Chester FC boss in no rush to sign up new faces


Tom Norris

CHESTER boss Neil Young is happy to bide his time as he looks to finalise his squad for next season.

Defensive duo Paul Linwood and Dominic Collins, midfielder Dave Hankin and striker Nathan Jarman have joined the Blues since the end of the club’s Northern Premier League title winning campaign.

The likes of Liam Brownhill, Alex Brown, Christian Smith, Matty McNeil, Matt Glennon, Jerome Wright, Chris Simm and Michael Wilde have all departed the Exacta Stadium.

With four players coming in and eight leaving, Young still has room for manoeuvre when it comes to bringing in new additions.

“We are looking at bringing in three or four new faces,” said Young on his return from holiday.

“It depends on the finance of the deals and who the players are before we finalise everything, but we are looking at players and there are a list of possibilities.

“We need to weigh up our options and see what is best for the club before we do anything.”

Young refused to be drawn on potential recruits, insisting that any deal has to be completed before he speaks about it.

“We are happy to fly under the radar for the moment,” he explained. “We have bits and bobs going on and we are working hard to progress with certain things.

“Nothing will be announced until it is 100 per cent done, however, because that is how we like to do business.”

Since returning from holiday, Young has been informed by striker Wilde that he won’t be taking up the contract offer of a third successive campaign at Chester.

Wilde has instead opted to re-join Welsh Premier League champions and Welsh Cup winners The New Saints on a two-year contract.

A fans’ favourite, Wilde scored 46 goals from 55 starts while at the Exacta Stadium, helping the club win back-to-back promotions.

And while Young is disappointed to lose the services of Wilde, he understands that change is necessary if Chester are to challenge for the Conference North title next term.

“He has done really well for Chester Football Club but then Chester Football Club has done well for him too,” said Young.

“His first season at the club was exceptional with the number of goals he scored and the performances, but last season was difficult through injury.

“Players move on, it is disappointing to lose Michael, but the only constant is the football club.

“I will look to continue doing what I have been doing and we are looking at replacements for him.”

Meanwhile, Chester have confirmed that they will entertain League One outfit Crewe Alexandra as part of their pre-season fixture schedule.

The match, which will see Chester midfielder Antoni Sarcevic face his former club, is set to be played on Saturday, August 11 with a 3pm kick-off.

Prior to the clash with Crewe, Chester will play seven further pre-season friendlies, beginning with a trip to face AFC Fylde on July 15.

Home fixtures against Southport (July 17), Kilmarnock (July 21) and a Liverpool XI (July 25) follow before Young’s men hit the road to visit Welsh Premier League side Airbus on July 31.

North Ferriby United (August 4) and Fleetwood Town (August 7) then head to the Exacta.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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