NEIL YOUNG is taking no notice of Chester’s current standing as favourites to win the 2012/13 Conference North title.
Since the club was reformed two years ago, back-to-back promotions from North League One and Northern Premier League have followed.
With that in mind the Blues have been named as early title favourites with the official sponsor of the league at 4/1.
However, manager Young is refusing to get carried away by the odds, insisting: “I believe we have been made favourites to win promotion but that is more about our supporters and the last two years.
“We have a big fan-base and they have put money on in the past two seasons meaning that the odds are often shorter.”
Halifax are priced as second favourites to win the title at 6/1, while Gainsborough Trinity are 13/2 and Bishop’s Stortford lie fourth in the betting at 7/1.
Young admits that he takes no notice of the betting, but believes that Halifax must surely be considered favourites to win the title.
Halifax were entitled to 20 per cent of the transfer fee Fleetwood Town received from Leicester City for former striker Jamie Vardy, which was believed to be in the region of £1.7million with add-ons.
“Halifax have got to be favourites,” he said when asked who he thought would contend the title. “With the players they are looking to bring in then they will be challenging.
“They are expected to spend big but they have the money to do so,” said Young.
“They had a good FA Cup run and played against Charlton, while they got the money from Vardy’s move.
“I keep saying though that they can only put 11 players out on the pitch at any one time.”
Halifax, who are expected to bring in a host of new signings following the departure of the likes of Simon Eastwood, James Dean, Tom Baker and Danny Holland, will no doubt see Chester as their biggest rivals this term, but Young insists that the title battle is far from a two-horse race.
“It is a hard league the Conference North,” he stated. “It is the biggest jump we have had in terms of ability and there will be a lot of tough fixtures.
“Halifax will be strong but so too will the other favourites and the likes of Guiseley, Altrincham and Harrogate.”
Guiseley are fifth favourites to take the Conference North crown at 8/1, while Altrincham are 16s and Harrogate Town are way back in 13th place at 25/1.
Young’s former club Colwyn Bay are 50/1, alongside Histon, with Vauxhall Motors and Solihull Moors expected to be battling relegation with a price of 100/1.
Meanwhile, Jerome Wright has agreed a deal to re-sign for FC United following his release from Chester at the end of the season.
Wright spent a single season at Chester, helping them win the Northern Premier League title, but failed to make a real impact while at the Exacta Stadium.
Speaking about the signing of Wright, FC United boss Karl Marginson commented: “I’m delighted that Jerome is returning to the club as a player of his quality strengthens the squad.
“Jerome’s return to FC, where he’s played his best football, is a big boost to the club and will strengthen the squad no end.”
See full story in the Chester Leader