CHESTER City have rejected advances from two rival clubs to keep Kevin Ellison at the Deva Stadium.
The 29-year-old winger was the subject of approaches from Wrexham and Darlington prior to the closure of yesterday’s deadline for loan transfers. But when the 5pm deadline passed, Ellison was still a Chester player – and he may line up for the Blues in tomorrow’s Cheshire derby with Stockport County at the Deva Stadium (3pm).
City owner Stephen Vaughan last night said: “It’s quite simple. Kevin Ellison is a Chester City player and he is contracted to the club until 2010.
“That situation hasn’t changed and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of the matter.”
While the continued speculation surrounding Ellison’s future has been unsettling for the player and the club’s fans, Blues boss Simon Davies has taken it in his stride.
He said: “It’s a credit to the club that we’ve got players that other clubs are interested in. We’ve got some half-decent players and there will be a lot more speculation because there are some good prospects here.”
Ellison, who has netted 10 goals in 33 games for City this season, has missed the last two matches with foot and knee injuries.
He was due to return to training yesterday with a view to forcing his way into Davies’ plans for the game against fifth-placed Stockport.
While City skipper Paul Butler is expected to return to the side having recovered from an Achilles injury, Tony Grant (hamstring), Chris Holroyd (ankle) and the suspended Tony Dinning are ruled out.
Despite the selection problems, Davies goes into the Stockport game in upbeat mood after being buoyed by encouraging displays against Darlington and Peterborough over the Easter weekend.
He said: “There’s a good atmosphere around the place. I know we didn’t pick up any points against Peterborough, but again it was another decent performance. If we can carry on now, we just need to put a little run together.
“Performances are nice, but the points are nicer.”
Blues fans are in danger of being out-numbered tomorrow by their Cheshire neighbours, who have been handed two sides of the ground – the Liversage Stand and APC Overnight Stand.
The visitors expect to be cheered on by 2,000 supporters, making it feel more like a home fixture for Jim Gannon’s team.
Davies added: “It’s something to enjoy and not fear. The players must relax and play their football.
“They must have confidence in each other’s ability and, if they do that, we’ll give them a run for their money.”