Chester’s recovery from the brink of collapse should give hope to other ailing sides, says Royston Town manager Steve Castle.

The Blues visit Hertfordshire this weekend to face Town in an FA Trophy second round clash and Castle has been heartened by the Deva side’s recovery from financial disaster in the last 10 years.

Referencing Chester City’s demise in 2010 and the subsequent emergence and growth of Chester FC, Castle said: “I hate seeing big clubs like Chester, Bury and Macclesfield struggling financially.

“Certainly that has been the case for some of these clubs over the last five or 10 years.

“But then when you’ve got clubs like Chester pushing in the right direction once again after some big setbacks and looking to get back near the Football League - it’s really encouraging.

“There’s been a fantastic footballing history at Chester over the years, so this is what what they should be aiming for and they look like they’re going about it in the right way.”

In his playing days, Castle was a highly-rated central midfielder and made more than 400 Football League appearances in spells with Leyton Orient, Plymouth and Birmingham City.

He also played against Chester ‘a handful of times’ and has the utmost respect for a club he regards highly.

Now in his sixth year in charge at Royston, a strong season to date has seen his side climb to third in the Southern Premier Central league, with their solid form also extending to an impressive run in the Trophy.

The competition’s preliminary rounds yielded wins against non-league rivals Brightlingsea Regent, Haywards Heath Town and Wealdstone before Royston took the scalp of National League side Boreham Wood last month.

Castle said: “We are having a good season.

“The chairman wanted both this season - a strong season in the league and some good cup runs too and we’ve done that so far.

“We’re still within touching distance at the top of the league and there’s no team running away with it this season.

“I thought we were unlucky getting knocked out in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup by a very good Maldon & Tiptree side.

“But in the Trophy we’ve done ever so well to get to this point. Beating Boreham Wood was a terrific result for us and we want to go as far as we can now.”