Up for the cup
It was announced today that Chester have been accepted into the FA Cup for next season. The announcement, made yesterday, confirms that the Blues will enter in the first preliminary round, ending a two year wait to return to the competition.
Upon hearing the announcement, two days ago, that their club would be back in the country's most revered cup competition, Blues fans have expressed their delight.
"I'm looking forward to beating a couple of teams in the backwaters of Birmingham, then crashing out before the first round proper to a team we'd have scoffed at five years ago," said an excited C Block regular Henry Quietcarriage.
Chester's exile from the competition, which has now ended with Monday's announcement, was due to the rule that, before a club can take part in the FA Cup, they must first have played in the FA Trophy. Chester FC only managed to do for the first time this season, due to missing the deadline in their first year. In spite of this, ITV mid-game talker Peter Drury saw fit to announce during Halifax's televised clash with Charlton that the absence was due to "various misdemeanours over the years", before later apologising to CFU media brew Jar Jar Banks over the phone.
"Obviously, I was upset when Drury announced to thenation that we're a bunch of scumbuckets," said South Stand stalwart Terry Geehorsie. "But he's called Banksy and said sorry, so that's ok then. There's no need for him to set the record straight on air, where he made the initial slur. He's apologised to Banksy and that's enough for me. I'm sure the apology will get back to the rest of the country and our reputation will be restored. Cheers, Pete."
Chester's appearance in the cup, announced last Friday, is also sure to bring a handy cash injection to the club.
Weeks ago, this happened. Weeks ago.
With Chester seemingly just a couple of games away from winning the Evo Stik Northern Premier, worried fans are starting to fret that they may not gain entry to the Northwich clash.
"I am a CFU member, and I should have priority," tantrummed one fan. "I want all the benefits of a Season Ticket for a five pound cover! I paid a nominal and utterly miniscule sum in order to own this club, and I even turned up at one of the meetings once, cos it was in the Blues Bar and I'd gone there to see if the United match was on."
"It's important that the people who own this club are warmly recognised," said CFU member 132.11(b). "We are the reason the club has been so successful. I tell you what though, if I see another hard-working director on the open top tour bus this year, I will be fuming! Why should they get priority for actually doing something? Just because they are the reason the club has been so successful, doesn't mean they shouldn't get priority over the rest of the fans."
Meanwhile, despite the fact that there have probably been over 6,000 unique spectators at the Exacta this season, and it's thoroughly acceptable that a good wedge of them will all make the effort to attend a game of such significance, various sections of support have moved to produce reasons why their attendance is more important than the next guy.
"We are H Block, and our brand of aggressively slating full backs is imperative to our team's success. No-one better infiltrate The Block," said Alan Classyclothes.
"I go to the away games," protested Jimmy Non-Sequitor.
"Well, I've been a supporter for over 50 years, so I shouldn't have to get there early to guarantee my spot in a public place, even if I haven't taken advantage of being able to book a seat by buying a Season Ticket," grumbled Gerald Mahogany-Cane of the South Stand.
"I'm the manager, for goodness' sake," implored Neil Young.
Holding Out For A Hero
Concern is growing that the Danny Toronczak Memorial Jug may be left without a clear winner for 2012, with Chester's championship destiny well and truly in their own hands. The DTM Jug is annually presented to a player of another team whose accidental positive influence on Chester's season is awarded undue importance by Blues fans. However, barring any unexpected results between now and Monday, the Seals are in the comfortable position of knowing that a victory over second-placed Northwich Victoria will wrap the Evo-Stik Premier title up in the most direct way possible, in stark contrast to last season's run-in.
"To be honest, we could do with getting 4,000 people in and then spectacularly imploding, as usual" confirmed Awards Co-Ordinator Henrietta Shinyfrock. "Then Northwich can lose to Hednesford and we'll have a winner . It would be a shame if we couldn't give the award out to someone - and besides, we're scraping the barrel for half-time guests most weeks. We're crying out for another genuine Cestrian legend."
Manager Neil Young has admitted he's fully focussed on winning the league against the Vics and doesn't want his side to rely on others to win the league for them.
"I don't want to be topping the Nokia up with another tenner and buzzing through to wherever it is Northwich are calling home next weekend, mate," confirmed the Blues gaffer, who went on to dismiss rumours that he'd been seen practicing his 'phone in one hand, raised clenched fist with the other' routine since October.
Should Monday's result mean Chester seal the championship through their own doing, Halifax boss Neil Aspin may be presented with the Jug for his contribution to the cause, having taken toxic influence Jamie Rainford off the club's hands in February.
The winner of the Jug will also earn the right to have Chester fans request that one of their actual players is booted off the sub's bench for the final game of the season in order to accomodate their third party "hero".