The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Mar­ios Pa­paloizou

THE 2012 Johnstone’s Paint Tro­phy tri­umph was the only sil­ver lin­ing in an other­wise for­get­table sea­son for Ch­ester­field and keeper Tommy Lee.

Once the Cham­pagne had run dry the Spire­ites could not pre­vent rel­e­ga­tion from League One.

Fast for­ward to the present day and Lee is one of only three play­ers re­main­ing at the club from that match­day squad which beat Swin­don 2-0 at Wem­b­ley.

And the dif­fer­ence in mood be­tween then and now at the Proact Sta­dium could not be more con­trast­ing.

Ch­ester­field are cur­rently sit­ting com­fort­ably in the League Two au­to­matic pro­mo­tion places and se­cured their place in this year’s JPT fi­nal against League One Peter­bor­ough with a 3-2 ag­gre­gate win over Fleet­wood on Tues­day.

But as the Spire­ites look to re­claim the ti­tle they won at Wem­b­ley two years ago, Lee in­sists they are much bet­ter equipped to cope with the rigours of their league cam­paign this time round.

“Last time it was a case of ‘ev­ery cloud has a sil­ver lin­ing’,” said Lee. “This time it’s to­tally dif­fer­ent be­cause we’ve got the squad to han­dle it.

“We’re more than a match for any­one; we’ve got a good team and a good man­ager (Paul Cook).”

The emer­gence of young­sters like 22-year-old Ten­dayi Darikwa and new sign­ing Ol­lie Banks, 21, have added en­ergy to the ranks.

And Lee, who has made over 200 league ap­pear­ances for the club since join­ing from Mac­cles­field in 2008, be­lieves that will drive them on for the rest of the cam­paign.

“We strug­gled last time be­cause we didn’t have the squad to cope with the de­mands of League One and the JPT,” he added.

“But if you look at the squad we have as­sem­bled here you will see that we have some re­ally good play­ers sat on the bench.

“That’s a rare thing at this level and it’s some­thing that makes us con­fi­dent that we can win at Wem­b­ley and get pro­mo­tion.”

CON­FI­DENT: Tommy Lee

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