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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2000
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
MARCH 2000
30 March 2000
MORE SUBSIDISED TRAVEL
As with this Saturday's match at Halifax, the ISA will pay half of the fare for supporters who wish to travel to the away games at Leyton Orient (15 April) and Cheltenham Town (29 April). Supporters MUST travel on the official away travel club buses run by Barry Hipkiss. Bookings should be made through Barry in the usual way by phoning before 20.00 on 01244 379011

27 March 2000
ISA MEMBERS MEETING
The next members meeting of the Association will take place tonight at the Royal Mail Club, Station Road, Chester. The meeting starts at 19.30 and the guest speaker will be Radio Merseyside's Neil Turner; not to be missed this one, Neil proved very popular at one of the ISA's first meetings.

TV DOCUMENTARY
There is a TV documentary about Chester City tonight at 20.00 on BBC Knowledge. The documentary was filmed around the recent home disaster against Brighton.

GORDON HILL LEAVES?
It's reported in the press that Gordon Hill has quit Chester three weeks after taking a coaching role although the club don't appear to be issuing any statements on the matter!


24 March 2000
BAN FOR MOSS
Darren Moss has received a four match ban for his second red card of the season last week. The ban takes effect after the Mansfield match tomorrow.

ANGUS EVE OUT
Following the game with Mansfield Town, Angus Eve will miss the next three weeks on international duty with Trinidad & Tobago. Eve explained: "I have to play in international matches to keep my status to play in this country. It means a lot for me to play for my country but I also want to come back and play for Chester."

NO KEEPER COVER
City's efforts to sign cover for goalkeeper Wayne Brown have failed. The Blues were set to sign 6ft 3ins Dutch keeper Michels Kuipers from Bristol Rovers but the deal fell though at the last minute as the player couldn't agree personal terms.

City were also linked with Jimmy Glass the keeper whose last-gasp winner saved Carlisle from relegation last season. Glass, 26, whose been released by Swindon Town said: "I would have taken anything but I don't want to play for Chester because I don't want Carlisle to go down. It would make a mockery of what happened last year. I discussed it with my parents and they said it would tarnish everything. I did consider going there because I haven't got a club and I need to make money but it didn't feel right to go to Chester. I went to a meeting of the London branch of the Carlisle supporters club the other night and they're still talking about the goal. Some people might think I'm stupid not signing but how could I go to Chester?"

At one stage on deadline day City's other keeper Matthew Conkie was set to join Winsford United but that move has now been scrapped. meanwhile Wrexham striker Ian Stevens who almost joined City two weeks ago has joined Cheltenham Town on a month's loan.

THE RUN-IN
SHREWSBURY TOWN
Macclesfield Town (A) 2-4, Lincoln City (H), Darlington (A), Barnet (A), Rochdale (H), Southend United (H), Halifax Town (A), Brighton & H.A (H), Exeter City (A).
CARLISLE UNITED
Rochdale (A) 2-3, Swansea City (H), Hull City (H), Cheltenham Town (H), Chester City (A), Northampton Town (H), Macclesfield Town (H), Exeter City (H), Southend United (A), Darlington (H), Brighton & H.A (A).
CHESTER CITY
Mansfield Town (H) 5-0, Halifax Town (A), Carlisle United (H), Leyton Orient (A), Macclesfield Town (A), York City (H), Cheltenham Town (A), Peterborough United (H)


23 March 2000
NEW SIGNINGS
Brian Croft has registered as a player for the rest of the season with the Blues. The 32-year-old is currently the clubs Football In The Community officer. Brian has played with Blackpool, Cambridge, Stockport, Queens Park Rangers, and Chester City. Director of Football Ian Atkins states, "Brian has excellent skills, and he is someone who will be good to come on for 20-25 minutes and change the game. I had no idea that he was still only 32 years-old, and so when Terry arranged it with Brian, then it came as a very good surprise to me."

City have also signed Alejandro De Bartolo, an attacking midfielder who has been training with the club for a couple of weeks, he's come via Italy and Walsall. The international clearance arrived from his former club Genova Italia in Italy on Thursday, and the Blues moved quickly to sign him up before the deadline.

The Blues have also signed 23-year-old former Ayr United player Russell Kelly. He was due to sign for Sheffield United but Chester stepped in. Kelly began his career with Chelsea. All three signings are on a non-contract basis.

No players have been sold which is both a relief and unsurprising. Perhaps our two best assets Matt Doughty and Luke Beckett are out of contract in a few weeks and we'll do well to hold on to them whatever happens. Doughty has come through the club's youth system and is under 23 so City can negotiate a fee for him. Luke Beckett didn't and will be available free.

LONDON MARATHON
Once again Chester Exile Brian Smith will be Chester City’s representative in the London Marathon Football Challenge on 16 April. All the clubs in the FA Carling Premiership, Nationwide and Scottish Leagues have been invited to enter a runner in the race, fully kitted in their club’s strip, with each runner aiming to raise funds for their club’s favourite charity. Chester City have agreed that The Bobby Moore Fund for Imperial Cancer Research will be the Club’s chosen charity. If anyone wishes to sponsor Brian please contact him on Harpenden (01582) 622814. Good Luck Brian.

21 March 2000
ROBINSON DOUBTFUL
Jamie Robinson is City's only doubt for tonight's game with Hartelpool United (ko 19.45). The defender picked up a calf injury at Southend.

20 March 2000
NO BAN FOR BROWN
Despite picking up his fifth yellow card of the season at Southend, Wayne Brown has escaped with a warning and no ban. A ban won't occur now until the 10th booking stage.

SPONSORS STEP DOWN
After four years as shirt sponsor to the club, Saunders Honda have announced that they are not going to renew their deal next season. The deal, which included sponsored cars for the management runs out in May. Ron Saunders added: "I've enjoyed my four years with the club but as I explained to them, four years is a long time for a small business to be involved in sponsoring a club. Initially we were only going to do it for two years, but no-one came in and we continued our partnership with the club. I'll definitely be back next year and we're already talking about some commercial involvement."

Dan Brookes confirmed that other companies had already approached him concerning sponsorship packages. Kwik Save, who sponsor City's away shirts have yet to agree to continue for next season.

NEW COACH
Jonathon Cross has been appointed club coach he will have responsibility for coaching the youngsters in the club's school of excellence.

RADIO CHESTER?
City's commercial manager Dan Brooks has announced that Chester are to start up their own radio station, to broadcast on match days with player interviews etc and to also include full match commentaries when they are away from home.

GROUND DEVELOPMENT
It is reported that the club intend to develop seven executive boxes in the main stand at the Deva. Located at the north (home) end of the main east stand, the development, if given the go-ahead could also include a banquet facility capable of holding 300 people. A feasibility study discussed by members of the club's board also contained ideas to create a fitness room, with the possibility of setting up a coaching cinema facility.


16 March 2000
ISA SUBSIDISE TRAVEL
The Chester City ISA have agreed to pay 50% of the travel costs for supporters wishing to see City play at Halifax on 1 April. Supporters MUST travel on the official away travel club busses run by Barry Hipkiss. Bookings should be made through Barry in the usual way by phoning before 20.00 on 01244 379011

DEVA STADIUM CLUB SHOP
The following new items have just arrived at the club shop:

New goalkeeper shirts (£29.99 all sizes) and shorts (£13.00 all sizes) have arrived.
New designer Mugs are in stock priced at just £3.99.
New style rain jackets (£29.99 all sizes).
Framed aerial photographs of the Deva Stadium are available in 3 different sizes priced at £19.99, £12.99 and £6.99.
A special Limited Edition print of the Deva Stadium is still available (only 5 left). These really ar collectable Limited Editions, once these five have gone, they'll be no more!! They are priced at £49.99 unsigned, £69.99 autographed by all the players and management team staff.
Finally our new style Deva Stadium clocks arrived earlier this week, they are priced at only £16.99.

If you haven't paid a visit this season, why not drop by the club shop and see the new stock. The shop is open before and after every home fixture at the Deva Stadium and also during normal office hours.

15 March 2000
FANS FORUM POSTPONED
Tonight's Fans Forum at the Deva Stadium has been postponed. A combination of Manchester United on TV (sic) and Ian Atkins being away has forced the club to take this decision.

13 March 2000
LOAN SIGNINGS
Well Chester HAVE signed Carl Heggs to the end of the season and also midfielder Paul Carden from Rochdale, both played their part in Saturday's 0-0 with Shrewsbury. There is no sign of Ian Stevens however and no news from the club (nothing new there then) regarding him. Has he been recalled by Wrexham? news when we have it.

10 March 2000
CITY SIGN TWO ON LOAN
Chester have signed two players on loan, Ian Stevens from Wrexham and Carl Heggs from Rushden & Diamonds. Heggs was previously with Ian Atkins at Northampton Town when The Cobblers won promotion from Division 3. Both players have signed on a month’s loan.

ATKINS STAYS SILENT ON HILL APPOINTMENT – FOR NOW
Ian Atkins has refused to comment on the news that Terry Smith has appointed the former Manchester United player Gordon Hill to the Deva’s coaching staff. Hill, a personal friend of Smith’s for 10 years, has been coaching in America and was appointed without Atkins’ knowledge – the manager was surprised to see a press release issued by the club announcing the news. Hill's son, Sam, had a trial with the City reserves last week.

KEISTER IN COURT
Midfielder John Keister has been released on unconditional bail following a court appearance yesterday in conjunction with a ‘road rage’ incident back in January. The case has been adjourned for reports until 6 April. Keister, of Walsall admitted assault causing actual bodily harm on 21 January.

9 March 2000
DUO TO MISS SHREWSBURY CLASH
Both Stuart Hicks and Andy Porter will be suspended for Saturday's must-win home game against Kevin Ratcliffe's Shrewsbury Town at the Deva. Each is serving a one match ban. Meanwhile Steve Malone and Ally Pickering, who was on a weekly contract, have both left the club. Goran Milosavijevic is considering a move to play in China. Tony Hemmings and Neil Fisher had to report to the police earlier in the week following an 'incident' at a wine bar in Plymouth on Sunday.

GREAT ESCAPE 2000
Now is really the time to stop bickering and get behind Ian Atkins and the players. Brighton was surely a blip and all the members at the last ISA meeting seemed to think that things were really getting better. I hope that the Devon trip convinces doubters. We need a big one against Shrewsbury with 100% support. We have Hicks and Porter suspended so we are stretched. If you can't say owt positive, say nowt. (Lancashire philosophy). The Great Escape 2000 T-shirt will be available next week. We believe it. Keep the faith. We will survive. Les Smith ISA chairman.

7 March 2000
CHESTER AGREE DEAL FOR WREXHAM STRIKER
Chester have agreed terms with Wrexham to take 33-year-old striker Ian Stevens on a month's loan, however the move deal rests with the player who was on the bench for Wrexham's game with Luton last Saturday. It appears that Siggi Eyjolfsson will return to Walsall today following his second month on loan at the Deva. Manager Ian Atkins said: "I have spoken to Brian Flynn about the possibility of bringing Stevens here, he has a good goalscoring record and I'm sure he would score goals at this level." Stevens has a wealth of experience having scored goals at Preston, Stockport, Bolton, Bury, Shrewsbury, Carlisle and Wrexham. He's scored eight League and Cup goals this season.

ATKINS HAPPY WITH VICTORY
A happy Ian Atkins added after City's victory at Exeter: "We’ve played better but we won and it was so important that we did win. We did sit back second half but when you’re 2-0 up you have to defend that lead. I thought everyone played well and Stuart Hicks was a collossus."

6 March 2000
CITY CATCH CUMBRIANS
Chester's fine 2-0 victory at Exeter on Saturday brought them level at the bottom of the table with Carlisle, though the Cumbrians have two games in hand (at home to Swansea and Northampton). The Blues, who are staying for four days at an Army training camp near Plymouth, face a difficult task tomorrow night at Home Park against a Plymouth side unbeaten at home all season with nine wins and seven draws. Still, records are there to be broken!

3 March 2000
HEMMINGS OUT FOR SATURDAY
City midfielder Tony Hemmings will miss the first leg of City's Devon double at Exeter tomorrow following his rather nasty injury against Brighton. He spent last Saturday evening having emergency surgery to the groin. City physio Joe Hinnigan said: "It was a horrendous injury to suffer to that part of the body. It was a really deep wound although it wasn't until half-time that we realised the extent of the injury. He only thought he was winded but when he saw the injury at half-time the lad was a bit shocked. But our two docs are superb and thankfully he only needed a local anesthetic and he was out on Saturday night. We've told him to rest but I can't see him being available for Saturday"

NEXT ISA MEMBERS MEETING
The next members meeting of the Association will take place on Monday 27 March at the Royal Mail Club, Station Road, Chester. The meeting starts at 19.30 and the guest speaker will be Radio Merseyside's Neil Turner - not to be missed.
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