THE ROMANCE of the FA Cup will be alive and kicking at Chester tomorrow but Neil Young would love the Blues faithful to be in the ground for his emotional return.

Young was the manager who masterminded phoenix club Chester FC’s dramatic surge back up the football pyramid as he led The Blues back into non-league’s top-flight.

Tomorrow he returns to the scene of his former glories with a Marine side looking to create a famous scalp in the the fourth round qualifier.

“They were amazing times at Chester, unbelievable and I’ll never forget them,” said Young, whose Marine side has already played six cup ties this season heading into tomorrow’s tie against Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s Blues.

“The supporters of Chester FC are the lifeblood of the club and that will be the only downside of me coming back - the fans not being there.

“It was like one big, happy family when I was there. We bought into what they wanted us to do and it wasn’t just the success we had on the pitch, it was going to the schools, and going into the community to increase the club’s profile.

“It was the perfect marriage, really. We did well that first season because we didn’t have many players when I first arrived and the start of the season was a month away.

“But we won promotion on the final day in that first season and the crowds we were getting were phenomenal. The next season we sealed promotion at home to Northwich, we had a full house, 5,000 fans in there. Those were great days.

“But then to go and break the records to win Conference North just showed what a good team we had. It was a phenomenal achievement.”

Young’s Chester were confirmed as champions in 2013 after beating Boston United 1–0, becoming the first club in English football history to achieve three successive promotions.

They had the most wins (34), fewest defeats (3), most points (107), most goals scored (103), best goal difference (+71) and also the longest unbeaten streak (30 games) in a season that saw them promoted to the Conference.

“It was a big jump,” added Young. “We were up against well-established teams like Luton, Cambridge and Forest Green.

“I think we lost our first five or six games but then won 2-0 at Wrexham - and I know the Chester fans liked that one!”

Young knows his side are underdogs and admitted: “We’ve played them in a friendly and we know they can be ruthless.

“But it’s the FA Cup and 11 versus 11. We’ve got to hope that they have an off day and that we’re on top of our game.

“We’ve got a young side and this will be a great test for them.”

It will be Young’s first match against his old team and Blues joint boss Johnson doesn’t want to be on the wrong end of a giant-killing.

He said: “Stood in our way is a Chester legend that will be doing everything he can, not to get one over us because it’s his ex-club, but because he has a chance to take one of the smallest sides left in the competition into the first round proper.”