Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Awards, Scottish Pipers, Skem, and Perry Groves!

Well last time I blogged on Friday, I was all set to join Jim & Mark to receive the 'Team of the Year' 2010 award in the Your Champions awards evening being staged at the Crowne Plaza - and that's exactly what we did!

Arrival at 6.45pm in what seemed a very glitzy affair, with a Scottish piper standing outside doing his stuff - why the piper? Well Scottish Power were sponsoring the event - it took a while to click!

Inside to get all badged up - and despite being labelled as City Fans Ltd (had we changed our name last minute?) it was off to the bar to go and get the first drink of the evening - a bottle of Corona for £3.80, ouch. It was looking like an expensive evening ahead.

Fear not, as once ushered inside to the main hall, six bottles of wine were on the table, 3 red, 3 white. Now this was supposed to be enough for the 9 people seated at each table, however we were fortunate as there were only 7 people on our table, so almost 1 bottle per person - again, ouch.

Anyway, a lovely 3 course meal accompanied by the wine, and once the main course (beef in a red wine covering - yep, more wine!) was done it was time to get on to the awards. City Fans United had of course been selected as the Team of the Year, but each winner was placed into a Regional 'Final' where there were six teams nominated for the regional award, and Mark, Jim and myself all agreed that we didn't want to win the regional, as there were so many deserving charity or sad stories attached to their nominations, and whilst the achievements of City Fans United shouldn't be overlooked, we really weren't in the same boat as Clare House, or a team of 2 people who had raised a huge amount of money following the death of a close one.

This was a night of celebration of course, and we received our momento, which was a glass piece encased in a huge black box, and walking round town afterwards, it felt like I was an encyclopedia salesman!

A couple of pints in The Cottage, and then back home, for another bottle of wine, which I have to say took me past that line, and I certainly paid for it on Saturday morning!

I couldn't get to the Ossett game on Saturday, but had the Twitter account set up to send me details of the game, and I'd also done the same for the Chorley & AFC Fylde games - I wish I hadn't now as I didn't really need to know that Chorley had won a throw or corner every ten minutes, I guess the only surprise was that they hadn't won a penalty!

Anyway, it was great to see the goals flying in from Ossett via text, and the icing on the cake came when Michael Wilde netted his 16th of a very productive season so far - that man is a ledge!

Have to say, the table looked extremely nice after the final scores were in, and well done Wakefield for coming back at Chorley to ensure that we went 6 points clear at the top. Then the news came in from Skelmersdale where the last I'd heard was that they were one up, when in fact they'd rattled in 8 goals in the second half, what happened Cammell Laird?

It sets up Saturday's clash against Skem very nicely, and it should be a cracker - warmed up of course by the comments from their chairman Frank Hughes, who claimed that "a defunct club should not be rewarded for failure" - it does seem bizarre that the select few should choose to avoid the real story behind Chester FC - i.e. bloody hard work from all involved.

It seems that a few are upset that we could potentially take a promotion place that could have been theirs, well we aren't taking anything for granted, and will fight for that Champions title this season, and at the end of the day, I'm sure they won't be complaining when the tills are ringing when Chester come to visit.

So, extra spice for that game on Saturday, and we're hoping to see a big crowd for this one, can we match the Chorley attendance? It's entirely possible. We've heard that Skem have a couple of coaches booked for this one, so maybe with those driving they can bring a few by car too, and we can enjoy another great atmosphere as the Exacta Factor takes hold again.

The drive in the media to focus on this game is certainly going to be stepped up this week, as we are due to hear Neil Young on Radio Merseyside tomorrow night on Alan Jackson's show, whilst I'll be on the phone to Radio City & City Talk to get them to boost the coverage for this one.

Chester's own Dee 106.3 have been picked on by some, but they are stepping it up now too, and this Friday night sees the debut of a new show, which will be a regular slot for all Chester fans to tune into as every Friday between 6-7pm they'll be previewing the Saturday game, with guests and interviews, and also taking fans questions too. I'm lucky enough to be amongst the guests for the first airing of the programme on Friday.

Some updates for the website yesterday as a few stories were breaking, the half season prices which have been announced, and a great opportunity for those without Season tickets to get their family members to buy them one as a Christmas present!

Aside from the usual, I'll also be working with NATV to bring a special DVD out for Christmas, which will be an extended highlights package of the Trafford game, with lots of additional goodies on the DVD too, which should be out around the first week of December, so something to look forward to there!

Finally, one thing that made me laugh as we were walking around town on Friday night, I received a text from Perry Groves, who had noted the League table, and told us that they would sort the Open Top Bus if we win promotion, and Pat Nevin would be the guide!

I got a text from Colin Murray on Saturday afternoon too after the Ossett win telling me that Perry is certainly big on the Chester stats, confirmed by one of the texts received on Friday night which informed me of the facts such as our average crowd, leading scorer, and how many points clear we were!

Colin will hopefully be coming up to the Exacta again soon, but it needs to be a midweek game, and there is also the possibility of him doing his Friday night show live from the Blues Bar too - something we hope will come off in early 2011 - watch this space.

Okay, that's it for today, expecting another busy day today, so on with it....

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