Monday 2 September 2013

Neil Young’s Capital Encounter with the Exiles

Chester manager Neil Young travelled to London to meet more than 30 exiled fans gathered for a special ‘Question and Answer’ session.

With Chester fan and BBC pundit Jonathan Legard acting as question master, the Conference North-winning manager talked for more than three hours about the past season and his plans for the future.

Fans gathered for the meeting, which followed the AGM of the Chester Exiles, also had the chance to have their photo taken with the Conference North trophy, buy some merchandise and even have a sneak preview of next season’s away shirt.

It was standing room only in the Side Room of the Parcel Yard pub in Kings Cross station as Jonathan Legard put the questions to Neil Young. There was plenty of opportunity for fans to ask their own questions as well.

Young talked about his aim to get into the Football League in the next 10 years, and how full-time football was an essential part of that process.

“This football club needs to get to full-time status, and we need to increase revenue streams to do that. It also needs to be sustainable, so it carries on into forthcoming seasons,” he said.

He revealed how the Squad Builder scheme had enabled him to fund the signing of Alex Titchener. And he said that money through the turnstiles alone would not cover the team’s wage bill, so similar fund-raising schemes were essential for the club to progress.

“My target is to win this League, and the group of players I’ve got now are bonding really well. But the Conference is stronger each year and we’ll need an uptake in the budget,” he said.

Still, the inspirational manager left the exiled fans excited for the season to come, and looking forward to the team travelling south to play Barnet on season’s opening day on Saturday, August 10.

Sue Choularton