6 June 2003
FIRST TIME DOWN
The Altrincham players of 1997/98 (right), our first season after relegation from
the Conference, feature in the latest Players of Past Seasons feature here.
Southport have signed Trafford's Reserve Player
of the Year, Tony Dunne.
"New Gainsborough Trinity manager Paul Mitchell will expect his players to abide by the rules of the beautiful game when the season kicks-off in August", according to This is Lincs, which adds that "The former Sheffield Wednesday trainee has promised to scrap the long ball technique employed by predecessor Phil Stant in favour of a more cultured style of play". Mitchell added "I will build a side here which will pass and move and keep it entertaining... It's how the game should be played and I do believe you can play the ball on the ground even in the UniBond. But even if we have lost a game I want the fans to go home and say: 'shame about the result, but boy they didn't half play well'.
Hopefully, when you start to play attractive football the crowds will come
back and that's what our aim is - to get the gates up and build a side
which will get into the Conference". Meanwhile, "New chief-executive Rick
Knowles, who was appointed on Monday, said 'We need to strengthen in the
community. We have to see where this club has gone wrong in the past and
try to fix it'".
Hucknall Today states that Hucknall Town "were still waiting this week to hear the decisions of Danny Bacon, Clint Marcelle, Russell Cooke and John Burns on the offers of new terms for next season". Worksop Today confirms that former Southampton defender Richard Dryden "has joined the Tigers on a two-year deal after turning down offers from Conference sides Scarborugh and Tamworth. "Tamworth and Scarborough had the pull of Conference football," Dryden said, "but Steve Ludlam has offered me a coaching role alongside the player role and that is what swung my decision".
The Ormskirk Advertiser reports that "There has been much speculation about Burscough manager Shaun
Teale's future and he has been linked with several clubs following the
Trophy win, secretary Stan Strickland admitted this week. 'Our priority is
Burscough Football Club and over the next couple of weeks we need to know
just where we stand and firmly establish our plans for next season'", he said.
Former Alty midfielder Nigel Gleghorn, the player-manager of NW Counties' side Nantwich Town, "is looking to bring in four players with League experience". These are Ian and David Brightwell, the former Manchester City duo, whilst "former Crewe Alexandra duo James Collins and Gareth Liddle are also poised to join the club for pre-season training", according to Non-League Daily. Collins
played against Alty for Vauxhall Motors last season.
5 June 2003
AN OLD PROBLEM
Even back in 1936, Altrincham had its financial worries, as the latest
addition to the Past
Players section shows.
Postscript: Terry Rowley has today kindly identified the players on the 1936 team-photo and these now appear on the above linked-page.
The Manchester International Football Festival, details of which had been
announced in the press, has now been cancelled according to Manchester On-Line, due to the
SARS outbreak in the Far East.
Worksop Town's site reports the club's sixth close season acquisition. He is ex-Scarborough centre-back, Richard Dryden, who is almost 34, and has League experience at Birmingham and
elsewhere. Champions Accrington Stanley have "brought in two more new faces for next season. Goalkeeper Craig Dootson [who] spent last season as Stalybridge Celtic's first choice keeper... Also joining the Reds will be 21 year-old striker Darren Connell, who was released by Scarborough... He played 10 games on loan at Barrow last
season, scoring 5 goals".
The NW Evening Mail says of Barrow that "some [players] are concerned at having not been informed of their deals for next season by the club". However, assistant manager Lee Warren said: "As far as we are concerned we want all the side who finished last season to come back".
This is Lincs reports that
Gainsborough Trinity "chairman John Reames has told fans they would have
every right to call for his head should the club not qualify for Conference Two next season... Speaking at a fans' forum at the Blues' Club [he] said 'The financial consequences of missing out would be grave. We
won't settle for being left in footballing backwaters'". The same source says that "More than 150 [Trinity] fans unanimously voted for an increase in adult
gate prices from £6 to £7. The extra revenue will boost new boss Paul
This is Runcorn reports that Runcorn FC Halton "has already seen season ticket sales almost double during the summer... Only 18 fans bought season tickets last season but already 30 have snapped them up for the 2003/04 campaign". Staying at Runcorn will be youngsters Tom Spearritt and Paul Allen, as well as striker Paul Prescott, who scored against Alty last season. Meanwhile Everton FC has confirmed that "its reserve side will NOT play at the Halton Stadium next season". Southport's Haig Avenue is a possible replacement venue. "Everton has been keen to point out in no way does the decision reflect on the facilities available at Halton Stadium and that it is purely because of the excessive use of the pitch". (Right: Peter Band scores at the Halton Stadium, 21/4/03, watched by Dalton Steele.)
4 June 2003
The squad of 1988/89 is the latest to be added to the Past Players section of this site.
A more recent former Alty midfielder, Scott Wilson, who was in the Radcliffe Borough side which won the UniBond Premier promotion play-off against Chorley in May, has surprisingly moved back down a level to Rossendale United.
Four Gateshead fans and one from Spennymoor have just beaten their own record for visiting every UniBond League ground (for charity) in the shortest time by car (24hr 49min), shaving five and a half hours off the previous best. The unofficial Gateshead site has the details and a picture of the travellers at the Moss Lane turnstiles at 03.49 on 1 June!
A number of UniBond clubs are believed to have had extensions till June to finish work on their grounds. These include Marine, where work will finish at the weekend. According to the UniBond League Forum, "If
clubs do not get the 'A' grading before the UniBond AGM [14 June] there
may well be forced relegations".
IC Cheshire quotes Vauxhall Motors' manager Alvin McDonald: "I've talked
to a couple of players about coming on board for next season, but to
better our squad is difficult, once the subject of money comes up... Money
is a problem when you are looking around for quality".
Burscough are selling a video of their FA Trophy win. It will cost £15 (£17 by post) and will be available soon from Burscough FC, Victoria Park, Mart Lane, Burscough L40 0SD.
Pending appointment of a manager, Northwich Vics have appointed veteran centre-half Steve Davis (38) as caretaker boss. "Chairman David Stone says more than a dozen applications have already been received for the managerial vacancy and predicts an appointment before the end of June. Rumours have linked successful Burscough manager Shaun Teale with a return to his former club, while ex-Telford United chief Jake King is also said to be interested, while Davis himself is believed to be among the applicants", according to IC Cheshire.
3 June 2003
Altrincham season tickets are selling well for 2003-04. Click the link
towards the top of this page to find out how to get yours. As well as providing good-value admission to all the home league games, season tickets also admit you free of charge to the pre-season friendlies at Moss Lane.
Altrincham Football Club has sent its appreciation to SAFE, the Altrincham supporters' association, for its recent donation of £1,000.
James Riordan, who made more appearances than anyone for Ashton United
last season, is reported to have joined Harrogate Town. Stalybridge Celtic
have signed both Steve Foster from relegated Hyde United and midfielder Barry Keeling from promoted Radcliffe Borough.
The NW Evening Mail reports on a new book by Barrow fans Darren Gardner and Phil Yelland, called Barrow AFC 100 Post-War Holker Street Greats, which will be launched in September. it will cost £10 and covers from the 1940s to the present day. The authors have now written an incredible "32 books between them on Barrow AFC".
IC Newcastle confirms that
John Charlton, former Blyth boss and son of Jack Charlton, is the new
manager of Whitley Bay of the Albany Northern League. Charlton said:
"They are keen on promotion and a return to the Unibond League. That suits
This is Lincs
reports that two UniBond Premier managers of last season are vying for the
managership of Grantham. "Ex-Gainsborough Trinity boss David Norton is
believed to be strongly interested in the position...[but] his successor
at Trinity, Phil Stant...is said to have cooled on the idea of taking over
the reins at the Gingerbreads".
2 June 2003
GONE TO SEED
Moss Lane is currently without any goalposts after the two goalmouths have been levelled and re-seeded for the 2003-04 season. As the picture (now removed) shows, the local pigeons have moved in for a free feast from the surplus seed.
Halifax Town report that "experienced goalkeeper and assistant-manager Lee Butler has dropped a bombshell by leaving to sign for newly-promoted UniBond League Premier Division side Alfreton Town. After thinking hard about his future, Butler who was voted as the official website's Player of the Season for 2002/03, has decided to drop a division for one further season as a player. The keeper was probably going to retire at the end of the 2002/03 season, but had a change of mind and was probably going to stay and fight for the number one jersey".
1 June 2003
TEAM OF THE YEAR
In the NLP, the managers of the teams which finished in the top three last season pick their UniBond League XIs of 2002-03. Though Alty only finished 14th in the table, they nevertheless have two representatives. In Barrow manager Lee Turnbull's eleven is Peter Band, whilst Alvin McDonald of Vauxhall Motors selects Dean (i.e. Ian!) Craney. John Coleman of Stanley selects no Robins players.
Former Alty midfielder Jeremy Illingworth, (right), has been released by Stocksbridge Park Steels, for whom he was the captain last season. Another player from the Mark Ward era at Moss Lane, Eric Seekie, is named as "man of the match", playing for Denbigh in the Alves Cup in Wales.
Despite earlier denials from Worksop the Harrogate Town site states that Scott Bonsall has joined another Town player, Paul Sykes, in moving to Worksop Town. However, "a number of new signings are also expected prior to the start of the new season" for Harrogate.
31 May 2003
In 1960/61 Alty finished 21st in the Cheshire County League, having conceded 125 goals in 42 games. However, for 1961/62 Messrs Whites and Swales had just arrived as vice-chairman and chairman respectively and a host of new players were brought in to alter the club's fortunes. These included players who were recent full internationals as well as two stars of the 1958 FA Cup Final between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United. For their pen pictures, see the 1961/62 section of Players of Past Seasons.
Steve Hawes, formerly captain of Altrincham, is one of several Worksop players to have agreed terms for 2003/4.
Ashton United report that Phil Denney has been selected to play for the England semi-professional squad in an international 5-a-side tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Harrogate Town have released Scott Jackson and Nick Richardson who both joined Town last season and made over 20 appearances each. However, captain Robbie Whellans has signed for another year.
IC Huddersfield reports that Wakefield and Emley chairman Peter Matthews has "denied rumours the club are in financial trouble. UniBond League gates at Belle Vue... fell sharply last season, when Ronnie Glavin's side finished 12th... There is also uncertainty over the futures of former Town players Paul Cuss and Ryan Crossley. Mr Matthews, however, insisted: "I don't know where these rumours have come from but there is no truth in them. Our preparations for next season are going ahead as normal".
The Whitby Gazette reports that "Work on Whitby Town FC's Turnbull Ground which is required to keep the club in the Unibond League Premier Division is going ahead on time for the 7 June deadline". 50 additional seats are being added to meet the required 250, turnstiles are being renewed and work is also being carried out on the pitch. "Hopes of obtaining the seating and turnstiles from the Darlington FC Feethams ground did not materialise as delivery on time could not be guaranteed and Whitby had obtained the alternative second-hand equipment through a national dealer".
The NW Evening Mail "are among more than 30 potential sponsors to have entered Barrow's 250 prize raffle. It is open to everyone from fans to businesses and the winner will have their name emblazoned across the Bluebirds' new shirt during the 2003-4 Unibond League Premier Division season". The kit will be made by Adidas and "the fabric the club have chosen is a climatic fabric, which will help the players to stay dry and comfortable throughout the 90 minutes".
The Southport Visiter reports that Everton are thinking of switching their Reserve games from Runcorn FC Halton's Halton Stadium to Southport's
Haig Avenue next season. "David Moyes and his staff were particularly happy with the Haig Avenue playing surface". An Everton spokesman told the Visiter: "I can confirm that we have expressed a desire to play our reserve matches at Southport FC in the 2003/4 season".
30 May 2003
PLAYERS OF 92/93
Contemporary pen-pictures of Gerry Quinn's Altrincham team of 1992/93 (above) are the latest addition to the Players of Past Seasons section of this site here.
Weymouth report that former Terras'
defender and current Burscough manager, Shaun Teale, is being linked with
the South Coast side's managerial vacancy. More locally, Teale is also
being touted as Northwich Vics' possible new boss. Teale has fuelled
speculation by saying, "My position hasn't changed as far as Weymouth are
concerned... I'm definitely keen to see Weymouth's plans... The question I
have to ask myself is whether Burscough can kick on from here and really
start to go places and I'm afraid the answer is probably no. The ground's
not good enough to gain promotion". He added: "Burscough are well aware of
my ambition and it's no secret to them that I've applied for a number of
other jobs. It remains a case of never say never as far as I'm concerned
although if I'm managing Burscough next season then that would be fine".
Teale revealed that Southport "wanted me to go back as
assistant-manager," he said, "but what was the point? The recent rumours
about me going to Lancaster City were absolute rubbish because they've
probably got less chance of progressing than Burscough have and I've got
no interest in stagnating".
Following an attack by vandals at Barrow's
Holker Street ground a few days ago, another UniBond Premier club,
Alfreton Town, has also fallen victim to intruders. The NLP reports that
"Wayne Bradley, chairman of Alfreton Town, is appealing to the local
community for help in tracking down vandals who have again caused damage
to the North Street stadium. There have been five attempted break-ins at
the ground over the past eight weeks. 'We are sick to death of spending
thousands of pounds on repairing mindless damage to the ground due to
these attempted break-ins'", said the chairman. Meanwhile, for next
season, the club is installing additional seating, a new manager's office,
eight safety gates, a second food outlet and a press lounge with ISDN for
Radio Derby to broadcast commentaries on all home games. The ground will
then be certificated for up to 3,000 spectators. Another sign of the
promoted club's rise is that Town Talk, the club's programme was
voted the best in the UniBond League for last season, gaining one more
point than Alty's which was the best in the Premier Division.
Hucknall Today says that
Hucknall Town goalkeeper Ryan Young's move to Hednesford this week was for
a "fee of under £5,000". The whole sum has already been spent on bringing
Stocksbridge's striker James Tevendale to Hucknall. "Tevendale's arrival
eases the uncertainty surrounding Town's forward-line [in which] Gary
Ricketts and Mark Nangle are sidelined by knee-injuries and it is not yet
known whether Danny Bacon, Clint Marcelle or Russell Cooke will re-sign
for the club, leaving only Zimbabwean Kelvin Mushambie sure to start the
29 May 2003
SAM has an interview with
Graham Heathcote reviewing last season. "As long as we finished above that
third from bottom spot we were in, back in October, I was happy", said the Alty manager. "That may seem a bit non-adventurous but that was the job. We were in a precarious position and we needed to make sure that we alleviated that situation...For the team to finish 14th and be comfortably safe was a job well-done by the players".
The Barrow Forum carries an extensive interview from BLR (radio) with the club's new manager Lee Turnbull. Because of their isolated location, Barrow will have two training camps away from the town to cater for players based elsewhere. The manager "will take a session for players in Doncaster with new player-coach Ian Arnold taking a session in Kendal". Turnbull added, "Logistics make it virtually impossible for us to have one training base. We’ve had Kirby Stephen as a training base which is a good hour and a half from Barrow and a good two hours from South Yorkshire. It was difficult, so it's of my opinion that we do have two training camps and at least we do train on a regular basis. We are planning to train on Thursday evenings". Turnbull himself does a lot of travelling combining his job at Barrow with that of Community Development Manager at Scunthorpe United. Referring to discipline, Turnbull said, "We will have a code of conduct in place from pre-season and a fines structure which will be rigid and non-negotiable".
IC Cheshire says that,
as Northwich's assistant manager is set to follow Jimmy Quinn out of the
club, "Quinn's successor could be drawn from a north west UniBond League
Premier Division outfit". [Interesting!] Quinn has gone to manage Shrewsbury who "by coincidence are expected to be Northwich's first visitors to Wincham Park next season...in what will be Vics' 1,000th fixture since they became
founder members of the Alliance Premier League" in August 1978.
28 May 2003
PLAYERS OF 1974/75
1974/5 was the season of Altrincham's two FA Cup matches with Everton. The players who featured in that campaign are the latest addition to the Players of Past Seasons section of this site, here.
STAR, the Alty supporters' trust, is planning an open meeting on 28 June at
6.00pm in the Noel White Suite, followed by a quiz. A small admission fee
to cover costs and a fee for the quiz entry will be made. For more on
STAR's plans for the summer, visit its website
Hucknall Today says that
striker Danny Bacon "could yet reject Nationwide League Mansfield Town in
favour of non-league Hucknall Town... for it is believed that Hucknall
have offered Bacon MORE money to sign a permanent deal at Watnall Road
than he has been offered to stay at Mansfield". The same source reports on
the club's presentation night when "skipper Craig Gaunt was chosen as
players' player of the year and goalkeeper Ryan Young took the supporters'
player of the year award". However, Young, last season's ever-present
goalkeeper has this week left for Hednesford Town, his home-town club. Manager Phil Starbuck's position is reportedly under threat as he "has been asked to submit a written explanation of his comments" to the Hucknall
chairman after he was quoted as saying the club's wage budget had been heavily cut.
UniBond Champions Accrington have signed another veteran in 35 year-old
defender Gordon Armstrong from Burnley.
27 May 2003
Northwich Vics' boss, Jimmy Quinn, has left the club to take over at Shrewsbury Town, who were relegated to the Conference last season.
A page recording Altrincham FC's managers since 1965 has been added to the
site, here. This will
be expanded over time to include profiles of the 17 men (excluding
caretakers) who have occupied the Moss Lane hot seat in that period. There
have been 20 managerial regimes since 1965, (23, if you include three
caretaker periods), but two managers have had more than one stint. These
were John King (three) and Bernard Taylor (two) but the longest single
stretch was achieved by Tony Sanders (1976-84).
BAY'S NEW BOSS
A press release from Colwyn Bay reveals the identity of the club's new manager: "In a major coup the Bay have appointed Jimmy Mullen as the new first team manager. Highly respected Jimmy had a successful playing career with Sheffield Wed., Rotherham, Cardiff and Newport County. His managerial CV includes spells with Blackpool and Burnley whom he guided from the 4th division to the 1st division reaching Wembley twice in his time at Turf Moor. His coaching credentials are similarly impressive being in possession of the UEFA Pro Licence - the highest qualification awarded in professional football. He is currently coaching the Wales under-19 team alongside Neville Southall". Andy Owens, official spokesman for Colwyn Bay, goes on to say, "I really hope the fans rally round on hearing this news. I want to emphasise this is only the starting point and there is a lot still to do, but I now urge the local community to respond positively and help us to achieve our goals".
Worksop Town report that
"only a shell remains of the original Tigers' Club House after workers
began to reconstruct the new two-tier building this month". Other planned
work includes "extra disabled facilities, toilets and refreshments areas
and additional seating to bring the ground up to a 4,100 capacity in order
to meet the minimum standard requirement set down by the Conference
Lincs quotes new Gainsborough boss Paul Mitchell: "'I have a soft spot
for this club', said the former Worksop boss. 'When I was a player with
Worksop we ground shared at Gainsborough for two years. I liked the set-up
and I liked the people...It appealed to me that John [Reames, the
chairman] wanted me to come in as manager and not a puppet'".