ELLIOTT DURRELL admits he would love to see Chester promoted alongside York City this season.

The former Blues midfielder recently agreed terms with the Minstermen, who lead the way at the National League North summit.

Chester sit just three points behind their title rivals and Durrell hopes that both can sustain their challenge this season.

“Historically, York and Chester have played in the Football League and I know both clubs are pushing hard to get back there,” he said.

“Both clubs have had tough times in the last few seasons but it’s great that both made such a strong start this year.

“Chester’s bosses look to be doing well and are probably among the best managers out there at this level.

“Hopefully it will be a great battle between us and them for the title.”

Shrewsbury-born Durrell made the move to the Deva from Tamworth in the 2016-17 campaign.

A mainstay in Chester’s side that season, the midfield playmaker scored eight times in 46 appearances for the club.

Despite assurances of a new deal from former manager Jon McCarthy, Durrell was released by the club at the end of a season that began strongly but tapered out badly for the Blues, who finished just two points clear of relegation.

“In the lead up to Christmas we were on a really good run that year,” said Durrell.

“We were unbeaten in eight or nine games and we’d got ourselves into the top six of the National League. I really felt at home at the club and felt I had a really good relationship with the fans there.

“The manager had told me that the club wanted to offer me a new deal and I had a good relationship with the chief executive (Mark Maguire) at that time.

“But our form really dropped off after Christmas and into the new year and we ended the season way down the table.The new deal was never offered to me and I ended up going to the V9 academy that summer after the club released me.”

His time with the academy, co-founded by Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, ultimately helped him earn a two-year contract at Macclesfield Town.

In his 35 appearances for the Silkmen, Durrell helped the Cheshire club lift the 2017/18 National League title and clinch promotion to League Two.

His time at the club ended on a sour note this summer, however, with Durrell one of several players who petitioned for the club’s winding-up due to unpaid wages amid a financial crisis at Moss Rose.

He said: “I enjoyed my football at Macclesfield and it was a shame that things had to end like that.

“It left things on a sour note really. As a footballer it’s disappointing to be dragged into that kind of thing. There were a lot of assurances being thrown around by people at the club who were telling us our wages would be paid, but it felt like we were being fobbed off at times.

“Footballers at this level, who aren’t on huge salaries, have bills to pay and families to support. So when you’re not paid for two months or more it’s disappointing to be treated like that.

“Ultimately we were paid and the club are still going, which is good to see after seeing clubs like Bury go out of existence”.

After departing in the summer and training with several clubs as a free agent, Durrell was snapped up by York last month.

The move saw him reunited with former Macc boss Steve Watson and Durrell has been impressed by his new side’s ambition.

He said: “The club have made a brilliant start to the season.

“There’s a really good mood around the place right now and the club are looking to push on with a new stadium.

“The capability this squad has is frightening. There’s players here who would give some of the Macc players I was with last season a run for their money.

“You look at our bench in the last game and there’s real strength in depth there, with two or three quality payers who were not involved.

“These are all players who are driven to achieve something with York. No-one’s here to use the club as a stepping stone and everyone’s focused on bringing success here.”

Durrell made his first start for York in a 2-1 FA Cup victory at Buxton on Saturday.

The visitors came from behind in the Third Qualifying Round clash, with a second half own goal and a Nathan Dyer strike seeing them advance.