Altrincham Football Club News Archive
28 May to 1 June, 2005

1 June 2005


The format of the FA Trophy is being changed for some reason with the three rounds prior to the entry of Conference National teams being classed as qualifying rounds, the last of which is on 26 November 2005. This destroys the parallel with the FA Cup, which like the Trophy had Rounds 1 to 6 before the semi-finals. Alty will join in the new 1st Round Proper for which prize money for winners is £4,000. The 1st Round Proper is on Saturday, 17 December. The following rounds are:
  • 2nd: 14 January 2006, prize-money £5,000
  • 3rd: 4 February, £6,000
  • 4th: 25 February, £7,000
  • Semi-Final: two-legs on 18 and 25 March, £16,000
  • Final: 14 or 20 May, £50,000.


    Our Stockport neighbours "Woodley Sports have moved swiftly to announce that [former Alty midfielder] Ally Pickering has taken over as first-team manager, replacing Tony Hancock. Hancock resigned due to having the wage budget cut and Pickering had been his assistant since August 2003... In 2004 Woodley saw one of their best ever seasons... Hancock steered his young side to the final of the Cheshire Senior Cup against Witton Albion where they won the game [a streaker-affected match at Moss Lane] to become the only NWCFL side ever to lift the cup. Also for the first time in their 34-year history Woodley gained promotion to the newly constructed UniBond League. Pickering quit as manager of then NWCFL side Mossley in late July 2003".


    According to This is Hull "Dagenham & Redbridge striker Chris Moore is expected to become newly promoted Championship side Hull City's fourth signing of the summer... Moore scored nineteen goals for the Daggers" last season.

    Ricky Duncan youth team manager of Cambridge United told Cambridge News that Director "John Howard has had a lot of negative press but from the youth development point of view, he has been an avid supporter. He gave us a budget but we've pretty much doubled what he was initially going to give us and that's because he believes in it and he's our voice on the board... We'd like to invite local lads to send in a CV in the next few days and we'll sift through them. Anyone with potential we'll invite along. We might get 60 boys and may only find one, but even then it will still have been a worthwhile exercise". But "United's youth system will lose £70,000 in grant funding due to the club's relegation to the Nationwide Conference".

    On This is York says that "Billy McEwan has warned York City players stalling on signing contract extensions that the grass is unlikely to be greener elsewhere. Only three senior players out of contract at the end of last season - Dave Merris, Lev Yalcin and Graeme Law - were offered new deals while teenagers David Stockdale, Bryan Stewart and Stephen Baynes were handed the chance to accept first-year professional terms. All six players are yet to put pen to paper". McEwan said: "Hopefully, they will sign but, if not, I won't lose any sleep. There will be hundreds available this summer". The article adds that "McEwan is now looking forward to browsing through the official list of available, out-of-contract players which will be released by the Professional Footballers' Association next week... Former manager Chris Brass, goalkeeper Chris Porter, last season's top scorer Andy Bishop, transfer-listed striker Paul D Robinson and midfielder Darren Dunning are the only five senior players contracted to the Minstermen beyond the end of June".

    This is KHFC confirms that "Stuart Watkiss has hatched plans to scrap Kidderminster Harriers' reserve side in favour of a full-time youth team... Watkiss believes the youth set-up, similar to a scheme adopted by Worcester City, will serve as a stepping stone for young players intent on making the first-team. He said: 'We're hoping to introduce a two-year course for youngsters whereby they get 12 hours football and 12 hours education a week... We'll be looking at lads who haven't quite made it at Wolves, Albion, Villa, Blues and Walsall. We're looking to bring in 10 lads this year and 10 the year after. We've met the college and they can meet the education requirements and we can meet the football requirements'".


    "Hyde United have snapped up highly rated defender Simon Garner from former rivals Prescot Cables... All of Hyde's promotion-winning squad have been retained with the exception of former Barnsley and Leigh RMI midfielder Carl Barrowclough".

    "Northern Counties East League Premier Division club Arnold Town have appointed Phil Starbuck and John Ramshaw as their new managerial team. Starbuck joined Arnold as a player in early December 2004... The 36-year-old had been managing then Nationwide Conference National side Leigh RMI". He also had "a successful spell as player-manager with Hucknall Town. Starbuck will have the vastly experienced Ramshaw, another ex-Hucknall boss, as his assistant".

    "Former Leicester City and Cambridge Utd midfielder Stuart Wilson has signed for ambitious Travel Factory Midland Alliance club Coalville Town. Wilson, 27, arrived from Nuneaton Borough".

    Like Altrincham, Droylsden will also be playing Cammell Laird (away on 16 July) and Bangor City (away on 6 August) in pre-season.


    Gary Brook, ex-manager of Ossett Town and Frickley, has become the new manager of Bradford Park Avenue.
    31 May 2005


    Confguide confirms that our Cheshire rivals "Northwich's new Victoria Stadium has passed today's Conference inspection, so the Vics will be able to take their place in the Nationwide Conference for 2005/6... By any reasonable measure, it's far from complete. However, the local authorities gave it the necessary safety certificate on Friday. And today, the Conference inspection also confirmed that it complied with the rules... Work will commence immediately on completing the new stand and dressing rooms etc. More seats have been ordered fot fitment before the start of the new campaign. Formal confirmation of the make-up of the Conference will be made at the 11th June AGM".


    The dates of three more friendlies have been confirmed. The home friendly with Bangor City is confirmed as Friday 29th July at 7.30pm (not 22nd). Away friendlies at Cammell Laird (19th July) and Congleton Town (28th July) have also been arranged; the latter is expected to be a Reserves' fixture. A list of the 9 friendlies arranged to date is here. Three home fixtures against Premiership/League teams are yet to be confirmed. Don't forget that a season ticket for 2005/06 also gets you free admission to the home friendlies.


    "Alty Legends" is a series of profiles written for The Robins' Review by Terry Rowley, which describe former Altrincham stars. Those "Legends" added to this website from that series have, till now, all either been profiles of players who are dead, retired or have left the club. But, finally, it has been decided to break the rules and include two players who are very much alive. So, by popular demand, the first truly "Living Alty Legend" can be unmasked and, who else could it be but popular central defender Mark Maddox. Mark achieved legendary status in The Robins' Review of 19 April 2003 in recognition of scoring the winning penalty against Kettering Town in an FA Trophy 3rd Round replay at Moss Lane on 22 January 2003. The second Living Alty Legend will be goalkeeper Stuart Coburn who had a Legends profile written about him in 2003-04 season. For Mark's profile, click here.


  • The full Review of the Season 2004-05 is here.


    Stewart Roberts, who deals in football programmes and memorabilia, has produced an Altrincham FC Conference Play Off Winners badge (right), with profits being donated to STAR, the Altrincham supporters' trust. The badges cost £1.50 plus p&p - for full details contact Stewart at 12 Hedge Way, Bradford BD8 0AH.


    "Danny Bacon, the Hucknall striker, has signed a one year deal with Lincoln City" says the Hucknall Forum. This adds up as This is Lincs reports that former Hyde United "striker Simon Yeo has played his last game for Lincoln City... The fans' favourite has signed a lucrative three-year deal with Auckland-based New Zealand Knights, who will play in the newly-formed Australian A-League which kicks-off in August". Yeo said, "I'm 31 and they've offered me a very good three-year deal, which means security for my wife and two young children". Yeo scored 46 goals in 87 starts for The Imps.

    This is Lincs also confirms that Kettering defender Martin Matthews, whose own-goal clinched Alty's play-off semi-final win at Rockingham Road has joined Grantham Town.

    This is Worcester states that "striker Christian Moore looks poised to leave Worcester City after one season at the club". Manager Andy Preece said that two approaches have been made for Moore, "One of them is from Nationwide North rivals and one from a UniBond Premier Division club".


    Kidderminster Harriers "will have a full-time youth team but no reserve side next season - if Stuart Watkiss stays as manager".

    NL Daily says that "Two players deemed surplus to requirements at Hinckley United look like playing against the Knitters next season. Manager Dean Thomas, following the arrival of Glenn Kirkwood from Burton Albion, released veteran striker Paul Barnes... However, [Barnes], now 37, is having talks with Gary Mills, the new boss of league rivals Alfreton Town. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Tommy Whittle, who was transfer listed by Thomas after the arrival of former England semi-professional international Ryan Price, is understtod to be discussing a move to newly promoted Hednesford Town". The same source says that "Former England National Game international forward Chris Murphy looks like being Redditch United’s seventh summer signing... Cheltenham Town have recently released Murphy".

    The Cambridge News says that "Former Cambridge United skipper Stuart Bimson has expressed his shock at being one of 12 players released by the club". He said, "Shock is the only way I can describe it".

    "Exeter City officials have come under fire from fans for the way they handled Friday's flybe football festival, which is likely to have cost the club thousands of pounds after just 1,504 turned up", states This is Exeter. "It is now feared the club faces losing between £20-30,000 as the game attracted the lowest St James's Park crowd for two-and-a-half years. Grecians' marketing officer Trevor Gilbery, however, insisted "It was a complete and utter success. The whole weekend has been an amazing success, no question... It's not always about finances, it's about what you can do and we have put on a big event" which also included a street parade and a civic dinner.

    Woking News & Mail reports that "Ian Selley’s decision to turn down the overtures of a Nationwide South club, believed to be Weymouth, and re-sign for Woking, were largely down to his affection for The Cards but more pertinently because of the revised offer of a two-year contract at Kingfield. The Cards’ star midfielder, 30, was happy to put pen to paper on Monday having been offered a small increase on the original contract offer made to him. But it was the additional 12 months on the initial proposal... which was the element of the deal that swayed the player’s decision.. while another piece of good news is that Neil Smith has agreed to sign on Friday. The club captain, now 33, has come to a compromise with Cockerill, having been 'angry' at the original offer he received".

    30 May 2005


    Bangor City who are travelling to Moss Lane for a friendly in July have a European date before then when they meet FC Dinaburg of Latvia in the InterToto Cup on 19 June at Rhyl. The return leg is in Latvia a week later. For fans keen to watch some football in pre-season, other Welsh sides involved in Europe include a Champions League 1st Qualifying Round tie for former Alty striker Ken McKenna's TNS to be played on 12/13 July (1st leg) and 20 July (2nd leg). The opposition has not yet been drawn.

    REVIEW OF SEASON 2004-05 - Part 3

    For the full Review, click here.


    Another Conference National club has announced its admission prices with Grays Athletic setting adult entry at £10, with a seat costing £2 extra. In the wake of Richard Battersby's sale to Northwich for a fee of up to £5,000, Radcliffe Borough boss Kevin Glendon said: "I feel it is good business for the club and indeed for Northwich. We have sold players worth £60,000 over the past few years and all to a higher level". The club website adds that "Battersby becomes the fifth player to move for fees in the last four/five years, following Jody Banim (£20,000 to Shrewsbury), Paul Mullin (£15,000 to Accrington Stanley), Neil Hardy (£15,000 to Stockport County) and Simon Carden (£5,000 to Accrington Stanley)".
    29 May 2005


    Altrincham FC held a very successful Golf Day on Friday in which 13 teams participated. Two teams from builders' merchants Travis Perkins, who have premises near Alty's ground, lifted the first and second prizes. The club wishes to thank everyone who took part.


    At last night's Altrincham FC Youth Team presentation Night, compered by Jo Ryan, Lee Hendley scooped both the STAR Youth Team Player of the Year and the Players' Player of the Year awards. Striker Lee now holds the all-time Altrincham youth-team scoring record - previously held by Steve Lunt. The runners-up for Player of the Year were centre-back Richard Gresty and defender Chris Waugh. Richard has also been made next season's Youth Team captain. STAR's Jackie Swindells Trophy for the youth player of the year was awarded to Lee (right) by the supporters' trust's chairman, Brian Flynn, whilst Alty assistant manager Dalton Steele handed over the runner-ups' awards.

    Manager George Heslop also gave his own and a STAR award to his assistant Neil Thomason, who is retiring after six highly successful years, due to work commitments. George paid tribute to Neil's hard work, enthusiasm and dedication and particularly complimented Neil on making the Alty side one of the fittest in the league. Neil was a very popular coach with the lads and in today's Non-League Paper, "Youth team star Chris Bailey said, 'It's been great to work with Tommo, he has made a massive impact on the boys'".

    George's review of the season underlined the strong finish to the campaign after an indifferent start to the season and he took particular delight in the 6-1 win over champions Morecambe "A". Four more photos of the awards are on the Youth Page.


    Oldham Athletic have signed Paul Edwards on a free transfer after his release by Blackpool. In the NL Paper Chris Timons comments on the mis-spelt shirt he had to wear in last weekend's Trophy final. He said that the Hucknall kitman, known as "Tony van Nistel Nose", "because of his large hooter" wrongly emblazoned the shirt "Timmons" because he is "As thick as two short planks"! Matty McNeil has been named the NL Paper's UniBond Player of the Year.


    Ian Senior's Sensports will add the Carole Nash logo to any 2005-06 season shirts which do not already have it. Please take your shirt to Jenny Heslop at the club and it will be done. Altrincham will be using squad numbers and will have players' names on their backs too but, as yet, the Conference has not finalised the style of these.


    John Guilfoyle, who has already produced several volumes in a series of Conference booklets covering that league season by season, has now produced "The FA Challenge Trophy, 1969 to 2005" which gives full results and much more info on every club to have ever played in the competition. The book is £16.99, post free, from John Guilfoyle, 24 Adelaide Street, Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington, Lancs BB5 5LU.


    The NL Paper's National Game Awards include a Club of the Year award for Northwich Victoria for avoiding relegation after being deducted 10 points for going into administration. It's a strange world.


    "Right-winger Simon Hollis has joined Tamworth for the 2005/06 campaign, signing a one-year deal. Hollis was at Redditch United last season, initially coming on loan from Solihull Borough, but ended up taking a number of awards and scoring eleven times... Current squad: Matt Redmile, Aaron Brown, Simon Hollis, Kyle Storer, Adie Smith, Dave Bampton, Scott Stamps, Graham Ward, Bob Taylor, Tristram Whitman, Mark Cooper (Player / Manager), Richard Dryden (Player / Assistant Manager" reports The Lambs website.

    "Dean Thomas, manager of Hinckley United, has signed his third striker of the summer. Burton Albion’s forward Glenn Kirkwood has agreed to join the Knitters on a one-year contract... As a result, Thomas has released veteran frontman Paul Barnes... but has failed in his attempts to take former Lincoln City and York City central defender Richard Pell from Boston Town to the Marston's Stadium" reports This is Leics.

    "Teenager James Holmes, son of former Nuneaton Borough manager Jimmy Holmes, has joined the Nationwide North club... [He] has been released by West Bromwich Albion... Although manager Roger Ashby has not seen the youngster in action, he's had excellent reports about the left-sided defender" reports IC Coventry.

    Bullsnews reports that "Mark Robinson is leaving Hereford and moving to Stockport County... within the next seven days".

    This is KHFC says that Harriers' boss "Stuart Watkiss will be searching high and low for strikers as he looks set to lose another front-man at Kidderminster Harriers. He expects Mark Rawle to reject his verbal offer of a new one-year deal ... Ian Foster, Blair Sturrock and Gary Birch have been released by relegated Harriers, while Chris Beardsley seems set to leave the club... So that leaves just Iyseden Christie, whose first campaign with Harriers was blitzed with injury, to plough a lone furrow up-front... Meanwhile, owner Lionel Newton is considering the first formal bid for his shares, made by a consortium led by current vice-chairman Barry Norgrove".

    The unofficial Megashrimps site says that "Iain Swan has left Morecambe and has crossed the river to sign for Lancaster City".

    Confguide says that Northwich's new "ground's safety certificate was due to be awarded [at the weekend], but this was held up by a hitch during the Health and Safety inspection. The result, initially, was a 'fail' due to having 15 seats incompletely fitted. However, the necessary brackets were located, and the latest news on the Distant Vics news service is that the H+S inspectors returned later, when they issued the necessary Safety Certificate. The crucial next step will be Tuesday's inspection from the Conference. A failure could result in relegation for Northwich".

    Halifax Town are believed to have signed Scarborough's Chris Senior.

    This is York says that "Former Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster Rovers striker Colin Walker, 47, has joined Billy McEwan's coaching team at York City". Meanwhile "Kitkat Crescent is to look spick and span next season thanks to the efforts of York City's loyal supporters... About ten volunteers have been working on the club's new-look". The assistant groundsman said, "Compared to other Conference grounds this is one of the best, but it was beginning to deteriorate".

    Kent Online reports that "Chairman Brian Kilcullen has promised Gravesend & Northfleet supporters that the club will never leave Stonebridge Road unless they have a new ground to move into. Disclosing for the first time that only minimum expenditure will be undertaken in upgrading existing facilities as they prepare for relocation, Mr Kilcullen vowed that gambling with the club’s future was not an option... He stressed that while the long-term objective was to leave Stonebridge Road the site would satisfy the required criteria in the short-term... Mr Kilcullen confirmed that it was the club’s intention to move to a new ground at the earliest opportunity" .

    This is Exeter says that "Steve Perryman was pleased with Exeter City's 1-0 win over the Italian Masters - but revealed his disappointment at the turnout at St James's Park... after just 1,504 fans turned out for the double header, which also saw an Exeter Legends side beaten 3-0 by a New York firefighters' team".

    The Cambridge News says that "Cash-strapped Cambridge United is to get a helping hand from chart-topper Natasha Bedingfield. The 23-year-old, who has already had a number one album... is an incredible signing for organisers of a two-day fundraising event... the Abbey Aid concert". For the event, "The pitch will be protected with a special plastic covering and the stage will be the same one used in the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games in Greece last summer".

    The NL Paper reports that Crawley Town's main sponsor, Victor Gladwish's GLS company, has withdrawn its support. It also reports that Exeter City's budget has been cut by £130,000 and that Grays have released goalkeeper Carl Emberson.


    "Kevin Glendon, manager of Radcliffe Borough, has completed the signing of former favourite Tony Whealing. Whealing, who left Boro last summer to join Stalybridge Celtic, returns after playing 46 times for the Bower Fold outfit... Glendon said: 'After leaving the club for a season he realised we are a club who do the right things and play the right way'" reports the club website.

    Expelled Spennymoor United have formed a new club with Evenwood Town and will play at the Brewery Field in the Northern League Div. 2 next season.


    Hednesford Town have confirmed two new signings and have also revealed that three players from last season will also be back at Keys Park for next season. The first new signing is 26-year-old midfielder Rob Heath, who joins from neighbours Stafford Rangers... 24-year-old striker Paul Szewczyk returns to Keys Park having signed from Bromsgrove Rovers... Meanwhile, Paul McMahon, Grant Beckett and Mark Branch will all be staying".
    28 May 2005


    Metro News reports on the now departed "travellers" who broke into the Moss Lane car park and whose occupation "coincided" with trespass, vandalism and soiling of the football ground. Before the intruders' caravans, tarmac and double-glazing lorries moved on, but after police had said they "couldn't do anything as it was a civil matter", Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin stated "If there were a group of teenagers wearing hooded tops and drinking in the car park, the police would soon be round to move them on...This has really upset us... If they've come on illegally, why can't they be moved off? Why do we have to put up with all their rubbish?". Meanwhile matchday secretary George Heslop, referring to the delay to pitch remedial work caused by the occupation, said "If the pitch isn't ready in time, we could be forced to play away from home" . George described how the "travellers" knocked down the council's height barrier at the Moss Lane car park to start their occupation.


    Grahame Rowley has conjured up a final, small supply of Conference Play-Off Final T-shirts. These collectors' items are just £5 and are obtainable by contacting Grahame on 07720-606897or by e-mail.