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JUNE 2005
28 June 2005

Manager Keith Curle and striker Michael Branch will be as delighted as anyone with City’s first round Carling Cup pairing at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Both have been on the staff at Molineux in the past. Curle made over 200 appearances for the Black Country side in a four year spell after a £600,000 move from Manchester City.

Branch initially joined Wolves in a loan spell from Birmingham City scoring 4 goals in 11+0 appearances before the joined in a permanent basis for £500,000 in January 2000. He went on to make a further 56+11 appearances scoring 6 goals.

Curle said: “It’s a great draw for us, not just for the players, but also for our supporters. Molineux is a ground of Premiership standard, and I am sure that the club will be pushing for a place in the top division next season. I have happy memories of my time there, and it will be great to take my Chester side down there. There is always a fabulous atmosphere and their supporters really get behind their team, which should make it all a great occasion.”

The two sides have met only three times in competition before. In February 1977 Chester lost 1-0 at Molineux in the fifth round of the FA Cup in front of a crowd of 37,803, including a large following from Chester, as a Kenny Hibbitt goal nine minutes from time was all that separated the sides after a gallant performance from the Blues.

In 1988/89 the sides competed in the same division (Barclays Division Three). In fact when the Blues travelled to Molineux on 2 January 1989 it was a top of the table clash that again saw Wolves come out victorious after a 3-1 win in front of a 21,801 crowd. The return match at Sealand Road in March 1989 saw the visitors take an early lead through Andy Much but the game will be remembered for the spectacular long-range equaliser from Graham Abel in front of the highest home gate of the season 8,236.
24 June 2005

The club will be holding a Casino Night at Deva Stadium TONIGHT to raise funds for the Centre of Excellence, starting at 19:30hrs.

Tickets are priced at £10.00 (including betting ‘fun’ money and a buffet) and are available in advance from the club or Queensferry Sports. You can also pay on the door on the night though to avoid disappointment it’s advisable to get a ticket in advance as the night is expected to sell-out.

There will also be prizes on offer including a pair of season tickets for the West Stand donated by the chairman.

Player of the Season Paul Carden has signed a two year deal for Peterborough United where he will link up again with ex-manager Mark Wright.
23 June 2005
Chester will begin their 2005/06 campaign with an intriguing away fixture against newly-relegated Peterborough United, managed now by ex-City boss Mark Wright. The following Tuesday night Lincoln City will be the first visitors of the season to Deva Stadium. City fans can look forward to a seaside trip in August too as the Blues travel to play Torquay United on the bank holiday Monday.

Over the Christmas period City travel to Cheltenham on 26 December and extertain rivals Wrexham on the 28th, this is followed three days later with a trip to Macclesfield Town. City travel to
the Racecourse for their away fixture with Wrexham on Saturday 25 March.

The Blues will renew league rivalries with Stockport County for the first time in ten years this season and they travel to Edgeley Park on Saturday 24 September and entertain the Hatters at Deva Stadium on Saturday 11 February.

Meanwhile manager Keith Curle will be pitting his wits against his former club Mansfield Town at Deva Stadium on Saturday 3 September and at Field Mill on Saturday 7 January.

2005/06 fixture list

Mansfield Town’s 24-year-old player David Artell is expected to join City today on a two year contract after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee for the central defender. Rotherham-born Artel has made 51+4 appearances for the Stags, scoring 5 goals. Before then he was at Rotherham United and Shrewsbury Town.

The defender was pleased to be working under Curle for a second time saying: “He didn’t get a fair crack of the whip at Mansfield and the reason I chose the club was because I think we can be more successful than them this season. He’ll do well for Chester City and I think there is no point aiming for mid-table. Outside the top seven is failure for me.”

Manager Keith Curle has also returned to his former club to snap up midfielder Tom Curtis on a one year contract. Curtus bgan his career in 1991 as a youngster at Derby County before moving to Chesterfield. He went on to make 284+7 appearances, scoring 13 goals in his seven years with the Spireites. He was sold to Portsmouth in 2000 where he made 8+7 appearances and had two loan spells at Walsall 3+1, and Tranmere Rovers 11+0, before moving to Field Mill at Christmas 2002. He scored 2 goals in 93+10 appearances.

Maltese-born defender Luke Dimech has also signed on a one year deal. He started his career at Shamrock Rovers before moving to Mansfield in August 2003 where he went on to make 43+10 appearances, scoring 1 goal.

Like Dimech, ex-Cambridge United and Yeovil Town midfielder Abdelhalim El Kholti has also been signed a 12 month deal. The Moroccan-born player began at Yeovil Town where he appeared 36+19 times for the Glovers notching 4 goals. He moved to Cambridge United a year ago and made 15+3 appearances for the U’s last season.

On Artell, Curtis and Dimech who played under Curle at Mansfield, the City manager told Teamtalk: “I know how three of them play week in and week out and train week in and week out because I had them at Mansfield. They know how I work, how I like things done and how I like people to act in and around the club. Ability-wise they are all capable of playing in a team that can finish in the top seven.”

2005/06 transfer activity

The draw for the first round of the Carling Cup will be announced at 07:00 next Tuesday 28 June.

The Blues will be paired against one of the following seeded teams in the northern half of the draw. Derby County, Preston North End, Sheffield United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stoke City, Burnley, Leeds United, Leicester City, Crewe Alexandra, Hull City, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, Rotherham United, Tranmere Rovers, Hartlepool United, Huddersfield Town, Doncaster Rovers, Bradford City. The games will take place on Wednesday 24 August.

20 June 2005
City have confirmed that the Gregg Blundell deal is off after they failed to agree personal terms with the Doncaster Rovers striker’s agent. City chairman Stephen Vaughan said: “We offered Gregg what we considered to be an extremely attractive and fair financial contract, but after a number of discussions with the agent representing him, we have made a decision to pull out of the deal. In our opinion the demands were excessive and we will now turn our attentions to other options. I would like to thank Doncaster Rovers for their assistance in this matter. They have been extremely helpful and cooperative throughout the negotiations.”

Meanwhile manager Keith Curle is hoping to add to his squad again later in the week. He told Teamtalk: “I’m hopeful of announcing four on Thursday but I’m not naming names at the moment.” The Blues have also made a third offer for Mansfield Town defender David Artell. “We made an improved offer. We’re doing things the right way and we contacted the club and told them a revised offer was going to be put to them.”

17 June 2005
Doncaster Rovers manager Dave Penney has told his clubs official website that the proposed deal to bring striker Gregg Blundell to the Deva has “fallen through”. Blundell will now rejoin the rest of the Rovers squad at the end of the month and fight for his place in the Belle Vue side next season.

“Gregg’s move has not worked out so at this moment he will rejoin the squad when the players return and fight for his place,” manager Dave Penney said.

14 June 2005
Two midfielders have signed for for City today, they are 29-year-old Justin Walker and 21-year-old Craig Dove.

Hartlepool-born Dove began his career as a trainee at Middlesbrough, whilst there he played two loan games at York City before moving to Rushden & Diamonds in July 2004. He went on to make 34+6 games for the Nene Park club, scoring six goals.

Walker is more experienced having started his career at his home town club Nottingham Forest in 1997. He made 7+1 loan appearances at Scunthorpe United before joining The Iron full-time in May 1997. Walker went on to make 140+6 appearances scoring three goals. In June 2000 he moved to Lincoln City where he played 78+11 times finding the net on five occasions. Walker moved to Exeter City in August 2002 and clocked up 40+5 appearances for the Grecians, scoring six goals. in June 2003 he moved to Cambridge United where he played 64+3 times scoring on three occasions. During his spell with the U’s he made 7+2 loan appearances at York City in early 2004.

On his latest recruits Curle said: “They’re both good creative footballers with talent and they’re at different ends of the scale as well with Craig being 21 and Justin being 29. They’ve both got that desire and that hunger to have a good year. They’re players that I’ve seen on my travels and noted down as being my type of footballers.”

Meanwhile the club have increased an offer for Mansfield Town central defender David Artell (this has since been rejected).

10 June 2005
Blues manager Keith Curle is hopeful of signing two new midfielders after the weekend. The Chester Chronicle reports that deals have been done in principle and the manager anticipates the two, as yet unnamed players, will join on Monday.

As well as those two possible signings, two other players, ex Mansfield Town defender Luke Dimech and former Cambridge United defender/midfielder Abdou El Kholti are also interesting Curle. Dimech is a Maltese international while El Kholti is a France-born Moroccan.

Between 2002/04, Kholti played 36+19 games for Yeovil Town scoring 4 goals before moving to Cambridge where he made 16+3 appearances for the U’s.

Meanwhile talks will continue over the possible club record transfer of 29-year-old Gregg Blundell from Doncaster Rovers. The two clubs agreed terms some time ago but personal terms have yet to be finalised with the former Northwich Victoria striker.
6 June 2005

Chester will play a pre-season friendly at their St Blaize Park ground on Wednesday 20 July, kick-off 19:30hrs. The Blues are away on tour in Cornwall from 17-21 July.

St Blazey have won the Jewson’s SW League championship for the last four seasons. The club is loacated near to St Austell.

Pre-season friendlies

2 June 2005
Manager Keith Curle (left) has begun his team building for next season by recruiting defender Scott McNiven and striker Marcus Richardson. Defender Carl Regan has also signed a 12 month deal.

Curle told the Evening Leader: “It’s great to make my first two signings because I am aware that the fans have been waiting for me to put a squad together. I know it has been very quiet during the last few days but I have been trying to kick it up. I’ve been working 24 hours a day, meeting players and agents and trying to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.”

Leeds-born 27-year-old McNiven began his career as an apprentice at Oldham Athletic and went on to make 245+21 appearances for the first team, scoring 4 goals in the process. He moved to Oxford United in the summer of 2002 where he made 95+0 appearances, scoring 1 goal. His last club were Mansfield Town who he signed for in July 2004 and made 25+1 appearances for the Field Mill side.
He is the brother of David who had a loan spell at City a few years ago.

Striker Marcus Richardson was born in Reading in 1977 and began his career at Harrow Borough in 2000 before moving to Cambridge United a year later. He scored 2 goals in 8+9 appearances at the Abbey Stadium and made a further 4+0 appearances on loan at Torquay United during 2001. He moved on to Plainmoor on a permanent basis in October of that year. He made another 18+20 appearances for the Gulls, scoring 8 goals before transferring to Hartlepool United in October 2002.

In his 15 months at the Victoria Park Richardson made 25+4 appearances, scoring 6 goals. During his time with Hartlepool he also had two loan spells with Lincoln City notching up a total of 14+4 appearances with 5 goals. In January 2004 he signed on permanent terms with the Imps and went on to make 31+8 appearances scoring 9 goals, he also made a 2 game loan appearance for Rochdale. In March this year Richardson made his last move which was to Yeovil Town where he didnt score in 2+2 matches.

Carl Regan has signed a one year deal after impressing the manager during his spell with the club towards the end of last season. Regan signed from Droylsden and was playing then on a non-contract basis.

Chester will be sending an X1 to play at Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League club Rainworth Miners’ Welfare on Thursday 14 July.

The kick-off time for the match at The Welfare Gound, Kirklington Road is yet to be announced.

Rainworth Miners’ Welfare | Pre-season friendlies

1 June 2005
Earlybird season tickets for 2005/06 are now available from the club offering four free games. Prices areas follows:

Season Ticket prices from 1 to 30 June 2005

East (main) & West stands: adults �285.00, concession �190.00, under 16’s �114.00.
North Terrace:
adults �247.00, concession �152.00, under 16’s �95.00.
Executive Lounge: adults �532.00, senior citizen �478.00.
Car Park: £40.00.

Full 2005/06 Season Ticket and Deva admission prices.

















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