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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 1998
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JUNE 1998
30 June 1998
RICHARDSON AGREES NEW DEAL
City midfielder and player of the season Nick Richardson has agreed a new one-year deal at the Deva. This is great news for all Blues fans who must have feared that the player would move on after initially being disappointed with the offer made to him by City. Full back Alex Smith has also now signed for next season after returning from holiday.

27 June 1998
RIMMER REJECTS AFRICAN MOVE
Former Chester striker Stuart Rimmer has turned down the chance to carve out a new career in South Africa. Rimmer was released at the end of last season and is still looking for a new club after rejecting a move to Capetown City. He said: “Pat Van den Hauwe’s out there and they offered me a contract but I didn’t take it up.”

26 June 1998
BANK HOLIDAY FIXTURE MOVE?
As well as the home game with Hull City, it looks as though City are going to rearrange the home fixture with Cambridge United scheduled for the August 31st – the bank holiday. According to Bill Wingrove: “We may put it back until the Tuesday because some people will still be on holiday.”

The fixture at Rotherham United scheduled for Saturday December 19th has been brought forward to the Friday night (18th).

Meanwhile the club will unveil their new blue and white striped kit in the pre-season home game with Everton on July 25th.
18 June 1998
DEVA OPEN DAY

The open day at the Deva Stadium this summer will take place on Sunday August 2nd, it was originally planned to coincide the event with the Everton game but it has now been changed. “It will give the fans a chance to come and have a look behind the scenes and to meet the players.” said Bill Wingrove.

Meanwhile on the playing front, Nick Richardson, who is now a free agent, is due to have talks with Halifax Town this week and Matt Woods has refused to sign his new contract. Manager Kevin Ratcliffe is still looking to sign three new players before the start of the new season.

Due to a clash with Chester Races, the home game with Hull City scheduled for Saturday August 22nd is to be re-arranged. It will probably take place on the Friday night or the following Tuesday, the Chester police are apparently unable to cover both events on the same day!
15 June 1998
CITY KICK-OFF AT HOME

Chester will kick off the new season at home on August 8th to Leyton Orient.

11 June 1998
CITY CLOSE TO SIGNING
Chester are reported to be close to signing left sided full back Alex Smith. The 22-year-old Liverpool-born defender was previously with Everton, Swindon Town and Huddersfield Town. City manager Kevin Ratcliffe said: “I have known about him for a few years and am very pleased with the signing. There was no fee involved.” The defender is currently on holiday and will sign when he returns.

9 June 1998
RATCLIFFE LOOKING FOR CHANGE
City manager Kevin Ratcliffe has been speaking in the Leader about the changes he want's to see in the side next season. Last year a transfer embargo was placed on the club preventing any new signings being made.

“Thankfully we can bring in players this season and I think that will make a big difference. Players were just turning up and getting the place in the side, that will change next season. There was no competition for places.”

“I’ve brought two in and I want another four new signings before the start of the season. I’ll also be looking to bring in some long term loan signings. I had to be ruthless (in letting seven players go) and that’s something that I will follow through next season. Players were taking it for granted they were in the side. I want a lot more competition for players. I’ll look to have a squad of 20 and we’re also lucky that so many good youngsters are coming through the ranks. Shaun Reid will be fit for the start of the season and in fact he could have played at the end of last season,” added Ratcliffe.

“It’s great to have him back. He’s good for the team, great in the dressing room and the fans love his style of play. And I want to see some of the other players adopt his approach. I want to see them roll up their sleeves, get stuck in and fight for the points. We’ve got to go to places like Hartlepool, Darlington and Brighton and battle away. Too many times last season, players let their heads go down and our away form will be crucial next season.

It’s going to be a much more difficult division to get out of with the likes of Carlisle, Brentford, Plymouth and Southend coming down.”


5 June 1998
TWO MATCH BAN FOR WHELAN

At an FA disciplinary hearing in Manchester, Blues defender Spencer Whelan was banned for two matches and fined £100 following his eleven bookings tally for last season. Chairman Mark Guterman was present at the hearing with Whelan.

2 June 1998
CITY TO MISS OUT ON DEFENDER?
Darlington centre-half Andy Crosby looks set to turn down a move to the Deva. Manager Kevin Ratcliffe has been trying to buy the 25-year-old defender and had offered him a three year deal to come to City. But Ratcliffe confirmed: “I’ve offered him something but I think he’s going to sign for one of the London clubs. It’s not looking good. Another club can afford more than what we could afford and it looks like he will sign for them.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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