LUCAS DAWSON remains hopeful he could be a Chester player next season if he impresses boss Jon McCarthy in pre-season.

The 23-year-old midfielder was snapped up by McCarthy on a short-term deal in March, and went on to make 11 appearances during the Blues run-in as they slipped down to an eventual 19th placed finish.

Dawson is yet to be offered a new contract with Chester but reported to pre-season training last week and is hopeful a deal can be struck, with McCarthy understood to be interested in offering him a short-term deal if terms can be agreed.

“I’m just training at the minute, getting myself as fit as I possibly can and getting a decent pre-season,” said Dawson.

“We’re in a lot earlier than anyone else so it’s good to come back in, get some training under our belt and then hopefully we can try and get something sorted.

“I’ve spoken briefly to the manager about what the future holds. He’s said as long as training goes well then we’d be able to have a chat and see where we are in a couple of weeks time.

“I’d love to stay permanently here but if it isn’t to be, then I’m hoping I’ll be fit enough to show other clubs that I can do a job. Obviously I want to be here, I want to stay, I wouldn’t be here and have come in for pre-season if I didn’t want to be.  I really like it here and it’s what I want to do.

Dawson came through the ransk at Stoke City, alongside former Blues duo Ben Heneghan and James Alabi, and has since had spells with Nuneaton Town and Telford United.

“There’s nothing better than training everyday, it beats going for long runs or the gym any day,” he continued.

“I feel a lot fitter and sharper already, and I’m hoping to get myself in the best shape as I can. Getting back in and playing the games I did really got me back into enjoying football again. I’d taken some time out but I’m grateful to Jon and to Chester for giving me the chance last season to come in, and as I’ve trained more and played games, I feel I’m improving all the time.”