KINGLSEY JAMES is happy to sit deep this season after challenging his Chester team-mates to grab the headlines in front of goal.
The 25-year-old has returned to Chester on a two-year deal, after leaving Macclesfield Town, and opened his Blues’ account for a second time in the pre-season opener at Runcorn Town last Monday, heading home in a 5-1 win.
The central midfielder, who hails from Rotherham, has developed a reputation for weighing in at key moments in front of goal, netting seven times in 46 appearances for Halifax Town in the 2015/16, before adding five strikes in 36 matches for the Silkmen last term.
However, with the likes of Jordan Chapell, Craig Mahon, Ross Hannah and Harry White ahead of him on the pitch for the Blues, James explained his focus will be on protecting the defence in a holding role alongside Paul Turnbull, in order to allow the attacking talent greater freedom in Jon McCarthy’s new-look side.
“It all depends on the role really, but obviously it’d be nice to chip in with a few goals,” he said.
“I’ve scored enough goals in the last couple of seasons to help out but obviously we’ve got good attacking players here.
“Truthfully I’m just going to back them up really. My job is to give them the ball and let them do their thing with it, they’ll bring plenty of goals and all the attacking players can deliver on that front.
“I might be able to chip in with a few but I just want to do my best for the team.”
With three pre-season matches out of the way already, James has been impressed with the plans laid out by boss McCarthy and assistant Tom Shaw, who will have the players back out on the pitch tonight at Maes Tegid as Chester travel for a friendly at Bala Town (7.45pm).
“We’ve done a lot of ball work in training, it’s been really intense,” James continued.
“But nothing can replicate that intensity of playing matches and what the games are going to throw up. They throw up situations that are totally different to what you’ve done in training so it’s good to get those first few games out of the way.
“It’s been structured by the gaffer in a really good way, where we’ve got a lot of volume of training time in the first few weeks, lots of fitness work.
“Then a lot of games in a period of two weeks, and with the games you can go flat out in the 45 minutes you’re playing in, you can go for it at the right intensity which we certainly did at Runcorn and again against Flint.
“It hasn’t been like a typical pre-season game, we wanted to go with that intensity and ensure that we did what we want to do in league games.”
As far as recovery is concerned, James winces at the thought of the dreaded ice bath, but is happy to get involved with all the recovery methods instructed to the first-team squad by McCarthy’s backroom staff.
He also revealed the players are abiding to a strict meal plan in order to be in the best shape possible when the opening day clash at Solihull Moors rolls around on August 5.
“Everything is being done properly, the recovery has been superb,” he added.
“We’ve got meal plans, the structure has been fantastic and we’ve got to stick with that and all the recovery stuff, then hopefully we can keep that intensity going in these games in the week ahead, and be ready to go when we get to the start of the season.”
n Former Chester and Wrexham playmaker Elliott Durrell has signed a two-year deal with Macclesfield.
Durrell, who was not retained by Chester at the end of last season, said: “I’ve played against Macclesfield a few times already in my career and they really do play football the right way.
“That will suit me down to the ground. Everything about the place is professional.”
See full story in the Chester Leader