Record-breaking success, a summer of comings and goings and the most testing period of his managerial career to date, Neil Young has plenty to reflect on heading into 2014.
Last April, Lewis Turner headed home the only goal against Boston United to secure a third straight promotion and title. His goal capped a remarkable season for the Blues, losing only three games, scoring 103 goals and finishing with 107 points.
“I think people thought the Conference North would be the time where we stopped a little but it wasn’t the case and we went past everybody’s expectations,” said Young.
“The players that we had and the togetherness in the squad was fantastic. The performance of the team week in, week out meant it was a pleasure to manage.”
Fittingly captain George Horan scored the last of those magnificent 107 goals with a trademark header in the 1-0 win at Worcester City in the final game of the season.
As soon as the full-time whistle sounded, Young turned his attention to building a squad for the reborn Blues first crack at the Conference Premier.
Throughout his time in charge, the Merseysider has shown himself to be unrelenting in pursuit of success and he oversaw a summer overhaul, with just a handful of players being kept on.
“We lost some key players and I made some decisions on other players, as I have done over the last three years,” said Young.
Star man Antoni Sarcevic was sold to Fleetwood Town, dilly-dallying saw Danny Williams head off to Inverness Caledonian Thistle and others were unable to commit to the greater travelling involved in a national league.
“We lost two big players in Antoni and Danny and it was a case of trying to recruit as best we could," said Young.
“Did we get the recruitment right in totality? Possibly not if I’m honest but I think we got most of it right, given what was available to us.”
For a man so used to success, the 2013/14 season to date has been a new and unwelcome experience for Young.
Poor performances have seen his position called into question for the first time and the confusing courting of Jim Harvey added further fuel to the fire.
“The step up is enormous and I think we were a little bit in awe of the league and we had a terrible start,” admits Young, who retains the self-belief he can steer his side to safety.
“I have seen a change in the team and I think the fans have seen an attitude, commitment and a belief that we can win matches.”
Despite the unfamiliar challenge ahead and uncertainty over his future, Young remains fully focused on the task at hand.
“I love being part of the club, not just on the football side but when I come into the ground and see the volunteers and what they do for the club,” said Young. “I have as much hunger as I have ever had and anyone who knows me knows I put 100% into everything I do.
“Yes, I get down when results don’t go our way but that only makes me more determined.
“My message to the fans is that whatever the outcome of the season it is key the club remains stable and sustainable and everyone sticks together. If I make one new year's resolution, it will be that we stay in this league and we keep building this football club.”
The Chester manager’s Young’s View column returns next week.