Altrincham Football Club News Archive
11 to 15 July, 2005

15 July 2005 cont'd


"Exeter City boss Alex Inglethorpe says "I don't think there will be a better team than us this year. I have got complete faith in my squad and what we do and I don't think anyone will be as organised, fit or as motivated as us". In a friendly, Inglethorpe has "cast his eye over no less than four trialists, with strikers Jamie Mackie and Ali Chabaan getting second half run outs alongside Brazilian midfielder Júlio and Gloucester City right-back Chris Thompson... New signings Jon Challinor and Billy Jones, who were making their first appearances"... will be joined by "Former Falkirk winger Colin Marshall, who [will] meet up with the squad next week" says This is Exeter.

The Argus states that "Francis Vines, manager of Crawley Town, does not know whether he will be handed an increased playing budget following the takeover of the club. Sussex-based company The S.A. Group this week announced they had bought Crawley from owner John Duly and will invest £2 million over the next three years. The new owners have already outlined their intention for the Reds to go full-time within two years... Vines ran the rule over eighteen trialists at Crawley's first pre-season friendly... Four were on target; former Brighton trainee Ben Watson, ex-Wycombe midfielder Lewis Cook, Yan Boateng and Freddy Shnerdfeger - as well as new signing Lee Elam... Among the other triallists were Ben Fillery and goalkeeper Chris May, who were released by Brighton at the end of last season, plus former Manchester United reserve striker [and ex-Alty man] Marc Whiteman, who is looking for a new club after leaving Lewes". The Gravesend Reporter claims that "Fleet's number one goalkeeper James Pullen has no future at the club after failing to turn up to pre-season training at Stonebridge Road. Amid various rumours that the player was having trials with Fisher Athletic and Nottingham Forest, Liam Daish has told the Reporter: 'He did not turn up for the first day of pre-season and he has been unobtainable since so, as far as I'm concerned, James won't be with us next year'". So, "Daish will assess former Northern Ireland U21 shot-stopper Aaron Kerr".

From Halifax Today is news that "Town boss Chris Wilder admitted he 'feared the worst' after trialist Ben Jackson was stretchered from the field after just 15 minutes of last night's opening pre-season friendly... Jackson was taken by ambulance to hospital with a suspected broken leg"> One trialist at Town is Chris Tamm "whose previous clubs include Chester City, Caernarfon and Vauxhall Motors".

Forest Green "are pleased to announce the signing of central midfielder Paul Wanless from Oxford United on a year's contract". At Cambridge United he made 284 appearances scoring 44 goals. "Six foot one inch tall Paul returned to Oxford United in the summer of 2003 and was released by the club last May".

14 July 2005


No fewer than 10 of the 19 players listed as members of the new FC United of Manchester squad have Altrincham FC connections. The 10 are
  • Barry George - former Alty Youth goalkeeper
  • Ryan Gilligan - former Alty trialist
  • Ryan Hevicon - at Alty 2002-03
  • Darren Lyons - with Alty some seven/eight years ago
  • Josh Mitten - with Alty last season
  • Aidie Orr - with Alty Reserves last season (pictured right)
  • Phil Power - with Alty 1999/2000
  • Mark Rawlinson - Alty trialist 2004
  • Steve Torpey - briefly with Alty 2004-05
  • Rob Trees - very briefly with Alty 2000


    For anyone who missed any news updates on this site during its recent technical problems, all the updates since 7 July can be found by following the Earlier News link in the yellow box towards the bottom of this page.


    SAM reports that "Alty have been rocked by a double blow as they prepare to... face Scottish Second Division side Greenock Morton, who are one of the best-supported teams in Scotland outside the Premier League. But the game will be marred by the death of former youth team coach Neil Thomason and the serious injury to captain Eddie Hussin (right)". Alty boss Graham Heathcote said of the popular coach, "He was a bubbly character who brought dedication and enthusiasm to our youth team and to all other aspects of the club and it's due to people like Neil that this football club has revived itself". Speaking of Eddie Hussin's cruciate ligament operation, Graham said, "Eddie's injury is a massive blow but what it does is open people's eyes to what that lad went through for this football club. He literally dragged himself through the last games of the season and the playoffs and look where we've ended up. It's because of the determination and the example he's set that we are going to be playing in the league we'll be playing in. Everybody thought it was a cartilage problem he had and they only discovered the cruciate injury when they went in and sorted the cartilage problem out". A further problem is that "The club are waiting for Gary Scott to see a specialist before finding out whether he will be able to start the season". However, "Steve Aspinall is expected to make a full recovery from an operation on his ankle and Chris Adams has been given a course of exercise and stretching to get him back to full fitness after an MRI scan showed he would not need surgery". The Alty boss added, "These four lads have pulled themselves through with sheer grit really and people can now get a better picture of what they went through last season. The character the whole squad has shown and the will to do well for this club has been immense and I can't praise them enough". As for next season, Graham said, "I'm not going to be able to have the size of squad I'd like for this league... But we won't be found wanting for effort and we will be hoping to add a bit of quality in terms of keeping the ball as well. I hope to announce a new signing within the next 48 hours and if we can get one, maybe two more in, we'll go with what we've got and give it our best shot".

    Meanwhile STAR chairman Brain Flynn reports that, in a recent interview on GMR, Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin confirmed that "some of the Australian cricket team would be attending Alty's friendly game against Bangor City". Geoff, owner of Go Goodwins Coaches, is currently personally driving the Australian touring team round Britain to their various matches.


    This week, Morecambe began their pre-season campaign with a 4-3 win over Sean Teale's Chorley". Various Alty old boys were in action: including Chorley's "Niell Hardy who saw his long range effort caught well by Scott Davies" before "Chorley extended their lead through Peter Wright", another ex-Robin. In action for Morecambe was Michael Twiss, who had trials at Altrincham c.2000.


    Confguide reports that "Mitchell Cole, the 19 year old Grays Atheltic left sided wide man, has signed a two year contract with Southend United - fee undisclosed".

    From Portchat comes news that Southport boss "Liam Watson hopes to feature all of his close season signings during the game" against Witton on Saturday. They are former Southport defender re-signed from Leigh RMI, Chris Lane; ex-Harrogate Town midfielder, Dominic Krief, and the left-sided young midfielder, Matty McGinn, once a Southport Reserves regular before becoming one of Watson’s proteges at Runcorn. Southport were hoping the capture the signature of ex-Hucknall Striker, Andy Todd, but after scoring a hat-trick during his current trial with Oldham Athletic, the chances of him signing for The Sandgrounders must have diminished. However, Liam Watson expects 19-year old Robbie Booth, who was released by Chester at the end of last season, to put pen to paper for Southport this week". Watson said, "Our strength is in attack and we shall be going all out to win every game".

    Kidderminster Harriers say that "long-term target Gareth Sheldon is set to sign with the club from Exeter City. The 25-year old midfielder... made more than 50 starts for City".

    The BBC says that "Burton defender Lee Ayres is set to miss the start of the new season. The former Kidderminster centre-back, 22, has been troubled by the recurrence of a pelvic injury". Manager Nigel Clough said, "There's no way he's going to be fit for the start of the season".

    13 July 2005


    Since 6 July, the Altrincham FC offical site's main Internet Service Provider [ISP] ( has been incapable of solving its own technical problems or explaining what those problems are and when they might be resolved. So from 7 to 13 July it has not been possible to update the page you normally see by going to In the interim I have partly got round that problem by updating the website via a different ISP, at a different address, I am now pleased to report that thanks to the efforts of Paul Johnson, a longtime Alty fan and provider of the domain name, you will be able to see site updates from now onwards by using either the or the address. Over the next day or so I will reconfigure this page to include all the previously normal features of the site's home page. I am sorry for any inconvenience caused to users but the problems have been beyond my control.


    Although Hereford Utd had announced some days ago that, because of a clash with an England international, our game against them on Saturday 3 September would be switched to Sunday, 4 September at noon, Altrincham FC had not been notified of this change. However, on checking, the club has discovered that the FA is insisting that Sunday games kick off at noon. This means that Altrincham players will now have to travel down the night before for an overnight stay, with all the attendant extra cost. The supporters' coach will also have to leave very early in the morning. If you think this is bad, wait until 8 October when another England match clashes with our trip to Canvey Island; as yet no alternative date/time has been set for that match.


    The gate prices for this season's pre-season friendlies at Moss Lane have been confirmed at £5 for adults and £2 for concessionaries. Compared with what some Conference clubs are charging in pre-season, these are a bargain. An even better deal, free entry to the home friendlies, can be had if you buy a season ticket for Altrincham FC, details of which are here. The friendlies are listed here, with, in some cases, newly confirmed kick-off times.


    As of yesterday, Altrincham FC had not been contacted about involvement in any of the early season Conference games to be televised by Sky Sports, though every club will be featured at least once during the season. All Conference games will also have their highlights on


    The M/cr Evening News reports on FC United of Manchester saying that the new team is "ready to announce a ground share with Bury after their proposed deal with Droylsden hit snags... The new club has signed two more players... Tony Coyne and Paul Mitten, the grandson of Charlie Mitten [a former Alty manager, as well as a United hero]. They have also picked up former Reds' trainee Mark Rawlinson, a midfielder who was with Altrincham". In fact Rawlinson (30) was only a pre-season trialist at Altrincham having made his debut in the friendly against Abbey Hey last July; he also played in one other game, against Trafford.

    Right: Steve Aspinall (no.7), watches as Mark Rawlinson (14) awaits the next move from Gareth Feeney (on the ball) in a 2004 pre-season friendly at Abbey Hey.

    Others "expected to be in the FC United squad" include ex-Alty Reserve Ryan Gilligan and Steve Torpey, who was briefly in Alty's first team last season.

    "Burscough have announced that their former manager John Davison has re-joined in the role of youth co-ordination officer". The former Alty hero "will work closely with manager Derek Goulding [another ex-Alty man] ... to oversee the structured progress of talented young players through the Burscough youth teams".


    STAR is again running a sponsorship scheme "for season 2005/6 for every clean sheet and or goal scored by Alty in competitive matches. Last season STAR raised £1,344 through goals4alty". An entry form is on the STAR website.


    Don't miss out on your copy of the Altrincham FC triple DVD which includes the full 90 minutes of Alty's promotion play-off against Eastbourne Borough as well as dozens of impressive stills from the camera of Gavin Rathbone, which cover all three play-off matches. The DVDs cost just £20 + £2.50 p+p (UK). Cheques should be made payable to Altrincham FC and sent to the club at Moss Lane, Altrincham WA15 8AP.


    Shotsweb says that Aldershot manager "Terry Brown has been handed a huge boost to his summer preparations with the news that Steve Watson has agreed a new deal at Aldershot Town and has signed a two-year contract" despite interest from Woking, Peterborough United and Stevenage Borough for "the current Aldershot player of the year and club captain". Watson stated, "We were all gutted at the play off defeat and all felt we were good enough to go up. This season we want to go one better".

    From Grays is news that "The club have secured the services of Nicholas Eyre on a two year contract. The 19 year-old goalkeeper has just been released from Tottenham Hotspur".

    The Kiddermister official site reports that "Harriers have been dealt a blow ahead of the start of the new season with the news that defender Chris McHale will be out of action for two months... The 20-year limped during Saturday's 3-1 victory over Bewdley Town with a foot injury. Further tests have shown the defender has fractured the fifth metatarsal on his left foot and will now be out of action for six to eight weeks". But "The chairman, Colin Youngjohns, is pleased to confirm that an agreement has been reached between Lionel Newton and the Kidderminster Consortium regarding the transfer of Mr Newton's company's shares in the club to the Kidderminster Consortium and the investment of monies into the club".

    "Alex Inglethorpe, manager of Exeter City, will run the rule over two strikers this week... Ex-Farnborough Town striker Ali Chabaan and Jamie Mackie, released by MK Dons, are at the club's training ground this week and both... played for Leatherhead when Inglethorpe was in charge of the club" says This is Exeter.

    "Caretaker-manager Rob Newman was a reasonably happy man after seeing his Cambridge United squad of youngsters and trialists win 3-0 at Mildenhall Town... The new faces included former Boston United midfielder Lee Thompson and ex-York City defender Sean Davies, as well as Thailand international keeper Jamie Waite, Lithuanian keeper Marius Cesas, King's Lynn man David Chick and ex-Luton and Dunstable Town youngster, Paris Okay".

    12 July 2005


    Skelmersdale United state that "Striker Lee Thompson who scored 37 goals last season has left... and is currently training with Leigh RMI. Manager, Paul Gallagher has left the door wide open for a return if things don’t work out".

    Former Alty striker Mark Quayle is quoted on the Scarborough website as saying, "I had a good look at everyone else last year and I don't think we have anything to fear from any of the sides in the Conference".

    NL Daily reveals that former Alty Youth captain Paul Glynn (right), who briefly figured in the first-team squad at Moss Lane "has signed [for Congleton Town] from Altrincham".


    John Guilfoyle continues to produces fascinating books and booklets on various leagues and competitions. Amongst his latest are:
  • The Mid-Cheshire Football League, 1948-2005. 44pp.. Altrincham Reserves won this league in its first two seasons, in which they had three periods of membership, ending in 1990.
  • The NW Counties Football League, 1982-2005. 76pp.. As with the Mid-Cheshire volume, each season's league tables are given, along with a history of the League, statistics and other details.
  • The FA Challenge Trophy, 1969 to 2005. 163pp.. This contains every result in the Trophy, arranged by club. In addition there is an extensive historical introduction, full details of each Trophy Final and selected statistics.

    All titles are available from John Guilfoyle, 24 Adelaide Street, Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington, Lancs BB5 5LU.


    Conference TV will again be providing online highlights of all Nationwide Conference games this season, along with up to 20 live matches. The first live game will be on 16th August, followed by one on 29th August, and another on 13th September (no fixtures are currently set for that day). There will also be selected highlights of Nationwide North and South fixtures... The site will also remain free to access".

    The Hereford Official Site confirms that 6ft 3in "former Gillingham defender Dean Beckwith has sealed a one-year contract with the Bulls. 21-year-old Beckwith has experience in the Conference having spent a loan period with Dagenham & Redbridge [and was]... on loan at Margate last season".

    "On July 7, 2005, the S.A. Group purchased Crawley Town Football Club" reports the club website. "The Group has promised to invest £2 million into the club over the next three years". The group also intends to develop a "local area-based youth squad that can be eventually developed into first team players amd to integrate the club with the community". The Group comprises business from the Crawley and Brighton area with an annual turn over of £50 million pounds per year".

    The BBC reports that "Stevenage Borough chairman Phil Wallace and Southport chairman Charlie Clapham have been appointed as joint vice-chairmen of the Conference for the 2005/06 season".

    The Kidderminster official site says that "Lionel Newton was due to sign contracts today to hand over his majority shareholding in the club to the Kidderminster Consortium in Stourbridge. But he was told Stourbridge town centre had been sealed off following a bomb warning earlier today... Barry Norgrove, leader of the Kidderminster Consortium bidding to take control, returns from Spain tomorrow and is expected to sign his part of the agreement... The delay is believed to be because Gordon Howard, the mystery backer in the Kidderminster Consortium had dropped out... [It] means Harriers¹ friendly at Bromsgrove has been put back to Wednesday".

    The Daggers website states that "Shane Blackett has signed an extension to his contract... He has now started full time training with the Club".

    11 July 2005


    Alty Youth's cup and friendly fixtures for 2005-06 are here.


    The NL Paper has a front page picture of Peter Wright playing for Chorley in a friendly against Preston NE on Saturday. Elsewhere in the paper, Mike Garrity is pictured playing for Vauxhall against Tranmere. Saturday's MEN highlighted the plight of local players released by league clubs and included Andy Dibble and Wes Wilkinson. The NLP reports that Dibble is now goalkeeping coach to Northwich Vics. Matty McNeil has signed a 2-year contract at Hyde United.


    Altrincham's first friendly is against Greenock Morton next Saturday at Moss Lane (3pm). (Greenock is just west of Glasgow). Morton finished 3rd in the Scottish Second Division last season and are aiming for promotion to Div. One in 2005-06. Their official site confirms that they recently "signed Rangers' promising young midfielder, 22 year old Alex Walker on a two year deal... He played in two matches in the run-in to Rangers' Championship victory". Morton's manager is Jim McInally who "is confident that Alex's strength in the midfield holding position will complement the other three fast raiding midfielders, Jim McAllister, Chris Miller and other new boy Kevin Finlayson". Other recent signings include Andy McLaren, Derek Lilley and Ryan Harding. Morton's new shirt for 2005-06 is a tartan design and they sold 100 in the first half-hour of their going on sale! Typical home gates are two to three thousand. Before visiting Moss Lane, Morton play at Northwich on Thursday and then Witton the following Tuesday.


    The NL paper confirms that following the departure last week of Grays Athletic's chairman, their chief backer Mick Woodward has taken over as chairman. Woodward says "I think I can take them all the way... I believe they can take us on and up into the Football League".

    Aldershot boss Terry Brown was annoyed after they lost at home to Farnborough on Saturday. "I'm annoyed with myself for allowing us to be playing this early. I've got too many pre-season games and will not be talked into playing games on July 9 again", he stated.

    Cambridge United included "teenage Thai international 'keeper Jamie Waite, [who] had to leave the field with a shoulder injury" as a trialist in a recent friendly. Waite was briefly at Barrow last season.

    The Daggers website announces that Dagenham is "once again offering to send out copies of the Dagger Matchday Programme from all our first team home matches including the 4 pre-season games, all Nationwide Conference League matches and any home cup ties" to exiled supporters.

    Scarborough say that ""Last year's player of the year Chris Senior is on trial at rivals Aldershot ... The 23-year-old turned down Boro's offer of a new deal".

    The York City unofficial site says that the club has "received a further boost ahead of the new Nationwide Conference season with news today that their Clubman of the Year Dave Merris has signed a new contract. The former Harrogate Town wing-back has proved one of the few successes over the past two seasons, and... [is] affectionately dubbed 'The Harrogate Hurricane'".

    From the Express & Star comes news that "Kidderminster Harriers' first pre-season friendly has turned into a farce after all six summer signings were pulled out by manager Stuart Watkiss. Harriers [were] due to face Bewdley Town on Sunday, but the takeover battle means Daryl Burgess, Wayne Evans, Martin O'Connor, Laurie Wilson, Michael Blackwood and Terry Fleming will not play... Watkiss has reluctantly withdrawn the new boys because the board cannot guarantee to pay them in the event of injury... 'We should have called the game off but it would be wrong if Bewdley suffered because we can't get our act together', said Watkiss... Ten days have passed since agreement on the takeover was announced... but still Watkiss has not been given the go-ahead to sign players and he is becoming increasingly angry. 'It's now at crisis point', said the boss. 'And that's not me being over-dramatic'".

    158 GROUNDS

    STAR has a picture of Ian Saberton and Ian Preston at Moss Lane. The two Stafford Rangers fans were visiting 158 non-league grounds in a "decimal week" (?10 days) to raise funds for their club and for charity. Their website gives full details.