ALEX BROWN has decided to join Conference Premier new boys Hyde FC.
The central midfielder who impressed Chester fans last term and played a key role in the Blues’ Championship-winning campaign, confirmed he is expecting to secure a deal at the Ewen Fields club this week.
“I’m obviously gutted to be leaving Chester, but it is nothing to do with money. It is all down to convenience for me and wanting to play in the Conference Premier Division,” Brown said.
“I’ve discussed the situation with Chester boss Neil Young who offered me new terms at the club which I was very appreciative of.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Chester and I have been overwhelmed by the support I received from the fans at the club. Last season was the best I have experienced as a footballer.”
Brown, who last week picked up the Players’ Player Footballer of the Year Award with centre half Michael Taylor at the annual Chester FC presentation evening, revealed he was keen to convey his thanks to everyone at Chester.
He added: “It was such a pleasure to play for Chester and I never wanted to let anyone down there.
“I have already spoken to a number of people who work behind the scenes at the club and they have all passed on their best wishes to me.
“But I see a move to Hyde as a brand new challenge and like many other players in non-league football, I thought it was a chance I couldn’t turn down.
“I know I’m not the only player who is leaving Chester after all the success the club haas enjoyed, and I’m sure there will probably be more changes in the pipeline.
“But I’ll carry on looking out for Chester’s results and I’m hoping to be back to support the club whenever I can.”
Blues boss Young confirmed he had spoken to Brown yesterday who told him that he had decided to accept an offer to play for Hyde next season.
Young said: “Alex told me he had received an opportunity to play for Hyde who have just been promoted to the Conference Premier Division.
“I had offered him a deal, but he has decided to turn it down in favour of a move to Hyde and I thanked him for his contribution to last season’s title-winning campaign and wished him well for the future.
“Alex is a very good player, but I have other very good players in the Chester squad and it is now time to concentrate on those players who want to stay at Chester.
“My main objective at the moment is to strengthen the squad at the club by bringing in good players.
“If lads like Alex want to leave then it is their prerogative. We have lost players before and we will replace them and move on.”
Young is still waiting to hear whether Michael Wilde, Iain Howard, Michael Taylor, Christian Smith and Robbie Booth are going accept new terms that have been offered to them by Chester.
Meanwhile, the Football Association have released a provisional list of teams who are going to compete alongside Chester in the Conference North next season ahead of the Football Conference AGM.
The teams expecting to face Chester include Altrincham, Bishop Stortford, Boston United, Brackley Town, Bradford Park Avenue, Colwyn Bay, Corby Town, Droylsden, FC Halifax Town, Gainsborough Trinity, Gloucester City, Guiseley, Harrogate Town, Hinckley United, Histon, Oxford City, Solihull Moors, Stalybridge Celtic, Vauxhall Motors, Worcester City and Workington.
See full story in the Chester Leader