Altrincham Football Club News Archive
30 July to 4 August 2005

4 August 2005


The Nationwide Conference says that "Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries has announced that Marston's Smooth will become the official beer and be the first ever second tier sponsor to support the Nationwide Conference Football League after negotiating a substantial five figure sum for the deal... The two-year agreement gives Marston's Smooth access to all 66 clubs' websites, the official Football Conference website and the opportunity to negotiate 'pouring rights' with each club". I am not sure what all this means - especially as regards "access to websites" but so long as website operators are rewarded with free beer, that is OK with me! It apparently does not mean that clubs are obliged to sign up for the brewery's products.


Alty striker Kieran Lugsden (right) hit five goals last night for Alty Reserves as they won 7-3 away to Old Altrinchamians.


The Hednesford Town website has a report on Tuesday's game at Moss Lane which says that "The game proved to be an excellent work-out for the Pitmen who can take a number of positives from the game".


  • Saturday 6th, 3pm, away at Marine
  • Tuesday 13th, 7.45pm, home v Bangor City

    Details of the first-team and reserves' friendlies are here.


    Ex-Alty men Steve Torpey (2) and Adie Orr scored for FC United on Tuesday.


    "Exeter City have offered striker Craig Farrell a contract following his trial period... The 22-year-old, was released by promoted Carlisle United... The Grecians have also secured the services of former Glasgow Rangers defender Chris Vinnicombe after the veteran signed a 12-month deal. City boss Alex Inglethorpe is considering whether to swell the ranks with a double swoop for striker Jamie Mackie (MK Dons) and left sided midfielder John McGrath, who have also been on trial at St James's Park". Manager Alex Inglethorpe "is hopeful of further increasing the size of his squad before the season starts", states This is Exeter.

    Canvey Island have signed Allan Tait from Crawley for £2,000.

    "David McGurk has rejoined York City in a six-month loan deal from Darlington... The 6ft centre-back made seven appearances for City last autumn before being recalled by Darlington and featuring in ten first team games... But former Darlington striker Paul Robinson has now left KitKat Crescent after agreeing a financial settlement... McEwan will now decide the future of the club's trialists in the coming days". These include "Right back Jamie Price and midfielder Emmanuel Panther... defender James Dudgeon... right sided midfielder Ryan Mallon... former Bradford City striker Danny Ekoku and ex-Azerbaijan under-21 international Farhad Afandiyev" reports This is York.

    "Rob Newman used Tuesday night's match... to take another close look at big Nigerian striker Folawiyo Onibuje. Having now signed three players for next season in Paul Atkins, Dave Daniels, and Nick Robbins and agreed terms with seven more, Newman will assess a French central midfielder [Guy Lopez] against Forest before making a decision. Andy Duncan is the latest player to agree terms, joining David Bridges, David Chick, Mbiyeye Medine, Parys Okai and Mark Peters, while West Ham Academy goalkeeper Darren Behcet has agreed a season's 'work experience' with the U's" reports their website.

    "Jason Blunt has become the second player in as many weeks to leave Halifax Town. The 27-year-old former Leeds, Doncaster and Scarborough man joins Darren Hockenhull, who made a shock departure last week. Manager Chris Wilder would only say that Blunt had been released from his short-term deal... But Wilder is stepping up the chase for Leeds duo Justin Bowler and Brenton Leister, who he hopes to tie up on loan deals", says the Halifax Courier.

    "Terry Brown, manager of Aldershot Town, has continued his rebuilding programme by signing three players. Firstly 20-year-old Ahmed Deen joins on a one-year contract after appearing for Peterborough United last season... Brown has also signed youth team player Ryan Scott, who has impressed in midfield... A further one-year deal has been agreed with young goalkeeper Dan Weait, who was previously with Basingstoke Town" reports NL Daily.

    3 August 2005

    24-MAN SQUAD

    Altrincham FC have now re-signed Richard Norris (right) and Kirk Hilton on non-contract terms for next season. Graham Heathcote also hopes to sign George Melling in the next few days. This now gives Alty a 24-man squad. However, it must be borne in mind that several players are sidelined, in some cases for long periods, at the start of the season. Those affected include Gary Scott, who has to undergo a hernia operation and is awaiting a date for this. Also, Eddie Hussin had a cruciate ligament operation last weekend and will be out for at least 6 months. Both Richard Norris and Kirk Hilton are recovering from injuries whilst Steve Aspinall is just coming back to training after his summer operation. Chris Adams, too, is getting over an injury. In addition Marcus Hallows has been out of contention following his bad leg fracture.

    The squad currently comprises the following names. Positions given below are, in some cases, arbitrary as certain players are equally at home in, say, defence, as midfield:


  • Richard Acton, Stuart Coburn


  • Chris Adams, Stephen Aspinall, Peter Band, Kirk Hilton, Mark Maddox, George Melling, Karl Munroe, Gary Talbot


  • Lewis Chalmers, Steve Hawes, Eddie Hussin, Richard Norris, James Olsen, Val Owen, Colin Potts, Stephen Rose, Gary Scott


  • Lutel James, Colin Little, Kieran Lugsden, Rod Thornley, Gary Williams


    Match report here.

    Right: Lutel James after the game.


    Alty play at Marine on Saturday and host Bangor City next Tuesday. Welsh Premier reports that "Bangor City will give a start to goalkeeper Steve Croudson at Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday night, following the departure of Andy Ralph to UniBond League Premier Division side Marine. The number one shirt has been a problem position for City over the past couple of seasons, with [Alty's] Richard Acton, Phil Priestley, Darren Owen and Paul Whitfield all taking the gloves at one time or another last season... Croudson joined Kettering Town in January 2005 after being released by Stevenage Borough, moving to Halifax Town in March". But "Swansea City have moved to secure the services of midfielder Owain Tudor Jones from Bangor City by extending his contract to a year... to fend off strong interest from rival outfits Swindon Town and Tranmere Rovers".


    "York City have signed trialist trio Nathan Peat, Joe O'Neill and Ashley Winn. The triple swoop takes manager Billy McEwan's summer signing tally to six following the earlier arrivals of Mark Hotte, Clayton Donaldson and Mark Convery. Former Hull City and Lincoln left-back Peat and ex-Preston and Bury striker O'Neill have both featured prominently in pre-season friendlies... McEwan also revealed that he is currently talking to three centre backs with the intention of signing one of them next week" reports This is York.

    Halifax Town "have announced that former Scarborough midfielder Jason Blunt has left The Shay. Blunt, 27, had been given a short term deal at the end of last season, however Blunt has now been told he can leave the club".

    "Following further discussions with the Football Foundation regarding a grant to assist with the refurbishment of the Northfleet End, Gravesend & Northfleet have run into a problem with doing a full refurbishment of the Northfleet End. To qualify for a grant the club need to have the gradient of the steps in accordance with the Guide to Safety at Football Grounds. Applying the stipulated gradient all the way up the terrace would mean those at the back part of the Stand not being able to see properly with their heads close to the roof. At this stage the club are therefore planning on refurbishing to halfway back the terrace and looking at options for the remainder of the terrace thereafter".

    "Andy Duncan has agreed terms with Cambridge United for the new season and will sign a contract this week. Duncan rejected the contract offered at the end of last season... The 27-year-old defender... swept the board of 'player of the year' awards last season".

    "Forest Green Rovers boss Gary Owers has agreed a one year loan deal with Northampton Town to bring defender Luke Graham to The Lawn... He started at Northampton as a trainee, and was on loan to Kettering last season". The BBC reports that "Owers has been impressed by trialist Bas Savage and is likely to offer him a deal. The 23-year-old striker was released by Reading".

    2 August 2005


    Alty Youth have a friendly against Prescot Cables on Thursday, 4 August at Wythenshawe Town FC (k.o. 6.30pm).


    Nantwich Town boss "Steve Davis grabbed five of his new signings from troubled Staffordshire rivals Stone Dominoes" reports NL Daily, and one of them is ex-Alty man, "Stuart Scheuber [who] is an excellent little player with experience at a higher level", states IC Cheshire.


    "Woking have announced that 20-year-old central defender Karim El-Salahi and 26-year-old striker Mark Rawle have signed one-year contracts. El-Salahi was released by Crystal Palace this summer, having made five appearances in their reserve team last season... The Cards beat off opposition from Aldershot Town for the experienced front-runner. Rawle, who has signed a one-year contract, was a member of Boston United’s Conference-winning side before joining Southend United for £60,000 in February 2001. He made 69 League appearances for the Shrimpers before joining Oxford United in June 2003. Last season he had a brief loan spell at Tamworth before joining Kidderminster Harriers in February this year" reports the clubclub site.

    "Moor Green have been running the rule over Frenchman Bertrand Cozic following his release by Kidderminster Harriers... Another former Harrier, Richie Appleby, could be turning out for Moor Green as well" reports the NL Daily.

    Exeter City have arranged a game on Wednesday when "the full squad [will be] in action, playing against each other. Alex Inglethorpe will put out an under 23 team against the more senior (over 23) team in an 11-a-side match with some training routines thrown in. You may even get the chance to see the manager himself in action... Entry is free".

    "Veteran full back Chris Vinnicombe is on the verge of re-signing for Exeter City after impressing manager Alex Inglethorpe... Left back Vinnicombe... is expected make the move back to St James's Park 16 years after leaving... to join Glasgow Rangers". Inglethorpe said, "I looked at our squad a couple of days ago and I thought we were a little bit youthful in particular areas. His experience and desire to win will really help us" says This is Exeter.

    Confguide says that "The FA has thrown Paul Fairclough’s position as Barnet Manager and National Game Manager into question. The official Football Conference position on the National Game Manager is that the person appointed should be wholly independent of any club. This has always been the position of the Conference and was the position when The FA appointed Paul Fairclough. However, after his appointment by The FA, Mr Fairclough also accepted the position as manager of Barnet, which many clubs did not consider to be an acceptable situation. It was allowed to continue during the season for the sake of harmony but at a recent board meeting every club chairman or director present expressed dissatisfaction with the National Game Manager also being the manager of a club... Also discussed at the board meeting was the proposed new European Competition at National Game level which, while announcements have been made, little or no details have been provided by The FA to clubs or to the Conference who will be most affected by its introduction".

    The Hereford unofficialwebsite says that "Graham Turner's latest addition to his squad is 29 year-old Stacey Coldicott from Grimsby, where his contract expired at the end of last season. He has signed a two year deal with United and is the sixth signing of the season... After Grimsby returned to the first division in 1998, he was signed from West Brom for about £125,000 and has made over 160 League appearances for the Mariners. Coldicott is a 5ft 11in tought tackling, defensive midfielder weighing just over 11 stone".

    1 August 2005


    It has been confirmed that the Altrincham's away game at Canvey Island on 8 October will be a 1pm kick-off due to a "clash" with England's international, which kicks off at 4pm that day.

    21 SIGNED UP

    Altrincham FC have signed Gary Williams, the former Accrington and Doncaster striker, following a successful pre-season. Kieran Lugsden and Stephen Rose have also re-signed for the new season. This activity brings to 21 the number currently in the first-team squad, though manager Graham Heathcote hopes to add to that number from those players who were with us last season but who are not yet signed up for 2005-06. However, several players will miss the start of the season. Eddie Hussin had a cruciate operation on Saturday, Steve Aspinall is not yet back in training after his summer operation and Gary Scott sees a specialist today about his hernia.

    Gary Williams is a striker, who made his Alty debut v Lancaster City on 26 July 2005 and scored. In January 2000 he moved from Accrington to Doncaster R. for £60,000 and played 16 games for the Belle Vue side. He returned to Accrington for £25,000 in September 2000 and had a month each at Southport and Chester on loan in late 2001. In March 2002 he went on loan to Rossendale Utd for whom he signed that summer. In September 2004 he joined Leigh RMI.


    This Sunday sees the annual Urmston CC v Altrincham FC cricket match at Urmston's ground on Moorside Road. Play starts at 1pm. Everybody welcome- entry is free.


    Close-circuit TV is being installed today at Moss Lane to further improve security following the recent "occupation" by so-called "travellers".


    Alty entertain Hednesford Town at Moss Lane on Tuesday. Their last meeting was at Keys Park when Alty were thrashed 5-0 after going the preceding 13 Conference games without defeat. (Kevin Ellison, now at Hull City, was in the Alty side that day and is seen in action [right] during that game). Hednesford had also won the earlier game at Moss Lane in 1999, 1-0. After Alty's relegation from the Conference in 2000, Hednesford followed them in 2001 and joined the Southern League. But this season, they will start in Nationwide North. Their website has a report on their latest friendly in which only a few first-teamers started. The Pitmen lost 5-4 to Rushall Olympic. (Alty fans will recall that our star striker of 1998-99, Keith Russell, played for both of those Midlands sides). They also conceded five in their previous game, a friendly at home to Walsall. Town's current players include top scorer Andy Bell and former TNS man Steve Anthrobus. Amongst their young players to watch is 18 year-old Shaun Findley.

    On Wednesday at 7pm, Alty Reserves play at Old Alts ground at Dane Road (Crossford Bridge), Sale.


    Alty kick off the league season at Stevenage. Altrincham share with Stevenage the dubious honour of having won the Conference/Alliance but not gained promotion to the Football League. The sides first met in the league in 1994/95 but Alty have not yet beaten Stevenage in 8 attempts, having lost all four home games and gained only two draws away from home. Alty's second league opponents this coming season are Accrington Stanley, whom Alty have yet to meet in the Coneference though they have, of course, met in the UniBond League. The third league opponents are another side that Alty have yet to beat in the Conference- Forest Green Rovers, with whom they played two draws in 1999-2000. The fourth game of the season, at Aldershot Town brings us up against a fourth side that we have not beaten in the Conference - as we have never played them in the league. Finally, in game five, we play Morecambe at home, whom we have beaten before at Moss Lane.


    Former youth player, Lee Shillito scored against Rochdale on Saturday but Lee Thompson missed a penalty. Liam Coyne and Graham Tench were other ex-Alty youths in the RMI side. Goalkeeper Dave McCarthy, who had a loan spell at Alty a couple of seasons ago, has joined Arnold Town. The NL Paper reports that most recently he has been playing on the left wing for Notts Police! Not an old boy, but Ben Thornley, Rod's brother has become head coach at Bacup Borough.


    Burton Abion have signed Hucknall's Andy Todd. He has squad number 19 and played in a friendly against Derby County on Saturday.
    31 July 2005


    The NL Paper has a 'result' from last Friday- Altrincham 0 Bangor C. 2. As the game does not take place till 9 August it is difficult to see where this score came from! All our friendlies are listed here.


    Alty Youth were beaten 3-1 by Macclesfield FA in the semi-final of the Umbro International Tournament youth section on Saturday. In the final, Daisy Hill, whom Alty had beaten in the qualifying league, defeated Macclesfield 2-0 to lift the trophy.


    Shotsweb says that in a recent friendly "A mixed Charlton side despatched Aldershot with ease as superior technique and finishing confirmed the gulf between these two clubs. [But] With news that former QPR and Wigan defenders Lewis Hamilton and Hassan Sulaiman have signed one year deals at The Rec this week and that Bertie Brayley and Chris Nurse have signed one month and three month deals respectively, it looks as though Terry Brown is now on course to build a side for the coming season... Former QPR man Hamilton can play anywhere across the back, while Sulaiman has been recommended by several people, including former Brown protege Jason Roberts, as a player from Wigan's reserves who can offer something on the right".

    The York City unofficial site says that the club is "expected to award extended run-outs to former Azerbaijan under-21 international keeper Farhad Afandiyev, together with one-time Scarborough winger Dave Pounder and ex-Halifax Town forward Ryan Mallon. Meanwhile it has been revealed that teenage midfielder Byron Webster will miss the start of the campaign after fracturing a bone in his arm in the midweek victory at Ossett Town. Fellow schemer Levent Yalcin and trialist centre-back James Dudgeon are also currently sidelined with hamstring problems". However, "The proposed move of former £1.5 million striker Paul Robinson to Ross County now appears in serious doubt following a late hitch in talks" but "York City are rumoured to be on the verge of signing Darlington centre-back David McGurk on an extended six-month loan deal... York are particularly short of numbers in the middle of their defence and currently have only one recognised centre-back available in former Scarborough defender Mark Hotte".

    Woking have "turned down Burton Albion’s latest offer for striker Justin Richards". John Buchanan, Woking’s Chairman, said the offer "was only for £10,000 plus a few thousand on top for appearances. This falls a long way short of our valuation".

    Kiddermister Harriers boss Stuart Watkiss has "confirmed that ex-Scunthorpe midfielder Wayne Graves has agreed to sign... He joins his ex-Scunthorpe team mates Mark Jackson, Gareth Sheldon and Russ Penn at Aggborough... [But] the search for a striker is set to intensify this week... Trialist Gary McPhee will be invited back... as the boss seeks to take a closer look at the former Coventry man".

    At Gravesend & Northfleet "Three more players have signed full-time contracts with the club. Goalkeepers Aaron Kerr and Craig Holloway and defender Danny Glozier have now joined the club, signing one year contracts".

    Forest Green "are pleased to announce that Ryan Harrison has joined the club on a year long contract. The young goalkeeper previously was at Wrexham... having been on Swansea City books before then".

    Crawley Town "Manager Francis Vines has swooped to complete his fourth summer signing for Crawley Town bringing midfielder Danny Brown to the Broadfield stadium. The 24-year-old ex Oxford United and Barnet player has agreed a one-year contract... Brown becomes the second signing this week following defender Chris Giles and previous summer signings midfielder Richard Hodgson and winger Lee Elam".

    30 July 2005


    Wins on Thursday over Daisy Hill (2-0) and Wilmslow HS (2-1) on Thursday, plus a 2-0 win on Friday over London side FC Baresi allowed Altrincham FC Youth to qualify for the semi-finals of the Umbro Youth tournament in Manchester. Because of the bad weather this week, all games have currently been reduced from 35 to 25 minutes each half. The semi-final and final will both be played today (Saturday). The tournament is at Manchester University's sports fields, Wythenshawe.


    Some two hundred people attended former Alty Youth coach Neil Thomason's funeral on Friday at Altrincham crematorium, including many of his former youth players. Neil, though born in Sale, had spent the first 13 years of his life in India and, at a gathering held at the club after the funeral, his family had compiled a fascinating photo tribute to his life including his old Indian school reports and pictures of his involvement with Altrincham FC youth team.


    "Chris Wilder, manager of Halifax Town, has strengthened his squad by taking Leeds United's Brenton Leicester and Justin Bowler on a month's trial. The 18-year-olds will both play a part in Saturday's friendly at The Shay... He said: 'Brenton is a midfielder and Justin plays on the left wing... I know Kevin Blackwell well and by taking their kids we can give them more first-team football than they can be offered at Leeds'" he told the Halifax Courier.

    "Glenn Cockerill, manager of Woking, is hoping that Mark Rawle will become a Cards player this week, although he appears to be in a two-way fight for his signature with rivals Aldershot Town. And the Cards’ boss is confident Justin Richards will remain at Kingfield, with the club preparing to stave off any further bids from Burton Albion". The player said, "I’ve got a bit of talking to do with my agent and the club but I would like to sign because I do like Woking". Cockerill, who has brought in former Stevenage Borough assistant boss Jimmy Dack purely as a coach... is also weighing up whether to sign another trialist, defender Carim El-Salahi... Cockerill hinted that Gary MacDonald and new signing Jimmy Aggrey were shaping up to be his preferred central defensive partnership" says the Woking site.

    The BBC says that "York City are having to carry out emergency roof repairs on Kitkat Crescent ahead of Monday's friendly against Sheffield Wednesday. The unscheduled work is another unexpected cost that will contribute to the club's losses. Finance director Terry Doyle told BBC Radio York: "We're having to do emergency roof repairs in the main stand to make sure next Monday's game goes ahead".

    NL Daily announces that it has "linked up with Nationwide Building Society, sponsors of the Nationwide Conference and England team, to offer the chance of winning a pair of season tickets for every Nationwide Conference, Nationwide North or Nationwide South club. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning the pair of season tickets is to enter your email into the free prize draw at their website."

    The Hereford unofficial site says that "Guy Ipoua is joining the club from Doncaster. He has agreed a one year deal".

    Grays Athletic "have completed the signing of striker Jamie Slabber. 20 year old Jamie played for Aldershot Town last season after being released from Spurs".

    Cambridge United's "squad for the new season is taking shape, with five of the trialists agreeing terms... Youngsters Paul Atkins, Dave Daniels and Nick Robbins put pen to paper... Now Rob Newman has received verbal acceptance of terms from David Bridges, David Chick, Mbiyeye Medine, Parys Okai and Mark Peters... He will also finalise the details of a season-long loan for West Ham's teenage goalkeeper Darren Behcet... Veteran keeper Paul Crichton has also spent pre-season with the U's but he had talks with Boston this week... Former York City defender Sean Davies is expected to play against Northampton tomorrow and a decision will be made next week, along with former Luton striker Luke Maitland, while Newman is considering offering 30-year-old Dave Robertson the chance to join the squad on a non-contract basis".

    Scarborough "have swooped to sign Dave Elebert from Preston North End. The 19-year-old Irish centre-half, who had attracted interest from Arsenal before joining the Deepdale outfit has joined Boro on loan until January".

    Halifax Today states that "Town skipper Steve Bushell could miss six games at the start of the new campaign after receiving Lilleshall's assessment of his broken leg... It is a big blow to Town boss Chris Wilder who was hoping to have the kingpin fit and raring to go... Goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin has shrugged off a side strain. Town's first-choice keeper may play for 45 minutes [in a friendly] as Wilder also looks at James Salisbury between the posts, who has been released by Wigan".

    For earlier news, click here