"WITH ANY SIGNING THERE'S ALWAYS A RISK": EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CHESTERFIELD'S CHIEF SCOUT
Along with obvious changes to the backroom staff and management staff at Chesterfield FC they also brought in new scout Paul Lemon earlier on in the season. Paul, who is now chief scout at Chesterfield, has had spells at Scunthorpe, Huddersfield, Wigan, and Sheffield United.
Paul has had a huge role in Chesterfield’s change in fortune of late and his scouting on new recruits has clearly paid off as The Blues now find themselves in a promotion battle despite being third from bottom when new manager James Rowe arrived nine games into the season.
I had a chance to chat with Paul about all things Chesterfield and scouting.
I asked Paul how he has settled in at the club since his arrival and the arrival of the new management team.
“Working with the new manager, James Rowe has been an absolute pleasure from day one, he makes everyone feel welcome and part of the team.
“It’s a really good place to work Chesterfield FC. Everyone treats each other with respect, there is laughter in the building and that is always a good ingredient in the workplace,” Paul added.
Since the arrival of the new gaffer, Chesterfield have added a lot of new players to their squad including some from divisions below and Rowe’s old team, Gloucester.
I questioned Paul on what the criteria for scouting is at the minute.
“I will always follow the remit of the manager and at this moment in time we are going down the route of proven rather than potential.
“However, we would never rule out a younger player if he was available and affordable.”
Paul mentioned what James Rowe likes in a player.
“James loves players with energy and who play on the front foot. They need to be very fit with a good solid technique behind them.
“He loves players who are honest even if they make mistakes, he will always forgive them if they’re honest.”
The high turnover of players at Chesterfield during the last couple of months has a direct correlation to their upturn in form. I asked Paul how satisfying it is to see new players he has scouted do well.
“Of course its very satisfying that any new players coming into the building are a success but a lot of the risk assessing needs to be done before he comes into the building to make sure we have our right man.
“However, even then it may not go to plan and with any signing there's always risk,” Paul said.
Football during the pandemic is obviously different and challenging to those involved. Paul has still been attending games and scouting when possible but what is it like being a football scout during a pandemic?
“Yes it’s certainly different than any 'normal' football season. Getting into games is very difficult if not near impossible at some clubs.
“The use of streaming and any video platform is very useful but not perfect as watching players live will always be the go-to preference.”
We look forward to seeing Paul uncover some more gems and we thank Paul for his time.