Altrincham Football Club News Archive
14 to 19 July, 2004

19 July 2004


Left, is the glass plate presented by The Northern Premier League to Altrincham FC. It reads "Best wishes as founder members of Conference North, June 2004". Alongside it at Moss Lane is the crystal ball, seen right. It is inscribed "Altrincham FC, 1903-2003. Presented by The Northern Premier Football League".


Alty's next game is a pre-season friendly away to our neighbours, Trafford, at Shawe View on Tuesday (20th) k.o.7.45pm. Directions are here.


Harrogate Town are about "to unveil two big name signings at the beginning of next month." Manager John Reed said: 'They're both with League clubs and are among four or five we are talking to'... He also confirms that striker Andy Farrell has put pen to paper, joining the club from Halifax Town".

Vauxhall Motors has a newly revamped website. Links to all Conf. North club sites, and to many more non-league football sites are here.

The Holker St Newsletter says that Barrow expect to sign Ian Kilford. "Kilford is one of three players that [Barrow boss Lee Turnbull] had been chasing recently... Turnbull was also confident of signing Bradford PA centre back James Stansfield but he has been made another offer by a fellow Nationwide Conference North team and is considering his options. The third target was defender Rob Jones of Stockport County, though it's thought that he is unlikely to sign as he's been in talks with Darlington".


"Trialist" Kevin Ellison, released by Stockport County, scored after 3 mins on Saturday as Chester City beat Walsall 3-0. "Ellison's pugnacious display can only have helped to secure him a permanent contract" says their website. Jamie Baguley, loaned to Alty last season from County, is reportedly on trial with Rochdale.

Chris Downey, who was briefly at Moss Lane last season, scored for Mossley last Saturday in a friendly against Castleton Gabriels. Downey "controlled on his chest before blasting home a stunning drive from an awkward angle ten yards out on the left... Downey again hit the woodwork before rounding off a comfortable win with his second goal. The former Bolton Wanderers' striker keeping his cool to finish well" reports the Mossley site.

18 July 2004


Steve Aspinall, who assumed Mark Maddox's no.7 shirt in the second half at Abbey Hey, watches as Mark Rawlinson (14) awaits the next move from Gareth Feeney (on the ball).

Match Report here.

Alty's next game is away at Trafford FC on Tuesday. Details and directions are on the Friendlies page.


"Steve Davis, the newly-appointed manager of Nantwich Town, can't wait for the football to start as Coca-Cola League One side Oldham Athletic arrive on Saturday... Three new faces have been drafted in while [ex-Alty] Vernum Rowland and Tom Caines have followed Nigel Gleghorn to rivals Newcastle Town... 'We spoke to Vernum and we wanted to keep him here', explained Davis. 'But Nigel brought him to Nantwich and I think he felt obliged to follow'", reports This is Cheshire.

Stalybridge Celtic fielded Paul Nelson yesterday against Clitheroe; he was briefly with Alty Youth last year.

17 July 2004


Two goals each from Kieran Lugsden, debutant Colin Little, Stuart Wright and Peter Band gave Alty a comfortable win in their first friendly of the season. Alty also missed a penalty, won and taken by Peter Wright. As well as Little and Peter Wright, other new faces for Alty included Mark Rawlinson (ex-Dorchester Town, Weymouth, Exeter City and Man. Utd) and Gareth Feeney (ex-Flixton). There were also returns for David Holt, who was loaned to us last season by Stockport County, and Jamie Almond who made one sub. appearance last season. Report and pictures to follow.

Above, Colin Little slots home goal number four, into the bottom corner of the net, from the penalty spot.


Former Alty captain Steve Hawes has joined Stocksbridge Park Steels from Worksop Town.


As well as Stuart Coburn, Ged Kielty and Danny Murphy who, as reported yesterday, will not be available for today's friendly at Abbey Hey, also missing from the squad will be striker Rod Thornley. Graham Heathcote has confirmed that Rod is unlikely to be fit for the start of the season following his knee operation at the back-end of last season.


Graham Heathcote recently attended the meeting of Nationwide Conference League secretaries at Burton Albion and he has kindly passed on some of the initiatives which are being adopted by the Conference.
  • The format for the Conference's league cup competition in 2004-05 will be finalised by 12 August.
  • From 2005/06 it is likely that all Conference North and South games will have to be videod. This is to provide evidence for disciplinary hearings. Already, all Conference National games have to be videoed for this reason.
  • From this season, players sent off in games will be banned from the next game.
  • Clubs will now be able to play up to two long-term and two short-term loan players at a time. Short-term is defined as up to three months.
  • Sponsorship for the Conference from the Nationwide and Sky TV will extend over three years.
  • A website has been set up at to relay Conference match action.
  • The Conference will operate a press service and will employ someone for this purpose on a part-time basis.
  • The BBC will pay for radio broadcasts of/from some Conference games.
  • Umbro will be sponsoring the balls used in Conference matches.
  • Kia Cars are providing all Conference National clubs with a car; in Conference North and South clubs can obtain a Kia car at preferential rates.
  • A national licence scheme will be introduced for photographers at Conference games.
  • A new "Sports Interactive Conference Managers' Game" will be marketed. This computer game will include all Conference teams, including the North and South divisions, so you will be able to "manage" Altrincham and guide them to the lofty heights of the English game. Each club will have 100 sets of the game to sell; it is likely to cost something less than £34.99.
  • A "fixtures card" will be produced by the Conference, in conjunction with the Non-League Paper. This will list all Conference fixtures for all clubs rather than just the fixtures of each club individually. It is hoped that the cards will be distributed at the turnstiles of all grounds at the start of the season.


    Northwich Vics "For the first time in more than 40 years will play in green and white hoops this season".


    IC Cheshire reports that this weekend Chester boss Mark Wright "Attempts to finalise a deal to sign Stockport County winger Kevin Ellison, who has also been at Southport, Chorley, Altrincham and Leicester City, who paid £100,000 for him".


    At Stalybridge Celtic "Manager Dave Miller was hoping that last season's injury hoodoo was well and truly behind us.. Unfortunately that hasn't proved to be the case with the news that Chris Denham has suffered a fractured fibula in a training accident".

    Hinckley United say that "Former Doncaster striker Paul Barnes whose 25 goals presented Doncaster Rovers with the Conference Championship and reclaimed their place in the football league [and who] had been playing with Tamworth last season has started training with Hinckley United". The manager said, "Signing Paul would be the icing on the cake, but quality doesn't come cheap and we'll have to look at a way of financing the deal... We could be losing Chris Smith up front for a while anyway, as he's going to need to see a specialist about his ankle injury and it could be that if he needs an operation he will be out for 6 weeks at least".

    "Andy Wright and Craig Morley have re-signed for Harrogate Town", reports their website. "Left-winger Andy Wright is a former Leeds United trainee who lists Reading, Dutch side Fortuna Sittard and Scarborough amongst his former clubs. He made his Harrogate Town debut as a substitute on 18 September 2001... and made 4 further appearances... Spells with Whitby Town and Droylsden followed, and more recently he has played for Bradford PA and Wakefield-Emley. Craig Morley is a young defender who made 2 substitute appearances for Town last season on loan from Scunthorpe United".

    IC Sefton quotes Runcorn's Liam Watson who reports on "the tremendous season ticket sales and that gives everyone encouragement. The training has gone really well so far without any real problems and our only casualty has been new signing Jerome Fitzgerald who has been laid low since being on holiday... We have been running in the pinewoods, doing numerous circuits, had a boxing instructor take us and lots of 5-a-sides".

    IC Coventry quotes Nuneaton boss Roger Ashby on their pre-season visit to Sussex: "The three-day tour is about getting the cobwebs out of the system". The report adds: "The Nuneaton-based duo of Steve Farmer and Marek Szmid are among those out to establish places while former Torquay central defender David Cairns is out to resurrect his playing career following serious injury. Transfer-listed Mark Clifford is another striving to win the confidence of Ashby".

    Hucknall Today says that Town "manager Ernie Moss has welcomed his first two signings... and he has been further boosted by the news that one of the want-away quintet of stars, Dean Barrick, is now staying with the club. The new faces are brothers Joe and Matt Taylor, who were part of the Burscough side that stunned non-league football by winning the FA Umbro Trophy" Joe arrives from Worksop Town and goalkeeper Matt "was with Moss last season at Matlock Town... Speculation is rife that the new boss might raid Matlock again before the season starts with striker Danny Holland (20), last season's top scorer in the Unibond's First Division, and former Mansfield Town midfielder Michael Sisson (25) being linked with Hucknall". Also "Left-back Barrick (34), who was an impressive near ever-present in last season's title-winning side has agreed new terms for another season after looking sure to follow in the footsteps of Barry Miller, Roy Hunter, Paul Pettinger and Jon McCarthy in leaving the club after being offered less money. Hucknall have not given up entirely on luring back Hunter and McCarthy either... Several players have been on trial at Hucknall... They include former striker-cum-midfielder Russell Cooke (23), who is back at Watnall Road" from Leigh and Ilkeston Town.

    16 July 2004


    Altrincham will be without goalkeeper Stuart Coburn, as well as midfielders Ged Kielty (right) and Danny Murphy, for Saturday's friendly at Abbey Hey. Stuart is still recovering from his hernia operation but, more importantly, is getting married on Saturday and Ged and Danny are attending as guests. So, Richard Acton is in line for a recall to the number one jersey after finishing last season on loan at Welsh side, TNS.


    Don't forget there is another "Working Weekend" at Moss Lane this Saturday and Sunday, from 10am. Please come along if you can to help prepare Moss Lane for next season.


    Alty's friendly opponents on 24 July, Chorley, report that "The build up to Saturday's opening friendly is well underway, but a minor car accident means that striker David Eatock is likely to miss the game. Andy Mason has announced his temporary retirement from the game because of work commitments with the fire brigade. Meanwhile Billy McCartney, players' player of the year for the past two seasons, has left the club to join Conference North side Droylsden".

    Bamber Bridge, whom we meet on 29 July, are playing two other Conf. North sides in friendlies - Droylsden on 24 July and Lancaster City on 31 July.


    Warrington Town who will meet us in the Trophy in November, if they beat Ossett Albion, have signed Ben Obong from Atherton LR, Adrian Reilly and Brian Hatton from Congleton, Lee Hughes from Nantwich and Iain Dyson from Ramsbottom.


    Bradford PA has launched an email Newsletter, available by e-mail. Meanwhile Barrow's electronic Holker St. Newsletter continues and can also be ordered by e-mail as can Kettering Town's newsletter.

    The Holker St Newsletter's survey of Conf. North admission prices for next season concludes that "Harrogate are the dearest club in Nationwide North". Harrogate will be charging £10 entry whilst Stafford Rangers are charging £9 entry but £11 to sit and it will be £10.50 to sit at Kettering and £10 at Nuneaton. The cheapest entry is £7 at clubs which include Alfreton, Ashton, Hinckley, Hucknall, Redditch and Runcorn. With £8 entry and £9 to sit, Alty, Droylsden and Southport will be in the middle band of charges.

    The NW Evening Mail says that "Barrow AFC manager Lee Turnbull has given three summer transfer targets until Friday to decide whether they want to sign for the club... as he looks to build a squad of 20 players... Two of the players, who Turnbull has so far refused to name, have agreed deals. Both have now been told they have until Friday to decide whether they will put pen to paper at Holker Street. Although their identity remains unclear, it is known that one is a centre-half and the other a midfielder, and one is from the same league as Barrow while the other has recently been released from a third division club. The third player set to decide on a possible move to Barrow is out-of-contract Bradford Park Avenue centre-half James Stansfield... [but he] is also understood to be considering a deal from another Nationwide Conference North side".

    Harrogate Today says that "Harrogate Town's preparations for their inaugural season in the Conference North were dealt a blow by the news that Shaun Garnett is leaving the club- just two weeks after signing. The ex-Oldham defender was unveiled with goalkeeper Paul Pettinger by Town at a specially-arranged press conference a fortnight ago but with a coaching vacancy arising at his former club Tranmere Rovers, the big defender has decided to part company with Town- to the disappointment of manager John Reed".

    IC Cheshire quotes Vauxhall Motors' boss Owen Brown - "The lads have been brilliant in training, and it has been a pleasure working with them. They are in great shape and they have all looked after themselves". The article adds: "Meanwhile, Brown has made his first signings of the summer with the arrival of centre-backs James Glendenning [ex-Alty] from Droylsden and Tony Allen from Blackpool. The Rivacre Road boss expects to make several more signings before the start of his side's league campaign on August 14 but he insisted: "I am not in a hurry. I have made agreements with people and I don't expect any problems".

    IC Cheshire also says that Runcorn FC Halton "Player-boss Chris Lightfoot has confirmed the experienced wing-back/sweeper [Steve Carragher] as club captain... Carragher served as deputy skipper to Dominic Morley, who left to join Southport at the end of last season... There have been surprisingly few trialists at training... [but] Lightfoot retains an interest in a left-sided player training with a fellow Conference North club and the Runcorn boss is ready to move in if the opportunity arises.... Left-back Shaun Smith - Lightfoot's one-time team-mate at Crewe - could come through after his release by Hull City. Smith hopes for a deal with Scarborough or York but may yet keep himself ticking over with the Linnets".

    IC Coventry confirms that "The experienced duo of Neil Moore and Gary Fitzpatrick will be at the forefront of Nuneaton Borough's bid for glory in the inaugural Nationwide North season. Central defender Moore... continues to captain the side while mid-field schemer Fitzpatrick takes on the vice-skipper's role... And while Ashby purrs over his two stalwarts, he's making sure that talented youngster Matt Collins is fit and ready to do himself justice following a summer on the treatment table with stomach and groin problems".

    This is Worcester reports that Worcester City "keeper Shaun Hayes has moved to Bedworth United".

    15 July 2004


    Neil Brown, manager of Altrincham's newly reformed Reserves side, has been busy getting together his squad for the forthcoming Lancashire League season. After a busy few weeks, Neil has nearly completed the task and once this is done, details of the players and fixtures will appear here on the website. The Reserves will host their home games at Abbey Hey, where the first team is playing its first friendly this Saturday (3pm). In addition to the Reserves' friendly at Cheadle Town, which has already been announced, Neil's team will also be playing at Wythenshawe Town FC on 7 August (3pm). Their ground, which is the home of Alty's Youth team, is at Timpson Road, behind the car park at Tesco's Baguley store. Neil is hoping to fix a couple more friendlies before the Lancashire League starts in mid-August. The Reserves' friendlies are listed here.


    Altrincham FC season ticket holders will, as usual, be admitted free of charge to the home friendlies at Moss Lane, which this year are against teams from Blackburn Rovers and Stockport County. For those paying at the turnstiles, prices will be £5 for adults and £2 for concessionaries. The full list of friendlies is here. You can order your season tickets here.


    Alty's traditional rivals Macclesfield Town and Northwich are both in the news:

    Hustle & Bustle: the Silkmen Uncovered is the title of an "exhibition charting the highs and lows of Macclesfield Town FC" at The Silk Museum, Park Lane, Macclesfield, which runs in early August. Rumours that STAR is organising a coach trip to this event have been denied.

    IC Cheshire says that "Northwich Vics believe they are on the verge of an exciting season - and future... So far Burr has only made one signing - striker Phil Hadland from Leek Town... Two high-quality former League men are ready to join the attack and former Doncaster Rovers front-runner Tristram Whitman has also impressed in training... Off the pitch the long ground-out rescue and takeover of Vics is at last reaching an end. An announcement may be made within the next week. The deal will see a new majority shareholder at the club with big plans to develop the Victoria Stadium for sport and leisure".


    This is Worcs reports on how "The Jimmy Davis Memorial Day kicks off on Saturday... Redditch United take on the might of Swindon Town in the first friendly of the season... Jimmy Davis died in a car crash on the M40 in August last year as he was preparing to go on loan to Watford from Manchester United". Many Alty fans will have seen Jimmy play for Man. United Reserves at Moss Lane in past seasons.

    The Holker St. Newsletter reports that "Following a not too great summer, Barrow AFC have now been hit with the news that the Bank Holiday Monday Conference North fixture on 30 August against Worksop Town will have to kick-off at 3pm due to the match being on the football coupons... Whilst Barrow AFC do receive a small sum from the pools, it won't be anywhere as near as much as what the club will suffer in lost revenue as a result of the kick-off being at 3pm. The counter attraction of Cartmel Races that day, and the point that BAe employees don't have this day (Monday) off work as a holiday means that the attendance figure will presumably be much lower than if the match was played as a night game, when supporters would have returned from Cartmel races or work".


  • Nick Heinemann (Bradford PA to Scarborough)


    Radcliffe Borough "have hopefully secured the services of Paul Gascoigne & Bryan Robson to guest for us in the forthcoming friendly against Manchester United on Saturday 24 July". Chairman Bernard Manning Jnr said, "We are very optimistic and are due to talk again to Paul at the end of this week to confirm and organise any requirements he needs".


    Danny Johnson, manager of our neighbours Trafford FC has set up "Football4all" which specialises in football coaching through soccer schools, in-school and after-school coaching and by organising tournaments, football tours and fundraising evenings. It will also be selling football equipment to schools as well as to local junior and senior clubs. Its mission statement is "To provide people of all ages, abilities, race and gender the chance to play and progress in the world's leading sport. Football4all vows to support all football organisations in their attempts to provide professional coaching and generate valuable funding. With this Football4all will further develop grassroots, women's and disabilities football throughout the Greater Manchester area".

    Any new customers obtained via this website will earn a fee for Altrincham FC so please mention this if you sign up for any of their many initiatives. Details of Football4all are on their website. A link has also been placed on this site's links page.

    14 July 2004


    Altrincham play their first friendly of his summer at Abbey Hey on Saturday. Their last daytime visit to Goredale Avenue was in July 2002 when the above picture was taken. It shows the modern club-house and four Alty players in action, all of whom are no longer at the club. From the front they are Stuart Locke, Ian Craney, Neil Ryan and Simon Woodford.


    After threatening severe punishments for teams using more than 6 subs in pre-season friendlies, FIFA has climbed down and will now allow unlimited substitutions in non-international games. This follows the 27 player changes made in the recent Fulham v Watford game where the referee refused to officiate the second half for fear of getting into trouble. The second half was played as an exhibition match.


    "Former England semi-professional international defender Simon Shaw is set to make a quick return to Barrow colours following his release from the club at the end of last season. Shaw, who is a versatile defender, played twice for the Bluebirds over the weekend... and impressed manager Lee Turnbull enough to consider offering him a deal. The Barrow boss is looking for cover for right-back Guy Heffernan, and was also considering the possibility of playing with three centre halves" reports the NW Evening Mail.

    The Worksop Forum says that "Tigers' manager Ronnie Glavin made a triple swoop into the transfer market yesterday when he signed 22 year-old utility player Paul Dempsey, Steve Nicholson and former Wakefield and Emley player Mark Wilson".

    Nuneaton Borough report that their "Planning application for a new stadium on land off Ptarmigan Place (Liberty Way) was presented to the Planning Applications Committee at the scheduled meeting yesterday Monday 12 July 2004... The council having approved the application will have to refer it to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to see whether the application should be called in for determination by the Secretary of State... The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has 21 days once he has received all the information to decide whether to call it in or not... If it is called in then there will be a public inquiry which could take 6 months to complete. IC Coventry confirms that "The club has finally been given planning permission to move from its ageing canalside Manor Park ground to a river-fringed site at Attleborough... Worries about building on a flood plain, forcing the River Anker to be diverted, had been taken up with the Environment Agency...C'llr John Preedy (Lab, Arbury) said of Manor Park: 'It's a sad old ground at the end of its life'".

    "Bradford Park Avenue fielded five trialists in the first half, and almost as many in the second half, against a Doncaster Rovers side featuring a smattering of first choice players at the Horsfall Stadium on Monday night... but Rovers clinched the result with a second goal late on in the match. All in all it seemed to be a very satisfying start to the season in a speedy and often skilful performance by Park Avenue which bodes well for the upcoming league programme" reports their website.

    This is Worcester says that "Mark Owen has emerged as a slight doubt for Worcester City's opening pre-season friendly... The 26-year-old striker is nursing a sore knee and will not risk it unless he is fully fit".

    In addition to Darren Middleton (25), a striker signed from Worcester City, Moor Green confirm that "Jae Martin, Daire Doyle and Richard Robinson have all put pen to paper on deals for the coming season. This brings the squad up to 17 players with one further signing expected before... Saturday".

    Harrogate Town report that "Shaun Garnett has left Harrogate Town, to take up a coaching post at Tranmere Rovers".