31 January 2000
ISA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The ISA AGM takes place
tonight at the Royal Mail Club, Station Road, Chester
with a 19.30 start. Nominations are invited for
the ISA committee. City manager Brian Croft (Football
in the Community) will be a guest speaker although
Ian Atkins cannot as yet guarantee his availability
due to the understandable demands on his time.
Members are urged to attend as many important issues
will be raised.
IN THE MEDIA
PLAYERS TO LEAVE?
Page 24 of the March issue
of Match Of The Day magazine features an interview
with Terry Smith, and for those fortunate to live
in its distribution area!, last Friday's edition
of the Football Gazzette newspaper contained an interview
with Ian Atkins.
It is widely believed that several
City players will be released in the next few days. One
player who has left the Deva is Trinidad & Tobago
player Kamu Laird who has joined Ryman League side Dulwich
26 January 2000
MOSS FOR VILLA?
Full back Darren Moss appears to be a target
of Aston Villa boss John Gregory. 18-year-old Moss who had a trial at Villa
Park earlier in the season should command a fee in this day and age of
around 500k. Moss was withdrawn at the last minute from this weeks
reserve game with no explanation.
GREAT ESCAPE 2000
This Saturday's game with Torquay United
sees the launch of the ISA's Great Escape 2000 campaign. The aim
of the campaign is to get more than 2000 home fans per game. There
will be balloons, trumpets, a banner and leaflets to kick start the
run in. With nine home games remaining and while it is still mathematically
possible to stay up the ISA are trying to encourage maximum support.
If anyone has any novel ideas, or can help in anyway etc etc please
let us know.
24 January 2000
NO FUTURE FOR NASH
According to manager Ian Atkins
in this morning's Daily Post, midfielder Martin Nash no longer
has a future at the football club. The manager has also mentioned
in the Daily Telegraph that up to a dozen players will be told
they have no future at the Deva.
21 January 2000
TWO NEW SIGNINGS
Ian Atkins has signed two more players
in time to play at Northampton tomorrow. They are defender
Jamie Robinson and forward Tony Hemmings. Robinson is 27 years
old and a a former Liverpool junior. He's also had spells at
Barnsley, Carlisle United, Torquay United and Exeter City. Hemmings,
23, started his career at neighbours Northwich Victoria before
playing under Martin O'Neil at Wycombe Wanderers. He's recently
been playing at Ilkeston Town where he's netted 15 goals in
16 games. City have paid a fee for Hemmings.
DEBT PAID OFF
It's been reported that the club have
this week paid the final installment of the debt owed to the Administrator
since the club was taken over last summer. With seven new signings,
the wages budget has also been increased by 50% since manager Ian
Atkins took over the club. The club have announced that they are
expecting to lose £150,000 between now and the end of the season.
18 January 2000
CITY AFTER DEFENDER PERRY
30 year old Hull City right back
Jason Perry has been having talks with Chester. It is believed
the clubs have agreed a fee of £25,000 but Perry has
yet to agree personal terms.
14 January 2000
ALBERT ON LOAN
Attacking right full back Albert
'Ally' Pickering has joined City on loan. The 33-year-old has
previously played at Rotherham United, Coventry City and Stoke
City. He's expected to go straight into the side for tomorrows
game as Ian Atkins prepares to rest Darren Moss.
13 January 2000
NASH AT THE DOUBLE
City midfielder Martin Nash scored
both goals in Canada's 2-0 victory over Bermuda on Tuesday,
match report here. On Saturday Canada drew 0-0 with Trinidad & Tobago,
the side captained by Angus Eve.
12 January 2000
ISA SHARE ISSUE
Full refunds, and a letter of explanation
stating one or two very interesting points!, have now been
sent out to all ISA Loanstock holders. I received mine today
and presume that everyone who took up the ISA Share option
will receive their refund either today or tomorrow also.
11 January 2000
BAN FOR KEISTER
Defender John Keister sent off on
Saturday will receive a one match ban, this will be the Northampton
The maximum number of short term
(ie. one month) loan players that can play in one team at
the same time is two. There is no restriction on the number
of long-term loan players (ie. loans until the end of the
There's a Fans Forum at the Deva
tomorrow night in the supporters lounge, kick off is 19.30.
As yet it's unconfirmed whether Ian Atkins will be present.
10 January 2000
After handing in his notice before Christmas,
Youth team coach and former first team head coach David Fogg has
now left the Deva and is expected to join Shrewsbury Town as assistant
manager. Meanwhile defender Nicky Spooner has returned to America
following his loan spell from Charleston.
ATKINS STEPS UP SEARCH
AUTO WINDSCREENS SHIELD
Ian Atkins is expected to bring two or three more players on
loan to the Deva this week as City prepare to battle for their
last 20 matches of the season starting at home to Rotherham United
on Saturday. It's looking like City will have to win half of these
remaining games to achieve a total of 46 points. Various players
have been mentioned in the press including former Northwich striker,
Tony Hemmings who has played for Wycombe Wanderers, West Brom striker
Brian Quailey and 30-year-old Northampton midfielder Dean Peer.
Chester travel to Hull City tomorrow night for a second round
game in the Auto Windscreens Shield (ko 19.45). Both John Keister
and Sigurdur Eyjolfsson who impressed on their debuts on Saturday
are eligible to play but on-loan Brighton defender Gary Hobson is
7 January 2000
"Chester City Football Cub is very proud
to announce today that they have signed Ian Atkins as their Director
of Football. "Ian's title of Director of Football is meant to signify
his role of working with all aspects of the Chester City football
programme. "Terry Smith will remain as manager and the other coaches
will remain the same but Atkins will have control from his position
of Director of Football. "Atkins will be spending the majority of
his time working and coaching the first team, but will also be overseeing
the reserves and youth programme. "The Board of Chester City has
made the decision to leave Smith as the manager and leave the rest
of the coaching staff in place because they feel that now is not
the time to wipe the slate clean."
Terry Smith added:"I have the greatest respect
for Ian Atkins and Ian will have control over all aspects of football. "I
am really looking forward to working with Ian and I know that with
him and with all of the players that we will be bringing in over
the next week, that Chester City is on it's way back up the table."
Ian Atkins added: "My job is to keep Chester
in the league, I know that and I think everybody knows that. We've
got 11 home games and they're 11 Cup Finals to me. If we can get
500 more fans in tomorrow and then build on that for the next home
game because I think the next three games are crucial. Darlington,
Rotherham and Northampton are the three teams who I think will
win automatic promotion so we know that we'll have to work hard."
ATKINS SPEAKS ON HIS TOUGH DEVA ROLE
New Chester manager Ian Atkins has been speaking after joining
"I know it may sound crazy but the fact
that so many people have told me this is an impossible job has
spurred me on," said Atkins who was yesterday appointed Director
"Titles don't bother me one bit. I've been
told that nothing will be done without my say-so in the football
club. I watched the game at Carlisle on Monday and, yes, to be
honest the task ahead of anyone was frightening. Well, I'm going
to give it a crack. I know that the other managers around the bottom
of the division will be more fearful now because they know I'm
a fighter and we're going to scrap for our lives at Chester."
Atkins also went on to say: "It's not my
nature to operate in the comfort zone. I've taken on this challenge
until the end of the season. Right now the thought of finishing
91st in the Football League is simply heaven. I would back my knowledge
of players in this division against anyone. This is where your
contacts come in very useful. I know that a lot of people wouldn't
have had the bottle to take this job in case they were associated
with failure. But if we can pull it off it will be terrific. I
have been given free rein. If there is any interference I will
pack my bags and walk out."
NEW LOAN SIGNINGS
City could have 27-year-old former Brighton central defender
and skipper Gary Hobson on loan in time to play for the Blues against
Darlington tomorrow. Prior to playing for the Seagulls, Hobson
was with Hull City. Chester have also signed two players on loan
from Walsall, Sierra Leone International John Keister and Icelandic
Sigurdur Eyjolfsson (might be wrong that one).
According to Ceefax the away match at Swansea City has been brought
forward to Friday 18 February
6 January 2000
NEW DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL NAMED
The football club, through Dan Brookes,
have issued the following statement this morning.
Ian Atkins has joined the club as Director Of Football. In charge of
all football affairs.
This is a little confusing to say the least.
Does this mean that Terry Smith is still team manager? Several
clubs have a 'Director of Football' along with a different person
as team manager. Are we doing the same?
There will be more news, and hopefully a clearer
statement regarding length of contract etc, just as soon as it's
released by the football club a press conference will take
place at the Deva tomorrow afternoon.
5 January 2000
NEW MANAGER ON HOLD
As yet there is still no news on the successor
to Terry Smith as team manager at the Deva. The club today issued
a page long statement blaming speculation in the media for the latest
setback (sic). Last week it was the players fault for the shambolic
performance against Orient, today it's the fault of the media that
a manager is not yet appointed.
The statement reads:
"As a result of the false media reporting, Chester
City Football Club has now been damaged in its efforts to strengthen
its coaching staff.
Therefore, Chester City Football Club can now officially say that no
coaching candidate has ever been selected yet.
In addition, the club can now officially say that our search for a possible
coaching candidate has now been slowed because of the false media reporting.
Finally, Chester City Football Club wants to state that the club has
repeatedly asked for all the doom and gloom and negative reporting that
many members of the media that has covered the club this season to stop.
However, this media has refused to stop such pessimistic attitudes, and
this negativity has contributed greatly to the difficult league position
that the club finds itself in now.
The club has had to deal with all this negative media since before the
1999 season ever began, and this pessimism has put extra burdens upon
the players, coaches and supporters of Chester City Football Club."
I'm sure there will be some interesting responses
from the media (both newspaper and radio who have been covering
City for decades) to this latest statement of blame.
No announcement of a new manager at this morning's press
conference just the launch of the new West Bromwich
Building Society Chester City savings account called the Chester
City's A-Team drew 1-1 with Rotherham United. Carl Rendell scored
for the Blues.
4 January 2000
ATKINS TIPPED FOR HOT SEAT
Former Northampton Town manager Ian Atkins
is expected to be named the next Chester City manager, possibly today/tomorrow
morning. Atkins was in the directors box at Brunton Park yesterday
to witness City's second heavy defeat of the holiday period when
they went down 4-1 to fellow strugglers Carlisle United, this on
the back of a 5-1 home defeat by Leyton Orient at Christmas.
Owner Terry Smith confirmed after the match that
he had been speaking to a prospective new manager over "the
last three days" who had experience of managing in the lower
divisions. He also stated that they had discussed bringing in "four
or five British players who are battlers and fighters and have
been in relegation scraps before," after admitting that several
players weren't currently giving 100%.
INTERNATIONAL CALL UP'S
Both Angus Eve (Trinidad & Tobago)
and Martin Nash (Canada) have been called for international duty
this Saturday. Ironically both teams will be playing each other.
There is also the possibility that Kamu Laird may be called up
for u-21 duty with Trinidad & Tobago as well.
The Chester City ISA have stated that most of the associated paper work
has now been done regarding the ISA Share Issue refund. All monies (along
with the latest newsletter) will be returned in full very soon with a detailed
letter of explanation.