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FEATURE: Ten Years On - Where are they now?


Ten years ago, Derek Niven brought the curtains down on Saltergate's 139 year history with a 96th minute winner against Bournemouth in a 2-1 victory.


The side narrowly missed out on the play-offs, finishing two points behind eventual play-off winners Dagenham & Redbridge.


I take a look at what the starting 11 and manager John Sheridan have done since the final act at Saltergate was written.

 

JOHN SHERIDAN


We start at the top, with the manager for the game, John Sheridan. Having taken over from Lee Richardson just 12 months prior, Sheridan was preparing to end his first season in charge at Chesterfield.


Preparation then began on building a squad capable of fighting at the top of League Two, releasing 13 players before the season started and a further four in time for the January transfer window.


That same season, the Spireites had a 69% win ratio to take the League Two title. The following season, Chesterfield won the Johnstone's Paint Trophy which, to this day, are the only two championships Sheridan has won as a manager.


The Spireites were relegated and after a poor start to life in League Two, Sheridan left the club and was to remain unemployed until taking the job at Plymouth Argyle, this was the first time Sheridan had managed a club not in the north.


After two and a half years in charge, Sheridan left to move back up north and was only out of football for six months before being appointed as the replacement for Terry Butcher at Newport County.


Sheridan led Newport to survival before moving on to Oldham Athletic for the second time as a manager, this time until the end of the season. After surviving relegation with the Latics, Sheridan made the switch to Notts County.


After equalling a club record of nine successive defeats, Sheridan left the club and made a return, for the fifth time, back to Boundary Park where he would spend eight months in charge and finish with a win percentage of 30%.


In February 2018, Sheridan was hired at Fleetwood to replace Uwe Rosler until the end of the season, where he would then move north to Carlisle United. With Carlisle in the play-offs and enjoying a good spell of form, Sheridan resigned in January 2019, where he would return to the Spireites for the second time.


Little time was wasted and Scott Boden was signed to reunite with Sheridan and his goals helped inspire the Spireites to safety. Unfortunately this form couldn't have been continued into the following season and at a similar time to when the appointment was made, history repeated itself and Sheridan parted company with Chesterfield.


Since his second departure from the club, Sheridan has remained without a club, but has certainly had an eventful decade and built a reputation amongst many clubs in the football league.

 

TOMMY LEE


Next up the man in between the sticks, fan favourite Tommy Lee. After originally only signing a one year deal with the club, he impressed winning the Young Player of the Season award.

As well as that he picked up Fans Player of the Year two years in a row.


He helped the Spireites to two League Two titles, a Johnstone's Paint Trophy and a League One play-off push by 2015.


Unfortunately Lee was hampered by injuries and missed the entire 2016/17 season before making his comeback in Chesterfield's League Two relegation season the year after.


Shoulder issues plagued the goalkeeper again and Lee was forced to retire in November 2017 at the age of 31.


He was given a testimonial in July 2018 as Chesterfield faced Paul Cook's Wigan Athletic at the Proact Stadium. Lee was substituted after six minutes to a standing ovation and the game finished 1-1.


Since retiring from playing, the former Manchester United youth product joined Sheffield Wednesday academy as a goalkeeping coach in 2018. However, last week Lee moved to the red side of the Steel City to take up a similar role.

 

ROBERT PAGE


Page was released from the Spireites in March 2011 and he subsequently retired from football.


In July 2011, Micky Adams again offered Page a coaching role at League Two club Port Vale. He accepted and was given a role in the club's youth set-up. He was promoted to first team coach in May 2012, following the retirement of Geoff Horsfield.

On 22 September 2013, Page was put in temporary charge of first team affairs at Vale park after Micky Adams took the decision to take time off work to have hip replacement surgery.

He was promoted to the role of assistant manager in July 2014.


Page then had a spell as permanent manager of Vale, which lasted until 2016. He then had a spell as Northampton Town boss in May 2016. However, his rocky spell was ended after just eight months.


Since then, Page took up a coaching role at Nottingham Forest, before taking up the job as Wales under-21 side in March 2017. The former Spireites defender became assistant manager to Ryan Giggs for the Wales national team in August 2019.

 

KEVIN AUSTIN


After Austin departed Chesterfield, he joined Darlington who were in the Conference Premier at the time.


His stay was a short one though as he joined Boston United in the 2010/11 season before joining the Pilgrims permanently at the end of the season. He retired at the end of the next season.


Austin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2017 and tragically passed away on 23rd November 2018 following a battle with the disease at the age of 45.

 

IAN BRECKIN


After his second spell with the club and being club captain Breckin was released from Chesterfield at the end of the 2010–11 season and subsequently retired from football.


Upon retirement, he joined Wickersley Wanderers, a Rotherham-based children's football club, as head coach.

 

ANDY WHING


Loanee Whing went on to sign for Leyton Orient in another loan spell the season after. He impressed and signed on a permanent deal only after 5 games.


Upon the expiration of his one-year deal, Whing signed a two-year deal with Oxford United. He made over 100 appearances for the U's in his four years playing for the club.


The versatile defender stayed on with Oxford until 2017 as an under-18's coach. He left the Kassam Stadium to become an under-23's coach at Kidderminster Harries prior to linking up with Russell Slade to join Hereford as a coach.

 

DEREK NIVEN

Niven continued his seven year association with the club after his 96th minute winner closed out the 139 year history of Saltergate.


He stayed with Chesterfield until the end of the 2011/12 season in which he won two pieces of silverware. The last scorer at the Recreation Ground made just under 300 appearances for the Spireites.


After his release, the midfielder moved to Conference Premier side Grimsby Town. He was ever-present in the midfield as the Mariners lost in the play-off semi-finals and also at Wembley in the 2012/13 FA Trophy final.


Niven has since moved away from professional football originally joining Buxton in 2013 before making the move to Bakewell Town in 2016.

 

ISHMEL DEMONTAGNAC


Demontagnac was the second loan signing in the starting 11 after he joined from Blackpool in March 2010.


After returning to the seaside, he made one Premier League appearance in a 6-0 loss to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. He had a loan spell at Stockport County in the same season before his release at the end of the 2010/11 campaign.


The winger had spells at Notts County, Northampton Town and Thurrock following his release before retiring from the sport.

 

MARK ALOTT


Allott was part of the 2010–11 squad that won League Two and the squad that won the Johnstone's Paint Trophy the season after and served the club until November 2012 when his contract was cancelled by manager Paul Cook.


On 4th January 2013 he signed for Conference Premier club Hyde. He announced his retirement after just five games for the team, due to injuries and illness problems.

 

BARRY CONLON


After making his loan move permanent Conlon was one of 12 players to be released from the club at the end of the 2009/10 season.


Conlon signed for fellow League Two side Stockport County in July 2010 following a trial. After admitting to a drink-driving charge, the Hatters cancelled his contract in December of the same year.


Ever the journeyman, the Irish striker continued to move around up until he retired in 2013. Teams he played for included ROC de Charleroi-Marchienne, Dundalk and Carrick Rovers.

 

JACK LESTER


Lester played 197 games and scored 85 goals for Chesterfield making him a club legend.


Like Lee, Allott and Niven, Lester also won the League Two Title and the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in the following seasons, playing a starring role.

In his final season for Chesterfield, 2012–13, Lester played the majority of his games from the substitutes bench. He made only 11 starts despite figuring in 38 games in all competitions.


In August 2013, Chesterfield announced that the number worn by Lester throughout his time with the club, 14, would be retired in his honour.


On 3 February 2014, Lester came out of retirement, signing for Conference Premier side Gateshead on non-contract terms. The Heed made the Conference play-off final but Lester's goal was not enough to overcome Cambridge United at Wembley.


'Sir Jack' as he was affectionately known as in Derbyshire returned to the club in a managerial role in September 2017. He was not able to save the Spireites from relegation to the national League and left by mutual consent in April 2018.


Since leaving the Proact Stadium, Lester joined ex-club Sheffield United as Head of Youth Development.

 

DREW TALBOT


Talbot stayed with the club until 2016, winning two League Two titles and a Johnstone's Paint Trophy and becoming a club legend in the process.


He joined Portsmouth in June 2016 on a two-year deal that reunited the versatile full-back with manager Paul Cook.


Talbot found games hard to come by on the south coast, rejoining the Spireites on a free in January 2018.


The former Sheffield Wednesday youth player couldn't stop Chesterfield from slipping into the national League. Injuries once more plagued Talbot's playing time and he announced his retirement in July 2019 after making just shy of 300 appearances for the club.

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