May 2008 Archives
BY far the best news released from the Deva Stadium last week was the re-signing of Paul Linwood.
I feel sure that, as Simon Davies tries to restructure the playing staff during the close-season, other new players will be signed, but none more important than Paul. The fans' player of the year for last season sent out all the right signals by stating that it was the offer to make him club captain that clinched his signature to a new two-year contract.
This is precisely the sort of loyalty and pride we need at the club, which over time has become used to journeymen footballers who stay for as long as it suits them before moving on. With so many young players around him having the same attitude, the future for Chester City is less bleak and the nerve-racking moments of a few weeks ago are now just a distant memory.
While we are all relieved to retain our place in the Football League, we must heed the warning (unlike Wrexham) and strengthen the squad wisely to ensure 2008/9 is a much better season.
Certainly the signs are good because we will build on our youth policy under Simon Davies and he will encourage all the players to display not only talent, but the same pride and loyalty shown by their captain.
IN the 20 years I've been following Chester City, the constant theme is that life as a Blues fan is never boring, and last week was no exception.
To be honest, the 90 minutes of football I saw at the Deva Stadium against Macclesfield was the most boring aspect of my Chester-following week. But in the tail end of this season, it's been everything else that goes with following the team that's kept me interested.
To start with, the Exiles darts team capped the high of the news that City were safe with a 7-4 victory over Bolton Wanderers. It was our second win over the Trotters this season, and our third darts triumph in a row.
If we carry on in that vein for the last two games of the season, we could finish in the same third from bottom spot as the football team. No shame for Exiles darters, as we're usually the league's basement side.
Football aside, I did enjoy my final Deva visit of the season last Saturday. I was like a kid in a sweet shop when I saw the 'End of Season' sale in the club shop. Such was my thrill at getting a Blues bargain that I kept going back in for more. One day I'm sure I'll find a use for a pen incorporating its own Chester City ink crest and the Conference champions pennant looks smart hanging in my flat.
The farewell from the players was a bit uninspiring, but it was great to catch up with people in the Blues Bar. Last Thursday night saw me catching up with someone else... the only Wrexham fan I know, who was enjoying a quiet pint in a Surrey pub until three Chester fans walked in! He was serenaded with "We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when". The pub regulars found it all a bit strange.
The night ended with a pre-bedtime look at The Chronicle website, to discover City owner Stephen Vaughan had been arrested after the races. As I said, it's never boring being a Chester fan.