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Cambridge United Manager Martin Ling has moved to sign versatile defender Kevin Roberts until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old signs on a free transfer after his contract with Chester City was terminated.

Liverpool born Roberts can play either right-back, centre half or in midfield and has made over a hundred appearances for Chester since 2007 scoring 7 goals. He made his first team debut as a substitute against Nottingham Forest in the Carling Cup first round tie on 14 August 2007, and bravely stepped up to take a penalty in the shoot-out.

Roberts continued to establish himself at Chester and came off the bench to score the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Rotherham United in September 2007. He went on to play regularly in the side ever since and joins the U’s on a free transfer. Kevin has been allocated squad number 25.

Martin Ling told cambridgeunited.com, “Kevin is a good addition to the squad. With games coming thick and fast, his versatility will be a big asset to us.

“Kevin is here to demonstrate his ability to earn a contract for next season.”

Kevin added, “I’m coming in to work hard and impress the manager enough to earn a place here for next year.”

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Cambridge United boss Martin Ling is ready to pounce for Chester defender Kevin Roberts as the crisis club’s woes deepen.

But Ling admitted he hoped the Blue Square Premier’s basement boys are saved as Cambridge United could lose six points if they are thrown out of the league.

The United manager confirmed he would be interested in snapping up the versatile Roberts if he became available.

Having come through the youth team at the Deva Stadium, Roberts, 20, is Chester’s longest-serving player and has so far stayed loyal to the cause, despite being paid one week’s wages in the last three months.

However, that situation is likely to change with Chester failing to fulfil Tuesday’s fixture at Forest Green after players, who had previously threatened strike action, refused to travel.

Ling said: “Kevin Roberts is someone we’re interested in. He can play right-side centre-half, right-back or as a holding midfielder.

“He’s someone that we’ve talked about and Paul (Carden, assistant manager) knows him quite well.

“If the situation comes where he can get out of the club or he doesn’t have a club given Chester’s scenario, then he’s someone we’d take a look at.”

If Chester are thrown out of the league and their results expunged, United would be just two points above the relegation zone having beaten Chester twice this season.

Ling admitted he feared the worst. He said: “We hope they stay in there for obvious reasons, but I’d be gob-smacked if the league doesn’t throw them out.

“They shouldn’t have backed them from the start, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”

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Former Chester City striker Chris Holroyd

Former Chester City Centre of Excellence prodigy Chris Holroyd has made the switch from Cambridge United to Brighton & Hove Albion in a move described by Brighton boss Gus Poyet as ‘one for the future’.  Everyone here at Chester City WordPress wishes the Nantwich lad the very best of luck on the south coast.

Brighton’s official website ran this story at the weekend…
“Chris Holroyd has been labelled as one for the future by boss Gus Poyet, but the club’s new striker wants to hit the ground running, and continue his excellent Blue Square Premier scoring record with Albion in League One.
Holroyd, who goes straight into the squad for today’s match with Millwall, feels he is ready to step up to League One and challenge Nicky Forster, Glenn Murray, Liam Dickinson and Gary Hart for a regular place in the side.
He said, “I started the season very well, scoring a lot of goals, and hopefully I can bring that with me. I am sure that is one of the things which attracted Brighton in the first place. That is something I have to continue.
“I think I need to challenge myself at this stage in my career and this step is the right step to make. Hopefully things will go well for me and I will be successful here.”
Holroyd is looking forward to establishing himself under former Chelsea and Spurs legend Poyet. “It is a new manager and a new challenge for me. I cannot wait to get going and am looking forward to playing under Gus Poyet..
“Brighton is a massive club looking to go places. I spoke with a few people at Cambridge and people here as well, and it is a club on the move. The new stadium is close, and there are exciting times ahead for Brighton, and I want to be part of that.”

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Brighton & Hove Albio’s official website is reporting that the club are are set to sign former Chester City striker Chris Holroyd from Cambridge United on Monday, subject to him passing a medical.

The two clubs have agreed a fee for the 23-year-old and he is expected to travel to Villa Park tomorrow to join up with the Albion squad for the FA Cup fourth round clash. Holroyd has proven himself to be a prolific goal scorer in the Blue Square Premier League this season, finding the net 15 times in 26 appearances – including a hat-trick against his former club Chester City – and also adding a further goal from three cup games.

During his spell at the U’s Holroyd has a goal return of 24 from 56 appearances. The speedy and skilful striker began his career with the highly-rated Crewe Alexandra Youth Academy, before joining Chester City in the third year of his scholarship. Holroyd turned professional in 2006 after scoring 21 goals in 28 games for the Blues’ youth team. Cambridge fought off competition from numerous league clubs to sign Holroyd in the summer of 2008.

He scored ten goals in his first season with the U’s and improved his return this season, at one point being the highest scoring striker in the country. Holroyd was called up by England C (the non-league squad) for his international debut this season, and scored his debut goal on his second appearance.

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Dundalk have added former Chester City star Wayne Hatswell to their ranks, with the centre-half joining the Lilywhites in a player/coach capacity.

Hatswell (34) has signed a two-year contract with the Oriel Park outfit. He previously enjoyed spells with Chester City and Kidderminster Harriers and in 2008 captained the England ‘C’ team to victory in the Four Nations Tournament.

Dundalk fans will get their first opportunity to see Hatswell in action when the Lilywhites take on Athlone Town on February 7th in their first pre-season friendly.

Shelbourne will visit Oriel Park on February 9th as Ian Foster continues to assemble his new-look squad. On February 16th Dundalk will face Drogheda United in the annual Jim Malone Cup.

Foster is satisfied that Hatswell will be a big addition to the Lilywhites squad: “Wayne is a player who leads by example both on and off the pitch.

His leadership qualities are well recognised by the fact that he has been captain at most of his previous clubs. Wayne has operated coaching schools for Arsenal in his home town of Swindon, and has acquired all the necessary coaching badges.

I expect Wayne to make a big impact at Dundalk both on the playing pitch and the training ground.”

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The excellent twohundredpercent.net and their forthright views on CCFC.
The axe swung, then, and the side of the neck was lightly grazed. Actually, in spite of what we may well be thinking (and this is a feeling that is spreading around the game ilke wildfire at present), there may be an ounce of common sense in the Football Conference’s decision to allow Chester City a temporary reprieve until Thursday: they are playing Cambridge United at The Abbey Stadium tomorrow night and Cambridge would have been put to a considerable amount of inconvenience (and, of course, expense) were the match to not be played. Here is the Football Conference’s statement on today’s talks in full:
The Football Conference confirm that positive discussions have continued today between themselves, the Football League and Chester City FC concerning the club’s continued membership and participation in the Blue Square Premier.
We are able to report that the Football League is playing an active role in endeavours to ensure the Club is able to meet its financial commitments regarding their legal undertaking to settle with creditors which formed part of their requirement for membership in 2009/10, and which also incorporates payment to creditors which the Club has with the Football Conference.
To enable the Football League to provide maximum assistance in drawing matters to a satisfactory conclusion, Tuesday evening’s match (1st December) between Cambridge United and Chester City will proceed as scheduled.
The Football Conference will then convene an emergency Board meeting on Thursday, 3rd December to receive a report from the joint deliberations between all parties, before discussing what further action may be necessary in light of the information provided. Following that meeting the Football Conference will issue a further statement.
So, there will be an extraordinary board meeting of the Football Conference on Thursday and the understanding is that the league is absolutely at the end of its tether with the club. The money owed to Wrexham and Vauxhall Motors, which are the crux of the issue being debated (as opposed to the various misdemeanours of Stephen Vaughan Senior and/or Junior), have not, apparently, been paid. If the issue of inconvenience to Cambridge United has been taken into account, however, and this turns out to be the reason for Chester being thrown a further seventy-two hours to try and sort themselves out, then Thursday’s meeting will end less than forty-eight hours before Chester are due to play Luton Town at The Deva Stadium.
More protests are likely for Saturday and this time the media, who were largely caught napping by the abandonment of last weekend’s match against Eastbourne Borough, are likely to be paying much closer attention this coming Saturday if the club does manage to somehow to get itself yet another stay of execution on Thursday. What surprises might the increasingly militant and agitated Chester crowd have in store to try and top last Saturday’s events? It seems unlikely that they would make the mistake of publicising it first. Should the Football Conference confound expectations and grant them another chance, though, the likelihood is that all Chester home matches will become publicity stunts to varying degrees, until the league does the decent thing and puts the club out of its misery.
The irony of this situation is that there is nothing that the Football Conference wants more than to be Taken Seriously. The ground requirements are stiff so that as many teams as possible have a chance of promotion into the Football League, and the financial requirements used to be stringent with clubs being denied promotion unless they could prove that they were sustainable. What is happening at the moment, however, is making a laughing stock of the Football Conference and, in a broader sense, of non-league football in general. The question that we therefore have to ask is who is this being dragged out for the benefit of.
It isn’t for the benefit of the clubs in the league, who are playing matches against a club without even knowing whether the results will be worth anything in a few weeks. It isn’t for the benefit of the Blue Square Premier, which is being made to look like a league that has a member club that is a combination of a tragedy, a soap opera, a disgrace and a laughing stock. It isn’t for the benefit of the players and staff, who aren’t being paid. It isn’t even to the benefit of the supporters, who now seem resigned to the death of this club and who would probably benefit the most from the closure club, to give them a chance of getting a new, democratically-owned club into The Deva Stadium, even if it was to start a far lower level than that at which what passes for Chester City currently plays.
To an extent, however, the Football Conference have been stuck between a rock and a hard place. Leant on from one side by the Football Association, who considered them to be in breach of their own rules, and on the other by the Football League, who were exerting pressure to guarantee the future of clubs that fall out of the league. The “easy” solution would be for someone to give the club their Football League parachute money (a sizeable amount of money), but this money is discretionary and there is, presumably, a reason why it is not being released by the Football League. In the meantime, the match against Cambridge United goes ahead – whether there is any point in this match being played, however, will not be known until Thursday at the earliest

 

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The Football Conference have this evening published the following statement on their official website:

“The Football Conference confirm that positive discussions have continued today between themselves, the Football League and Chester City FC concerning the club’s continued membership and participation in the Blue Square Premier.

We are able to report that the Football League is playing an active role in endeavours to ensure the Club is able to meet its financial commitments regarding their legal undertaking to settle with creditors which formed part of their requirement for membership in 2009/10, and which also incorporates payment to creditors which the Club has with the Football Conference.

To enable the Football League to provide maximum assistance in drawing matters to a satisfactory conclusion, Tuesday evening’s match (1st December) between Cambridge United and Chester City will proceed as scheduled.

The Football Conference will then convene an emergency Board meeting on Thursday, 3rd December to receive a report from the joint deliberations between all parties, before discussing what further action may be necessary in light of the information provided.

Following that meeting the Football Conference will issue a further statement.”

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