Saturday, 16 October 2010

Neil Young's Playing Career History

Written For:-
Chester vs Leigh Genesis 16th October 2010
This week The Cestrian interviews an important member of Chester FC, our manager Neil Young, and focuses on his playing career, which is something he found “worrying”.
Neil cast his mind back to his first football team and began, “I actually played for our kit man [Jimmy Soul] at 8 years of age, for a team called Oxham Villa at under 12s, at the time I was 8. I played for Wirral Schoolboys at under 11s and played in the Everton Cup Final at Goodison Park, but we lost, believe it or not, 5-0. Robbie Fowler helped himself to a hat-trick on that day... great memories at the time. Gary Jones was in the same team as me. Carl Ruffer is the same age, and he was in the team at Ellesmere Port at the same time.”
“I was with that team up until 15s, where we changed our name to Bebington Rangers, again under our kit man Jim and so it was me and Gary playing for them. Again we were playing for Wirral Schoolboys and we won the league and beat Liverpool. Again Robbie Fowler, Dele Adebola, Tony Grant [were playing]. But we had some good players ourselves, we had Jonathon Frost, Dave Brammer, myself played, Gary Jones played, a guy called Michael Edwards in midfield... John Evans too. We had a good side; there were two or three really good teams.”
“I was at Tranmere as well at the time, but I didn’t get a YTS [contract] at 16, because there was only six at the time, the way it worked. There was massive competition there, but I was still playing for Tranmere’s A and B team on a Saturday morning. From there I played for a club called Mersey Royal in the local West Cheshire League at 16. [Then] captained them at 16 which hadn’t been done before, and basically was up and coming at that level.”
“From there I joined John Hulse down at Conwy United and in my first season there, John’s second, we took the club to Europe. It was a massive achievement for Conwy, it was only a small set up and in ’95/96 we qualified for the Intertoto Cup in, I think, its first year. I was 21 or 22 then. I had two years there with John Hulse and then the club basically just folded, after we’d done really well there the second year as well.”
“From there I went to Droylsden, in the equivalent of the Conference North then. I played 6 or 7 games there and then dislocated my shoulder. I never ever really got back fit. I was physically fit but my shoulder kept dislocating. I had four operations, I had five dislocations. It was unbelievably painful and in the end, due to work mainly and the [amount of] time I was off, it was the case I had to basically retire from football.”
A sad end to a promising Non-League playing career, but Queens Park “the Sunday league team I was playing for and always playing for since I was 16, or always been associated with” offered him the chance to be their manager. Neil took that opportunity and began his long and successful managerial career which The Cestrian will cover in the next programme when we play Lancaster. Be sure to grab yourself a copy!

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