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When you can expect Chester FC's National League, FA Cup and FA Trophy fixtures

Anticipation already building for the 2017/18 season as curtain falls on 2016/17 campaign

Action from Witton v Chester in the FA Trophy(Image: Terry Marland)

The Vanarama National League season may have only just come to a conclusion but attention has already shifted on to next season.

For Chester FC fans the end could not have come soon enough after their poor form post Christmas saw them tumble down the division from seventh to 19th.

But what is done is done and new away days can be planned for in the National League next season with Hartlepool United, Leyton Orient, AFC Fylde, FC Halifax Town, Maidenhead United and Ebbsfleet United all joining the ranks.

There is also the small matter of games with Tranmere Rovers and Wrexham to come, although many Blues fans will be waiting to see what the summer recruitment brings before making any predictions for what may be in store next season.

So what are the dates to look out for?

When does the season start?

There is no doubt about this one, the 2017/18 National League season will commence on Satuday, August 5. Blues fans will be hoping that the opening day fixtures are kinder than 12 months previous when they headed to Gateshead for their curtain raiser.

When are the fixtures out?

The National League have to liaise with the Football League before announcing the set date but we were told earlier this month to expect them ‘on or around July 5’, which is a Wednesday.

When is the FA Cup fourth qualifying round draw?

The Blues will come in to the competition one round before the first and will be aiming to at least go one better than last year when they were dumped out at the first hurdle 1-0 by Steve Burr’s Southport at Haig Avenue .

No official word on this one but if looking back at past draws is anything to go by then expect the draw on Monday, October 2.

What about the FA Trophy?

November 27 looks a likely date for the first round draw for the Trophy, with ties to be played December 9, it is anticipated.

Last year Chester squeaked past Witton Albion in a replay before falling to Forest Green Rovers in the second round.

When do Chester play their first friendly?

A little less to wait for this one as the Blues will get preparations underway on Monday, July 10 (7.30pm kick-off) at Runcorn Town. Flint Town United are the opponents at Cae-Y-Castell the following night, Tuesday, July 11 (7.30pm).

A busy week will continue with a trip to Hyde United on Thursday, July 13 (7.45pm kick-off).

The Blues will then make their way to Bala Town on Monday, July 17 (7.45pm kick-off), Altrincham on Tuesday, July 18 (7.45pm kick-off) and Witton Albion on Thursday, July 20 (7.30pm).

League One side Walsall then visit the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium on Saturday, July 22 (3pm).

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