29 July to 7 August, 2003
Alty hope to have Rod Thornley back for this game after his tour of the USA and Portugal with Manchester United.
The Harrogate Town site says that "York City's player-manager Chris Brass has confirmed that he wants to sign midfielder Dave Merris from neighbours Harrogate Town... The ex-Rotherham United trainee joined Harrogate in 1999 from Guiseley. He is one of the longest serving members of Town's squad, and is also part of the coaching team at Wetherby Road, holding a UEFA 'B' badge". He also scored against Alty last season!
The website of Bradford PA confirms that "Goalkeeper Michael Jones tonight signed UniBond forms for Avenue. Michael, who is 18 next month, hails from Doncaster and will continue to play for Rossington Main in the N. Counties East League when not required by Avenue".
Ex-Alty striker Neill Hardy scored as his Radcliffe side lost 3-2 at Curzon Ashton.
Stalybridge Celtic report that "Jerome Fitzgerald has been selected for the British Universities' squad which leaves next Monday for the World University Games in Daegu, South Korea... Fitzgerald will miss the first three weeks of the UniBond season".
"Wakefield and Emley midfielder Mark Wilson is at the centre of the controversy which has cost Steve Dyson his job as Brighouse Town manager... It's believed some squad members were unhappy with Dyson's policy of bringing in higher-level players for particular matches. Midfielder Wilson turned out for last season's championship decider against Silsden", says IC Huddersfield.
Another excellent performance, which improved as the game went on, saw Altrincham take a deserved draw from a young Bradford City side.
Match report here. For a report from the Bradford camp, see here.
"Marine boss Roly Howard is optimistic about an important season ahead for the Crosby club", says IC Liverpool. "As Britain's longest-serving manager prepared for his 32nd season in the College Road hot seat, Howard insisted: 'We have got to feel optimistic'... Howard is looking for a successful goals return from new signing Steve Whitehall, the vastly experienced 36-year-old striker who joined from UniBond neighbours Southport earlier this month".
IC Newcastle reports that "Former Gateshead skipper Gareth McAlindon admitted today that a move to Blyth Spartans is 'very close'... And the former Newcastle United midfield man said: 'I would expect a deal to go through some time this week'."
According to This is Lincs "Trialist Ryan Ford, a former Manchester United trainee and Ilkeston Town full-back, will get the chance to earn himself a deal with [Gainsborough] Trinity after impressing against the Imps [Lincoln City]... Former Emley midfielder Chris Hurst has finally signed a new one-year deal with the Blues". Still at the Northolme are ex-Alty men Chris Timons and Lee Ellington.
Spennymoor United have "added more signings to the squad... they are : Max Applegarth, a 19 year old midfielder from Middleton in Teesdale, previously with Willington, Adam Gilroy an 18 year old midfielder from Darlington who previously played junior football and Craig Rand, a 21 year old defender with Unibond experience with last club, Stocksbridge Park Steels and has been with Sheffield Wednesday, from Newton Aycliffe. Nick Richardson has now been released, Nick will take up the player/manager post at Ossett Town".
As England crashed to South Africa in the Test Match, Altrincham FC beat an Urmston Cricket Club side by 16 runs yesterday afternoon.
Left: Umpire George Heslop looks on as Rob Matthews (in sunhat) faces the Urmston bowling.
Altrincham FC took to the cricket field today in a game with Urmston Cricket Club and maintained their unbeaten record in pre-season friendlies (football or cricket!) with a 16-run victory. The footballers secured a first innings lead by scoring 110-7 and then dismissing their opponents for 99. Charles Heathcote started the game with a brisk 25 runs, whilst Richard Acton, his opening partner reached a more sedate 10. Rob Matthews scored a stylish 24 whilst Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin, who sponsors Urmston CC, hit 3 runs. Dalton Steele played a cameo innings, being caught for just one run. Ian Craney showed some previously unsuspected ability as a batsman with an aggressive 18, whilst Steve Aspinall made 4. The innings ended with manager Graham Heathcote and acting captain Mark Maddox at the wicket, scoring 7 and 2 not out respectively. Both Chris Adams and Kurt Edginton, an accomplished local cricketer as well as Alty's reserve goalkeeper, did not bat as the designated 20 overs had been completed.
Each team member had to bowl two overs and Craney and Matthews were Alty's opening strike force. Chris Adams, a newcomer to cricket, gave a creditable performance behind the stumps- once he had been told where to stand. He was to round off the Urmston first innings with a neat stumping. After bowling a beamer as his first ball, chairman Geoff Goodwin soon settled into a length and he broke the Urmston opening partnership. Good fielding by Rob Matthews prompted two run outs whilst Adams took a good catch of a steepling skier. Kurt Edginton secured an lbw with the help of some expert umpiring from George Heslop, which Chris Adams greeted with the comment, "Good decision, son" to George! Kurt Edginton produced a good bit of fielding to run out another Urmston man, and also took an excellent catch on the boundary, whilst Steve Aspinall clean bowled an opponent and Mark Maddox sent down some useful deliveries. Charles Heathcote secured the last wicket with the assistance of Adams's stumping.
The second innings (also of 20 overs) ended with Alty 16 runs ahead. An excellent afternoon's entertainment was marred however, by a bad injury to Alty assistant manager Dalton Steele who damaged tendons whilst attempting a run in the second innings. Dalton had an operation on the tendons earlier this year and may now be sidelined once again if an operation is necessary. Everyone at Moss Lane wishes him a speedy recovery.
The match was watched by a respectable number of Alty fans and by a number of non-participating players including Neil Ryan, Paul Robertson and Danny Murphy. Also in the crowd was former Alty defender Danny Adams.
Hucknall Town report that the club has "recently released Clint Marcelle. Poor off pitch discipline being cited by boss Steve Burr as the reason for his departure". Also released is Radcliffe's Will Archer, according to the Boro' website.
Frickley's site reports that "Following Mark Hancock's decision to take over as manager at AFC Barnsley, Phil Sharpe has appointed Gary Hatto as player/coach... Mark wants to part with the club on good terms and may well still be playing for the club in the first couple of matches with the likes of Steve Robinson and Duncan Richards missing games through suspension".
Lancaster City have "signed ex-Liverpool and England U-19 International Neil Prince". Ex-Alty man Tony Sullivan scored in City's 3-0 win over Clitheroe this week. Manager Phil Wilson has also eplained that City "are training in Preston firstly because the training facilities are top class... I am sorry that the fans who used to watch training up at Lancaster and cannot travel are dissapointed but it is important that we have good facilities".
"It has been announced today that Andy Payton has left Stalybridge Celtic", according to the club website. "After a chat with manager Dave Miller, Andy decided that it was in his and the club's best interests for him to 'hang up his boots'".
Worksop Town yesterday "announced that they had now officially signed Neil Glasser on a two year contract and he will no doubt start his official debut against his former club Burton Albion tomorrow". Also, Worksop Town FC have altered their first two league home fixtures of the season against Wakefield & Emley and Harrogate Town to away fixtures. Presumably this is because building work is not finished.
Hyde United Have signed "Lee Prior, full back, formerly with Waterloo Dock and Anthony Kielthy a 19 year-old centre-half who was with Stockport County last season and made some first team appearances".
The NW Evening Mail says that Barrow boss Lee Turnbull is "targeting former Rochdale man Michael Oliver, a player he believes would be the best midfielder in the UniBond. Oliver, 28 tomorrow, is a personal friend of Barrow AFC's boss and will play in Saturday's friendly at home to Darlington (kick-off 3pm)... Oliver may be the ideal replacement for Steve Housham, who could still be sold to Gainsborough Trinty if they match Turnbull's valuation of the player".
Southport met a Man. City XI recently and used a number of trialists including Danny Stone a centre back formerly at Notts County and ex-Burnley apprentice 'keeper, James Salisbury. "Mike Walsh is awaiting international clearance for former Port Vale left back Paul Byrne who has been with Barry Town", according to IC Liverpool.
"Harrogate Town will use their next two home friendlies against Accrington Stanley tomorrow and Nottingham Forest on Tuesday to decide whether to sign up trialist Mark Ford", the ex-Leeds and Burnley player. Town have Scott Bonsall (leg) and Michael Ord (knee) on the injured list, according to Harrogate Today.
Pickering briefly played for Altrincham three years ago. The trip to Mossley will be the second successive Saturday game for Alty against a team who have just lost their manager. Last week it was St Helens Town, where John Davison (another ex-Alty player) had recently left.
Mossley lost 0-3 to Macclesfield Town on Wednesday in Beckford's first game in charge. Alty last met Mossley in the 0-3 cup defeat by Danny Murphy and his then colleagues at Moss Lane on 30 September 2000.
Match report here.
NL Daily reports that "The long-running saga of striker Mark Quayle's move away from relegated Nuneaton Borough has finally been resolves as has been sold to Nationwide Conference side, Scarborough". Quayle played for Alty at the start of 2000-01.
Harrogate gave a debut last Tuesday to "ex-Leeds United midfielder Mark Ford... The 27-year old, Pontefract-born player, began his career at Elland Road as a trainee. He moved up through the junior ranks and earned two England under-21 international caps... After making over 40 first-team appearances for Leeds, Ford was sold by George Graham to Burnley for £250,000... Last season, Ford had a loan spell with Leigh RMI", reports the club's website
According to the Tameside Advertiser "Hyde United boss Steve Waywell is ready for the challenge of steering the Tigers out of the UniBond First Division this season. "Someoneís got to win it so why canít it be us?" he said. The paper adds, "Following a defeat to Manchester Cityís youth team, they have shown some impressive form in defeating Ashton United 3-1 before coming down to earth with a 5-1 loss against Worksop on Monday night. Waywell believes that the score flattered Worksop as his side led 1-0 for an hour". The Advertiser also reports on Droylsden's 0-2 defeat by Chester City in which ex-Alty men James Glendenning and Leroy Chambers played for the Bloods.
This is Runcorn confirms that Runcorn boss "Liam Watson has brought former Runcorn FC player, Danny Salt, back to the club on trial.. The 26-year-old wingback, who left to join St Helens Town in 2000, is expected to feature in this week's round of pre-season friendlies... Watson is still looking to strengthen his squad before the start of the new season though and is said to have his eye on several players in the Unibond League"
Match report here.
Lancaster City boss Phil Wilson has confirmed that he has signed Tony Sullivan from Altrincham as well as Phil Clarkeson (midfielder) and Kevin Welsby (keeper). "I am hoping to agree terms with two other players this week", adds Wilson.
Ex-Alty striker "Matty McNeil should be fit enough to play in some of the latter pre-season games following his injury from last season", reports the Runcorn official site.
Whitby's Aron Wilford "has signed a 1-year contract with York City, subject to a medical", according to their forum.
Footytalk is a new site which describes itself as "dedicated to bringing online fans together, providing links to fans forums and other football resources. We provide info from the Premiership down to non-league", including the UniBond League.
Compiled by John Laidlar