Altrincham Football Club News Archive
15 to 19 July, 2005

19 July 2005


Alty are away at Cammell Laird tonight (Tuesday, 7.45pm). They last met in the CSC last season when Alty squeezed home 3-2.


Neil Brown, manager of Altrincham FC Reserves, would like to record the Club's sincere thanks to Springhead FC of Oldham, not only for making the visiting Altrincham Reserves' side very welcome to their ground last Saturday for a friendly game, but also for the plaque which they kindly presented to the club in memory of Neil Thomason, the former Alty Youth coach who died recently. Neil Thomason had been instrumental in arranging the friendly, which Altrincham won 4-1. A match report is now in the Reserves' section.

No date has yet been set for Neil's funeral. A minute's silence will be held in his memory at the start of the league season.


There should be a report on the Youth team's friendly win (3-1) at Warrington Town on Sunday and a listing of the league fixtures up to mid-February, as well as the league cup draws on this website in the next 24 hours.


Scarborough Today reports that "A trio of trialists earned an extended stay... Striker Kunle Olusesi, along with defenders Paul Armstrong and Danny Moore will all be given a further chance to impress head coach Nick Henry... Olusesi arrived at the club from Sutton United, with Armstrong coming in from Oldham and Moore joining up from North Ferriby United... 17 year-old Jimmy Beadle, who was captain for the day, was the only Seasiders player with Conference experience".

Halifax Today says that "Town boss Chris Wilder may have solved his problematic left side of midfield without having to make a new signing. The Shay chief used Matt Doughty in the position in the first half of Saturday's clash against Bradford City with Greg Young at left full back. He then switched Doughty to left back, Young to centre back and introduced Wayne Jacobs in midfield after the break... 'We are light of a player for the left hand side of midfield with Dean Howell leaving', he said. 'Matt Doughty is good going forward and Greg Young is comfortable at left back'... Among the pluses was the second-half performance of Gary Brabin... Not since Kevin Hulme [later at Alty] in his pomp have the Shaymen had a player who could strike terror into opposition just by appearing on the field. But Brabin is potentially a better footballer than Hulme was as he showed with some deft touches. 'Gary puts himself about, but every tackle he made was fair', said Wilder. 'Some people play friendlies as friendlies but some can't. But he has been in the game long enough and knows where the line you cannot cross is... He has a reputation that goes before him, but I am not bothered about that'". Town used just one trialist Liam Flynn, "The 20-year-old was released by Bradford City".

This is Glos says "Alex Meechan could be set for another return to Forest Green Rovers after his surprise appearance in Saturday's 1-0 friendly defeat at Weymouth". Forest Green themselves confirm that Meechan "has been with Dagenham and Redbridge, Leigh RMI and Halifax Town since leaving Rovers". Meanwhile, "Leading the attack was experienced 30-year-old striker Tony Bird, whose last club was St Patrick's Athletic in Ireland... Portuguese striker Bruno Teixeira partnered Bird, and had Rovers' best chances... The bench featured more trialists, with goalkeeper Franco Ramos one of those coming on".

The Argus reports that "The optimism of supporters surrounding Crawley's takeover is being overshadowed by three unanswered questions... The first question is who are the people running the club? The SA Group, a company that runs businesses in retail, hospitality and publishing, bought the shares from John Duly last week for an undisclosed fee, thought to be around £1.5 million. Azwar Majeed has been announced as the new chief executive... But no other roles within the boardroom have yet been revealed... The second query is why have the club remained silent about the takeover? ...With benefactor Duly having to constantly dig into his own pocket to pay for the annual losses of about £200,000, it was clear there were not enough finances to fulfil their dream of becoming a League club... The third question is whether Steve Duly, the managing director until last week, will remain at the club". Duly said, "Nobody is comfortable with change, that is human nature". In a friendly with Millwall, Crawley "impressed in spells, particularly Simon Wormull in midfield and the hard-working Steve Burton up front... Former Norwich trainee Blackburn, 19, a tenacious central midfielder, did not look out of his depth against seasoned pros, while Cook's pace down the left wing tore the Lions apart... The other trialists were former Aldershot defender Chris Giles, Australian centre back Arthur Diles and 18-year-old rightback Micky Hubbard, who has recently been released by Bournemouth". The club "is close to signing a midfielder who has been having trials with Peterborough and a young player who has been training with Darlington".

Gravesend & Northfleet "Defender Lee Protheroe has agreed a new one year, part time contract with the club. His start to the forthcoming season will be delayed however as he is only half way through a four match ban received at the end of last season. A further one year option has been taken up on midfielder Matt Lovell's contract".

Stevenage Boro chairman Phil Wallace said, "We're looking at all aspects of the club this year, trying to reinforce value for money for our fans. Other Conference clubs keep increasing prices - we're going in the opposite direction. So far we've already reduced the price of the programme from £2.50 to £2 for next season". Other examples include having "frozen all our Tea Bar prices for next season, frozen turnstile prices... draught pints at £2 each in The Broadhall Suite on match days". He added, "I want to double the amount of free tickets we give out to local organisations next season".

"Tommy Taylor, manager of King’s Lynn, has warned Cambridge United: ‘Hands off’ midfielder Mark Angel, unless money is involved" reports Kings Lynn Today.

NL Daily reports that "During Burton Albion’s first game at their very impressive Pirelli Stadium against Chester City on Saturday, seven new faces appeared in the Brewers’ line-up. Manager Nigel Clough included his newest recruit, forward Shaun Harrad, who joined the club after being released by Notts County... Of the six other new faces, full back Andrew Hall, released by Coventry City and also trialing with Kettering Town, and former Crewe, Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury midfielder Kevin Street were the most impressive... Experienced former York City defender Chris Clarke, ex-Scunthorpe youngster Eric Graves, Maltese international Jonathan Holland and veteran ex-Macclesfield defender Darren Tinson also figured against Chester".


The MEN, whose non-league coverage is currently dominated by FC United, has a full page on their debut game for whom ex-Alty striker "Jozzer Mitten... ran his heart out and had to be subbed when he put his head where it hurts and suffered double vision. He was chaired off the field by fans... at the end. Mitten dropped four divisions to play for FC United and said, 'That was unbelievable... All of the lads were just stunned into silence... Most of the lads here have not played in crowds bigger than 400 or so. With that support and the quality of player we have here, we should walk the league".


Alty's tannoy announcers Rafo and Mark Eckersall will be glad we have left Nationwide North after "Rod Brown, manager of Redditch United, has targeted Sutton Coldfield Town’s want-away central defender Exodus Geoghaghan"!
18 July 2005


J. Black, a Morton fan, sent me the following unsolicited testimonial to our club: "Nice ground, great stewards, friendly staff all round, great day out, dodgy ref (at least the linesman had a sense of humour)!" For our part Altrincham FC were very impressed by Morton's large and very vocal support and wish them all the best for next season.


Right: Steve Hawes, who has been welcomed back to Moss Lane after spells at Worksop and Stocksbridge PS.

Alty's three signings so far this summer are Peter Band (back from Northwich), Steve Hawes (back from Stocksbridge) and James Olsen (from Vauxhall). But quite a few more new faces are currently at Moss Lane as trialists. They include:

  • Chris Royle from Northwich Victoria
  • Karl Munroe formerly at Halifax Town and Macclesfield Town
  • Steve Garvey from Northwich Victoria
  • Wes Wilkinson former Alty Youth, released by Oldham Athletic
  • Gavin Salmon from Droylsden, previously at Hyde United

    Also listed in the programme on Saturday, but not involved against Morton, were:

  • Darren Edmondson 33 year-old full-back released by Chester in April. Previously at Huddersfield, Carlisle and York City. However, he is working at Gretna and played for Barrow in a friendly on Saturday.
  • Gary Williams striker, formerly at Accrington and Doncaster R.
  • Lee Richardson former Halifax Town, Watford, Blackburn, Oldham, Huddersfield and Chesterfield midfielder.


    Courtesy of George Heslop, the end of season NW Allied Trophies Football League Premier Division table for 2004-05 is now available, via the Youth Page.


    Courtesy of Neil Brown, the Alty Reserves' friendlies are on the Reserves' Page.


    Sunday's NL Paper has action photos of Kevin Ellison "nudging" an opponent over the perimeter fence in Hull City's friendly on Saturday, as well as one of Steve Torpey playing for FC United of Manchester. Ex-Alty Youth keeper Barry George played for United as well.

    Spot the ex-Alty faces in Kipax's photos of the FC United of Manchester's game yesterday at Leigh.


    All of Alty's pre-season friendlies are listed here.

    Cammell Laird, whom we meet on Tuesday were last season's runaway winners of the NW Counties Div. Two, in which they set a goalscoring record. A map showing the location of their ground is on this website's friendlies page. The club now has a website.

    Alty are away at our neighbours Trafford on Thursday. Their team against Ashton Town on Saturday, which they won 1-0 was: John Gillies, Rob Parsonage, Paul Robinson, Craig Coote, Lee Southwood, Nick Boothby, Sam Haggis, Ian Gibson, Danny Rourke, Scott Weir, Paul Nelson. Subs: Jamie Walmsley, Wes Ritchie, Craig Howard.

    On Friday (7pm), Alty entertain a Crewe Alexandra XI at Moss Lane, followed by a trip to Radcliffe Borough's Stainton Park on Saturday (3pm).

    Lancaster City, whom Alty meet at the Giant Axe a week on Tuesday, are reported to be signing two Polish players- Aril Mirowinski (19) and Oktawian Solecki (20). Meanwhile, Ryan Zico-Black has re-signed for the Dolly Blues and three ex-Morecambe players, central defender Iain Swan from Morecambe (and previously Leigh RMI), striker Nick Rogan, and Stephen Skinner (23), a forward/midfielder, have been signed by Phil Wilson this summer. The club site also reports on another signing, "Stuart Howson is a 23 year old defender who has signed from Droylsden. Born in Chorley, he joined Blackburn Rovers [where he was]... a pro for two years". He was then at Chesterfield but "a broken leg hampered his prospects even though he had made over 60 appearances for the football league side".


    Confguide reports some recent transfers:
  • Shaun Harrad (Notts Co. to Burton A.)
  • Bobby Bowry (Colchester U. to Gravesend & N.). The Fleet's website describes him as a 33 year-old midfielder who "has a wealth of Football League experience with previous clubs QPR, Crystal Palace, Millwall and Colchester United for whom he jointly made in excess of 270 League and Cup appearances".

    Cambridge United report that "Two trialists have left the club. Lowestoft striker Stewart Roach and former Gillingham trainee Leon Solomon were told yesterday by Rob Newman that they are not in his plans".Manager Rob Newman said "They're not up to what we're looking for at the moment... but David Chick, Paris Okai and Mubiya Nadine will be involved at Braintree and probably next Wednesday at Billericay if they carry on doing what they're doing".

    17 July 2005


    The first of Colin Little's two penalty misses.

    Match report here


    In their first pre-season friendly, Alty Reserves won 4-1 at Springhead (Oldham). Report to follow...


    This is Glos states that "Paul Wanless will make his Forest Green Rovers debut at Weymouth today, after rejecting an offer from Cambridge United". His signing "takes Rovers' squad into double figures again - following Tom Gould's release... Owers will fill his ranks with trialists tomorrow, which could include former Yeovil duo Jamie Gosling and Chris Giles and ex-Forest Green loan players Clint Davies, Sekani Simpson and Craig Loxton".

    According to Crawley Today "Crawley Town FC has been bought out... Spokesman for the S.A Group, Paul Hobbs, confirmed that around three quarters of the £2m bonanza will be ploughed into the first team squad". He added, "We are considering taking the club full-time". The S.A Group "run RH Review - a lifestyle magazine, and the Ja Ja Bar, both situated in the High Street... they boast a current annual turnover of £50m". Also, "winger Lee Elam is the latest signing for Crawley Town - and he may be joined by two more within the week. Manager Francis Vines said of Elam "He adds something different rather than a straight passing game and we need midfielders, I've only got six including Lee... We still need a central midfielder, a forward and a centre back".

    The Cambridge United official site confirms that the club's home game with Hereford on 16 August "has been selected to be televised live on Sky TV. Club Secretary Andrew Pincher commented, 'It provides a welcome four-figure financial boost to the club... Last season the home clubs received £5,000 and that may increase".

    The official Accrington Stanley website has been voted Non-League Paper¹s National Game Award's Website of the Year for 2005". Stanley Webmaster Tony Greenwood said "The official Accrington Stanley website is a mostly automated system in that various parts of it update themselves based on information entered. For example add the result of a game and the front page updates last and next games and makes match previews and match reports available where appropriate, also the Fixture list is updated as is the opposition pages match history, all from the one input".


    The Burton Mail says that "Tony Hemmings could come out of retirement to join Gresley Rovers. The versatile 37-year-old, who began his career with Burton Albion... is one of three trialists due to turn out for Rovers in a pre-season friendly". Manager Gary Norton said, "I know he is much-travelled and he had a rest from football last year, but he is looking very fit and focused".


    FC United of Manchester drew 2,552 to their first friendly at Leigh RMI yesterday - including three streakers. The game ended 0-0. In another friendly Witton Albion drew with Southport.
    16 July 2005


    If you hold a valid driving licence and would be willing to help the Youth Team with driving a minibus to away games, please contact manager George Heslop via the club (0161-928-1045).


    You can operate a turnstile at Moss Lane this season, without a licence of any kind! Matchday Secretary George Heslop is seeking volunteers to staff the turnstiles on matchdays. Please ring the club (0161-928-1045) if you can help.


    The inaugural game at Northwich Vics' new Victoria Stadium attracted 453 spectators on Thursday when their opposition was Greenock Morton of the Scottish 2nd Division, whom we meet today (3pm) at Moss Lane. Vics won 2-0. After today, Alty games follow thick and fast, with the Robins away at Cammell Laird, (Kirklands Ground, St Peter's Road, Rock Ferry) on Tuesday night at 7.45pm. On Thursday they travel to Trafford (7.45pm), whilst on Friday, Crewe Alexandra visit Moss Lane (7pm). All the pre-season friendlies are listed here.
  • Map of Cammell Laird's ground area.

    The Lancashire League fixtures for August have been issued and can be found via the Reserves' Page. Don't forget, home games are at Moss Lane this season.


    If you have watched the Alty triple DVD of the Conference Promotion Final between Alty and Eastbourne (order your copy now from the club!) you might be forgiven for thinking that Alty were outnumbered by Eastbourne fans because the camera was sited among the Sussex fans in the upper tier of the stand whilst much of the Alty support was hidden from the lens, down below. Likewise, the DVD mike picked up the nearby Eastbourne support more readily than the more distant, vocal Robins' supporters. However, I am endebted to Alty supporter Kim Brocklehurst who has obtained the official figures from the Britannia Stadium which corect this impression. The figures show that, of the paying customers, there were 839 in the (Eastbourne) upper tier and 1,772 in the (Altrincham) lower tier. This disparity is partly a reflection of the much longer distance involved for the Boro fans. Let's hope that most of the 1,772 can also get to Moss Lane regularly this season!


    NL Daily lists yet another FC United of Manchester player who allegedly has Altrincham links, on top of the ten listed here yesterday. He is described as "Matt Weston, a 29-year-old former Ipswich, Altrincham, Droylsden and Leigh RMI forward". I have to admit I don't recall a player of this name at Moss Lane... any details welcomed!


    The NL Daily reports that "Radcliffe Borough (whom we meet in a friendly next week) kicked off the pre-season campaign with a good run out against Accrington Stanley". Borough's Andy Heald "received his marching orders for a rash tackle within 10 minutes". Stanley's goal in a 1-1 draw came from ex-Alty loanee, Alex Hay, now a trialist with Stanley.

    Also, "Ridgeons League Premier Division club Soham Town Rangers have snapped up veteran goalkeeper Dean Greygoose, who was released by league champions AFC Sudbury at the end of last season. Greygoose, now 40, had three clubs as options".


    Warrington Town who meet Alty reserves in a friendly in pre-season, "are expected to take a look at a number of trialists when they play their first pre-season friendly at Ashton United on Saturday, but they have already made a double swoop ahead of the new season with the capture of former Warrington players Paul McNally and Gary Randles from Premier Division Marine".


    This is York says that "Former York City boss Chris Brass has been told he can leave KitKat Crescent if he finds another club". Manager Billy McEwan said: "Chris Brass is getting himself fit and, when he is, hopefully he can get himself fixed up somewhere because we can't afford him". Also, "Paul Robinson remains on the City transfer list although McEwan admits that he has been impressed by the former Newcastle United striker's approach to pre-season training". McEwan added, "I love him to bits but the bottom line is we can't afford him... Good luck to him for getting such a big contract but he would not have got it off me". But "five to eight new faces could still join City before the start of the season, joining summer signings Mark Hotte, Clayton Donaldson and Matt Convery".

    The Daggers website says that "Dagenham & Redbridge striker Tony Boot has had his contract terminated by mutual agreement... He felt unhappy at not having regular first team football last season but John Still was quick to point out that this was down to his lack of punctuality and that was why he was placed on the transfer list".

    "Gravesend & Northfleet "are still hoping to have part of the Northfleet End re-opened in time for the start of the league season. The club will not know until September if they will receive a grant from the Football Foundation and so cannot commission the full refurbishment of the stand until then... Plans to put 500 seats at that end have been put on hold for now... Some fans are still expressing concerns about the club's league status all the while the works are outstanding" but chairman Brian Kilcullen says "There are no issues with regard to our ground criteria".

    At Scarborough "the price of the Boro Review [matchday programme] must rise to £2.50 to account for increased printing costs. However the majority of Conference programmes already cost £2.50. To compensate for the increase in price, the Boro Review will have a larger format and will include more colour pages."

    15 July 2005


    Altrincham FC have signed left-sided midfielder James Olsen (23) from Vauxhall Motors. Last season he played 44 games for the Motormen and scored 7 times. A former Liverpool Schoolboys player, he joined Liverpool FC as a left-back before moving to Tranmere Rovers in March 2001. In summer 2001 he suffered a broken neck in training whilst on tour with Tranmere in Ireland and the Birkenhead club eventually released him in spring 2004 after he had made 6 first-team appearances. He had a brief spell (2 games) at Macclesfield (25 March to May 2004) before being released and joining Vauxhall for 2004-05 season. He is 5'10" tall, weighs 12 stone and was born in Bootle on 23 October 1981.


    Alty's away match at Hereford will now be on SATURDAY 3 September and not Sunday 4 September as had been previously reported here. Kick off will be at noon to avoid a clash with an England international. This means that Altrincham players will 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 but a noon kick off will be mandatory of the game stays on the Saturday. The revised fixture list is here.


    The club has announced that "To ensure that the pitch is ready for Saturday's friendly against Greenock Morton, all of the grit-slits need filling with sand to level them out. So... if anyone has some free time on their hands, please come down to Moss Lane to help. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated".

    The number of Patrons who have pledged to support the club with £5 a week for 10 weeks over the summer has grown to well over 120 but more volunteers would be very welcome! Click here for details of the scheme and an updated list of those who have signed up so far.


    "FC United of Manchester are ready to announce a groundshare agreement with Bury... That being the case, the rumoured merger between Dave Pace’s Bloods and the club formed by disillusioned Manchester United fans, will remain a rumour... [Manager Karl] Marginson is hoping to make former England Schoolboy international striker Steve Torpey his next signing... [after] a brief spell with Altrincham last season".


    NL Daily reports that this week "Cambridge United produced a decent performance against Ipswich Town before eventually going down to a 3-0 defeat in front of a crowd of 2,769... For United, new keeper Paul Crichton enjoyed a good debut, while other trialists Sean Davies, Stewart Roach, David Bridges, Paris Okai and David Chick did their chances... no harm at all".

    Elsewhere St Albans City beat Aldershot Town 2-0 in a friendly. The Aldershot News and Mail states that "Shots legend Ray Warburton is to make one final cameo appearance in an Aldershot Town shirt against QPR on Sunday as a thank you to his loyal fans... Boss Terry Brown is not interested in the result... 'The last few matches have been pretty disappointing, as a manager you want to see some youngster burst through and really excite you but to be honest I haven’t seen anything that exciting... In fact I fully expect us to lose the first four pre-season games. All you want to see is the players coming through to fitness and have a look at some new faces', added Brown". 'I know it’s been hard work watching these games, but for me Julian Alsop has done well... I would like to sign him. I also think Matt Somner is a great player, he can fit in across the back line'... Two others to have caught the boss’ eye are Australian duo Andrew Lazarus, a left winger, and Nick Staverukos, a central midfielder... Brown is also casting his eye over striker Bertie Brayley and full back Sekani Simpson, who spent time at Tamworth last year on loan from Bristol City... 'I have still got loads of names and those on trial with pro-clubs will know this week whether they’ll be offered contracts, I’ve also had phone calls from managers offering me players so I’m not worried at all'" said Brown. "But, Brown has been dealt a blow with the news that Gary Holloway and Darren Barnard have picked up injuries, causing 'serious concern'".

    "Woking have announced that striker Craig McAllister has joined from league rivals Stevenage Borough. McAllister joined Stevenage from Basingstoke Town at the beginning of last season and had a spell on loan with Gravesend & Northfleet... McAllister becomes Woking boss Glenn Cockerill's third new signing of the summer, joining Lloyd Blackman and Jimmy Aggrey at Kingfield".

    "Burton Albion are hoping to give a trial to Maltese international Jonathan Holland. The midfielder will be 27 on Friday... [and] has been capped by Malta eighteen times and is a former mainstay of the island's top team, Floriana... Last December he came over to England and signed for Bradford Park Avenue... Clough's weekend squads are also expected to include five other players new to Albion fans - recent signing Keith Gilroy, likely capture Darren Tinson and trialists Andrew Hall, Kevin Street and Eric Graves" reports the Burton Mail.