A look at the departing players (part two)

Following the conclusion of the very successful 2023/24 campaign, which saw the club secure promotion back to the Football League, the Spireites have announced their retained list.

We take a look at the players who will be departing the SMH Group Stadium when their contracts expire…

Jeff King

Signing from fellow National League side FC Halifax Town back in 2021, King very quickly became an integral part of the squad with his attacking prowess from full-back. Despite the first season ending in disappointment, he produced a memorable moment with a goal against Halifax in the play-off eliminator.

King’s second season produced more in the way of attacking output with eight goals by the FA Cup third round fixture against West Bromwich Albion. Once again, the Liverpool-born player was a big part of the squad that reached the play-off final.

This season has seen a little less game time for the 28-year-old with 19 league appearances. However, King achieved his goal of being part of the team that returned Chesterfield to the Football League.

Appearances: 103

Goals: 14

Laurence Maguire

Chesterfield’s longest-serving player will leave the club after over a decade with the Blues. He signed his first professional contract in July 2015 back in League One. As a young defender, Maguire would make sporadic appearances in the first few seasons.

A month-long loan spell at National League side AFC Fylde in 2017 allowed him to gain some more first-team experience. Following relegation to the fifth tier in 2018, Maguire became a regular in the side as the Spireites looked to win promotion back to the EFL.

He made 19 appearances in all competitions in the 2022/23 season with his final game coming at Wembley Stadium in the play-off final defeat against Notts County last May. Maguire secured a loan spell to Crawley Town in August and has played 37 times for a side that could still get promoted to League One via the play-offs.

Appearances: 173 (1)

Goals: 9

George Wilkinson

One of the quartet of academy players to sign a professional contract, Wilkinson impressed at Coalville Town on loan during the 2022/23 season. This came after he scored his first Chesterfield goal during the 3-1 defeat to Coalville in the FA Trophy in December 2022.

The young defender went out on loan to Derbyshire neighbours Matlock Town for this campaign. Wilkinson won the 2023/24 Matlock Town Young Player of the Season award.

Appearances: 1

Goals: 1

Archie White

White was also in the quartet of academy players that signed a professional contract last summer. He scored the ninth goal of the Spireites’ 9-0 victory over Matlock Town in pre-season.

White also had a spell on loan at Matlock last season but struggled this campaign with injuries.

Appearances: 0

Goals: 0

We also say goodbye to two players returning to their parent clubs following a season-long loan spell at the SMH Group Stadium…

Miguel Freckleton

Miguel Freckleton became Chesterfield’s last singing to date when he joined on loan from Premier League Sheffield United. Primarily plying his trade at centre-back, the young defender was initially deployed as a left-back – a role that he impressed in.

The 20-year-old spent a chunk of the season out with an injury that he picked up in the defeat to Watford in the FA Cup. Freckleton played a part in some important victories against the likes of FC Halifax Town, Kidderrminster Harriers and Solihull Moors.

Appearances: 21

Goals: 0

Harry Tyrer

Tyrer kept 18 clean sheets for Chester in the National League North in the 2022/23 season. Everton, his parent club, decided to keep the progression going and loan him to Chesterfield in June.

The goalkeeper almost immediately became a fans’ favourite – saving a penalty against Derby County during pre-season. Impressive performances continued throughout the season, only missing four league games.

Alongside being an integral part of the National League winning side, Tyrer kept 12 clean sheets and saved penalties in back-to-back games in March.

Appearances: 43

Clean Sheets: 12