We continue our summer feature looking at the teams we’ll come up against in League Two next term.
Our next in the line of summer features looking at next season’s opposition takes us to Derbyshire as we throw the spotlight on Chesterfield.
Who’s in charge?
Paul Cook left his position as boss at Accrington Stanley to take up the challenge at Chesterfield and succeed John Sheridan in the hotseat in October 2012.
The Liverpool-born boss had cut his teeth at management level with Conference outfit Southport and then Irish side Sligo Rovers.
A central midfielder during his playing days, Cook is perhaps best remembered for lengthy spells at Wolves (1989-1994) and Burnley (1999-2003) after making a breakthrough at Wigan Athletic.
He played well over 600 Football League games and has taken that vast experience in to his management where he produced good results at Accrington and is proving popular at Chesterfield.
Where do they play?
The Proact Stadium (originally known as The B2Net Stadium) was opened at the start of the 2010/11 season after being built at a cost of £13million.
With a capacity of 10,500, it replaced Saltergate (sometimes refereed to as The Recreation Ground) which had been Chesterfield’s home for the previous 139 years.
Where did they finish last term?
Chesterfield finished just two points outside the play-offs in 8th position last term though a late run almost saw them force their way in to the top seven of League Two.
What’s their story?
Chesterfield have been listed among the favourites for promotion from League Two next term after finishing the 2012/13 campaign in encouraging fashion.
Boss Paul Cook has been allowed to overhaul his backroom staff and has brought in Leam Richardson as his assistant, Kevin Lynch as First Team and Development Coach, Gerry Carr as Academy Director and Mark Smith as Youth Team Coach.
He’s been backed staunchly by Chief Executive Chris Turner who will be hoping the free rein he’s given the boss will help them return to League One at the second time of asking next season.
The Spireites were among the founder members of the Football League in 1921 and have remained in the League since then, playing twice in the second tier in the 1930s.
As well as various promotions, Chesterfield’s most high-profile successes in recent times came in the FA Cup when they remarkably reached the semi-finals in 1997 only to be controversially knocked out by Middlesbrough.
When did we last meet?
Pools fans will need little reminding of the last time the two sides met – a horrendous afternoon in November last year which saw Pools thrashed 6-1 in the FA Cup at The Proact Stadium.
Prior to that the teams shared a division in 2011/12 when Pools won 3-2 on their first visit to The Spireites new home, while they gained revenge with a 2-1 win at The Vic later in the campaing though it wasn’t enough to save them from relegation.
What are the connections?
There are many playing links between Pools and the Spireites; most recently Peter Hartley had a short stay on loan while he was still on Sunderland's books.
Strikers Bob Newton, Tony Lormor (recently appointed Chesterfield Kit Man), Simon Grayson, Steve Fletcher and Keith Houchen all had spells at Saltergate, while ex-manager Danny Wilson played 100 times for Chesterfield in the early 1980s.
Another future manager, Neil Warnock, began his career at the Derbyshire club before joining Pools via Rotherham. Other Poolies/Spireites include Bill Green, Sean McAuley, Chris Perkins, Bobby Lumley and Dennis Wann.
The list of people with the most appearances against Chesterfield is dominated by the great side of the mid-1950s. Watty Moore tops the list with 16, followed by his former teammates Kenny Johnson (15), Thompson (14), Tommy McGuigan, Jackie Newton (13 each) and Frank Stamper (10). Ritchie Humphreys (9) has the most appearances of any player from recent years.
Johnson's four goals make him the joint leading scorer against The Spireites, though he is in illustrious company. Eric Wildon, Ernie Phythian, Joe Allon and Paul Baker also managed four goals against Chesterfield as part of their impressive career hauls. 1920s player Tot Parkinson also has four to his name, as does Antony Sweeney, who will top the list on his own if he manages another this season.
When do we play them?
Fixtures for the 2013/14 season are to be released on the morning of Wednesday 19th June.