Manager Shortlist is Drawn

20 May 2010 11:16
Chester FC today started the process of shortlisting candidates for the manager's job. More than 30 hopefuls applied for the Deva Stadium post before yesterday’s closing date and the position is expected to be filled within the next few weeks. The vacancy has attracted the attention of a few former Football League managers as well as a string of experienced non-league applicants who are hoping to push Chester to a series of promotion campaigns. Blues chief executive Steve Ashton has already begun to grill candidates for the vacant Deva Stadium post. Such is the calibre of the applicants, he has kick-started the interview process early with a view to appointing a manager by the end of the month. Ashton said: “We have been interviewing and shortlisting candidates as we’ve been going along as there’s no time to waste. // '); // ]]> “We’re hoping to have something by the end of next week, which will mean we’ve made an offer by the end of May and have someone in place for the beginning of June.” Ashton is remaining tight-lipped on the names in the frame, but those linked with the position include former Blues boss Jim Harvey, ex-AFC Telford United manager Rob Smith and Chester-born former Tranmere Rovers defender Dave Challinor, who was captain of the Colwyn Bay side that won promotion to the UniBond League Premier Division earlier this month. Harvey became a firm fans’ favourites during a turbulent three-month spell at the Deva last season and would bring a wealth of non-league managerial experience to the role. The same could be said of Smith, the man who led fan-owned Telford up to Blue Square North. Whether the likes of Harvey and Smith would be willing to manage in the Vodkat League remains to be seen. Chester Fans United chairman Chris Pilsbury believes the news this week concerning the FA’s recommendation for the North West Counties League to accept the club will not have an adverse effect on the aspirations of managers who have applied. He said: “I hope the news regarding the league we will be playing in won’t affect the ambitions of those managers who have applied for the job. “Yes, we will be starting lower down the pyramid than we originally thought, but it’s the same Chester Football Club and those people who have applied will feel they are able to take us all the way back to where we came from. “I haven’t seen the list of names that have applied for the manager’s job, but I am aware that there are a number of candidates who are former Football League managers. “Not one of the applicants has pulled out which is good to hear, and I am sure whoever does get the job will be wanting to make a difference.” Pilsbury also confirmed that the Blues need to officially apply to join the North West Counties League Premier Division and then wait for member clubs to vote on whether to accept the motion at the league’s annual general meeting on Saturday, June 19. He said: “If Chester Football Club is run well both on and off the field there is absolutely no reason why we can’t be back in the Conference in five or six years. “We’ve got a good, loyal fan base who I am sure will stick with the club and, if we do start in the Vodkat League Premier Division, it just means it is one more promotion we’ve got to get.”


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