Altrincham Football Club News Archive
31 August 2006
CHRISTMAS IS COMING...The supporters' trust, STAR, is organising a Christmas raffle again this year with the main prize being the chance to re-name the Golf Road End of the Moss Lane ground. However, there will be a host of other prizes and if you can kindly donate bottles of wine, vouchers or other suitable items which can be used as prizes, this would be very much appreciated. Items can be brought to the club during normal office hours or, otherwise, brought to the STAR section of the Robins' Shop on matchdays. Please contact Mark Murray if you have any queries.
As usual, all profits go towards the running of the football club, so please do help if you possibly can.
ALTRINCHAM RES. 3 WAKEFIELD RES. 1
GRAHAM REASONABLY HAPPYAlty manager "Graham Heathcote has told his players to cut out the schoolboy errors if their poor away form is to improve this season. So far the Robins have lost all three of their games on the road... Although Heathcote has been generally pleased by his side's standard of performance throughout the first five games, he believes sloppiness has cost them dearly away from Moss Lane. Speaking exclusively to SAM Sport he said: 'We will only improve our away form if we can eradicate the silly errors we have made so far. At Gravesend we defended well in the first half against a strong wind but we came out after half time and it was sloppiness that cost us the game. Their first two goals were both down to lapses in concentration and it was a shame because we have defended well during the first few games. We played well at Exeter but errors have cost us our other two games away from home and we really need to learn to concentrate better for the full 90 minutes in those games. Percentage-wise, we have performed well more so than we have performed badly. As disappointed as I was after we lost at Gravesend, we have had a better start than many teams in this division. I'm still convinced we are a better side than we were last season but nothing seems to have changed in terms of our away form. I have still got to find some answers to our away problems but there have been lots of positives as well. At home we have been good. We created plenty of chances against St Albans and had it not been for Paul Bastock we would have won by a bigger margin".
Most Alty fans thought it was cool and breezy at Gravesend on Monday but "Gravesend & Northfleet boss Liam Daish saluted his side after they picked up their second win of the Bank Holiday weekend by beating Altrincham 3-1... 'I'm very happy with the way the lads performed under tough conditions', Daish told BBC Radio Kent. 'It was hot, there wasn't much air about and coming after a long trip to Forest Green, I thought we focused well and got the job done'".
ON THE RADIODagenham confirm that "For any Daggers not able to travel to Altrincham on Sunday, BBC Essex will be commentating on the full match live on their 765MWstation".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe UniBond Press Release says that "Frickley Athletic are bracing themselves for the possibility of losing one of their crop of impressive young players with York City the latest club to show a keen interest in left winger Martyn Woolford. The 'Minstermen' are expected to make a significant offer for the 20 year old who terrorised defences scoring fourteen goals last season as Athletic narrowly missed out on the UniBond Premier Division title. During the summer Woolford spent a week in Ibiza on trial with Stockport County and he has also recently attracted the attention of Hartlepool United".
Dagenham & Redbridge announce that "The Stafford Rangers v Dagenham & Redbridge fixture on Tuesday 3rd October has been selected for live transmission by Sky TV".
Recent transfers include Southports' Shaun Foster following Liam Watson to Burscough, whilst two Morecambe players, Paul Lloyd and Shaun Gray have gone on loan to Fleetwood Town and Clitheroe respectively.
The Crawley Forum says that the Majeed's "SA Group have 60 days to find £400k, and that football creditors will be paid in full. If not, Azwar Majeed's flat will be sold (valued at £750k), this will take 3 months. If there's still a shortfall, the club may be sold, or creditors can agree another deal. Players will be paid in the next 24 hours." Also, "A few facts from the meeting. Yes the vote got through. It got through because of the creditors. Much credit is due to them for agreeing to forego 50% of what they should have been paid. No credit at all to the Majeeds. It emerged that the flat Az put up for security isn't as valuable as some thought. There is about £150k in equity in the flat whichis valued at £750-800k. But Sadler [the administrator] made the admission that in the event of having to pay the CVA that they would be forced to sell it for less than that and it might only realise £75k... In short, on Day 59 of the 60 day deadline the Majeeds can turn round and say they haven't got the money. Lose the flat but have only paid off £75K as opposed to the near £400K they should be paying out (accepting that that is still only 50%). Sadler also admitted that the solicitor he used to obtain the power of attorney was the same one who previously advised Chas Majeed on his bankruptcy. For some perverse reason he didn't see that as a conflict of interest. I do. I mean he admitted there are dozens of solicitors in Leeds and by happy coicindence, Chas and he used the same one. Sadler further admitted that the club had not paid wages on time again - one player (Dave Woozley) had only been paid for July and June in the last week but that the payroll for August was ready to go tomorrow (late)...The club is still effectively in administration. It has an exit strategy in place (the CVA) but Sadler cannot discharge his responsibilities until the payments are made. We are very much living with a ticking clock until October 29th... So, despite the club suggesting that administration was over. It isn't yet... To satisfy the FA, the football creditors have to be paid 100%. This isn't catered for in the CVA but Sadler seemed convinced that SA Retail would find the money for this (and has taken them on their word. He felt it not important enough to look at their accounts but suggested he'd been satisfied the money was there to pay the football creditors. Which begs the question. Why now and not then? He couldn't answer. I thought it was murky before today. Now those thought seem like clear blue water. I have little faith in the CVA being able to be paid by the deadline set but Sadler seems to think the security of the flat of £100K (at best) is sufficent to pay a debt thought to be nearer £500K".
Meanwhile the official website of Crawley Town reports that "It was with great passion, enthusiasm and sheer determination, that the management team, players and fans cheered today at the news that Crawley Town Football Club has successfully moved out of administration".
But "Morecambe have parted company with defender Scott McNiven. The former Oldham and Oxford full-back recently joined the Shrimps on non-contract terms after leaving Chester City in the summer. However, McNiven, 28, has failed to agree terms on a more permanent deal at Christie Park... Meanwhile, Morecambe captain Jim Bentley could be out of action for up to six weeks with an Achilles injury" states the BBC.
"Cambridge boss Rob Newman has decided not to appeal against Tommy Jaszczun's red card against Dagenham & Redbridge as the video evidence is inconclusive. 'Tommy is adamant he didn't throw a punch, their players said he didn't and the referee is the only one who saw it', Newman told the club website. 'But we've looked at the match video and you cannot see what happened...- so Tommy will be missing for three games'.. Cambridge have announced that finance director Nick Pomery has stepped down from the board".
Halifax Today confirm that "Town striker Ryan Sugden looks to be on the verge of a move to Conference rivals York City as speculation mounts that Darryn Stamp could be set for a return to the Shay. The Minstermen have confirmed they have approached Halifax about the possibility of taking the 25-year-old to the KitKat Crescent... York are not the only club interested in Sugden, Southport and another unnamed club are also keen to secure his services. Sugden, a popular figure at the Shay, joined Town from Morecambe in the summer of 2004. He has scored 18 goals in 56 starts for the Shaymen, but is yet to get off the mark this term. He spent three months on the sidelines last season with a serious stomach injury but returned to action to help Town's push for the Conference play-offs. Wilder has been a Stamp fan for a long time and the duo played together in the 1999-2000 campaign when Stamp was on loan at the Shay from Scunthorpe.He made just five appearances during that spell... Stamp has started just one game for Stevenage this season, the opening day defeat at Altrincham". The BBC adds that "Sugden was given permission to discuss a move to York after the two clubs agreed a fee for the 25-year-old. 'We won't stand in a player's way of leaving the club', general manager Angie Firth told Halifax's website. Halifax have been linked with a move for Stevenage striker Darryn Stamp, who will be allowed to leave Broadhall Way if a suitable offer is made".
The Northwich Guardian says that "Vivs' manager Steve Burr is looking to bring in a new player before Thursday's transfer deadline. Burr and his assistant Dave Moss had a meeting with chairman Mike Connett on Tuesday and have a specific player in mind although they are not prepared to reveal who it is yet".
From Rushden Today we learn that manager "Paul Hart still believes his Rushden & Diamonds youngsters must grow up quickly. He brought in Lee Tomlin and Tyrone Berry for the 1-0 defeat against York City on Monday having rested Marcus Kelly and Dan Chillingworth. But, following three losses in the first five Nationwide Conference fixtures so far this season, Hart is looking for his side to improve ... The Diamonds boss said: 'I made some changes to bring in fresh legs and the kids did well. But it goes to show what I've been saying. This is a tough league and these young boys have got to grow up quickly. York's squad have been together for quite a while with experienced players... Simeon Jackson is going to get in there and he was slightly unfortunate with the best chance when he pushed the ball around the keeper. Tyrone Berry looked bright in his first start and his pace will definitely trouble defences".
30 August 2006
CRAWLEY SURVIVEThe BBC confirms that "Crawley Town's immediate future appears to have been secured after the club announced that its creditors have voted in favour of a rescue package. All creditors were voting on a final offer of 50p in the pound for the club from the Majeed family's SA Group - which had two previous bids rejected... The Majeeds were in charge when the club went into administration in June with debts of nearly £1.4m". So the Majeeds remain in control and Crawley remain in the Conference National division.
TONIGHT AT MOSS LANEAltrincham Reserves take on Wakefield at Moss Lane tonight (Wednesday, 7.45pm). As usual entry is free to season-ticket holders and just £2 for others, so please come along and support the Reserves. It is expected that both Eddie Hussin and Colin Potts will take part as they recover their fitness, whilst there should be debuts for the returning George Melling and a new left-winger from Wythenshawe Town.
NEXT GAMEHoward Watts's Through the Years statsitics for next Sunday are here.
LAST HOME GAME
The above photo is kindly supplied by Steve Allen, who has also kindly made it and other excellent images from the St Albans game available via Gavin Rathbone's GR Photography website, with profits going to Altrincham FC. The picture shows Warren Peyton 's celebrations after his goal against the Saints - for which he received a yellow card!
CONFERENCE NEWSBBC Southern Counties Radio confirms that "Crawley Town's creditors are due to meet on Wednesday - and could decide if the Conference club has a future. All creditors will vote on a final offer of 50 pence in the pound for the club from the Majeed family's SA Group. If the bid is rejected, administrator Rob Sadler could wind the club up with immediate effect - though a new buyer could still emerge at a late stage... Under Conference rules, any club which still has outstanding debts to football creditors - namely players and staff - is not allowed to take part". However, Crawley have been playing this season despite owing players since last April.
The Crawley Argus reports that "Key creditors owed thousands of pounds by a town football club predict it will fall back into the hands of its controversial owners. The future of Crawley Town Football Club will be decided today (30th) when all creditors will decide if they will accept a payment of half the money they are owned from owners Chas and Azwar Majeed. The Conference club could be liquidated if creditors vote to reject the offer, although two members of the original creditors' committee believe it will be accepted. The Majeed brothers took the club into voluntary administration after admitting in March that they could not afford to pay players' wages. A committee of four, representing the main creditors, and administrators Begbies Traynor, voted on August 10, to take the offer, known as a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), to a full vote of all creditors, with each allowed one vote for every pound they are owed. Andy Sprott, who was part of the committee, said: 'I predict the CVA will go through but the story is a long way from reaching its conclusion'. Another member, Ian Holman, an ex-employee at the club, said: 'Most people I have spoken to are going to vote in favour but it's a shame the Majeeds are still going to be there. However, everyone has to turn up and it depends how much people are owed whether they make the journey'. The Inland Revenue, a major creditor, has consistently voted against any offer from the Majeed brothers and a sufficient number of smaller creditors in favour of the CVA must turn up if there is to be a yes vote. A separate mysterious offer from international sports management company Europa Sports Promotions was retracted last night... Managing Director Matthew Pearson said, 'Having discussed the situation with a number of parties, we do not feel it is the right time to buy the club at the moment. We want the club to survive and maintain its Conference status so we feel it is for the best if the Majeeds' bid is accepted'.... More than £90,000 [is] owed to creditors unconnected to the Majeed brothers. They have been offered half the amount, repayable over a set period, and will receive nothing if the club is forced to fold. More than half the creditors must agree for a decision to be made. The biggest creditor are players from last season, who are claiming almost £400,000 in contract compensation... The Inland Revenue is owed £220,000 in unpaid tax and VAT and will almost certainly vote against the offer. There is £63,000 owed to former employees in tribunal awards, including former manager Francis Vines, and Crawley Borough Council are owed £60,000 in unpaid rent".
Earlier Matthew Pearson had stated on the Crawley Forum: "Firstly let me thank everyone who I spoke to on Saturday for their words of encouragement, support and help during the day. When I visited the club, it reminded me a bit of the Italian Town of Seina [i.e.Siena]. In Italy, every city was built round a cathedral to signify god was the most sacred, and important thing. In Seina, for anyone who hasn't been, is a city which was not built round the cathedral, but in fact the town hall. It signafied [sic] to the rest of Italy, in this particular town that the most important thing was the people and not god. In many ways, I see the future of Crawley Town Football Club like this Italian town. The town needs to be built with the main focus being the club but it must be must be built for the people and hopefully with the help of the supporters this will be achieved. My impressions are that there is a club with great structure, great fans who are enthusiastic about the future of the club. I really do believe the potential of the club is huge and there is scope to achieve many things in the future. I really do hope that everything is resolved soon so the club can get back on track as the potential is there and I am hopeful Europa Sports Promotions will have some role in securing the future of Crawley Town Football Club... It's not about the money and it's not a venture I would be seriously looking at if I was looking for people to invest. It goes way beyond that. We have put our finances in place that should we get the opportunity to take control of the club we are ready to move forward and do it. Along with that, I have generated enough interest from major companies in terms of sponsorship. It's about the supporters, who are in turn what makes the club. That's where you find out what the clubs all about, on the terraces, not talking to the people with the money, although I'm not doubting there [sic] credentials as supporters or there [sic] enthusiasm for the club".
The Burton Mail says that Brewers' manager "Nigel Clough sympathised with veteran goalkeeper Kevin Poole after Burton Albion crashed to their third successive Conference defeat. Possibly playing his last game for the club, 43-year-old Poole was beaten by a 35-yard wonder goal by Southport midfielder Mark Boyd at the Pirelli Stadium yesterday. Clough said: 'Kevin was extremely unlucky because his performances in all five games have been of a very high standard'. The former Derby goalkeeper could be saying his farewells this week because Clough is hoping to revive the deal which will see Crewe Alexandra's Stuart Tomlinson join the Brewers on a long-term loan...'Crewe are close to bringing someone in, so we're hoping to get Stuart sorted out by Thursday'", said Clough. But "Clough confirmed he had been in talks with York City boss Billy McEwan about Jon Shaw moving to KitKat Crescent on a month's loan, but the deal appears to have fallen through for financial reasons. The Brewers' boss said: 'York have asked for Jon on loan but they won't stump up the wages, so he stays with us. If it was a lower league club, we might have helped them out, but we really don't think that is applicable in the case of York'. Clough's immediate concern is the fitness of four players who missed yesterday's 1-0 defeat. Gary Rowett (bruised ribs), Darren Tinson (hamstring), Andy Corbett (deadleg) and Andy Ducros (groin)... One positive against Southport was young defender John Brayford, who almost crowned an excellent full debut with a wonder goal of his own... 'Everyone seemed to be waiting for someone else to create something, and some of our decision-making, on and off the ball, was extremely poor'", complained Clough.
The Cambridge Evening News says that "Rob Newman has vowed to turn it around after Cambridge United suffered their fourth defeat of the season... With just one point from their first five matches, United equalled their worst start to a league season for 42 years and lie just one place off the bottom... Newman believes he still has what it takes to steer United back on course, despite being subjected to more jeering from fans during yesterday (Monday, 28 August)'s game.He said: 'I just hope there's enough time for me to put it right but it's not up to me. I know what football is about, it's result-orientated, but all I can do is keep working as hard as I've done for the last 15 months, jumping over all the hurdles that are put in front of me and just keep doing my best and I'm sure we'll turn it around. The players haven't thrown the towel in at all yet and they want to go on and be successful'... With Robbie Simpson and Danny Carey- Bertram banned and injuries hitting United hard, Newman was forced to make changes, with new striker Liam Marum making his debut as a wing-back... 'We've played five games now and got one point and I accept that isn't good enough'... Meanwhile, Tommy Jaszczun will start a three-match ban with Friday's home game against Exeter if the red card he picked up for a scuffle with Sam Saunders is not overturned. Referee Lee Hodgson told Newman he sent Jaszczun off for aiming a blow at the Dagenham player. Newman said: 'He was the only one who saw Tommy throw a punch so I'm going to look at the video. Tommy is adamant that he didn't, but to be fair to the referee, he said if we can show that Tommy didn't throw a punch, he'll rescind it'".
The Football Conference says that "Rob Newman, manager of Cambridge United, has secured the services of Millwall defender Adam Cottrell on loan. The former Charlton trainee joined The Lions on a free transfer in the summer but has failed to break into the first team">
Halifax Today reports that "Town boss Chris Wilder admitted his side had missed a great chance to bag a second win in 48 hours after they were held by Morecambe at he Shay yesterday. Looking to build on Saturday's 2-1 victory at Cambridge, Halifax went in front through [ex-Alty] Steve Torpey after the Shrimps had been reduced to 10 men midway through the first half... 'I thought their player deserved to be sent off. The second one was a booking and for the first he had a push and a kick at Ryan Sugden. We should have taken advantage a lot better... And we didn't mark like we had practiced on Sunday when we came in. Somebody doesn't do their job, the ball ends up in the back of the net and Morecambe get a massive lift.. You can't play up the pitch against Danny Carlton because he will get in behind you and sitting a little bit deep suited them'... The real highlight for Wilder will have been Torpey's first start as he bagged Town's goal in first half stoppage time. 'We thought it was the right time to hand Steve his debut', said Wilder. 'At times he looked promising - he set up a couple of things and scored a great goal. He has come from part time football and he just blew up a bit towards the end'".
York City have "confirmed that an official approach has been made to sign Halifax Town striker, Ryan Sugden. Negotiations have been taking place today and are thought to be ongoing. York City confirmed they are keen to strengthen the squad further and are hopeful of a positive outcome later this week".
On Rushden Today we learn that "Paul Hart has revealed why he felt Marcus Kelly needed a Bank Holiday break... The home-grown midfield maestro was surprisingly left out of Hart's 16-man squad for yesterday's Nene Park clash with York City. Dan Chillingworth, who had scored in Diamonds' previous two wins, was dropped to the bench with Lee Tomlin and Tyrone Berry handed their first league starts this term. But Diamonds drew a blank in front of goal while keeper Nicky Eyre gifted the winner to York City striker Clayton Donaldson just after half-time as an attempted clearance was blocked and the ball rolled into the empty net.However Hart explained the decision to leave out two of his first-choice playmakers. He said: 'Marcus didn't have an injury. He just needed a rest. People forget he's only 20. Certainly since I've been around the club from last February he hasn't missed a game. I think sometimes young boys need to be taken out of the heat, sit back, put their feet up and have a look at what is going on around for a chance to reassess things. The situation with Dan is slightly different but again I felt he probably needed a rest... It doesn't mean I'm going for squad rotation, though. We've got a very young squad and these kids need to be managed when the bulk of them are only 19 or touching 20'".
CSCToday (Wednesday 30th), in the 1st Round of the Cheshire Senior Cup, Crewe Alexandra host Woodley Sports.
29 August 2006
GRAVESEND & NORTHFLEET 3 ALTRINCHAM 1
Above: Steve Aspinall scores Alty's penalty.
28 August 2006
Right: Peter Band missed the game at Gravesend with injury.
BANK HOLIDAY GAMEThe BBC says that for Monday's game. "Gravesend welcome back defender Peter Hawkins, who has missed the last three games through suspension. Stacy Long (foot) and Sacha Opinel (arm) are still doubtful as Gravesend look to record a Bank Holiday double after beating Forest Green on Saturday. Altrincham look set to be without defender Peter Band with a foot injury sustained in the win over St Albans and could be replaced by Karl Munroe. Colin Potts, Eddie Hussin and Peter Thomson are still sidelined".
Howard Watts's Through the Years data on Alty games played previously on 28 August are here.
NEW RECRUITSAltrincham FC is hoping to hold a "Meet the New Recruits" evening at Moss Lane on 23 September (7.30pm). This will be a chance to meet Alty's new signings, including Steve Bushell, Robbie Lawton and Joe O'Neill over a Pie/Fish & Chip supper. Tickets are £10 and will be available from the club on 928-1045.
LAST GAMESt Alban's City report thta "Ben Martin's worst fears were confirmed on Friday when the latest examination of his troublesome left knee exposed more damage than had been hoped at the start of last week leaving him facing another lengthy lay off. The Saints' central defender, who had just forced his way back into contention after a year out with a cruciate knee ligament injury - the two injuries are not linked - had three specialists look at his knee before confirmation of the latest setback, backed up by a scan, was received. The injury is described as a lateral cartilage injury. Ben will go under the knife once more this coming Wednesday, 23 August, and will be sidelined for four weeks before returning to full training... Other than for Scott Cousins, who has not played since suffering his broken left leg injury at Tamworth back in January, the Saints have no other injury worries". But "Manager Colin Lippiatt admitted to being frustrated by Saturday's defeat at Moss Lane but believes that we are some distance yet from pressing the panic button. His frustration was understandable given the manner in which the two goals were conceded at Altrincham. 'I was sitting there watching my side completely, in my opinion, dominating and dictating the game before we gave away a silly free kick and got punished to make it 2-0. I think our minds were affected by that, not that we threw the towel in, but it hurt us mentally. We huffed and puffed and I could not see us scoring to be quite honest. Over the 90 minutes I think we have conceded two poor goals, we had good possession, we started the first half well, had a good tempo about our play, moved the ball around well and threatened once or twice... There is no negativity. All the time we are on a learning curve... At the moment it is very early days but already there are some harsh lessons to learn. In many ways I thought the first goal was farcical, we got out of jail with them hitting the bar (Paul Bastock pushing Colin Little's shot onto the woodwork) and had two players (Chris Seeby and Gary Elphick) to deal with it but for whatever reason neither did. As for their (Altrincham) penalty, luckily I had seen a video of a previous penalty and he (Steve Aspinall, who went into the game having successfully put away 14 consecutive penalties) went to the same side so Baz was able to claw it out'".
But the Saints also missed a penalty and "Clarke's failure to score from the penalty was his third miss in ten attempts, is Colin considering changes? 'To be honest I have not discussed it with Clarkey... With no disrespect to the referee, I have no issues with him, but I do think there were a lot of unnecessary bookings. It was never a dirty a game, no bad challenges, it was competitive but you would expect it to be'".
OLD BOYSEx-Alty midfielder Chris Young scored for Woodley Sports on Saturday. Ashley Timms is now keeping goal for Curzon Ashton.
GROUND CLEARANCEAltrincham FC would like to than the newly formed ground clearance team who tidy up Moss Lane after home matches. Any more volunteers would be very welcome.
CONFERENCE NEWSAt Forst Green Rovers "Paul Wanless has agreed to take charge of team affairs until a new manager is appointed. There is a Board of Directors' meeting on Wednesday evening where the appointment of a new manager will be discussed. Further information will be available following this meeting" .
More movements at
Crawley player Ben Judge admits in Sunday's NL Paper that "I've got a young family and I haven't been paid since April".
Northwich Vics report the signing of "Terry Barwick, 23 years old midfield player from Grimsby Town, he took his place on the bench at Saturday's game at Oxford Utd".
Gary Talbot, far left, heads Alty's second goal.
St Alban's City have a report, too, on their website.
27 August 2006
ALTRINCHAM 2 ST ALBAN'S CITY 0
In the NL Paper, Graham Heathcote said of Saturday's game, "I have to be careful what I say as I already have an early visit to the FA after today. All I will say is that there were some bad performances out there and they didn't come from the players. I think we have played better and some of our passing was not really up to the mark. However, this was a game we needed to get something from. It was a good result but I won't gloat over it".
GRAHAM ON GEORGE
SAM says that "former Alty defender George Melling has made a surprise return to the club less than a year after leaving in search of regular first team football.The tall centre half approached Alty boss Graham Heathcote about the possibility of a Moss Lane return after leaving Leigh RMI earlier this month. But the 21-year-old has not actually signed for the club and will first be given a chance to prove himself in the reserves... He will join up with the reserves for next Wednesday's (August 30) fixture against Wakefield, when recovering first teamers Eddie Hussin (left) and Colin Potts (right) should also play. 'I never wanted George to leave in the first place', said Heathcote. 'I thought that if he had been patient back then he could have become a good player for us. But I will have a look at him now and see what shape he is in before making any further decisions'".
Northwich Vics report the signing of "Terry Barwick, 23 years old midfield player from Grimsby Town, he took his place on the bench at Saturday's game at Oxford Utd".
Gary Talbot, far left, heads Alty's second goal.
St Alban's City have a report, too, on their website.
FITNESSAlty manager Graham Heathcote indicated yesterday that Peter Thomson was probably two weeks away from being fit for his debut, whilst both Colin Potts (left) and Eddie Hussin (right) will play for the Reserves at Moss Lane this Wednesday. Both players may then go on loan for a month to regain full match fitness.
OLD BOYSBlake Norton scored for Worksop yesterday. NL Daily says that "Caernarfon Town and Caersws shared the spoils at The Oval in a 2-2 draw, Carl Furlong opening the Canaries' account after his unsuccessful flirtation with Southport".
PAMPER YOURSELF AT RUSHDENAltrincham travel to Rushden and Diamonds on Saturday, 9 September and the Diamonds are offering to all fans an "All-Day Breakfast" in their Diamond Executive Lounge at Nene Park stadium between 11.30am and 2.30pm for £5.50. There is no need to book in advance. The Lounge is entered via the North Stand Reception, next to the Club Shop. To enter the ground after your meal, you will need to come out and use one of the turnstiles.
Rushden also have a "Supporter's Hotel Offer" at the 4-star Kettering Park Hotel & Spa, seven miles from the ground. For £68 a night (third night free) you will get an air-conditioned room, a full English breakfast, use of the spa and pool and a free newspaper, bathrobes, fresh milk and water, as well as car parking. To book, ring the Hotel on 01536 416666 and mention the Rushden and Diamonds special rate.
ALTY DUGOUTA month ago the website mentioned that when Altrincham met Eastbourne Borough in the Conference Promotion Play-Off Final last season, the Sussex club's webmaster, David Bauckham, was very helpful to this site. Then last season, David was in touch again, as he prepared to visit Moss Lane and other local grounds to research a book on football ground dugouts. That book has just been published and was very favourably reviewed by The Daily Telegraph which said, "This is a classy publication... the heart of the book is Bauckham's fine colour photographs and the understated texts." The photos "are exclusively of non-league grounds and the variety and imagination of design is remarkable...Dugouts are often the only manifestations of the club on show when the players are absent... It is perfectly possible for a book to be both silly and fascinating, and that is the combination here". Dugouts, by David Bauckham, published by New Holland, £7.99, ISBN 1845374789 .
Having now obtained a copy of this excellent book, I can fully recommend it as a fascinating read. It is hard back and has excellent full-colour photos of some 75 non-league dugouts - including the ones at Moss Lane, Altrincham. David also has an Altrincham page on the Pyramid Passion website.
CONFERENCE NEWSNL Daily says that "Glenn Cockerill, manager of Woking, is stepping up his chase for Bognor Regis Town`s hotshot Ben Watson. Cockerill made a fresh move for the striker following son Liam’s loan switch to Salisbury City... One possible snag could be a £15,000 valuation: 'I’m not saying it’s a stumbling block but whether we think he is worth that is another matter', he said. 'I would like to see more of Ben but it depends on Bognor. I will go back with what I think is reasonable and look at him before I sign him', .. Cockerill, who may send defender Matt Ruby out on loan, had already bolstered his squad by signing former England under-18 international and Fulham trainee Saheed Sankoh on non-contract forms and revealed he has his eyes on a couple more attacking options. Forward Sankoh, 20, has been trialling at Cardiff City... Money for a priority striker was freed up on Cockerill’s budget by Liam’s departure. The left-winger has gone on an initial 93-day loan deal but it is understood Salisbury are keen to turn it into a permanent arrangement... His dad admitted: 'Liam’s been through the mill. There’s pressure on every player but more on him because of who he is... Because we are playing a different way without out-and-out wingers we decided to let him become available'".
Morecambe say that their "top goal scorer of last season, Danny Carlton, has pledged his immediate future to the Christie Park outfit. Morecambe had received an offer from neighbours Blackpool for the 22 year old striker and discussions had taken place between the two clubs. Morecambe put a deadline on the deal this week and when the Seasiders did not come back to conclude the deal the player wanted to end the speculation. Carlton will sit down with club officials next week with a view to signing a new contract for the Shrimps... Danny Carlton commented, ' I want to play football and I want to play for Morecambe Football Club. I have spoken to the manager and officials today and we will sit down next week to look at a new deal@".
Shaymen on Line says that Halifax boss "Chris Wilder has boycotted the Halifax Evening Courier in protest at a feature started this season which gives supporters the chance to text in their views. The views, printed alongside the match report, have apparently not been to the manager's liking and therefore he has gone on a silent protest".
26 August 2006
FIRST SACKING OF SEASONAfter just four games, BBC Radio Gloucestershire reports the first sacking of a Conference manager this season. "Forest Green Rovers' manager Gary Owers and assistant manager Shaun Taylor... have parted company with the club. A press release issued by the Board of Directors shortly after the match had finished stated: 'After a meeting of the Board of Directors, following today's match, a subsequent meeting was held with Gary Owers and Shaun Taylor, where it was mutually agreed to terminate their employment with immediate effect'".
ALTRINCHAM 2 ST ALBAN'S CITY 0
Right: Aspinall's penalty is saved by Bastock.
SATURDAY'S GAMEThe Sale & Altrincham Messenger says that "While there was no shame in defeat at St James Park, anything other than three points against St Alban's would undoubtedly be viewed as a major disappointment. The term must-win has become a footballing cliche but Alty must target home games against their bottom of the table rivals as an ideal chance to pick up points. St Albans will provide a major test for the Alty defence, their attack-minded approach having netted them six goals in three games so far. But as much as they are potent up front, their defence has looked extremely shaky at times, Saints shipping five goals at home to Aldershot last week... Alty manager Graham Heathcote hopes to name the same matchday squad that faced Exeter, with the only doubt being Robbie Lawton, although the midfielder should be fit. Peter Thomson is still a couple of weeks from match fitness as he recovers from a groin strain, but Eddie Hussin and Colin Potts could play some part in next week's reserve match... St Albans' strength is definitely in their forward play and both Hann and Davis will be aiming to provide the ammunition for dangerous front man Lee Clarke, who has netted 70 times in 118 games for the club"
In Friday's NL Paper, Graham Heathcote says, "I believe we are a lot stronger than last year. From what I have seen so far, we're a much better footballing side and, if we keep the belief, and can improve in certain areas, like our passing, then I think we can be a good side in this league. Obviously our home form is important and we've got to be picking the results up here. After three games last year we had three points so I certainly don't think we're any worse off. After those three games, I was wondering if we were going to be strong enough. But this time it's different. I'm convinced that we are a much better side this season".
SPONSOR THE CLUBAltrincham FC has revised its sponsorship arrangements for 2006-07. Full details are here. A new colour leaflet is available from the club, which also details what is on offer for sponsors at Moss Lane.
RESERVE GAMESThree more Reserve fixtures have been arranged - all are away matches. They are listed here.
YOUTH CUP DATEAs previously announced, the FA Youth Cup First Qualifying Round placed Altrincham at home to either Midlands side Handsworth United or Holker Old Boys from Cumbria. However,Holker Old Boys have now withdrawn leaving Handsworth United as our opponents. The game will be played at Moss Lane on Wednesday 27th September.
The winners would then be away to Winsford United or Worksop Town in w/c 9 October 2006. The 3rd QR is a fortnight later, the week commencing Monday 23 October 2006 and if they reach it, Alty would be at home to one of Workington or Vauxhall Motors or Ashville or Morecambe.
BANK HOLIDAY GAMEOur opponents on Bank Holiday Monday, Gravesend & Northfleet have signed two more players. "Onome Sodje has returned to Stonebridge Road after a loan period from Charlton last season. Nigerian-born Sodje, aged 18, first signed for the Fleet in September 2005, and now rejoins the club after leaving Charlton where he scored 14 goals in 19 games in the 2003-04 U17 FA Premier Academy League. Liam Daish has also signed 20 year-old former Colchester United and Torquay United midfielder Liam Coleman. In March 2006 Coleman spent one month on loan from Torquay at Forest Green Rovers. 'It's good to get Onome back into the club' said Daish. 'He is very pacey and will present more competition for places amongst the forwards. Liam will give us more depth in midfield, and after losing players through injury and suspension in the opening games of the season it helps us to have young players with experience to bring into the squad'".
Monday (28th) games:
Right: Alty's left-back this season has been Gary Scott.
CONFERENCE NEWSA number of Morecambe supporters are conducting a charity tour of all the Conference National clubs with the aim of visiting all 24 clubs inside 48 hours. They will arrive at Moss Lane at 7 to 7.15pm on Saturday (26th) and the club bar will stay open to welcome them. However, if you cannot stay till then, there will be a collection bucket on the bar all day on Saturday. The benefitting charity will be ‘Brain Tumour UK’. Morecambe have recently lost two longstanding supporters to brain tumours. At each ground they will hopefully receive a piece of memorabilia which will be auctioned for the charity. Each participating club will be given a souvenir certificate. Donations can be sent to Brain Tumour UK c/o 12 Bishopdale Close Morecambe Lancs LA3 3SU. The tour starts at Morecambe at 5pm on Saturday and finishes at Halifax at 2.30pm on Monday.
Forest Green Rovers "have completed registrations for: Guy Ipoua 30 year-old striker and last with Hereford United - Squad No25 and Danny Williams 25 year-old right-sided midfield and last with Stevenage Borough - Squad No21. Both are in the squad for Saturday's visit of Gravesend & Northfleet... Rovers' striker/midfield player Mark Beesley has moved on loan to Lancaster City. The move is for an initial one month until 23rd September".
Irish TV company Setanta Sports is to screen 79 Conference matches a season in a 5-year deal with the Nationwide Conference. The matches will include league games, play-offs, and a relaunched Conference Cup competition, which will be renamed the Setanta Sports Cup. It is expected that the games will be mostly screened on Thursday nights. Former Alty chairman and now Nationwide Conference Chairman, Bill King, stated: "We are delighted to be part of the new and growing Setanta football family". It is believed that the deal is reported to be worth £2.8 million to the Conference.
The Burton Mail adds that "The deal was signed last night at the Pirelli Stadium". Setanta also shows 46 Barclays Premier League matches, 60 Bank of Scotland Premier League games as well as Italian Serie A and Portuguese Super Liga, Le Championnat (France) and Erdevisie (Holland) matches.
Halifax Town say that "Former Town chairman Bob Walker is being lined up for a sensational return to the Shay fold, answering a plea from current chairman Geoff Ralph. Walker, President at Brighouse Town, left the club back in the summer of 2002 following the Shaymen’s relegation out of the Football League. The club had entered administration with debts of £1m and Mr Walker blamed a deteriorating relationship with the Administrator Peter O’Hara for his exit. The self-made millionaire had wanted to make permanent caretaker manager Neil Redfearn’s role but O’Hara, through the courts, had seized control of the club and would sanction no such move. It does appear that Mr Ralph is unable to continue subsidising the club which is running at a deficit of around £170k a season... We have been told that the club has built up an Inland Revenue debt of close to £70,000. Even more worrying is that proceedings have begun to wind the club up, putting Town into a precarious situation. The news comes just days after the Rugby Club announced their very own financial plight. ‘Fax need to raise £90k within three weeks to enable them to see out the current season. If they fail to meet this figure before the deadline of September 11th the club will be wound up. Professional sport in Halifax at the moment is a sorry tale of doom and gloom... Once again it’s a time for the supporters of the two clubs to pull together to save their respective clubs and ensure both ‘Fax and the Shaymen live on".
The BBC Radio Kent says that "Liam Daish is delighted by Gravesend and Northfleet's new sponsorship deal, despite it not boosting his budget. 'It was all part of the budget that we would have a shirt sponsor', Daish revealed to BBC Radio Kent. 'But it's good we've raised the profile a bit and it's another step nearer being a proper full-time club again'. Fleet's new sponsors, Austrian Airlines, will have their logo on the front of the club's shirts. The airline succeeds Gladwish Land Sales" as sponsor.
BBC Ceefax claims that for the game at Altrincham, St Alban's City "manager Colin Lippiatt has warned against defensive naivety... But he will be without Ben Martin (knee) and Scott Cousins (ankle). Gary Elphick is back from suspension". Elphick has been sent off twice this season but his first card was rescinded.
The Conference North Forum says that "Kettering Town have today completed the signing of 26 year old left full back David Perpetuini from Stevenage Borough".
Weymouth "Football Club bosses and Dorset Police are confident they have the necessary measures in place to ensure the Bank Holiday Monday fixture against Oxford United goes smoothly. The former football league side is expected to bring around 2,000 fans down for the Wessex Stadium clash... But Weymouth FC chief executive Gary Calder isn't expecting any problems... The club has installed two new turnstiles behind the east end of the ground to get fans in quicker. A new covered area for disabled fans will also be available from Monday. Oxford United's ticket allocation has sold out, and home ticket sales are selling reasonably well. Mr Calder said: "I must remind people that the game is all-ticket, we're not allowed to sell tickets on the day... We've done everything possible to make sure the [home] tickets are on sale to our fans only... Anyone causing trouble will be ejected from the stadium'. Dorset Police inspector Alan Jenkins said: 'Extra officers will be on duty in view of the large number of away supporters and the expected large crowd... Under no circumstances will kick-off be delayed because people are not inside the ground on time'".
Meanwhile, Weymouth chairman Martyn Harrison "stressed he will continue funding the club through his Hollybush Hotels firm which owns more than 80 per cent of Weymouth's shares. 'I was extremely disappointed by the attendance for our game last weekend and that remains the case', he said. 'To only get just over 1,700 in the ground when we're top of the table and in one of the best league positions in the club's history left me feeling angry, upset and very disillusioned. I did wonder whether it was worth carrying on and said a few things in the heat of the moment with the hope of making a point to the people of Weymouth and the surrounding area. I know a number of our supporters were upset with what I said, but I certainly didn't mean to criticise any of our loyal supporters. What I was trying to get across was how important it is that people get behind us and I feel Garry Hill and the team deserve a bigger support than we got for the Cambridge game. Maybe my words sounded a bit over the top but I'm a passionate guy and desperately want Weymouth Football Club to succeed. That can only happen though if more people come through the gate than were here against Cambridge United... I'm going to carry on doing what I've been doing, enjoying my football and hope the good results continue." Harrison said he appreciated fans' concerns over increased gate prices this season - adult terrace admission at the Wessex is now £13, up from £9.50 last season, while under-16s are now £5 each rather than being eligible under the previous kids-for-a-quid scheme. The admission prices are good value and in line with the rest of the Conference', said Harrison".
Tamworth report that "Manager Mark Cooper has shown he means business as he tackles head on Lambs' wretched start to the Conference campaign, leaking 11 goals in three games. He has made three signings ahead of Saturday's visit of Exeter City... Defender Matt Redmile has been released and the club wish him all the best in the future, and coming in on loan from Yeovil Town are defender Bradley Thomas and Gavin McCallum, another defender who can also operate in midfield. The third signing is forward Taiwo Atieno, the former Walsall trainee who has also featured for Rochdale, Chester and Kidderminster. Meanwhile a decision is yet to be made over Portuguese goalkeeper Jose Manuel Da Veira who has taken part in two training sessions so far".
Stevenage Borough "striker Jon Nurse will go on loan to Woking from Friday, for one month. The arrival of Steve Morison has meant that manager Mark Stimson has an abundance of strikers to select from and feels that the 25 year old forward needs as many games as possible in the next month to regain the power and pace he displayed last season".
25 August 2006
FRIDAY SCORE - YORK GO TOP
MANAGERS SWAP VIEWSThe Herts Advertiser reports that St Alban's City manager "Colin Lippiatt praised the contribution of his three substitutes on Saturday as they helped the Saints put Aldershot Town under pressure... Josh Sozzo, Dean Cracknell and Rob Norris all contributed, Sozzo almost opening his account for the season with a low drive which was well saved. Norris had a header brilliantly kept out... and then helped set up Cracknell to score the final goal... Lippiatt is considering changes to his starting XI for the trip to fellow part-timers Altrincham. The City boss said: 'I will look at one or two changes. Gary Elphick is back from his ban and against Aldershot all three substitutes made a contribution... Lippiatt also urged fans and commentators to remain behind his team as they continue what is an exciting journey at Conference level. The City boss said: 'I get very frustrated with people's negative comments. We have no divine right to be in this level, this team have performed wonders to get us into this level and initially there will be highs and lows and some indifferent performances'. City's next two opponents, Altrincham and Tamworth, are teams Lippiatt believes his side will be competing directly against. The manager said: 'If you take the top half of the division and the bottom half of the division you might consider that St Albans, Altrincham and Tamworth are in that second division. Altrincham away is a tough proposition. I think we will see over the season that they have a better record at home than away'. The Supporters' Club are running a coach to Altrincham on Saturday".
"Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote hailed the attacking intent of his opposite number Colin Lippiatt ahead of their meeting on Saturday. St Albans City, along with the Robins and Stafford Rangers, are the only part timers among the Conference elite and Heathcote appreciates the way City are approaching the new challenge. The Altrincham manager said: 'St Alban's are taking the philosophy to attack teams and have a go at this level. Whether it is the right or wrong option we will know at the end of the season. I have a lot of respect for Colin Lippiatt. He should be applauded for sending the team out with a positive attitude. We know we will have a difficult game Saturday'... Heathcote said: 'We did ever so well against Stevenage Borough and played well against Exeter City. There was no football played at Stafford, it was all long ball. You have to look beyond results and see the performance was good against Exeter City. We played some football. We are part time and the aim first and foremost is survival. It is really tough for the part time clubs. That is not negative, just realistic. There are only three part time clubs, ourselves, Stafford Rangers and St Albans. You cannot do anything about the fitness but our intentions are improving on what we did last year. I would like to think that we can push for play offs but I don't see that from us. This is a tough level of football and you have to keep the ball. If you keep giving the ball away you will struggle in this league'".
Right L to R: Gary Talbot, Robbie Lawton, Karl Munroe, Stephen Rose and Val Owen.
MEN IN BLACKThe referee for Altrincham v St Albans will be Mr Dave Richardson and for Gravesend v Altrincham, it will be Mr John Hopkins
OLD BOYFormer Alty midfielder, Steve Hawes, scored the only goal for Stocksbridge Park Steels this week as they beat Gresley Rovers.
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC says that "Lincoln striker Gary Birch faces several weeks on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury during his loan spell with Tamworth. The 24-year-old joined the Lambs on a month's loan on August 10 along with teenage defender Tom Kemp".
"Morecambe have recalled goalkeeper Ryan Robinson from his loan spell at Conference neighbours Southport. He returns to Christie Park following a hamstring injury to Steven Drench. 'You can't take a chance with that type of injury so it looks like Ryan will play on Saturday', said Shrimps' boss Sammy McIlroy" says the BBC
"Oxford United have had two players named in the first England National Game squad of the season following their relegation to the Conference. Defender John Dempster, 23, and striker Yemi Odubade, 19, are in the squad to play Forest Green on 5 September to mark the opening of Rovers' new ground. Boss Paul Fairclough has restricted his selection to players from the south of the country for the game. Rushden & Diamonds midfielder Marcus Kelly, 20, is another new face... England National Game squad: Goalkeepers: Jalal (Woking), Lee-Barrett (Weymouth). Defenders: Smith (Aldershot), Dempster (Oxford), Okuonghae (Aldershot), Morrison (Cambridge), Griffiths (Dagenham). Midfielders: Kightly (Grays), Davis (St Albans), Bampton (Tamworth), Fuller (Stevenage), Kelly (Rushden). Forwards: Morgan (Yeading), Peters (Basingstoke), Odubade (Oxford), Soares (Aldershot)".
This is York announces that "York City will top the Conference table tomorrow night if they beat Burton Albion but goalkeeper Tom Evans will not be getting too carried away if that happens.... Billy McEwan's unbeaten side have the opportunity to head the table for at least 19 hours. But the last time City topped any table also came after just four games and the club ended the season relegated from the Football League... Evans said: 'I wasn't aware that we can go top tomorrow night but it does not really mean anything at this stage.. I think seven points from our first three games is probably what we would have hoped for... I've been impressed with our defensive qualities and I think we are doing the basic things properly. If the ball needs to be cleared, it's cleared. You don't mess around at the back and the midfielders are also defending the right way when they come back. You just have to stop yourself from sliding in and giving away a penalty which you will do if you don't stop running towards the ball. You've got to try to make the centre forward make the decision and don't commit yourself because most of the time they will hit you or knock the ball to you. It's all about making it as hard for the striker as possible".
This is Weymouth asserts that "Martyn Harrison insists he's not about to pull the plug on Weymouth Football Club. The Terras chairman has come under fire for criticising the level of support at the Wessex Stadium and has threatened to withdraw his company's bankrolling of the Conference National leaders.A crowd of 1,766 watched Garry Hill's team return to the top of the table by beating Cambridge United, down from 3,583 against Aldershot Town for the previous home match.But Harrison today stressed he will continue funding the club through his Hollybush Hotels firm which owns more than 80 per cent of Weymouth's shares".
The Tamworth Herald says that "Under-pressure Tamworth manager Mark Cooper has been given the full backing of chairman Bob Andrews. The Lambs' boss has been given the green light to rebuild his beleaguered squad, which has lost all three of their Conference games, leaking 11 goals in the process. Defender Matt Redmile, who was last season's players' player of the year, has been the first player to leave after joining Hinckley United. And Cooper has circulated the names of six or seven other players who are available for transfer or loan. Cooper has drafted in Brad Thomas and Gavin McCallum on loan from Yeovil Town, and has been taking a look at goalkeeper Jose Manuel Monteiro da Veiga. The Lambs boss has also revealed he has made an enquiry for Ryan Sugden of Halifax Town but was quoted a price of £15,000 for the 25-year-old striker. 'The performances so far have been unacceptable', Cooper said. 'They have come as a shock to me as much as anyone after the way we played in pre-season... I feel under no pressure from the board, only pressure from myself to turn this around... We want young players with energy who have something to prove... Matt Redmile came back for pre-season unfit and he picked up a minor knock which stopped him getting fitter.'
We felt we needed more pace in defence because that is how the Conference is going. I haven't told the players who are on the list I have circulated. I want to see what offers I get and whether or not I get a reaction from them, like I got from Adie Smith last week'... Cooper made his squad meet the fans in the bar after last Saturday's embarrassing defeat at Dagenham and admitted it made for some uncomfortable moments. 'I appreciate the effort the fans make to watch us and I felt the players and I needed to face the music,.It made for uncomfortable listening at times but it was constructive. The least they expect is 100 per cent effort from the side and they haven't been getting value for money... I want a performance from the players more than a victory'".
The Comet says that "one of the few England men ever to play for Stevenage Boro is keen to show he has still got what it takes. Steve Guppy made his debut in Saturday's 3-2 home defeat by Crawley Town. He played for more than an hour before being sacrificed for goalkeeper Alan Julian after the controversial dismissal of Danny Potter. The 37-year-old follows the likes of full internationals Graham Roberts and Brian Stein in turning out at Broadhall Way at the end of their careers... He said: "I was thinking about retirement when I got back from the States but I spent the summer getting fit....I was delighted when the phone rang and Stevenage gave me this chance. I've got some very fond memories of my time playing in the Conference. And I'm under no illusions - it's going to be difficult at this level.The Conference is a tough league and there's little to choose between it and League Two'. He has only joined on an initial one-month's deal but this could well be extended... 'We will look at it after the month is up'... Boro boss Mark Stimson said: 'Steve gave us the balance down the left on Saturday... He has been there and done it and should be a good addition'"
Southport GB reveals another departure from Haig Avenue. "Southport FC central defender, Gary 'Sumo' Brabin has left the Club. His contract was terminated earlier in the week. Brabin signed a professional contract with the Sandgrounders in April 2006. He had agreed with Liam Watson to become head coach at the end of last season."
Woking announce that "The board have reviewed the club’s policy with regard to the segregation of away supporters. Whilst unnecessary segregation is unpopular with home supporters who wish to use the Chris Lane Terrace, it is essential that the comfort and safety of home supporters in the Kingfield Road End is assured. To that end the following matches for the 2006/2007 season have been designated as segregated:- Rushden & Diamonds, Aldershot, Exeter City, Weymouth, Cambridge United, Oxford United, Stevenage Borough, Stafford Rangers, Grays Athletic. The club will continue to monitor the situation and may segregate additional matches if police intelligence or changing circumstances dictate".
Stafford Rangers announce that "Striker Dave Walker has been released and joins Redditch United."
24 August 2006
GEORGE RETURNS - PART 1Altrincham FC were to have welcomed back defender George Melling (right) from Leigh RMI in time for him to play in Wednesday's Reserves' match at Moss Lane - but the game was postponed. George, (d.o.b. 17 November, 1984), a tall centre-back/right-back, established himself in Alty's first-team 2004-05, after emerging from the Reserves. He was previously at Blackpool FC and Morecambe (reserves and first team) and has also represented the Lancashire FA. After coming on as a late substitute for Altrincham's first team against Lancaster in Nationwide North on 29 January 2005, he made his full Alty debut on 1 February 2005 in the Cheshire Senior Cup at Vauxhall Motors. However, his first league start was as a right-back at Kettering on 19 February 2005. After 3(+2) appearances in the Conference in 2005-06, George moved to Clitheroe to get first-team football and he made his debut there on 8 October 2005. The following month, he moved on to Lancaster City, where injury limited him to a single appearance, before he joined Leigh RMI in February 2006. George's Altrincham first-team career to date is 20(+7) appearances with 0 goals scored. The next chance for George to play will be next Wednesday's Reserves' game at Moss Lane against Wakefield.
Altrincham Reserves are in the Eastern Division of the Lancit Haulage Lancashire League, along with Farsley Celtic, Goole Town, Guiseley, Hyde United, Ossett Albion, Ossett Town, Rossendale United, Wakefield, Woodley Sports and, it seems, Bradford PA.
In mid season, from mid November to mid-February there will be a League Cup competition, played on a league basis in the early stages. The Cup 'leagues' include Group C: Altrincham, Farsley Celtic, Hyde United, Rossendale United, Woodley Sports.
GEORGE RETURNS - PART 2The club is pleased to report that Youth Team manager and Matchday Secretary, George Heslop, has been released from hospital after a fortnight in Trafford General with a foot infection. George's wife, Jenny, has insisted that George cannot return to Moss Lane until he has proved his fitness by taking their dog for a walk! But hopefully that will soon be possible and we will see George back to oversee the start of the Youth Team's season in early September - and to keep the turnstile operators in order at Moss Lane!
SATURDAY'S OPPONENTSSt Alban's City report that last Saturday "saw teenager Rob Norris given his first genuine run out since joining the Saints less than a fortnight earlier from Boston United". Norris said, 'It was a bit strange as no one had seen me but I know Baz (Paul Bastock) recommended me and Colin was nice enough to give me a chance and let me sign. I'm really pleased as I was looking for a club and didn't have anywhere to go. I was offered pro forms at Boston United but never signed them, I did the three weeks pre-season there expecting to sign but never did'. Rob is the youngest player to have turned out for the Saints so far this season and he is also in the record books following his debut for Boston United on 30 October 2004. 'I made my debut against Bristol Rovers just after my 17th birthday (18 days) so I was the youngest player ever to play for them in the Football League... [After Saints' 3-5 defeat, he added] It was not the nicest start coming on when we're losing 5-1 but I enjoyed it, it was great to get a taste of the action... In my first season at Boston I played right and left wing and I actually spent most of last season playing down the middle up front. I am happy playing anywhere as long as I am attacking'". Meanwhile, "Following the disappointing news that central defender Ben Martin could face at least a month on the sidelines with a cartilage injury the Saints were boosted at the weekend by the possibility of the player returning to action somewhat sooner. Martin saw another specialist on Monday and is optimistic that he will not be given further bad news as he continues to re-establish himself in the side after missing last season through a cruciate knee ligament injury... The omens are looking good as he took part in some light training prior to Saturday's match with Aldershot Town. The results of Ben's latest scan will be known later this week". The Friday/Saturday's Conference games are:
JUSTIN ADJUSTINGThe Sale & Altrincham Messenger has interviewed Alty's Justin Bowler (left, picture courtesy of Gavin Rathbone). "It's been difficult so far because of the injury but I've settled in well and now I just want to make sure I can get in the team week in, week out. Last season was a difficult one with Halifax because I had a lot of problems off the field, including quite a few injury problems, so I didn't really perform to the level I know I can play at. I'm ready to do that now. We've had a decent start to the season but it could have been better. We have had a couple of new players coming in and it takes time to gel but we were still disappointed after losing at Stafford and Exeter. Last season everyone was writing Alty off and they proved them wrong. No-one here is even thinking about relegation. I am ready now and I just want to show Graham Heathcote what I can do... I found it really hard when I first went to Halifax to get used to the tempo and style of play. But I am ready now and I just want to show Graham (Heathcote) what I can do. I'm only signed on for a year but if I impress him hopefully I could stay on after that. The set-up at the club is really good. Obviously, coming from Leeds it's a bit different but you have to adapt to whatever surroundings you are in and I have found that really easy here. Bush (Steve Bushell) played a big part in me coming here. Everyone knows what he is like as a player but he has been brilliant with me off the pitch as well".
KIERAN & PATAltrincham's Kieran Lugsden started and Pat McFadden was a substitute for Radcliffe in their goalless draw with Leek Town on Tuesday night.
WITH ALL DUE RESPECTGravesend & Northfleet, our opponents on Bank Holiday Monday are confident of success. The Gravesend Reporter says that "'Fleet boss Liam Daish has pinpointed the next three Conference games as vital to giving the club's season a much-needed boost. The Fleet boss would like an encouraging haul from winnable matches against Forest Green Rovers, Altrincham and Southport in order to sail up the Conference table, though he admits it won't be easy. 'The next three games, with all due respect, are matches that we should be looking to amass points from', he said. 'We should take these next three fixtures in a little block - in a mini-league if you like - and if we can get as many points as we can, then it sets us up nicely going into matches against Grays Athletic and Exeter City. However, we are not underestimating any of them: Southport have got a new regime in place, Altrincham will not want to go through this year like they did the last - wondering if they're going to be sat in this league or not - and Forest Green have got a new stadium and it's a new era for them. They're all going to be difficult games in their own way'. The Stonebridge Road club suffered their second league defeat of the season last Saturday with a 1-0 home loss against York City... 'I thought we were good value and we deserved something out of the game... We had enough chances to get something out of the game, we just did not finish them off'... Daish expects to be without Stacy Long (metatarsal), Sacha Opinel (hand) and George Purcell (glandular fever) for the Bank Holiday double header, but defender Peter Hawkins will be available for the Altrincham game after completing a three-match suspension".
Meanwhile, "Ross Smith believes the decision to go full-time has made a massive difference to everyone at Stonebridge Road despite an indifferent start to the season... The Canadian explained: 'Full-time has helped so much because you get to know the strengths and weaknesses of everyone. We do miss some of the part-time boys because the likes of Jimmy Jackson and Jay Saunders are undoubtedly quality players... There has been a massive overturn [turnover?] in playing personnel over the summer and Smith has been particularly impressed by one of the new boys. 'Mark DeBolla [ex-Grays] has done really well so far... Mark has already scored three goals and they have all been magnificent strikes. Sacha Opinel is another who has impressed me because he has a great passion for the game and was very unfortunate to break his arm at Aldershot. The team are working well together and have a lot of promise even though our points total doesn't really reflect that'... Smith and his colleagues will be looking to put that right over the Bank Holiday weekend when they face Forest Green and Altrincham in the space of 48 hours... 'We are taking one game at a time but these are definitely two matches we can take maximum points from'".
SPONSORSBarry Pond's list of Altrincham FC Matchday Sponsors for 2006-07 is here. For more information on sponsorship at Moss Lane, click here. Altrincham FC would like to record its thanks to everyone who has sponsored the club this season.
CONFERENCE NEWSYork City have announced an innovative scheme of Mini Season Tickets. These "allow supporters to attend any 10 Conference League games of their choice throughout the season. The Mini Season ticket offers fans a financial saving as well as providing them with special status regarding Cup ticket priority... Club Secretary, Nick Bassett said, 'The Mini Season ticket is very popular with supporters. It is ideal for those who have work commitments throughout the season and can't get to every match or fans who live further afield".
Woking FC "confirm that Liam Cockerill has joined Salisbury City on loan until 31st December 2006". Liam is the son of manager Glenn Cockerill.
Oxford's This Is United site says that "There will be a different look to the Kassam Stadium for the game against Northwich Victoria on Saturday with the big Oxford Mail boards behind the East Stand coming down this week. The Oxford Mail has decided not to renew its sponsorship of the stand, because the fee went straight to the stadium company and did not benefit the football club. Instead, the Oxford Mail will continue to give its backing by putting financial support directly into the club".
The Argus reports another twist in the Crawley saga. "An international sports management company has revealed they want to buy cash-strapped Crawley Town on the day Azwar Majeed quit as chairman. London-based Europa Sports Promotions have told The Argus they are willing to clear all the club's debt if creditors reject a bid from Azwar and his co-owner brother Chas Majeed to regain control... Creditors not connected to the Majeeds' company SA Retail Limited will vote on whether to accept an offer of 50 per cent of the £940,000 they are owed next Wednesday. They have been told by administrator Rob Sadler that: 'Should creditors reject the revised CVA (company voluntary agreement), proposal, we will have no choice but to cause the company to cease trading, which would see no further football played this season'. But Europa, who run soccer schools across Europe and represent top class athletes, say they are waiting in the wings to take over. Company director Matthew Pearson, 24, said: 'We are willing to pay the creditors the full amount they are owed over a set period. We have seen the accounts are in a bit of a mess so we are not prepared to pay any more than the debts of the club. It does not have any assets so you are really only buying a name. The way we see it is that if we take on all the debts, that would be us buying the club. We have been looking to buy a football club for a while, especially abroad in places like South America and Africa'... Europa had an offer to buy the club turned down by administrators Begbies Traynor on August 10. They made a second proposal but were told they were too late to meet the deadline.
A Begbies Traynor spokesperson said: "ESPL (Europa Sports Promotions Limited) did make the deadline of noon on August 10. They were the only other bidder and the bid was not pursued'. Pearson said: 'I made a bid at about 11 o'clock on the Thursday and we got an email back saying they had already accepted a bid and they wouldn't be pursuing ours any further. I then saw on the internet that the creditors had been offered 50p in the pound, which I found strange when we were offering the full amount. I then emailed saying we would pay 57p in the pound immediately and the rest later on and they came back saying it was too late'. Europa, formed in 2004, run soccer schools for some of Europe's top clubs. Their clients include AC Milan and Paris Saint Germain". Perason added "We would certainly be prepared to pay the £1 million owed to the creditors.". However, "Crawley's total debt is £1.8 million but over £800,000 of that is being claimed by the Majeeds". But Pearson said: "We would challenge that debt because I don't see how they can claim the club owes them money... If you make an investment you can't then claim it back".
The Argus says that "If the majority of people owed money by the club, including the Inland Revenue, players, former staff and Crawley Borough Council, accept the offer then the Majeeds will retain control. If more than 50 per cent reject the offer the club will be wound up and the team dissolved... The Inland Revenue, owed more than £200,000 by the Majeeds, has indicated it will refuse the offer... The Majeeds were unavailable for comment".
The Northwich Guardian reports that "Steve Burr has urged Vics' fans to get behind the team... after they went down to successive home defeats... He said: 'The players are finding it hard to accept after starting so well at Cambridge United... Opportunities are not going to keep coming along every five minutes like they did last season, and balls just aren't quite dropping for us in the penalty area at the moment'. The Vics' treatment room should see less traffic this week with captain Stuart Elliott and midfielder Danny Mayman in contention to play at pacesetters Oxford United on Saturday... 'Everyone is raving about what a great start Burton have made, but we are only one point behind them'", added Burr.
From Morecambe Today we read that "Danny Carlton was still a Morecambe player this week as his on-off transfer to Blackpool continued to rumble on... But manager Sammy McIlroy was desperate to hear what was going to happen with only a week left until the transfer deadline on August 31... 'I think it is affecting his play', added McIlroy". The boss said, "Four out of six points from difficult places like Northwich and Woking is a step in the right direction but we know we can still improve...The fixture list is testing us. Don't rule Stevenage out yet. They have lost three but they have got a new manager trying to put his own ideas across, you can't take them lightly". The report adds that "McIlroy may recall [goalkeeper] Ryan Robinson from his loan spell at Southport... Scott McNiven has signed for Morecambe on a short-term deal, mainly as cover for Meadowcroft and Bentley. Three squad members have gone out on loan Paul Lloyd (Fleetwood), Kieron Walmsley (Kendal), Jamie Davies (Leek) with Shaun Gray also likely to follow.".
23 August 2006
MATCH OFFTonight's Reserves' match v Woodley Sports at Moss Lane has been postponed due to this afternoon's heavy rain.
TAKE THE EASY WAYDetails of the STAR supporters' coach trip to Gravesend & Northfleet on Bank Holiday Monday are on the Travel Page, where booking details can also be found.
WRISTBANDSSTAR's Mike Ainsworth will have new style Altrincham FC wristbands on sale in the club shop on Saturday priced at £2.00!
MARCUSMarcus Hallows has confirmed that he has had to give up football following his bad leg fracture against Ashton United in March, 2005. However, he is continuing to do his Elvis Presley act in addition to his day job. Marcus played 48+16 games for Alty and scored 22 times. All at Altrincham FC wish him well for the future.
CHARITY GAMEAs previously announced on this site, NL Daily confirms that "Manchester City Old Boys will entertain An All Star XI in a charity game at Altrincham`s Moss Lane on Sunday, October 1st (kick-off 2pm). City are set to include the likes of Peter Barnes, Asa Hartford, David White, Jim Melrose, Ian Brightwell, Steve Redmond, Kevin Reeves, Andy Dibble, Kenny Clement and current Worcester City number two, Andy Morrison. The All Stars squad is yet to be finalized, but is likely to include the likes of ex-Manchester United stars Clayton Blackmore, Frank Stapleton, Lee Martin and Stuart Pearson. All proceeds from the match will go to the Kidneys for Life charity which is based at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Prices £5 adults/£3 concessions. Gates open at 12 noon for a range of family entertainments. If any fans would like information on sponsorship, advertising or mascot (for under-11s) packages they should contact Caroline Siddall".
CONFERENCE NEWSShaymen Online report that "Halifax Rugby League Football Club are just three weeks away from liquidation but the implications don’t just affect Fax. The situation at The Shay is dire and even if some supporters still don’t like the very fact that the future of both clubs are connected, there can be little denying that this is the case. In simplistic terms, if one goes, so could the other... It is fair to say that neither club can survive on their own. With both clubs paying a stadium rent of £4,700 a month you cannot see either, in their current predicaments, being able to afford to cover the full rental fee on their own... Nobody really knows what state Halifax Town is in except that it is losing £170k a year. There has been no remedy found for the lack of commercial development and the Shay500 scheme has not been the success that had been hoped... The third organisation involved in all this is the Shay Stadium Trust which is responsible for the stadium. If either club fails to fulfill its rental obligations just where would it leave the SST? Could it afford to continue with the income from just one of the clubs? Or will one club losing its battle for life be the start of a domino effect, taking out all three residents of The Shay?... So, D-Day is September 11th, Halifax’s very own 9/11. Whilst the omens may not look very good, let’s hope disaster does not strike in West Yorkshire."
Halifax Today confirms that "Halifax Rugby League Club will go into liquidation in three weeks unless it can raise cash to plug a £90,000 overspend on players' wages. That was today's stark warning from club directors, who have written to Fax's 120 members calling an emergency meeting at the Shay on September 11. Fax's four-man board will propose the club be wound up and a liquidator appointed".
Above: Halifax Town convert a penalty on Alty's last visit to The Shay in September 2005.
Another twist in the Crawley saga... The club's Official site says that "As the Club faces a new chance to demonstrate its ability within the Nationwide Conference, Azwar Majeed today announced that he is stepping down from his role, resigning as Chairman. He considers this as a positive step, encouraging the focus of the fans to be on the team’s success. It has been a difficult but necessary decision, as Azwar will focus on his other businesses in order to generate sufficient revenue to meet the future financial requirements of the Club. For the interim period Susan Todman has been appointed as the new Chairman following her history with the Club as a Board Director. She will work closely with the current management team, including Barry Munn, General Manager, and John Hollins, 1st Team Manager, whilst they seek to find a new Chairman who has knowledge and history within the football field. Crawley Town FC is now establishing a solid foundation upon which it is building a successful team and youth infrastructure within the community. It is with great enthusiasm, passion and dedication that the team have launched into this season, winning the first three games in a row. Azwar thanks many of the fans who have shown their support through the turbulence of the past year. They have brought strength and encouragement to the Club. Azwar will still maintain his financial commitments to Crawley Town and wishes the new Chairman every success in the future".
Crawley Town's Trust has issued a press release: 'Crawley Town Supporters Trust (The Devils Trust) has agreed that creditors should accept the second CVA proposal even though it means the Majeeds will retain control of the club. Speaking on behalf of the Trust Antony Weller said: 'We understand some people don't want the Majeeds at any cost but the simple fact is that without acceptance of the revised CVA there will be no football club this season. That opportunity evaporated when the administrators decided to allow this last-ditch offer to be made. We therefore have two options. Continue with the revised CVA in the hope that the Majeeds can find the money within 60 days or face being wound up, possibly with no chance of future resurrection. That view has been proven by the second CVA proposal which, if accepted, will cost the Majeed brothers the same amount financially as it would have cost to keep the club running. In short, the Majeed brothers could have spared the club and its fans all the uncertainty and unrest recently experienced... The revised CVA is a more realistic proposal in so far as it places a time limit of just 60 days on SA Retail to pay up. It means that they have to find around £500k by October 29th if their offer is accepted. The Trust still has serious concerns that they are unable to achieve this. The large amount of money they need to find, in such a short space of time, appears to hinge on urgent financial investment in the club, investment they have so far showed an inability to obtain because of their actions'".
Another club facing the loss of their chairman is Weymouth. The BBC confirms that ""Weymouth chairman Martyn Harrison has warned he may pull the plug on his financial backing for the club unless crowds improve. Weymouth pulled in 1,766 for Saturday's win over Cambridge, 1,800 less than the previous home game against Aldershot. Hotelier Harrison told the Dorset Echo: 'A crowd of 1,700 when we're top of the table is disgraceful. If the town can't be bothered I don't see why I should, and they'll have to find somebody else to pay the wages'".
"Cambridge United have signed striker Marcus Richardson after his departure from rivals Weymouth. Richardson, 28, joined Weymouth during the summer but left for personal reasons after failing to make an appearance for the Terras. Boss Rob Newman told U's website: 'He's a good old-fashioned centre-forward and been successful in the lower leagues'. Richardson returns to Cambridge after spells with Torquay, Hartlepool, Lincoln, Yeovil and Chester".
"Grimsby are set to complete the signing of former Stockport and Oldham midfielder Danny Boshell... Grimsby beat off competition for the 25-year-old Boshell from Conference outfit Northwich Victoria".
Tamworth "Manager Mark Cooper has shown he means business as he tackles head on Lambs' wretched start to the Conference campaign, leaking 11 goals in three games. He has made three signings and is also in discussions to add a striker and a midfielder in time for Saturday's visit of Exeter City. In the meantime, the club can confirm that central defender Matt Redmile is in negotiations with Hinckley United and also that a number of other players have been circulated as available for transfer.Coming in on loan from Yeovil Town are defender Bradley Thomas and Gavin McCallum, another defender who can also operate in midfield. Cooper is also signing a Portuguese goalkeeper José Manuel da Veira, the move just waiting on international clearance".
This is Exeter says that "Midfielder Danny Clay has secured his short-term future at Exeter City by signing a new deal until the end of the year. The 20-year-old’s future was in doubt when he rejected the offer of a one-year contract extension at the end of last season, fearing his first team opportunities at the club would be restricted. But the departure of former manager Alex Inglethorpe gave Clay fresh hope and he decided to return to Exeter at the start of pre-season training following the appointment of new boss Paul Tisdale. The City youth product then signed a one-month deal while he mulled over the next step in his career. Now he has decided to bring to an end speculation over his future by signing the short-term deal".
Rushden Today reports that "Paul Hart has told Rushden & Diamonds fans not to get carried away as he warned the club cannot afford to strengthen their squad for a promotion push. But the boss believes his side will still challenge towards the top of the table – although he has urged supporters to lower any expectations of a title challenge after two defeats in the opening three games of the Nationwide Conference campaign. Hart spoke out after issuing a reality check following Saturday's 2-0 home win over Forest Green Rovers as he predicts 'a tough old season'. He said: 'There will be no players coming in for the foreseeable future because we are at our limit. The budget is very tight and certainly not one of the biggest in this league. "The size of our squad is small and this is a difficult division. We have always said that we are top-heavy with young players which we inherited and that's a fact. They will come on and improve but I don't want people's expectations to drag them down. The supporters' trust have been fantastic since they took over this club by significantly reducing the losses from around £1.3m to hopefully reaching a break-even point at the end of this season. Considering what happened here a few years ago, when at one point the club was awash with money, now there needs to be an adjustment of thinking. That's just the way it is and I accept it. I'm not frustrated because I've known the situation since I came into the job'. Hart brought in eight summer signings for a 20-man senior squad – although goalkeeper Scott Tynan has joined Hereford United on loan and former Nottingham Forest midfielder Andrew Rigby agreed non-contract terms which means he only gets paid expenses".
Southport GB reports that "Southport FC footballer, Carl Baker appeared before North Sefton Magistrates this afternoon Monday 21st August 2006 charged with three driving related offences. The court were told how Baker was stopped by police whilst driving his car in Southport on 13th August 2006. Police suspected Baker of drink driving after smelling alcohol on his breath. He was asked to take a roadside breathalyser test but refused point blank. He was arrested and taken to Southport Police Station and charged with Failing to provide specimen for analysis / Lab. Test (Drive./Att. Dr), Failing to co-operate and provide a roadside specimen of breath, and use of a motor vehicle without third party cover. Magistrates withdrew the failing to co-operate and provide a roadside specimen of breath charge. He pleaded guilty failing to provide specimen for analysis / Lab.Test (Drive./Att. Dr), and his solicitor, Mr Braham, explained to the magistrates that Baker could provide valid insurance in 7 days time. Magistrates were told that Baker had a previous drink driving conviction dating back to 2002 when he received a 12 month driving ban. Magistrates adjourned the case until 1st September 2006 for a fast track delivery report (guideline sentence is a community punishment) and sentence. He was given unconditional bail, but Magistrates gave him an interim disqualification (part of his sentence). Onthespot interviewed Carl who said: 'I feel that I have let everybody down at Southport Football Club, including management and my team-mates. I have also let down all the young supporters at the club, and I deserve to be punished hard for what I have done. I would like to make a public apology, put this matter behind me and make a fresh start'".
22 August 2006
COME AND HELP ASHLEYAltrincham FC is arranging a Chinese banquet for the benefit of Reserve team player Ashley Brown, who suffered a double fracture of the leg whilst playing for Alty Reserves against Runcorn Town in a pre-season friendly. The injury was a complete accident but it left Ashley encased in a full-length leg cast and he will be out of action for several months. The event will be at the well-known Chef Peking restaurant in Urmston on Wednesday, 13th September (7.30 for 8pm). Tickets are just £15 and those who have attended previous events at the Chef Peking will need no reminding that the food and service are excellent. The event will be compered by Graham Heathcote, who proposed the idea of the evening, having arranged previous events for injured first-team players Marcus Hallows and Stephen Rose. It will include an auction of sporting memorabilia. A number of first-team players will be in attendance. To get your tickets, please contact Karen Rowley, who is overseeing the arrangements for the evening, or speak to anyone else at the Club offices on 928-1045.
RESERVES' SQUADFor Wednesday's Reserves' game at Moss Lane (7.45pm) against Woodley Sports, Alty will include a number of first-team squad members - Richard Acton, Karl Munroe, Stephen Rose, Justin Bowler, Lewis Chalmers and Rod Thornley. The rest of the squad comprises Chris Rowley, Keith Wedge (left), Lee Mannion, Danny Heffernan, Ben Deegan, Astley Mulholland, John Maloney, Colin McAllister (right) and two new players.
The Woodley website reports on their Reserves' home defeat by Guiseley 2-4. Alty Res. beat Guiseley 3-0 last Wednesday. "The home side were fielding a squad containing 7 of last season's Youth team squad. .. The game ended with Guiseley 4-2 victors, despite the disappointment of the result, an entertaining game played in good spirit, taught the Woodley youngsters a few lessons about life in this League. Next game is a tough fixture away at Altrincham FC". The Woodley team was 1- Rick Dolphin 2- Matty Teasdale 3- Danny Kay 4- Andy Walsh 5- Lee Wright (Captain) 6- John Rourke 7- Stuart Hynes 8- Mark Haslam 9- Troy Williams Condor 10- Tom Thornton 11- Sam Walker 12- Scott Hodges 14- Matty Kilheeney 15- Dale Fleet 16- Rick Bell 17- Ashley Voss.
Above: Graham Heathcote directs the Alty team photo-shoot as Rod Thornley (right, front row) pays close attention while Warren Peyton pulls his socks up and Colin Little chills out!
"It was more a feeling of justice, as I never felt we did anything wrong, and we have had to put it behind us," Graham Heathcote told BBC Sport, after the summer deduction of 18 points. "The summer had its difficulties as a club but we've had to move on and get focused on the coming season. I always believed we had a right to be in this league because of the amount of points we had until circumstances took over. The players' commitment to getting fit has been total, and I can't ask for any more than that. The important thing was to come through it with dignity, which I believe the club did. That's behind us now. Perhaps we will use it as a motivation in certain games, but the important thing now is to make sure we stay in the league. We brought the players in in June and it has been a long pre-season. In terms of fitness levels in the first two months of last season we were found wanting late on in games so we have had try and address that the best we can as a part-time club... It's a really difficult scenario to try and improve your players when you've really got no finance to do so. I have tried not to make wholesale changes because bringing in nine or 10 players makes it very difficult to knit and gel. It's not rocket science. We relied on Colin Little massively for goals so we had to improve there and you have to be competitive in midfield so we have strengthened there as well. I have just brought players into areas where I felt we needed them and tried to improve our attacking options. The players are wiser and they know what's required, commitment-wise... But hopefully those we have brought in are good lads. The players did their job last season, but they can't rest on their laurels and have to be better than last season. If we do that then we give ourselves a chance of not being involved in a mad scramble at the end...We want to improve on last season".
STUART ON KEEPERSSunday's NL Paper printed Stuart Coburn's comments on Stevenage's goalkeeper, Alan Julian and Grays' Ashley Bayes. "Stuart Coburn, a legend between the sticks at Altrincham [said], 'Alan is a top keeper when we played them at home last year, he kept them in the game. With Danny Potter moving there,they have an embarrassment of riches'". Stuart continued, "I'm always looking to get better myself and whenever I watch the likes of Bayes and Julian, I try to pick up tips and see how they do things".
TWO VIEWS OF THE SAME GAME!After Saturday's defeat at Exeter, Graham Heathcote told the NL Paper, "I thought we played well. We were on the back foot for some of the time... But I think if we continue to play like that, we will be OK. It was a bit cruel to lose the game. But I was pleased with the way we played".
From the same game comes this alternative view from This is Exeter . "Another three points on the board, an unbeaten start to the season and just one goal conceded in three games - Paul Tisdale's reign as Exeter City manager has got off to a pretty good start. Entering the game as only one of two sides yet to ship a goal in the Nationwide Conference, the Grecians' resolve and character were tested to the limits when they fell behind after only 89 seconds... City gave notice that that they really mean business this season. The victory was well-deserved, with Tisdale's troops eventually forcing their guests to crumble under some heavy second half pressure. Make no mistake about it, take the first 20 minutes out of the equation and this was City's best display so far this season... This is a City side which seems to have been given fresh belief with the arrival of a new manager... Let's not get carried away - there are still areas for improvement and this was far from the complete performance. Old habits die hard and the team still occasionally slipped back into the ugly long ball game that won few admirers last season... However, Altrincham might have stretched their lead had Little not stabbed wide with the goal at this mercy after City's defence had been carved open. Yet the traffic was flowing mainly in one direction and it was Altrincham who were reeling on the ropes for the remainder of the half....The visitors threatened at the beginning of the second half,... But it was not long before his opposite number Coburn was in the thick of the action... and it was Mackie's turn to threaten a breakthrough. The young whirlwind breezed into the box before unleashing a low shot that was scrambled around the post by the alert Coburn. At this point the rocking Alty were surviving on their wits alone. Outgunned in midfield and struggling at the back, their hopes of a draw were rapidly diminishing with City pouring forward in numbers. Stansfield sent shockwaves through their rearguard every time he seized possession. But the former Elmore man, exhibiting quick feet and balance on the ball, twice failed to pick out the rampaging runs of Mackie. Altrincham were beginning to crack under the pressure and Mackie's instinctive header was narrowly off target... And the star striker [Phillips] almost made an immediate impact, connecting with Taylor's laser-guided cross only to see his header loop over the back-pedalling Coburn and onto the roof of the net... With time running out, Challinor conjured a touch of the sublime to send St James's Park into raptures. Having switched to the right flank, the talented midfielder chested down Taylor's deep cross and hit an explosive volley past a static Coburn to seal a deserved victory. His chest-thumping celebration told its own story of pure relief of a player who, by his own admission, has started the season slowly.Altrincham were shot". A little less effusive was player Jon Challinor who said, "The gaffer has instilled in us that we must enjoy our football and get the ball down and play. We know where we want to go, we want to get down the sides and attack. But there is a definite emphasis on enjoying it - sometimes that is going to be short ball, sometimes long ball, but enjoy it and the results will come. The pitch is unbelievable. It is zipping about and it will be interesting to see how it holds. There has been a lot of work done on it. It looks beautiful and encourages us to play".
NEXT OPPONENTSThe Football Conference says that "Colin Lippiatt, manager of St Albans, is hopeful of having central defender Ben Martin back in action sooner that expected. The centre-half was expected to be out of contention for at least a month after sustaining a cruciate knee ligament injury early last week. However, Martin will visit another specialist on Monday and is feeling confident that he will return to action sooner rather that later after joining the team for light training prior to Saturday's match with Aldershot Town. 'Ben is going for a scan on Monday (21 August) and at the moment it does not appear to be as big a problem as we first thought' Lippiatt told the club's official website.
The FA confirms that "Gravesend & Northfleet's Jay Stubberfield is suspended from last season for four games." But the FA says his ban ends on 10 September which, if correct, should mean he misses the match against Altrincham.
OLD BOYSOld boys in action in the League last weekend included Kevin Ellison, who scored for Tranmere, Paul Ellender (Boston) and Danny Adams (Huddersfield). In action in Wales for Bangor were former Alty Reserves James Marsden, Kieran Killackey, Ashley Stott and Adam Docker whilst also in Wales, Marc Limbert played for Connah's Quay Nomads along with Dave Swanick. Josh Mitten has now joined Flixton after leaving FCUM whilst Ryan Gilligan, another former Reserves joined Josh on the scoresheet for Flixton.
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC confirms that "Southport have signed Stuart Barlow and taken teenage Wigan midfielder David Owens on work experience. Former Everton and Wigan striker Barlow, 38, initially signed on non-contract terms to allow him to make his debut at Stafford Rangers... Meanwhile, Port are expected to appoint ex-player Steve Whitehall as their new physio after he left Northwich". Northwich Vics confirm that "After Saturday's match against Kidderminster Harriers, Northwich's physio Steve Whitehall has left the club to take up a full time post at Southport".
NL Daily reports that "Guiseley, who have been a comfortable mid-table side in the UniBond League Premier Division for the past few seasons without ever really mounting a challenge, seem likely to make a push this time around. The Yorkshire club have also signed Stuart Gray from now Conference National outfit Oxford United. The Scotland under-21 international has more than two hundred appearances under his belt in the full-time game, having made his debut for Celtic in 1992/93 season and going on to play around thirty games for the giants of Scottish football. He then moved south of the border to play for Reading and Rushden & Diamonds".
The unofficial This is United site says that "Oxford United boss Jim Smith has sent out a warning to the Nationwide Conference – saying that his side will get even stronger. The U's boast one of only three 100 per cent records, but says that his squad will be considerably stronger now that two suspensions are over. Chris Willmott missed the first three games of the season after being sent off in United's final game of last season, while Barry Quinn was ruled out of Friday's 2-1 win at Burton after being dismissed in the midweek victory over Dagenham and Redbridge. 'I'm delighted for the players – they've worked really hard and when you work hard, you get your rewards', Smith said. 'We've got three players coming back next week – I'm hoping to sign a striker and I've got Chris Willmott and Barry Quinn back in the fold... As always, our fans were great," said Smith...
21 August 2006
ANOTHER SQUAD NUMBER ASSIGNEDAlty have now assigned a squad number to goalkeeper Anthony Cummins (right). He has been given squad number 24 - numbers 22 and 23 remain vacant. Anthony was previously with local club Wythenshawe Amateurs in the Manchester League. A full list of Altrincham squad numbers is on the Players page . Picture courtesy of Gavin Rathbone.
DEVON VIEWSThis is Exeter has a match report on the defeat of Altrincham. "The visitors were quicker out of the blocks and went ahead in the third minute when Robbie Lawton pounced... But from then on it was one-way traffic with Exeter deservedly getting back on level terms in the 39th minute" before "Challinor volleyed the ball into the top corner of the net to secure Exeter a thoroughly deserved win".
For this site's report, please click here.
STAR INITIATIVESShown left is the attractive new pin-badge of the crest of Altrincham FC, which is available for just £2.50 (plus P&P) from STAR board member, Mike Ainsworth.
On behalf of the supporters' trust, STAR, Mike is also arranging regular monthly quiz nights in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane. The dates booked so far are as follows:
The Quiz entry fee is just £1.00 per person and there is a maximum of 6 persons per team. Doors open at 8.00pm and the quiz starts at 8.30pm.
FCUoM BACK AT MOSS LANETrafford FC "has received a number of e-mails asking for details of the forthcoming Trafford v FC United on Saturday 9th September. Trafford FC can confirm that the game will be played at Altrincham FC on Saturday 9th September with a 2.00pm kick off. The reason for the early kick off is Manchester United play Spurs at Old Trafford on the same day live on TV with a 5.15pm kick off".
CONFERENCE NEWSOur next opponents are St Alban's City whose "manager Colin Lippiatt was in a far from a downbeat mood on Saturday evening following the 5-3 defeat at Clarence Park to Aldershot Town... 'As far as I am concerned my opinion counts above everybody else because I am the manager. I am still proud of my team; they played their part to produce a game of 5-3. I think a lot of people who came to the game were looking for entertainment and we gave them that. But at the end of the day there was a lot of naivety in our side in terms of being a counter-attacking side and today we got punished on the same front. When they (Aldershot) counter-attacked their finishing was clinical. We all know that when Johnny Grant goes for broke that nine times out of ten it can go anywhere, but unless you are brave enough to go for broke you will not score goals. I think that we had as many chances as them, we got in behind them on several occasions. I’m pleased that our work ethic was there and that we never threw the towel in... But I would say we have got to work a little harder when we haven’t got the ball. Possibly that is a fault of ours ever since I came to the club, I include the whole of last season in that plus the three games so far this season. When we go forward we are decent but when we haven’t got it we need to work a bit harder... I thought Rob Norris and Dean Cracknell were outstanding when they came on, Josh Sozzo maybe didn’t quite get into the game so much but I felt that both those particular substitutes gave us a freshness".
St Albans's opponents, Aldershot Town report that "There was no hiding manager Terry Brown's disappointment after the referee's final whistle at Clarence Park despite his side netting five goals in a 5-3 victory. Indeed Coach Martin Kuhl held a player's forum on the pitch after the match to discuss the frailtiies of the final ten minutes". Brown said, "The one thing we needed to do here was be tighter at the back. I congratulated the defence at half time together with a solid midfield performance but we lacked up front. After the break I got my wish up front but I cannot accept that the players can either attack or defend. Once the game opened up we just needed to keep the ball. You don't win leagues or win promotions by conceding three goals away from home. I am not looking forward to looking at the video. We got the attacking right but we need to work more at our defensive play". But Brown concluded, "There were plenty of positives out there too. We are very quick on the break".
Harriers Online reports that Kidderminster "gained their first win of the season at a very wet Northwich with a first half goal from Luke Reynolds. So far we have scored in every game this season... With memories of the Worcester friendly still clear in our minds it was another early injury that was to shape the game. The Northwich striker, Chris Williams, fell badly following a fair challenge by Mark Creighton and had to be taken from the playing field on a stretcher with later reports saying that he had received a broken fibula in the incident". On the Vics' Message Board Wiliams's father adds that the "injury was a compound fracture to the tib and fib. He is at Wythenshawe Hospital which is five minutes from his house... He may need a second operation to place a skin graft on his leg to cover a small hole left in the leg to stop infection".
20 August 2006
NEXT UPThe next game at Moss Lane is on Wednesday (7.45pm) when Altrincham Reserves take on Woodley Sports Reserves in the Lancashire League. Entry is free to season ticket holders and just £2 otherwise.
The next first-team game is on Saturday (26th) when Alty host St Alban's City for their first visit to Moss Lane (3pm). Then, on Bank Holiday Monday, Alty have a long trip to Gravesend & Northfleet (3pm). STAR will be running a supporters' coach as usual; details will be available on Saturday.
Right: Steve Bushell and Robbie Lawton (in blue) compete against Exeter City
EXETER CITY 2 ALTRINCHAM 1
OLD BOYSThe Northwich Guardian reports that at Witton Albion, ex-Alty defender "Chris Adams, has added his name to a lengthening injury list. Full back Adams fractured a rib in training this week".
Connah's Quay Nomads' former Alty winger Marc Limbert scored yesterday as did ex-Alty Reserve Ashley Stott for Bangor City, for whom Marc Lloyd-Williams scored twice. Meanwhile the Leigh unofficial site reports that on Saturday "Mark Maddox went close with a strike from the edge of the area that the goalkeeper gratefully dived upon".
19 August 2006
Right: Justin Bowler, Steve Bushell, Lewis Chalmers & Gary Talbot.
OLD BOYLast Saturday "Witton were doing nicely on a 3-5-2 line-up until they came unstuck late on after several substitutions in their final friendly at Clitheroe, where left-sided Chris Adams made his debut after joining from Altrincham". They lost 3-1.
FCUoM report that "Former [Altrincham and] Stafford Rangers’ left-sided forward, Jamie Phoenix has signed up with FC United. Assistant Manager, [ex-Alty player] Phil Power, revealed that Jamie came highly recommended by [ex-Alty reserve] Adie Orr. 'Even so', commented Phil, 'when Jamie came on trial and showed us his stuff, he turned not a few heads. We needed a left-sided attacking player and Jamie made an instant impression. The fact that he turned down at least one offer to join a Conference North club to join illustrates how much he wants to play for us'".
RANGERS' VIEWThe Stafford Rangers website now has a match report on their win over Alty. "This game was tight from start to finish and always looked likely to be settled by the odd goal. "Coburn pulled off a fine reaction save to keep out a shot from Grayson. But the Altrincham keeper was partly at fault when Stafford scored the winner. Olaoye crossed into a crowded area and Coburn was unable to pick-up the resulting back-pass. In the resulting confusion, the substitute regained the ball against and pulled it back for Madjo to hammer home from 10 yards out".
CONFERENCE NEWSStevenage Borough "have today signed Steve Guppy. The 34 year old ex-England international winger who includes Celtic, Leicester, Newcastle and Wycombe amongst his former clubs. Steve goes straight into Boro's squad for tomorrow's home game against Crawley.
Southport have witnessed a high turnover of players over the summer, since Liam Watson's departure. And the changes continue behind the scenes as the Southport Forum reports that "Fitness coach Barry Simms spoke of hurt he felt after being told he was no longer required at Southport FC. Simms along with physio Mark Fairhurst were asked the leave the club this week after beginning the new season as two of the few survivors from the previous coaching staff. Simms joined Southport in 2003 with Liam Watson and Fairhurst had been at Haig Avenue since last season. Both played key roles and worked tirelessly to help the club... Barry said: 'Paul Cook phoned me on Monday and said I was no longer required at Southport Football Club. I was sacked with them owing me £800. It is absolutely scandalous! Clapham never had the decency to speak to me'".
Morecambe Today says that Shrimps' boss "Sammy McIlroy wants the futures of Danny Carlton and Dave Perkins sorted - 'the sooner the better', he said this week. Blackpool have put in a bid – their third of the year – for Carlton while interest has been shown in Perkins, who was transfer listed last week.The Christie Park board were considering the bid for Carlton, which is believed to be in the region of £70,000, but there have been no official bids for Perkins. With the transfer window shutting on August 31, McIlroy was hoping that the situations would be clarified soon, allowing him to bring in replacements if either player, or both, do leave. He said: 'I would definitely have to get someone in, there's no doubt about that, if Danny goes and Perks goes then I will be getting replacements in. We would have to do it pretty quickly so we need to know sooner rather than later what is going to happen with these two players'. Perkins put in a second transfer request last Wednesday and this time the Morecambe directors decided, reluctantly to transfer list him... McIlroy was concerned that the transfer talk might affect Perkins. 'There is a lot on the boy's shoulders... the speculation flying around is not doing him any favours'. Rumours linking teams like Accrington, Barnet and Stevenage with a move for Perkins would be playing on his mind, he added. Chief executive Rod Taylor said there had been no offers for Perkins but one expression of interest... '"We have always said as long as the deal is right for the player and right for Morecambe FC, he will go with our blessing'" said Taylor. But "McIlroy did bring a player in last week, signing Adam Yates [who trialled for Alty this summer] from Leek Town in time for him to make his debut on Saturday. 'He is a tremendous prospect, has got a bit of pace and will be a good addition to the squad', said McIlroy" As for injured captain, Jim Bentley, McIlroy said: "We always like him around but he has got to be right, it's no use a half-fit Jim Bentley'... [But] goalkeeper Ryan Robinson has joined Southport on a month's loan".
NL Daily adds that "Morecambe have completed the signing of former Chester City defender Scott McNiven after a trial spell... The 28-year-old, whose twin brother David joined the Shrimps in June, has agreed a non-contract deal. McNiven started forty-one games for Chester last season following spells with Oldham Athletic and Oxford United. Morecambe have also allowed midfielder Keiran Walmsley and defender Jamie Davies to move on loan to UniBond Division One side Kendal Town and Premier side Leek Town respectively."
York City's "signing spree continued today with Welsh under 21 international, Danny Parslow, being the latest player to join the Minstermen. The 20 year-old central defender previously played for Cardiff City before his release in the close season.. The Club cannot confirm he will be eligible to be included in tomorrow’s squad as York City is still awaiting international clearance from the Football Association". Also, "York City Football Club has signed 21 year-old trialist, Lewis McMahon. Lewis is an attacking midfield player... [who] previously played for Notts County FC".
NL Daily confirms that "Striker Steve Morison has left Bishop`s Stortford to join Stevenage Borough. A clause in the ex-Northampton Town striker's contract allowed Boro to approach Morison and, with a full-time contract in the offing, he has left Woodside Park for an undisclosed fee".
Forest Green Rovers announce that "At last night's AGM, Colin Gardner was confirmed as Rovers new Chairman, whilst Trevor Horsley was accepted as Vice-Chairman. Mark Coles, John Clapp, Jenny Anns, Ken Boulton and Martin Anns are now all Executive Directors. Peter Vick was elected as club President, whilst John Duff was elected as Vice-President".
And, of course, there is the daily dose of cryptic news from Crawley, where The Argus reports that "Crawley boss John Hollins insists he will only work for current club owners Chas and Azwar Majeed. Hollins says he will walk out if there is a new takeover and believes most of the players and his assistant Alan Lewer will follow him. Former Farnborough chairman Graham Westley is believed to be interested in buying cash-strapped Reds. He is thought to have been left millions by his late father and wants to get back into football after stepping down as manager of Stevenage at the end of last season. Westley is reported to have contacted Crawley's administrator Rob Sadler last week but was told he was too late to make a bid. Sadler only received one offer to buy the club when he put it up for sale last month, which came from the Majeed brothers. But, now he knows Westley is interested, Sadler may be open to new bids if creditors turn down the Majeeds' attempt to regain control within the next ten days. Hollins said: 'There are these rumours going around about people wanting to come in and I will say now that I, along with Alan Lewer, will only work with the people who are here now. If anybody wants to come in, I won't work with them and nor will Alan. We will go and I have no doubt the players will go as well'... Despite the off-field turmoil, Hollins has brought together an impressive squad and guided them to maximum points from their first two games. He said: 'We have built an instant team, plus we have brought in (youth coach) Johnny Yems, so we have young players as well. There is no doubt anyone new would kill all that. I don't need anyone coming in and telling me who I have to work with. I work with people I want to work for and that is why I am here and why I stayed'... Westley, a former Crawley player, is renowned as a controversial character. He is hated by Farnborough fans after he walked out days after a lucrative FA Cup fourth round tie at Highbury in 2003... He withdrew his funding and took almost all the players with him when he left to take over at Stevenage. Farnborough never recovered and were forced into administration during the summer with debts of £500,000. Westley guided Stevenage to the Conference play-off final last year but left when his contract expired in June to concentrate on his other businesses".
Crawley's second CVA proposal has been published here. It shows a further £400,000 of debt since the first CVA, mostly money owen to players as compensation and bonuses not included in the previous CVA. The details are as follows. The SA companies are owned by the Majeeds:
OLD FRIENDSOur former league opponents, "Nationwide North club Vauxhall Motors have scrapped plans for a new grandstand at their Rivacre Park home. The club was granted planning permission for the 500-seat stand by the borough council last year but they have had a rethink after discovering they are not entitled to as much Football Foundation funding as they thought... Chairman Alan Bartlam said: 'We could refurbish our original stand and turn it into a more modern structure. This would not require any planning permission but we are also waiting for quotes on a plan to lift the roof of the stand to allow us to fit in more seats'. Vauxhall Motors Sports and Social Club is asking the council for permission to increase the height of its existing grandstand [by 2m] to 7m... But because the ground is in the green belt, the scheme must now go to the Secretary of State for the Environment for final approval" says IC Cheshire.
18 August 2006
LEE OUT FOR FORTNIGHTFollowing his injury in Wednesday's Reserves' match, it has been confirmed that striker Lee Hendley will be out of action with a sprained ankle for a fortnight. Lee, a 19 year-old graduate of Alty's youth and Reserves' teams, has been a used sub in the opening two games of the season, after netting six goals in pre-season friendlies.
ALTY RESERVESThere is now a match report on the Reserves' win over Guiseley Reserves on Wednesday, here.
EXETER ON SATURDAYAlty face the long trip to Exeter on Saturday, where they lost 3-1 last season, after Mark Maddox was sent off. This time, Lee Hendley looks likely to miss the game after being injured for the Reserves in midweek.
Above: Last April, Alty's day at Exeter got off to a bad start after the players' coach broke down on the way to Exeter from their overnight stay at Taunton. The players eventually arrived at the ground just after 2.25pm, having been picked up from the M5 hardshoulder by the supporters' coach, which had returned to collect them after it had delivered the fans to the ground. Above the players cross the pitch after their arrival at the ground. A report on that game is here.
This is Exeter quotes Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale, "You can see that Adam [Stansfield] is going to score goals this season. He hasn't struck me as someone who is lacking confidence. He is a level-headed, optimistic, positive chap who has fitted in really well... He is going to hound centre-halves ragged. Nobody will like playing against him". Also, Tisdale "hailed the return to action of Lee Phillips as a 'huge boost' after the striker came off the bench in Tuesday night's triumph. Last season's leading goalscorer has spent three weeks on the sidelines nursing an ankle injury and was not expected to be back playing until Saturday at the earliest... The former Weymouth man looked back to his bustling best... The Grecians have collected four points from their opening two games, kept two clean sheets and have a great chance to continue their promising start to the season with a home game against Altrincham at the weekend". Also, Lee Phillips "who was the subject of an approach from Stevenage last week... says the fuss created by Stevenage's interest has not affected his focus... 'I did not really pay much attention to it... I have been made vice-captain, which I am proud of. I love the team and the players, the manager has been great to me and I really enjoy playing here at the moment.. I can still feel [the injury] a bit, but I discussed it with (physio) Claire Turner and we decided I was up to it. I would love to start at the weekend, but there are certainly no guarantees. Jamie Mackie and Adam Stansfield have done very well together'".
LAST GAMEStafford boss Phil Robinson told his club website that “The first two games have been encouraging. It gives us a solid start and gives us some confidence. [Against Alty] it was a tight game and there will be a lot of tight games during the season. But credit to the players for keeping their discipline and work rate to protect the goal. They got their reward with the goal when Madjo scored"
NEXT HOME GAMEThe next visitors to Moss Lane, St Alban's City report that "Ben Martin has suffered another injury setback following a consultation with a specialist yesterday. He will be out of action for up to four weeks having suffered a torn cartilage in his left knee during Tuesday's draw with Cambridge United. The towering central defender had only just returned to the side after missing the whole of last season following an operation to repair cruciate ligaments in the same knee".
CSCThe fourth and final Cheshire Senior Cup preliminary round result on Tuesday saw Winsford United lose at home to Cheadle Town 0-1. So the first round draw for the winning clubs is as follows:
OLD BOY"Connah's Quay Nomads boss Nev Powell has a host of new faces at his disposal for the new Welsh Premier season... Powell has also added [former Alty] defender Dave Swannick from Woodley Sports".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe SouthportGB forum reports that "Southport FC footballer, Carl Baker is to appear before North Sefton Magistrates Court on Monday 21st August 2006 charged with drink driving. Baker was stopped by police whilst he was driving his car in Southport on 13th August 2006. Police then suspected Baker of drink driving after smelling alcohol on his breath. He was asked to take a roadside breathalyser test but refused point blank. He was arrested and taken to Southport Police Station and was later charged".
NL Daily says that "Former Tamworth defender Dan Douglas [has] signed for UniBond League Division One club Gresley Rovers... Manager Gary Norton said: 'Dan was on a contract with Tamworth last year but was sent out on loan to Loughborough Dynamo. He went back to Tamworth for pre-season, but has not signed'".
The Tamworth Herald claims that "The futures of two of Tamworth FC's most senior players was put into doubt this week after manager Mark Cooper promised to make drastic changes. Cooper... has vowed to shore up a leaky defence that has shipped seven goals in two games. But it will not be the youngsters or new boys that will feel his wrath. 'There will be one, possibly two, players gone before Saturday', said Cooper, who is trying to tie up deals for two new defenders... one on loan and one on a permanent deal. 'It will be two of the more experienced players who have been at the club a while and who are struggling to come to terms with being more professional'. Cooper would not name names but the only experienced defenders at the club are Matt Redmile and Adie Smith. 'Our strength in previous seasons has been our defence but we are making too may individual mistakes, especially from set pieces. We have looked okay going forward... Everything else will fall into place when we get the defence sorted out'. Meanwhile, Cooper has promised to buy a drink for all the fans who were on the Supporters' Club coach that broke down on the way back from Gravesend on Tuesday night. The fans were stranded on the M1 as they waited for a new coach to pick them up and did not arrive back in Tamworth until 6am... Cooper said, 'I will personally buy them all a pint at Dagenham and Redbridge this Saturday'".
Meanwhile, Worcester City "have completed a thorough investigation into the incident that happened during the recent pre-season friendly with neighbours Kidderminster Harriers. Allegations were made against Worcester City's assistant-manager Andy Morrison and following a full enquiry and taking advice from the club`s legal advisors and ACAS, the board of directors have unanimously decided to fine Morrison the maximum allowed under FA guidelines, suspend him for three games... and give him a warning to his future conduct... The board of directors would like to take this opportunity to apologise to both sets of supporters for the abandonment of the game, following the decision of Kidderminster Harriers manager Mark Yates to withdraw his players from the field of play".
The Conference reports that "Cambridge boss Rob Newman is optimistic that he can add at least one player to his strike force in time for Saturday's clash with Weymouth. The manager claims he has spoken to two strikers. He told the clubwebsite, 'If not it will give someone like Michael Gash a chance to stake his claim. We've agreed deals with the clubs and we spoke terms to both players yesterday. It's down to the players now and we're waiting for an answer today, and hopefully we'll get at least one in by the end of the day'. Both players are reportedly at Conference sides and have league experience. Cambridge have failed to find the net in their first two outings and, with Danny Carey-Bertram suspended for the next three games, a tried and tested goalscorer could prove a huge bonus to the side's campaign".
But York City have "confirmed 28 year old, central defender, Simon Weaver [ex-Scarborough] has been released by the Club. Weaver, who was on a short term contract with York City has been offered season long terms by Conference club, Tamworth. City Manager, Billy McEwan was not in a position to offer Simon Weaver an extended contract as he feels he has not yet had enough time to assess the player properly. Billy McEwan therefore agreed to Simon Weaver’s release earlier today".
Stevenage Borough say that "Three trialists turned out for the Stevenage Borough Reserves... on Wednesday afternoon. Damien Batt, the former Barnet right full back, Daniel Phillips, a Charlton Athletic trainee, and Lloyd Blackman, the former Woking and Farnborough Town, strikers, all wore the red and white stripes for the first time".
The Comet reports that "One, two, three, four - that's the number of strikers Stevenage Boro boss Mark Stimson wants to bring to the club. Stimson has seen his side lose their opening two Conference fixtures, going down by the odd goal in three at Altrincham on Saturday and then at home to York City... Stimson has been thwarted in his attempts to bring in Exeter's Lee Phillips, Ray Jones from QPR and Jamie Guy from Colchester... Boro's official link with Premiership Spurs has also failed to yield any rewards so far. 'We definitely need some more firepower up front', admitted Stimson. 'I'm working down a long list and putting in a great number of phone calls. I would like at least four new strikers. If we do, it would mean some movement out of the club'. Boro currently have three frontline strikers in Darryn Stamp, Jon Nurse and Tony Thorpe, as well as youngsters like Hector Mackie and Chris Sullivan. 'It depends who we get in on who will leave', continued Stimson. 'We signed someone like Thorpey to get goals and that hasn't happened so far... I really don't like losing... You have to be positive... Adam Miller always wanted the ball and although he gave it away a lot, he kept wanting it back again'".
The Comet reports on the defeat "against relegation favourites Altrincham". The Borough manager said, "I am not used to losing. I don't like it, in fact I hate it, and it spoiled my weekend, because all I live for is results... For the first goal we switched off and allowed Little to get a free volley and for the second goal there is only one place that the ball should have ended up and that should have been on the M6! We tried to be clever and we got punished, and we cannot do that there, you have got to play the percentages'".
The BBC says that "Weymouth have added to their squad with the capture of former AFC Bournemouth utility man Jason Tindall. Tindall left Bournemouth at the end of last season after starting almost 150 games for the Cherries. Terras boss Garry Hill has signed the 28-year-old on a non-contract basis to cover injury problems with several defenders unavailable".
The York Press says that City Reserves "fielded former Sheffield Wednesday and Notts County midfielder Lewis McMahon and ex-Cardiff City trainee defender Danny Parslow as trialists" in midweek.
The Kidderminster Shuttle says that "Harriers hard man Russ Penn insists that he and his team-mates need to be prepared to muscle their way into the Conference play-off picture. Penn has tipped Harriers to take the physical approach from Tuesday's draw at Burton Albion in to Saturday's trip to Northwich Victoria. And the 20-year-old midfield schemer is relishing his role in the new-look Harriers rat-pack... The former Scunthorpe man also antagonised the Pirelli Stadium crowd with his tough-tackling and was singled out for treatment by Albion hard man Darren Stride... 'We need to be ready for a physical battle and to be strong when we're taking on these teams. That's more my game, getting stuck in and that's what the Conference is all about. Teams don't like to see a little rat like me tearing around and nibbling at their ankles all of the time. Darren Stride came on in the second half the other night at Burton and was trying to wind me up and get me sent off because I was on a yellow. But the gaffer has told me that I need to keep my head'... Meanwhile, Yates has yet to decide whether he will use the 4-5-1 counter-attacking system for Saturday's trip to the Victoria Stadium... 'I will use the 4-5-1 again this season because I think it's a good flexible formation. When you've got attacking midfield players like we have with the likes of Russ Penn, Brian Smikle, Michael Blackwood and so on it can become more like 4-3-3 so it's not necessarily a negative formation'", he stated.
The The Thurrock Gazette reports that against Rushden "One interesting and unfamiliar tactic used by [Grays' manager, Frank] Gray was to drop striker Lee Boylan into a midfield position when defending, at times ensuring Grays had 10 men behind the ball. 'We dropped Lee off to counteract the diamond formation they play in midfield and it worked a treat for us. It left McLean on his own but you have to adapt to situations and we adapted first class'".
17 August 2006
HENDLEY INJURY MARS RESERVES' WINA sprained ankle suffered by striker Lee Hendley (right) as he put Alty 2-0 up in Wednesday's Reserves' game against Guiseley took some of the shine off an entertaining 3-0 victory for Altrincham. Lee had already opened the scoring after five minutes before his injury, which came after just seven minutes. Both sides missed numerous other chances in a game which saw no more goals till the fourth minute of second-half added time when Kieran Lugsden was upended and Lewis Chalmers scored with a well-taken spot-kick. Guiseley contributed their fair share to the game in which six of Alty's first team squad members figured (Hendley, Lugsden, Chalmers, Rose, Munroe and McFadden). Report to follow.
"WE BLEW IT", SAYS GRAHAMAfter the Stafford game, Graham Heathcote (left) told SAM Sport "We were never under any threat of conceding and then we had a calamitous error with Val and Stuart that cost us the game at the end of the day. The level of the game was very poor for the level of football we are supposed to be playing at. Neither side played enough football, just a lot of long ball stuff and if we perform like that in all our away games we will have the same problems as last season. No disrespect to Stafford but there won't be a better chance to get away points this season and we blew it".
This is Staffs reports on Alty's defeat on Tuesday. "New boy Guy Madjo fired Stafford Rangers to their first Nationwide Conference win of the season at Marston Road last night. His 80th-minute effort decided a tight game against Altrincham and gave Rangers their first home win over the Robins since 1991. A crowd of more than 1,400 turned out to see Rangers' return to non-league's top flight after an 11-year absence, and they were rewarded with an absorbing tussle. But despite some quality approach work by both sides, chances were at a premium... It was Rangers manager Phil Robinson's introduction of Del Olaoye with 20 minutes left that swung it for Rangers. With 10 minutes to go, he chased a lost cause to the right-hand corner of the Altrincham box. His driven cross was blocked by Owen and had keeper Stuart Coburn dithering about whether to pick up the ball as a back pass. Olaoye seized the initiative by setting up Madjo to whip in his first Rangers goal from a dozen yards... Robinson said after the game: 'This was a tight game, but there are going to be a lot like it this season. Credit to the players for keeping their discipline'".
ALTY BEWARE!Alty are away to Exeter City on Saturday. This is Exeter says that "Paul Tisdale breathed a sigh of relief when the final whistle at St James's Park signalled his first Conference win as Exeter City manager last night. Adam Stansfield scored the only goal of the game against Forest Green Rovers when he capitalised on a moment of madness in the Rovers defence and slotted home from close range. City huffed and puffed against their Gloucestershire rivals in the first half before carving out a succession of chances after the break... Tisdale admitted it was far from a complete performance... He said: 'To get three points in our first home game is really pleasing... Yes, you could have wanted more goals and more attacking play. But to get a clean sheet and win the game is really pleasing. There were 10 minutes in the second half where we were coming strong and I thought there were more goals in the game but it wasn't to be and we hung on for the last 10 minutes, so I am delighted'. Rovers boss Gary Owers said he was 'sick to the stomach' after watching his side drop a defensive clanger that led to Stansfield's winner". Tisdale added that "It might have looked like it was a hopeful ball down the line but we actually spent 20 minutes on the morning of the game working on that very ball. We knew they would struggle down the sides of their centre halves if their full backs were out of position. It was a move we had worked at in training to get the ball down the side and let Adam, with his pace, hurry their central defenders. It worked a treat and I was only disappointed we didn't do it a bit more".
ALTY'S & AUSSIES' GOOD CAUSESAM says "In terms of celebrity supporters, Altrincham are one up on all of their Conference rivals... Thanks to chairman Geoff Goodwin, Alty can count on the support of the entire Australian cricket team - surely a match made in heaven. Geoff became friends with the Aussies after personally driving them around the country during the 2004 Champions Trophy and again throughout last year's Ashes series. The cricketing superstars then caused a stir when they paid a visit to Moss Lane to cheer on the Robins in last year's preseason clash with Bangor City and fast bowler Jason Gillespie (seen right in his Alty shirt) said he now holds the Conference club very close to his heart. He told SAM Sport: 'I'm really good mates with Geoff. We both get on really well together - he calls me "big nose" and I call him Popeye because of his massive forearms. 'He's always talking about the club so when we were over here for the Ashes we thought we would find out what it was all about. So we went down for a game and we all had great fun. It's a great club and all the people involved at Alty are doing it because they love the game, not for the money. The club's just got a really good feel to it and the beauty of smaller grounds like Moss Lane is that they really create a great atmosphere, a bit like the smaller county cricket grounds'.
Now Jason, alongside Yorkshire teammate Darren Lehmann, is hosting a benefit dinner at Lancashire County Cricket Club in aid of both Alty and the McGrath Foundation, the cancer charity set up by Aussie paceman Glenn McGrath and his wife Jane, who has herself fought a long battle against the disease. The dinner, which takes place on Monday September 18, also includes entertainment from impressionist Mike Osman - as well as some special guests - and Jason is promising an enjoyable night out. 'It's going to be a pretty relaxed night raising money for charity and for the football club', he said. 'We'll just have a bit of a laugh and there'll be an auction, which has some really good lots. The fact that a football club in England wants to help out with the charity has both surprised and pleased everyone involved. (Former Aussie cricketer) Michael Bevan's wife, Tracy, will be there as well to represent the Foundation and it is a really good cause. It's good to raise money for grass roots sport though as well. All grass roots sport is vitally important to the success of that sport because without the lower levels, the sport's values won't filter through to the top'.
Jason and his national teammates hope to pay another visit to Moss Lane in the near future but Alty's Aussie link will not end with the current generation of cricketers. Jason explained: 'Geoff has put a couple of the club's shares in the name of my six-month old son Jackson so maybe, in 20 years time, he might be able to take a place on the board - maybe the shares will be worth a little bit by then'. The dinner starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £60 each, £600 for a table of 10 and £720 for a table of 12. For more information click here or contact Suzanne Goodwin on 0161 969 9660".
CSCCheshire Senior Cup - Preliminary Round -
OLD BOYSThe Northwich Guardian reports that Witton Albion boss Jim Vince Jr, himself an ex-Alty player, has signed two former Robins. It says that "Albion welcomed back former striker [and ex-Alty reserve] Griff Jones last week, only for him to add his name to a lengthening injury list in his first training session. He joins defender [ex-Alty trialist] Liam Brownhill (knee)... in the treatment room... Vince's injury crisis has led him to put squad trimming on hold, with ex-Altrincham defender Chris Adams also signing for the Wincham club in the past seven days. Jones's arrival is the biggest surprise but, after failed spells at Lancaster City and then Southport, Vince is confident he can bring the best out of the forward".
Leigh RMI lost to Farsley Celtic on Tuesday. "The similarities to Saturday’s defeat continued to develop and it came as no surprise that RMI were pegged back to level terms thanks to a defensive mistake, just as the same thing happened on Saturday. This time centre half Mark Maddox was at fault, failing to effectively deal with a cross in to the area and as a result allowing Simeon Bambrook to get in front of him to fire the ball past John Lamb in the RMI goal... RMI right back Mark Drew [ex-Alty Youth] was unlucky to have a shot tipped over the crossbar after a terrific run saw him beat several opposing defenders".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe following sounds familiar to Alty fans who saw the Stafford game... Forest Green Rovers report that "A defensive howler between goalie Steve Williams and defender Alex Lawless handed all three points to Exeter City last night as Rovers continue to search for their first good result of the season. Rovers were matching the home side in front of a large 3,527 crowd and looking good for at least draw until a back pass left the two Rovers players unsure who should take control of the loose ball. Unfortunately, whilst they were deciding, Exeter City's Adam Stansfield nipped in, stole the ball and ran with it to the empty goal".
"Southport manager Paul Cook is keen to add former Everton and Wigan striker Stuart Barlow to his squad. Barlow, 38, spent part of pre-season with the club and remains a target for Port boss Cook. 'We hope to bring Stuart in, but it's just a case of watch this space at the moment', Cook told BBC Sport. Barlow played in the Conference for Morecambe last season, scoring five goals in 10 starts after signing from Stockport County".
The BBC reports that "Crawley boss John Hollins hopes his team will have a permanent future after their superb start to the season... He said: 'All the players are keen to work and are fighting for contracts, which we hope to give them if and when things behind the scenes get resolved. When you have people who work hard and respond to what you are trying to teach them you can get results'".
But "Tamworth boss Mark Cooper is set to make changes after his side's defeat at Gravesend & Northfleet. Cooper said: 'Two or three didn't look interested and there'll be changes before Saturday, with hopefully some permanent additions'. Tamworth conceded three goals from free-kicks and a mistake by Alan Neilson gifted Gravesend a fourth goal. Cooper added: 'The fourth rubbed it in and summed the evening up, but dead-ball situations let us down'".
The BBC also says that "Few managers know the Conference like Weymouth boss Garry Hill knows the Conference... The manager who left Hornchurch after a financial collapse has found a chairman in Martyn Harrison to match his own ambition.... Hotelier Harrison has not been afraid to put his money where his mouth is, the cash is available to sustain Weymouth's full-time status and to bring in a quality of player which suggests mere survival is not on the agenda at the Wessex Stadium. 'This is a club with a lot of potential, it's probably underachieved and the chairman wants to take it in the right direction', says Hill. 'Dorset might be considered a bit of a backwater, but the people down here are passionate about their football. There isn't a Football League club on the south coast between Bournemouth and Torquay, so the catchment area is there. The fan base here is encouraging. Three times last season we had crowds of 4,000-plus, which would be good in the Conference itself, let alone the Conference South. I suppose for our inspiration we have to look at Yeovil, who came through non-league football and have done superbly ...You get some people at this level who have played and managed in the Football League but this is a completely different type of football. Non-league is more physical, and there are players who are right for certain clubs and certain levels of football' said Hill, who likes to recruit winners. 'Tony James was captain of Hereford and part of a successful side and Ashley Vickers was with me at Dagenham. Andy Harris won the Conference with Chester, Nick Crittenden won it at Yeovil and Simon Weatherstone at Boston. These are not only experienced players but they're successful at this level as well," added Hill, who has also managed to get striker Raphael Nade back from Carlisle on a season-long loan. Hill guided Dagenham & Redbridge to five successive top-five finishes in the Conference... 'To be realistic, the Conference is a competitive league. The clubs who have come out of the Football League will be competitive... We're full-time, one of 20 clubs out of the 24 who are, and that shows and tells you how much the Conference has moved on in respect'".
St Alban's City says that after "Tuesday's highly entertaining, though goalless, draw with Cambridge United the City manager Colin Lippiatt said: 'We all have our opinions when watching games but I have to be honest and say that in terms of passing and counter-attacking this was one of the best games I have seen in a long while. Cambridge United are a decent outfit, no one should underestimate that, but I am very proud of my team that in the two games we've played we have conceded just one goal, scored three and got four points out of six. That is a decent start for us. I am very, very disappointed in the sending-off, two red cards in two games is unbelievable. We try to tell defenders that they can't get away with it, they won't get away with it in the modern game. Even his (Gary Elphick's) first card was on the edge of the box. The lad is distraught and is very low, we will try to lift him up. He is a young lad who has just come out of the pro game and is on a learning curve. But at the end of the day it (the sending off) does change the type of game we want to play in as much as we have to change the shape of the team. Due to the sending-offs we have had to sacrifice Adam Wilde twice and he was actually playing very well... Obviously I don't follow Cambridge and it is not my problem but I don't know whether they are going to score enough goals... But in terms of comfort on the ball and all round the pitch they are a threat, they move the ball around well, like ourselves, with a good tempo of play and technically good players'". The report explains that "City's Gary Elphick, ironically only available for the game after the FA overturned a red card he collected on Saturday, picked up two yellow cards to see red again. Although the foul which earned him a second yellow of the night was not malicious, the fact that he came in from behind on Danny Carey-Bertram left referee Simon Hooper with little option to hand him his fourth dismissal in less than a year. No need to bother the FA with a video this time. As for the United dismissal, Carey-Bartram reacted in astonishing fashion to Elphick's challenge and shoved his head into Elphick's chest reminiscent of a certain Frenchman. The Cambridge player, however, can expect a three-match ban rather than the community service punishment given to Zidane".
After Elphick had his Saturday red card rescinded by the FA, Aldershot have done the same. Their website says that "Midfielder Ricky Newman expressed his delight at the reversal of his sending off at home to Gravesend and Northfleet that enabled him to feature at Weymouth on Tuesday evening... After assessing the video of the match at the weekend manager Terry Brown decided to appeal as he viewed Newman as the innocent party in the matter and it was a view confirmed by the Assistant Referee who played a contributory factor in the original decision. The boss explained 'The linesman was very gracious and not many officials admit to making a mistake but he did and we thank him for that'".
16 August 2006
STAFFORD RANGERS 1 ALTRINCHAM 0
Match report here.
COMMENTATOR NEEDED!As last season, DVDs will be available of all of Alty's home Conference games, and these will sell at £7.50 from the Robins' Shop at Moss Lane. The firm which produces the video from which the DVD is produced can provide a commentator for a handful of games this season but the Club would like to offer the opportunity of commentating on the rest of the games to a suitable candidate. If you are interested in becoming Moss Lane's John Motson, please contact Grahame Rowley for further details.
RESERVES KICK OFFAltrincham Reserves kick of the 2006-07 season in the Lancashire League tonight (Wednesday at 7.45pm at Moss Lane) when they host Yorkshire club, Guiseley. In fact, most of the Reserves' opposition this season will be from the White Rose county as Alty have been put in the eastern section of the newly divided league. Entrance is free to Alty season-ticket holders and just £2 for others. The Reserves would be pleased to see as many supporters as possible at the game.
GOAL SPONSORS WANTEDSTAR is operating the goal sponsorship scheme for Alty again this season and so far the folowing has been pledged:
Jon and Winnie Stack of STAR write on the Fans' Forum, "So the Stevenage result raised £40.45 for the Club. Thanks for all your support". See the STAR website for details of how to join the scheme.
ALAN WON'T BE LATE!One Altrincham fan has gone to extreme lengths to make sure he gets to the Exeter City v Altrincham game on Saturday. Longstanding supporter Alan Gorrill and his wife, Shirley, took the extreme step of moving from Altrincham to Paignton in Devon last week with the rumour being that they wanted to ensure that they would not be late for kick off on Saturday. But, in reality, Alan and Shirley have moved south to be nearer to their children. Alan was for some years a busy figure in the Altrincham FC supporters' association and has been a more or less ever-present fan at all of the Robins' home and away games for many seasons. All at Altrincham FC wish them well in their new home.
SAM REPORTthe Sale & Altrincham Messenger has a report on Alty's win over Stevenage in which Stuart Coburn, "the Robins' keeper, made four top drawer saves late on, including stops at point blank range from both Boyd and substitute Jon Nurse. But despite a couple of close shaves, Alty were certainly deserving of the three points after making an expensively assembled Stevenage side look rather ordinary". Leading 2-0, "Peyton hit the post with an effort from 18 yards but despite their almost constant pressure, Alty were soon pegged back by a controversial Boro reply. Thorpe burst into the penalty area and although the ball seemed to roll down the full length of his forearm, the referee allowed play to go on as Boyd blasted his side back into the game".
CONFERENCE NEWSSt Alban's CityBBC says that "Aldershot have appealed against Ricky Newman's sending off on his debut for the club last Saturday... If unsuccessful, the 36-year-old will face a three-match ban".
"Gravesend & Northfleet manager Liam Daish has defensive problems after losing both his left-backs. Sacha Opinel was injured at Aldershot on Saturday, while Peter Hawkins was sent off and must serve a suspension. 'I get my squad and think I've got cover, and then I lose two left-backs in one hit - it would hurt anyone', the Fleet boss told BBC Radio Kent. 'It's going to be a major headache. Peter is out for three games, and Sacha will probably be out for three too'. Daish is hoping to sign a left-back on loan, or recruit an unattached defender on non-contract terms".
" Halifax Town boss Chris Wilder has strengthened his squad with the signing of veteran defender Gus Uhlenbeek. The 35-year-old has agreed non-contract terms with a view to a permanent deal at the Shay. Uhlenbeek joins after making 40 appearances in League Two for Mansfield Town last season. The Dutchman has previously played in Yorkshire for Bradford and Sheffield United after starting his career in this country with Ipswich Town".
No day is complete without news from Crawley Town, where The Argus says, "Former Premiership defender Scott Hiley, 37... was one of ten new players who signed non-contract terms last week after Reds were given the go ahead to start the Conference season [despite the club not having paid many of it existing players for months]. Hiley made his league debut in Saturday's 1-0 home win over Rushden and Diamonds. His inclusion in the side raised a few eyebrows as Crawley would appear the last club a player in his twilight years and of his calibre would wish to join. The club cannot offer the stability of a contract as they may go out of business in a fortnight when a creditors' meeting will decide its future. Hiley, who was released by Exeter at the end of last season, is willing to suffer the off-field turmoil for the chance to work with Reds' experienced boss. He said: 'Some players may have joined to be in the shop window but I'm here because I want to work with John Hollins. I spoke with John a while ago and I tried to join at the end of last season but couldn't because of the transfer window... Our aim now is to try and get back as many of the ten points as possible to try and keep us in the league. We are not looking any further than the next game and getting three points".
15 August 2006
Graham Heathcote (right) and the Stafford management duo watch the game.
STAFFORD CONFIDENTBefore tonight's game This is Staffs said that "Stafford Rangers' fans will be hoping for a 'homecoming' celebration tonight as the club plays its first Nationwide Conference game at Marston Road since 1995. Phil Robinson's men kick off with a vital fixture against Altrincham, one of the clubs expected to be involved in the fight for survival with Rangers. But while Rangers were boosting their confidence with a 1-1 draw at Grays on the opening day of the season, Altrincham went a step further by beating pre-season title favourites Stevenage. However, Rangers boss Robinson insists his players are up for the challenge. 'We're looking forward to getting started at home - just as the supporters are', he said. 'We know we'll have a difficult game on our hands because Altrincham will be full of confidence, but so are we. We went to one of the best teams in the Conference, competed very well and were well worth a point'. Robinson has stepped up the club's training regime to include an extra session the evening before a midweek game and the players had their first Monday workout last night. Defender Craig McAughtrie is still nursing a thigh strain and could miss another match. Rangers (from): Williams, Alcock, Sutton, McAughtrie, Daniel, Talbott, Murray, Alex Gibson, Robin Gibson, Lovatt, Downes, Street, Murphy, Grayson, Quailey, Madjo, Edwards, Walker, Olaoye."
FRIENDS OF ALTRINCHAM FCWhy not help the club by joining the Friends of Altrincham FC scheme? Details of the scheme are here - along with a list of the current members. Each month there is a Friends' draw, with a minimum prize of £100 to be won, with all profits going to the club. Many thanks to Steve Foster for the information and for running the Friends.
TUESDAY GAMESThe referee tomorrow night for Stafford v Altrincham is Guy Stretton.
Like us, Rangers got the season off to a good start on Saturday, This is Staffs states that "Stafford Rangers' manager Phil Robinson felt a point was a good result after his side drew their first game after promotion to the Nationwide Conference, facing Grays Athletic... Robinson said: 'I thought it was a good performance. It took us 10 minutes to get ourselves into the game and to get accustomed to the pace of Conference teams. After we did that we competed pretty well... But there are lots of things to still improve on". In a 1-1 draw, Rangers' goal was a penalty which came when ex-Alty "new signing Ged Murphy was fouled inside the area and Grayson confidently sent home keeper Ashley Bayes the wrong way with the resulting penalty... [Later,] Bayes pulled off a great point-blank save to keep out a shot from Murphy... In injury time, Guy Madjo, who had an impressive Stafford debut, latched onto a through-ball down the middle and tried to snatch victory, but he was thwarted by two home defenders... Stafford Rangers: Williams, Sutton, Daniel, Murray, Talbott, Gibson, Murphy, Street, Grayson, Madjo. Subs: Lovatt (for Murphy, 86), Edwards, Quailey, Olaoye, Alcock
"Stafford took the field without commanding central defender Craig McAughtrie. He is suffering from a thigh injury and Liam Murray deputised. Manager Phil Robinson gave a full debut to Guy Madjo and started with midfielder Ged Murphy who made one appearance for Stafford in 1999".
OLD BOYSAndy Owens, vice-chairman of Colwyn Bay, tells me that former Alty and Bay striker Carl Furlong has posted a message on the Bay's message board indicating that he has signed for Southport and will be involved against Halifax Town tonight.
Halifax Today report that the Shaymen's "sub Steve Torpey was unlucky to see the ball ricochet to Yemi Odubade whose short pass found Andy Burgess. The Oxford man struck the ball from 35 yards and in a split second it had flown past Mawson and into the net."
Above Gavin Rathbone captures Gary Talbot and Lee Hendley going for an aerial ball against Stevenage.
After defeat at Moss Lane, Stevenage Borough say that "It was a tale of poor defending and unproductive finishing as Borough fell to an opening day defeat in Cheshire on Saturday. It was not all despair however, as excellent performances from Craig Dobson, Barry Fuller and in particular, Adam Miller, gave the travelling faithful heart for the long season ahead. Stevenage fell behind to two sloppy first half goals and although George Boyd pulled one back early in the second-half, their late onslaught failed to rescue a point from the long trip North. It is seven years since Borough triumphed on the road on opening day – ironically at Altrincham".
CONFERENCE NEWSAlty travel to Exeter on Saturday. This is Exeter says that "Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale has delivered a fresh snub to Conference rivals Stevenage Borough over their attempt to sign striker Lee Phillips. The Broadhall Way side highlighted their interest in signing the 25-year-old after a Boro representative called Tisdale and enquired about the player's availability... 'I have got no intention of him playing for Stevenage this year', said Tisdale. 'With all due respect to other Conference clubs, if Lee is looking to move it should be up and it should be not just one level but possibly two levels. I know they are interested but Lee has a contract for another two seasons, he has been made vice-captain and he was our player-of-the-season last year. We do not want to sell him and he is fully committed to playing for Exeter'". But "Phillips is sidelined with an ankle injury and is not expected to recover in time for tomorrow night's visit of Forest Green Rovers... The Boro approach has clearly angered City, with Tisdale accusing the Hertfordshire outfit of trying to destabilise his squad. Tisdale added: 'Sometimes these things can be laid to unsettle you. But we are not a group of people who are going to be unsettled by this because we have got work to do and Lee is very much part of that... He has been injured for the last two to three weeks and we hope to have him back within the next week... He needs to work at his game and he is at the perfect club for that at the moment with people who believe in him. I believe he will go forward but he doesn't need to go sideways'". After the draw at York on Saturday, Tisdale observed "I suspect if the game had gone on another 10 minutes we would have won it".
Two other of Alty's upcoming opponents had players sent off on Saturday but both should be back when they play us. The FA confirms that "Gravesend & Northfleet FC's Peter Hawkins wil be suspended from all football until the club have completed 3 first team matches for a sending off in a match played on 12/08/2006" whilst St Albans City FC's Gary Elphick is likewise "suspended from all first team football until the club have completed 1 first team match".
"Grays Athletic striker Jamie Slabber will not be going anywhere unless the club finds a replacement for him before the transfer window shuts, Blues boss Frank Gray has revealed. Slabber, 21, handed in a transfer request on the eve of the new season after a frustrating pre-season when he played second fiddle to new signing Lee Boylan and Aaron McLean...'Jamie is a big part of the plans so long as he is here', said Gray. 'He is frustrated and I can understand his frustration. He wants to play football he thinks he can play at a higher level possibly. I think every player wants to play at a higher level but he has handed in a transfer request'... Gray did have some good news in the attacking department last week though as Dennis Oli returned to full training. Oli spent much of pre-season trying to win a move to Watford but Hornets' boss Aidy Boothroyd, did not commit to a deal and he was sent back to Grays... He came off the bench against Stafford and produced an entertaining 21 minute cameo that pleased his manager" reports the Thurrock Gazette.
The Argus says that "Crawley midfielder Lee Blackburn has urged supporters to get behind the owners' bid to save the club... The Majeeds are unpopular with some fans after they took Reds into administration with debts of almost £1.4 million, a year after taking charge. Just over 1,000 supporters were at Broadfield Stadium to see Crawley open their Conference season with a 1-0 win against Rushden and Diamonds. The figure was 700 down on last year's first home game. Blackburn had his wages cut in half by the Majeeds last March and has not been paid for three months. But he said: 'I think the fans will see in due course that the chairman is trying to take the club forward. He is getting a lot of stick and rumours have circulated that have been unjust. If the players who were here from last year are showing their support, the fans should as well'... Hollins had just 48 hours to scrape together a side of non-contract players and had one day of training to prepare them... Hollins used his wealth of contacts to field an impressive team and needed all his experience to somehow make them play as an organised unit... Hollins said: 'There are lots of twists and turns at Crawley and lots of people are trying to do things to disjoint us but we are made of tough stuff'... The Reds' boss has kept a nucleus of players together over the summer, made up of trailists, youngsters and those who stayed at the club, and has trained them every day despite the offfield problems. He also brought in goalkeeper Ben Hamer on work experience from Reading and Michael Bostwick, who had a temporary spell at Reds last season, on a month's loan from Millwall... Blackburn said: 'All the players have been up and down and are uncertain about their futures. But we all want to be here and this performance showed our commitment and desire to work for the gaffer'".
Woking confirm that "Former Mansfield and Millwall player Goma Lambu has put pen to paper and signed on non-contract terms for the Cards".
CHESHIRE NEWS"Runcorn Linnets, the new club brought together in just under four months by the ex-fans of Runcorn FC Halton, are topping the North West Counties Division Two league table, thanks to goal difference, following their 0-4 win over Ashton Town at the weekend... The Linnets now turn their attention to the Cheshire Senior Cup where they play Alsager on Tuesday night for the opportunity to play Northwich Victoria in the next round... The Linnets play Castleton Gabriels in their first ever home league match at Wincham Park on Friday, kick off at 8:00pm.
14 August 2006
ROBBIE FITRobbie Lawton, who had to go off in the second half of Saturday's match, is expected to be fit for tomorrow's game at Stafford. He had suffered a "dead leg".
BOROUGH GAME PICTURES
|Seen left is Alty's Lee Hendley in action against Stevenage, as caught by Gavin Rathbone's camera lens. More of Gavin's photos are on the GR Photography site. Gavin rushed from a wedding at Bradford, which finished at 3.30pm, to get to Moss Lane for the closing stages of Saturday's game - that's dedication!
For a Stevenage photographer's images, visit Boropics
In Sunday's NL Paper, Graham Heathcote said, "Some people said we looked a bit short in pre-season but the players got switched on when the season started and they all came to the party today. We are not going to get carried away, though. Our performance was good and we created a lot of chances against a team who will be challenging for the title this season, but we need to repeat this every game. They were fortunate to get back into the game.. but we held our nerve well".
The NLP includes Stuart Coburn, Robbie Lawton and Colin Little in its Team of the Week.
Right: Boxing Day 2004: On a snow covered pitch, (l. to r.) Gary Talbot, Colin Little, Val Owen, Steve Aspinall, Eddie Hussin and Gary Scott await a throw-in at Marston Road, whilst Stuart Coburn appears to be exchanging pleasantries with Stafford fans behind the goal.
Tomorrow, (Tuesday), Alty take on Stafford Rangers for the first time in a Conference National match since 1994/95 season, when Rangers were relegated. However, the sides met as recently as two seasons ago in Conference North, with our last visit to Marston Road being the snowy encounter pictured above, which Alty won 1-0. Alty have a quite good record at Stafford, having won 8 of their 14 Conference National games there and drawn twice. Current Rangers players with Alty connections are Ged Murphy, who started for Rangers on Saturday and Jamie Phoenix, who played pre-season for Rangers but has apparently not been allocated a squad number.
The Football Conference confirms that "Crewe Alexandra defender Ritchie Sutton has returned to Stafford Rangers for his second spell at Marston Road on a one-month loan deal. Sutton will be welcomed back into the Rangers fold after helping Phil Robinson's side win promotion to the Nationwide Conference last season. The 20-year-old signed a one-year contract extension at Gresty Road during the summer after impressing on his first year as a professional".
TUESDAY GAMESHoward Watts will be kindly supplying the Through the Years data once again for 2006-07. Here is the record for 15 August, when we travel to Stafford Rangers. Curiously, Alty have only ever played twice before on that date.
NEXT HOME GAMEAlty's next home game (26th August) is their first ever clash against St Alban's City, who had a great start to their campaign, beating Kidderminster 3-1, away, last Saturday. Their Website quotes manager Colin Lippiatt: "We try to show respect to the opposition, win lose or draw, which I think is the right way to do the job, but I felt that the first 45 minutes put us into a great position and we should have come in at half time 5-0 up. In the second half the wind was more difficult than we thought it would be. They put us on the back foot and played a direct game looking for percentages but that is Mark's (Yates) problem and not mine. The sending off (of Gary Elphick, the referee stating that he felt Elphick was the last defender) was very harsh; we will look at the video and consider an appeal (which has to be made by midday on Monday)... Our general fitness level was good... Our work ethic was excellent, our retention of the ball, particularly during the first half, was good. We have always been a good counter-attacking side because we have the players who can hurt the opposition. I thought that Gary Elphick and Dave Theobald were magnificent at the heart of the defence". Currently, City's Scott Cousins and Ben Lewis are sidelined with injuries.
OLD BOYSChris Young was pictured modelling Woodley Sports' new shirts and logos in the NL Paper on Sunday. Blake Norton played for Worksop Town after his return there from Moss Lane. Lance Key remains in goal for Histon, whilst Mark Maddox, Lee Shillito and Mark Drew all turned out for Leigh RMI.
CONFERENCE NEWSDavid McNiven, who last season rejected Alty in favour of full-time Scarborough, is now at Morecambe, where his twin brother, Scott, a defender from Mansfield Town, has now joined him.
13 August 2006
BINGO!Altrincham FC will be holding one of their very popular fundraising Bingo Nights at Moss Lane on Monday 23rd October 2006 at 7.30pm. As usual, any gifts for use as prizes as well as tinned or packet goods and bric-a-brac will be very welcome. Details of admission will be published in due course but please contact the club on 928-1045 if you have any queries.
ALTRINCHAM 2 STEVENAGE BOROUGH 1
Above: Steve Aspinall (no. 2) nets Alty's second, from the spot.
FUNDRAISING DRAWSAt half-time on Saturday a draw was made by Geoff Goodwin on behalf of the Patrons' Club. All members of the Club were entered into a draw, with the winner being match sponsor for the next home game (v St Alban's City) along with nine guests. Second prize was hospitality for five people and third prize hospitality for three people in the Sponsors' Lounge. The winners were: 1st: Arthur and Celia Hodgkinson, 2nd was Carole Hassan, 3rd Gareth Evans.
The winner of the first draw in the "Friends of Altrincham FC" scheme, held yesterday, was none other than Alty director Grahame Rowley (with no.5) - a worthy winner for all that he and his family do for the club.
The winner of the Bonus Ball Competition this week was Barry Woodyatt with No.6.
For details of all of these schemes, please click here.
CHILD VOUCHERSReduced price child vouchers for Alty home games will appear in future issues of the Sale and Altrincham Messenger.
OLD BOYSIan Craney scored his first league goal yesterday for Accrington Stanley. Ged Murphy played for Stafford Rangers.
The NL Daily says that "Leigh RMI are building a team fit for the Sports Village stadium. On balance, pre-season went well with wins at St Helens Town and [against] Altrincham and draws with Clitheroe and Rossendale United, but the unbeaten run dramatically ended last Saturday with a crushing 4-0 defeat by FC United of Manchester... Manager Andy Nelson said: "The worst thing about the FC United defeat is they fielded five players I've released in the past and there may have been an element of them raising their game to stick it to their old manager." The RMI squad has been strengthened by the addition of new players and some long-term injuries should return. "Gavin Lee is fully fit again and we've brought in Mark Maddox from Altrincham so there's plenty of experience in the squad now".
CONFERENCE NEWS"Basingstoke Town manager Francis Vines has secured the signings of four players ahead of Saturday`s Nationwide South opening match against Thurrock". One of these is "goalkeeper Ashlee Jones... 19-year-old Jones, signs following his release from Rushden & Diamonds".
"Veteran former Premiership star Kevin Poole has eased a Burton Albion goalkeeper crisis... Poole, 43, [made] his debut for the Brewers at Morecambe on Saturday after manager Nigel Clough was forced into a hurried signing... The much-travelled Poole has joined Burton on a match-to-match basis because Crewe Alexandra have temporarily halted Stuart Tomlinson's move to the Pirelli Stadium. Tomlinson had made three pre-season appearances for the Brewers - against Wolves, Derby and Sheffield Wednesday - in preparation for a long-term loan arrangement. But the Gresty Road club have failed to sign a new understudy to regular keeper Ben Williams and Tomlinson has been on the bench for their first two League One games of the campaign... The Brewers' boss said: 'Crewe have got to look after their own interests and have decided to hold Stuart back...and it's not helped that they've conceded five goals.. But the principal remains the same - they still want Stuart to join us and gain a season's experience... At the moment we're assuming that we might need Kevin to cover us for the first three games. It's only eighteen months since Kevin played in the Premiership for Bolton and he had quite a few games for Derby in the Championship last season. He's also played a few times this summer on trial at Walsall, so we're not concerned about his fitness or sharpness" he told the Burton Mail.
Tamworth report that manager Mark Cooper was "at a loss to explain opening game defeat... Cooper kept his side on the pitch after the final whistle had blown on the opening day defeat by Weymouth and asked some serious questions of them. 'We have worked hard on set pieces through the pre-season and I feel let down by my players today. It is the most down I have felt after a game... At the moment I don’t know who will be playing at Gravesend – Alan Neilson is itching to get back in the starting eleven and Matt Williams, although both are still not 100%, is the same. I am glad we only have a short rest until the next game when hopefully we can get it out of our systems and go back to playing the passing football we have been trying to work on'”.
12 August 2006
Right: Gavin Rathbone captures Joe O'Neill and Colin Little in action against Bangor City..
The promoted sides all won or drew today whilst last season's play-off losers had a bad day. None of the part-time sides lost either.
FRIENDS' DRAWThe Friends of Altrincham Football Club draw will take place today after the game in the bar (at approximately 5 30pm). Steve Foster explains that "The draw will be made using a set of numbered balls, with each entry being assigned a number". Details of the Friends scheme are here - please support it!
ONE THAT GOT AWAYLeek Town have announced that Adam Yates, who trialed for Altrincham at left back recently, has signed for Morecambe.
WYTHENSHAWE TOWN 1 ALTRINCHAM RESERVES 2
BAR OPENTh bar (Noel White Suite) at Moss Lane will be open at 12.30pm today and for all Saturday fixtures this season. Please help to justify the earlier opening by making use of the bar facilities; entry is via the gates to the left of the main stand as you stand in Moss Lane. Opening time for midweek league games will be 6pm. Drink wisely but remember that all profit from the bar helps the club!
OFFICE HELP NEEDEDIf you have up to a day a week to spare, Altrincham FC are looking for a suitable volunteer to help in the club office at Moss Lane with preparing managerial accounts. Until recently John Murray had been helping out in this capacity but work commitments have reduced his availability. Please ring the club (928-1045) for further details.
Meanwhile, we understand that George Heslop, matchday secretary and manager of Alty's youth team, remains in hospital with a foot infection. We all wish him a speedy recovery.
BORO SIGNINGOur visitors today, Stevenage Borough, "have confirmed the signing of former Northampton Town and Spurs midfielder David Hicks after the 20 year old impressed manager Mark Stimson in pre-season. Although the squad is near to completion, Boro are still looking to strengthen up front before the transfer deadline and are keen on signing Exeter striker Lee Phillips, although the Grecians have said he’s unlikely to be available".
OLD BOYSNews of old boys comes from Martin Fallon that Paul Hart, now 25, who was on loan at Southport earlier in pre-season has joined Runcorn Town and has already scored two hat-tricks for them. Paul started with Everton's School of Excellence before spells at Altrincham and Vauxhall Motors. In 1999-2000 Paul, a pacey striker, was on the Alty bench in the Conference but did not make an appearance. And a more recent old boy, Kyle Wilson has rejoined Barrow after spending the summer on trial at Wrexham following his release from Crewe in May. Kyle, the son of Barrow manager and ex-Alty player Phil Wilson, had a 2 month loan spell with the Bluebirds between December and February last season. Thanks to Richard Ingham for the news about Kyle.
ROBBIE SETTLES INSAM reports that "Alty have welcomed more than their fair share of Liverpudlian faces to Moss Lane over the years. The likes of John King, Peter Eales, Tony Sanders and Mark Maddox have all left their mark on the club in the past, while the current squad contains no less than five Scousers... New signing Robbie Lawton... told SAM Sport: 'It's been great so far and I've settled in really well. All my teammates are a good laugh and a few of them are Scousers so I've been travelling in with them and get on really well with them. I don't know why there's always been so many Scousers at Alty. Mads (Maddox) might think it's because we're born winners but I don't know about that one, I think I'll let the fans decide about that themselves.Graham (Heathcote) tried to bring me here last year but I had just been retained by Vauxhall so it was difficult. I've always wanted to come here though. Every time we used to play against them at Moss Lane it has seemed like a really good set up... Especially in midfield, we have a good bunch of players and the likes of Colin Little and Steve Bushell are proven at this level. I just want to make sure I establish myself in the midfield. I don't want to be hanging about on the wing doing nothing, I always want to be involved in the game and hopefully I can do a good job of supplying the likes of Colin Little'".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe Conference confirms that "Crawley Town have been handed a lifeline with news that they will be able to start the new Conference season on Saturday... However, Crawley's creditors have yet to fully approve the Majeeds' offer and that meeting will take place within the next 14 days. If the offer is not accepted, Crawley still face being thrown out of the Conference, even if they have already begun the season and if they are subsequently expelled, the league is likely to continue with 23 clubs rather than 24... Under Conference rules, any club who still have outstanding debts to football creditors - namely players and staff - are not allowed to take part". As Friday's Daily Telegraph succinctly put it "The Nationwide Conference season will have an element of farce about it when it gets under way tomorrow, with Crawley Town not knowing whether they will survive beyond their first five games".
The Crawley Argus says that "It had looked like Crawley Town would go into liquidation before the Majeed brothers tabled an improved offer of 50p for every £1 owed on Wednesday. But yesterday, the creditors' committee failed to agree whether to accept the bid, with the vote split evenly with two abstentions. The committee is made up of the Inland Revenue, which is owed £250,000 by the club; Andy Sprott, an ex-lawyer and sports agent; Crawley Borough Council, which owns Broadfield Stadium, and Ian Holman, an ex-Crawley Town employee. It is believed the Inland Revenue rejected the bid, the council accepted and Mr Holman and Mr Sprott abstained. However, the club's administrators held the casting decision and have agreed to pursue the bid. The vote will now go to all the individual creditors, who have 14 days to make a decision. If they refuse the bid, the club will go into liquidation. In the meantime, the Nationwide Conference has agreed [to lift its ban] for the club to sign on players and kick off the season against Rushden and Diamonds on Saturday. A statement from Crawley Town said: 'Following yesterday's increase in SA Retail [Majeeds] Ltd's bid to procure Crawley Town Football Club, the creditors' committee have reverted their decision. The Devil's Trust and supporters' club, who represent the fans, have shown their support and agreement for the current owners to continue taking the club into the next season. The next phase for the club is to enter into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) for a second time, offering 50p to the pound to all the creditors'. A statement from Begbies Traynor administrator Rob Sadler said: 'As no serious offers for the assets of the club have been forthcoming, the administrators have decided that the offer should be pursued'".
The paper adds that manager John Hollins "is confident he can field a strong side but cannot make any guarantees as Crawley's future is still in doubt. He can only sign players on non-contract terms until creditors decide whether to wind the club up in two weeks' time... The five players who remained from last season - Ben Judge, Dave Woozley, Danny Brown, Lee Blackburn and Tony Scully - are expected to play [on Saturday]. Trialists Scott Hiley, Jake Edwards and Ben Strevens, who all impressed in pre-season, are also likely to be involved. Hollins said: 'The club has been given a reprieve but it is not out of the woods yet. What I am trying to do now is get players in to train before the game and get a team together. We will call all the people who have been on trial and played for us over the summer and try to get them in a squad for Saturday. We can sign players but they all have to be on non-contracts. That means they have to play for nothing and some of them might not want to do that. We can lose players at any time. We have lost two goalkeepers over pre-season and others could go but that has been the situation from day one'... Hollins said: 'I won't just be happy to get a team out, I want to win the game. We have to try to eat into those ten [deducted] points immediately'".
Northwich Victoria say that "After much deliberation Manager Steve Burr has allowed Peter Handyside to go on loan to Hucknall Town to keep match fit for the forseeable future". Also, the Vics advertise as follows; "Thinking of getting married? Why not get married at your favourite football club! The Chairman's Suite is now licensed for civil weddings and for your reception we have the Executive Suite with its own bar".
The BBC says that "Gravesend & Northfleet boss Liam Daish has signed former Charlton Athletic defender Mark Ricketts. The 21-year-old was released by the Addicks in the summer, after a season in which he also had a loan spell at Milton Keynes Dons... 'Mark can play at right back or centre half', Daish told Fleet's website".
"Forest Green Rovers have received international clearance for Polish striker Arek Zarczynski, who signed earlier this week. Zarczynski, 30, scored three goals in pre-season after being released by Polish side Caramika Paradyz and also had a trial period at Mansfield".
"York City have signed former Scarborough defender Simon Weaver, the 28-year-old central defender has joined the Minstermen on non-contract terms... York are expected to offer terms to ex-Hartlepool striker Jack Wilkinson, 20, after he impressed in pre-season."
11 August 2006
GET BEHIND THEM!Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote has today issued a rallying call to all Altrincham supporters. Graham stresses that a good start to the season is vital and that, in addition to his motivation of the players for tomorrow's game, really strong support from the terraces is equally important in "firing up" the players for a top level performance. So please get along to Moss Lane tomorrow and give all the support that you can! League attendances at Moss Lane were up by 57% last season after promotion back to the Conference and with season ticket prices held at last year's levels, (even though there is an increase in games to be played due to expansion of the division), there has never been a better time to watch national level football at Moss Lane. Full details of season tickets and admission prices are here.
IF IT'S A NEW SEASON, IT MUST BE ALTY v STEVENAGE
Above: Defending in depth; ten of Alty's eleven are visible as Stevenage attack in last August's match.
For the second successive season and for the third time in a row for Alty, the Conference season starts off with a match against Stevenage. On our first return to the Conference, in 1999, Boro came to Moss Lane on the opening day and won 1-0. Last season, we went to Broadhall Way and were beaten 3-0 in the first fixture. This season Stevenage return to Moss Lane against an Alty side which has never beaten them in a total of ten attempts in the Conference. Alty share with Stevenage the unfortunate distinction of having won the Conference (or its predecessor the Alliance) and not been admitted to the Football League.
The Alty line up last August was: 1. Stuart COBURN, 15. Peter BAND, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 3. Chris ADAMS; 17. Karl MUNROE, 12. Steve HAWES, 8. Val OWEN, 14. Lewis CHALMERS; 19. Gary WILLIAMS, 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 7. Colin POTTS, 10. Rod THORNLEY, 13. Richard ACTON (gk), 20. Kieran LUGSDEN, 25. Nehru McKENZIE.
Of these, Maddox, Adams, Hawes, Williams and McKenzie have since left the club, whilst Potts is sidelined as he recovers from an operation.
Since last season Borough have seen massive changes. Their new manager is Mark Stimson, the successful former Grays Athletic manager, and he has brought in a host of new players. These include:
Amongst the players remaining at Boro are:
Players who have left the club since last season include Anthony Elding (to Kettering), Dino Maamria (to Southport), Simon Weatherstone (to Weymouth), Ollie Berquez (to Woking) and left-back Justin Gregory, (to Havant & Waterlooville).
Stevenage Borough have two very good websites:
Hertfordshire's, The Comet says that Stevenage Boro "start this season's campaign on Saturday with a trip to Altrincham followed by the visit of York City on Tuesday night. Stimson, [manager], is not making any rash predictions for the season. He said: 'We're putting a team together and only time will tell how quickly they gel. We will go out every game to entertain and treat every one as a cup final. If we play like we can, we'll win more than we lose. Ourselves are one of 12 or 13 teams who can win the league this season. I think it will be a very open league this time. The two games coming up are going to be difficult because everyone is out to impress at the start of the season. We won't underestimate Altrincham because they had a reprieve last season and will be keen to avoid a similar season of struggle this time'... On the playing front, midfielder David Hicks has been offered a short term deal by Stimson and Boro are waiting to hear back if the former Northampton man accepts.Flying winger Dale Binns, signed from Cambridge City in the close season, will miss the first few weeks due to injury but otherwise Stimson reported a clean bill of health. A battling 2-2 draw at home to Conference South side Kettering on Sunday completed Boro's pre-season schedule".
SAM DOES US PROUDThe The Sale & Altrincham Messenger has plenty of Alty coverage this week - the following extracts are from fuller stories in the paper on its website.
In its preview article, SAM says that "After the controversy that engulfed last season's finale, anything approaching normality would be a welcome state of affairs for Alty this campaign. The Robins will relish the chance to focus entirely on their on-pitch affairs and can at least take heart from the fact they surpassed all prior expectations in their first season back in the Conference. Their critics will again be out in force - with most observers predicting a season of relegation trouble... But manager Graham Heathcote is a savvy operator at this level and opposition teams should underestimate Alty at their peril. Summer transfer activity has seen the arrival of five new faces to bolster the squad, the most significant of which will be former Halifax Town midfielder Steve Bushell (left)... The absence of Colin Potts during the opening weeks of the season is a blow, but one that will be offset by the arrival of Bushell's former Halifax teammate Justin Bowler. One of a dying breed - an out-and-out winger - Bowler's game still needs plenty of polishing but if Alty can harness his blistering pace, he will terrorise Conference defences. Robbie Lawton, who arrives from Vauxhall Motors, is the flipside of the coin. Although he lacks the pure pace that defines Bowler's game, his hardworking attitude and drive from midfield could prove equally as important. Up front Joe O'Neill and Peter Thomson, from York and Stafford respectively, will lighten the burden on top scorer Colin Little and ensure the Robins are anything but toothless up front. The only worry appears to be in defence, where Heathcote has released veterans Mark Maddox and Chris Adams, without adding to his ranks as of yet... but the return from long-term injury of Stephen Rose could provide a surprise boost if he manages to recreate the kind of form he has shown in a couple of the club's preseason friendlies".
SAM adds that last season Steve Bushell "even scored a stunning free kick to set Town on their way in the play-off semi-final against Grays... But this season will be a completely different story for the former York and Blackpool star... He told SAM Sport: 'Alty's a great club. Graham and Dalton try to run it as professionally as they can and I know we're still part time but the training and everything else has been different class. We know it's going to be hard this season because we're one of the only part time teams in the league. But they held their own last year... Relegation hasn't even come into my thoughts because if you think that, there's absolutely no point playing. We've got to be realistic, we're not going to win the league and if we got into the play offs it would be a great achievement for the team, but just staying in the league would do us really'". Bushell added: "Colin Little was one of the main reasons I came to this club. I've known him for about 15 to 20 years so I jumped at the chance to join Alty when I left Halifax. The lads always rip us because we argue all the time when we're out on the pitch but as soon as we come off it's all forgotten. If you didn't have that it would just be useless though, you can't just go around saying 'I'm sorry' when you're out on the pitch".
Left: Steve Bushell, courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography, whose images can be ordered from the club shop or his website
"Altrincham FC could wipe their financial slate clean in just 12 months after they paid off another of their historic debts this week. The outstanding VAT bill run up by the previous board has finally been cleared, taking Alty one step closer to future prosperity. Only the club's debt to the Inland Revenue now remains and secretary Derek Wilshaw paid tribute to everyone involved in turning the club's fortunes around. He told SAM Sport: 'The important thing is that we have now paid off the final VAT arrears, which is great considering how big they were. It's a real credit to the current board that we've been able to achieve this and we've also got to thank STAR for their contribution over a long period of time. They have given us £500 a month, earmarked for paying off the VAT and Inland Revenue debts, which is very important. We can now increase our payments to the Inland Revenue and we should get rid of that over the next 12 months, which means, by that time, the club should be completely debt free. I was looking at figures from three years ago recently and the VAT debt was alarming but the club's financial future is now bright".
As for the addition of Derek, commercial manager Barry Pond and former Trafford chief executive Carole Hassan to the Alty Board, Barry said "I'm delighted that the board have asked me to join them and it will be great to have a part in the club's future... I want to continue to expand the club's activities in line with the league that we are in and we want to get ourselves into a position where we can do well in the league not just survive. Revenue this year has been better than for the past three or four years but we are still looking at ways to expand our commercial activities. The club is in good shape". Chairman Geoff Goodwin added, "Myself, Grahame, (Rowley), Andrew (Shaw) and everyone else at the club have worked extremely hard to clear the debts... But we can't afford to stand still... and hopefully the next generation of board members can help us push it forward".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe Crawley Forum reports that "The Administrators are pleased to announce that the Club has received a last minute opportunity to stay in the Nationwide Conference. Whilst bids were being sought for the sale of the Club's assets, a significantly improved sum to be paid to the creditors was offered by the current owners. The offer could not be ignored and was put to the Creditors' Committee for their views. Following extensive discussions with the Committee, the vote to pursue the new offer was split one for and one against with two abstentions. As no serious offers for the assets of the Club have been forthcoming, the Administrators have decided that the offer should be pursued.
The offer will see a return to unsecured creditors of 50 pence in the pound, although it is yet to be approved by the general body of creditors through a Company Voluntary Arrangement. It is sincerely hoped that the fans will be pleased that the Club is a step closer to staying in the Nationwide Conference and achieving some stability... The Club's next step is to comply with the rules and regulations of the Football Conference and Football Association in order to start the new season".
The Argus summarises the situation: "Administrators Begbies Traynor announced in the morning that the club was being liquidated after a creditors' committee rejected a bid by the Majeeds to buy back the Conference club. By the afternoon it emerged the Majeeds had made an improved offer in the final hour before the club was due to be wound up, which the committee was given an extra 24 hours to think over".
However, The Comet reports that former Stevenage boss Graham Westley "could be the saviour of Boro's first home weekend opponents, Crawley Town... Westley is strongly rumoured to be preparing a rescue bid for the financially-stricken Sussex club who are already starting the season with a points deduction for being in administration. Sources close to the club suggest Westley is part of a consortium which may bid to takeover from the unpopular Majeed brothers. The former Boro boss, who was in charge for more than three years, has been out of football since leaving the club in May by 'mutual consent'.
Cambridge United report that "Andy Duncan will see a specialist on Thursday after injuring his thigh, and could be out for several weeks".
And some news for the benefit of Conference matchday announcers: Forest Green give us a welcome Polish lesson as ""Rovers tied up the missing piece of their player jigsaw by agreeing a deal with Polish striker Aradiusz (Arek) ZARCZYNSKI (pronounced Sar-chink-ski)".
Grays Athletic confirm they "have secured the signing of the following players: John Turner: ex Rushden & Diamonds - Forward, Ashley Nicholls ex Rushden & Diamonds - Forward. Both players have signed a 1 year contract".
Morecambe announce that "Goalkeeper Ryan Robinson has today joined Southport for an initial one month loan period", whilst Southport confirm that "Steve Daly has today completed his move to Droylsden. Meanwhile Steve Dickinson will be moving to [his former club] Guiseley within the next 24 hours. Paul Cook has moved quickly and brought in 6' 3" Goalkeeper Ryan Robinson on loan from Morecambe".
The BBC says that "Kidderminster Harriers have signed Shrewsbury defender Gavin Cowan in a one-month loan deal. The German-born 25-year-old began his career with Braintree Town before moving to Canvey Island in 2003. Following a loan spell with Nuneaton Borough, Cowan joined the Shrews at the start of last season. The centre-half has struggled to keep a starting place at Gay Meadow and boss Gary Peters is keen for him to play more first team football".
Meanwhile, "Tamworth have signed striker Gary Birch and teenage defender Tom Kemp on month-long loans from Lincoln City. Birch, 24, agreed a new 12-month deal with Lincoln earlier this summer but has been an unused substitute in the Imps' opening two games. Boss Mark Cooper made his move for the former Walsall front man after summer signing Steve Burton was ruled out for a month with a knee problem. Tamworth have also signed youth product Shaun Ridgway, 18, on Conference forms".
And from Woking is news that "Shola Oyedele has today signed a one-year contract with the club... Woking Manager Glenn Cockerill said he "would like to thank the board of directors for finding the money to secure his services. I think there’s plenty of potential left in him as he’ll be just 22 next month".
10 August 2006
GAME ONDespite the shambles described below, Rushden and Diamonds report that they have been instructed that Saturday's Conference game against Crawley Town is to go ahead. It would appear that the administrator of Crawley Town has cast his deciding vote in favour of accepting a revised offer after the major creditors' vote on acceptance was deadlocked. The revised offer (said to be 50p in the £) is from the existing owners of the club, the Majeeds, but acceptance of it will now have to be ratified by all of the creditors at a meeting to be held in the next 14 days. Issues such as Crawley's alleged failure to pay their players and the ban on their signing new players remain muddied.
CRAWLEY DEADLINE PASSESToday's noon deadline for Crawley Town passed without a clear decision emerging. The BBC Southern Counties Radio reports that "The creditors' committee is deadlocked on the new offer - and the administrator has the casting vote. If the bid is not accepted, the club will be thrown out of the Conference - but they may now start the season. However, if the administrator approves the new financial arrangements - which include an offer of 50 pence in the pound to creditors - then they will also have to be approved by all the creditors at a meeting within 14 days. Sadler had previously set a deadline of 1200 BST on Thursday for the offer to be accepted or rejected. He had also set the same 1200 deadline for potential bidders to submit offers for the assets of the club, in the event that it is wound up... Under Conference rules, any club who still have outstanding debts to football creditors - namely players and staff - are not allowed to take part".
Earlier today, the Crawley Argus reported: "The Majeed brothers have made a last-ditch attempt to buy back Crawley Town Football Club, hours after administrators announced the club was to go into liquidation. At 10am yesterday morning administrators Begbies Traynor announced the club would be wound up after a creditors' committee rejected the Majeeds' original bid for the club. Rob Sadler, administrator, said: 'The administrators are now seeking offers for the club's remaining assets. At this stage, the only certainties are that the club will not be in the Nationwide Conference for the 2006/2007 season and that Crawley Town Football and Social Club Limited will be wound up'. Hours later a new bid had been put in by brothers Chas and Aswar Majeed. Aswar Majeed said: 'I feel like the creditors were misled by individuals promising six figure purchases and who later declared their intentions were to go back to part-time and to relegate the club, not to maintain the position in the Conference. I am trying to save this football club. I want us to continue in Nationwide Conference and I want to work with the fans. The fans have given me great support and I hope that the individuals within the creditors' committee take on board the impact of their decision'. The club was put up for sale after a two-month administration period ended with creditors rejecting a deal put forward by club director Aswar Majeed. The only bid made for the club came from SA Retail Limited, a business owned by the Majeed brothers...
A creditors' committee was then established to represent the interests of all the creditors and consider any offers... The committee is made up of the Inland Revenue, which is owed £250,000, Crawley Council, which owns Broadfield Stadium, ex-Crawley employee Ian Holman and football agent Andy Sprott. They rejected the Majeeds' original bid to buy back the club but last night were considering the new offer in which 50 per cent of the debts would be paid back. A deadline for a decision on the latest bid is midday today, when the Nationwide Conference will meet to discuss the participating teams in the league".
Yesterday manager John Hollins said: "The situation is unbelievable and all we can do is sit and wait. We are ready to go if the club is allowed to continue, just like we have been all summer. I am ready and I have players ready, we just need to be given the nod". And a spokesperson for the Conference said: "As far as we are concerned, Crawley Town are still a member club and there will be a game on Saturday. That will be the case until we hear otherwise. If they are not liquidated, they will compete in the Conference this season".
STEVENAGE PREVIEWThe preview of Alty's curtain raiser against Stevenage on Saturday has been deferred till Friday...
WARREN CEMENTS HIS PLACE
Above: Warren Peyton has had a very good pre-season. Here he is photographed against Bolton Wanderers by Gavin Rathbone, whose images are available via the Robins' Shop at Moss Lane and the GR Photography website.
FLASH, BANGOR, WALLOP, WHAT A PICTURE!!
Above: Steve Bushell nets Alty's first goal against Bangor City. Photo by Gavin Rathbone, whose images are available via the Robins' Shop at Moss Lane and the GR Photography website. Gavin's photos from the annual pre-season photoshoot are also available. As well as the team photo, there are excellent portrait shots of all the players individually, including Robbie Lawton (seen below, right). Gavin's versions are both bigger and of better quality than can be reproduced on the website and in due course copies will be on view in the Robins' Shop.
OLD BOYSWorksop Town confirm that "Popular winger Blake Norton has made a sensational return to Worksop after being released by Altrincham at the end of the season. Norton who left the Tigers in February following their exit from the FA Trophy, returned on a high after signing for the club immediately following last nights 3-0 victory over Glapwell, as he netted Worksop's third".
NL Daily says that "Former Stockport, Woodley Sports, Stalybridge Celtic, Altrincham and Radcliffe Borough midfielder Danny Hooper has joined Ashton United from Tameside neighbours Hyde United".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC claims that "Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy is hoping to secure the signing of full-back Adam Yates from Leek Town. Yates, who started his career at Crewe and played in the Conference on loan with Halifax Town, has impressed during a trial spell with the Shrimps. McIlroy is looking to conclude a deal for the 23-year-old before Saturday's Conference opener against Burton". Yates also played a trial match for Altrincham. "And Morecambe confirm that they have "received a second transfer request from David Perkins, this follows a written request received on the 27th July 2006 which, after discussion with manager Sammy McIlroy, the board of directors rejected. After receiving the second request it became obvious that the player sees his future away from Christie Park so after careful consideration and discussions with manager, the board have decided, reluctantly, to accede to the player's request... Perkins has made over 150 first team appearances for the Shrimps and captained Paul Fairclough's successful England National Game team on many occasions".
"Crawley Town administrator Rob Sadler has suspended Wednesday's midday winding-up deadline. BBC Southern Counties reports that the deadline was scrapped to allow a final bid for the club to be considered. The Majeed family had already had two bids rejected but upped their offer to creditors to 50 pence in the pound in the final hour before the deadline. If the club is wound up then they will lose their Conference status and must restart a minimum of two leagues below". If Crawley are not liquidated, it is unclear whether Crawley would be allowed to stay in the Conference.
Southport report that "Following a meeting last night with [goalkeeper] Steve Dickinson, the club has reluctantly accepted a written transfer request from Steve. The reasons given by the player were due to work commitments. The club have notified other football clubs of Steve's availability, and are seeking a suitable replacement. The timing of the request is unfortunate with the new season starting this weekend, however Steve has agreed to honour his contract until a replacement is found".
NL Daily says that "Hereford United have snapped up goalkeeper Scott Tynan from Rushden & Diamonds">
Alty matchday announcer "Rafo" will be pleased to learn that "Forest Green Rovers have clinched the signing of Polish striker Arek Zarczynski, subject to international clearance. The frontman was released by Polish side Caramika Paradyz at the end of last season, having also played for Locomotive Stendal, FC Lausitz Hoyerswerda, FC Freienbach, Linzer ASK, Odra Opole, Altmark Stendal, Miedz Legnica, FC Magdeburg and Zaglebie Lubin and went on trial with Coca-Cola League Two side Mansfield Town and Scottish outfit Aberdeen before joining Gary Owers' men".
The Weymouth confirm that "The Terras will be without six players for their Conference National season opener at Tamworth this weekend. Trevor Challis, Tony James, Andy Harris, Dean Howell and Simon Weatherstone are all injured and have all been ruled out of Saturday's trip to the Lamb. Shaun Wilkinson was last night added to Weymouth's crocked list after he needed three stitches in an ankle wound... The midfielder was already due to sit out the visit to the Midlands through a three-match ban, leaving boss Garry Hill with an under-strength squad... 'What has hit us harder than perhaps last season is that we're operating a smaller squad this year in terms of numbers and so to lose six players is a blow'" said the boss. "But I'm a great believer in looking on the positive side and their absence provides opportunities for others". Hill also "plans to hold talks with trialist Abdou El Khalti on his future with Weymouth later this week after the former Yeovil midfielder featured in last night's win at Portland".
St Alban's City report that "manager Colin Lippiatt has strengthened his squad with the acquisition of two promising youngsters previously with Boston United. Teenagers Dane Harper and Robert Norris have both signed Conference forms".
The Argus earlier reported that "A reformed Crawley Town will discover if they have a future next Thursday after sources revealed the club had gone into liquidation. The Reds are expected to confirm they have lost their fight against crippling debts today after a bid from brothers Chas and Azwar Majeed to regain control was rejected... A meeting of officials from the four major non-league competitions - the Conference, Ryman, Southern and Northern leagues - will discuss Crawley's situation [today]. A final decision will be made by the Football Association's leagues commitee next Thursday - just two days before the Ryman League season is due to begin. Ryman League chairman Alan Turvey said: 'My understanding is that Crawley Town has gone into liquidation and that they will be reformed as a new club with Mr Goodwin likely to be the owner. The club have expressed a wish to join the Ryman League but it is not as simple as that. When a club goes into liquidation and is reformed it has to drop a minimum of two levels and it could be even more than that. At the end of the day it is down to what the FA commitee decides next Thursday and I have no idea how that committee will feel. After that our board of directors would consider their decision and reach an agreement with FA. We are the obvious league for Crawley to go into but I'm not in a position to say if we will accept them at the moment... I would think division one would be the most likely league for them to join'... The Conference were unavailable for comment ... A spokesman for the Football Association said they were aware of the situation but had heard no more and did want to comment... Crawley's Supporters' Trust Spokesman Ant Weller said: 'The supporters are absolutely devastated but we can't say we are surprised. ... We will have to wait and see if John Goodwin makes good his promise'".
Grays Athletic confirm that "The Club have secured the signing of Mark Wright on a 1yr contract, Mark is a left back who started as a Tottenham youth and has had spells at Charlton, Southend and Lewes". But "Jamie Slabber handed in a transfer request today. The request has been rejected by the club at this time. Jamie was concerned that he was not getting selected to start during the pre-season friendlies and felt that he may have been being held back in his career as a result".
Also in Essex, Dagenham & Redbridge's "Danny Foster has signed an extension to his contract. The defender is the third player to have pledged his immediate future to Dagenham & Redbridge following the recent contract extensions of Anwar Uddin and Glen Southam".
Last season's Conference champions, Accrington Stanley played their first home league game on Tuesday. Bullsnews says "Accrington Stanley haven't had the best start to life in League Two with two defeats in two matches. They have yet to score and lie bottom bar one in League Two. Their form may well improve but what must be worrying for them is the poor support at their first two games and the financial implications that could mean. Last Saturday they took about 800 fans to Chester, a local game for them. Last night just 2667 watched their first home game in the League since 1962 and visitors Darlington are said to have brought over 700 fans with them. Contrast the support Hereford United received last night when 4405 fans watched the game at Edgar Street Although Lincoln brought 246 with them, the home support for the Bulls was over twice that at Accrington".
9 August 2006
CRAWLEY OUT?In respect of Crawley Town, The Brighton Argus reports that "Administrators Begbies Traynor will start the process of winding up the limited company after a creditors' committee voted to reject an offer from former owners Chas and Azwar Majeed to buy back the Conference club. Former diamond dealer John Goodwin is now preparing to form a new club to play at the council-run Broadfield Stadium and enter it into the Ryman League for this season. The Argus understands the Inland Revenue, which was owed £250,000 in unpaid taxes and VAT, and former administration worker Ian Holman voted to reject the Majeeds' attempt to regain control... Mr Goodwin, 62, pulled out of making a bid to buy the club last week after discovering the high running costs. He is confident his new club, which will be called a different name, will be given the go-ahead at a Football Association committee meeting tomorrow. Mr Goodwin, a former chairman at Bishop's Stortford and Romford Football Clubs, said: 'I understand the club as we know it has been liquidated but things are already in motion to form a new club. I have been working very hard behind the scenes to make sure Crawley continue to play football. I have been negotiating with the council for some time and there will definitely be football at the Broadfield Stadium. A new club has already been formed by me, we have to change its name but I can assure everyone it will not be too different [from] what it is now... I want to start again at a lower level, make it self sufficient and rebuild it from there'. Crawley were due to start the Conference season on Saturday at home against Rushden and Diamonds. If a new club is formed, it is likely to be entered into Ryman division one, three divisions below the Conference".
Crawley Town, who were set to start the 2006/07 season with a ten-point deduction after going into administration, will become the third team to lose their Conference National status for non-playing reasons in summer 2006 after Canvey Island's resignation and Scarborough's enforced demotion for financial reasons. Altrincham (who also almost lost their place for non-playing reasons, after suffering an 18-point deduction) were scheduled to play Crawley Town at Moss Lane on 18 November 2006 and in Sussex on 17 February, 2007.
ALTRINCHAM 5 BANGOR CITY 2
NEXT GAMESThe next game for an Altrincham team is the Reserves' away friendly match on Thursday 10th at 7pm at Wythenshawe Town, the second of two such fixtures in the last week. Those who saw last Saturday's encounter between the two sides saw a ten-goal match, with Alty running our 6-4 victors. Thursday's game will again be at Wythenshawe Town's ground, Ericstan Park, which is at the foot of Timpson Road, Baguley. The ground is next to Tesco's petrol station and hypermarket and access is via Timpson Road which runs behind the Tesco car park. The ground is reached by car from Southmoor Road or, on foot, by walking through Tesco's car park. Timpson Road is the first turning on the right (at traffic lights) after turning off Altrincham Road. There is a clubhouse and a very small covered stand. For a map of the Wythenshawe Town ground area, click here.
The next first-team game is at Moss Lane on Saturday (3pm) against Stevenage Borough - more on that tomorrow. And don't forget that you can book on the STAR supporters' coach to Stafford (next Tuesday) and Exeter (Saturday 19th) in the Robins' Shop on matchdays or by ringing the club on 928-1045. Details are here.
The Altrincham team photo-shoot took place on Tuesday evening. Pictured above are: BACK ROW: Stuart Coburn, Andy Cummins, Richard Acton. MIDDLE ROW: Andy Hosgood (physio), Joe O'Neill, Lewis Chalmers, Gary Talbot, Peter Band, Peter Thomson, Graham Heathcote (manager), Karl Munroe, Stephen Rose, Val Owen, Robbie Lawton, Gary Scott, Dan Heathcote (kitman). FRONT ROW: Charles Heathcote (kitman), Steve Aspinall, Justin Bowler, Warren Peyton, Lee Hendley, Colin Potts, Steve Bushell, Eddie Hussin, Kieran Lugsden, Colin Little, Pat McFadden, Rod Thornley, Alan Ainsley (physio).
The squad numbers for 2006-07 are as follows. Pictured right are Andy Cummins, Steve Aspinall and Joe O'Neill.
- Stuart Coburn (gk)
- Stephen Aspinall
- Gary Scott
- Peter Band
- Gary Talbot
- Steve Bushell
- Robbie Lawton
- Val Owen
- Colin Little
- Rod Thornley
- Warren Peyton
- Joe O'Neill
- Richard Acton (gk)
- Lewis Chalmers
- Justin Bowler
- Peter Thomson
- Karl Munroe
- Pat McFadden
- Lee Hendley
- Stephen Rose
- Kieran Lugsden
BBC VIEWIn its Conference Preview, the BBC Sport verdict on Altrincham is: "After last season's traumas, survival will again be the aim for one of the league's remaining part-time teams on a limited budget. Boss Graham Heathcote, who no longer combines his role with secretary, has managed to strengthen his squad with experienced midfielder Steve Bushell a crucial signing. With strikers Peter Thompson and Joe O'Neill also arriving, attack may be Altrincham's best form of defence as they fight to beat the drop. Key man: Colin Little. The former Crewe man scored an impressive 17 league goals last season and will need to be as prolific again".
KIERAN AND PATRadcliffe Borough manager Andy Johnston says "We have 18 players signed on at the moment for the club with 2 of these – Kieran Lugsden and Pat McFadden – on an agreement with Altrincham whose manager Graham Heathcote has been excellent to deal with, and is an arrangement which will suit both clubs and more importantly the players".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC reports that "A creditors' committee has voted against accepting a bid for Crawley Town, meaning the club is set to fold. Crawley was put up for sale in June after going into administration with debts of almost £1.4m. The only bid came from previous owners the Majeed brothers and two of the three voters were against it. BBC Southern Counties reports that the club will be wound up and drop out of the Conference, unless a new bid is received in the next 24 hours... Tuesday's vote would appear to signal the end of the Majeeds' association with the club".
NL Daily says that "Kidderminster Harriers have completed the signing of midfielder Dwane Lee following his release by Barnet. The former Exeter City player has penned a short-term deal at Aggborough, where he hopes to play a more important role on the field. Twenty-six-year-old Lee was part of the Barnet side which won the Conference title in 2005 and made 27 appearances in League Two last season. Manager Mark Yates was quick to snap Lee up after he had a trial spell with league rivals Grays Athletic this summer".
The BBC says that "Halifax have seen off competition from Conference rivals York to sign former Middlesbrough and Cardiff striker Andy Campbell on a 12-month deal. Campbell, who scored for Halifax in a friendly last Saturday, was a free agent after ending a short spell with Dunfermline at the end of last season. The 27-year-old began his career as a trainee at Middlesbrough before joining Cardiff for £950,000 in March 2002. He also had loan spells with Oxford, Doncaster, Bolton and Sheffield United".
Also, "Forest Green Rovers have signed Polish striker Arek Zarczynski, subject to international clearance. The 30-year-old scored three goals in pre-season and after being released by Polish side Caramika Paradyz and also had a trial period at Mansfield. Contracts have been signed and documents passed to the Football Association for them to apply to the FA of Poland to receive clearance. Rovers expect the deal to go through before the start of the new season".
"New Cambridge chairman Lee Power says he will look into buying back the Abbey Stadium from landlords Bideawhile. Power has confirmed that the rent for the ground has been guaranteed for three years. He told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'There have been a few attempts and deals put forward but nothing has come out of it yet. We have guaranteed football is played here and put in an investment that will make sure the rent is covered'".
The Bullsnews says that "English League football is set to record its 500,000th goal, and will award the scorer with a special award. The Football League's programme of games tonight is expected to add the 63 goals necessary to see the half million mark notched up since League football was created in 1888. Football League Head of Communications John Nagle commented: 'The scoring of half a million goals... has taken more than 170,000 matches and 107 full seasons. We will be recognising this achievement by making a special award to the scorer of the goal'... To date, 485,405 goals have been scored in the Football League, with 14,532 in the Premiership".
Gravesend & Northfleet "have completed the signing of former Crystal Palace goalkeeper Lance Cronin. Twenty year old Cronin came through the youth system at Crystal Palace but failed to make a first team appearance... He moves to Stonebridge Road after spells at Shrewsbury, Wycombe Wanderers and at Oldham, where he made one substitute appearance in an FA Cup tie. Fleet manager Liam Daish is delighted to have made the signing in view of the injury sustained by Craig Holloway which will keep him sidelined for most of the new season".
8 August 2006
WHO'S WHOAs announced below, the Board of Altrincham FC has today been doubled in size, from three to six. The three-man Board of Geoff Goodwin (chairman), Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw came into being in summer 2002. The new members are Barry Pond, who is the club's Commercial Manager and who for many years has overseen the sale of groundside advertising, matchday sponsorship and other sponsorship initiatives. Also joining the Board is Carole Hassan, who has become closely involved with the club in the last few years, with her experience of local government and sports' grantmaking bodies being a great help to Altrincham FC. The third new Board member, Derek Wilshaw, will be known to all at Moss Lane as the voice most likely to answer the Moss Lane telephone. But, more importantly, with his background in business, Derek has brought financial expertise to the club's operations as well as giving his time freely to assist with the Club's administration. Derek was also recently appointed as the Club's Secretary, in succession to Graham Heathcote.
BOARD EXPANDED - AND VAT PAID OFF!!A statement from Altrincham FC:
After three years of prudent spending, Geoff Goodwin, Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw wish to announce that the final payment has been made to the “Customs and Excise” for the outstanding VAT bill which they inherited when forming the new Board just over 4 years ago. Energies will now be focussed on the Inland Revenue arrears which hopefully should be eradicated by the end of the coming season. Many thanks are due to STAR for their regular contributions towards these payments. Also announced today was a strengthening of the current Board. Commercial Manager Barry Pond, Secretary Derek Wilshaw and Ex Trafford Chief Executive Carole Hassan have all agreed to add their experience to the Board as the Club strives to progress in an increasingly competitive League competition. In addition, Grahame Rowley has accepted the Board’s invitation to become Vice Chairman.
CREWE TAKE RESERVES' KEEPERAlty Reserves' goalkeeper Craig Ellison has been signed on 12-month non-contract terms by Crewe Alexandra. All at Moss Lane wish Craig well at Gresty Road, where he is expected to feature in the Crewe Academy side as Alex assess his future.
FRIENDLIESTonight witnesses Altrincham's 10th and last first-team pre-season game and, as last season, the games are rounded off by a visit from Bangor City. Alty won the equivalent game a year ago 5-0, with goals from Little, Thornley (2), Lugsden and Potts. That game was also memorable for being attended by most of the Australian cricket squad, courtesy of Geoff Goodwin.
In the 2006 friendlies to date, the first team has won three, lost four and drawn two games, scoring 14 and conceding 16 - they have yet to keep a clean sheet. Colin Little and Lee Hendley have each netted five goals in first-team games.
OLD BOYS TONIGHT & ELSEWHEREIn tonight's match at Moss Lane against Bangor City, Alty can expect to face former Altrincham Reserves James Marsden, Ashley Stott and Adam Docker, as well as the freescoring Marc Lloyd Williams. Kieran Killackey, another ex-Reserve, could also be involved, though he has recently turned out for Leek Town as well.
The Confguide Forum reports that Stafford Rangers "Manager Phil Robinson has added to his squad with the signings of [ex-Accrington] goalkeeper Danny Alcock, [ex-Forest Green Rovers] striker Guy Madjo, [ex-Alty] midfielder Ged Murphy (left) and striker Dolapo Olaoye".
And from Worksop Town we learn that "winger Blake Norton has been offered terms by the club and they currently await his reply. The flying winger left Sandy Lane for Conference National side Altrincham in February... Alty released him at the end of the season and it is also understood that he is talking to both Stalybridge Celtic and Scarborough".
In Saturday's defeat by FC United Leigh RMI used former Alty centre-back James Glendenning as a substitute - and, unfortunately, he scored an own goal.The NL Paper has two letters referring to the crowd trouble which followed FC United both to Altrincham and Sheffield recently.
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC states that "A meeting between Crawley Town's former owners the Majeed brothers, the club's supporters' club, and fan group The Devils' Trust has broken up. But it has not provided any definitive answers as to the club's future. The supporters' club and the Trust then issued a statement saying they "hope the turmoil is coming to a close". Also, a creditors' committee is set to decide whether to accept an offer for Crawley - who are in administration - from the Majeeds' SA Group. But if the committee votes against accepting the SA Group bid - which is the only existing bid - the club could fold. The Majeeds had earlier said that they would withdraw their bid at 1200 BST on Monday if issues raised by the Trust were not resolved. However, that deadline has since passed, with no clear indication of what happens next.
A statement issued by the supporters' club and the Devils Trust said "All three organisations [Trust, supporters' club and Majeeds] remain wary of each other... 'As a gesture of goodwill, the Supporters' Club has offered to give up one seat on the board to the Devils' Trust. This has been accepted by Chas Majeed'... According to BBC Southern Counties Radio, the Inland Revenue is likely to be opposed to any involvement from the Majeeds, who led the club into administration. However, the Devils' Trust sent an open letter to the administrator saying the creditors would consider voting 'yes' if a number of conditions are met. Those conditions would include having a fans' representative involved in the day-to-day running of the club. If the vote goes against the Majeed brothers, former diamond dealer John Goodwin is reportedly ready to revive his interest in taking control of the club - and could try to revive them in a lower division".
The NL Paper reports that Halifax Town should emerge from their CVA if current negotiations with the Inland Revenue are successful. The CVA debt is reportedly "costing the club £3,000 a month".
The FA says that "At a series of Disciplinary Commissions held during June and July, fines have been issued against a number of clubs for their poor on-field disciplinary records during the 2005/06 season... Tamworth and Waltham Forest also had suspended fines from 2004/05 invoked. Tamworth were fined £9,000, including £6,000 suspended, and a further £7,000 suspended for 2006/07. The Commissions also dealt with other clubs whose poor disciplinary records during the 2005/06 season warranted consideration. The clubs were fined with further suspended fines for the forthcoming season issued pending significant improvement in their disciplinary records. Decisions were also reached regarding a number of Non-League clubs: Stevenage Borough (£6,000 fine, £4,000 suspended); Vauxhall Motors (£1,000 fine, £3,000 suspended); Kidsgrove Athletic (£350 fine, £1,000 suspended); Woodley Sports (£250 fine, £1,000 suspended); Ossett Town (£2,500 suspended fine); Witton Albion (£2,000 suspended fine). In addition, warning letters have been sent to the following Non-League clubs: Southport, Kettering Town, Worksop Town, Blyth Spartans, Frickley Athletic, Whitby Town" and a number of clubs in the South and Midlands. "Several clubs had suspended fines from previous seasons waived due to substantial improvements in their disciplinary records, [including]... Leigh RMI [and] Halifax Town".
Southport's Steve Daly is reported by the NL Paper to be trapped at Southport. As a £35,000 a year bricklayer he wants to remain part-time, but Southport will not let him leave without a fee, which has scared off those clubs interested in him.
7 August 2006
TUESDAY GAMEAltrincham's first team play their last pre-season game this Tuesday (8th at 7.45pm) against Bangor City at Moss Lane. City may well include a number of ex-Alty players in their side, including former Reserves captain James Marsden and striker Ashley Stott, who scored twice for the Reserves this pre-season at Runcorn Town. Other ex-Alty players at Bangor include Marc Lloyd Williams and former Reserve, Adam Docker, whilst the manager is former Manchester United star and friend of Altrincham FC, Clayton Blackmore. News of Bangor can be found on the following websites:
OLD BOYNL Daily reports that ex-Alty reserve Kieran Killackey scored for Leek Town v Stockport Georgians. Also "goals from ex-Alty man Simon Woodford and Troy Hayder gave Trafford a 2-0 win over travelling Cogenhoe United".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe Worcester City website carries the joint statement of City and Kidderminster Harriers folowing yesterday's friendly which was abandoned after an incident in the players' tunnel. It says that "Both clubs are holding their own internal enquiries into the incident which led to Saturday`s game being abandoned. No further comment will be made by either Club until such time as the investigations are completed. Both Clubs are working together to resolve the matter and we would emphasise that the cordiality that exists between both Clubs will not be affected by today`s events".
"Kidderminster Harriers' manager Mark Yates issued the following statement following the abandonment of Saturday's friendly with Nationwide North neighbours Worcester City. Harriers had been leading 2-0 at St George's Lane... before Yates withdrew the visiting side from the field of play on 71 minutes. Yates issued the following statement: 'An off-the-field incident occurred that was not in the true nature of football and, as a result, I made the decision to withdraw my players from the pitch. I would like to apologise to all of our supporters and hope to see them at Aggborough next weekend'" .
"Grays Athletic boss Frank Gray has added two players to his squad on one-year contracts", reports BBC Essex. "Goalkeeper Danny Knowles, 20, who was released by Gillingham in April, has moved to the Recreation Ground. Knowles did not play for the Gills' first team, but spent time on loan at Conference South side Welling and Ryman Premier outfit East Thurrock United. The other new arrival is central defender Nathan Moulds, who previously played in New South Wales".
The Nationwide Conference Monthly Newsletter reports that "After several months of boredom, the newsletter is back and we trust that you're looking forward to the new season as much as us... A summary of this month's content is shown below:
To get the full newsletter go to the Nationwide Football Conference official website".
6 August 2006
WYTHENSHAWE TOWN 4 ALTRINCHAM RESERVES 6
Left: Danny Heffernan is stopped on this occasion but he had a good game and scored one of Alty's goals.
A surprise inclusion at left-back for Alty Reserves was Chris Adams, last season's first-team left back who was recently released by Altrincham.
There is a second match between the same sides next Thursday at 7pm, also at Wythenshawe Town's ground, which is on Timpson Road, right next to the Tesco garage at Baguley.
POINTERS?Two of Alty's pre-season opponents met yesterday when FCUM beat Leigh RMI 4-0. Alty beat FCUM 3-1 last month but lost to Leigh 2-0, so make of that what you will.
The unofficial Leigh website says that "RMI's unbeaten pre-season run came crashing to an end as they were humiliated by FC United of Manchester at Hilton Park this afternoon. A torrid performance from the home side gifted a comfortable victory to the visitors... with Leigh failing to manage a single shot on target in the entire ninety minutes... After a previously encouraging pre-season campaign, morale is now at a very low ebb amongst the small RMI faithful".
OLD BOYGary Williams (right), who started last season at Altrincham, has reportedly left Leigh RMI and moved to Spain.
CONFERENCE NEWSThe Harriers Online site says that "Today's final game in the series of pre-season friendlies ended in terrible controversy when the Harriers' manager, Mark Yates, took his team off the St George's Lane, Worcester, pitch towards the end of the game [70 mins] after an alleged incident in the dressing room between the City assistant manager Andy Morrison and the Harriers centre half Mark Creighton. The game was duly abandoned twenty minutes from time with the Harriers leading 2-0. Only one minute of the game had been played when the City striker [Adam Webster] was tackled by Creighton and received a suspected broken ankle. Although it was a strong tackle Creighton wasn't spoken to about the incident and the other City players didn't seem too bothered either. It wasn't until Creighton was subbed much later in the game following a slight injury that the game took a turn out of the ordinary. It appears that when Creighton went into the dressing room for treatment Morrison followed him and after a brief altercation punched him in the face. It must be stressed that this is just rumour and has not been confirmed yet... Harriers:Bevan, Kenna, Harkness, Penn, Creighton (Whitehead), Hurren, Smikle, Reynolds, White (Sturridge), McClen, Blackwood".
The Football Conference confirms that "Chris Wilder, manager of Halifax Town, has clinched the loan signing of Crewe Alexandra defender Mark Roberts. The 6' 1'' defender has previously had a loan spell with Chester City as well as Southport last season, featuring against the Shaymen in the FA Trohy. Roberts will stay with Halifax until 31st December and will undoubtedly go straight into the starting line up following Peter Atherton's retirement and Michael Taylor's departure to Lancaster City. He has also had loan spells at Vauxhall Motors and Leek Town".
The BBC says that "Former Norwich City striker Lee Power has been named as the new chairman of Cambridge United. The 34-year-old joined the U's board alongside local man Philip Law. 'Cambridge is a great club and I'm delighted to have the chance to start moving things forward ion the playing side', Power told their website... Power will work closely with manager Rob Newman and assistant Tony Spearing to help them out on the football side of the club".
The Burton Mail states that there "was good and bad news for Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough ahead of [the] friendly at Hinckley United's Marstons Stadium, kick-off 3pm. It has been confirmed that goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson will be joining the Brewers on loan from Crewe Alexandra until Christmas. Tomlinson is needed as cover for Ben Williams [ex-Alty loanee] at Gresty Road until next week, but Clough revealed the 21-year-old would be signing on Wednesday... [But] midfielder Chris Hall will miss the start of the Conference campaign due to an ankle injury. Said Clough: 'The injury is a little bit more serious than we originally thought — he will be out for about two to three weeks. We are looking at him coming back probably some time after the Oxford game (on August 18)".
This is Exeter says that "Exeter City striker Lee Phillips has rubbished speculation linking him with a move... 'I know nothing about this', said Phillips. 'I am sure Paul (Tisdale) and Bucks would come to me and tell me if they had heard anything. But as far as I know I haven't heard anything and I haven't spoken to anyone... Unless someone comes in with a good offer I doubt I will be going anywhere. Don't get me wrong I have always said I want to play in the League and play at a higher level. I am not embarrassed to say that and the club know that anyway'... Speculation over Phillips's future has been mounting following his absence from the last two games. However, boss Paul Tisdale put his spell on the sidelines down to an injury" Manager Tisdale added, "There has been no interest since I have been here and I am sure it is just talk". The site states that "Phillips topped the goalscoring charts for the Grecians last season with 18 goals in all competitions. He was described by former Grays and current Stevenage boss Mark Stimson as 'the best striker in the Conference' after the FA Trophy semi-final... Tisdale says Phillips's ankle has taken longer to heal than anybody had envisaged. 'I said last week that I would be amazed if Lee was not ready for this Saturday, well - it looks like I am going to be amazed. He landed heavily on it and jarred it. There is some inflamed tissue around the joint and he is still a major doubt'". Alty play Exeter on 19 August.
5 August 2006
BOLTON GAMEA report on last night's friendly against a Bolton Wanderers XI is now here.
ADAM YATESAdam Yates, the Leek town left back who played for Alty as a trialist last week, has reportedly been training with Morecambe but has not signed for the Shrimps. .
GET WELL, GEORGEWe are sorry to report that George Heslop, the manager of Altrincham FC Youth team and the club's Matchday Secretary has been admitted to hospital with a foot problem which is compounded by an adverse reaction to the medication he has received. In another medical procedure George has been surgically removed from his mobile phone until he is fit to come home. All at Moss Lane wish him a speedy recovery.
THANK YOU, CARLOSAltrincham FC and particularly the Reserves' manager Neil Brown, would like to thank Carlos Marsden (right) who has left his position as coach of the Altrincham FC Reserves. Carlos was a dedicated and enthusiastic coach, who will be much missed. The website, too, would like to thank him for his ever-willing assistance with information about the Reserve team.
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC confirms that "Halifax have signed striker Steve Torpey from FC United of Manchester. Torpey caught the eye of Halifax manager Chris Wilder when he played for FC United in a friendly against the Shaymen on Tuesday night. The 24-year-old from Kirby was on the scoresheet as FC United won 4-2 but faces tough competition for a place in the Halifax forward line".the FCUoM site adds that "No fee is involved, but Halifax have agreed a 25% sell-on clause to be included in his contract".
"Crawley Town's fate is set to be decided on Monday when a creditors' committee decides whether to accept an offer for the Conference club. If the committee votes against accepting the bid, the club could fold, reports BBC Southern Counties Radio. Crawley were put into administration in June with debts of almost £1.4m and subsequently put up for sale. The only bid came from former owners the Majeed brothers, who led the club into administration. According to BBC Southern Counties Radio, the Inland Revenue is likely to be opposed to any involvement from the Majeeds. However, leading supporters' group the Devils' Trust have sent an open letter to the administrator saying the creditors would consider voting 'yes' if a number of conditions are met. Those conditions would include having a fans' representative involved in the day-to-day running of the club. If the vote goes against the Majeed brothers, former diamond dealer John Goodwin is reportedly ready to revive his interest in taking control of the club. Goodwin decided not to bid against the Majeed brothers. He told the Brighton Hove & Sussex Argus: 'The club has got into an absolute diabolical state and common sense tells me it would be crazy to try to run it the way it is at the moment. The sale is being done very quickly because of the precarious position of the club. I'm happy to take charge and I have no doubt I would do a good job but I'm not going to pay hundreds of thousands for nothing'".
From our first opponents this league season, Stevenage Borough we read that "Manager Mark Stimson was satisfied with the two matches his squad played this week. Two victories, two three-goal hauls and some impressive performances, not a bad week’s work. On the injury front, Darryn Stamp (calf) returned to play 90 minutes and scored a goal at Hitchin, while Alan Julian had vigorous workouts before both matches and should be back in contention for Sunday’s final warm-up match. Dale Binns, on the other hand, underwent his knee operation this week that Stimson reported went well and we can expect to see the speedy winger back in a Borough shirt in mid September. Of the players on trial, David Hicks impressed in his 90 minutes at Bedford and Stimson confirmed that he would stay with the club while they assess him further. 'What he does is keep the ball moving', he said. 'He can see a forward pass – he is not a negative player, he has got the vision to pick a pass out. I was pleased with him at Bedford because his fitness levels are not as high as our boys because he’s not been training full time... He’s 20 years of age, he’s full of bounce, full of confidence and plays with a smile on his face, which is important'". However trialist striker, Scott Fitzgerald, and former Bristol Rovers and Orient midfield player, Wayne Carlyle "will probably not feature in his future plans... Stimson was full of praise for hat-trick man Jon Nurse. “It was good that with about eight minutes remaining he got cramp, that is what we want. It means that he is working his body to the maximum. He hung in there, played the last eight minutes and that is probably equivalent to a couple of days training. All that can do is fill him up with confidence by scoring three goals... Craig Dobson probably thinks that we expect too much of him at the moment – but we do expect a high work rate from our wide players... We all know that George Boyd has fantastic ability, so the most important thing is how many times can we get the ball to him". After the Hitchin friendly Stimson added, “I was very pleased with the two young lads, Hector Mackie and Chris Sullivan, that came on at half time. And the likes of Dannie Bulman, Darryn Stamp and Santos Gaia all played 90 minutes".
NL Daily says that "Scott Tynan seems certain to leave Rushden & Diamonds after boss Paul Hart signed goalkeeper Nicky Eyre this week. Former Tottenham Hotspur trainee Eyre, 20, agreed a deal after passing his medical... He left league rivals Grays Athletic by mutual consent at the end of last week... Now Eyre is likely to start the season as Diamonds' number one with Dan Crane pushing him for that place... Tynan's possible exit should also release funds for Hart to add defensive cover... But Hart would not comment on speculation as he celebrated his eighth summer signing".
"Oxford United have completed the signing of striker Rob Duffy - brother of Portsmouth defender Richard. Duffy, 23, spent five years at Rushden & Diamonds before spells with Kettering and Stevenage last season, and has signed a two-year deal with the U's. Meanwhile, Oxford have released 20-year-old winger Tom Winters", states the BBC.
4 August 2006
ALTRINCHAM 1 BOLTON WANDERERS XI 1A disappointing crowd saw an entertaining match between a young Wanderers' side and an Alty team which employed seven substitutes. Following a goalless first half, Colin Little fired Alty ahead from a good pass from Chalmers up the middle (61 mins). But the lead lasted less than a minute as Jamieson was allowed to feed an unmarked Sinclair whose shot was half stopped by Coburn before entering the net. Alty gave a good account of themselves and went close in the final stages. Report to follow.
ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN; 11. Gary SCOTT, 15. Peter BAND, 5. Gary TALBOT, 12. Warren PEYTON; 4. Robbie LAWTON, 30. Steve BUSHELL, 8. Val OWEN, 14. Justin BOWLER; 9. Colin LITTLE, 7. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 1* Andy CUMMINS, 3. Lewis CHALMERS, 10. Rod THORNLEY, 17. Karl MUNROE, 20. Kieran LUGSDEN, 21. Stephen ROSE, 26. Lee HENDLEY, 28. Pat McFADDEN.
OLD BOYHalifax Town have confirmed that FCUM's former Alty winger Steve Torpey (right) has accepted the Shaymen's offer (reported yesterday) and signed for the Yorkshire side last night. Picture courtesy of GR Photography.
ACTION OVER THE WEEKENDAlty take on a Bolton Wanderers XI tonight, kick off is at 7.30pm. No details have emerged from Bolton about who will be playing for them but, as with Manchester City last week, whatever side the Premiership club puts out, the game will give Altrincham a good pre-season challenge. As usual entry is £5 at the gate (£2 for concessionaries), with free entry for Altrincham FC season ticket holders.
On Saturday at 2pm at Wythenshawe Town FC, Alty Reserves take on Town in the first game of a double header, between the two clubs, the second match being next Thursday at 7pm, also at Wythenshawe. Town's ground is on Timpson Road, right next to the Tesco garage at Baguley.
SAM REPORTSThe Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Alty ended a run of two friendly defeats with victory at Moor Lane on Tuesday night. Fielding a team that mixed youth with experience, the Robins always looked a class above their opponents and it was no surprise when they ran out comfortable winners. Most pleasing for the visiting fans will have been the performance of Stephen Rose at centre back - a position where Alty aren't exactly flush with options at the moment. The former Manchester United youngster showed good positioning and awareness and his return from long-term injury problems could prove to be a massive boost ahead of the new season. New signing Robbie Lawton also continued to impress on the right flank, while Lee Hendley and Pat McFadden exhibited plenty of pace and endeavour up front".
WAKE UP CALL"Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin has issued the club's fans with a major wake up call ahead of their second season back in the Conference.. Although the club is now moving in the right direction, Goodwin insists there is plenty of work still to be done - and that the club need all the help they can get. Speaking exclusively to SAM Sport, he said: "We need to be professional at this club, we can't afford to let the finger off the button. 'I'm concerned and Graham (Heathcote) is too. It seems that everyone gets on board when we are struggling but then relaxes when things seem to be going well. The people of Altrincham need a wake up call because supporters can't afford to turn up at the start of the season thinking that everything will be in place because it won't be. I am really worried that apathy could spoilt the plans we have for the future". SAM adds that "The club is still looking for volunteers to perform matchday roles at Moss Lane, with a car park steward and front door attendant top of the list. And manager Graham Heathcote joined Goodwin in urging fans to get involved. 'I've got a gut feeling that people are resting on their laurels and think everything is hunky dory', said Heathcote. 'There are still an awful lot of things that need to be done to make this a professional outfit. We need an army of volunteers if the club is to survive at this level of football'".
CHRIS ADAMSOn the release of Chris Adams (right), SAM quotes Graham Heathcote, "It was another heartbreaking decision because he's a local lad who's given everything for this club.He came through the levels with us and it's people like Chris who bring life to a football club. Chris gave his all and played through the pain barrier so many times for us. It's that kind of attitude I want to see in the new signings".
CONFERENCE NEWSThe Argus says that "Crawley's future will be decided tomorrow [Friday] when a new owner is announced. Administrator Rob Sadler will select the best offer after putting the crisis-club up for sale last week. Current owners, Chas and Azwar Majeed, are believed to have made a bid to regain control before yesterday's deadline. Four other interested parties are also thought to be in the running, including former diamond dealer John Goodwin. Bidders must prove they can pay back all the money owed to last season's players and a significant amount of the club's other £1.4 million debts. Crawley could go into liquidation if none of the offers meet Sadler's demands. Chairman Azwar Majeed claims he has lined up a £60,000 two-year sponsorship deal if his company, SA Group,regain control. But Goodwin says Reds could face being wound up if the Majeeds stay in charge. Manager John Hollins, whose future will be in doubt if a new owner takes over, has backed the Majeeds... Hollins said: 'We support the chairman in charge. He has gone through some extremely difficult circumstances but we have always received support from him. We will be successful next season, we have done it before and we will do it again. Being ten points down does not faze us. I know what I can do and what I can achieve. When I first came here Crawley only had 16 points and we ended up getting 49 and we could have got more. Ten points is three wins and a draw, so where is the problem?'"
The Oxford Mail says that "Oxford United striker Steve Basham is hoping to make his comeback from injury in tomorrow's pre-season friendly against Portsmouth. Basham is yet to feature for the U's this season after struggling to shake off a stomach problem"
Southport report that "The Sandgrounders put in an excellent first-half performance and indeed Wigan keeper Pollitt [ex-Alty] had to pull off three superb saves to keep Wigan in the game. The second half was a more mundane affair. On 58 minutes the 'Port failed to clear a corner, the ball coming out to King on the edge of the box, whose 'rocket' beat Southport's keeper John Bagnall. Wigan added a second on 89 minutes". But "Saturday's game at Marine has been called off. Paul Cook has announced this morning that a number of players have reported for training carrying slight injuries from last night's game against Wigan Athletic. With the opening Conference game against Woking only a week away he feels he cannot risk any more injuries". Southport's side was Bagnall/ Rowlands Lane Lee Houlihan/ Booth Boyd Blakeman Smith/ Gray Maamria.
The Gravesend Reporter says that a "touch of class from Charlie MacDonald sealed a single goal victory for Gravesend & Northfleet at Bridge Avenue on Tuesday... Manager Liam Daish paraded three new faces in his squad for the game. Starting the match in goal was Lance Cronin, formerly of Crystal Palace and Oldham, while on the bench were Liam Coleman (Colchester) and Mark Ricketts (Charlton)".
From IC Cheshire we learn that "Mike Carr will almost certainly miss the first match of Northwich Vics Conference comeback campaign at Cambridge City on Saturday week. 'It is the equivalent of Liverpool being without Steven Gerrard,' said worried boss Steve Burr. Carr's pre-season has come to a halt because of pains on the sole of his foot. It has stopped him training and playing. He had an injection last week, but without any effect and he was due to see a specialist last night... 'He is a huge influence on the team and massively important to us. But we are running out of time because he has got to be right to play and I suspect he won't be fit for the start. We have no idea of the cause and it is frustrating for Mike and ourselves' added Burr. Carr's absence gives the manager's search for a new midfielder more urgency, but he admits he is still no closer to making a signing. Alex Morris, released by Crewe and former Rochdale Neil Briscoe are the latest players to press their cases. Briscoe was with Vics on extended loan two seasons ago, but missed much of the last campaign through injury and is not match fit. Burr said: 'Not being able to sign a midfielder has been a disappointment. 'We know Neil well, but he has just started his own business and we don't know what he will be able to do for us. The Mike Carr situation makes it more important we find someone... It may be we'll be into the season before we can make a signing'... Richard Battersby, Jonny Allan and Steve Payne seem the likeliest candidates to stand in for Carr... Also due a part last night is 17-year-old prospect Tom Rutter, who lives in High Legh and asked for a trial. Burr is keen and the striker will play for the academy side and Middlewich Town'"
The following text and accompanying photo are a press release from the Football Conference. Before reading it, it might help to know that Sockatyes is the brand name of a type of tie for holding up footballers' socks, to which is attached an advertisement (as seen in the adjacent photo.
Left: Players from Burton Albion, Alfreton Town, Hucknall Town and Hinckley pose with their Sockatyes after the launch of a two-year six figure sponsorship deal with Lucky8bet.com and the Conference at the Pirelli Stadium, Burton Albion FC.
CONFERENCE TIE UP WORLD-FIRST SOCKATYES AGREEMENT
A world-first new sponsorship agreement was today (Tuesday) unveiled by the Football Conference. On-line gaming company Lucky8Bet.com have signed a substantial six-figure deal with the Competition for the company to feature on all 68 member clubs' [sock-ties]. Conference managers Nigel Clough (Burton Albion) and Gary Mills (Alfreton), Hucknall chairman Brian Holmes and players from Burton, Alfreton, Hinckley and Hucknall were all at the Pirelli Stadium to officially unveil the sponsorship. Sockatyes, carrying the Lucky8Bet.com logo, will be worn by clubs in all three divisions of the Conference next season. As part of the sponsorship, Lucky8Bet.com will also become the official gaming partner of the Conference.
The Conference agreement is the first generic League deal entered into by Sockatyes since the passing of rules by the Football Association allowing sponsorship on the sock ties. Joanna Adams, commercial director of the Football Conference, said: “The Conference always prides itself on being at the forefront of new developments within the game. “This is a creative sponsorship with Sockatyes and Lucky8Bet.com and we are delighted to be the first league to enter into this type of agreement. All clubs in the Conference will be wearing Sockatyes next season and this is an excellent addition to our portfolio.”
Russell Pointon, chairman of Sockatyes, said: “This is an historic day in the development of Sockatyes. The Conference have shown great vision to become the first League to sign up. We are currently speaking to major professional football leagues in North America, Europe and South America with a view to all their clubs wearing sponsored Sockatyes. Sockatyes is a huge new sponsorship revenue stream for football clubs and leagues which we conservatively estimate will run into millions of pounds.”
Herman Liu, Chief Executive of Lucky8Bet.com, said: “We are looking forward to developing an excellent relationship with the Conference and their 68 clubs. “Sockatyes is a great new innovation in football and this is an excellent sponsorship opportunity for us to grow our brand and develop awareness of our on-line sports gaming portal.”
For further information please contact Russell Pointon, Sockatyes, 07764 694499 or Paul Mace, Macesport, 07850 873737.
The Tamworth Herald says that "Tamworth Fc have been rocked by the news that summer signing Steve Burton will miss the first month of the Conference campaign. Burton joined the Lambs from Crawley Town in June but broke down with a knee problem during training.The 22-year-old striker...now faces an operation after he was diagnosed with a cartilage problem. 'It's a big blow for us because Steve was our big summer signing', said boss Cooper. 'We pulled off a bit of a coup in signing Steve because he was possibly Crawley's best player last season... But he will be a massive boost when he returns and in the meantime, we have Lee Moore, Jon Stevenson and Matty Williams to call upon'. Cooper is also running the rule over Boston's Rob Norris and former Atherstone striker Matt Brown. He has Fulham youngster Lee Hall to call upon as well. The Lambs boss has also bolstered his defence by signing Lincoln defender Tom Kemp on a month's loan".
3 August 2006
OLD BOYFC United report that "Following his outstanding performance and the wonderful goal he scored on Tuesday night against Halifax Town, Steve Torpey has been offered a full time contract by the Conference club. Steve was a key figure in our success last season and the offer to play full time football is a tribute to his outstanding talent". Steve Torpey was at Moss Lane in 2004-05 but was released after just 2(+4) appearances.
AUSSIES CRICKET DINNERIn association with Go Goodwins, Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin has organised a Cricket Dinner on behalf of the Club and the McGrath Foundation, founded by Aussie cricketer Glenn McGrath and his wife to provide nursing for breast cancer patients. The event, at Lancashire CCC will be on Monday 18th September at 7.30pm. The after-dinner guests will be Aussie stars Darren Lehmann and Jason Gillespie with comedian Mike Osman. Tickets are £60, with discounts for tables of 10 or 12. Fuller details are on the attached poster.
RICHARD'S INJURYA few days ago the website reported that last season's Alty Youth captain Richard Gresty, who also played for Alty Reserves and for the English Colleges XI, had broken his cheek bone in the Umbro Tournament last week. It now emerges that the injury (sustained playing for a Sale side ironically against the current Alty youth team), which came from an accidental elbow to the face was a serious one. An ambulance was summoned and Richard was given oxygen whilst still on the field. He was then taken to hospital where X-rays confirmed no less than 4 fractures to his cheekbone. He was kept in overnight and was to be operated on the next day. This was delayed, however, as following concussion, a full anaesthetic could have been dangerous. He now has to go back to hospital on August 11th when he will have a metal plate fitted to the bone (reconstructive surgery) and will be unable to play for approximately 6 weeks. All at Altrincham FC wish him a full and speedy recovery.
OPPONENTS PREPAREAlty play Stevenage Borough on the opening day of the season and "A hat-trick from Jon Nurse ensured that Borough’s pre-season campaign stepped up a gear... It was the first hat-trick in a Borough shirt for the forward whose career at Broadhall Way to date has been a stop-start affair, blighted by a series of niggling injuries... Borough looked dangerous down both flanks with Dobson and Boyd causing consternation to the home defence, and Dobson in particular supplying some dangerous crosses. In the centre of the park, triallist David Hicks had a 90 minutes run out... linking well with Miller, who continues to impress. Stevenage Borough (4-4-2) D Potter – B Fuller, L Oliver, R Henry, J Nutter – C Dobson, A Miller, D Hicks, G Boyd – T Thorpe, J Nurse. Substitutes not used: J Goodliffe, S Gaia, D Bulman, H Mackie, S Hatton, Sullivan."
CONFERENCE NEWSThe BBC says that "Gravesend and Northfleet keeper Craig Holloway could miss the whole season with a cruciate knee injury. The 21-year-old was the club's first choice keeper for the majority of last season after signing from Southend in August 2005... Meanwhile, Gravesend have added Gillingham midfielder George Purcell to their ranks."
"Forest Green Rovers have signed Wycombe goalkeeper Steve Williams on a season-long loan just a day after he penned a new deal with Wanderers. The 23-year-old has opted for a move to the Conference side for a better chance of first-team football. Williams was likely to be third choice at Adams Park... Boss Paul Lambert has the option of recalling Williams in January", claims the BBC.
From Forest Green we learn that Rovers are taking their "squad on their 'behind closed doors' training away days at a Football League club". Amongst the new signings, goalkeeper Steve Williams "joined Wycombe as a 14 year old and signed his first full time professional contract in 2002. The following season he claimed the No1 spot and made over 20 appearances but unfortunately in April 2004, he suffered a serious finger injury... Since then due to the upturn in Wycombe's form he has only managed a small number of appearances... Rovers have included into their squad on a non contract basis 21 year old Alex Lawless, a right sided defender, who although of Welsh stock joined the squad at Fulham in 2003, and spent last season at Torquay United ... The club completed the signing of Scottish born striker Allan Russell... Gary Owers is pleased to get his man and believes he will be a revelation at Conference level and an ideal partner for Charlie 'Darling' Griffin. Starting his career with Hamilton Academicals he then moved to St Mirren... As Paul Wanless will miss the start of the season, following a meeting at training the captains armband will be worn by Tony Butler. The following squad numbers have been allocated for the upcoming season:- 1 Steve Williams 2 Alex Lawless 3 Kevin Nicholson 4 Darren Jones 5 Tony Butler 6 Jamie Pitman 7 Paul Wanless 8 Simon Clist 9 Allan Russell 10 Michael Brough 11 12 Mark Preece 14 Charlie Griffin 15 Matt McEntegart 16 Alex Meechan 17 Les Afful 18 Mark Beesley 19 Paul Stonehouse 20 Ryan Harrison 22 Gary Owers 24 Christian Edwards.
This is Glos confirms that "Forest Green have secured the services of Wycombe Wanderers 6ft 6in goalkeeper Steve Williams and St Mirren striker Allan Russell. Wycombe have released goalkeeper Steve Williams, 23, on a season long deal... This leaves one place in the squad to be filled and Owers aims to secure another striker. Russell, 25, started at Hamilton Academical in 1999 before going on to play in the Scottish First Division at St Mirren. He rejected a new deal at St Mirren and switched to England last season where he played for Macclesfield Town and Mansfield Town".
The Cambridge Evening News says that "John Howard has quit the Cambridge United board after snubbing an offer to buy out his stake in Abbey owners, Bideawhile. Howard was asked to step down by his fellow directors at a board meeting. It followed his rejection of director and biggest shareholder Paul Barry's bid to purchase his 50 per cent share in Bideawhile - the company Howard set up with Steven Clark to buy the Abbey for £1.92million in November 2004 - for a premium. Barry's offer to buy out Howard's stake was a vain attempt to cut United's annual rent bill of £200,000. It is understood the United States-based director would have waived his share of the rent to help the club. In a combined statement, the United board said: 'As a result, in consultation with a majority of shareholdings, we asked John Howard to resign due to his conflict of interests as the landlord and a director of his tenant'... With Howard gone, the process of putting together an allied board and bringing in new investment could now move ahead".
This is Exeter asserts that "Former Wales international Rob Edwards will put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Exeter City on Friday - on the condition he passes a medical... Grecians' boss Paul Tisdale has agreed personal terms with the 33-year-old... Tisdale, who played alongside Edwards for Bristol City, has been tracking the player for the past two weeks. And he says he is delighted to have landed the seasoned defender". Tisdale added that "He is primarily coming in as a central defender, but he has played at left-back for Wales, he has played central midfield for Preston on a number of occasions and has also played in a left midfield role. Clubs at our level need to have players... who have versatility of playing in more than one position because of the size of the squads... He is a good football player who has probably got two or three years left at this level of football". The report continues, "The arrival of Edwards represents the third defender to have joined the club during the summer after Patrick Ada and Jon Richardson... Tisdale admits the defence was his primary source of concern when he took over the reins... And now his defensive unit is complete, he will set his sights on adding a winger and a striker to the ranks". The manager "is believed to be keen on securing the return of winger Tony Scully". Edwards, a 6ft defender, who won four full caps for Wales said of Blackpool "I had the respect of my fellow professionals at the club and they were surprised I was released. But that's football and you've got to move on. I had a decent season last year and was a regular in the side, playing over 30 games". Meanwhile, Exeter City players will embark on a team-building trip... The players will spend the day at a North Devon beach for some running on the sand dunes before having a surfing lesson. The trip has been designed to boost team morale ahead of the start of the season".
The Thurrock Gazette states that "Grays' boss Frank Gray has bolstered his defensive options with the capture of Lewes's French centre back Jim Sangare. 22-year-old Sangare has been on trial at Blues throughout the pre-season... [Gray also] swooped on former club Farnborough Town to pick up Jay Smith but with Lee Matthews retiring and Christian Hanson and Joe Bruce both leaving, the Scot always needed to sign at least one more centre back. Sangare, who was born in Dunkirk, partnered former Blues centre half Steve Robinson at Conference South Lewes last season... He has also appeared for St Albans, Chelmsford City and Redbridge".
In Halifax Today we read that "A trio of trialists including former Huddersfield man David Beresford have been given the chop by Town boss Chris Wilder. Just minutes after the home 4-2 friendly defeat at the hands of FC United of Manchester, Wilder told Beresford, ex-Blackburn central defender Luke Jones and former Stalybridge midfield man Neil Prince he would not be offering them deals.But big central defender Chris Clarke and striker Andy Campbell will get another chance....'I have got 10 days to go before the season starts so I have had to make quick decisions and not many of them have been favourable ones', said Wilder. 'I was in a situation where I had to look at these players in a competitive environment because you can't make a decision from what you see in training. I was expecting more from the lads that I did bring in and maybe that's why they are going out of the door'. Wilder said he was aware that the central defensive area was urgently in need of strengthening and for that reason he had decided to give Clarke another chance... 'He did some good things and some not so good things, so I'll have another look at him at the weekend and make a decision... I don't think people saw the best of Andy Campbell in that game... He went for a million pounds four years ago, and I know there is a player in there'... The other trialists to appear last night were former Stockport man Danny Boshall, who is training with the Shaymen at present, and young keeper Jonathan Hedge who played in the closing stages". Wilder added "that while he understood the frustrations of supporters hoping for signficant strengthening before the opening Conference fixture... he was working to a strict budget. People have got to realise that my targets went a long time ago because I couldn't afford them. I'm shopping in Netto yet again but people are expecting Harrods signings. I enquired about four or five players from other Conference sides but I was blown out of the water financially. People have got to realise that there are sides in the Conference who can offer those wages and I can't compete with them. I have got to wait and try to unearth a few diamonds but to do that you have to look at players and give them a chance". As for the defeat by FCUM, "At least half a dozen tackles flew in that made the home faithful wince, the majority coming from the visitors... And Wilder was not complaining, saying he was pleased that his players underwent a full physical workout with the proper stuff just over a week away.... Town's starting XI was unrecognisable to the one which suffered that play off heartbreak at Leicester, with many having barely been introduced before they took the field... Young [ex-Alty] Steve Torpey, not to be confused with the Scunthorpe striker of the same name, produced a dazzling 30 yard swerver which flew past Mawson and set the tone for a sparkling display by a lad surely soon to be snapped up by a league side".
Morecambe Today says that "Dave Perkins has put in a transfer request to leave Morecambe FC after supposedly attracting interest from Football League clubs. The versatile player, who has one year left on his contract, put in the written request at the weekend but the club board have rejected it. Club chief executive, Rod Taylor said, 'He figures prominently in our plans for the coming season and is a player we value highly. He has come through our Academy system and we want to keep him here for 2006-07'... He has played at both left-back and central midfield and featured for the England National Game team, captaining the side. The club did confirm the signing this week of defender Danny Meadowcroft. There was also good news on the goalkeeping front at Christie Park with both Ryan Robinson and Steven Drench fit to return".
Rushden Today says that "Paul Hart's squad showed their class with another impressive display of passing football while Wellingborough Town could hardly get a kick at times... as club captain Dave Savage, making his first pre-season start, controlled play from an anchor role in midfield – allowing Tomlin, Tyrone Berry and Simeon Jackson to cause plenty of problems. Diamonds (4-3-3): Eyre (sub Crane h-t); Grainger, Ashton (sub C Reynolds h-t), Wilson (sub Langdon h-t), Hatswell (sub B Reynolds h-t); Pearson, Savage (sub O'Keefe 66 mins), Rigby; Tomlin (sub Udoji 66 mins), Berry, Jackson. Subs not used: Shaw, Kelly, Rankine [ex-Alty trialist]. Goals: Ashton (20 mins pen, 0-1), Tomlin (49 mins, 0-2), Tomlin (52 mins, 0-3), Rigby (53 mins, 0-4)".
From the St Alban's Observer we learn that "City have just one pre-season game to get things right ahead of their trip to face Kidderminster on the opening day, after Havant & Waterlooville called off tonight's friendly. The Hawks cited an injury crises as the reason behind their withdrawal, leaving City boss Colin Lippiatt forced to admit that his side may be undercooked for the season opener on Saturday, August 12. ' We''ll just have to get on with it, but it's a major blow'", said Lippiatt.
The York Press states that "Goalkeeper Tom Evans will take the field tonight against a Leeds United XI as a York City player after turning his trial into a contract. The 29-year-old former Scunthorpe United stopper made a good impression on Billy McEwan and his staff during several weeks on trial and has now been snapped up on a permanent basis... He could soon be joined at KitKat Crescent by former Middlesbrough striker Andy Campbell. The high-calibre forward, who played as a trialist against Darlington last Friday, has been made an offer by the Minstermen and McEwan is now waiting for a response" but he played for Halifax on Tuesday night. "McEwan feels he requires a few more new faces before the beginning of the Conference campaign... The City manager said: 'I am still talking to plenty of players because we are still short. We had a bigger squad at this stage last season and I'd like to bring four more players in but it's not proving easy".
2 August 2006
SALFORD CITY 1 ALTRINCHAM 3
Above: Eddie Hussin (in blue, on knees) scores the opener, with Robbie Lawton (19), Pat McFadden (28) and Lee Hendley (26) involved in the build-up.
GAME OFFLast night's scheduled Alty Youth team game at Runcorn Town was postponed. Runcorn had originally intended to run a Reserves side who would have played Alty Youth but this proved not to be possible and so the game was called off.
CCFA DISTRICT YOUTH CUPThe draw for the Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup 2006-07 has been made and is detailed on the Youth Page.
BIG NAMES FOR CHARITY GAME AT MOSS LANEMike Cockayne, a football writer and follower of Altrincham FC, is arranging a charity football match at Moss Lane on Sunday, October 1st, with kick off at 2pm. The game will raise funds for the KIDNEYS FOR LIFE charity which is based at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Altrincham FC's Grahame Rowley is liaising with Mike and his colleagues to organise the game which will be between a strong Manchester City Old Boys team and an All Star XI . The City Old Boys will be led by Peter Barnes.
The Moss Lane turnstiles will open at 12 noon as there will be pre-match family entertainments - the bar will also open at noon. Admission prices are £5 for adults and £3 for concessions. The charity also has advertising, sponsorship and mascot packages available to help raise funds for Kidneys For Life, and anybody wanting more information on these should please contact Caroline Siddall, the fundraising manager for the charity on 0161 276 - 6671 during office hours or by e-mail.
The City Old Boys team is to be selected from the following list (subject to availability): Peter Barnes, Andy Dibble, Andy Morrison, Neil Poynton, Steve Redmond, Ian Brightwell, Kenny Clements, Jim Melrose, Dave Moss, Keith Barnes, David White, Asa Hartford, Dave Bennett and Kevin Reeves.
RESERVES' LEAGUEAlty Reserves play in the increasingly inaccurately named Lancashire Football League which has confirmed the reorganisation of the League into two regional divisions, East and West. "Both divisions consist of 10 clubs, therefore playing on a home and away basis, each club will play 18 league games, 9 at home and 9 away. The split of the two divisions is as follows:
Altrincham, Farsley Celtic, Goole Town, Guiseley, Hyde United, Ossett Albion, Ossett Town, Rossendale United, Wakefield, Woodley Sports,
Atherton Collieries, Bamber Bridge, Barrow AFC, Burscough, Fleetwood Town, Lancaster City, Leigh RMI, Morecambe, Skelmersdale United, Workington
We would be hoping to complete possibly 10 fixtures by the mid November period, with the remaining league fixtures then re-commencing in early/mid February and being completed by the 1st Saturday in May. During the in between period (mid November to Mid February) we would run the first stages of a cup competition based on a league formula. With 20 teams it has been decided to run with 4 divisions of 5, played on a home and away basis, making 8 games in the league group stage. This would then give all teams 26 matches during the season, this is a figure that we know most, if not all clubs are happy with. The competition would again be split geographically, a, b, c, d. Winners of a, would play runners up of b, winners of b would play runners up of a, with c and d likewise. The winners of each group would be at home in the quarter finals. Semi finals would be an open draw, one game only, on ground of team drawn first. The final would be on a ground and on a date to be decided. The quarter finals, semi finals and final would take place between mid February and the end of the season.
CONFERENCE NEWSNL: Daily says that "Terry Brown, manager of Aldershot Town, has completed, subject to FA clearance, the signing of former Crystal Palace midfielder Ricky Newman. The 35-year-old spent last season at Brentford and has made over 450 League appearances... Brown said: 'Ricky has become an Aldershot player and that is great news. He is a real battler and organiser who will certainly stand up to be counted. He was just the kind of player that I was looking for in pre-season and I am delighted that he has signed'". <> Also, "Grays Athletic striker Dennis Oli has returned to the club after Watford spurned the chance to sign him. Twenty-two-year-old Oli has been training with the Premiership new boys since they returned to pre-season in July but despite impressing Hornets' manager Aidy Boothroyd, he failed to win a transfer. Boothroyd intends to keep tabs on the ex-QPR trainee over the forthcoming season... According to Grays boss Frank Gray, 'He's back training with us now and we expect him to be here for the season. He is happy with that and has looked bright in the few days training he has had back with us'". However, "Watford's decision not to open the cheque book for Oli could end John Turner's chances of earning a permanent contract at Grays... Ex-Rushden & Diamonds striker Turner has appeared in three pre-season games... Frank Gray said: 'I don't know yet about signing Turner. Dennis Oli can obviously play on the right as well so we don't necessarily have four strikers'. Gray has also revealed he is on the lookout for a central midfielder to fill the void created by the injury to skipper Stuart Thurgood. Ex-Darlington and Canvey Island midfielder Ashley Nicholls impressed in that position against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday but Gray is again keeping his cards close to his chest".
The Football Conference says that Kidderminster Harriers "have pulled off another transfer coup... with the news that former Birmingham Captain Jeff Kenna has agreed to join the club... The 35-year-old former Republic of Ireland international began his career with Southampton before sealing a £1.5 million switch to Blackburn Rovers, where he played in the run in to their Premiership-winning campaign in 1994/95... Harriers' boss Mark Yates told the club's official website: 'If everybody can have the same attitude and dedication as Jeff then I know we'll be a force to be reckoned with... Jeff has been a great pro throughout his career and if everybody in the squad can have the same attitude and dedication as him then I know we'll be a force to be reckoned with'".
Stafford Rangers report tha "With the new season less than two weeks away, the squad numbers allocated so far are: 1. Williams; 2. Sutton; 3. Talbott; 4. McAughtrie; 5. Daniel; 6. Lovatt; 7. Downes; 8. Street; 9. Grayson; 10. Smith; 11. Robin Gibson; 14. Walker; 15. Edwards; 16. Quailey; 29. Robinson; 30. Murray".
The BBC states that "Hereford have reached an undisclosed settlement with Rushden & Diamonds over the transfer of Phil Gulliver. He recently joined the Bulls after two years with the Diamonds, but as he is under 24 and was offered a new deal, Rushden were entitled to compensation. However, an 'agreement acceptable to all parties' has now been signed, and Gulliver, 23, has returned to Hereford".
"Halifax defender Peter Atherton has been forced to retire from full-time football because of a knee injury. Atherton made his decision after undergoing surgery to repair tears in the cartilage in his left knee... He told Halifax's website: 'I've loved every minute of my time here, after a couple of tricky years at Bradford it restored my faith in football'", reports the BBC.
Exeter City confirm that they have agreed terms with centre-half Rob Edwards, who has been released by Blackpool.
1 August 2006
OPEN MEETINGA summary of Tuesday's open meeting at Moss Lane is here.
UMBRO TOURNAMENTFielding a squad which was 18 months younger than many of its opponents, Altrincham FC Youth did very well to reach the quarter-finals of the Manchester Umbro International Football Festival last week. In the U-18 group, Alty finished joint top of their section in the group stage with 9 points from 4 games but were placed third on goal difference. However, they qualified for the quarter-finals as one of the top third-placed teams but this position gave them a difficult draw in the knock-out stage, against the eventual winners of the tournament Leek Town. The results were:
Leek Town went on to win the competition.
CHRIS ADAMS RELEASEDAt Tuesday night's open meeting at Moss Lane, Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote announced that he had released left-back Chris Adams earlier that evening. Chris (30) re-joined Alty from Ashton United in late May 2001, after previously being at Alty in 1997 when he made just one substitute appearance. He was released by Bernard Taylor early in season 2002-03 but returned to Alty on the appointment of Graham Heathcote as manager and made his third 'debut' on 15 October, 2002. He was awarded the Tom Earley Clubman of the Year award in 2005. Chris has twice been Alty's sub goalkeeper and his other clubs included Congleton Town, Nantwich Town, Trafford, Droylsden, Northwich Victoria and Oldham Athletic. He made 185(+4) appearances for Altrincham and scored 2 goals. Graham explained that, as with the earlier release of Mark Maddox, it had been a very difficult decision to make and that the club would do its best to help Chris find another club. Alty fans know Chris a completely committed player to the Altrincham cause and will wish him good luck in his future career.
Graham indicated that one further player may be added to the squad but that there would be further departures before the start of the season.
THIS WEEK'S GAMESAlty's next pre-season game is tonight (Tuesday) away at Salford City (7.45pm). City's ground is famous as the oldest existing venue for sport in Manchester, having witnessed 325 years of organised sport. The ground's location was originally Kersal Moor horse-racing course from 1681 and since then it has also served as a cricket ground, tennis courts, an archery field and as the home of Manchester Athletics Club. Manchester FC rugby club used Moor Lane from 1919 and it is their stand from the 1930s, an impressive concrete structure, which is still in use today. Salford City FC have been at Moor Lane since 1976. The following directions to City's ground are provided by the NW Counties Football League:
Ground Address: Moor Lane, Kersal, Salford, Manchester. Telephone: 0161 792 6287. Directions: M62 to junction 17 (Prestwich/Radcliffe) take A56 Bury New Road to Manchester, continue through four sets of traffic lights, turn right into Moor Lane, ground 500 yards on left. Nearest Railway Station: Swinton.
On Friday (4th), Alty entertain a Bolton Wanderers XI at Moss Lane (7.30pm). Entry is £5 (£2 for concessionaries and free for Alty season-ticket holders).
THE BORO CONNECTIONIn the Radcliffe Borough team for Tuesday's friendly with Northwich Vics are Alty players Stephen Rose, Kieran Lugsden (right) and Pat McFadden, all of whom also played last Saturday for the Boro against Stalybridge Celtic.
CONFERENCE NEWSBBC Sport says that "Nuneaton Borough have signed veteran central defender Daryl Burgess. The 35-year-old, released by Kidderminster at the end of the season, will make his first Boro appearance in Tuesday's friendly against Wycombe". Also "Rushden and Diamonds are giving a trial to former Grays Athletic goalkeeper Nicky Eyre. The 20-year-old was released by the Conference side after just one year of his two-year contract".
"Crawley manager John Hollins accepts that he could be out of a job by the end of this week. A new owner is expected to be announced at the Conference club by administrator Rob Sadler, and that could end Hollins's tenure at Broadfield Stadium. Hollins... told the Brighton Argus: 'I'm long enough in the tooth to know I could be out. We've shown signs of improvement, but we have to wait and see what happens. All I can do is carry on working hard and continue to improve the team. I thought Alan Lewer and I did a good job last year, we improved the players' fitness, stopped letting goals in and we got results under difficult circumstances'".
Weymouth "are pleased to annouce that Raphael Nade has signed for the Terras. Martyn Harrison was made aware that the popular frontman whose goals helped the Terras achieve promtion last season was available last Thursday. Manager Garry Hill, who was given full support from the Chairman, had little persuading in getting Raphael Nade to sign a year long loan from Carlisle Utd. There will be no call-back available throughout the season for the Cumbrian club, so Nade will be available for FA Cup and Trophy ties, as well as all league matches. Nade, who quickly became a fans' and players' favourite last season, will add further competition up front".
York City "has signed goalkeeper Tom Evans. The 29 year old has been on trial with the Minstermen for several weeks and has impressed manager, Billy McEwan, in the Club’s recent pre-season friendly games. Doncaster based Evans is an experienced goalkeeper and previously played for Scunthorpe United until his release this summer".
Nuneaton Borough report that "Brian Quailey has left Nuneaton Borough and stepped up to the Conference National with Stafford Rangers. This marks the end of Quailey’s third spell with the club and has seen him score 22 goals from 61 starts. Quailey has just recovered from a knee injury and was offered non-contract terms by Boro for this season. Manager Roger Ashby said, 'Stafford came in for Brian and he chose to go and talk to them and has completed a move over the weekend... We wish him well'".
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