Altrincham Football Club News Archive
5 to 8 August, 2005

8 August 2005


Mark Maddox (left) has been banned for three games from 20 August following his dismissal on Saturday. So, he will miss the games against Forest Green (H), Aldershot (A) and Morecambe (H).


Stevenage Borough have informed Altrincham that there will be no standing facilities for our supporters on Saturday. As previously announced, admission will be to the South Stand and costs £13 for away fans. (Home fans apparently pay £10). Away concessionaries pay £10.

Stevenage have also advised us that junction 7 of the A1(M) is closed this Saturday so J8 should be used instead. A map is on the links/maps page.

Cambridge Utd have also given advance notice that for the game at the Abbey Stadium against Alty on 24 September away fans will be in the Habbin Terrace. Entry will be £12 (£8 for concessionaries, £3 for juniors)


The latest list of Alty Patrons is here. The club is very grateful to all 131 of them - details of the scheme are at the above link, too.


In a match which saw the stand-in referee award three penalties against them, the last in the fifth minute of added time, Alty Reserves drew 3-3 at Wilmslow Albion on Saturday. Report in Reserves' section.


Right: Peter Band comes in after hitting an impressive 20 runs as Graham Heathcote goes out to bat in the first innings. The camera did not catch the moment when Peter's bat travelled further than the ball he was attempting to hit and forced evading action from the Urmston fielders!

The most important cricket action yesterday was not the Test Match at Edgbaston but at Urmston where Altrincham FC played their annual cricket game against Urmston CC. Every bit as good as Freddie Flintoff's innings for England, a sparkling 65 from Stuart Coburn was the highlight of Alty's first innings total of 138 for 8 off 20 overs. Graham Heathcote was generously allowed to continue early in his innings after being caught and went on to get 29. The rest of the Alty team comprised Richard Acton, Peter Band, Rod Thornley, Charles and Dan Heathcote, Chris and Grahame Rowley, Andy and Bill Coop. An Urmston bowler did the hat-trick in the final over of the first innings. The game ended with a narrow victory for Urmston even though Charles Heathcote scored 83 in the second innings and Richard Acton hit a fine 42. Grahame Rowley informs me that he scored a "majestic 16" - I won't mention what he got in the first innings! Graham Heathcote bowled two men in one over to put the pressure on the home side but Grahame tells me Urmston "scraped home with 10 balls to spare".

However, the Aussie touring team will be attending the Alty v Bangor City as guests of Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin, who drives them around England for their matches in a luxury coach from his Go Goodwins fleet. The next test Match is at nearby Old Trafford.


Marine report that "The momentum that has been gathering pace throughout the pre-season continued with a thoroughly deserved draw against Nationwide Conference side Altrincham". It ends, "There was still time for a mass brawl following a challenge by Kissock which led to the latter and Alty's Steve Hawes being dismissed" - it was actually Mark Maddox who was sent off. See below for this site's report.


Alty first-team squad goalkeeper Richard Acton (left) will keep goal for Bangor City against Alty on Tuesday night at Moss Lane. But Phil Cross, who kept goal for Alty Reserves recently, was playing for Bangor City last Saturday. And, last Wednesday, former Alty loan-player (from Tranmere), Alex Hay played for Bangor City. The club website reports on their win over Droylsden on Saturday when "Carl Lamb, Chris McGinn and a Kevin Scott special direct from a corner made the difference for us, a number of triallists caught the eye, and Chris Priest, Layton Maxwell and Clayton Blackmore pulled all the right strings in midfield". The Bangor team was Cross, Brownhill, Scott, Jones, Atherton, Priest, Lamb, Blackmore, Roberts, McGinn, Maxwell. Subs: Burke, Lunstrom, Ogilvy.


In the NLP Graham Heathcote says, "Our only aim for the season is survival. We are still a part-time club and it is perceived that part-time clubs struggle in the Conference. We want to prove this wrong and show people that a small side can survive among the full-time clubs. We were surprised to be in this position because we didn't think we would be promoted. So, last season, I only saw one Conference game. I don't really know what to expect". As for his six new signings, Graham, said, "That's pretty much all I will be bringing in ... These players have all had experience in the Conference and this is what we were looking for. Though it looks like a big squad [of 25], there are a lot of injuries to players from last season's squad. There are at least four or five of the team who will not be starting or are not available for the start". Speaking of latest signing, Nehru McKenzie, Graham said "Nehru is a local lad who's young and shows a lot of promise. He has to get in the team first but he is in the squad and who knows what the line-up will be".

In the NL paper, Graham Westley, manager of our first league opponents this season, Stevenage Borough, previews the campaign. "The three promoted clubs will all be keen to make their mark. And each is more than capable. In the likes of Val Owen, Altrincham have players who know the circuit. I am pretty sure, though, that a top 15 finish would please them". Also in the NLP, Tamworth manager Mark Cooper calls for an end to dismissals in pre-season games after two red cards were given in their recently friendly. After Saturday, no doubt Alty's Mark Maddox would agree.

Surprisingly, Howard Watts's Through the Years data reveals that Alty have never before played on any 13th August, when they meet Stevenage Borough, so the first Through the Years file of the season is for 16th August, when Alty host Accrington Stanley.

Stevenage Boro's site has a match preview of the Altrincham's visit next Saturday. The Boroguide site says "Starting with the lineup most likely to feature against Altrincham next weekend, Stevenage Borough found it hard to break down a resolute Havant & Waterlooville side in the penultimate warm-up game of the summer". That side was: Alan Julian (Shane Gore 62), Ronnie Henry, Jason Goodliffe, Matt Hocking, Justin Gregory (Micky Warner), Ollie Berquez (Danny Williams 62), Dino Maamria (Dannie Bulman 45), Simon Weatherstone (Michael Brough 83), George Boyd, Anthony Elding (Jon Nurse 45), Darryn Stamp (Chris Sullivan 76).

Alty's second away trip of the season is to Aldershot Town on Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 27 August. The Shotsweb website reports on their game with Yeovil in which "Both Nikki Bull and John Brough came through their first full matches after injury, while Tim Sills played the opening 45 minutes in something approaching his customary style. Yeovil’s Australian [ex-Southport] centre-half Scott Guyett made his debut, pending a short-term loan deal". The Shots are managed by Terry Brown who was the Hayes manager when we were last in the Conference.


The UniBond League press release has a piece on our Cheshire Senior Cup opponents, Woodley Sports. "Their first home game of the season next week against Shepshed Dynamo is of immense interest to the entire game throughout the country. With the FA's blessing, Woodley are the guinea pigs for the latest generation of artificial surface and the FA will be conducting rigorous tests on the facility during the coming campaign as it is seen as the way forward by many clubs. Woodley have invested around £300,000 in the venture as they seek to increase revenue flow and at the same time have a pitch of the highest standard possible".


Lee Thompson scored two and Mark Drew one for Leigh as they trounced a Stockport County side 6-2. Jeremy Illingworth played for Stocksbridge PS at the weekend.


Also in the NLP's betting guide, Alty are second bet for relegation after Forest Green.

At Cambridge United "Three more players have passed medicals and signed their contracts with Cambridge United. Defender Mark Peters put pen to paper just before today's win, while David Bridges and Fola Onibuje signed after the game... Today's signings follow the captures earlier this week of David Chick, Mbiyeye Medine and Parys Okai. In addition, defender Andy Duncan signed a further one year contract".

Gravesend report that "Canadian Ross Smith has signed a 1 year full-time contract... The former Margate centre-half joins namesake James Smith, Paul McCarthy and Graham Porter in the heart of the Gravesend defence... Goalkeeper Craig Holloway told NOTN that... he expected to start the season as a Gravesend player... Matt Lovell has left the club by mutual consent".

The York unofficial website says that "Former Halifax Town and Lincoln City centre-back James Dudgeon has [signed]... a 'short-term contract' with the Minstermen. The 25-year-old Newcastle-born defender originally joined York on a one-month deal in June after captaining Worksop Town last term... The combative stopper becomes the tenth new arrival at KitKat Crescent over the summer".

But NL Daily says that "Adrian Pennock, manager of Welling United, has raided his former club, Gravesend & Northfleet, once again to snap up experienced midfielder Steve Perkins... Steve started his playing days in Burscough`s youth team". Also "Canvey Island made it three signings in a week... by signing experienced defender Stuart Bimson, who was released by new rivals Cambridge United".

7 August 2005


Above: Chris Adams (11), Gary Talbot, Mark Maddox and Stuart Coburn are the Alty players shown above in action against Marine.

Match report here.


A report on the Alty Youth win over Prescot, last Thursday, is in the Youth section, courtesy of George Heslop.


The Altrincham first-team players' page has been updated with the squad numbers and new photos of each player who attended last Thursday's photo-shoot.


The matchday stewards at Moss Lane do a great job but Alty chief steward Darren Gregory is looking for more volunteers. If you can help, please e-mail Darren or contact the club on 0161-928-1045. Applicants must be over 18, please.


"Alex Inglethorpe, manager of Exeter City, has beaten off stiff competition from a host of clubs to secure the services of striker Jamie Mackie (19). The ex-MK Dons frontman... has signed a twelve-month deal. The news comes after ex-Carlisle United striker Craig Farrell agreed a one-year deal and increases the number of strikers at the club to five... Mackie's ability to also play in a wide role will soften the blow of losing out on the signing of winger John McGrath, who looks set to sign for York City. Budget cuts mean Inglethorpe will not be able to sign any more players" reports This is Exeter.

For Aldershot Town, "ex-Premiership forward Paul Kitson made his debut against Lewes on Wednesday... The 34-year-old has been enjoying pre-season training with the Shots. Aldershot lost 3-1... [Manager] Terry Brown also used Wednesday night’s trip to continue discussions with Mark McGhee over a possible loan swoop for pacy striker Jake Robinson, who spent three months on loan at The Rec last season... Finding a partner for Tim Sills up front has caused Brown all kinds of problems after losing Roscoe D’Sane in October last year". Brown said, "I really like both Chris Senior and Jake Robinson, they are similar players and I’ll be speaking to the Brighton people about a possible loan". As for Kitson, he "has been out of the game for 15 months after leaving Rushden & Diamonds". Brown has signed "former Leicester and Peterborough winger Ahmed Deen, the mysterious 'Gary Med' as was announced, that played against Tottenham on Sunday... Three youngsters have also signed up... midfielder Ryan Scott, goalkeeper Dan Weait... and centre half Dave Winfield". Finally, "Brown also ran the rule over Brighton defender Gary Elphick with a view to a possible loan move" says the Aldershot website.

Scarborough report that ex-Alty striker "Mark Quayle swooped for his second and third goals of pre-season as Boro breezed past a youthful Sunderland".

Halifax Town "have signed striker Chris Senior at Stocksbridge last night, after his release from Scarborough. Senior joined Scarborough in the summer of 2003 after having a trial at the Shay... He made 81 appearances for the Seadogs scoring 19 goals".

Accrington Stanley manager "John Coleman will offer deals to Andrew Mangan, Leam Richardson and Michael Welch. 18 year old Andrew was released by Blackpool... Centre half Leam Richardson started his career as a trainee at Blackburn Rovers. The 26 year old had spells at Bolton Wanderers and Notts County before moving to Blackpool where he made over 80 appearances. Finally 22 year old left back Michael Welch started as a trainee at Barnsley and has spent the last 4 years at Macclesfield, making over 120 appearances".

6 August 2005


A report on the Reserves 7-3 win at old Alts is in the Reserves' section, based on information kindly supplied by Neil Brown.

CCTV firm Global Enterprise has not only installed the new CCTV system at Moss Lane but have also been helping to sponsor the Reserves' team, for which manager Neil Brown is very grateful.


Altrincham games on Saturday 6th at 3pm:
  • First team away at Marine
  • Reserves away at Wilmslow Albion

    Right: Alty's latest signing is Nehru McKenzie, an ex-Hyde United midfielder, signed after impressing in pre-season to 2005-06. He was with Moss Amateurs in the Lancashire & Cheshire Amateur League before being signed by Mike McKenzie (no relation) for Hyde in July, 2001. In 2002 Nehru opened a music studio at the Millennium Power House, in Moss Side, Manchester which is open to local youngsters wishing to learn about the music industry.


    A report on the Youth team's win against Prescot Cables will be on the website this weekend, thanks to manager George Heslop.


    For next week's trip to Stevenage Borough, "access to the ground for away supporters is via the South Stand (Buildbase Stand)". Admission prices to the South stand are £13 (£10 for concessionaries). The North and East Stand terraces cost £10 (£6 concessionaries). Match programmes are £2.


    NL Daily reports that Mossley beat Glossop North End 6-1, with Chris Downey scoring one of the six.


    "Runcorn FC Halton have suffered a double setback with their first friendly defeat and the cancellation of one of three remaining pre-season matches. The Linnets, who lost 4-3 at Cammell Laird on Tuesday, have seen their visit to Rhyl next week called off... due to Rhyl's European commitments... Player-manager Steve Carragher will finalise his preparations at Chorley on Saturday, August 13th... Meanwhile, Halton Borough Council is to continue its shirt sponsorship of the Linnets... Martin Fallon, a leading light of the Linnets Independent Supporters' Trust, has confirmed he is severing links with Runcorn FC Halton. He will now support Runcorn Town, the name now proposed for Mond Rangers... Fallon, who was also the press officer of the Linnets, says he will not attend any games at Prescot Cables' Valerie Park. He said: 'Basically, I said to the club at the end of last season, it is all right playing three games at Prescot but they need to be starting to put plans into place to move back to Runcorn. If they start the season playing there with no prospect of coming back, they are just Prescot II now. Nothing has happened at all'... It is understood there will be no objection from Runcorn FC Halton as Mond look to become Runcorn Town" reports IC Cheshire.


    Alty are now one of just four part-time sides left in the Conference after Crawley Town "ended the speculation by formally announcing that the club will be transferring to full-time status for the forthcoming campaign". Manager Francis Vines said, "This change will enable us to match up with the major clubs on a level playing field". As a consequence of going full-time "Allan Tait moved to rivals Canvey Island, whilst fellow strikers Danny Marney and Danny Davidson have been placed on the transfer list. John Robinson... is another unable to make the switch to full-time football and has agreed terms to join Lewes". Also, Crawley "have announced the appointment of the club’s first Director of Football, former Managing Director, Steve Duly".

    "Welsh Premier striker Graham Evans will sign for Hereford United 'within the next 24 hours'. 25-year-old Evans has scored 132 goals from 191 appearances fsince 1995 and won the Welsh Premier's leading scorer award for a second time in 2003/4" reports Welsh Premier.

    "Gary Owers, manager of Forest Green Rovers, has announced that he has acquired the services of popular [Portuguese] striker Bruno Teixeira on a year's contract and midfielder Simeon Howell from Reading on a season-long loan... 19 year-old Howell, who has represented Jamaica... is on the brink of making the grade at Reading. He played a couple of matches last season for Farnborough Town".

    The unofficial York website says that "City have taken their summer recruitment drive to nine after completing the signings of former Partick Thistle midfielder Emmanuel Panther (21) and ex-Doncaster Rovers right-back Jamie Price (23). Glasgow-born Panther made in excess of a dozen appearances for Partick Thistle last season... Price totalled thirteen games for Doncaster Rovers in 2004-05... The stylish right-back also featured in loan spells at Halifax Town and Burton Albion". Manager Billy McEwan "is still to make final decisions on his remaining five trialists - Farhad Afandiyev, James Dudgeon, David Pounder, Ryan Mallon and Craig Mudd".

    At Tamworth "The 2005-6 matchday programme has been redesigned... and will be full colour. But there's no change to the price which stays at £2 a copy... Mark Cooper is hopefully of signing a new 'keeper in the next few days. Sources close to the club inform us that he is currently with a Premiership side. The Vice Presidents club... are delighted to announce that over a dozen new members have signed up for 2005-6 which will... mean a cash injection of around £40K into the club".

    Scarborough "boss Nick Henry described new striker Jermaine Palmer as the final piece of his jigsaw... Henry signed the 18-year-old striker on a month's loan from Grimsby Town" But "Nigerian trialist striker Stanley Udenkwour has left the club".

    Cambridge United's "Fola Onibuje has agreed terms". Manager Rob Newman said of the 6ft 6in 21 year-old, "Fola will definitely give us more of a presence". Also, "17-year-old striker Mbiyeye Medine passed his medical and signed... Andy Duncan has also now put pen to paper on his new contract... Forward Parys Okai and left back David Chick... are expected to sign on Friday, with midfielder David Bridges and defender Mark Peters due to have medicals today. "That will hopefully mean that we've added eight players to the squad this week", added Newman. But trialist defender Sean Davies has been released... and Stuart Bimson may be set to join another club... Newman is also waiting for a decision from Paul Crichton after the goalkeeper played a trial game for Boston this week... Midfielder Carl Hutchings is considering his future and may not return to the Abbey... Finally, he explained Ashley Nicholl's absence from the squad, saying, 'I think his workrate and attitude is still not 100% so he's a negative asset to the squad'".

    5 August 2005


    Pictured below at Moss Lane on Thursday night was the Altrincham first-team squad, with just James Olsen missing. Midfielder Nehru McKenzie has been signed to become the 25th member of the squad. It was amazing to see Eddie Hussin not only on the team photo but also walking without crutches and kneeling for his portrait photo just five days after his cruciate ligament operation. The surgeon is hopeful that Eddie will be able to return to action in the New Year.

    ALTRINCHAM FC 2005-06. BACK ROW: Karl Munroe, Mark Maddox, Gary Talbot, Stuart Coburn, Richard Acton, Peter Band, Stephen Rose, George Melling. MIDDLE REAR: Val Owen, Chris Adams, Gary Scott, Richard Norris, Rod Thornley, Lewis Chalmers, Nehru McKenzie. MIDDLE FRONT: Charles Heathcote (kitman), Colin Little, Dalton Steele (ass't manager), Eddie Hussin, Graham Heathcote (manager), Steve Hawes, Sean Riley (physio). FRONT: Steve Aspinall, Colin Potts, Gary Wiliams, Lutel James, Kirk Hilton, Kieran Lugsden. The trophies shown are the Cheshire Senior Cup (left) and the Nationwide Conference Play-Off Winners' Cup.

    The squad numbers have now been issued and numbers 1-11 are the starting eleven at Stoke for the play-off final. Numbers and names as listed on the official notification to the Conference are:

    1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Stephen ASPINALL, 3. Christian ADAMS, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Edward HUSSIN, 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Roderick THORNLEY, 11. Gary SCOTT, 12. Steven HAWES, 13. Richard ACTON, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 15. Peter BAND, 16. James OLSEN, 17. Karl MUNROE, 18. Lutel JAMES, 19. Gary WILLIAMS, 20. Kieran LUGSDEN, 21. Stephen ROSE, 22. Richard NORRIS, 23. Kirk HILTON, 24. George MELLING, 25. Nehru McKENZIE.


    Don't forget to book your seat for the STAR supporters coach to Stevenage Borough- details here. Go Goodwins will be providing executive coaches for all of the away trips and prices are excellent value, given the long distances involved for many of the trips this coming season. Please ring the club on 928-1045 to book your ticket and, remember, it's cheaper if you are a STAR member - membership details are on the STAR website.

    Stevenage, until a few days ago were "yet to win any of their pre-season friendlies but [manager Graham] Westley insists he is more concerned with establishing an effective style of play, ahead of the opening match of the Conference season against Altrincham. 'I'm really happy with the way we're playing and the scores are totally irrelevant in pre-season', said Westley, who revealed that many of the productive set-piece moves that were used in the Peterborough friendly had been the idea of his players... [but] 'at the moment we're not as purposeful as I'd like us to be'" he told Herts-Essex News.

    4-4-2 magazine predicts that Altrincham will finish 13th in the Conference National this season.


    This is Trafford says that "Alty manager Graham Heathcote has given supporters a wake up call ahead of his team's forthcoming Conference National campaign... But Heathcote has been disappointed at the turnout for their friendlies and is worried fans have become complacent after the euphoria of last season's finale at the Britannia Stadium. He said: 'I think people have gone to sleep a bit and believe Alty are back where they belong but we only belong where we are good enough to stay. I just hope people don't take this situation for granted because that is dangerous. Only 188 people turned up to the Hednesford game which is disappointing. It is not good for the players to be playing in front of such small crowds and it is generating very little funds, which we are going to need if we are to survive at Conference level'". Speaking of the draw with the Pitmen, Graham said, "I had done certain things with the players before the game to see how the players would react, so for me it was a good game but for the players and supporters it might not have been. I'm fearful of complacency and I've been working with the players to point out some things about what we will face this season so now we need to switch the supporters on to the task ahead".

    But Graham "is hopeful that the visit of the Australian cricket team for the friendly with Bangor City next Tuesday (August 9) will bring plenty of people through the turnstiles. Cricket superstars Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne will all be in attendance and Heathcote is hopeful their presence will create a sense of excitement around Moss Lane. 'It will be a great atmosphere and I want the players to go into the season with that kind of buzz surrounding the club. We need to be professional this season and well-prepared so if we don't get money coming through the turnstiles we will struggle. It could cost around £1,000 to take the team on an overnight trip to allow them to prepare properly for a game and we didn't even get that much from the Lincoln and Hednesford games'".


    When Alty meet Marine on Saturday they could face some familiar faces. In the recent game at Skelmersdale, Marine had ex-Alty defenders Neil Murphy and Adam Farley in their side, along with ex-Runcorn men Carl Nesbitt and Ged Courtney and former Motorman, Nicky Young. Former Alty youngster Lee Kissock is also at Marine. "Marine played some great football" to win 5-0. They are now managed by Alvin McDonald, the former Vauxhall manager, following the retirement of Roly Howard.


    Bangor City, our guests next Tuesday at Moss Lane report that "Trialist Scott Croudsen is set to take over between the sticks for [the] friendly at Vauxhall Motors. Croudsen, who has seen League action with Grimsby and Scunthorpe, takes over from Andy Ralph who has joined Marine [Alty's opponents on Saturday] in a surprise departure". Bangor lost the game at Vauxhall 2-0.


    "Witton Albion beat former tenants Northwich Victoria to win the Mid-Cheshire Senior Cup at Wincham Park. The Nationwide North outfit were finally beaten 4-2 on penalties after the game finished 2-2" reports NL Daily.


    Leroy Chambers scored for Frickley in a friendly against Arnold Town recently.


    NL Daily reports that "Scarborough have signed goalkeeper Anthoni Pecora on a short-term deal until Christmas. Former Aston Villa man Pecora, 21, has featured in the Seadogs' pre-season preparations... Boro have also completed the loan signing of Grimsby Town striker Jermaine Palmer. The 18-year-old has agreed a move, initially for a month".

    "Six foot Glaswegian Gary McPhee, 25, remains on trial with Kidderminster Harriers after being deemed surplus to requirements at Shrewsbury Town... Midfielder McPhee started his career with Clyde and has since had spells with Forfar and Stranraer and in Ireland with Newry Town... Right back James Biggins, 20, who has been released by Nottingham Forest, has joined Kidderminster on trial".

    "Francis Vines, manager of Crawley Town, has further strengthened his squad with two new signings. Former Crystal Palace, Torquay and Oxford United defender David Woozley and midfielder Lee Blackburn, who was released by Norwich City in the summer, [have] put pen-to-paper". Crawley's squad also included two trialists, former Hednesford Town, Hucknall Town and Leicester City forward Leon McSweeney and Ryan Jerwood, who was released by MK Dons" reports The Argus.

    Woking report that "Adriano Basso has been given until this weekend to decide whether or not he wants to re-join Woking... Boss Glenn Cockerill had left the door open for the Brazilian keeper, 30, to link up with the club again but he has told the player he must sign this week - or forget it. The stumbling block is not financial but more to do with Basso’s insistence on being guaranteed regular first team football, something that Cockerill will not entertain... Current number one Shwan Jalal has impressed Cockerill with his form and fitness and he looks set to start the season between the posts". Cockerill said "Shwan was a bit heavy when he came to us last year but he looks like a proper goalie now". But Cockerill "is also looking at a Hungarian keeper this week". Meanwhile, "Karim El Salahi became the latest player to sign, the 19-year-old defender agreeing a one-year deal in the same week that Mark Rawle opted for Kingfield instead of Aldershot Town". Rawle stated, "I always said if I was coming out of the League I wanted to sign for one of three clubs and Woking was one of them". The 26 year-old won the Conference with Boston.

    Morecambe Today reports that "Big-spending opposition sides in the Conference don't worry Morecambe boss, Jim Harvey. With news that Crawley Town have been given a six-figure transfer budget by new owners and with other sides like Grays and Aldershot making recent signings, Harvey remains positive about his side's chances this season... He has a virtually fully fit squad to choose from and has been pleased with the way his side has performed during pre-season games". Harvey added, "We were the best team in the Conference over the last half of last season and I believe we'll be stronger and wiser this time round".

    The BBC says that "Forest Green Rovers have signed teenage Reading midfielder Simieon Howell on a season-long loan deal. The 19-year-old... had a loan spell at Farnborough in 2004".