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Cooking up a promotion recipe

24 June 2013

By Tony Leighton

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook will be aiming high in the forthcoming Football League 2 season after frustratingly missing out on reaching last term's Play-Offs by just one place and two points.

The former Accrington Stanley boss, who took over at Chesterfield in October last year, has been using the close season to ring the changes both on and off the pitch as he looks to strengthen the Spireites ahead of the new campaign.

Several players and backroom staff have left the Proact Stadium, while Cook has recruited four players to date - with more signings promised - and also brought in new support staff including his ex-Accrington assistant Leam Richardson.

"The people we've brought in so far will make us stronger all-round," Cook told football-league.co.uk, "and we haven't finished recruiting yet. We're trying our best to bring in quality players who can help us achieve our aims.

"We've got a fantastically well run club with great facilities and infrastructure, a tremendous supporter base and a ground that's worthy of not just top seven in League 2 but playing higher up The League as well.

"The table doesn't tell lies, though. People can say we only just missed out on the Play-Offs, but where we finished was a reflection on our season and we have to be better and more consistent to achieve what we want next season."

Cook's signings to date suggest that the Spireites can be better in 2012/13, three of the four having played in higher divisions last season including Irish striker Eoin Doyle who has arrived from Scottish Premier League club Hibernian.

Doyle's last Hibs outing was in May's Scottish FA Cup final against Celtic - his next will be in Chesterfield's League 2 season opener at Bury. That's some change, but persuading him to join Chesterfield was not a huge task for Cook.

The pair previously worked together when Cook managed League of Ireland club Sligo Rovers and the manager said: "I know all about Eoin's qualities and he knows how I work, and that will be valuable as he gets to know League 2."

Cook's other recruits are winger Gary Roberts, who last season helped Swindon Town reach the League 1 Play-Offs, midfielder Jimmy Ryan from Scunthorpe United and young goalkeeper Aaron Chapman from non-league Belper Town.

"We're still in the market for players," added Cook, "and we'll hopefully have the ones we want and everything else in place come the start of the season. I'm really looking forward to it and to improving on what we achieved last year."

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