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31 July 2006

Manager Mark Wright was happy after seeing his City side draw 0-0 with Huddersfield Town in the final pre-season match before the new League Two season startes on Saturday. The Blues gave debuts in midfield to new signings Ricky Ravenhill and Roberto Martinez and both fitted in well with good performances after just a matter of hours at the club.

Wright said: “Defensively I thought we dealt well with everything they threw at us, while up front we created chances and at our level we won’t meet many better defences than Huddersfield. We have steadily improved our level of performance during this pre-season campaign, and without doubt Huddersfield provided our sternest test, and I thought we came through it well. We have 16 new players in our squad and it has taken time for them to blend as a team, but now I think we are virtually there.”

The Blues are next in action on Saturday when they entertain newly promoted Accrington Stanley on Saturday (15:00hrs). New signing Ricky Ravenhill and defender Sean Hessey will miss the game through suspension.

Picture © Evening Leader
28 July 2006

Chester bring their pre-season campaign to a close tomorrow when popular ex-player Peter Jackson brings his Huddersfield Town side to Deva Stadium, kick-off 15:00hrs.

The club have deisgnated tomorrow as Family Fun Day as the club opens its doors at 12:00 for supporters to take a look around the facilities and mingle with the players. Among the attraction will be tours of the stadium, a chane to meet the players and collect autographs, have your photo taken with the World Cup replica and much more. For the kids there will be face painting and a bouncy castle as well.

Admission to the match is just £5.00 with children under 15 being admitted free.

The Blues have completed the signing of Swansea City midfielder Roberto Martinez on a two year deal and the Spaniard is expected to play against Huddersfield Town tomorrow. Martinez told the BBC “I didn’t want to leave Swansea, but the decision was out of my hands so you just look forward. I’m delighted with my dealings with Chester and I’m looking forward to working with Mark Wright. The football challenge here excites me.”
The will-he won’t-he sign saga of Ricky Ravenhill is back on as the Doncaster Rovers midfielder has agreed to join City on a one month loan. He is expected to feature in tomorrow’s match. The deal is likely to become permanent after the initial loan period.
The ISA have launched the first copy of their new newsletter Blueprint. More details here.
26 July 2006

Manager Mark Wright has confirmed that City have made a revised offer for Swansea City midfielder Roberto Martinez. The Spaniard was at Deva Stadium on Monday night to see the defeat by Blackpool.

Manager Wright said: “Roberto is a quality player, and would be a tremendous asset to this club if we could sign him. We have made what I think is an attractive, revised offer to Roberto, and hopefully he will agree to join us. I am aware that there are other clubs interested in signing him, but with a player of his quality, it is only natural that he will attract a lot of interest.”

Martinez was brought to this country back in 1995 to join Wigan Athletic who were managed by Graham Barrow at the time. He stayed at Springfield Park for six years before moving on to Motherwell, Walsall and Swansea City.
You can keep up to date with all the summer transfer activity by checking the League Two club by club guide here.
Due to building work taking place at Bishops High School in August it has been necessary to change the locations of the summer soccer schools. The new details are as follows:

7, 8, 9 August 2006 at Abbeygate College, Saighton – £10.00 per day or £30.00 for all 3 days
21, 22, 23 August 2006 at Blacon High School – £12.00 per day or £35.00 for all 3 days

Fixtures for the Centre of Excellence under 9s – under 16s for next season are almost complete. You can view them here.
City send a side to play at Droylsden tonight. The team will mainly consist of youth team players and trialists though striker Michael Branch may also be making an appearance after being taken off the transfer list. Kick-off at the Butchers Arms is 19:45hrs.
25 July 2006

The Blues lost their latest pre-season friendly at Deva Stadium last night going down 2-1 to Division One side Blackpool. Kevin Sandwith scored from a free kick to give City a half-time lead only for Scott Vernon to net a brace after the break to wrap it up for the visitors in front of a crowd of 692.
24 July 2006

Blackpool visit Deva Stadium tonight for the fourth home pre-season friendly. City will be looking for a home success after successive defeats by Stoke City, Cercle Brugge and, on Saturday, Chesterfield. Admission prices are: Adult £12.00, under-16 £6.00. The car park price is £2.00.

Manager Mark Wright was fairly happy with the latest workout against The Spireites though he blamed bad defending for the two gals conceded. “For 70 minutes I thought we were very good. There were lots of good performances and our shape was good. Mikael Wolski should have dealt better with the situation prior to the first goal and the second goal was down to Sean Hessey. We need four more players and I shall be working on that next week.” Wright told the Daily Post.

20 July 2006

City notched their first win of the pre-season campaign with a 3-0 victory at Cammell Laird last night. Goals from Drewe Broughton, Jermaine McSporran and Jon Walters gave City a comfortable 3-0 victory over a well-organised Cammell Laird side. The trialists played for City, Jon Newby (Bury), Michael Wolski (Stockport County) and Wojtek Kaczmarek who apparently played for a Polish Second Division side last season.

Manager Mark Wright was full of praise for young striker Chris Holroyd who came on as a substitute at Kirklands. “I’ve got so much time for the young boy Chris Holroyd it's untrue. In training he’s a great finisher. He’s quick, he’s so enthusiastic, and everything about him tells me that he’s first class. I’m really pleased with him and he’ll play a lot of reserve team football for us this year, and I actually think he could break through. If he gets chances he’ll score and his runs are exceptional. He could have scored in our friendly game against Cercle Brugge.”

19 July 2006

Twelve days after officially announcing they’d signed Ricky Ravenhill, and even given the player a squad number, the ‘deal’ to bring him to Deva Stadium is off! Doncaster Rovers have issued the following statement on their official website: “Rovers Director of Football Mickey Walker confirmed that after delays by Chester City in the signing of midfielder Ricky Ravenhill, the transfer had been called off. Ricky will be placed back on the list and all clubs will be notified.”

City issued the following statement after the deal fell through.“There have been a number of obsticles during the transfer process from Doncaster Rovers of the midfielder. Much consideration has been made over the matter and Chester City have reached the conclusion that the costs of the deal over two years outweighed the longer term benefits and as such was not in out best interests. Issues with the players agent have also contributed to the collapse of the move, which would say has no inference of bad feeling to Doncaster Rovers of the players concerned.”

18 July 2006

The football club have recently appointed Danny Jones in the role of Community Football Development Co-ordinator with a specific role in marketing the Football In The Community scheme to local schools in Chester and organising of CCFC soccer schools during the summer school holiday period.

The club have set up the following two summer soccer schools in August:

7, 8, 9 August 2006 at Abbeygate College, Saighton – £10.00 per day or £30.00 for all 3 days
21, 22, 23 August 2006 at BlaconHigh School – £12.00 per day or £35.00 for all 3 days

All coaches involved in the soccer school’s are FA qualified, have received a Criminal Records Bureau check and have the FA Emergency Aid qualification.

Anyone interested should contact Danny Jones on 07879 671939 to provisionally book their place and receive an application form.
16 July 2006
City sent a youthful looking side for the club’s first-ever match at the Victoria Stadium yesterday and the youngsters put in a decent performance although they came away with a 1-0 defeat. The only goal of the game came on 59 minutes from ex-City player Craig Dove.

After the game Jim Hackett (left) expressed his pleasure with the performance: “Although it was a poor goal to concede from a defensive viewpoint we could have gone ahead before this with two or three good chances. They may have looked the better side on paper but I though we edged the game and it could be argued that we looked the better side. We now have three players from the youth set up in the first team squad and three others training with them so the future looks terrific. In the past there has always been talk about the youth setups at Crewe and Wrexham but this performance shows that we now have a good youth system at Chester. I’m very happy with the way the players played today and the youngsters didn’t look out of place against some seasoned professionals.”

The Blues are next in action on Wednesday night when they send a side to play Cammell Laird, kick-off 19:30hrs.

Picture © Evening Leader
Chester have reduced the admission for their final home pre-season friendly against Huddersfield Town on Saturday 29 July to £5.00, children under 15 years of age will be admitted free. The club are hoping to stage an Open Day allowing fans to tour the stadium and facilities and a chance to meet the players.
14 July 2006
Chairman Steve Vaughan has hit out after last night’s poor attendance against Cercle Brugge. The game, arranged at short notice and played just two days after the home game with Stoke City game attracted a crowd of 269 which the chairman called “disgraceful.” Many fans obviously decided that £24 for two matches in three days was simply too much.

Vaughan told the Evening Leader: “I’m off if the crowds don’t improve. I know it was hastily arranged but 269 is an insult. Last night has cost the club thousands of pounds. I drove from one end of the country to watch the game but where were the others?

I’ve put a freeze on putting any more money for transfers and I’m going to take stock over the weekend. If there’s anyone else out there with ideas of how they can take this club further then they can give me a call. And if they want to buy it, they’ll need £5 million. It’s nights like last night that make you think that’s it.

All I’ve had is criticism for the past two years and still it continues. I’ve got people complaining about friendly admission prices, I’ve got season ticket holders demanding to be reimbursed because they don’t like all the games being switched to a Friday night. I’m just totally disillusioned with the whole thing. We put on these friendlies to help pay for the signing on fees and relocation fees for the players that we have brought into the club. This was a Premier League Belgian side we were talking about last night. 269 is an insult and the 800 home fans who came to the Stoke game wasn’t good either.”

Picture © Evening Leader
Tickets for the first round Carling Cup match at Leeds United on 22 August go on sale from Monday at the Deva Stadium ticket office 10.00-16.00hrs. Prices are £12.00 (adults), £6.00 (children and over 60s). Tickets will also be on sale following next Saturday's home friendly match against Chesterfield. There are no restrictions on the number of tickets that can be bought. The tickets contain a bar code that is read at the automatic turnstiles so fans should take extra care not to damage/crease the tickets.
Chester lost their second pre-season friendly against Belgian Premier League side Cercle Brugge by a single goal at Deva Stadium last night.

The only goal of the game came seven minutes from time when Tom De Sutter took advantage of some slack defending to shoot past John Danby. The game erupted midway through the second half with an incident that saw the visitors reduced to ten men after a straight red card for Milosevic, with City’s Jamie Hand receiving a yellow.

The Blues are next in action tomorrow afternoon when they make the short trip to the Victoria Stadium to play Cheshire neighbours Northwich Victoria, kick-off 15:00hrs. Admission prices are: £8.00 adults £5.00 over 65’s £3.00 children.

13 July 2006
The Blues entertain Belgian Premier League side Cercle Brugge at Deva Stadium tonight. Cercle Brugge lost the first game of their mini-tour 2-0 at Blackpool on Tuesday night. Only the east stand is open tonight, admission prices are: Adult £12.00, under-16 £6.00. The car park price is £2.00.
12 July 2006
Just a week after signing for City midfielder Glenn Cronin has suffered a broken Metartarsal in training today and could be sidelined for up to three months.
Second half goals from Hannes Sigurdsson and Darel Russell gave Stoke City a 2-0 win in last night’s pre-season friendly at Deva Stadium. Assistant manager Graham Barrow told the Daily Post: “It was a good work-out for the lads. I thought we were slightly the better side in the first half but we were disappointed with the two goals we conceded. Overall the work-out was satisfactory.”

The Blues gave a trial to Jon Newby (Bury) and also had goalkeeper Ricky Banks on trial from Crystal Palace on the bench.
Defender Phil Bolland dislocated a shoulder in the match and could be out for up to six weeks, missing the opening of the season in the process. “It is also especially disappointing for the lad, coming back. He is one or our leaders and we are absolutely gutted, because it was fairly innocuous. But that’s football isn’t it?” added Barrow.

Chester City (first half):
Danby, Marples, Allen, Artell, Hessey, Wilson, Bennett, Vaughan, Newby (trialist from Bury), Walters, Cronin.
Chester City (second half): Danby, Marples (Hessey 60), Sandwith, Bolland (Wilson 78), Westwood, Linwood, McSporran, Vaughan, Broughton, Blundell, Hand.

11 July 2006
It’s now confirmed that the Blues will be entertaining Belgian Premier League side Cercle Brugge on Thursday. Kick-off at Deva Stadium will be 19:45hrs.
10 July 2006
The Blues could be hosting a pre-season friendly against Belgian Premier League side Cercle Brugge on Thursday. They are over on tour and City chairman Steve Vaughan told the Daily Post: “If we can gain clearance and the appropriate arrangements can be made speedily, then we would be only too pleased to accommodate them, a decision will be made on or before Tuesday.” The Belgians are also playing Blackburn and Blackpool during their mini-tour.
7 July 2006
City have completed the signing of Exeter City midfielder Glenn Cronin. Dublin-born Cronin started his career as a trainee at Exeter back in 2000 and went on to make 137+23 appearances scoring 5 goals for the Grecians. He has signed a two year deal.

Meanwhile the Blues have announced that they have also secured on a two year deal the services of Doncaster Rovers 25-year-old midfielder Ricky Ravenhill. The club warned the players agent earlier in the week “Give us a decision on our offer quickly, or the deal is off.” after both clubs had agreed a five figure fee. But chairman Stephen Vaughan told the Chester Chronicle: “Thankfully the player and his agent have agreed to sign for us, it has taken a lot of negotiating, but the forms are now prepared and I think it is safe to say he is our player.”

Admission prices for the home pre-season games against Stoke City, Chesterfield, Blackpool and Huddersfield Town are as follows. Terrace: Adult £10.00, under-16 £5.00. Seats: Adult £12.00, under-16 £6.00. The car park price is £2.00.

4 July 2006

There have been a large number of changes made to the fixture list for the coming season. Several matches have been re-arranged, some of them brought forward 24hrs to avoid a clash with England international matches, whilst others have been moved as the club experiment with more Friday night football next season.

On the changes chairman Steve Vaughan said: “Our plan to switch games to a Friday night is to attract bigger gates. “We have tried Friday night fixtures in recent seasons and they have all proved a success. The club promised Chester fans at the last fans’ forum that we would have Friday night home games and we’ve switched a total of six games. Tranmere have always profited from switching fixtures to Fridays and I’m glad we’ve done our homework and managed to get our application to switch fixtures in on time.

The games changed are:
League Two Fixture New date
Chester City v Wrexham Sunday 20 August 12:00hrs
Chester City v Swindon Town Friday 1 September 19:45hrs
Chester City v Walsall Friday 6 October 19:45hrs
Chester City v Hartlepool United Friday 20 October 19:45hrs
Darlington v Chester City Friday 3 November 19:45hrs
Chester City v Stockport County Friday 17 November 19:45hrs
Wrexham v Chester City Sunday 18 February 12:00hrs
Chester City v Bury Wednesday 21 February 19:45hrs
Chester City v Torquay United Friday 2 March 19:45hrs
Chester City v Rochdale Friday 16 March 19:45hrs
Hartlepool United v Chester City Friday 30 March 19:45hrs
Chester City v Darlington Friday 6 April 19:45hrs
Chester City v Shrewsbury Town Sunday 15 April 12:00hrs

3 July 2006
Doncaster Rovers 25-year-old midfielder Ricky Ravenhill looks set to sign for Chester. Both clubs have agreed a five figure transfer fee and now personal terms need to be finalised before any move can take place.

Ravenhill has scored 10 goals in 100+50 appearances. The Blues have already signed defender Simon Marples and midfielder Jermaine McSporran from the Belle Vue club this summer.

The official Wrexham website states that both games with Chester City next season have been put back 24hrs with 12:00 kick-off’s. The new dates for the all-ticket matches will be Sunday 20 August at Deva Stadium and Sunday 18 February 2007 for the fixture at the Racecourse.
This has not been confirmed by Chester yet.

The official Shrewsbury Town website states that both games between them and City this season will also have 12:00 kick-off’s. This has not been confirmed by Chester yet.

Meanwhile there may also be a series of home Friday night matches to avoid clashes with England internationals. Fixtures affected could be: Stockport County, Hartlepool United, Walsall and Swindon Town. The away game at Darlington may also go the same way.

Both forward Michael Branch and defender David Artell are to have their names circulated to Football League and Nationwide Conference clubs and appear to have no future at Chester City. Both currently have a year to run on their contracts.


















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