If Tamworth wasn’t hard enough, tomorrow Hereford host another high-flying club.

The Seals are pretty much a model outfit at our level. The Chester academy which starts with U9s has a clear in-house route to the first team. They have both a U18 squad and an U19 scholarship group. They share a purpose-built training centre in the city with the first team squad which offers grass and 3G surfaces

The first team manager Callum Mcintyre used to run the academy and doesn’t hesitate to give young players a go. The Chester first team squad are surely the youngest in the league. Home grown talent like 21-year-old Harrison Burke with 70 first team appearances (contracted until 2026), 20-year-old Ollie Heywood with 40 games and the even younger Reece Daly with 14 appearances even though he is still 19. The first team train 3 mornings per week. The chair doesn’t see this as full-time football, merely a step towards it.

Their 2023 accounts are very detailed and open to all. They employ 65 people in total with a wage bill of £735,000. Their turnover is a little bigger than Hereford. Chester have recorded five figure losses in the last two years, although they still have a cash reserve of around a quarter of a million.

Our record against the Welsh-playing outfit is fairly mixed. We have enjoyed 3 straight victories on their pitch in Denbighshire. Conversely we hosted them twice during the year 2023 and managed to lose them both 2-1. Before then, there was a period of home victories and heavy away defeats. We are old opponents.

In terms of points gained, our records are quite similar – strong at home but points gathering away is often a struggle. Breaking through their defence is tough, with only Tamworth conceding fewer goals away from home. Keeping a consistent backline who know each others game has served them handsomely. Only one away defeat since November when the seals lost at Darlington. I mean – who gets beaten by Darlington? Ah. We do.

Chester FC (ticketco.events)

I always say be at the Street if you can but otherwise there is a stream to consider or listen to full match commentary from either BBC Hereford & Worcester or Radio Hereford FC.

Simon Wright

By Editor

Lifelong Hereford supporter who has endured the rise and fall of the club through progressive generations. Sports journalist, broadcaster and commentator who will never forget his Edgar Street roots.

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