t get much time off at Christmas,” he added. “With what has happened, the main thing is the health of the players and the staff.
“We needed that break and now we’re refreshed and ready to go. It’s a big second half of the season and hopefully we can push on and see how high we can finish.”