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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2003
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JULY 2003

31 July 2003
NEW SIGNING?

Ian McCaldonIt’s being reported that goalkeeper Ian McCaldon is on the verge of siging for City. McCaldon has played pre-season for the Blues against Buckley Town, Cammell Laird, Droylsden and Connah’s Quay Nomads, and has impressed manager Mark Wright with his performances. McCaldon’s previous clubs include Livingston, St Mirren and Oxford United where he made 31 appearances, he also made 2 appearances on lone at the Deva last season.

It appears that City’s main striker Daryl Clare will miss the start of the season having to have to have an exploratory operation on a troublesome knee injury that has plagued the player for months.

Manager Mark Wright said: “We bought Daryl Clare for a lot of money because we knew he was going to score goals, and to have him out is a little bit disappointing. I can’t understand why he couldn’t have been looked at earlier or when last season ended, so that he would have been back for us. Perhaps Daryl thought the problem would have cleared up, but I’m disappointed about that. Thought did nothing for nobody, you’ve got to make sure, leave nothing to chance, and make sure everything is catered for. On this occasion the specialist and everyone else was wrong to think the problem would clear up. Now we’ve got to do something about it.”

With this in mind, and the injury also to striker Kevin Rapley, Dave Cameron will now be staying on at the Deva. Cameron was transfer listed at the end of last season and had appeared at one stage to be joining Tamworth. Meanwhile as one striker stays another may soon be departing. Youngster Danny Byrne, who has impressed with two goals in the pre-season friendlies, looks set to join League of Wales side Caernarfon Town on a 12 month loan.

Mark Quayle on loan for Chester for much of last season has signed for Scarborough today for a nominal fee. Quayle scored twice on his debut for The Seadogs in a 4-2 friendly win over Hull City on Tuesday.
28 July 2003
FOOTBALLERS FOOTBALL CHANNEL

TFFCFrom today supporters can view Nationwide Conference material with The Footballers Football Channel. Log on to www.tffc.tv for instructions and watch interviews with many of the managers who talk about their hopes and aspirations for the new season. During the next few days, additional interviews will be added as well as some pre-season friendly highlights.

From Saturday August 2nd, you will be able to subscribe for the full channel which starts on Monday August 11th where you will be able to see match highlights of the first two rounds of fixtures.

INJURED LIIST
City have several key players battling to be fit for the opening day of the season on 9 August. Phil Bolland, Scott Guyett, Kevin Rapley, Ian Foster, Michael Twiss and Daryl Clare are all currently out while Mark Beesley makes a return to the side against Droylsden tonight. Phil Bolland and Michael Twiss are expected to be back sometime this week while both Daryl Clare and Kevin Rapley are to see specialists this week before their return date in known. The major doubt is Scott Guyett who seems certian to miss the start of the season with a groin injury.
25 July 2003
SAM’S THE MAN
Former Margate defender Sam Sodje could be a target for manager Mark Wright. “When we played Margate away, he was outstanding. And we were impressed again with what he did tonight. He was very comfortable and did a lot of good things. He is big, athletic and strong. Sometimes he overdoes it a bit and I don’t like that, but I could get that out of him.” said Wright after the central defender put in an impressive display in City’s 2-0 win over ADO Den Haag on Wednesday night. Sodje is out of contract at Margate and is looking for a full time club to play with.

The Blues travel to Buckley Town tomorrow for the next of their pre-season friendlies, however manager Mark Wright may not be there, hinting this week that he may be away looking at a striker.

The game at Globe Way sees City player Danny Collins return to the club where he started out. “I enjoyed my football at Buckley in the Cymru Alliance League, but it was great to sign for Chester. I still chat with the lads at Buckley. I get on well with them and have a drink with them every now and then, and hopefully they’ll take it easy on me tomorrow!” said the defender.

CHESHIRE COUNTY FA UNIBOND SENIOR CUP
Cheshire County FACity have been draw away to either Congleton Town or Winsford United in the first round of this season’s competition with the game taking place in the week commencing 15 September.

The first round draw in full is: Witton Albion v Macclesfield Town, Vauxhall Motors v Cheadle Town or Alsager, Tranmere Rovers v Northwich Victoria, Altrincham v Stalybridge Celtic, Crewe Alexandra v Hyde United, Woodley Sports v Stockport County, Warrington Town v Nantwich Town, Congleton Town or Winsford United v Chester City.

The trophy was won last season by Crewe Alexandra who beat Northwich Victoria 2-1 in the final at Altrincham.

24 July 2003
BLUES VICTORY
City ran out 2-0 winners against an ADO Den Haag X1 last night in their second home pre-season friendly. Ben Davies, playing in a more forward role, scored both City’s goals, the second from the penalty spot, after he’d been tripped in the area. Manager Mark Wright used the game to try out two trialist’s; Mark Cowan (ex York City) and ex-Margate defender Sam Sodje who has a particularly good game.

Postscript: Den Haag’s final tour game against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Telford united was postponed following a water leak in the dressing rooms at Telford’s Bucks Head ground


23 July 2003
SUPPORTERS QUESTIONNAIRE
Supporter Survey Chester City Supporters Trust in conjunction with Chester City FC are conducting this survey to find out what existing (and potential!) supporters think about the club and what would make attending Chester City matches easier and more attractive. We would be grateful if you could spend just a few minutes completing it.

Every survey received by Tuesday 19th August will be entered into a prize draw with a first prize of £50 and several runners-up prizes of Chester City goodies.

Download the survey form (2 page PDF) here.

CITY GO DUTCH
Dutch Premier League side ADO Den Haag are City’s second european visitors in a week when they visit Deva Stadium for tonight’s pre-season friendly (kick-off 19:30hrs). Admission prices are the same as Saturday and are as follows: Seats: Adults £10.00, senior citizens £7.00, children £5.00. Terrace: Adults £8.00, senior citizens £5.00, children £3.00.

Chester’s european friendlies.

MATCH SWITCH
The home August Bank Holiday fixture against Shrewsbury Town has been put back 24 hours on police advice. The game will now be played on Tuesday 26 August, kick-off 19:45hrs.
22 July 2003
WIN FOR CITY
A goal by new signing Andy Harris just before half-time was enough to give City an unconvincing 1-0 win at West Cheshire League side Cammell Laird tonight. Trialist Robert Taylor limped off in the game with a hamstring injury that sadly looks to have ended his career. “I’ve had a rough two years trying to get fit and now I’ve reached the stage whereby I don’t want to do myself serious injury. I’ve made the decision (after this injury) and there will be no comebacks.”
19 July 2003
DEFEAT FOR BLUES
A goal in each half gave Danish visitors FC Nordsjaelland a 2-0 victory in the opening pre-season friendly at Deva Stadium. Manager Mark Wright gave trials to Jamie Heard from Hull City and Robert Taylor (ex-Gilingham and Manchester City). New signings Ian Foster, Kevin Rapley and Andy Harris all played for some of the match. “These games are all about fitness and getting the players right for the season, and it certainly went a long way to doing that. Chance for chance, I thought we outdid them. Their goalkeeper did extremely well but, when you consider he is in the Danish international squad, I suppose you can’t expect anything else.” said manager Mark Wright.

City send a team on Monday night to play Cammell Laird. The West Cheshire League side play at Kirklands, St Peters Road, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead. For directions to the ground follow this MultiMap link and simply zoom in and out as necessary.

HERE WE GO AGAIN
FC NordsjaellandInternational football comes to Chester today when the Blues begin their 2003/04 pre-season friendlies against Danish Premier League side FC Nordsjaelland at Deva Stadium (kick-off 15:00hrs). Manager Mark Wright is expected to play all three summer signings, Andy Harris, Ian Foster and Kevin Rapley sometime during the 90 minutes. Also turning out for City could be ex-Gillingham and Manchester City forward Robert Taylor. Taylor was a prolific scorer in his days at the Priestfield Stadium in 1998/99 but has struggled with injury in recent seasons and was released by Scunthorpe United in the summer.

Wright won’t be too concerned though about the final scoreline against quality opposition who have qualified for next season’s UEFA Cup. “The only thing I am looking for from the game is fitness. I am not bothered about the result, although I never like losing. I won’t be criticising the team whatever happens. The Danes are a very good team who like to keep the ball. We must remember they are a top team in Denmark, while we are playing our first game together with some new faces in the squad. Having said that, the players have trained extremely hard and they are very, very fit. It will be a good game and we are glad the temperatures have dropped.”

Admission prices for the game are reduced from normal Conference rates and are: Seats: Adults £10.00, senior citizens £7.00, children £5.00. Terrace: Adults £8.00, senior citizens £5.00, children £3.00.

17 July 2003
KEEPER TALKS
Ian McCaldonCity manager Mark Wright has held talks with Oxford United goalkeeper Ian McCaldon who was released by United in the summer. McCaldon is no stranger to City having played three games on loan at Deva Stadium last season while Wayne Brown was serving a suspension, away at Margate and at home to Gravesend and Plymouth Argyle (LDV).

Wright said: “We have had discussions with Ian and obviously I know his abilities from my time at Oxford. He is a big lad who commands his box. We only have one senior goalkeeper (Wayne Brown) on our books and we need a second keeper. At some point soon we will make a decision about another goalkeeper who will provide competition for the place”.

City aren’t the only club interested in the keeper though as Livingston, the side where McCauldon started his career, have also enquired about the shot stopper. “Ian has been very open with us and informed us of the interest from north of the border. All we can do is monitor the situation. We spoke to Ian earlier this week and are certainly interested, but basically it is now up to the player”. added Wright.


15 July 2003
RAPLEY SIGNS
City have, last night, completed the signing of Colchester United forward Kevin Rapley. Rapley is the third signing of the summer following the acquisition of Andy Harris and Ian Foster in recent weeks. “Kevin has a good pedigree and will be a great acquisition for us. We have now added three quality players to our squad, and all of them will give us extra options.” said manager Mark Wright.

 12 July 2003
OPENING FRIENDLY
Admission prices for Saturday’s home friendly game against Danish Premier League side FC Nordsjaelland, kick-off 15:00hrs, are as follows.
Seats: Adults £10.00, senior citizens £7.00, children £5.00. Terrace: Adults £8.00, senior citizens £5.00, children £3.00.

CASINO NIGHT
City are organising a casino night on Thursday 24 July (19:00 for 20:00hrs start) to raise cash for team kits. The event takes place at Deva Stadium, and companies and individuals are being encouraged to sponsor tables priced at £100.00 each. Those interested should contact Ian Knox on 01244 371376.
10 July 2003
WHO’S NEXT FOR CITY?
Several possible transfer names are being mentioned at the moment as the club prepare for the new season. Colchester United striker Kevin Rapley looks set to join the Blues at the weekend after stating on the U’s official website: “I am going to go up to Chester at the weekend and I will probably sign a two-year deal up there. It is not really what I wanted, dropping out of the League, but it is a case of some security. There wasn’t anything here for me and it is a case of my injury forcing me to go down that far. But Chester is a good club, things are bubbling up there at the moment and I am looking forward to it. Chester’s potential is what attracted me. Mark Wright has done so much in the game, he has captained England, captained Liverpool and for someone like that to want me is one hell of an achievement. I’m looking forward to that, they got into the play-offs last year and went out on penalties but they want to go up this year.” Meanwhile City manager Mark Wright may be interested in a couple of other strikers. Ex-Premiership front man Dean Holdsworth who was released by Rushden and Diamonds in the summer and Steve Flack currently at Exeter City. Holdsworth’s southern-based location and probable high wages look certain to be a stumbling block though and he’s also wanted, along with brother David, by Scottish Third Division side Gretna.

Cambridge-born Flack joined the Grecians from Cardiff City for £10,000 in September 1996 and has played just over 240 games for the Devon club scoring 70 goals in the process. “We have identified Steve as the sort of player who would strengthen our squad so initial enquiries have been made to his club. Exeter will probably require a transfer fee, so when we have assessed the financial package that is required, we will make a decision as to whether to take the matter further.” said chairman Steve Vaughan. However since the initial enquiries the Grecians have layed a £150,000 transfer fee on the transfer-listed striker. “This seems a totally unrealistic valuation, particularly when you consider the state of the transfer market at the moment. Steve is the sort of player that my manager Mark Wright has identified as someone who would enhance our squad, but at that sort of price we will have to turn our attentions elsewhere.” added Vaughan.

Wright also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of signing Mark Quayle from Nuneaton Borough although Scarborough have expressed a strong interest in taking the player who notched up 6+3 appearances for the Blues last season, scoring one goal.

8 July 2003
QUAYLE HEADS FOR BORO?
On-loan striker Mark Quayle looks set to be heading for Scarborough. The official Nuneaton Borough website states that: Scarborough have had a bid for transfer listed striker Mark Quayle accepted. The two clubs have agreed a nominal fee for the forward who will have personal talks with Russell Slade during the next 48 hours.
6 July 2003
FA YOUTH CUP

The draw has been made for the first three qualifying rounds of next seasons FA Youth Cup and Iain Jenkins’ side start with a home game against Halifax Town in round one with the game to be completed by 6 September.

Q Rd 1 (by 6 Sep): Chester City v Halifax Town
Q Rd 2 (by 20 Sep): Chester City/Halifax Town v Whitley Bay/Darlington College
Q Rd 3 (by 4 Oct): Glasshoughton Welfare/Seaham Red Star/Stockbridge Park Sheels/Curzon Ashton v Chester City/Halifax Town/Whitley Bay/Darlington College.


WOODY LEAVES THE DEVA
Lee Woodyatt

Good luck to defender Lee Woodyatt who leaves Chester this week after being placed on the transfer list at the end of last season. Lee, who was capped twice by the Welsh semi-pro team, progressed through the ranks at the Deva starting off as a trainee before making his first appearance for the club in the 2000/01 season. In total he played 41+20 times for the Blues scoring on two occasions.

Lee signed a one year contract for Northwich Victoria three days after leaving the Deva Stadium. Vics boss Steve Davies said: “Lee is a good player who has been a Welsh international from schoolboy to under-19 level. He just wants to play more regularly to try and establish himself more at this level and move on.”


3 July 2003
TRANSFER ACTIVITY

It looks like there will be a bit of transfer activity at the Deva in the next few days. Chester chairman Stephen Vaughan told the Daily Post’s Neil Turner last night: “The Telford manager has shown interest in Steve Brodie and Mark Beesley and I will discuss the position with Mark Wright when he returns from holiday on Thursday. This is an extremely busy time at the club. Dave Cameron is expected to sign for Tamworth next Tuesday while I anticipate that Kevin Rapley will sign for us on Thursday.” Meanwhile, Forest Green Rovers manager Colin Addison has also expressed an interest in Brodie. Brodie has also previously played under Addison before, at both Scarborough and Swansea City.
2 July 2003
DEAL AGREED
Ryan Sugden Chester and Burton Albion have agreed a fee over the transfer of striker Ryan Sugden to The Brewers. Chairman Steve Vaughan told the Daily Post: “I have come to a financial agreement with the Burton chairman, and everything is now in place for the transfer to proceed. We wish Ryan the best of luck with his new club, and I would like to thank him for his efforts during his stay at the Deva Stadium.” Sugden is expected to leave the club in the next day or so.

Meanwhile as one player leaves another may be close to signing. City have spoken again to Kevin Rapley’s representatives and the Colchester United striker could be a City player in the next few days. “We have had discussions with Kevin and his advisors, and if an agreeable financial package can be agreed, then we will sign the player later this week,” added Vaughan.

BACK IN TRAINING
City’s squad report back from their summer break for training tomorrow.
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