Dec 23 2010 by Paul Wheelock, Chester Chronicle
Chester FC: Neil Young calls for early-season kick-off as big freeze continues
CHESTER FC boss Neil Young cannot wait to see the back of the big freeze.
Not only has the shocking weather knocked his side’s title charge off track, it has also made life tough for him in his day job.
Young, as a manager for Merseyrail, has had to deal with the train-line chaos caused by the Arctic conditions – conditions that now threaten to rob Chester supporters of their festive football fix.
If Monday’s visit of Durham City to the Exacta Stadium (3pm) falls foul of the cold snap it will be the sixth match in the past month that the Blues have had frozen off.
It would also leave the table-toppers facing a new year fixture backlog Young feels could have been avoided.
Young said: “We didn’t kick-off until August 24, our second match was not until September and, while some of that was because we got put in the league fairly late on, it is still not right.
“The Football League kicked-off two weeks earlier than the Evo-Stik League. Football League teams had played four or five games before we had even kicked a ball and, compared to our league, they’re playing on top-class pitches with full-time groundsmen.
“My job at work is all about planning and, as a league, at the moment I think we are planning to fail. The earlier you kick-off the more games you get in – it’s that simple. We’re not even halfway through the season and we’ve only got 16 weeks left. We’ve got to fit in 27 league games while Curzon Ashton have got 32. It’s a lot to ask for semi-pro lads who have got jobs and families.”
* Chester’s new pitch covers have been laid down but, with sub-zero temperatures set to continue over the Christmas weekend, Monday’s home clash with Durham is likely to be postponed. Temperatures in the city this week dropped to a record-low of minus 10.7°C – the protective pitch covers on the rock-hard Exacta surface withstand temperatures as low as minus 5°C.