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

1 July 2005


Following today's FA Youth Cup draw, Altrincham FC Youth have three successive away games if they are to progress beyond the qualifying rounds in 2005/06. For details, see the Youth Page.


This Saturday and Sunday from 10am there will again be ground working parties at Moss Lane helping to prepare the stadium for next season. Please come along and help if you can.


Altrincham Football Club's double-DVD celebration of the three Conference play-off games versus Nuneaton, Kettering and Eastbourne is now available for distribution. The package comprises two discs. One disc provides full match coverage of the play-off final (v. Eastbourne Borough) at The Britannia Stadium, Stoke, together with the presentations and post-match celebrations. A further disc relives the highlights of all three play-off games at Nuneaton, Kettering and, finally, Stoke through the eyes of our club photographer Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography, with approximately 400 images. The price is just £20 + £2.50 p+p (UK). Cheques should be made payable to Altrincham FC. Copies of this memorable souvenir can be obtained through the club (0161-928-1045) or via Grahame Rowley by e-mail or by ringing 07720-606-897.


The Burton Mail says that "The Brewers are already trying to rearrange several games because of clashes with Derby County home games and England fixtures. The visits by Aldershot in October and Exeter in February could become Sunday games, while Altrincham will be asked to bring their visit forward to Friday, October 28... The September 3 and October 8 games at home to Scarborough and Stevenage Borough respectively could also be subject to change because of clashes with England World Cup qualifiers". If the England clashes do cause fixture changes two more Alty away games could move away from a Saturday 3pm kick-off, the games away at Hereford United and Canvey Island being those affected.


The section now includes a match report from George Heslop on the game at Morecambe on 24 April. George has also provided a report on the 10-0 win of Euxton which ended the season and that will appear on the site shortly, as will the youth team statistics for the season.


The FA reports that Alty boss Graham Heathcote was "charged with 2 breaches of FA Rule E3" following the match against Hucknall Town at the end of last season and was handed a "3 match touchline ban and was fined £150".


13 seasons after leaving Altrincham, goalkeeper Mike Pollitt has joined Premiership side Wigan Athletic for a fee of £200,000 from Rotherham United, who have reportedly released another ex-Alty man, Nicky Daws.


Alty's first home game of the season wil be against Accrington Stanley but their website says that ex-Emley "winger Rory Prendergast will be allowed to train and play with League One side Blackpool during the pre-season period with a view to a permanent deal... Meanwhile, Accrington Stanley have ended their interest in goalkeeper Scott Tynan, who is on the transfer list at Barnet". Chairman Eric Whalley said, "The fee that they are looking for is too much for us to consider".

"Workington have missed out on transfer target Paul Brayson after he instead opted to stay in the Conference National with Stevenage Borough", whom we meet in the season's opening game. Borough Park boss Tommy Cassidy had been confident of making the Northwich Victoria striker his first summer signing". The Reds' boss said, "They offered more money, and they are full-time". Brayson "kept Northwich Victoria in the Conference last season" before their off-field relegation, Cassidy told the News and Star.

"Phil Wilson has snared another Morecambe player over the River Lune after persuading Nick Rogan to join Lancaster City. Rogan, released by Morecambe boss ... follows Iain Swan over the river" reports This is the Lake District.

Woking announce "With regret that Peter Johnson has left the club. Peter leaves his role of Head of Youth Development and Reserve Team Coach to join his brother Gary Johnson at Yeovil Town".

Kidderminster's official website assesses their fixtures and says "Unfortunately the club's request to meet local rivals Hereford United over the Christmas period was not accommodated... Harriers are paired to play Altrincham at home on Boxing Day and... make the trip up the M6 to meet Altrincham again on Monday 2nd January... These fixtures are all subject to change as soon as Sky TV announce which Conference games they wish to show live".

"A wealthy Bermuda-based businessman is the prominent player in the three-man consortium poised to gain control of Kidderminster Harriers, the SShuttle/Times & News can reveal. Gordon Howard has emerged as the 'mystery backer'... after he came forward with a substantial financial offer. Originally hailing from Liverpool, Mr Howard, who is in his 60s, made his fortune in investment banking and has lived in Bermuda for many years... His interest in Harriers stems from his occasional trips to Aggborough when returning to Britain to visit [relatives]... Team manager, Stuart Watkiss, has now been given the go -ahead to begin his team rebuilding". But outgoing majority shareholder Lionel Newton said, "I don't see us being in a promotion or play-off situation but the main thing is to wipe the slate clean and get the club on an even footing".

Cambridge United "director John Howard has explained the delay in unveiling his plans for a proposed new stadium for Cambridge United. Howard initially revealed his hopes to relocate the club to a new community stadium in early April". His company Bideawhile bought the Abbey Stadium for £1.9m in November 2004. He now says "There has been a further delay in announcing the site of the potential new ground, mainly due to the complex negotiations on the options to purchase the land... It should all be signed up by the beginning of August... We can't say where the site is until all the landowners have signed the options".

Forest Green "have signed striker Ian Foster on a two-year contract... from Kidderminster Harriers where he was their top scorer last season".

This is York confirms that "Four new signings greeted York City's return to pre-season training. Minstermen manager Billy McEwan has recruited experienced defender Greg Heald after leaving Rochdale... McEwan has signed midfielder Matt Convery from another Division Two outfit Darlington. They joined striker Clayton Donaldson, who was drafted in last week and defender Mark Hotte, snapped up from Scarborough earlier this summer. City were further boosted by the news that former Turkey youth international Lev Yalcin has also agreed terms to extend his stay at KitKat Crescent, although City boss McEwan is still waiting for free agent Dave Merris and young goalkeeper David Stockdale to put pen to paper on new deals".

From This is HUFC comes news that "Graham Turner confirmed that he is in talks with [ex-Gillingham] defender Dean Beckwith and Grimsby midfielder Stacy Coldicott... Hereford United's director of football is determined to secure the pair... Stevenage winger Jon Brady and Exeter defender Alex Jeannin have already checked in to Edgar Street this summer". Turner added, "I am looking to bring in six, maybe seven players. Because the transfer window has been brought in... I am looking at 20 to 22 players in total". Also, "Simon Travis is due to report back to... carry out only light training work as he recovers from a punctured lung and broken ribs injury... Midfielder Jamie Pitman heads to Lilleshall on Monday for a week's rehabilitation following his close-season shoulder operation".


Burscough have announced "plans to move to a new ground during 2006/07 season. The new stadium would be part of a complex for senior and junior football covering a 15-acre site adjacent to the club’s present Victoria Park home. The main stadium design would include a 512-seater stand... and it is intended the ground will meet full Conference ground grading requirements... The new facility will cost approximately £3m and be funded by the sale of Victoria Park to Westbury Homes plus grants from the FA and the Football Foundation", Stan Strickland told NL Daily.
30 June 2005


The Altrincham FC play-offs DVD is now available at Moss Lane for those who ordered a copy. Please ring 928-1045 if you need further details.


In a mirror image of the opening day of our last season in the Conference (1999-2000), Altrincham are away to Stevenage Borough in the first game of 2005/06 season. We entertained Stevenage, at home, on the opening day of the 99/00 season. Our first home game this season (on Tuesday 16th) brings Ian Craney's Accrington back to Moss Lane. Our Christmas double is, curiously, with Kidderminster Harriers and on New Year's Eve we travel to Tamworth. We have only two scheduled Tuesday-night away games - at Halifax and Accrington. But if we, or Grays, reach Round 2 of the FA Cup, the Grays away match would have to be switched, possibly to midweek. We have three home games on Tuesdays (v.Accrington, Scarborough and Halifax). The longest trip, to Exeter, is on April Fools' Day and we finish the season with another long journey, to Woking.

The full Altrincham FC Conference fixture list, plus FA Cup and Trophy dates, is here.

As previously announced, The Nationwide Conference has confirmed that it "will relegate just two clubs at the end of the new season in order to expand to 24 clubs for season 2006/2007".


Former Alty striker, Jonathan (Josh) Mitten, is reported to have joined FC United of Manchester.


Tom Johns and a colleague are visiting every ground from the top ten English divisions and we will be at Moss Lane on Tuesday, 19 July to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Relief. Their website gives full details of the venture and how to sponsor them. Items are being collected from many clubs to auction for Macmillan and Tackle Africa (a football based charity promoting football in Africa).


"Ally Pickering, the newly appointed manager of Woodley Sports, has recruited three players - all from his former club Mossley". These include "Former Trinidad & Tobago Youth and current England Futsal international Mario Daniel... Formerly with Altrincham and Trafford, the striker signed for Mossley from Atherton Collieries but then transferred to Leigh RMI before rejoining the Seel Park outfit during last season".


"At midday this Friday 1 July, The FA will exclusively reveal the draws for the early rounds of this season's FA Cup, Trophy, Vase and Youth Cup... The 125th FA Cup will have a record number of 674 entries... The FA Trophy is in its 37th Season and will have 221 entries, one more than last year".


Midfielder Martin Carthy has rejoined Thurrock, "on a free transfer from local rivals Grays Athletic, where he started last season as captain".

Lee Davis, a striker from Forest Green Rovers has left for Gloucester City.

"Former Republic of Ireland under-21 international winger Keith Gilroy is poised to become Burton Albion's first major signing of the close season. The former Scarborough player has agreed terms and will join the Brewers next week subject to a medical". Manager Nigel Clough said, "I think he's a player who supporters will like because he runs at people and he puts in a good cross with either foot"... Clough added: "Keith is looking to get back to the sort of standard he was producing before his injury". The manager added "We're going to have a nice pitch to play on at the new ground. We're going to be able to get the ball down and play more football than was possible on our old pitch. We're looking for a slightly different style of play, which is where a player of Keith's ability comes in" reports the Burton Mail.

The Mail also says that "Nigel Clough could pull out of a deal to bring a second new winger to the Pirelli Stadium... The Brewers' boss has confirmed an offer to Shrewsbury Town's Sam Aiston". Clough said, we "made him what we consider to be an exceptional offer... We can only wait so long before we move on to someone else because we have several other targets which we're close to pulling off". Rochdale and Kidderminster are also intested in Aiston. "Clough has confirmed that Aiston's former Shrewsbury skipper Darren Tinson will join the Brewers for pre-season training.. Clough is confident he will secure Tinson's services [and] has also offered a trial to versatile midfielder Kevin Street, who has also been released by Shrewsbury. Teenage forward Eric Graves, freed by Stoke at the end of last season, has confirmed he will join Albion for pre-season training despite interest from Exeter City".

The Kidderminster Harriers official site confirms that "Barry Norgrove has finally got the go-ahead to take over Kidderminster Harriers after Lionel Newton agreed to hand over his shares. The Harriers vice-chairman, leader of Aggborough Holdings, has been given Newton's 680,000 majority holding for £1 after the £400,000 takeover package was accepted... It is understood Newton has written off his £465,000 loan to the club". Chairman Colin Youngjohns added, "I'm optimistic we will resume our march of progress and get back into the Football League".

Scarborough Today says that "teenager Carl Cook is... preparing for his first pre-season with the Seasiders after securing a full-time contract ... The left-sided defender sufficiently impressed head coach Nick Henry to book his place in the Boro squad, and now he wants to take steps towards a starting place".

Morecambe Today says that "striker, Wayne Curtis, looked set to sign a new contract at the club this week... Manager Jim Harvey was delighted, saying: "He played wide left but still managed to hit 16 goals, which is a great performance". Harvey said "With no new faces, there's not the usual need to help players bed in and settle into the routine. Everyone knows their job and they've slotted straight back into it" in training.

This is Exeter states that "James Bittner has signed for Torquay United in a transfer deal that took less than 24 hours to complete. The goalkeeper... signed when Eammon Dolan was manager at St James' Park, found himself frozen out when Dolan was replaced by Alex Inglethorpe".

Cambridge News says that United boss Rob Newman "has been inundated with requests from almost 100 footballers, from all levels, desperate for the opportunity to join the club... United report back for pre-season training on Monday with only four contracted players - Ashley Nicholls, Dan Gleeson, John Turner and Darren Quinton - and three scholars, who will sign deals with the club when they come out of administration - Nick Robbins, Dave Daniels and Paul Atkins". the manager said, "It makes sense to arrange a game for the 30 people, more and more clubs are doing it. We are trying to get a trial match sorted out for next Wednesday".

Aldershot Town chairman Karl Prentice... has once again giving his 100% backing to manager Terry Brown". Prentice said, "I think we'll be up there among the top sides. Terry has got a good budget to work with, in the league we're in the top three budgets... I think we need five or six new additions, which I know Terry will get, this year's aim is simple, we want to win the league". As for season tickets, "We've received 900 applications for season tickets which is a very pleasing situation to be in, we’ve also had 100 new applications and we're still waiting for renewals which always take a bit longer as people wait to see who we're bringing in and what the team will look like... We're also thinking of putting together an official website in a deal with PremiumTV so that we can keep our fans informed. However, these things cost money".


"Almost 900 players applied to take part in the FC United of Manchester’s trials last weekend. That amazing figure was whittled down to ‘just’ 200 who were invited to the trials day itself held at the Armitage Centre in Manchester... Assistant-manager Phil Power said, 'We have a number of players here who we will be inviting down to training. A total of seventeen people who took part in the trials will be joining the players that [manager Karl] Marginson and his staff have already selected through their knowledge of the local non-League scene.


"Kris Rogers, Ben Connett, Matt Garner, Chris Gaghan, Jon McCarthy, Peter Handysides, Danny Mayman, Michael Carr, Paul Brayson and Jonny Allan have all agreed to stay with the Vics. Mark Devlin is still considering the club’s offer but Burr is 'very hopeful' that the club’s longest serving player will agree to stay. 'Also, having spoken at length with Kieran Charnock, I am quietly confident that he will stay with us unless someone comes in with an acceptable concrete offer', added Burr. In addition Hugh McAuley and Richard Battersby have already signed, whilst Mark Sale, Steve Payne, Stuart Elliot and Ben Chapman have all agreed to join us'... Giant striker Sale and defender Chapman arrive at Vics having both been released by new league rivals Alfreton Town" reports NL Daily.
29 July 2005


Moss Lane remains a hive of activity as Graham Heathcote plots his campaign for 2005-06. The upper parts of the Carole Nash stand are being repainted for the first time in many years whilst the cherrypicker has also been in action renewing the floodlight bulbs. The pitch has now been grit-slitted to improve drainage whilst, in the office, work continues to distribute the season tickets and arrange supplies of replica kit (right) and other merchandise. All we need now are the fixtures- due out tomorrow (Thursday).

There will be another working weekend at Moss Lane this Saturday and Sunday (from 10am). Please come along and help if you possibly can as there is still plenty of painting and other tidying-up work to be done.

Also on Saturday is the Altrincham Festival in which the supporters' trust, STAR will be taking part. STAR too is looking for helpers to help raise the profile of the football club in the town during the festival (and beyond). Follow the website link above to find out more.


Stalybridge Celtic have announced the not unexpected signings of midfielder Chris Price and striker Lee Mulvaney. Price, 29, moves to Bower Fold from newly promoted Southport, where as skipper he lifted the Nationwide North trophy last season. Mulvaney, 24, makes the move from relegated Leigh RMI... Also agreeing terms for season 2005/06 are Steve Smith, Ben Smith, Danny Caldecott and club skipper Kevin Parr.


It has been decided that Ken McKenna's TNS will take on Liverpool at Wrexham in the Champions League qualifier on July 19th.


"Canvey Island have snapped up England National Game international defender Nathan Bunce from Gravesend & Northfleet" says NL Daily.

Right-back Jimmy Williams has reportedly left Southport for Droylsden.

Kidderminster Harriers have issued a statement which says "Heads of terms have been agreed for the Kidderminster consortium to acquire the shareholding of Lionel Newton and the intention is to have formal contracts signed this week... A further statement and details of a press conference will be announced as soon as formal contracts have been signed". And, "Former Shrewsbury winger San Aiston heads a list of players who Stuart Watkiss wants to be part of his new look Harriers squad. The 28 year old, released by Shrewsbury Town at the end of last season, had talks with Watkiss yesterday about a possible move to Aggborough. However, Harriers face tough competition for his signature with Conference rivals Burton Albion". Only eight players are on the books but Watkiss said, "It is my plan to try and have 16 or 17 players with us when we report back on Monday".

28 June 2005


Eddie Hussin and Steve Aspinall (left) both had their operations last week. Steve's ankle operation was straightforward and it is expected that he will be fit for the start of the season. Eddie's operation involved trimming of his cartilage and it will be a week or two before it is clear how quick his recovery will be. All at Moss Lane wish both players a speedy return to face their first season in the national division of the Conference.

The coming season will pitch Altrincham against seven new teams which they they have not previously met in league games; these are Aldershot T., Cambridge U., Crawley T., Exeter C., Grays A., Tamworth and York C. Not since 1979, when Alty entered the Alliance and encountered 13 new league partners, have they started a season against more unknown quantities than they will face in 2005-06. But, of course, the same applied in reverse; we will be an unknown package to them.


NL Daily reports that Rossendale United have signed two ex-Robins, namely Darren Emmett from Bacup Borough "and forward Rio Nelson, 20" who was with Alty Reserves early last season.


Accrington Stanley report that "Striker David Brown has signed a two year contract, following a successful spell with us at the end of last season". More curiously, "Accrington Stanley FC is delighted to present a performance of William Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night" on Tuesday 12th July, 2005. The play will be staged by the Original Theatre Company, a group of young professionals on a nationwide tour to take Shakespeare to the people this summer". Rumours that our neighbours, Northwich Vics, are to revive the Bard's "A Comedy of Errors" have yet to be confirmed.

Kidderminster Harriers "vice-chairman Barry Norgrove is hoping for a breakthrough in the battle to take control of the club, despite calling off today's press conference". A club "statement said: 'Further developments over the weekend mean that Barry Norgrove and Neil Savery have opted to postpone any further announcement until later in the week... but it is hoped the future of the club may become clearer within the next week'. The main reason for the delay is whether the consortium would buy Lionel Newton's majority shareholding rather than just loaning the club money... Sources claim a Hampshire consortium is ready to test Newton's resolve with a £450,000 bid, £50,000 higher than Norgrove's". Meanwhile "former Shrewsbury winger Sam Aiston has been linked with a move to Aggborough".

Cambridge United say that "Following discussions at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, HM Customs & Revenue have agreed not to vote against Cambridge United's CVA". Finance Director Nick Pomery said, "It is still dependent on the agreement of the Football League and the Football Conference, who were not represented at the meeting, and also on acceptance by the creditors at the creditors' meeting, when we need 75% of those present to vote in favour". The creditors' meeting "is likely to take place around the 13 July".

Crawley Town's "John Robinson has penned a new one year deal with the club". He is a "vastly experienced Welsh International midfielder". Meanwhile, "Richard Hodgson has also finalised the paperwork to rubber stamp his commitment to the club".

Various Confernce players are targets for Barrow, where manager Lee Turnbull has had talks with "Ex-Halifax Town man Alex Meechan, former Hull City striker Clayton Donaldson, Northwich Victoria’s Jonny Allen and one-time Bradford City forward Danny Ekoku... However, Donaldson has since signed for York City" reports the NW Evening Mail.

The Burton Mail says that "Nigel Clough is confident his crocked Burton Albion stars will be ready to join in pre-season training... [He] expects skipper Darren Stride and last season's top scorer Jon Shaw to play a full part despite close season operations... Midfielder Andy Ducros and Shaw's strike partner Dale Anderson have also made full recoveries from the injuries that hampered them towards the end of last season, leaving defender Lee Ayres as the only minor concern... Clough will also be running the rule over full-back Terry Henshaw, who made a tentative comeback at the end of last season after breaking his right leg in three places early in the campaign... Clough said: 'The lads will get a day off, but basically we'll be full-time for two weeks'" in pre-season. The Brewers' new £6.4million Pirelli Stadium opens on 16 July.