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Chester FC's biggest game since the club reformed

Published date: 25 April 2014 |
Published by: Neil Bellis
Read more articles by Neil Bellis


 

“THIS is the most important match since the club reformed.”

That’s the view of Chester FC chairman Tony Durkin on the Blues’ last game of the season.

A victory tomorrow will ensure the team beats the drop after three back-to-back promotions since the club rose from the ashes.

Everyone involved with the fan-owned club is now urging supporters to go along to the Deva Stadium to support the team in their hour of need in the Skrill Conference Premier.

Earlier in the week Chester FC manager Steve Burr called on the club’s supporters to be the 12th man in the vital final match of the season against Salisbury City on Saturday(KO 5.30pm) and now club directors and fans have urged as many people as possible to make it down to the Swansway Chester Stadium.

Mr Durkin, said: “As far as Saturday is concerned, we are probably looking at our most important match since the club reformed.

“I am looking forward to it and I admit to being slightly anxious, although the confidence of our manager and squad is very positive and we can’t ask any more than that. Staying in the Conference Premier is key to our plans going forward but if the worst happens, then I know that we will rebuild and come back a stronger club with the experience of what type of squad we will need to put together to be competitive.

“We are hoping for a big crowd on Saturday to cheer us on to the win we need to ensure survival in this division.

“Please come along and support your local club. Remember under 16s are free.

“Regardless of whether we stay up or go down, we are looking to consolidate our finances and we are still looking at the possibility of full-time football through partnerships with local education establishments.”

The BT Sport cameras will also be in attendance at the match as the Blues feature in their third live game this season.

So far the club has a 100 per cent record in front of the cameras following a dramatic 2-1 win at home against Halifax Town and a 1-0 away win at Dartford.

Fans as far away as Finland will be making the trip to the Swansway Chester Stadium but, for one very young Blue, it will be the first trip he makes to the ground.

Alfie Banks, two-week-old son of Chester FC director Jeff Banks, who is standing down from the board at the end of this season because of family commitments, will pay a visit to the stadium for the first time.

Jeff said: “I’ll be taking Alfie down before the match to show him round but we won’t be staying so it won’t be his first match.

“It is the biggest game since we reformed. I’m not nervous because we know what we have to do. We have to stay focused on our match and if we do that, the celebrations can start.

“This season was always going to be a challenge because of the amount of full time teams around us. If we can stay up this year then it will be job done.

“The success the club has had has been unprecendented.

“We have had a lot of challenges to keep up with that and all we can do is to try and push the club forward as far as possible.”

However, some fans are slightly more tense ahead of the weekend’s match.

Richard Bellis, co editor of Chester FC fanzine The Blue & White, said: “I am terrified, absolutely terrified.

“I think we can beat Salisbury and I think Aldershot will beat Hereford but if things go wrong they will go really wrong. If we lose and Hereford win, then we go down.

“The minimum requirement for the season was to stay up, so it will be great to achieve that.

“It has been a difficult season on the playing side of things and if we stay up, then we will be able to build for next season.

“If we keep Steve Burr he can bring in his own players and we would have a great chance of pushing on into mid-table and possibly towards the play-offs but first we have this massive game in front of the TV cameras and hopefully a big crowd.

“It will be exciting even if it is towards the bottom end of the table.”

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