Changes at Chester FC: IN Burr, OUT Young

Chester FC part ways with Manager Neil Young

CHESTER FC have parted company with triple championship winning manager Neil Young by mutual consent.
The Blues, who sit 22nd in the Conference Premier, have been struggling since their promotion from the Conference North last season and have won only four out of a possible 25 games.

Chester were dumped out of the FA Cup and Trophy competitions early, losing 1-0 at home to Gateshead in the cup, and similarly 2-1 against Barrow in the trophy, piling more misery on the under pressure boss.

Following the demise of Chester City FC in March 2010, there was a chance that the former Roman town would not have had a football team in the area for the first time since 1885.

However two months later a group of passionate fans set up a supporters organisation called ‘City Fans United’. It was from here that the phoenix club, Chester FC was formed.

Soon after, Neil Young was appointed manager after leaving Colwyn Bay FC, for whom he earned promotion via the play-offs into the Northern Premier League.

In his first season at the Deva Stadium, he won the respect of the fans instantly after guiding the Blues to their first championship success, lifting the Northern Premier League Division One North title.

This was done after winning 29 out of a possible 44 games, scoring 107 goals and only conceding 36 in the process, leaving the club on 97 points.

Success quickly came once more for Chester, this time by winning the Northern Premier League title. The Seals stormed to promotion, this time winning 31 from 42 games, only losing four throughout the whole season. After scoring 102 and only conceding 29, the Blues were rooted at the top with 102 points next to their name.

This wasn’t the end of the fairy tale for the phoenix club though, as they would experience another championship title. In their third season since reformation, the Blues won the Conference North, winning 34 from 42 games, scoring 103 goals and conceding only 32, totalling 107 points in the process.

Chester soon went into the record books after their remarkable three back-to-back league titles.

Unfortunately, the dream of reaching the Football League in four seasons was soon to be diminished, and with consolidation the aim in the Conference Premier, the Blues found the league much tougher than they had first imagined.

A poor start to the season left the Blues towards the bottom end of the table, a place which they haven’t been able to rise from since.

Wins against local rivals Wrexham and Macclesfield Town restored faith in the fans, and with the signing of former Manchester United defender Danny Higginbotham, things were looking up for the club.

However, after consistently drawing game after game, the trait of scoring goals for fun was absent this campaign, with the Blues finding it hard to hit the back of the net.

After signing several loanees this season in an attempt to improve team performances, the results failed to improve, leading to his eventual departure.

Caretaker manager, Gary Jones, will take charge of the club until a new manager is appointed.

Former City boss, Jim Harvey, has already ruled himself out of contention, with possible applicants having until the 11th January to apply for the role.

Throughout the three-and-a-half year tenure of Young at the Deva Stadium, his record remains impressive, with 98 wins, 32 draws and 23 losses from 153 games.

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Steve Burr named new Chester FC manager

CHESTER FC have announced that the experienced Steve Burr is to become the clubs new manager following the departure of Neil Young.

Burr, who left Kidderminster Harriers only 11 days ago, initially ruled himself out of the running for the job, declaring he wanted a break from the game.

However, after reportedly showing an interest in the later stages of the application process, the Blues conducted a series of interviews with a shortlist of candidates, including the former Kiddy manager.

After receiving 53 applications for the vacancy of the manager’s job, Chester unveiled their new man this afternoon during a press conference at the Swansway Chester Stadium.

Having been given permission from Kidderminster to talk to Forest Green Rovers earlier in the season, Burr declined their offer to take over as manager and opted to remain at Aggborough.

His time came to an end at the Harriers on January 7, when the news was revealed that he had been removed from his position at the club, despite leading them to the play-offs in the league and the third round of the FA Cup.

Managing an array of non-league teams throughout his career, Burr comes highly recommended, and will aim to guide Chester away from the relegation zone.

It is understood that he will be given money to spend in the January transfer window, however a couple of players are expected to leave to free up more of a budget.

By Steven Peach

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