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The Conference Championship squad of 2003/04 ... Part 1

When Chester were promoted from the Conference in 2003/04 they used 29 different players during the season. Over the next few weeks we will look at their current whereabouts.

Wayne Brown started the 2003/04 season as Chester number one but the arrival of Ian McCaldon saw him share the goalkeeping duties with the former Oxford man. After 16+1 appearances Wayne broke a bone in his foot during training in December and missed the remainder of the campaign. Although he recovered in time for the first game back in the league a series of minor injuries saw him in and out of the team with Chris MacKenzie taking his place. At the end of the 2004/05 season Wayne was given a testimonial in recognition of nine years at the Deva Stadium but was allowed to join Conference side Hereford United on a 12 month loan deal. It proved to be a good signing for the Bulls and Wayne made 33 appearances in helping Hereford back into the Football League. In summer 2006 the move was made permanent and last season he was runner-up in the club’s “Player of the Year” award. At the start of 2007/08 Wayne remains the first choice keeper at Edgar Street.

Ian McCaldon joined Chester from Oxford United in August 2003 having previously played two games on loan at the Deva Stadium the previous season. The Liverpool born keeper made his debut in the 2-1 defeat at Exeter and went on to make 13 Conference appearances before emigrating to Australia at the end of January and turning his back on the game. Staying in a small town called Coral Bay he acted as a tour guide until a move to Perth in Western Australia saw him regain his appetite for football with a local amateur team. In April 2005 Ian moved back to Scotland where he had previously played for Livingston. After a trial with Hearts he signed for Ross County in May 2005 and made ten appearances for the Division One side in 2005/06. Injury problems saw Ian released by Ross County but he was back in football at the start of 2007 when he joined Peterhead of Scottish League Division Two.

The departure of McCaldon saw Mark Wright bring in Iain Turner on loan from Everton. The young Scot had joined Everton from Stirling Albion at the start of 2003 but had not made a Football League appearance at the time of his move to City in February. Making his Conference debut against Farnborough Town Iain went on to make 12 appearances and featured in the final home game of 2003/04 when Chester clinched promotion against Scarborough. The talented keeper started the 2004/05 season as a regular in the second string at Goodison Park but made his Football League debut on loan with Doncaster Rovers in March. In November 2005 Iain spent a month on loan at Wycombe Wanderers before finally making his first Everton start in an FA Cup tie against Chelsea. His Premiership debut proved to be memorable for the wrong reasons as he was sent off after only eight minutes against Blackburn Rovers for handling outside the box. Last season Iain spent further loan spells at Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday while making only two appearances for Everton. However the future looks bright for the youngster who has extended his contract at Goodison until 2011 and has now been called up to the full Scotland squad.

Andy Woods joined Chester from Northwich Victoria in March 2004 and was the fourth goalkeeper used during the promotion campaign. Andy’s debut came in the 2-0 victory at Telford United when Iain Turner was unavailable after being selected for the Scotland Under-21 squad against Romania. Andy’s only other Chester appearance came in the final game at Hereford when he came on as a substitute for Turner. The England semi-professional keeper was released by Chester in summer 2004 and joined Farsley Celtic of the Unibond League. By 2005/06 Andy was playing for Wakefield-Emley and he was still with the club – now renamed Wakefield FC – at the start of 2007/08.

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Chas Sumner [Published 4/9/07]




















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