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30 July 2007

City drew their latest pre-season friendly 1-1 at Droylsden on Saturday. Dean Bennett headed City into an early lead only for the Bloods to draw level midway through the second half to share the Tony Downes Memorial Cup played in memory of a local soldier recently killed in Afghanistan.

Manager Bobby Williamson was happy with the work out and told the Evening Leader “I was looking for the type of game we got at Droylsden. They were a well organised and well drilled outfit and they gave us a game. We still looked a bit rusty, but there were a lot of pleasing aspects. As the weeks go on we’ll hopefully get fitter, stronger, and the players will get to know one another a bit better and turn in better performances. It was good to see Dean Bennett getting his head to the goal. We always encourage at least one midfielder to get into the box and the bonus was to see Dean heading home.”

“The equaliser was a lesson for us, but thankfully it happened in a pre-season match. I felt we stopped and didn’t play to the whistle. I felt Kevin Roberts was exceptional, but there were also good performances from Chris Holroyd and Rob Marsh-Evans on the left wing. We did have a lot of opportunities and I didn’t see a lot wrong with Kevin Ellison’s goal because he got up well and got his head to the ball, but the referee deemed there was a foul somewhere.”

City’s pre-season continues with a rearranged game at Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday night, kick-off 19:30. The youth team are also in action with a game at Airbus UK.

Picture © Evening Leader
27 July 2007

Chester chalked up a comfortable 8-1 victory against a young League of Wales Connah’s Quay Nomads side at Deeside Stadium last night, as the pre-season campaign restarted following a couple of postponements. The goals came from Chris Holroyd (2), John Murphy, Nathan Lowndes, Simon Yeo, Richie Partridge, Phil Bolland, and Kevin Roberts.

New signing Paul Butler played for the first half and in all manager Bobby Williamson ensured that 19 players had a run out.

Speaking after this latest work out manager Bobby Williamson said: “Our game at Nomads was a good work-out and thankfully we didn’t pick up any knocks which is the most important thing. Seeing so many of the players getting on the scoresheet is good news for our fans I suppose, but that doesn’t really bother me too much to be honest.

At this stage of the year it’s just about getting the players fitness levels up and coming through the game unscathed. I think we’ve achieved that. I don’t want the players to peak their fitness at the moment – if the boys have got a bit of rustiness about their play that’s the way it should be.”

The squad are next in action on Saturday when they travel to play newly promoted Blue Square Premier side Droylsden at The Butchers Arms ground.

Picture © Evening Leader

Chester have re-arranged their Vauxhall Motors friendly for Tuesday 31 July, at Rivacre Park (kick-off 19.30), They will now also travel to play Northwich Victoria on Monday 6 August, (kick-off 19.45).
City have completed the signing of midfielder Tony Grant who has signed a one year deal with the club.

Transfer Activity

26 July 2007

Having had their last two friendlies against Vauxhall Motors and Greenock Morton postponed due to waterlogged pitches Chester are expected to field a strong side when they travel to play Connah’s Quay Nomads at Deeside Stadium tonight. Kick-off is 19:30. Nomads are now managed by former Chester youth team boss, Jim Hackett.

Midfielder Tony Grant who has been on trial with City is expected to sign today subject to passing a medical. The former Everton player spent last season at Accrington Stanley where he made 6 appearances.

25 July 2007

City have captured their sixth pre-season signing as experienced 34-year-old defender Paul Butler joins from MK Dons on a one year contract. Butler began his career as a trainee at Rochdale before moves took him to Bury, Sunderland, Wolves, Leeds United and in January this year to the MK Dons where he made 18+0 appearances.

Pictures © Evening Leader
24 July 2007
ERIC DAVIS 1932-2007

Former Chester forward Eric Davis died recently at the age of 75. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.


Like striker Lee Steele before him, defender Sean Hessey has been placed on the transfer list by manager Bobby Williamson. Hessey signed for the Blues in July 2004 and has since scored twice in 89+3 apparances for Chester.

Picture © Evening Leader

Striker Lee Steele has been told he doesn’t feature in manager Bobby Williamson’s plans this season and has had his name circulated to clubs in both League Two and the Blue Square Premier (former Conference).

Manager Williamson said: �After careful consideration I have made Lee available for transfer. �Lee doesn�t fit into my plans for the forthcoming season, so I think it�s only fair to him and to the club, that we give him the opportunity to find another club.�

Steele joined City from Leyton Orient in October 2006 and has scored 3 goals in 13+11 appearances.

Picture © Evening Leader

The Chester team from the mid 1950s are put through their paces with some pre-season training at Sealand Road. Jumpers for goalposts...

23 July 2007

Glenn Cronin has suffered a career threatening setback after had suffered a recurrence of a broken metatarsal in his foot during training. It is the third time in two years he has suffered this type of injury and he’s expected to be out for nine months.

22 July 2007
RAY JONES 1944-2007

One of Chester’s most popular players from the 1960s, full back Ray Jones, sadly died recently at the age of 63. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.


21 July 2007

Today’s friendly at Vauxhall Motors was called off after the pitch became unplayable after heavy rain. The same circumstances have also led to Monday night’s home friendly against Greenock Morton to be called off. The Blues are next in action at Connah’s Quay Nomads on Thursday 26 July, kick-off at Deeside Stadium is 19:30.

20 July 2007

Tomorrow’s friendly at Vauxhall Motors is subject to an 11:15 pitch inspection.

A goal from long range by John Corrigan on 33 minutes gave City victory at Formby in a youth friendly last night watched by Bobby Williamson and his assistant Malcolm Thompson. The best effort in the second half came from Jimmy Ryan whose superb long range effort was tipped on to the crossbar.

19 July 2007

City chairman Steve Vaughan has “firmly but politely” turned down Bury’s approach for striker Simon Yeo. Vaughan said: “Simon is a natural goalscorer, which he proved on Tuesday against Telford United when he registered a fine hat-trick. Strikers of Simon’s quality are very few and far between, and we have never even contemplated transferring him.”

18 July 2007

City manager Bobby Williamson was happy, though admitted there was still a lot of work to be done, after seeing his side run out 5-3 winners in their opening pre-season friendly at AFC Telford United last night. Simon Yeo, subject of an official enquiry from Bury, notched a hat-trick and John Murphy added the fifth after the Blues had been gifted a bizarre own goal in the opening minute.

Williamson fielded 20 players during the course of the evening and strikers Yeo and Murphy were quick to gel after just over a week in training. At the other end of the pitch two centre-half pairing’s were tried with youngster Robert Marsh-Evans making an appearance after the break.

Williamson said: “I felt at times that the back four were not bad, but it is a case of trying to get the right pair in there. We had Bolland and Linwood as centre backs in the first half and they did alright, but I felt at times they overcompensated and got caught over on the one side. In the second half I felt Ashley Westwood and Marsh-Evans were to far apart at times – we have just got to keep working at that and hopefully get it to gel.”

Picture © Evening Leader

17 July 2007

After Saturday’s postponement against Raith Rovers, the Blues will once again be hoping to start their pre-season preparation when they travel to the New Bucks Head to play Telford United tonight (Kick-off 19:30hrs). Manager Bobby Williamson has said that most of the City squad are expected to play a part during the 90 minutes though one or two carrying small injuries may watch from the sidelines. There may well be a complete new XI at the break.

Ahead of the game Williamson said: “I don’t really know how the players are feeling ahead of the match as I don’t really know them well enough yet. What I do know is that they have all worked really hard pre-season and as yet there have not been any complaints from them as yet. No doubt once the team starts getting picked there will be a few noses put out of joint but that will be up for me to manage.”

Following tonight’s match City will be on the road again on Saturday when they make the short journey to play Ellesmere Port based Vauxhall Motors, kick-off 15:00hrs.

Foremer chief scout Allan Cotterell sadly died at the weekend following a short illness. As well as scouting duties for the club he also acted as kit-man under the two spells when Mark Wright was in charge at City and was a familiar figure on the bench during those times.

Chairman Steve Vaughan praised Alan and told the Daily Post: “Alan will be sadly missed, he had a great personality, and he was extremely knowledge-able about football. He was always happy to turn his hand to anything, whether it was watching prospec-tive signings or looking after the playing kit on match days. I would like to extend the sympathies of everybody at Chester City to Alan’s family, our thoughts are with you all at this extremely sad time.”

13 July 2007

Tomorrow’s game against Raith Rovers has been called off due to a waterlogged pitch. The Blues will now hope to kick-off their pre-season on Tuesday night when they travel to play AFC Telford United. Kick-off at the New Bucks Head is 19:45.
City entertain Scottish second division side Raith Rovers at Deva Stadium tomorrow (15:00) in the first match of their pre-season campaign. Blues fans will get their first taste of football under new manager Bobby Williamson who has promised that all five of his summer signings will take some part in the game.

Williamson will play with four at the back but insists that his formation used will be flexible. He said: “With the formation we’re playing, it will mean defenders chopping and changing, strikers chopping and changing, wingers with full-backs interchanging so they all get to know each other’s play. I want the players all to be comfortable with each other. The players are all desperate to get fit, desperate to play football and desperate to get selected.”

Only the East stand seating will be open for tomorrow’s game and admission will be £13.00 for adults, £8.00 for concessions and £3.00 for under 16s.

12 July 2007

Two players released by the Blues at the end of last season have found new clubs. Dave Artell has joined Moecambe and Alex Meechan has moved to York City.
9 July 2007
ALAN WILKES 1951-2007

It’s very sad to report the death of Chester City supporter Alan Wilkes who passed away after a short illness aged 55.

Alan, a boyhood Arsenal fan, married into the Blues after meeting Helen in the early 1980s and was one of the early members of the Exiles (known then as the Southern Branch). Alan worked tirelessly on the Exiles committee as membership secretary for ten years from the summer of 1989 before the pressure of work forced him to step down.

He worked as the Disciplinary Manager with the Football Association and joked in an Exiles newsletter back in 1989 that his favourite City player was Graham Barrow — “because he keeps me in work!” He had been with the organisation for 36 years.

Our thoughts are with his wife Helen, family and friends.

Chester secretary Tony Allen knew Alan well and said: “I have known Alan for many years, he was a gentleman and a good friend to football, on behalf of the club I would like to extend my sincere condolences to his family.”

A minute’s silence will be observed prior to next Saturday’s friendly match against Raith Rovers at the Deva Stadium.

Obituary from the FA

6 July 2007

Under the watchful eye’s of manager Bobby Williamson and his assistant Malcolm Thompson the first team squad reported back for pre-season training today.

Pictures © Evening Leader

The club have now announced prices for their pre-season matches. Only the main East stand will be open the the games and admission will be: Adults: £13.00, Concessions: £8.00, Under 16’s: £3.00.

Pre-season matches

General manager Rob Gray looks on as the crush barriers are removed to make way for seating on the away terrace.

Picture © Evening Leader

6 July 2007

The club are to hold an open day from 13:00hrs on Sunday 29 July. Amongst other attractions on the day, supporters will be able to meet the playing squad, manager Bobby Williamson and his assistant Malcolm Thomson. Fans will also be able to have a tour around the stadium including areas such as the changing rooms, treatment room and boardroom. For the children there is also a chance to take part in a coaching session run by Bobby Williamson.
4 July 2007

Club historian Chas Sumner has released the 2006/07 update page covering the Youth Team league and cup results which can be downloaded from here.

[This is a two page PDF file]

2 July 2007

The Blues have made their fifth pre-season signing as 37-year-old goalkeeper Gavin Ward today joined from Tranmere Rovers on a two year contract as a player/goalkeeper coach.

Ward began his career as a junior at Aston Villa in 1987 and since leaving there a year later has been at: Shrewsbury Town, West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City, Leicester City, Bradford City, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley (loan), Stoke City, Walsall, Coventry City, Barnsley (loan), Preston North End and finally last season Tanmere Rovers.

Ward told the Evening Leader: “It’s a new progression in a way for me. I’m looking forward to being a goalkeeping coach in the future, but first and foremost I’m here to play.”

He continued: “I see at least another two or three years left in my playing career, if not more hopefully, so that’s my main aim. I enjoyed my time at Tranmere, but at the end of the day it was probably best for both of us that I left the club. I just needed to move on and that was it.

I’ve never come across John Danby. I’ve seen his name and I know he was with Kidderminster. He’s only a young keeper, so hopefully we can get on well and hopefully he can pick up a few tips to make him a better keeper.

It’s important to have competition for places. You’ve got to have two keepers who can do a job for any team, so me coming to Chester will provide good competition for John. He did well last season, so hopefully he can push me and I can push him which will be good for the club.”

Transfer Activity

Picture © Evening Leader

































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