Friday, 7 December 2007

Player Profile : Chris Tate

Born in York, the easily distinguishable Chris Tate began his playing career at Bootham Crescent. His performances gave him the label of being a big, strong striker with an eye for goal and it wasn't to much surprise that he became the subject of two big money moves very early on in his career. Chris moved to Roker Park, then home of Sunderland Football Club to complete his apprenticeship but found it difficult to break through into the first team. The youngster switched to Scarborough on August 5 1997 where he became the clubs top scorer in the season the Seadogs dropped out of the Football League.

Yorkshire side Halifax Town splashed out a club record £150,000 for him on July 5 1999 but in November that year he returned to Scarborough in a deal which was supposed to see the club re-coup most of their money. His second spell on the East Coast didn't last long though as Scarborough felt the financial pinch. With cash strapped Scarborough keen to ease their wage bill, Chris' name was circulated to third division clubs. A £250,000 bid from Rushden and Diamonds was rejected in the summer of 2000 and Leyton Orient's Tommy Taylor signed him on a month's loan in November 2000. His spell with the O's was enough to impress the Orient manager and within three weeks his move to the capital became permanent when a £25,000 deal was agreed with the Seadogs.

Chris celebrated his signing with his first goal for the club, away at Northwich Victoria in the FA Cup second round. A double at Barnet including an impressive overhead kick secured three valuable points in the league and he then scored a dream goal in a Wembley play off final against Blackpool after just thirty seconds.

Whilst with Leyton Orient in 2002 the curly haired Chris Tate answered Mark Wright's striking S.O.S call from the Deva Stadium and Tate is enjoying his one month loan spell with the blues, especially after tasting success at Stalybridge Celtic. The 6ft tall target man scored his first goal for City in their sensational 4-0 victory at Bower Fold.

He said: "Chester is a brilliant club and Mark Wright knows exactly what he wants. The team were unbeaten in 11 games before I arrived, but it was great to get off the mark on Saturday after we hadn't played that well in my first game against Scarborough. I was hoping to score on my debut for Chester against my former club, Scarborough, and I had two or three chances, but it wasn't to be. I was in the same position on Saturday, probably because of a lack of confidence after being out of action at Leyton Orient. I should have scored at least two goals before I finally found the target, and I was gutted, not for myself, but for Chester City."

Transfer-listed Tate revealed Leyton Orient were about to send him out on loan to Grays Athletic before Wright rang to enquire about him. Tate added: "The Orient manager pulled me to one side and said he needed me for a match at Luton, but I was never involved and I told him I wanted to leave to play regular football. I was frustrated not to be playing after struggling for 14 weeks because I had a bone lodged under a ligament.

"I'm currently at Chester on loan until April 5, but Mark Wright will have an opportunity to sign me if he's been impressed after I've been here for three weeks. I know Chester were creating plenty of scoring opportunities before I arrived at the club. I'm not saying I'm the answer to the club's problems, but hopefully I can contribute to the team surviving in the Conference this season." Tate continued: "We know we're not safe yet and we won't rest until it's mathematically impossible to be relegated, but our win at Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday was very important, and our undefeated run is very impressive."

Chester manager Mark Wright was the first to acknowledge Chris Tate's part in the team performance against Stalybridge at the weekend. Wright said: "I knew Chris could hold the ball up and lay balls off, but he took his goal well and it was a great ball in from Lee Woodyatt. I thought Chris could have scored twice in the first half, but he kept plugging away, and he's not had as many games as he would have liked, but I know what he can do, and I played against him while I was at Southport, so I know he's a good player." Wright continued: "Chris has come to Chester and he's enjoying it, and all the boys are starting to enjoy their football, and when they work hard in training the game becomes easy, so we've turned it round and I think they're starting to appreciate it."

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