ALEX LYNCH had ‘no hesitation’ in signing a new contract at Chester after capturing the number one jersey last season.
The Holyhead-born goalkeeper joined the Blues in October 2016 as back-up to Liam Roberts, but was quickly thrust into the first-team and proceeded to make 30 appearances in league and cup.
A string of superb displays earned rave reviews and prompted Blues’ boss Jon McCarthy to reward the 22-year-old with a one-year deal, but Lynch revealed things could have panned out very differently had he not secured first-team football.
Having been released by Wycombe Wanderers, the Blues’ stopper admits he ‘didn’t know what to do’ with his life, prior to signing a short-term deal at Bala Town, which soon led to the switch to the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium.
“I had no hesitation in signing, it was an easy decision when I knew Chester wanted me to sign up for another year,” he said.
“The gaffer gave me a big chance last season and to get a run in the team as the number one goalkeeper was a massive boost for me. It’s up to me now to produce performances and to train hard so that I don’t lose that number one shirt and to repay the faith the club have showed in me.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the club. It was tough there for a time, to go from being a professional footballer, from living that life of training every day and being in that bubble. To go from that to not knowing what you’re doing with your life in a short space of time, it’s hard really.
“But thankfully I wasn’t out of the game for too long and I’ve found a club where I’m playing first-team football at a good standard and hopefully I’ve had a positive impact.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at the club, I’ve played plenty of games, and hopefully we can help bring success next season.”
Lynch admits the Blues’ end to last season – six straight defeats – was simply not good enough and accepts the campaign ended at a good time for McCarthy’s side, who are now able to regroup ahead of the 2017/18 season.
“I’ve spoken to a few of the lads in the past week, Ryan Astles, Wade Joyce, and we’re all raring to go for next season,” he continued.
“We feel like we’re getting a second chance to put right what went wrong towards the end of last season.
“When you get in a bad run like we did, it’s easy for the rot to set in. We’ve got to stop that rot but it was hard at the end of the season.
“We can now get a full pre-season under our belts, we’ll get chance to gel and bond as a group, with new faces and some of last year’s squad, and hopefully we can make a good start.
“I imagine there will be a second goalkeeper brought in and of course that’s only good for competition. I’d like to think I’ve always got on well with other keepers and healthy competition keeps you playing to the best of your ability every week.”
Lynch was delighted to learn Dave Felgate would take on additional duties in the backroom staff next season, hailing the impact the Blues’ goalkeeping coach has had on his short career so far.
The 57-year-old enjoyed a terrific career spanning four decades which included long spells as number one at Lincoln City, Bolton Wanderers and Chester City, making 72 appearances for the Blues from 1993 to 1995.
“Dave has been a massive, massive help for the goalkeepers since I’ve been at Chester,” he added.
“He’s a huge influence day-to-day and it’s great to have a goalkeeper of his experience in and around the place. He’s a proper goalkeeper who gives you great confidence when you go out onto the field.”