Altrincham Football Club News Archive
22 to 27 June, 2005

27 June 2005


All football grounds, including Moss Lane, have a list of banned items but a recent visit to Sporting Lisbon's Alvalade stadium, the adjacent notice was spotted, which graphically underlines what spectators cannot take in to football matches there. The banned items include guns, explosives, mallets, loud-hailers, syringes, crash-helmets, umbrellas and... tennis balls!


Altrincham FC will be hoping for increased gates next season as they return to the national division of the Conference. By way of comparison, a list of our average league attendances since 1987 is here.


The draw for the early qualifying rounds of the FA Cup is to be made on 1st July. However, this season Alty do not enter till the fourth qualifying round so we have a little while to wait yet before learning our opposition.


The Leigh RMI website says that the club's "supporters' club has agreed to help out on the 16th July for the pre-season friendly visit of FC United of Manchester. This is FC United's first ever game and following a meeting with their committee on Thurs 23rd June they have stated an anticipated attendance of between 4,000 and 7,000 to witness the dawn of a new era... It is expected that up to 10 turnstile operators, 4 programme sellers, half time draw sellers and several chaperones[!?] may be required on the day... Gates may be opening up to 3 hours before kick off".
26 June 2005


Good progress was made on Saturday by the volunteers who turned up to help prepare Moss Lane for the new season. More work was done today but much remains to be tackled before the friendlies start in three weeks time. Moss Lane will be open again on the next two weekends from 10am so if you can spare a few hours, please do come along and help with tidying-up, painting and odd jobs. Work also continues on the pitch with the delivery today of a new roller/drier for clearing water off it after downpours and the spraying of the terraces and pitch surrounds with weedkiller.


Alty are away at Woodley Sports in the Cheshire Senior Cup next season and the Stockport club is one of the first to be laying an artficial pitch after a change in rules to allow this. Although the pitch is not eligible for FA Cup, Trophy or Youth matches, it can be used for other games and Woodley believe they can make more money by hiring it out than they would from FA prize money, according to today's NL Paper. Woodley's pitch cost £320,000 to lay and the club will soon be constructing a £4 million sports complex with backing from two local businessmen.


The Cambridge United "roller coaster took another lurch on Saturday morning when Sports Minister Richard Caborn called key players to his office for crisis talks on Monday. Just hours after we broke the news that a potential compromise brokered by Mr Caborn had been rejected by HM Revenue & Customs, leaving the club pursuing one more option for survival, his office announced that senior representatives from all parties were expected to meet for round-the-table talks on Monday morning... A statement from his office at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport declared: 'There can be no guarantee of success'".

Today's NL Paper debates who might join the Conference National if Cambridge United do not survive. Relegated Farnborough and Leigh RMI reportedly would not accept a place back in the National division and neither would Eastbourne Borough, the beaten play-off side. All cite the extra cost of national football as the reason.

Steve Flitcroft of Accrington Stanley has reportedly joined Barrow, whilst Amos Foweya has left Woking for Lewes where he joins Dwain Clarke, who has left Aldershot. Southport's Lee Mulvaney is training with Stalybridge Celtic.

Woking "announce that they have reached agreement with Yeovil FC on compensation for former defender, Luke Oliver, who joined the Glovers from Woking a few weeks ago. Yeovil have agreed to pay Woking a five figure compensation fee. The terms also include a sell-on clause".

Kidderminster Harriers' player of the year Dean Keates "is understood to have three approaches from other clubs, two of them in League Two. One of Harriers¹ Nationwide Conference rivals is also understood to have lodged an interest. The out of contract ex-Hull player, who turns 27 next week... will begin talks with the interested parties then... Manager Stuart Watkiss faces the farcical prospect of having just eight players at training, two of them goalkeepers... [as] the deadlock over control of the club rumbles on... The Hampshire-based consortium were expected to release a statement on their intentions 48 hours ago, but nothing has materialised". 25 June 2005


Shotsweb says that "[Aldershot] defender Brett Johnson has turned his back on the offer of a new contract and is on his way to Northampton Town".

"Forest Green Rovers are again running their popular Junior Greens Club which entitles persons under 16 to watch Rovers for as little as £2 per match only, with a single joining fee of £10 per season". Other benefits include 10% discount in the Club Shop and discount on away travel.

Halifax Town "have had their place in next season's LDV Vans Trophy confirmed today, as one of the 12 Conference teams to be taking part... Other Conference clubs to enter: Cambridge Utd, Hereford Utd, Stevenage Borough, Morecambe, Dagenham and Redbridge, Kidderminster Harriers, Aldershot Town, Exeter City, Woking, Accrington Stanley and Crawley Town".

The Kidderminster website says that "The consortium bidding to take control at Kidderminster Harriers FC - has announced details of a press conference to take place at Aggborough next... Monday at 10.30am where they have an important announcement to make".

Kettering "manager Kevin Wilson met with two of the players off his new season 'wish list' and... both players involved put pen to paper. First up was the striker, Junior McDougald...[from] Canvey Island".

The Burton Mail says that "Albion boss Nigel Clough has opened transfer talks within hours of returning from holiday... Clough said: "We haven't had much news for our fans yet in terms of new signings. "But... we are only interested in signing quality players". Indeed, "Clough remains confident of capturing Shrewsbury Town skipper Darren Tinson and installing him as Albion's new defensive general. He is also in the market for creative and wide midfield players, a striker and a goalkeeper". Clough added, "I can't think of one single benefit from introducing a transfer window at our level, but we have to abide by it and make provision for it... we may well take one extra player as a precaution".

Cambridge News reports that Cambridge United financial director, Nick Pomery, "admitted the final decision on whether the club survives may now be delayed until Monday. Talks were on-going between Minister of Sport, Richard Caborn, who stepped into the dispute after an appeal from the News, and Treasury Minister, Dawn Primarolo... It is understood the proceeds from the sale of fan Colin Proctor's memorabilia will provide added time for negotiations... Meanwhile, United still have only four professionals signed for next season".

The Stevenage Mercury states that "Furious Stevenage manager Graham Westley has blasted Conference chiefs after his choice of clothing landed the club with a £500 fine. Boro' have been punished after Westley wore his Errea club jersey in last season's play-off final against Carlisle United at the Britannia Stadium, instead of the official Umbro top that all Conference coaches are required to wear during matches... 'It just shows how jealous people are of me and the club and it makes me doubly determined to do well next season'" said the manager.

Morecambe Today confirms that "Morecambe's first team squad return to training on Monday and manager Jim Harvey... said: "Quite a lot of them have been telling me they have been bored and can't wait to get back... The players that we have are particularly fit. They will have been doing training over the summer but we will need to put in the work". In fact, "Carl Ruffer has been one of those training at Christie Park over the summer, as has Michael Stringfellow as the pair look to put horrendous injury problems behind them. ... Sean O'Connor will also be back at Christie Park next week as he continues his long road back from injury".

IC Cheshire reports that Runcorn's "Midfield could be further bolstered by the arrival of Southport prospect Mark Powell on a possible season-long loan... Other possibles are ex-Southport left-back Paul Byrne".


The full Cheshire Senior Cup draw pitches four of the county's five league teams against each other:

Round 1, w/c 22/8

  • Alsager T. v Congleton T.
  • Cheadle T. v Nantwich T.
  • Winsford U. v Cammell Laird

    Round 1, w/c 12/9

  • Cheadle T. / Nantwich T. v Stalybridge C.
  • Crewe A. v Stockport C.
  • Hyde U. v Vauxhall M.
  • Macclesfield T. v Chester C.
  • Northwich V. v Alsager T. / Congleton T.
  • Tranmere R v Winsford U. / Cammell Laird
  • Witton A. v Warrington T.
  • Woodley S. v Altrincham
    24 June 2005


    IC Cheshire says that "Highly-rated Matty McGinn wants to leave Runcorn FC Halton to try his luck in the Nationwide Conference with newly-promoted Altrincham. But the Linnets have offered the out-of-contact player a new deal and are entitled to compensation for the player, who is under 23. The Robins haven't yet come up with an offer and new Runcorn player-boss Steve Carragher said: 'It is a bit of a stalemate.' In cases where clubs are unable to agree compensation, they can go to tribunal. Carragher said: 'A few clubs have had a look at Matty. If he goes on to bigger and better things, I hope he does well, but if it doesn't work out with Alty, I'd like him to stay.' The Runcorn manager admits, however, he isn't including McGinn in his preparations for the coming campaign". Alty manager Graham Heathcote said that McGinn is still a Runcorn player but if he became available he would be interested in such a good player. McGinn (22), a left-sided midfielder, made his debut for Runcorn in October 2002.


    On a baking hot Thursday, Alty groundsman and reserve-team manager Neil Brown was, once again, busy working on the pitch in preparation for the pre-season friendlies in 3 weeks time. Meanwhile painting of the upper parts of the Main Stand was also in progress, whilst in the office, Jenny Heslop was busy preparing the season tickets for despatch to supporters. Everyone who supports Alty has a chance to do their bit this weekend when the working parties start to freshen up the ground for next season. Work starts at 10am and it would help if intending volunteers let the club know in advance (928-1045) so that the appropriate equipment can be made ready. Tasks include general tidying up, cleaning and painting.


    SAM reports that Altrincham FC "needs waterproof covers to protect the Moss Lane surface from the elements and is appealing for anyone who may have access to suitable material to come forward... In addition to the implementation of new drainage measures below the surface, the club have been able to acquire a second 'water-hog' machine thanks to donations from Sarah Rowley and Terry Surridge... Graham Heathcote said, "I'm a firm believer in prevention being better than cure. If we can use some waterproof coverings to keep the water off the pitch in the first place, then that's all for the better. We have a group of people co-ordinated to come and help get water off the pitch on a match-day, two supporters have helped us get a second water hog machine so people are doing their bit. Some waterproof covers would just help us a lot more", SAM adds that "Next season, a pass-out system will operate in the main stand at Moss Lane. The scheme is designed to stop people paying a standing price at the turnstile and taking up a seat in the stand".


    The BBC confirm that "Wigan have agreed an undisclosed fee with Rotherham for keeper Mike Pollitt... Millers' boss Mick Harford said: 'He has been fantastic to this club. He has a great attitude and he deserves his opportunity to play in the Premier League. He is a very good goalkeeper'... Pollitt had also been targeted by Oldham manager Ronnie Moore, who had been his boss at Millmoor".


    "Stuart Watkiss, manager of Kidderminster Harriers, insists wantaway striker Chris Beardsley will report to Aggborough for the start of pre-season training. Mansfield want to re-sign the 21-year-old they released a year ago but Watkiss is holding out for a fee, believed to be around £5,000" reports NL Daily.

    This is York confirms that "Former Hull City striker Clayton Donaldson has become Billy McEwan's second summer signing. Donaldson, 21, has joined fellow KitKat Crescent new boy Mark Hotte in putting pen to paper for York City... The 6ft 1in tall striker has previously spent two spells on loan at City's non-League neighbours Harrogate Town... Donaldson voted the Conference North Player of the Month last October... [Otherwise], Andy Bishop and the transfer-listed Paul Robinson [are] currently the only recognised professional attackers on City's books". McEwan "is also looking to strengthen his defence but admitted that last season's on-loan centre-back Jon Maloney is not his number one target... The City manager also pointed out that the club would exercise their right to a compensation fee should Lev Yalcin and David Stockdale turn down their new contract offers and join another club... City could demand a figure approaching six figures for both players".

    Kidderminster Harriers "are edging closer to a breakthrough on resolving their power struggle to take over the club, according to manager Stuart Watkiss. Watkiss feels Aggborough Holdings, the consortium formed by vice-chairman Barry Norgrove, are hopeful of getting the go-ahead from Lionel Newton to buy his majority shareholding... Watkiss says he has lost EIGHT potential signings because of the power struggle".

    Hereford United's official site confirms that Alex Jeannin, the former Exeter City man has officially signed a 2 year contract with the Bulls. The 29-year-old Frenchman... is Bulls supremo Graham Turner's second new signing of the summer, following on from Australian Jon Brady's arrival from Stevenage Borough...The club are also in talks with three other former League players".

    Cambridge United's "future has been secured for two more days as high-level talks continue. Two developments led to the fans' trust, Cambridge Fans United, releasing the funds to keep the club in business until Friday while club officials continue vital talks with the football authorities, senior politicians and the Crown".Cambridge quote a club spokesman - "Our situation has attracted the involvement of senior politicians and we are very grateful for that".

    Shotsweb states that "Former Aldershot midfielder Tyron Smith has today been unveiled as the new signing of neighbours Farnborough Town".

    The Gravesend Reporter says that "Fleet players looking to trim down for the summer have been given a major boost by the arrival of new fitness coach Colin Reitz... Reitz has set Liam Daish's squad a target of between 10-12% body fat upon their return in a new era of fitness-freaky Fleet... He said: 'In the lower leagues, if you are 1 or 2% fitter than the opposition, you've got a massive advantage... 'The way I look at it, if they have the pain now, it will be a lot easier when it comes to the performance on the park. If they're not hating me, then I don't think I'm doing my job properly... It is going to be enjoyable, but only in retrospect'". Reitz "represented Great Britain as a steeplechaser at two Olympic Games".

    "Left-sided midfielder Ian Clark, released by Darlington, has agreed to join Scarborough despite more lucrative offers from elsewhere".


    Welsh Premier reports that "French-born striker Norman Sylla is training with Welsh Premier club Total Network Solutions. The brother-in-law of former Leeds United and French international Olivier Dacourt, Sylla has developed a reputation as one of the leading goalscorers in the English non-league Pyramid... A prolific loan spell at Redditch United at the start of last season was made permanent in a £3,000 deal and he went on to hit twenty-two goals in Nationwide North".

    "Leigh RMI sensationally offered to merge with the recently formed FC United of Manchester - the club formed as a protest to Malcolm Glazer's takeover of Manchester United. The parties decided against becoming one club after talks but they have formed a close relationship... A merger with Leigh would have pushed them up to Nationwide North and solved a lot of the financial problems that, in part, led to RMI's relegation last season... If FC United of Manchester hit a hitch in their proposed groundshare with Droylsden at The Butchers Arms, RMI have offered a long-term share with the rookies at Hilton Park" states This is Bolton.

    23 June 2005


    Altrincham FC Season tickets for 2005-06 are now available for collection from the club. If you asked for the tickets to be posted, you should receive them shortly.


    If you can help out with painting or other pre-season preparatory work this weekend, please contact the club on 928-1045 to finalise arrangements.


    BBC Sport reports that AFC United of Manchester "will play friendlies against Leigh RMI [July 16] and fellow fans' club AFC Wimbledon. FC United have also announced that they will play in red, white and black". Apparently 260 players are turning up on Saturday for a trial.

    IC Cheshire quotes Vics' manager Steve Burr: "The chairman says the budget will be unchanged and we shall train three mornings a week... Most of the players will be able to attend and we shall be the better for it". The article adds that "Of the squad of players who re-registered last month before the Conference bombshell burst, only centre-half Peter Band has left - to return to promoted Altrincham - although midfielder Danny Mayman may also go back to his former club Hucknall Town". The Northwich Chronicle adds that "Vics are to lose exciting young centre-back Kieran Charnock. He is the only player so far to have rebelled against relegation and asked to leave, despite being offered a major pay increase. The former Wigan Athletic defender has told manager Steve Burr he wants a higher standard of football... Burr said: 'He is our player and we can ask for a fee'". But leading scorer, Jonny Allan "signed on Monday and it was hugely important for us to get his name on a contract" said the manager. At the Vics' new ground, "The cost of a stand seat goes from £10.50 to £12.50 and a place on the terraces from £9 to £10.50 for adults. Season tickets (seated) are... £200 if purchased this month or next and £225 in August, while a terrace season ticket is £175 rising to £195".


    IC Sefton reports that Southport "boss Liam Watson is hot on the heels of at least two more quality players... Pre-season training begins next week with fitness co-ordinator Barry Simms... [whose] regime made Southport the fittest squad in Nationwide North... Southport ' s two 16- 18- year- old Caterforce-sponsored squads will play in the Conference Youth league next season and should have about 50 players".

    "Experienced goalkeeper Paul Evans has revealed that he turned down the chance to follow former boss Gary Owers to Forest Green Rovers before committing his future to Bath City. Owers approached the 31-year-old about making the switch to the The Lawn, but the shotstopper opted to stay with the Southern League Premier Division side. "To be honest, the fact that they are going full-time was one of the main reasons for not going to Forest Green" said the South African keeper on This is Bath.

    Grays Athletic "Manager Mark Stimson has revealed that he will not be making any new signings until the eve of the new Conference National season. He does intend to have a look at a few players in training and game situations over a two-three week period".

    22 June 2005


    The MEN says that the newly formed AFC United of Manchester, the club set up by disaffected Manchester United fans, has appointed former Alty striker/midfielder Phil Power (right) as assistant manager to Karl Marginson.


    In last week's NL Paper Alty boss Graham Heathcote spoke of last season, in Nationwide North. "We scraped into the league on an extremely low budget and the best we hoped for was to consolidate. But I was fortunate enough to pick up some quality players who wanted to play for this club for all the right reasons. They got around 60% less than they could have got elsewhere. They are here because they want to be... and I will look after the lads who have looked after us. We may not be the best payers but we blanket them with professionalism. Everything is done for them; they don't even have to bring their own towels". The article goes on to explain how Go Goodwins luxury coaches, used to transport the Australian cricket team as well as Altrincham FC, give a further aura of professionalism whilst "Heathcote also kits his players out in shirts and ties to promote the image of a club he has been associated with for 30 years". Graham concluded, "We are eradicating the debt bit by bit and have built a fantastic team spirit along the way. That can carry you a long way".


    Don't forget that the £10 discount on Altrincham season tickets ends on 30 June; full details here. Also, the Alty Play-Off DVD is expected to be available from the club in a week's time - it costs £20 + £2.50p+p from the club address (above).


    Dean Gripton of Sports Interactive, the makers of the PC game 'Football Manager' has asked me to publicise that, "Sports Interactive are looking out for FM fans with a huge passion for and knowledge of Altrincham FC to research their team for the next version of the game. The task involves giving as-accurate-as-possible ratings to many aspects of each player's game, including reserves and youth players, plus keeping us up to date of all transfers at the club, as well as the club's financial position". If you can help, please e-mail Dean.