Chesterfield’s preparations for the start of the National League season gathered pace this week with the fixture list released on Wednesday revealing they will start the campaign away at Ebbsfleet United.

But the Spireites’ trip to Stonebridge Road will be right at the back of Laurence Maguire’s mind, after the defender was handed permission to head out to Russia to watch his brother Harry represent his country against Sweden in the World Cup quarter-finals this Saturday.

Laurence, who is the younger brother of the Leicester City centre-back, will be desperate to help Chesterfield make an immediate return to the Football League after relegation to the fourth tier of English football last season – but he will put those plans on hold after he ‘unfortunately picked up Russian ‘flu’, according to the club’s official website.

Chesterfield manager Martin Allen diagnosed Maguire with ‘Russian flu’ (Getty Images)

A short statement from Chesterfield manager Martin Allen on Thursday read: “Good morning. Laurence Maguire has unfortunately picked up Russian ‘flu, which is obviously quite disappointing.

“I’ve had a word with him this morning and told him that this afternoon he’s got to fly out to Russia to have some medical tests. He’s got to be back here for training on Monday.

“The bad news is the fact that he’s got Russian ‘flu. The good news is that he’s going to fly to Russia to see his brother play for England in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

“He’s absolutely thrilled and he’s sorted it out with his family that he’s going. It’s great for our club that one of our players is going to be watching England play. Take care, Martin.”

Chesterfield will be without Laurence for their opening pre-season friendly on Saturday when they face Sheffield FC.