Altrincham Football Club News Archive
June, 2007

31 July 2007


After last night's match, Graham Heathcote made the following signings for next season...
  • Joining for another season are: strikers Rod Thornley and Pat McFadden and defender/midfielder Gary Scott.
  • Re-joining after impressing in pre-season is winger Colin Potts (who was, of course, with us at the start of last season before a spell with Barrow).

    Amongst the trialists being made offers for next season is Matthew Berkeley, the former Gretna striker. But two trialists who are not being signed are midfielder Chris Baguley and winger Jimmy Gaysham. For details of the 18-man squad to date, visit the Squad page.

    SAM has also posted details of the signings and non-signings.


    Right: Robbie Lawton gets the better of his Tranmere marker.

    Match report here.


    The Tranmere Rovers website says that "A Craig Curran goal midway through the second half earned Rovers a pre-season friendly win against Altrincham at Moss Lane. It was Curran who came closest in the first half when hitting the post, and the youngster netted his third goal of the summer on 63 minutes. Mike Jones picked up the ball in midfield and played a through ball to Curran who shot diagonally past the keeper into the top corner.


    The BBC says that "Manager Jimmy Quinn hopes to escape with just a warning when his Cambridge United side face a Football Association disciplinary hearing this week. The U's have been summoned as they had nine players sent off last season. 'We'd be fined if we averaged 10 points a game at the end of the season, but we did OK', he told the club website. 'I think we'll be warned to keep an eye on our record this season. And none of the players who were sent off last season are with us any more'".
    30 July 2007


    Tranmere Rovers have annouced that for their match at Altrincham tonight, "Manager Ronnie Moore has said those players not starting against Bolton Wanderers are likely to be involved, so the likes of John Mullin, Adnan Ahmed, Craig Curran, Gareth Taylor, Ben Chorley, Carl Tremarco and John Achterberg could all start. Youngsters Paul Henry, Mike Jones, Michael Johnston and Danny Holmes are also likely to have some involvement in the game... Ex-Prenton Park youngster Gary Scott is on the books at the Robins but the versatile player is likely to miss out through injury.

    Tranmere have already beaten Marine 3-1 this pre-season and as Alty lost to Marine, we can expect a difficult game!

    Alty last hosted Tranmere to a pre-season game on 17 July 2002 in a match which ended 1-1, thanks to goals from Jason Koumas and Rod Thornley. Alty included Tranmere goalkeeping coach Eric Nixon as their keeper that day. Their side was Nixon, Derek Ward, Gary Scott, Andy McDonald, Mark Maddox, Gary Talbot, Neil Ryan, Ian Craney, Danny Murphy, Rod Thornley and Ryan Hevicon, with Stuart Locke on the bench alongside goalkeeper Chris Williams, Stephen Rose, and a cohort of trialists who included Kevin Duncalf, Peter Mellor, Mike Miller, Mike Turner, Danny Frost. Tranmere's side included James Olsen, later to join Alty, as well as Koumas, Andy Parkinson, Alex Hay and Stuart Barlow.


    Next Saturday (4 August, 3pm) Alty host Ken McKenna's TNS (The New Saints) at Moss Lane. They are the reigning champions of Wales but were eliminated from Europe last week. The Saints Alive site says that "Ken McKenna rested the majority of players who had featured in Wednesday night's Champions League defeat in Latvia, but The New Saints still proved too strong for Cammell Laird" in a friendly last weekend. "They beat the Unibond Leaguers 2-0 at the Kirklands Stadium with goals in each half from Alfie Carter and trialist Luke Holden, who had an outstanding game". Lairds included ex-Alty loanee from Tranmere, Alex Hay.


    The BBC says that "Forest Green Rovers have signed former Yeovil defender Anthony Tonkin. The 27-year-old Cornishman ended his second spell with the Glovers this summer - and was offered a two-year deal by League Two side Lincoln. However, he opted to stay closer to his south-west roots, and manager Jim Harvey told Rovers' website: 'Anthony is a vital piece of our jigsaw. His addition fills the void caused by Kevin Nicholson moving on, and his experience will be a great asset'. Tonkin has also played for Stockport and Crewe, and has Conference experience from a loan spell at Grays last season".

    In Sunday's NL Paper, Conference supremo John Moules complains at the lack of funding for non-league football after the Premier League "dished out" £90 million last week to lower clubs. Even those in League Two got £68,987 each. Kidderminster chairman Barry Norgrove added, "I am very disappointed, We are down at the bottom and the big clubs need us to bring people through". The Premier League claim they already fund non-league football through the £15 million they give to the Football Foundation and The Football Stadia Improvement Fund and that the extra £90M will trickle down to non-league through transfers.

    John Yems, sacked as Crawley Town caretaker boss after saving the club from relegation fears he is now unemployable as people believe there was a hidden reason behind his dismissal. "But the fact is I was told they wanted a manager with a wealthy backer and that's why they went for Steve Evans", he told the NL Paper. And fellow caretaker, "Dave Woozley has been told he can leave but the defender wants to fight for his place" as a player at Crawley.

    Droylsden's new signing, Mark Hotte (ex-Scarborough and York) told the NL Paper, "We hope that we'll be able to surprise a few. Droylsden is a little club but it looks like a little club that has got aspirations to do much bigger things. Everything about the place is new and the ground is something of a purpose-built stadium. The pitch is brilliant... There are a lot of clubs that would like to just sit there and bide their time, but Dave Pace would like to get Droylsden as far as he can". The new signings at The Butcher's Arms include Cammell Laird's Jamie McGuire and five ex-Conference players in Hotte, Phil Senior (ex-Vics keeper), Colin Cryan (ex-Boston), Ged Murphy (ex-Alty and Stafford) and Robin Gibson (ex-Stafford). The Bloods also expect to sign an ex-League player this week.

    Former Chester and Llanelli centre-half Cortez Belle is a trialist at Halifax Town.

    Exeter boss Paul Tisdale is experimenting with formations and has used a three-man backline in pre-season. "I'd like to have a number of different plans up my sleeve. Whether we start the season [at Altrincham] with three at the back is another matter but it's something we are considering".

    As a Conference side last season, Altrincham are one of the clubs eligible for the new NW Football Awards, and an awards dinner wil be held on 12th November. The prizes are for "talent both on and off the pitch and in the boardroom" states the NL Paper.


    Kevin Ellison was Man of the Match for his new club Chester City in their friendly against Droylsden at the weekend.
    29 July 2007


    Above: Jimmy Gaysham, Alty's trialist (ex-Burnley) and Marine's former Alty captain Eddie Hussin in Saturday's game. Joe O'Neill is in the background. For more pictures see below.

    Match report here.

    Marine report that their team "continued their pre-season build up with a thoroughly deserved victory against Blue Square Conference side Altrincham. Throughout the 90 minutes it was the Mariners who were on top".


    Work on installing the new Moss Lane floodlights starts on August 13th and is expected to take three weeks. Alty's first evening league match of the season at home is on Tuesday, 18th September, a live Setanta TV match against Cambridge United. If you have the Virgin Media cable service (formerly NTL Cable) and have not found it yet, Setanta Sports is available on channels 538 and 539, free of charge, if you have the "XL" television package.


    In last Wednesday's 1-1 draw between Hollinwood and a TraffordFC XI, Trafford included their manager and former Alty midfielder Ged Kielty in their starting line-up as well as last season's Alty Youth defender Rico Colulo.
    28 July 2007


    Leek Town included Alty's Pat McFadden in their line up today against Stockport Georgians, a game they won 6-1. Pat played well and scored a hat-trick - a header, an overhead kick and a six-yard effort. Also playing for Leek today was Ben Deegan and three more players from last season's Alty Reserves in John Maloney, Colin McAllister and Paul Monaghan.


    Above: Stuart Coburn lines up his colleagues to defend a freekick from Ian Latham, Marine's no.3 (far right, foreground)....

    Above: ... but to no avail, as the ball finds the back of the net at the back post.

    A very disappointing performance from a strong Alty team ended in defeat when Stuart Coburn was fooled by a late freekick taken from 25 yards out towards the touchline. Alty barely mustered a shot on goal despite Marine bringing on nine young substitutes at the interval, who included fringe players and reserves.

    Match report here.


    Congratulations to Altrincham Youth, who reached the final of their Umbro Tournament group today before going down 3-1 to a strong side from London, called DW Development Centre "A" Team. Alty had beaten Macclesfield and District 1-0 in their semi final earlier today. Details of both games to follow.

    Courtesy of George Heslop, three more match reports from earlier rounds of the Umbro Tournament have been added to the website in the Youth section


    Ahead of today's game at Marine, the Marine Forum reminds us that Alty's Colin Little "has featured against Marine before and has scored on three different occasions", to which another person replies "He hasn't scored for Altrincham against us in competitive games - though he did score against us in the friendly we had with them a couple of years ago. All the goals scored in competitive games were whilst he was with Hyde United".

    Looking back at this website's match report we find that on Saturday 6th August 2005, Alty drew 1-1 at Rossett Park in a pre-season game. Colin Little netted for Alty after 84 minutes but Marine equalised soon afterwards through another player with Alty connections, Lee Kissock. The teams that day were:

    ALTRINCHAM: (All yellow): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Karl MUNROE, 3. Peter BAND, 4. Mark MADDOX (capt.), 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Steve HAWES, 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Lutel JAMES, 11. Chris ADAMS. Subs: 12. Rod THORNLEY, 14. Richard ACTON (gk), 15. Gary WILLIAMS & Kieran LUGSDEN, 16. Lewis CHALMERS, 17. James OLSEN & Stephen ROSE.

    MARINE: (White shirts, black shorts & socks): 1. Andy RALPH, 2. Neil MURPHY, 3. Steve HOLLIS, 4. Adam FARLEY, 5. James CONNOLLY (capt), 6. Darren BROOKFIELD, 7. Carl NESBITT, 8. Anthony MEE, 9. Nicky YOUNG, 10. Ged COURTNEY, 11. Paul BYRNE. Subs: 12. Chris FITZSIMMONS, 14. Lee MULLIN, 15. Michael ELLISON, 16. Lee KISSOCK, 17. Chris PARRY (gk). NB Kissock actually wore no.15.

    Pictured right in 2005, Chris Adams (11), Gary Talbot, Steve Hawes and Stuart Coburn are the Alty players shown in action against Marine.


    This is Staffs reports on Thursday's game in which "Spirited Kidsgrove missed several chances as they slid to a 4-3 defeat against Conference side Altrincham. Kidsgrove went in front when Matt Rhead scored from the spot, but the visitors drew level when keeper Coates was beaten by a 25-yard piledriver from Baggaley [Baguley]. Kidsgrove were playing the better football, but then gifted Altrincham two goals. Berkeley knocked in a rebound after Coates had made a save, then Berkeley raced clear to score with a low shot. Kidsgrove squandered several opportunities after the break, but finally pulled a goal back when Hadland fired home from 20 yards. Hadland struck again in with another well-placed shot to level the scores, but Altrincham scored the winner when Lawton [Walker] scrambled the ball into the net four minutes from the end".


    This is Weymouth says that the Terras' "boss Jason Tindall has revealed that money will govern whether he can add a couple more players to his squad before the start of the season. The 29-year-old wants to draft in two more acquisitions but he admits finances are tight. He said: 'We are very tight on money now. We are more or less there in terms of the squad although we are trying to find some funds from somewhere to bring in another two. If we are able to do that the jigsaw would be complete and we would have a strong squad with a very good balance between experience and youth, and amongst it a lot of quality'. Talks with former Chelsea defender and trialist Joel Kitamirike have stalled. Tindall added: 'Joel still wants to come in and train with us and if something becomes available money-wise and we can come to an agreement then great. We are a bit stretched at the moment but we have done incredibly well to bring in the type of players we have done in such a short space of time'. Kitamirike will again be joined in the squad tomorrow to face Leyton Orient at the Wessex Stadium (3pm) by fellow trialists Gavin McCallum and Brian Glover but new-signing Jefferson Louis remains sidelined.. 'The last thing we want to do is bring him (Louis) back early and risk losing him for the start of the season'" said the manager.

    From the Salisbury Journal we see that "Salisbury City's full-time ranks have been boosted further by the signing of central defender Ollie Barnes. The 19-year-old former Bristol City player has impressed during pre-season... 'He's a left-footed centre half and he's joined us on a one year full-time contract', confirmed manager Nick Holmes. Holmes also hinted that additional signings may be completed this weekend".

    In the Oxford Mail we read that a "further 30 flooding evacuees fled their homes to Oxford's main rescue centre last night. The Holiday Inn Express at Kassam Stadium in Oxford has been the county's rescue centre since the floods started a week ago. Last night 30 more flood victims arrived from Osney and Abingdon Road areas from homes either still filled with water or suffering a power blackout... In total 41 residents spent Thursday night at the rescue centre. It is expected to remain open to evacuees until tomorrow".

    "Farsley Celtic have added to their summer recruits after signing five players who have impressed in pre-season outings. Former York City and Tamworth defender Graeme Law has put pen-to-paper... The Scottish-born player is joined at Throstle Nest by another ex-York defender, Anthony Lloyd, and former Leeds United youngster Bailey Camfield. Ex-Bradford City midfielder Pat McGuire makes the short trip to Farsley, along with striker Nick Smith, who left Throstle Nest for Valley Parade after making his Celtic debut as a 17-year-old a couple of years ago. That takes Lee Sinnott's summer signings to nine, with the signatures of Tris Whitman, Mark Jackson, Scott McNiven and Mark Wilberforce secured earlier this month" states the Yorkshire Evening Post.

    This is Local London says that Wycombe Wanderers' midfielder Steven Gregory looks set to join Aldershot on loan and could be joined at the Recreation Ground by Wycombe team-mates Alan Massey and Tom Cadmore.... Gregory was recommended by Shots' former Wanderers striker Jonny Dixon... All three players signed new one-year deals at Wycombe in the summer but Wanderers are keen for them to gain regular first team experience."

    N.W. NEWS

    The Football Network says that "Dutch striker Marlon Beijard, a product of the world famous Ajax youth system, is set to make his Leigh RMI debut this evening in the friendly away to Cammell Laird after joining the club on trial from Eredivisie side Sparta Rotterdam as he looks to earn himself a contract in England. Beijard is paying his own expenses for his trial period which will see him participate in three training sessions along with the friendlies at Cammell Laird this evening and Colwyn Bay on Saturday, with the possibility of an invitaion to remain with the club, should he sufficiently impress manager Stuart Humphreys after two years at Sparta which have seen him appear largely in their reserve side, although occasionally for their first team in the Dutch top division".
    27 July 2007


    Altrincham travel to Marine this Saturday (3pm). With 29 goals having been scored in the first team's six friendlies to date, don't be late! It is hoped that former Alty captain Eddie Hussin will be in the Marine side.

    On Monday (30th), Alty host a Tranmere Rovers XI at Moss Lane (k.o. 7.30pm).


    Altrincham FC Youth reached the semi-final of the Umbro Tournament today defeating Gregorians 2-1. They now meet Macclesfield & District FA tomorrow for a place in the final where the other finalists will be either Maine Road or DW Development. Alty reached the quarter finals earlier in the day, beating Maine Road 2-0 to win their League A group stage competition. On Thursday they had drawn their group match against Daisy Hill.


    Above: Chris Baguley takes Rod Thornley's congratulations after scoring from outside the box.

    Match report here.


    Altrincham FC yesterday had some of its youngest visitors ever when the toddlers from the Honey Bear Nursery dropped in. The nursery, which overlooks Altrincham's Moss Lane ground, was having a country-themed week and Thursday was England Day. Wednesday had been Greece Day and there had been a Mini-Olympics in their garden. So, what else for England than a football visit? The children, aged between 18 months and 3 years, had a great time giving Neil Brown's pitch a severe test. They all received a souvenir of Moss Lane to encourage them to return to a match when they are just a bit older!!


    Courtesy of George Heslop, there is now a brief report in the Youth section on the Alty Youth v Flixton game on Wednesday in the Umbro Tournament.


    Alty play both Marine and Tranmere in the next few days, and those two sides met recently as The Crosby Herald reports. "Alvin McDonald has warned trial players that they will have to prove their worth to the club before they are given a chance to shine this season. The Marine boss fielded three trialists in their 3-1 defeat by Tranmere at the weekend... He said: 'Although it was only their first game, all three impressed me. They will all get their chance in the pre-season games. But I need them to understand that the competition is really tough and they may have to wait for their chance once the season starts... But I need to see a bit of commitment to the club from them and if that means being patient, training hard and waiting, then so be it'. Midfielder Jamie Holme, striker Joe Murphy and goalkeeper Paul Armstrong all featured in a prominent second half display by the Mariners. Holme, 22, used to play for Blackburn Rovers and Rochdale as a youngster before signing for League of Wales side Cefn Druids in 2006/07. Armstrong, 19, was released by Tranmere in the summer of 2006 and has just returned to the UK after a spell playing in the USA. Meanwhile, Murphy has recently relocated from Jersey and had been training with Southport until last week... McDonald will now have to wait until Saturday to see the trialists in action again. Eddie Hussin and Andy Banks should return for the match against Altrincham after missing the game against Tranmere for personal reasons. But left-back Wayne McDermott will miss the game against the Conference side as he is still away on holiday". The Herald adds "It would have been even [easy] to take pity on Marine’s part-time players when they took to the field against full-time Tranmere. Alvin McDonald has often talked about how he prides himself on his side’s fitness and their ability to battle for the whole 90 minutes. But he must have feared the worse when he learnt of Rovers’ 6-0 demolition of Cammell Lairds the previous weekend... The Mariners were understandably sluggish early on, as they huffed and puffed in their first preparatory blow out... But the way in which they responded with vigour in the second half must surely give cause for optimism. They more than matched their opponents, who were four leagues above them, and with a bit of fortune, Marine could have snatched a draw... And while Karl Brown and Kevin Towey may be Marine’s main summer arrivals, it was last season’s reserve player-of-the-year and top goalscorer Woolcott who caught the eye. The winger may appear to be of slight build, but he showed strength and pace".


    Tickets are selling well for Altrincham chairman Geoff Goodwin's major fundraising event on September 30th. To benefit both Altrincham FC and the McGrath Foundation, run by Jane McGrath and her husband, the famous Australian test bowler, Glenn, Geoff Goodwin and his wife Suzanne have organised a fundraising dinner to be attended by stars of Australian and English cricket. The dinner follows a charity football match on the same day at 1pm at Moss Lane between a side which will include not only Glenn McGrath but also other cricketers including England's Darren Gough and Alec Stewart. The opposition will be a side featuring stars from Coronation Street and Hollyoaks.

    Geoff and Suzanne hope that there will be a bumper turnout for the dinner and the game for these two excellent causes. From the Football Club's point of view it is vitally important that such fundraisers are fully supported. For details of the dinner please contact the club on 928-1045 or e-mail Suzanne and Geoff.

    Provisional prices for the game are £5 for adults, £2 for concessionaries and just £10 for a family of two adults and two children. So, please put the date in your diary.


    The Burton Mail says that "Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough was pleased with the competitive work-out provided by League Two opponents Rotherham United last night. A hard-fought friendly at the Pirelli Stadium - Albion's third game in three days - ended in a goalless draw. After open matches against the likes of Ipswich Town and Derby County, Clough felt this latest encounter was perhaps better preparation for the rigours of the forthcoming Blue Square Premier campaign. He said: 'Not many pre-season friendlies finish 0-0, but I thought it was a good, competitive game and more like the opposition we are going to be facing week in, week out in the league. It was more like a league game - it was tight, there weren't many chances and there was a lot more heading and kicking than we have seen previously. That is one of the reasons we play this whole range of games - to come up against different styles and teams like Rotherham, who are a better side than us but only one division above... (Rotherham manager) Mark Robins was saying they probably had a bit of a reaction to losing 5-4 to Altrincham in their last game, so they had tightened up a bit and we were conscious of that as well after conceding three goals against Ipswich and Derby'... Burton went into last night's game on the back of a 3-1 victory at Buxton... Clough said: 'It was a strange sort of game. It could have been 8-8'... The team that faced Buxton again included former Chelsea youth goalkeeper James Russell, while ex-Sheffield Wednesday striker Kyle Jordan was also handed a trial. Clough said: 'You could see the difference having Kevin Poole back in the team'. Poole is expecting to find out about a possible coaching job within the next week, which could decide his Albion future. Clough said: 'He remains our first choice and we have got two or three back-ups if necessary. We are willing to wait for him'".

    From This is Exeter we read that "Exeter City's match at Crediton United had to be abandoned last night after teenage substitute James Berry suffered a badly broken leg.Berry had enjoyed a promising night up until then by netting Exeter's third goal within a minute of coming on as a substitute... He was the victim of a heavy tackle by Crediton striker Ben Harris, a former City trainee, who received a straight red card for his misdemeanour from the referee.. As he waited a good half an hour for an ambulance to arrive, Steve Perryman and Mike Radford, who were in charge of the team on the night, called an end to the game... It is the second time this summer that a Grecians player has been on the wrong end of a bad tackle. Defender Danny Seaborne suffered a similar fate at Bodmin Town in Exeter's second pre-season game of the season, but he escaped with only a fractured leg and cartilage damage... [Berry] is a superb athlete as well and a promising 400-metre runner. This weekend, he was going take part in a national athletics event - the AAA's - with the youngster tipped as a potential Olympic contender for the future... The Grecians fielded a very youthful side and Portuguese trialist Rui Braguinha paired Dean Stamp in attack. Matt Bye and Liam Sercombe were paired in midfield with Matt Taylor captaining the side from centre halF". The same source says that "Neil Saunders and Matt Taylor can be real surprise packages for Exeter City this season, according to manager Paul Tisdale... 'They will surprise a few people', said Tisdale. 'And we have players coming through at the club who other clubs will not know about, which is an advantage'".

    At Woking "Cards' boss Frank Gray has already begun to give the Woking fans more value for money — by making the Kingfield pitch wider by around eight feet... Gray admitted: 'I don’t like watching matches on narrow pitches. I don’t think it bodes well for playing football and getting the ball wide'. Gray played a 3-4-1-2 formation — without the injured Tom Hutchinson (hamstring) and Jay Gasson (ankle) — two of his three favoured centre backs who look set to start the Blue Square Premier campaign two weeks on Saturday. Paul Lorraine looked to have a touch of class and composure about him alongside Matt Ruby and Danny Bunce, who deputised for the injured pair, while Matt Gray’s delivery into the box was threatening at times. Adam Green and Gray look likely starters out wide for the Rushden clash on August 11". Meanwhile, "The much-heralded meeting between Cards’ chairman Chris Ingram and council decision makers, planned for Thursday, to discuss planning issues, has been re-scheduled for September".

    NL Daily confirms that "Northwich Victoria are giving a two-week trial to former Stevenage Borough and Southport striker Dino Maamria. Maamria is likely to figure in Northwich’s visit to Chasetown on Saturday as manager Neil Redfearn looks for a replacement for James Dean, who has been transfer-listed along with winger Carlos Roca. Maamria ended his second spell at `Port in January 2007 when he was signed by then Rushden & Diamonds` boss Graham Westley on an eighteen-month contract. But after failing to feature in new boss Garry Hill's first two squads, the 33-year-old returned to Haig Avenue for a third stint".

    "Matthew Barnes-Homer becomes Kidderminster Harriers' fifth signing of the summer today after the 21-year old striker inked terms on a one-year contract. Barnes-Homer joined Harriers on trial at the start-of pre-season... He started his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers as a 15-year old, spending three years in the Midlands. He's spent time with Aldershot, Hednesford and Bromsgrove, as well as last season Willenhall Town and League Two side Wycombe Wanderers... [and] the striker has spent two spells across the pond in America playing for Syracuse and Virginia Beach Mariners".

    26 July 2007


    This evening Altrincham play a friendly at Kidsgrove Athletic (k.o.7.30pm). The informative Kidsgrove website has directions to the ground. A former Robin still on the books at Kidsgrove is Neil Murphy but is injured. Athletic are members of the newly formed UniBond League One South and last season they finished 7th in the UniBond First Division in which their top scorers were Michael Lennon and Matthew Rhead.

    Alty played a friendly at Kidsgrove last summer, drawing 2-2, with Alty's goals coming from Lee Hendley and Pat McFadden. The Alty line-up for that game on 18 July 2006 was: 13. Richard ACTON, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 21. Stephen ROSE, 5. Gary TALBOT, 3. Gary SCOTT; 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 4. Eddie HUSSIN (capt), 8. Val OWEN, 18. Blake NORTON; 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Pat McFADDEN. Subs: 1*. Dave CUMMINS (gk), 26. Lee HENDLEY, 22. Richard NORRIS, 16. Lee MANNION, 17. Karl MUNROE

    Eight of the above squad are no longer at Moss Lane.

    This is Staffs says that "Kidsgrove's slender squad is stretched for tonight's home friendly against Conference side Altrincham (7.30pm). Manager Peter Ward is without Mark Beeston, Steve Pope, Michael Lennon and Neil Murphy, but is hopeful Wayne Brotherton may return. Centre-back Brotherton.. has been under treatment for a thigh strain. New midfielder Craig Lovatt has a similar injury, but player-coach Alex Morris is expected to continue his comeback from a lengthy absence with shin problems. Ward said: 'We are a bit thin on the ground because I have only 17 players, but I'm happy with the squad and I'm not looking to add to it'".


    Ian Rosendaal's excellent Ideas4Alty scheme is producing the eye-catching poster (right) for distribution. It is available to download here.


    Altrincham FC Youth won their first two games in the Umbro Tournament on Wednesay, beating Scottish side Wemyss United 4-1 and local rivals Flixton 2-0. As Nottingham side Greenwood Meadows have dropped out, Alty have another qualifying game to play on Thursday, against Daisy Hill and then they meet Maine Road on Friday. Altrincham's under-18 side currently top their under-19 group. A brief report on the Wemyss game is in the Youth section, with a report on the Flixton game to follow.

    Meanwhile, Altrincham FC Juniors have also entered a side at under-15 level in the Umbro competition. They overcame Atherton Town 1-0 but lost 1-0 to Columbus.


    Alty groundsman and former Reserves' manager Neil Brown, now assistant boss at Leek Town, has made use of his contacts as This is Staffs reports. "Leek Town continued their good start to pre-season with a come-from-behind win against North West Counties League Congleton. Congleton went on to take a deserved lead in the 39th minute when Blues' stand-in skipper Gary Talbot got underneath a header and the ball fell to Haddrell, who superbly lobbed keeper Matt Cooper from 35 yards. Leek looked a better option after the break, and were back on level terms within a minute... Seven minutes later, Leek swept into the lead... Leek sewed the game up five minutes from time when Louis Briscoe - who scored five against Accrington Stanley on Saturday - threaded a 25-yard free-kick through a crowded area in to the bottom corner". Leek's team included Alty's Ben Deegan, former reserve Colin McAllister and, on the bench, John Maloney, as well as former player Gary Talbot.


    On the Crawley Town Forum, a correspondent writes that he has obtained the following under the Freedom of Information Act. The questions asked of the local Council were: "1. [What is] the outstanding debt to Crawley Borough Council from Crawley Town FC, and any other names which may have been used in dealings with the council:
  • The balance outstanding for invoices raised before 5th June 2006 is £ 36,376.42. As agreed at the Creditors meeting in August 2006 , 50% of this amount (£18,188.21), is due to be paid to the Council under the CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement). If the Club fails to comply with the terms of the CVA the full amount will be payable. The balance outstanding for invoices raised following the period of Administration is £33,348.26. The total balance outstanding is therefore £ £51,536.47 (£33,348.26 plus £18,188.21)

    2. Of the amount outstanding amount how much does this equate to each taxpayer within the borough?

  • The Council issue 40,600 Council Tax invoices. This equates to £1.27 per household on the total outstanding balance.

    3. How long has this debt been outstanding?

  • Invoices are raised at various intervals through out the year, as and when they become due. The oldest outstanding invoice was raised in June 2005

    4. And what actions are being taken against them to seek/get payment?

  • Invoices raised prior to 5 June 2006 are included in the CVA as agreed by the Creditors. The Council is currently working with the club to secure an acceptable re-payment arrangement for the remaining invoices.

    5. And what is the council’s policy for businesses in collecting outstanding charges?

  • The Council will take whatever appropriate action is necessary to recover outstanding debts from businesses or individuals. However, the Council will consider the particular circumstances of the debtor and will try to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement to repay any balance before formal recovery action is taken ."

    Stevenage Borough confirm that "After impressing manager Mark Stimson in several pre-season matches Jerome Anderson was today handed his reward with a two-year contract at Broadhall Way. The product of Oxford United’s youth system is Stimson’s seventh signing of the season and adds further attacking options to an already talented squad. 'I am here to learn, and I have heard that Mark Stimson is the ideal man to learn under', the 18-year-old striker said. 'I know there are lots of talented strikers at the club, so I will have to be patient and wait for my chance'".

    This is Local London says that "Liam Daish is refusing to get carried away in the euphoria of Ebbsfleet's stunning pre-season victory over League One Millwall (on Tuesday). Chukki Eribenne's headed effort from a corner in the sixth minute put Fleet ahead... Ebbsfleet continued to hold their own against League opposition before deservedly doubling the lead midway through the second half when substitute Luke Moore fired home. The majority of the 1,753 crowd went home happy, but Daish remained level headed afterwards. He explained: 'A win in pre-season doesn't really count for anything and I would swap this result for one against Northwich on August 11.... Northwich will be a totally different proposition'... Trialists Chris McPhee and Phil Starkey both came on late in the second half, and the manager was impressed by what he saw... 'We've been aware of Chris for some time... Phil is from Gravesend and gave me a call during the summer because he wanted to keep fit with us after being released by Crystal Palace... He would give us options because he can play on the right of midfield and at right-back'... The manager also revealed he is hoping to give Mark De Bolla and Gary MacDonald a full game at Whitstable".

    "Ambitious Farsley Celtic are proposing to change the club's name to FC Leeds" according to The Yorkshire Evening Post. "The newly-promoted Blue Square Premier side believe by adding the city's name to that of the club they can raise its profile nationally and attract new fans and sponsorship... The club, which celebrates its centenary next year, is also considering other names including Leeds Celtic and FC Celtic of Leeds and is hoping the change will be introduced for the start of the 2008-09 season, after consulting with fans, the FA and Blue Square League. Celtic's managing director Terry Deighton said: 'When we have been trying to attract new sponsors and investment we have had a lot of 'Farsley who? Farsley where? We feel that by linking our name to that of the city we play in will by-pass a lot of that. The cost of wages, travelling, facilities and so on is increasing all the time and you cannot run a club at this level on bar takings. We need both financial and physical support to build on our success of the last few years'. Celtic... have climbed from the UniBond First Division to Conference level in less than five seasons... 'Some people have called us a bus stop in Pudsey and to be honest the football club has outgrown the area it is in', said Deighton. 'We are hoping to attract new fans who want to come along, have a pint, watch a game and have a sing song in a friendly atmosphere. We are also aiming ourselves at the 16 to 25-year-olds who have been alienated from other clubs and priced out of football'... Farsley are planning improvements including a new stand at Throstle Nest and also considering a change of kit from its current all blue, while in the longer term it is hoping to build a new stadium in the city... 'We never envisaged going from strength to strength so quickly but we are not willing to sit back and watch all our hard work be wasted. Despite the bookies making us favourites to go straight back down, our pre-season performances have shown that we are not willing to roll over... We have had 100 years as Farsley Celtic what about the next hundred as FC Leeds?'" said Mr Deighton.

    At another club which changed its name, the Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Rushden & Diamonds have left open the number nine shirt in their official squad list for 'a quality forward'. Manager Garry Hill hopes to complete his line-up with two wingers and another striker... Last season's number nine was Leo Fortune-West who only made six first-team appearances before joining Shrewsbury Town on loan. He has been put on the transfer list and handed the 26 shirt while being left out of the opening summer friendlies. Simeon Jackson, who was Diamonds' 20-goal top scorer, has switched from 12 to 10 with Paul Watson, Michael Rankine and Marcus Kelly dropping out of the 'starting XI' according to the new squad numbers. Diamonds, meanwhile, will continue their pre-season programme in the Algarve tonight against Portimonense SC who play in Portugal's second division".

    Further Portuguese connections have emerged from the Salisbury Journal which reports that "Salisbury City's Portuguese trialist Alvaro netted their only goal in last night's 1-1 draw at Team Bath... 'It wasn't what we really wanted', admitted a disappointed City boss. 'The game was very niggly throughout and the official was poor to be honest. We conceded three free kicks, they conceded 20 - that tells its own story. Fortunately we came out of it with no injuries - in fact our lads handled themselves very well - they kept out of trouble'".

    This is Weymouth says that "One new face at the Wessex Stadium last night was defender Joel Kitamirike. The 23-year-old, who has European experience with Chelsea, is set for negotiations with Tindall today following solid performances at Ringwood on Friday night and in last night's encounter with the Welsh outfit. Tindall added: 'Joel done well when he came on. He's not yet fully fit but I'm hoping to have a chat with him and start negotiations. He's been at a few clubs, and has got good experience behind him for a relatively young guy'".

    From NL Daily we read that "Aldershot Town have completed the signing of Reading`s midfielder Scott Davies on a season-long loan. Davies is a 19-year-old midfielder who joined Reading's Academy from Wycombe Wanderers. He has played a number of games for Ireland's youth sides and had a loan spell in the Conference South with Yeading last season... Wycombe`s midfielder Steven Gregory could also join the Shots in a loan move... his loan switch is expected to be confirmed this week".

    At Oxford, ""United have further boosted their promotion prospects with the signing of defender Mickey Corcoran on a permanent basis. The 19 year old Ulsterman was a revelation when playing on loan from Cardiff last season, and has joined United an a one year deal, with an option to extend this for a further year... Mickey told Yellow World, ' 'The gaffer and the lads have been spot on with me, and the fans were unbelievable last year. It was gutting not to be able to play and have an influence in the play-offs, and I was desperate to come back here and get the club promoted this time around... There were two league clubs interested, but at the end of the day I like the way this club is set-up, think we will do well this season, and I only really wanted to come and play here again'".

    25 July 2007


    SAM says that "Graham Heathcote is hoping to bring a youthful feel to his Altrincham squad, as he looks to build for the future... Former Gretna striker Matty Berkeley, recently released Oldham midfielder Chris Baguley, ex-Crewe defender Cavell Coo and former Bury pair Jimmy Gaysham and Kayne Handley have all appeared for Alty in preseason friendlies... He said: 'I have spoken to some of the younger lads and I'd like to think two or three of them would come on board. But the only thing is that they won't necessarily be coming here to start games. It's about getting some younger bodies around us, hopefully for the future of the club. I'm hopeful some of them and then show a bit of patience. There are some good footballers among them but youngsters and patience often don't go together. That was the problem we had with Lee Hendley, he wanted to be in the team every week. If they want to learn and progress and become part of the club then I would be happy to have a few of them here'"


    "Northern Ireland midfielder Mark Hughes, 23, will join Chester City on trial this week, following his release by Stevenage during the summer. The former Tottenham trainee has made 92 senior appearances for Northampton, Oldham, Chesterfield and Stevenage" reports the BBC

    Aldershot Town report that "Following discussion with Hampshire Constabulary, Aldeshot Town's pre-season friendly on Saturday 28th July against Millwall is cancelled. We are extremely disappointed that this game will not be going ahead, but the unprecedented costs of staging this fixture, which we have now been presented with, is not viable for a club with our resources. We trust that supporters of both sides will accept our apologies and in particular we wish Millwall the very best for the coming season". More bad news for the Shots is reported by the Northwich Victoria report that "Striker Paul Tait has returned to Vics 8 years after leaving the club in 1999, to join Crewe Alexandra. He played for 3 years at Crewe before having spells with Bristol Rovers, Rochdale, Chester City, Boston United and lastly Southport. Aged 32 the 6ft striker was the Vics leading scorer in 97/98 and 98/99 season". Meanwhile the Northwich Guardian says "Vics have swooped to snatch striker Paul Tait from under the nose of former boss Steve Burr. The 32-year-old forward had agreed a switch to Stalybridge Celtic earlier this month, but has now decided he'd rather return to Northwich... 'It's a real coup for us', said Vics. boss Neil Redfearn... Tait had a brief spell at Southport in the Conference National at the end of last season after leaving Boston United. He brings the total of summer signings to eight at the Victoria Stadium". However, "James Dean has joined Bridlington Town for an undisclosed fee... Dean was transfer listed at his own request after telling the Vics he needed more money. 'He came to me and said he couldn't manage on what he was earning', said Neil Redfearn. The former Clitheroe front runner played two trial games for Halifax Town last week, but Shaymen boss Chris Wilder told him he had not made the grade". Dean scored against Alty last season.

    From the Salisbury Journal we learn that "Salisbury City have confirmed that youth team player Jamie Barron and former Oxford United youngster Chris Weedon have signed as first year pros. Manager Nick Holmes said: 'It's important that the club looks to the future. Jamie and Chris have impressed and they're players we'll look to bring on over the next year or so. "They might not neccesarily be ready for regular first team action now, but they're both only 19 and are great prospects. It's vital that we bring players through the system'. Barron has progressed via City's youth team set-up and has already made two appearances for the first team in Wiltshire Premier Shield ties".

    Nearer to home, Stafford Rangers "are pleased to announce the signing of Djoumin Sangare. Last season the 23-year-old French-born defender played for both Grays Athletic and St Albans City. He has also played for French club Wasquehal, Redbridge FC, Chelmsford City and Lewes."

    "Weymouth have completed the signing of former Nottingham Forest defender Justin Roberts. The 20 year old has signed a one year deal with the Terras".

    NL Daily says that "Former Aston Villa and Bradford City midfielder Michael Standing could become Oxford United's fifth new signing of the summer. Standing, 26, has been offered a trial by boss Jim Smith... Standing, who is a free agent after leaving AFC Bournemouth, started his career with Brighton as a trainee. He later moved on to Villa where he was part of a youth team that included England internationals Darius Vassell and Gareth Barry. After four years at the Premiership club, Standing joined Bradford City where he made thirty appearances, scoring two goals. He later spent two seasons at League One outfit Walsall, for whom he played fifty-two games, finding the net twice, before brief spells at Chesterfield and Bournemouth. Should Standing sign on the dotted line he would join fellow new signings left back Alex Jeannin, midfielder Phil Trainer, winger Joel Ledgister and ex-Airdrie striker Gary Twigg. However, the stumbling block could be the Blue Square Premier wage cap rule. Smith said last week that should Mickey Corcoran sign a deal then that would be it for new players. But to complicate matters the Irishman has yet to take up the offer of a contract. Smith admitted 'We're going to look at him but everybody knows that there is no more money for players. The only way we can sign someone is if someone else goes out'. But with no bids coming in for transfer-listed midfielder Andy Burgess, it is difficult to see who can be let go" claims the Oxford Mail

    The Cambridge Evening News says that "Adam Davies faces the agony of more surgery just a week after making his comeback following almost a year out through knee injury. The Wales under-21 international limped off just 10 minutes into Saturday's 2-1 friendly defeat to Plymouth - only his second game since tearing cruciate ligaments last August... It has emerged Davies has torn the lateral cartilage and lateral collateral ligaments in his knee and will go under the knife again in the next few days. Physio Greg Reid said: 'These structures were not damaged when Adam injured his knee last season. However, due to the mechanism of the injury, the surgeon will be taking a close look inside the knee to check on the cruciate ligament graft'. U's manager Jimmy Quinn said: 'Having Adam back was like signing a new player and I'm just keeping everything crossed that it's nothing too serious, but this is heart-breaking for the lad after what he has been through'".

    The Crawley Observer confirms that "Former Stevenage and Oxford United player Jamie Cook is expected to make his debut for Crawley against Ipswich Town.. The 28-year-old trialist will get his chance to impress manager Steve Evans... Evans said: 'Jamie is with us all week on trial and we will look to make a decision on him by the end of the week'".

    The Yorkshire Evening Post says that "Lee Sinnott has already seen enough to suggest his Farsley Celtic side have the bottle to play their way to Blue Square Premier safety. Celtic may have been installed as the bookmakers' favourites for the drop, but the way they are tackling pre-season suggests they are out to make the critics eat their words. A thumping 5-0 victory over Glasshoughton Welfare was followed by a 2-1 success at Frickley last weekend. And the piece de resistance was a 2-1 victory over League Two neighbours Bradford City on Wednesday night. Sinnott said: 'People will be looking to the result against Bradford, but I was pleased with what actually went on in the game... We are retaining the ball better and to do it against a professional side takes b******s. We didn't kick and rush, we don't anyway, but I was pleased with our passages of play against a professional outfit. The players had the balls to play football and that will stand us in good stead for the season ahead. The forward play was good, we created chances and if we can do that against a team like Bradford you have got to think we can do it against teams in the Blue Square Premier'".

    24 July 2007


    The winners of the Friends of Altrincham FC draw from last week were:-
  • 1st:- No. 54 - Ruth Gallagher
  • 2nd:- No. 61 - Gareth Thomas
  • 3rd:- No. 6 - Karen Rowley


    George Heslop has arranged a trial match on 5th August between two sides made up of prospective players for next season's Altrincham Youth team. And a friendly set for 12 August will be against Mark Maddox's Park View side from Merseyside. For details of these games and also of the Altrincham & District FA side's fixtures in the Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup, see the Youth page.

    Pictured right are (l. to r.) Chris Francis, Steven Crane and Ben Oliver, in action for Alty Youth last Sunday.


    England have a number of fixtures which may affect our games and cost us the availability of Rod Thornley because of his role as England masseur. The FA confirms the following dates:
  • Sat 8 Sept. Euro 2008 Qualifier, Group E, Wembley Stadium, 5pm ENGLAND v ISRAEL Live on BBC
  • Sat 13 Oct. Euro 2008 Qualifier, Group E. ENGLAND v ESTONIA Live on BBC


    NL Daily has news of an old boy from the turn of the century. "Former Blackpool and Hednesford Town striker Keith Russell has been handed the chance to try and resurrect his career with Southern League Premier Division club Bromsgrove Rovers. The 34-year-old retired from the game through injury four years ago after brief comeback spells with Pelsall Villa, Rushall Olympic and Boldmere St Michael's, but Rovers manager Rod Brown invited him to join his squad for pre-season training. The surprise move comes after Russell made a return to action last season for Paul Carty's testimonial and rediscovered his hunger to return to the game. However, he will have to prove his fitness during the remainder of pre-season... 'It is going to be very hard for Keith', he said. 'He has been out of the game for four seasons and he has put on a bit of weight in that time, so he is trying hard to improve his fitness. I have got four good strikers and they are all fit and training well. But he is probably the best at receiving the ball into his feet. He is a lovely lad and I hope he makes it but if he doesn't he will definitely be able to do a job at another level'", he told the Bromsgrove Advertiser.


    Stockport County confirm that this season "Cheshire County Football Association are considering relaunching the old Cheshire Premier Cup. Also known as the Cheshire Bowl, for many years, the competition is open to the county's professional football clubs which this season would involve Crewe Alexandra, Tranmere Rovers, Macclesfield Town, Chester City and County. The FA are likely to take this step - although it might not be until next season as the league clubs competing in the Cheshire Senior Cup invariably field weakened sides which detracts from the competition".


    After the floods in Oxford, "Reception and rest centres [have been] set up to accommodate [displaced residents] at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford" says the Oxford Mail.

    This is Exeter reports that "Exeter City striker Steve Basham will be fit for the start of the new season [against Altrincham] - but manager Paul Tisdale has warned it might be another month before supporters see the best of him. Basham, 29, was signed from Oxford United earlier this month having missed the second half of last season with a ruptured hamstring. That led to his release from the Kassam Stadium and the Grecians put the centre-forward through a rigorous 10-day medical before tabling a two-year contract. He played the final 15 minutes of the pre-season victory over St Blazey but has not featured since. And Tisdale said: 'The plan was for him to get a run out against Southampton tomorrow night, but that is probably a week too soon for him. He is now likely to play some part in the game against Dorchester or the Swindon game'".

    "Burton Albion expect to complete the signings of experienced Boston United midfield pair Mark Greaves and David Farrell... But Albion boss Nigel Clough is preparing himself for the possibility that skipper Darren Stride may miss the start of the Blue Square Premier campaign" claims The Burton Mail. "Stride twisted his knee in Friday's 2-1 win at Burscough - and the injury could be potentially serious. The Brewers boss told Mail Sport: 'We'll have to wait for Darren's knee to settle down over the next few days... He twisted it quite badly and there is a strong possibility he could miss the start of the season'. Stride's central defensive partner Tony James also came off with a hamstring strain, but Clough was cheered by the first appearance in Albion colours of Greaves. He said: 'We're bringing in Mark primarily to play midfield, but the good thing about him is that he can play across the back'. Boston are today due to formally cancel Greaves' contract to allow the 32-year-old former Hull City player to complete his protracted move to the Pirelli Stadium. Farrell, 35, is also expected to put pen to paper tonight after agreeing terms at the weekend".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Rushden & Diamond are spending this week on a sunshine break in Portugal – but manager Garry Hill insists: 'We're going there to work'. The squad have swapped their pre-season programme at Nene Park and Kimbolton Preparatory School for a training camp on the Algarve... Hill said: 'I'm a great believer that the new players who have joined the club must be given an opportunity to settle in really well and get to know each other. We will keep up the training schedule. This is not a case of going away and sitting around'".

    Another club with continental plans are Weymouth of whom This is Weymouth reports, "Chairman Mel Bush has revealed that a Croatia Under-21 international will be heading to the club this week for a trial. The entertainments promoter is keen for the Terras to tap into the European market and he has been holding discussions with a number of high-profile clubs. Bush said: 'We are keen on players coming over and next week we have a Croatia Under-21 international coming over for a trial. The hard thing about bringing in players from there is the work permits and visas situation, which is something we are looking into. I have also been talking to the football director at Red Star Belgrade, who get a lot of players from Romania, Hungary and Poland. Those three countries are all in the EU so they are a lot easier to bring over and that is definitely another thing we are keeping a close eye on... Premiership and Championship clubs do not have exclusivity on that market and although they get the cream there is still a lot of good players over there'. Weymouth boss Jason Tindall added: 'Mel has got some good contacts with FC Zagreb and Hajduk Split and we are hoping to establish a good relationship with those clubs in order to help introduce some players into the English game... The Croatian lad who is coming over has obviously got something because he has played in the Under-21s over there and I am looking forward to taking a look at him'. Bush ... [added that the Terras'] "Croatia trip was very good. The team trained twice a day over there in fantastic facilities and in the 3-0 win over AFC Bournemouth last week I thought we looked sharper and quicker... Off the pitch I also feel we are moving in the right direction... Extending the upstairs bar is something we would definitely like to do. For example we have 48 youth teams here which is nearly 600 young players and if we want to hold a meeting with them and their parents at the moment we don't have a venue big enough. I see the extension as a catalyst because it would bring a lot into the club and we would also get a lot out of it'. The Terras have also employed a sports scientist to help improve the fitness of their squad. Bush added: 'His name is James Murueta and he is a tae-kwon-do champion who used to work with Blackburn Rovers. James is getting each player to compete against themselves. They get their readings in the morning and they all want to improve them'".

    From This is Staffs we read that "Stafford Rangers manager Phil Robinson received a timely boost in Saturday's 0-0 pre-season friendly draw with Nantwich Town.... Captain Wayne Daniel made his return to action, in the match played at Kidsgrove, as he continues to recover from a knee injury sustained in the final match of last season. The central defender played the last 20 minutes and appeared to come through unscathed... Former Crewe striker Pav Suhaj hit the post twice in the opening five minutes, while Mario Adagio was also denied by the goal frame and Kevin Street saw his 30-yard drive tipped on to the crossbar ... Perhaps worryingly for the Stafford manager, Nantwich created several opportunities in what was, at times, an evenly-contested game... Robinson has four pre-season games in which to finalise his squad which needs rebuilding following the departure of several regulars".

    23 July 2007


    Alty's away game at Farsley looks set to be switched due to the Cheshire Senior Cup match away to Witton Albion having to take precedence. The following Tuesday could be a clash with an England C international so the final choice has yet to be decided.


    Ryan Daley's fine shot comes back past the keeper off the inside of the post in Sunday's youth team win over Warrington Town.

    Altrincham Youth beat Warrington Town 2-0 in a friendly on Sunday afternoon, there is a match report in the Youth section

    It has been confirmed that Altrincham's away FA Youth Cup tie against Woodley Sports will be played on the Stockport club's artificial pitch. Woodley had to play their FA Cup matches away from home last season but this year the rules have been amended and they can play at home in the FA Trophy and also in the FA Youth Cup. However, in the Youth Cup, they can only do so in the preliminary rounds, when they meet non-league opposition. Should they progress to the competition proper, they will have to play away from home, presumably so that league or Premiership clubs do not have to play on an artificial surface.


    Confguide reports that "The Football Conference Board of Directors have announced the appointment of Lord Faulkner of Worcester as vice president. Faulkner has long been associated with football at both government and UEFA levels and his appointment was hailed by chairman Brian Lee as a major step forward for the Conference's short and long term strategies. He has agreed to take on a number of new and important projects for the Conference over the coming months. The Conference also welcomed four new Directors on to the Board, Brian Kilcullen of Ebbsfleet United, Mick Brown of Oxford United, Andrew Shaw of Altrincham and Julian Tagg of Exeter City".


    Rotherham United report that "The opening public game saw the Millers involved in a high scoring game that ended with them on the wrong end of a nine goal feast despite having taken the lead three times in the opening half an hour. It left manager Mark Robins with a few thoughts ahead of the opening of the League Two season... There were eight newcomers in the starting line up... After watching his team produce differing performances at either end of the pitch from their friendly game at Altrincham, Rotherham United manager Mark Robins...commented: 'Obviously you don't want to concede that many goals but we have worked mainly on attacking play so far and haven't done anything defensively. Having said that it was naïve and although we have emphasised the attacking play we've got to be able to cope with that. We have had one or two words and it shouldn't happen again. We have to take out of the game what it was - a fitness exercise, even though no one wants to concede five goals. But there was pleasing stuff going the other way, the forward play was as good as I have seen for a long time and we just need to fine tune it. It's still early days and we have good footballers, now they have to be able to roll their sleeves up and do the ugly stuff... It gives us something to work on and going forward we looked a threat for 90 minutes. Marc Newsham linked up well with Derek Holmes but he will do that with any one as he is an intelligent footballer. I was pleased when we were attacking but defensively we need some work'".


    Paul Ellender has re-signed for Boston United, despite their demotion to Blue Square North. Fellow ex-Alty centre-back Terry Bowker is now captain at John Reed's Buxton, whilst Mark Quayle scored for Colwyn Bay at the weekend.


    According to the NL Paper, Droylsden boss Dave Pace "is not too bothered that his team have been overlooked by TV company Setanta. The Bloods, Kidderminster, Altrincham and Northwich are the only teams not to have been given a live game". In fact Altrincham do have a game scheduled to be televised against Cambridge United on 18 September but that could be moved as there is apparently a possible clash with Manchester United in Europe that night. Pace said, "I'm glad because it keeps us a surprise package. The less people know about us the better as far as I'm concerned" He went on, "Training's had a nice feel to it. Everything is coming together". He hopes to sign a League player in the next day or two.

    "Exeter City will miss the services of defender Dan Seaborne after he sustained a serious injury in a pre-season friendly. The Grecians took on Bodmin Town and Seaborne was the victim of a reckless challenge by striker Steve Ovens. 'Danny has had the scan and the imaging has shown splintering of his shine bone and because of the impact, he also has a fracture at the top of his shine bone', Exeter boss Paul Tisdale told the Western Morning News. 'There is also some damage to the cartilage. He will need six weeks complete rest and then he will undergo a further scan to see if it has healed well. All being well, he will be able to begin his rehabilitation then which will be another six to eight weeks, but that is a best case scenario for us... It is not a normal injury because it is in the area where the ligament is attached to the bone, so he needs a lot of TLC... It is still a big blow for us because Danny has been waiting two years for this chance and was very much in our plans for the season. George Friend will get a chance to play there now, he is physically right for the role and mobile as well'" .

    As ever there is confusion surrounding the situation at Crawley Town. The Crawley Forum has the following posting... "The club said Quote: Ben [Judge] and David [Woozley] joined Dannie Bulman and Tony Scully who have also agreed deals to remain at the Broadfield Stadium for the 2007-08 season... If my understanding is correct we are still under a transfer embargo - even more relevant given the CVA is outstanding and football creditors remain unpaid, so I wonder if these contracts were even legitimate given our current circumstances? ". The Forum Moderator replies, "The club were able to offer Ben and Wooz a contract as they were under contract last season, before the club were under the embargo. Bulman was able to be given a contract due to a technicality over the time he spent here on loan last season. Scully was already under contract for this season. And you understand correctly about the embargo still being in place, that's been confirmed to me today by email from John Moules. More worryingly he did not know about the new CVA deadline of 31st October so was not able to comment on whether any further sanctions would being forthcoming as the club go in to a second season under the same CVA".

    22 July 2007


    In today's friendly at BTH against Warrington Town, Alty won 2-0 thanks to a fine freekick from Chris Francis and a goal just before the break from Tom Bailey. Report to follow.


    Above: Jake Sedgemore's freekick hits the back of the net to make it 1-1. Jake is just off the picture, to the right.

    Match report here.

    Above: Colin Little makes it 4-3 from the penalty spot.

    Pictured, above on Saturday at Moss Lane are (left) Rotherham's ten subs crowding along the touchline and (right) former Alty star Nicky Daws, who after a substantial league career at clubs which included Bury, Rotherham and Grimsby, is now back at Millmoor as a fitness coach. Terry Rowley's profile of Nicky Daws is in the Alty Legends section of this website.

    The unofficial Rotherham United site reports that at Alty on Saturday "Rotherham boss Mark Robins fielded two different line ups, giving his new look side their first public run out after a training match defeat to the hands of Halifax". At 2-2 "The travelling Millers fans, around 250 or so, looked a little shocked at this stage as Altrincham were providing a stiff test". In the second half, with the score 3-3, "the frantic pace of the game continued as Altrincham raced out of the blocks and into a two goal cushion. Little was to net twice, firstly after Dale Tonge gave away a penalty- which did look a bit harsh on first viewing... Mark Robins made 10 changes on the hour, including one of his trialist goalkeepers... O'Grady bagged himself a consolation late on with a tidy finish and Taylor hit a post with a low drive, but the home side held out the narrow victory, leaving Mark Robins with some work to do on the fairly disappointing defensive showing".


    On Sunday 22 July, Alty Youth play a friendly at home to Warrington Town at 2pm at the Blessed Thomas Holford all-weather ground in Altrincham.


    Above: A shot of Colin Potts taking on the opposition at Trafford on Thursday night. In the background are Ben Deegan and Chris Baguley.


    With the arrival of the new season imminent, it is good to see professional photographer Gavin Rathbone back at Moss Lane and he made his 2007-08 bow for the match against a Manchester United XI. Here is his image of Alty trialist midfielder Chris Baguley. More of Gavin's pictures are on his by GR Photography website

    Right, pictured by Gavin Rathbone, is Warren Peyton receiving his Tom Earley Clubman of the Year award before last Wednesday's match at Moss Lane. Presenting the trophy were Tom's wife, Margaret, and daughter, Jenny.


    Alty groundsman and former Reserves' manager Neil Brown's Leek Town beat an Accrington Stanley side 7-1 yesterday. Leek's starting line up included former Alty defender Gary Talbot, and reserve Colin McAllister. On the bench were two more of last season's Alty Reserves, Paul Monaghan and John Maloney.


    The annual "Manchester Umbro International Football Festival Youth Tournament" starts this coming week and Altrincham FC Youth will again be competing. Alty's group in Class B League A comprises Scottish team Wemyss, Nottingham side Greenwood Meadows and local clubs Flixton Juniors, Daisy Hill Juniors and Maine Road. Alty's games, all on pitch 19 at the University of Manchester playing fields at Northenden are:
  • Wed. 25 July at 12 noon v Weymss
  • Wed. 25 July at 3pm v Flixton Juniors
  • Thu. 26 July at 11am v Daisy Hill Juniors
  • Thu. 26 July at 2pm v Greenwood Meadows
  • Fri. 27 July at 12.30pm v Maine Road


    SAM confirms that "Radio personality Jimmy Wagg has been appointed life vice president by Altrincham. Wagg has become a regular face at Moss Lane in recent years and helped organise the club's successful sponsored walk to Northwich last season. Born in 1953 in Hulme, Wagg went to St Bede's College before studying modern languages at Sheffield University. He has worked for BBC Radio Manchester since 1988, where he has been the main sports presenter for the past 16 years. The lifelong Manchester City fan also won a Sony Award in 1995 for a live broadcast following the death of Sir Matt Busby and has written a biography of City legend Ken Barnes. He lives with partner Debbie and his two children, Louise and Joe, in Timperley. A delighted Wagg said: 'It feels like you are part of something at Altrincham in a way you could never be at a Premiership football club'".
    21 July 2007


    Millers Mad report that Rotherham United "Boss Mark Robins has indicated that all available players in the first team squad will get a run out at tomorrow's first public friendly against Altrincham. Fans travelling to the Moss Lane will get to see all but one of the ten new signings as Robins looks to build fitness. 'I want everybody stripped and involved and there will be some part of the action for all those in the squad', the boss told the Rotherham Star. 'It's our first game, it's about getting back into match action and about building that match fitness. Stephen Brogan and Chris O'Grady will be available after suffering injury scares this week but Tom Cahill and Nat Kerr are the only two contracted players to miss out. The game also comes too early for 20 year-old midfield trialist Kyle Jacobs who has a knock. The Rotherham manager also realised that the travelling supporters will be playing a game of Guess Who. 'It will be nice for our supporters, I suppose, to be able to start putting names to faces because we've a lot of newcomers... It's like a new chapter in Rotherham United's particular book".

    Altrincham have twice met Rotherham United in competitive matches. In November 1976 the sides met in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup at Millmoor. Alty at the time lay fifth in the Northern Premier League and the Millers were fourth in Division Three. But six seasons earlier the two sides had also been drawn against each other. However, Alty lost their preceding tie to Great Harwood Town whom the Millers went on to defeat 6-2 in a mudbath (1970). Alty did little better in 1976, going down 5-0 to the Yorkshire side. The team sheet for the 1976 game is shown, right. But in 1979 (team sheet, below) Alty got their revenge. Drawn again away at Millmoor, but this time in Round 2, goals from Mal Bailey and Barry Howard saw Alty win 2-0 in front of a crowd of 6,083 to earn a home tie against Orient. At the time Rotherham lay 7th in Division Three. The 1979 match was curiously sponsored by a firm selling "sleep products" whatever they may be! One of four Alty players to be named for both games is Alty's current manager Graham Heathcote.

    A more recent connection between our two clubs has been Nicky Daws. The Alty youngster moved to Rotherham after leaving Altrincham for Bury in the early 1990s. Nicky is a fitness coach with the Millers and is expected to be with the visitors for Saturday's game. Alty will be without Val Owen (who is attending Chris Adams's wedding) and Rod Thornley (on holiday) from their squad for the game on Saturday.


    SAM's Connor Murphy has interviewed Jake Sedgemore who told him, "I spoke to quite a few clubs this summer but what struck me about Alty was the progression being made by the club each year. The club is stable and I like the way they work within their means. If we keep on making little steps year on year and work towards achievable goals, I think this club could be successful again. Too many clubs are overspending and getting themselves into trouble. It happens throughout the Football League, as well as in the Conference. When I spoke to Graham (Heathcote) and Dalton (Steele), they really impressed me. That was what really sold the club to me. Both of them had a clear vision for the future of this club and where I fit into those plans and, as a footballer, that's exactly what you want to see". After 4 years off playing full-time, Jake, a "former Hednesford, Northwich and Shrewsbury man works full-time running his own architectural firm - not exactly the typical path for a semi-professional footballer. He said: 'When I was younger my parents always encouraged me to focus on the academic side of things, so I never signed a YTS deal like a lot of the other lads. It was something that I argued against at the time but it's worked out well for me. Later, I was playing in the reserves at Derby and it became pretty clear that I was going to find it very difficult to break into the first team. So I went on loan to Hednesford and while I was there, I started working for my dad's construction firm. When the move became permanent I decided to continue my studies and luckily finished them before signing professional again with Shrewsbury...'I think turning part-time is the best thing for me... In Altrincham I think I've chosen the right club too. Any player is always better when they're settled and I'd like to think if I have a good year, I'm happy with the club and they're happy with me, I could keep on playing here... I genuinely believe we have a good bunch of players here, both in their personalities and in their playing ability. We have to be realistic about our aims. We just need to achieve safety as soon as possible and then we can start to think about climbing the table'".


    STAR Travel Coordinator, Tom Jacobs, writes: "As the season approaches I would like to offer supporters of Altrincham F.C the opportunity to travel with us to Halifax on Tuesday 14th August and Forest Green Rovers on Saturday 18th August. Once again we will be using Goodwins luxury coaches for the forthcoming season. Lists for both journeys will be available in the club shop on Saturday at the pre-season friendly against Rotherham United"

    Please see the Away Travel page for times and prices as well as links to the host club's websites and to a map of the stadium area.


    SAM reports that Greater Manchester Radio reporter Jimmy Wagg, who has been a good friend to the club for several years, has been made a Life Vice-President of the Football Club.


    There is now a match report on Alty's win at Trafford, here.

    Curzon Ashton's Steven Moore scored, as a trialist for Altrincham at Trafford, but the Manchester Evening News reports that when he was with Curzon playing FC United, "Curzon's strike force of Mike Norton and Steven Moore have stolen some of the Rebels' thunder this season by taking the top two spots in the goal-scoring charts, with 51 and 50 goals respectively in all competitions... Curzon boss Gary Lowe said, 'For both lads to top 50 goals is an unbelievable achievement'," said Lowe... 'To do it at this level is terrific. They are both very different. Steven is very low-key, and sometimes appears as if he is hardly moving, but he is technically very good'".

    The Burnley website seems to vary its spelling but Cayne or Kayne Handley, who also played as a trialist for Alty at Trafford, was in the Turf Moor side's under-19s in 2003 and was playing in the Reserves in 2005. By late 2006 he was a trialist with York City reserves.

    Responsive as ever to its users, the website responds above to outrageous allegations of having used an airbrush to erase the presence at the Trafford game of Alty supporter "Ballers" from yesterday's photo by now providing a wider view of the same scene, which shows the new member of the Alty Youth team coaching staff, far right!

    Of the game SAM says "An experimental Alty side beat Trafford 2-1 on Thursday in a tight game at Shawe View... The Alty side was unrecognisable from the one that had fallen 2-1 to a Manchester United XI the previous evening... Despite the result, Alty manager Graham Heathcote said: 'I wasn't particularly happy with the performance. It was like the game there last year, a bit of a dead game. I felt the attitude of some of the lads wasn't right. Lads who had impressed in previous games seemed to be a wandering round thinking 'what are we doing playing here'. There was just no oomph about us at all, so they'll need to improve. The young lads at centre half (Deegan and Keogh) did well though considering they don't usually play there".


    Altrincham travel to Marine on 28 July. The Crosby Herald says that "Karl Noon appears to have left Marine after he agreed to play for Southport against Raith Rovers last Friday. But the striker, who scored four goals in one game against Ashton United last season for the Mariners, has yet to pull on a Port shirt after the game was re-arranged for the following day due to bad weather. Noon, who missed the Sandgrounder’s re-arranged game due to holiday commitments, has not contacted Alvin McDonald since telling him that he would not be available for training with Marine last Thursday night... Manager Alvin McDonald said: 'I am really disappointed. All it takes is common decency to let me know what he is doing. I wanted him to play an important role in the team this season, but now I am going to have to re-think my plans... I have chased him up but he won’t answer his phone, so it is up to him now. He has left me and the club in the dark'... One striker who could feature for Marine this season is Nicky Young. It was previously announced by the club that the 33-year-old required an ankle operation and would be unavailable for three to four months. But McDonald confirmed that Young’s injury has been longstanding and despite feeling slight pain, should be available for Marine’s first pre-season friendly against Tranmere Rovers... McDonald added:'He may have to have an operation sometime in October, but until then he should be fine to play'. Meanwhile, McDonald is looking to add a top UniBond Premier League striker to his squad".

    From Trafford FC we read that "Manager Ged Kielty got his pre-season plans under way with a promising start against a Altrincham XI with the highlight of the game being Trafford's young Harry Winter scoring a 30 yard cracker".


    For anyone planning to make a stay in Torquay when Alty visit on Saturday, 8 December, the website has received the following invitation:

    We would like to offer the following accommodation to your supporters for the weekend of the above match :-

  • Single Rooms from £25 per room per night
  • Double Rooms from £45 per room per night.
  • Family Rooms from £65 pounds per room per night.

    Prices include full breakfast, all rooms are en suite, there is parking for 10 cars, and an early breakfast is available upon request; there are also evening meal options. We are a small family run licensed hotel situated 500 metres back from the seafront next to parkland & playing fields. We are only 250 metres from Torquay train station & around 300 metres from The Riviera International Conference Centre. Vist our website here.

    Regards, Tim & Sarah, Parks Hotel, Rathmore Road, Torquay, Devon TQ2 6NZ

    Meanwhile This is Devon says that "Midfielder Danny Wring has signed a one-year deal at Torquay United after impressing manager Paul Buckle during his Plainmoor trial. The former Bristol City youngster, 20.. could yet be joined at Plainmoor by fellow trialists Danny Stevens and Jamal Easter, who are still in talks with the club". Buckle said of Wring, "His age, the club he's been at, Bristol City, and what he's shown in pre-season were all factors in us signing him. He has done well in pre-season, both in training and in the games, and the feedback from my staff was very positive. I also liked what I saw myself". On Wednesday, Torquay had a "1-1 friendly draw at Dawlish Town... Buckle was happy enough with his players after their third friendly of the summer, but insists that there is still work to be done before the big kick-off".

    And indeed,Torquay United confirm that they have "signed Danny Stevens on a one year contract. Danny has impressed with his performances in the three friendlies so far played... Manager Paul Buckle is delighted... 'Danny has had a really good background at Luton... Danny can play wide or down the middle and this gives us even more options'".

    Along the coast, This is Weymouth says that "boss Jason Tindall will make a decision on several trialists after Friday's pre-season friendly at Ringwood Town... Gavin Tomlin, Justin Roberts, Gavin McCallum and Brian Glover will all be given another chance to prove their worth".

    The Salisbury Journal says that "Goalkeeper Matt Bulman has left and is understood to have signed for Southern League side Cirencester Town. First team opportunities were limited last season due to the fine form of Ryan Clarke... Manager Nick Holmes said: 'Like we did with all the other out of contract players at the end of last season, we invited Matt to come and train with us, but he's decided his future lies elsewhere'".

    From the Football Conference we read that "Cambridge United boss Jimmy Quinn is running the rule over former Crawley and Tamworth striker Steve Burton, who could feature against Plymouth.. in a friendly at Abbey Stadium on Saturday... Burton is a a former Crawley teammate of U's skipper Danny Brown but could be surplus to requirements at Kettering as they already have six strikers. 'I've spoken to Mark Cooper about him and he's got six strikers so we're just having a look at him for a few days', confirmed Quinn. 'He's a big, strong, quick lad, he's played in the League and at this level, so we're having a look at him'".

    And the Crawley Forum reports that the club's "creditors have generously decided not to pursue interest payments in order that the matter can be settled at the earliest possible instance... the risk is that it would introduce even more delays. The creditors voted to accept the unamended terms of the extension of the CVA until the end of October, only one of them voted to reject it... The [Majeeds'] flat will be placed in auction on September 26th with Parson Son & Basley of Brighton. All claims are resolved although Begbies require the club to re-submit two claims to HMR that were incorrectly completed 2 days ago... and two players claims require copies of P60s to be sent as proof in support of their revised figures. So that is it... it should all be over.... a year late... and Macolm Fillmore concludes that they have not actually saved one single penny by entering Administration. The creditors gave Rob Sadler a standing ovation at the conclusion of the meeting". So it now depends on how much the flat sells for... any offers?

    20 July 2007


    Steve Aspinall was the only first-team squad member to play the full game at Shawe View as Alty secured a 2-1 win over their neighbours from the NW Counties League. But the game was marred by a late injury to former Alty Youth keeper Tom Read, keeping goal for Trafford, who suffered a suspected broken leg after a collision with Alty trialist Kayne Handley. Alty had taken the lead after 27 minutes when another trialist, Matthew Berkeley finished superbly after receiving a well measured long ball from Steve Aspinall (27 mins). Winter equalised for Trafford after 42 minutes with an excellent 30 yard shot past Richard Acton. Alty's winner came in the second half from Steven Moore, another trialist, from Curzon Ashton after good work by Scott Metcalfe. Report to follow.

    Right: Matthew Berkeley (16) gets to his feet after his excellent goal as Chris Senior leads the applause.

    Altrincham included three more new faces in tonight's squad to add to trialists Colin Potts, Chris Baguley, Matthew Berkeley and Cavell Coo. These were local goalkeeper Stephen Downes, ex-Burnley youth player Kayne Handley and Curzon Ashton's prolific striker Steven Moore. Apart from Richard Acton and Steve Aspinall, Pat McFadden was the only other first-team squad member to start the game. In addition to Acton's first appearance of the close season, Chris Senior was also on show for the first time since signing earlier this week after his release by Halifax Town. The central defence comprised two graduates from the Alty Youth and Reserves' teams in Ben Deegan and Andy Keogh. Though both have played at the back before, Ben made his name as the top-scoring striker for the Youth team whilst Andy was a central midfielder. Another member of the defence in this game who does not normally play at the back was striker Pat McFadden, operating at left-back. In central midfield were trialists Cavell Coo and Chris Baguley whilst Colin Potts and Adam Walker were on the flanks. Adam was a third graduate of the youth and reserve set-up to start tonight's game. Up front, former Gretna striker Matthew Berkeley partnered Senior, whilst on the bench with the above-mentioned trialists were two members of last season's Reserves in midfielder Rick Chetcuti and striker Scott Metcalfe.

    ALTRINCHAM (Blue); 1. Richard ACTON, 2. Steve ASPINALL (capt), 21. Andy KEOGH, 17. Ben DEEGAN, 7. Pat McFADDEN; 22. Colin POTTS, 6. Chris BAGULEY, 20. Cavell COO, 11. Adam WALKER; 19. Chris SENIOR, 16. Matthew BERKELEY. Subs: 8. Scott METCALFE, 14. Steven MOORE, 18. Kayne HANDLEY, Rick CHETCUTI, 24. Stephen DOWNES (gk).

    TRAFFORD (White): 1. Andy TIGHE, 2. Simon WOODFORD (capt), 3. Lee McGREGOR, 4. Lee SOUTHWOOD (capt), 5. Andy JONES, 6. Martin INGHAM, 7. Chris MACKAY, 8. Ben ASHMOLE, 9. Troy HAYDER, 10. Adam MARTIN, 11. Harry WINTER. Subs included: 1* Tom READ, 2. Mark FITTON, 3* Sean SMITH, 17. Mike TURNER.


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that in last night's friendly with Manchester United Giuseppe Rossi played because "The 20-year-old striker, was not included in his club's squad for the tour of Asia due to his involvement in the European Under 21 Championship with Italy. ... [He] scored nine goals in 19 games while on loan at Parma in Italy's Serie A last season. Also included in United's squad... [was] highly-rated youth team captain Craig Cathcart, and reserve team captain Kieran Lee". After Alty's 2-1 defeat, SAM goes on, "Robins' boss Graham Heathcote believes it was a productive outing for his team. Speaking after the game, he said: 'It was another good workout for us. We passed the ball quite well, we gave it away a lot as well, but at least we worked hard chasing the game in the first half. We performed better in the second half against a very good team. As you'd expect, they had some good players but I think the game was beneficial to both teams. At the moment, it's all about getting people's legs going'... United's youngsters popped the ball about with consummate ease, leaving their hosts to chase them all over the pitch'... After the break... Alty gave their opponents no time on the ball and soon forced their way back into the game... And the introduction of trialists Colin Potts and Matty Berkeley soon after breathed yet more life into the home side... But Alty were unlucky not to equalise twice in the final six minutes".


    The Northwich Guardian reports that "Witton will launch their bid to recapture the Cheshire Senior Cup against Altrincham. Graham Heathcote's men visit Wincham Park on September 25 for the first round clash". However, the date may be rearranged as Altrincham have an away game at Farsley that evening and "Albion had been due to travel to Fleetwood Town that night".

    The league teams in Cheshire are no longer taking part in the CSC as there is to be a new competition for them.Round One ties include:

  • Warrington Town v Runcorn Linnets
  • Hyde United v Nantwich Town
  • Vauxhall Motors v Alsager Town
  • Stalybridge Celtic v Woodley Sports
  • Witton Albion v Altrincham


    From This is York we learn that "Antiguan internationals Gayson Gregory and Damien Farrell went on trial for York City during last night's 3-1 friendly victory at Newcastle Benfield. Striker Gregory and centre-back Farrell have been recommended to the Minstermen by former Northern Ireland boss Bryan Hamilton, who is now a consultant to the Antiguan national team... Gregory plays for Freeman's Village in his homeland while Farrell belongs to league rivals Cable and Wireless Empire. About their efforts, McEwan said: 'They didn't do badly. It's difficult coming in on trial and playing 45 minutes but they tried and worked hard'". Former Weymouth defender Brian Dutton and Blyth Spartans goalkeeper Adam Bartlett also featured as trialists in the second-half and McEwan is expected to include the quartet in Saturday's squad to face Doncaster Rovers at KitKat Crescent".

    Oxford United report that "Winger Joel Ledgister became United's third signing of the day when he signed a two year deal. The 19 year-old has played most of his games for Southend and on loan at Gravesend on the right wing but is also able to play wide on the left or up front, and his pace and eye for goal were obvious during a training match ... Alex Jeannin and Phil Trainer both became Oxford United players this morning. Former Darlington, Exeter and Hereford defender Jeannin is an experienced left back from France. 'This is my fifth club in England' he told Yellow World, 'and it's definitely the most professional set up. The lads have made me feel very welcome, and I've enjoyed pre-season... Trainer was equally delighted to sign a pro contract . The former Crewe youngster, who had trials at Bristol Rovers last season, told Yellow World: 'It's always been my dream to become a professional footballer and now I have been given my chance. We have worked hard in pre-season so far, and the fitness level is that much higher. I had chances to join other clubs but this is the club I think has the brightest future'".

    19 July 2007


    Above: Joe O'Neill fights for possession against Manchester United.

    Match report here.


    Altrincham entertain TNS on 4th August. NL Daily says that "Welsh Premier champions The New Saints recorded their first-ever European success with a 3-2 Champions League win over Ventspils at Newtown's Latham Park on Tuesday night... Leading 2-1 thanks to goals from Michael Wilde and Phil Baker - and with the Latvians looking decidedly uneasy at the back - the Saints were sensing a famous victory when Vits Rimkus levelled the first leg at 2-2 in the 89th minute. But with manager Ken McKenna urging his men forward for one final attack, Wilde's goal-bound shot was blocked on the line and Hogan seized on the rebound to fire an unstoppable effort with the last kick of the contest. Despite the success, TNS will still face a stiff task in Latvia next week after conceding two sloppy away goals. Watched by former Italian national coach Giovana Trapatoni, whose Salzburg outfit await in the second qualifying round, the Welsh Premier champions took a 14th-minute lead when Hogan's cross was headed on by Baker and Wilde sent a powerful header past keeper Pavels Davidovs".


    Barrow "Striker Peter Thomson opened his Barrow tally with a brace in his side's 2-1 win at Clitheroe last night. A stunning 54th minute 25-yard low driven free-kick and a tap in from a Paul Jones header in the 83rd minute gave Barrow victory" but another ex-Alty player, "Chris Butler [was] unavailable."


    Northwich Victoria report that "After talks with Manager Neil Redfearn it has been agreed that Carlos Roca joins James Dean on the transfer list".

    Droylsden won 4-0 away at Woodley Sports in a recent friendly. "Two Fearns penalties, Ged Murphy and Steve Daly were the scorers....Started with Senior, Hotte, Warner, Cryden, Burke, Murphy, Norton, Morris, Fearns, Daly and Denham. Subs who came on included Banim, Lynch, Luke Pritchard". The Conference says that "Ebbsfleet United have completed the capture of Carlisle United striker Raphael Nade. Nade is no stranger to the top tier of non-league football, having spent last season on loan with Weymouth. Ebbsfleet boss Liam Daish recently lost the services of highly-rated striker Charlie MacDonald to Southend but was quick to point out that he doesn't see Nade as a direct replacement for MacDonald. 'I'm going to ask the players to share the load', Daish told BBC Radio Kent. 'If there's a centre-forward who's scored 26 goals a season for the last four years, I'm not going to be able to be in the market to get him'".

    "Stevenage Borough have announced the signing of former Barnet striker Oliver Allen on a two-year contract. The 20-year-old frontman joined Barnet from Birmingham in January and went on to make 14 appearances, scoring four goals in the process. 'Olly has a lot to offer', manager Mark Stimson told the club's official website".

    The Halifax Courier says that "Darryn Stamp got his pre-season scoring underway with the only goal of Halifax Town's behind-closed-doors friendly with Rotherham. The big striker bagged the winner in the second half of the match at the South Yorkshire club's training ground. And boss Chris Wilder, whose side opened their pre-season campaign with a 3-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, said that it had been another good workout for his squad, all of whom got some more game time under their belts. 'It is a case of having a natural progression at this stage,'" said Wilder... Yesterday's game against the League Two outfit saw the return in a Town shirt of Steve Bushell, who missed the clash with the Owls due to a holiday he had arranged before deciding to come back to Halifax from Altrincham. 'Everyone has been massively impressed by Steve and I am delighted with the way he has come back', said Wilder. 'We all know he is a good player, but he brings so many other attributes to the party'. Bushell played alongside Tom Kearney in the first half against the Millers in a side that included Danny Forrest and James Dean in attack. Wilder is understood to have decided against continuing his interest in Dean, who had been hoping to earn a deal after being told he can leave Northwich.Adam Quinn's central defensive partner was a trialist but not Rob Pacey, who is hoping to make an impression after being allowed to leave Doncaster. Steve Torpey and Danny Forrest were the two wide men in the opening 45 minutes. Stamp and Andy Campbell were the strikeforce in the second half".

    FromThis is Weymouth says that "former Luton Town striker Stuart Douglas celebrated signing a new one-year deal with Weymouth by netting a fantastic brace in a 3-0 pre-season friendly win against AFC Bournemouth at the Wessex Stadium... The other man on target for the Blue Square Premier outfit was James Coutts... Weymouth boss Jason Tindall, another ex-Bournemouth player, was delighted with his side's first pre-season outing. He said: 'The lads have been working hard in training... Our attacking play was excellent so I have got to be happy'. Of Douglas, Tindall added: 'I have known Stuart for a long time and he has signed for us as a striker-cum-physio... He is always looking to run in behind defences and he took his two goals superbly'... Fellow new signings Sido Jombarti, Paolo Vernazza, Scott Doe and Kyle Critchell all put in solid performances on their debuts for the Terras who also fielded four trialists. They were defenders Justin Roberts and Brian Glover, ex-Yeovil Town and Dorchester Town winger Gavin McCallum and former Brentford striker Gavin Tomlin. Former Cherries winger Conal Platt, who finished last season with the Terras, also made an appearance for the hosts... Tindall said: 'Ashley Vickers has signed now and I will be talking with Conal over the next couple of days. He missed the first week of training due to tonsillitis but he has fantastic ability and once he works on his fitness he will be fine".

    18 July 2007


    Altrincham FC have re-signed Chris Senior (pictured right). Chris, (d.o.b. 18.11.81) spent the latter part of last season on loan at Moss Lane from Halifax Town, an arrangement which started on 19 January 2007. Halifax released Chris during the summer of this year. He started his career at Huddersfield Town as a midfielder but, after being released in early 2003 as part of cost-cutting measures, he played briefly for Wakefield-Emley. After a trial with Halifax Town, in summer of 2003 the Huddersfield-born Senior joined Scarborough, where he stayed till summer 2005. He started 31(+36) league games for the Seadogs and netted 18 goals. In 2003-04 he set a Conference record by coming off the bench 36 times. Whilst with Scarborough he was selected for the England non-League squad. Chris moved to Halifax on a free transfer in summer 2005 and made 21(+40) appearances for the Shaymen. On returning to Altrincham, Chris re-joins Colin Little, Val Owen and Karl Munroe as ex-Shaymen currently playing at Moss Lane. Chris made his Alty debut, at Woking, on 20 January 2007 and went on to make a total of 8 starts, 7 sub appearances and to score two goals - his winner at Stevenage being shown, right.


    The Altrincham squad numbers issued to date are as follows. Richard Acton and Pat McFadden have not yet been allocated numbers as they have still to sign their forms for next season.

  • 1. Stuart COBURN
  • 2. Steve ASPINALL
  • 3. Gary SCOTT
  • 4. Karl MUNROE
  • 5. Darren TINSON
  • 6. Jake SEDGEMORE
  • 7. Robbie LAWTON
  • 8. Val OWEN
  • 9. Colin LITTLE
  • 10. Rod THORNLEY
  • 11. Warren PEYTON
  • 12. Joe O'NEILL
  • 13.  
  • 14. Stephen ROSE
  • 15. Chris LANE
  • 16.  
  • 17. Chris SENIOR
  • 18.  
  • 19.  
  • 20.
  • 21.  


    Despite an earlier instruction that the league was to be called the Blue Square Conference Premier, the league we are to play in seems to have settled on calling itself the Blue Square Premier according to advertising material being put out for matchday programmes.

    One club unhappy with the new Setanta TV deal is the one which is having the most exposure. This is United says that Oxford United boss "Jim Smith has warned that the TV deal struck between Setanta and the Blue Square Premier could make non-League football a 24/7 sport. And the Oxford United manager has reacted angrily after the list of live televised games was released, and features – as predicted by the Oxford Mail more than a month ago – a host of Thursday night matches. The U's feature in six of the opening 24 games, but it is the choice of nights that has upset Smith. 'Nobody knows what's going on' he said. 'I have only had brief discussions on it, but all I know is that you cannot expect teams to play on a Thursday night and then again on the Saturday. It seems to me that the league have maybe just taken the money and not thought about the full consequences'. The league have informed clubs that they are entitled to move matches to ease the burden, and that if both sides cannot agree on a new date, then they will arbitrate. Smith added: 'When you play on Sky, you are never expected to play a match two days later. But there are just so many differences here. They still haven't told us how much money we are going to get out of it because moving games from a Saturday to Thursday night will obviously have a big impact on our gates. And if we are then going to have Saturday games moved to a Sunday, then you end up not having a day off because you are playing and having to do light training the next day because you have another match to prepare for. It just becomes too much and you will get burned out'. Blue Square Premier chief executive John Moules, however, does not foresee big problems. 'The email we have sent to clubs clearly states that some matches may have to be moved because of the change in fixtures to accommodate television', he said. 'I haven't got an issue with matches being moved to a Sunday, and I am sure the clubs won't have either'".

    The BBC says that "Histon boss Steve Fallon has decided not to sign Whitley Bay striker Phil Bell after a spell on trial. Fallon feels his side have got enough cover in attack after releasing their latest trialist... Fallon told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'Bell's club was demanding a transfer fee which we feel was unrealistic'".

    Likewise, "Rushden & Diamonds manager Garry Hill has decided not to offer a contract to former Stevenage striker Jamie Slabber. Slabber, 22, who started his career at Spurs and also had spells with Aldershot, Grays and Oxford before joining Stevenage last January... Hill has also released former Ipswich youngster Keiron Leabon from his trial spell... and will now look elsewhere for further striking options".

    "Kidderminster Harriers' captain Stuart Whitehead may miss the start of the season after undergoing surgery on a hernia problem. The 31-year-old defender went under the knife again after feeling pain in training... 'We're hopeful he'll be fit in time for the first game of the season but if not, certainly a week or two later', boss Mark Yates told Harriers' website.

    The BBC also reports that "Aldershot Town midfielder Ricky Newman looks likely to miss the start of the new season following knee surgery. Newman, 36, was due to have an operation for treatment on a cartilage problem with the full extent of the injury yet to be confirmed".

    "Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough is set to sign Boston United's Mark Greaves. Clough wants to bring Greaves, 32, to the Pirelli Stadium to plug the gap left by midfielder Paul Carden's departure to Accrington Stanley. Greaves has started more than 150 games for Boston since signing from Hull in August 2002. He was voted the Pilgrims' player of the year in May, but has opted to move to Burton, despite a last-ditch bid to keep him at York Street" claims the BBC.

    "Cambridge United have signed former Peterborough keeper Luke McShane. The 21-year-old made one senior appearance for Posh and played eight matches in two loan spells with Gravesend & Northfleet. He was released by Posh in March and then signed on non-contract terms for CRC in the Eastern Counties Premier. Manager Jimmy Quinn told the club website: 'Luke is a very competent keeper who will push Danny Potter for a first-team place'".

    One of last season's promoted clubs, Morecambe FC "has today announced ambitious plans to move to a new multi-million pound 6,000 capacity stadium in the Westgate area of the resort. Morecambe chairman Peter McGuigan announced the exciting plans at a press conference today which could see the club move to its new home for the start of the 2009/10 season. The scheme will also include an area for community use, a hotel and possible fast food franchises. Mr McGuigan said: 'The proposal will deliver a stadium worthy of a Football League side and will give an enormous boost to the club and people of Morecambe alike. The stadium will provide top class facilities for players, fans and sponsors and will be a historic development in the life of Morecambe Football Club. In addition, it will allow the Club to continue to attract top class players to Morecambe as well as enable us to expand our extremely popular community and youth development activities within the town. It will be a venue that we hope can accommodate up to 500 youngsters a week as part of our growing Football in the Community Scheme. The new stadium will guarantee the financial stability of the Club for the future and also strengthen civic pride and confidence in Morecambe Football Club'". But, on the downside, "MFC chairman Peter McGuigan told The Visitor: 'Despite our success at Wembley and in gaining promotion last year we made our biggest ever loss as a club during the last season'. Going into the League has always been our aim but it does bring with it a whole new landscape in terms of costs. We have no scope to expand the way we really want to at Christie Park'".

    17 July 2007


    SAM's Connor Murphy reports that "An announcement on Alty's latest summer additions will be delayed until the end of the week. Manager Graham Heathcote has all but confirmed the addition of two more players and expects to confirm the deals later this week".


    Altrincham FC Youth team's game with Manchester County FA last Sunday ended in a 2-2 draw. There is a brief match report, courtesy of George Heslop, in the Youth section.


    Altrincham FC Youth Team manager George Heslop is delighted to welcome former Trafford, Flixton, Maine Road and Chorley player and dedicated Altrincham supporter, Gareth Thomas, to join the youth team set up as a coach alongside Tony Spilsbury. Gareth is working on his coaching badges and his role with Alty will be of mutual benefit to him and the team. George is also pleased to continue to have Hannah Lamb as the team physio; she is a chartered physiotherapist so is well placed to give the team expert help with their injuries.


    There is now a report on Sunday's entertaining charity game at Moss Lane, here.

    Right: Neil Faulkner (2) masterminded the second Alty goal, with his throw to Danny Heffernan, who collected the ball (as seen above) before undertaking a great run through the opposition to set up Colin Potts to score.


    Altrincham have two friendlies this week. On Wednesday they host a Manchester United XI at Moss Lane (k.o. 7.30pm) whilst on Thursday, (7.45pm) they travel the few miles to Shawe View to play our neighbours Trafford FC, who are now managed by former Alty midfielder, Ged Kielty. The Manchester Evening News reported yesterday on the United friendly at Hyde United last Saturday. "United Reserves opened their pre-season programme of matches with a 2-1 win over Hyde United at Ewen Fields. Febian Brandy twice went close to scoring before providing the pass for Fraizer Campbell to put the Reds in front in the 28th minute... United doubled their lead just before the break when substitute Sam Hewson finished smartly from Campbell's measured through ball... Richard Eckersley, who shared full-back duties with older brother Adam, fired narrowly over early on and Ritchie Jones had the Hyde No 1 at full stretch with a cracking free-kick. Hyde pulled one back in the 69th minute when Matty Tipton scored after United keeper Ron-Robert Zieler had blocked Gareth Seddon's shot... United: Zieler, R Eckersley (Chester 46), A Eckersley, Cathcart, Shawcross, Jones, Barnes (Hewson 24), Lee, Brandy, Campbell, S Evans. Subs not used: Lea, Woods." Hyde United add that "Manchester United sent a strong reserve team... Frazier Campbell had been brought back from Antwerp and Richie Jones back from Watford to add to an already experienced squad".


    The arrival of Neil Brown as assistant manager at Leek Town has heralded the arrival of some ex-Alty Reserves at the Staffordshire club, to join former Alty centre-back Gary Talbot. The Leek website reports that "Paul Monaghan (Flixton) and John Maloney (Altrincham) have signed UniBond forms". John will also remain involved at Moss Lane and, indeed, he took part in Sunday's charity game for Altrincham.


    The BBC says that "Northwich boss Neil Redfearn has completed the signing of defender Greg Strong and winger Brad Maylett. Strong joins the Vics after ending last season with a short spell at rivals Halifax Town. The 31-year-old had previous spells with Dundee, Livingston, Motherwell, Wigan and Bolton. Maylett, 26, also joins the Vics on a one-year deal after leaving Boston at the end of last season following spells with Swansea and Burnley. Meanwhile, transfer-listed Vics striker James Dean was given permission to play for Halifax Town in their friendly against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday".

    The Football Conference reports on the games to be televised by Setanta from the blue Square Conference Premier up to and including 8 November 2007. Altrincham have one game but Kidderminster Harriers, Droylsden and Northwich Victoria apparently have no matches. In contrast, Oxford United have six matches and York City, five. The list is:

  • Sun 12th August: Torquay v Grays
  • Thu 16th August: Cambridge United v Oxford Utd
  • Mon 20th August: Exeter City v York City
  • Thu 23rd August: Weymouth v Burton Albion
  • Mon 27th August: Stevenage v Oxford Utd
  • Thu 30th August: York City v Rushden
  • Tue 4th September: Oxford Utd v Exeter City
  • Thu 6th September: Stafford Rangers v Halifax
  • Mon 10th September: Burton Albion v Torquay
  • Thu 13th September: Forest Green v Salisbury
  • Tue 18th September: ALTRINCHAM v Cambridge Utd
  • Thu 20th September: Histon v Oxford Utd
  • Mon 24th September: Ebbsfleet v Crawley
  • Thu 27th September: York City v Halifax Town
  • Tue 2nd October: Aldershot v Exeter City
  • Thu 4th October: Woking v Farsley
  • Tue 9th October: Cambridge Utd v Rushden
  • Thu 11th October: Oxford Utd v Torquay
  • Tue 16th October: Halifax Town v Grays
  • Thu 18th October: Stevenage v Burton
  • Tue 23rd October: York City v Torquay
  • Thu 25th October: Setanta Shield Round 1
  • Mon 29th October: Setanta Shield Round 2
  • Thu 1st November: Rushden v Oxford Utd
  • Tue 6th November: Farsley v York City (if neither team involved in FA Cup 1st round proper).
  • Thu 8th November: Weymouth v Aldershot (if neither team involved in FA Cup 1st round proper).

    Confguide says that "Kidderminster Harriers striker Iyseden Christie will have to wait for a return to football as he is still recovering from a summer operation on his ankle.The operation was needed to clean out his troublesome ankle but... speaking to the club's official website, manager Mark Yates said: 'Iyseden won't be available for the next few games; he's still recovering from an operation where had a bit more done than we'd anticipated. He's spent the last ten days at Lilleshall training and will continue to work there where he's on a tough and difficult physical routine'".

    In the Northants Evening Telegraph it says that "Marcus Kelly has finally agreed to take a pay cut and stay with Rushden & Diamonds. The left-winger was put on the transfer list at the end of last season after refusing to accept a drop in wages. But Kelly has now followed the example of Paul Watson by deciding to be part of Garry Hill's new-look squad... Hill said: 'They are in the same situation as everybody else. I believe I have made the financial position quite clear since I came to the club. We've got a 40% wage cut within the budget compared to last season. From my point of view it's about getting the players to see what's going on... I want them playing for the club to understand where we are coming from. Other players and members of staff are aware of the situation. We've all got to work together'...Kelly watched Saturday's pre-season friendly at Brackley Town ... Former Ipswich Town winger Kieran Leabon was taken off as one of five half-time changes while fellow trialist Jamie Slabber completed 90 minutes along with captain Chris Hope and right-back Tom Bonner. New signing Curtis Osano missed out due to a training-ground injury".

    16 July 2007


    For team photos from yesterday's charity game at Moss Lane, see yesterday's news, below.... A match report will follow. The goals in Alty's 7-1 win came from McFadden 3 mins, Potts 18, M.Brown 43, Browne 51, C. Heathcote 61, Deegan 67 and Thornley 76. The Alty starting line-up was: 1. Chris ROWLEY, 2. Neil FAULKNER, 3. Ashley BROWN, 4. Ben DEEGAN, 14. Tom BAILEY, 5. Danny HEFFERNAN, 6. John MALONEY, 7. Michael BROWN, 8. Charles HEATHCOTE, 10. Pat McFADDEN, 11. Colin POTTS (capt). Substitutes were Danny BROWNE, Dominic LILLEY, Rod THORNLEY, Craig ELLISON, Grahame ROWLEY and Alan AINSLEY.


    This week's NL Paper has a guest column by Gary Talbot (left), who was recently released by Alty after great service to the club. Gary reveals that his last team outing was at the end of last season when "We went round Altrincham and ended up in Bar One-Six-One in Hale Barns. At least I think we did. I was slaughtered by then but that was the last shout I heard". As for the best player he has ever played with, Talbs selected Colin Little. "He's got great feet, even now he's getting on a bit, and he's a prolific goalscorer". Now at Leek, Gary has pointed out Rob Hopley a new signing from Winsford United . "I've been on to Graham Heathcote at Alty about him" said Gary. When asked which five people he would least like to have round for a dinner party, Gary selected a couple of Big Brother characters as well as Margaret Thatcher and John Major. But his fifth choice was "My ex-Alty team-mate Pat McFadden (right) as that boy would eat me out of house and home!".


    Marine whom we meet in pre-season, announce that "In our most recent poll we had 112 votes for our best midfield player. It was one of our lowest totals in these close season polls, perhaps because there was a clear winner almost from the outset. Eddie Hussin gained over 20% of the votes cast and was well ahead of any other player".


    Torquay United announce that they have four live games on Setanta Sports before the end of October
  • 12 Aug: Home v Grays Athletic
  • 10 Sept: Away at Burton Albion
  • 11 Oct: Away at Oxford United
  • 23 Oct: Away at York City.

    Alty have just one game, on September 18th at home to Cambridge United. Oxford United are believed to have six live games in the same period.

    Meanwhile Halifax Town "have had three games moved for the new Setanta Sports coverage in the first three games of the new season. The first match is the away game at Stafford Rangers, this has been moved from Tuesday 4th September to the Thurs 6th September. Town's trip to York has been moved from Tuesday 25th September to Thursday 27th September. The only home game to be moved so far is the home tie with Grays Athletic, which has moved from Saturday 13th October to the following Tuesday night".

    And at Histon "The Live TV schedule for fixtures show Histon FC will be screened live on Setanta TV on Thursday 20th September when title favourites Oxford United visit the Glass World Stadium".

    Rushden and Diamonds report that "Left-back Paul Watson and left-winger Marcus Kelly have been taken off the transfer list. Paul Watson's contract runs until 2008, although in May 2007, the 32 year old, former Brighton and Hove Albion player was transfer listed... Manager Garry Hill said: 'Paul and Marcus have come off the transfer list because they turned around and came to see me about it. Both players want to work with what they see, and be part of what we have here at Nene Park, and I'm pleased with that. All the players know that we have to work within a financial structure here at the club'... Both players will face increased competition for places down the left hand side from former Ipswich trainee James Krause. Garry Hill's squad is not yet complete; Hill said, 'I'm looking to bring in more players, although certain things have to be done for the financial benefit of the club to make sure we are heading in the right direction'".


    The website has received the following message from the Weymouth FC programme editor, Ian White. "I am really pleased you survived again, as I do enjoy our encounters. My reason for e-mailing is because I am running a competition that can benefit your club and is a lot of fun for your fans. I have been doing a Fantasy Non-League competition for some 9 years and my latest version has been running in the Non-League Paper for 2 seasons and it is about to start its 3rd season in a week or so. A new version of my competition is being launched this month on the internet. You stand the chance of winning some major cash prizes both at the end of the season and as a Manager of the Month and you can even win £100 for finishing bottom. I am this introducing this season the chance to run your own mini-league as well as playing in the main Fantasy league. For every fan from your club that enters the competition your club will receive £2. Please take a look at my website and see what you think".
    15 July 2007


    Players from all levels of Altrincham FC and East Levenshulme gave up their afternoon to play a charity match at Moss Lane in teeming rain today, in aid of the Christie Hospital and the St Francis House charities. Alty won an entertaining game 7-1 and a brief match report and photos will appear on the website later. In the meantime, the two teams are pictured in the rain at the end of the game.

    Neil Brown, manager of the Alty side would like to thank all the players and spectators who turned out on a dreadful afternoon. In particular, he would like to thank the stewards who volunteered their services. On the fundraising side, Neil Faulkner generously doubled his original bid in the auction to play in the Altrincham side and his gesture was greatly appreciated by both the beneficiary charities. It was also good to see Kirsty Howard, the face of Francis House, present for the match; her attendance underlined what the afternoon was all about. Neil is already talking of a return match, next year - when hopefully the weather will be a bit better.

    ABOVE L. to R: BACK: Neil Brown (manager), Pat McFadden, Craig Ellison, Danny Heffernan, Ben Deegan, Neil Faulkner, Tom Bailey, Grahame Rowley, Chris Rowley, Colin Potts, Geoff Goodwin (chairman). FRONT: Charles Heathcote, Ashley Brown, John Maloney, Mike Brown, Chelsey Brown (Neil's daughter), Dominic Lilley, Danny Browne, Rod Thornley.

    ABOVE: East Levenshulme's squad.


    Today's youth game against the Manchester FA was moved to the Blessed Thomas Holford all-weather pitch, k.o. 11am. The game ended 2-2.


    Today, Sunday (15th), Altrincham have a charity game at Moss Lane (k.o.2pm) in aid of the Christie Hospital and Francis House charities. There is no entrance fee but supporters are encouraged to make a generous donation to the charities at the game. The opponents for the Altrincham XI have now changed their name from Holdsworth to East Levenshulme FC. Supporters may remember that the same two sides met at the Levenshulme club's ground last summer in aid of the same charities. The match is being organised at the Alty end by groundsman Neil Brown and all supporters are urged to come along and support these good causes.

    Alty supporter and sponsor Neil Faulkner of Robinsons Preservation won an "auction" to have a place in the Alty side and the team will play half of the match in the company's blue Alty shirts. Neil will be making a generous donation to both the charities who are beneficiaries of the game. Neil tells me that he is "fairly certain that Eddie Hussin will be playing for Alty (to be confirmed), along with Colin Little, Rod Thornley, and Pat McFadden along with other players from last year's reserves (John Maloney, Ben Deegan) and this year's youth team (Tom Bailey, Danny Browne and Dominic Lilley). We will be playing the game as last year with half the game in the Alty kit and the second half in the Robinson’s Preservation Blue Alty shirts". It is also hoped that GM Radio's Jimmy Wagg will be coming to watch the game as well. Gary Talbot may also make an appearance whilst chairman Geoff Goodwin is anxious to play - in goal! - and vice-chairman Grahame Rowley is also expected to participate, along with kitman Charles Heathcote.Goalkeepers involved will include Chris Rowley and Craig Ellison, whilst physio Alan Ainsley will also play.

    So, please come along for an enjoyable game for two excellent causes. Before the match there is family fun activity at Moss Lane, from 11.30am.

    1978 REVISITED

    Following the interest expressed in the photo of the 1978 FAT Final on the website on Friday (see below), readers may also be interested in the page on this site dedicated to the team of 1977-78. For Alty teams of other years, see the Past Players page


    NL Daily says that "Stevenage Borough have signed Tes Bramble from Stockport County. The 26-year-old, 6' 2" striker, brother of Wigan's Titus Bramble, has made 200 appearances for Stockport and Southend, scoring fifty-five goals. He has been signed to add strength and experience to the squad and should make his debut against Ipswich Town on Tuesday. Manager Mark Stimson told the Borough website 'Tes is a couple of weeks behind everyone else in fitness and will need to work hard to get to the same level as the other lads, but he's a strong player who could well cause teams a lot of problems when he's fully fit',

    "Blue Square South club Havant & Waterlooville have announced the signing of former Grays Athletic defender Jay Smith" says NL Daily.

    At York City "defender Danny Parslow has today signed a new extended contract. The Welsh-born player, who has just sustained a training injury, will be committed to the Club for a further period. Danny said, 'I'm delighted to have signed an extension to my contract. I've loved my time at York City so far and I can't wait to be involved in the forthcoming season. I'm hoping with regular physio my injury will clear up as quickly as possible and I'll be back in training'" .

    The Halifax Courier says that in Saturday's pre-season game against Sheffield Wednesday, "Daryl Taylor played the second 45 minutes as did striker James Dean, included in the squad after being told he can leave Northwich". Steve Bushell was not in the squad.

    14 July 2007


    Rumours from a normally reliable source suggest that Altrincham will have their home match against Cambridge United on Tuesday, September 18th broadcast live on Setanta TV. The featured matches for the first third of the season are supposed to be announced this weekend.


    There will be another "Working Party" day at Moss Lane, today (Saturday), from 10am to 2pm so if you can come along to help get the ground ready for the coming season, it would be much appreciated.


    The Manchester Evening News reports that former Alty striker Bert Lister is "very poorly" after a heart-attack. Bert (67) is pictured in the paper playing for Altrincham for whom he played in the 1960s after making his name with Manchester City and Oldham Athletic. The MEN says that "On retirement he ran a newsagent's in Royton and a post office in Collyhurst and at one time was general manager of the Manchester Giants basketball team". All at Moss Lane wish Bert well. Bert is pictured, right, in an Altrincham programme from the 1967-68 season.


    From the Northweich Guardian comes confirmation that "Witton fans will only get one glimpse of the new team at Wincham Park this summer. The persistent rainfall has left the pitch unplayable after summer maintenance, so friendlies against Altrincham, Accrington Stanley and Runcorn Linnnets have all been cancelled. However one game will go ahead. Manchester City visit on Wednesday, August 8". Alty also had a game against Runcorn Linnets postponed as it was to be played at Witton.


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger says that "Altrincham are set to complete a transfer double deal on Monday. Manager Graham Heathcote has had his sights set on a new striker and defender.... and he is confident he has secured the right men for the job, with an announcement set to be made on Monday. Both players have experience at Conference level or higher and should take the squad close to completion... Heathcote has already missed out on several of his biggest targets, with winger Alex Meechan opting to join York, Greg Strong has joined Northwich and former Solihull midfielder Phil Trainer has signed for Oxford. 'It's frustrating when you miss out on major targets', said the Robins' boss. 'But one of the major problems we face is that we can't offer these players full-time football, so they look elsewhere... We're always at the back of the queue. That said, I'm pleased with how the squad is taking shape for the new season'".

    Currently with the club as trialists are ex-Crewe defender Cavell Coo and former Gretna striker Matthew Berkeley.


    Courtesy of Campbell McLay of the Robins' Shop comes the above nostalgic photo of Altrincham FC stepping out at Wembley for the FA Trophy Final against Leatherhead in 1978. Fromfront to back the line-up is Tony Sanders (manager), John King (captain), Stan Allan, Peter Eales, John Owens, Jeff Johnson, John Davison, Graham Heathcote, Ian Morris, Ivan Crossley, Malcolm Bailey, Joe Flaherty and John Rogers.


    Whilst Graham Heathcote scrimps and saves at more or less debt-free Altrincham,
    Crawley Town, untroubled by their debts, report that "Earlier today secretary Barry Munn completed the documentation that will see midfielder Thomas Pinault join the Reds for next season. Pinault, 25, is manager Steve Evans’ 9th new signing as he assembles his new squad for what promises to an exciting season. The manager is expected to add to the squad further over the coming weeks... The stylish midfielder will make his public debut alongside a number of the new signings when he starts the match against MK Dons tomorrow".

    "The FA have given Leeds United the all-clear to play York City in a pre-season friendly at KitKat Crescent on Friday... after being given certain assurances. An FA spokesman told PA Sport: 'We have informed the club we are happy for the game to go ahead as long as it's being played by the old club - Leeds United in administration. As long as players and trialists are registered to the old entity we have no objections and Leeds have assured us this is the case'" reports the BBC.

    The BBC says that "Left-back Paul Watson will fight for a place in the Rushden & Diamonds starting line-up after being removed from the transfer list. Watson was placed on the transfer list along with Marcus Kelly, Jon Ashton and Glenn Wilson, but he has now convinced manager Garry Hill to give him another chance to impress. 'He has come off the transfer list because he turned around and came to see me about it', Hill told the Evening Telegraph... Meanwhile, Hill is currently running the rule over trialists Jamie Slabber and Kieran Leabon and added: 'I'm talking to other players all the time'".

    Kidderminster Harriers report that James Constable "has admitted that the arrival of Justin Richards to the club is likely to bring out the best in him... after joining from Peterborough. Constable meanwhile, now back in full training following a hernia operation admits that it's been tough going following the surgery...' The first couple of weeks are always going to be tough', he explained, 'You expect it to be at the minute and I'm just working hard with the rest of the lads... I pulled my groin back in September at Walsall and it never really had chance to heal, and I could carry on playing through it without noticing it too much during games but afterwards it would be pretty painful. I could limit training and stuff to help and thankfully it didn't affect my game that much. But now the pain has gone which is nice'... Following Justin Richards's arrival at the club, Constable and other front man Iyseden Christie will do battle to be top dog of the striking ranks... 'I think it'll bring out the best in all three of us," he added... Harriers continue to go about their business quietly with just the four new additions this summer, the latest being goalkeeper Dean Coleman. Constable went on... 'There's no need for ten new players to come in. We've filled in gaps that we lost during the summer and strengthened a few positions and the players we've brought in are great signings'".

    The Halifax Courier says that "Town will field young trialists Rob Pacey and Kevin Burgess against Sheffield Wednesday at the Shay [on Saturday]. But manager Chris Wilder is hoping to keep the involvement of trialists in pre-season games to a minimum... Burgess is a young centre back at Darlington who has made one substitute appearance for the Quakers' first team. Pacey is also a defender who spent time on loan at Gateshead from Doncaster Rovers last season. And with Adam Quinn, a one-time Hillsborough trainee, the only contracted centre back available tomorrow their inclusion could prove important against the Owls... 'I want to keep the group tight so there will be no revolving door of trialists', said Wilder. 'I don't want to turn it into a circus... I have to offset that with not overplaying the lads we have so it is something of a balancing act'. Town fans will get their first opportunity to see summer signings Daryl Taylor and Rob Scott in action tomorrow and Steve Bushell will make his return to the Shay in a Town shirt after a season away at Altrincham.... 'The plan is to give the four central midfielders 45 minutes and the same with four strikers', he said... Fans will be keen to see who partners who in the half those players are on the field. Will the Town boss link Tom Kearney and Steve Bushell and will Darryn Stamp and Andy Campbell renew their blossoming partnership?"

    "Torquay United boss Paul Buckle is likely to step up his interest in defender Simon Travis after fellow transfer target Andy Lindegaard yesterday opted to join Cheltenham Town" claims This is South Devon. Former Yeovil Town right-back Lindegaard has signed a two-year deal at Whaddon Road having turned down an offer to join Buckle's Plainmoor revolution. Talks between United and Travis, a former Gulls youngster who has just left Hereford United, are on-going, though Buckle is sure to be keen to secure the services of the 30-year-old defender... Travis played for United as a teenager during the 1995-96 season, before opting to go to university. But he's since played for Stockport, Telford, Forest Green, Stevenage and Hereford... United have also let trialists Andrew Jones, John Wheeldon, Faley Basse and Christian G'Bale go, but will be keeping hold of Danny Stevens, Danny Wring and Jamal Easter".

    Woking report that "Our away Fixture at Grays Athletic originally scheduled for Tuesday 14th August 2007 has now been switched to Wednesday 15th August 2007". This is presumably because Grays are playing on the previous Sunday night in a televised match. Likewise, Aldershot have moved their Tuesday game with Torquay to Wednesday for the same reason.

    13 July 2007


    Altrincham's two friendlies which were to be played at Witton Albion have been postponed due to the Witton pitch not being ready for use by the dates in question. The two cancelled games are:
  • Tuesday 24.7.07 against Witton Albion
  • Saturday 28.7.07 against Runcorn Linnets

    Altrincham already had another friendly arranged on 28 July, away at Marine, so there will still be Alty action to watch on that date. The revised list of friendlies is here.


    Altrincham FC Youth team's game with Manchester County FA this Sunday (15th) has now been switched from Salford to Flixton and kick off has moved to 11am. The new venue is Flixton Playing Fields, Flixton Road, the home of Old Stretfordians.


    The Bury website has pictures from the game at Moss Lane on Tuesday.


    Altrincham FC season tickets have now been received from the printers and can be collected from the ground tomorrow onwards.


    A poster on the Crawley Town forum reports that "The creditors' meeting is July 20th (next Friday) at which point they will be asked to agree another extension... I would suggest it would be until 30th September.. to allow for contingencies. Providing the club have finally completed the two outstanding tax returns all of the claims would have been agreed and an interim payment can be made immedaitely (15p/£). The extension would be based on an agreement to place the flat in auction to meet the charges on it plus costs... there are two property auctions in Brighton & Hove in the remainder of July so it could happen pretty quickly. However if it is not purchased or the reserve price is not met it may have to re-entered into a later auction. The creditors could alternatively vote to take the interim payment and liquidate the club... But that is very unlikely given the assurances of Begbies that they have the possession order .. however as a condition of agreeing to the extension the creditors are very likely to introduce a new clause for interest and possibly penalty payments covering the overdue period since October".

    Another poster on the Forum, representing the creditors' views, adds the following about the club's owners, "here are a few [edited] highlights :

  • a In 11 months they racked up £1.8m worth of debt
  • b At 4 separate tribunals they are found guilty of unfair dismissal
  • c They cut players wages in half
  • e The FA brand a chairman/director as an "unfit & proper person to be involved in the running of a football club"
  • f They fail to pay players and deliberately break their contracts
  • g Having said they wouldn't ...they take the club into Administration as a "deliberate business decision"
  • j Creditor vote to liquidate the club.. and only accept a 50p/£ because the creditors get an assurance that flat will be sold in the event of non-payment.
  • k The CVA is not paid - despite assurances - at the October deadline
  • l The CVA is not paid - despite assurances - at the June deadline
  • n and incidentally they still owe £240k of the original purchase price!

    These are the factual highlights with no emotive mentions of fan division, falling attendances, business incompetency, intimidation, bribery, mysterious fires, points deducted".

    At Torquay Utd "Chief Executive Colin Lee has today announced that the first match of the season, at home against Grays Athletic will be shown live by Setanta Sports on Sunday 12th August with a kick off time still to be confirmed but will probably be 7.00pm or 7.30pm. Torquay United are very pleased to have been chosen as the host for the first BlueSq Premier live Sunday match and it will be chance for a larger audience to see what the new Torquay United is all about. We look forward to welcoming the Grays' players, officials and supporters for the first time... And in order to mark this event we are offering match sponsorship for this game at a discounted rate of £1000 + VAT instead of £1500".

    Meanwhile "Grays Athletic manager Justin Edinburgh has snapped up former Rochdale and Boston United midfielder Ernie Cooksey, reports BBC Essex. The 27-year-old started his career with Crawley Town but was relegated with Boston last season. Cooksey has signed a two-year contract with the Bridge Road club".

    Oxford United "have offered three trialists contracts for the new season. Boss Smith is hopeful that they will all sign: 'Of the four who reported on the first day we have offered contracts to three of them. Those three are Alex Jeannin, Joel Ledgister and Phil Trainer. Kalou Ngoma is the unfortunate one, and it's not really his fault. I am looking for a left sided midfield player and he is a right sided one. He is a decent player but that's against him. But the other three have all been offered contracts and we are nearly there with the contracts I hope'".

    The Cambridge Evening News says that "Phil Bell will be given another chance to persuade Histon to make him their eighth summer signing against Nuneaton Borough on Saturday. The 6ft 4in target man came off the bench to partner goalscorer Antonio Murray up front in the Stutes' 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at the Glass World Stadium on Tuesday night. But the striker, who is on trial from Northern League, Premier Division champions Whitley Bay and has been training with the club since last Tuesday, struggled to make an impact in the match. And Histon boss Steve Fallon will be watching closely when he gives Bell, whose signature would require the Stutes to get out their chequebook, another run-out against their Blue Square Northern opponents at the weekend. He said: 'It was difficult for him, but we've seen enough of him in training and had enough good reports to know there's more to come from him'... Fallon will be without goalkeeper Danny Naisbitt when they take to the field on Saturday after the shot-stopper, signed from Cambridge City, was forced off in the first half against the Baggies with a thigh strain. Naisbitt's misfortune will allow another recent recruit, Mark Osborn, to cement his place between the sticks following an impressive debut which included a late double save".

    Frpm the Kidderminster Shuttle we learn that "With training in full swing Kidderminster Harriers' manager Mark Yates has had a chance to run the rule over the trialists... Amongst the players aiming to try and win a place at Harriers is the former, Wolverhampton, Bromsgrove, Willenhall and Wycombe Wanderers striker Matthew Barnes-Homer".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Rushden & Diamonds' chairman Keith Cousins wants an average attendance of 2,500 at Nene Park next season. That figure would match Diamonds' budget to prevent the club from plunging into debt as they bid for a return to the Football League. Last term's home crowds were just above 2,000 following relegation back into the Conference with Diamonds fighting for survival on and off the pitch until Cousins took control. Garry Hill – the fourth manager during the campaign – guided the team to a top-half finish, sparking fresh hope that Diamonds will push for promotion with his new-look squad. Supporters have already shown their backing by edging close to last year's total for season-ticket sales and trust membership... The Diamonds' chairman said: 'We have targeted an average attendance of 2,500 and if we get less then we've got a problem with the budget which was set. I accept that this will depend on what happens on the pitch. We all know that more people will come here if the team are performing well and winning games. This football club has to be run as a business. We can't afford to lose money... We are looking forward to the season with four quality home friendlies coming up against Nottingham Forest, Ipswich Town, Luton Town and Tottenham Hotspur'".

    12 July 2007


    Above, L. to R. Warren Peyton, Matthew Berkeley, Colin Little and Robbie Lawton in action against the Shakers.

    After Tuesday's defeat to Altrincham, the Shakers' boss Chris Casper told the Bury website "It was the proverbial game of two halves, in the first half we played more or less the lads that we have on contract and for the second half it was mostly trialists. It's just a matter of having a look at people and getting back into the swing of things. The run out was more important to us, the run out and getting through the game with no injuries. We told the lads that before the game, if they were feeling anything or they are in any doubt about anything, to give us a shout. The result means nothing, losing a key player for three months would have been a massive loss for us. I did think that the game was a little bit too early for us, but having the lads come back in the shape that they have come back in, there was no problem with us having a game so early on. Altrincham are a decent team, they are well organised. Both halves were very competitive. We probably shaded the first half and maybe we should have got something towards the end. We have ten trialists at the club at the moment and nine of them played in the second half. They are here for the week and I think it's only fair that they get the chance to show us what they can do. I was pleased with one or two bits and pieces, there are lots of things to work on. We also changed the shape around a little bit.That's what these games are all about... Myself and Keith will sit down and talk about Drewe Broughton. He is somebody with a lot of experience at this level. He only came to us on Monday and he does look pretty fit... If there is a chance of getting him, then we have to sit down and see if it's worth while doing". The Bury website also has a match report on the game at Moss Lane

    Bury's goalscorer last night was Ahmed Deen who was with St Albans City and played against us in the away match at Clarence Park last season.

    Above. L. to R. Robbie Lawton, Colin Potts and Jake Sedgemore..

    SAM has a match report, too. It says that "The Shakers fielded a strong starting line-up at Moss Lane but Alty more than matched them throughout... Graham Heathcote's team included three trialists who have been involved in the first two weeks of summer training. Cavell Coo was solid at left back and Matty Berkeley looked lively up front, while midfielder Chris Baguley showed good touch and vision after coming on at half time... With Bury carrying out a complete overhaul of their team at half time, it was Alty who settled in better at the start of the second half".

    And This is Lancashire says that the "Shakers got their pre-season preparations off to a disjointed start with defeat at Conference club Altrincham. Bury manager Chris Casper fielded his strongest side in a goalless first half. But after the restart the League Two side, containing several trialists, went 2-0 down".


    Setanta TV were at Moss Lane on Tuesday night; they were filming as part of their ongoing programme of visiting all Conference grounds to record short sequences of film to be used for promotional purposes for their upcoming coverage of the Blue Square Conference Premier season.


    Altrincham FC Welfare Officer, Paul Roberts, writes of the Altrincham FC Juniors: "The under 15s boys team is looking at expanding its player quota for next season. We now have more players than are required for one team. So we are now urgently looking at creating a second team. Any interested players should please complete the player enquiry form and return it to the club ASAP".


    Southport report that "Carl Baker has today completed his move from Southport to Morecambe in a deal that makes him Morecambe's club record signing, although the final figure will remain undisclosed. Having attracted attention from a number of football league clubs this summer, including League One side Yeovil Town, Carl has elected to join Sammy McIlroy's Morecambe... Carl joined from Prescot Cables in November 2003. Southport offered Carl the opportunity to return to full time football last summer and he stepped up to the challenge making a clean sweep of the end of season Player of the Year awards and finished top scorer for the club... Manager Peter Davenport commenting on the transfer said: 'I am sorry to see Carl go, He's a terrific talent but I fully understand his decision to join Morecambe and I won't stand in the way of a player who has the opportunity to further their career in the football league'".

    The Crawley Observer prints a breathtaking "Statement released by Crawley Town owner Azwar Majeed. As I am sat here preparing this, Steve Evans and his assistant Paul Raynor are preparing the players for our pre-season friendly this Saturday with Milton Keynes Dons. This game, along with our other pre-season fixtures help the squad prepare for the new season which will be my third here at Crawley Town Football Club. We are honoured Mr. Ince has chosen Crawley Town to be his first opponents at his new club and a lot of credit must go to our manager for selling us to him.

    Season Ticket holders and all under 16s will gain free entrance to pre-season games and we have been guaranteed by MK Dons, Ipswich Town and Southend United that they will be bringing strong squads to us. What a fantastic chance it is for our local community to see these quality players in action at first-hand. Along with the not to be missed opportunity of catching those sides in action, we are hoping to attract good crowds over the three games, so you can show our new players why we have some of the best supporters in our league.

    If you have any friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues or even the milkman who do not normally attend matches here, bring them along this weekend so we can show them what Crawley Town Football Club has to offer. During the summer school holidays, under 16's gain free entrance to ALL games played at the Broadfield Stadium which covers the opening league games as well. This was something we first did two summers ago and proved hugely popular among the young fans in the town and hopefully we will have the same, if not a better response, this year.

    I must thank all the supporters that have so far purchased season tickets and the personal support I have received as well. Season ticket sales have gone better than we had hoped and it has brought a huge lift to everyone at the club. It's quite something when someone comes and hands over their money which they have worked hard for to support the club. The level of support we have received from our fan base has been fantastic and inspires us all behind the scenes to make your club successful for you all!

    Many of the 2005-06 season ticket holders who didn't renew last season are coming back, and we have also sold a number of season tickets to first-time buyers as well, which is great! ...It has been nice to catch some of the supporters in the ticket office over the last couple of weeks and talk football with some of you as well. It's nice to get back to football! One question that was raised on those occasions away from football was the current situation with the Company Voluntary Agreement. I cannot say too much on the situation, other than we remain committed to the completion of the CVA.

    It is disappointing and frustrating at times due to the consistent speculation, but I would like to remind people that I placed my home as a guarantee to ensure the completion of the CVA, so the future of the club is not in danger, and I remain 100% committed to providing future financial support if needed by the club. We will be announcing very soon a new member to our commercial department who joins us with a wealth of experience from their time working in a similar role with a Championship club. Currently we are working hard towards securing a new principal club sponsor for next season and for the years beyond that as well. It is not an easy task to get local or national companies to part with money and that is the difficult task we are faced with ahead of the new season.

    A lot of credit should go to our Chairman and Commercial Manager Victor Marley who has done a fantastic job for many years for the club. The last twelve months have been hard for him with the financial difficulties we have faced and gaining support from companies. I ask today, first to our supporters, help promote us to the local businesses in your area. Talk to your boss about your company getting involved with us... To all the companies out there, come to us; please don't wait for us to come to you! Along with support you bring to us, Crawley Town provides a great platform to promote your business.... We will be shown LIVE across to a country wide audience at least twice this season, as well as weekly coverage on a highlights show. We have a number of packages available for all sizes of budgets! ...

    Back to the football and I would like to officially welcome back the seven players from last season's squad and the new recruits that the manager has brought to the club over the summer. Purely looking on as a football fan, I am really excited about this season – I have a strong feeling we are going to do really well and surprise a few people. I have been asked many times why I ever wanted to get involved in football. I have lived in Sussex my whole life and to think our county has only ever had one club in the Football League is simply not good enough and quite unbelievable to be honest.

    Myself and everyone at this great club of yours will work morning, noon and night to ensure Crawley Town Football Club becomes the second club in the Football League, and one day, maybe the number 1 club in the county of Sussex. I love the challenge of fulfilling that. Come on you Reds".

    The BBC reports that "Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough says he hopes veteran goalkeeper Kevin Poole will decide to extend his playing career with the Brewers. Poole, who will be 44 before the new season starts, has been linked with a coaching job elsewhere but played in Tuesday's opening warm-up game. 'We are hoping that he will agree to play for us again next season', Clough told his club's website. 'That is why we are holding on as long as we possibly can'".

    "Northwich Victoria defender Richard Battersby has signed a new 12-month deal... Battersby agreed terms with new boss Neil Redfearn to extend his two-year stay with the Vics. The 28-year-old, who began his career with Oldham Athletic, has started 68 games for Northwich since signing from Radcliffe Borough in 2005. Redfearn is still looking for new faces to bolster his squad to go with the four signings he has made so far" according to the BBC.

    Meanwhile, "Striker Alex Meechan has joined York City on a free transfer after being released by Chester City at the end of last season. The 27-year-old, who can also play in midfield, is the seventh new signing to join the Minstermen this summer. Meechan made a handful of appearances for Chester after ending a third spell with Forest Green Rovers in January. After starting his career with Swindon Meechan played with Halifax Town, Dagenham and Leigh RMI" says the BBC.

    NL Daily reports that "Jim Smith, manager of Oxford United, could make French defender Alex Jeannin his second signing of the summer. Last week, former Airdrie striker Gary Twigg became Smith's first capture, and now he hopes to add the experienced left back to the squad. Jeannin, 29, is without a club, having been released by Hereford United in April after more than fifty appearances... The 6ft defender's introduction to the English game came in the 2000/01 season when Darlington signed him from French club Troyes AC. He later moved to Exeter City, where he spent two seasons, followed by a brief spell at Bristol Rovers before joining Hereford in 2005. Although United are well served by centre backs, with Phil Gilchrist, Chris Willmott, Luke Foster, Matt Day and Barry Quinn on their books, they are short of a specialist left back" says the Oxford Mail.

    "Ebbsfleet United's preparations for the new Blue Square Premier League season have received a very timely boost with the news that first-team manager Liam Daish and assistant manager Alan Kimble have both signed new contracts with the Club... for a further year. Ebbsfleet Utd Chairman Jason Botley said: 'We are delighted that both Liam and Alan have committed themselves to the club for the foreseeable future and I look forward to a prosperous season'".

    The Burton Mail states that "Nigel Clough could be ready to add Gary Croft and Dave Farrell to his new-look Burton Albion squad. The pair turned out for Albion in last night's Pirelli Stadium friendly against Ipswich Town and did well enough to persuade Clough to pursue his interest. The Brewers' boss told Mail Sport: 'We possibly want to see them play again because it's difficult to assess people after one training session and one game... We're thinking in terms of how we can fit them in squad wise'. Croft, 33, and Farrell, 35, are seeking new clubs after being released by Grimsby Town and Peterborough United respectively. Clough is looking to add at least three more names to his squad, with Boston United midfielder Mark Greaves also a target".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Leo Fortune-West has rejoined Rushden & Diamonds for pre-season training – despite being told to find another club. The 36-year-old striker only made six first-team appearances at the start of last season before joining Coca-Cola League Two play-off finalists Shrewsbury Town on loan. But he still has one year left on his Nene Park contract and Diamonds boss Garry Hill confirmed yesterday that Fortune-West is now on the transfer list along with Paul Watson, Glenn Wilson and Marcus Kelly. Hill said: 'Fortune-West has been made aware by myself and the chairman (Keith Cousins) that he is free to go. However nobody has come in for him at all. So it's purely a case of him coming back here for pre-season and getting on with his job'. Wilson held talks yesterday over a potential move to another Blue Square Conference Premier club while Jon Ashton – who was also put on the transfer list at the end of the season – has already joined Grays Athletic. Kelly is likely to be sidelined until September following summer surgery to repair his dislocated shoulder'... Midfielder Tom Shaw – who fractured two metatarsals in April – has returned to training in his attempt to push Curtis Woodhouse, Jon Challinor and Martin Foster for a starting role... Jake Beecroft, Alex Bolt, Lawrence Lambley and Martyn Margarson have joined the senior squad".

    From This is Staffs we read that "Former Crewe striker Pavol Suhaj has linked up with Stafford Rangers.The giant Slovakian (26)... has moved onto Marston Road... While he admits he would be happy to sign a short-term deal with the Conference outfit, he hankers after League football and is waiting for Rochdale and Macclesfield to firm up their interest in him. Suhaj snubbed moves to an Austrian Second Division side and teams in the Eircom League of Ireland as he is determined he wants to stay in English football. Crewe's backroom staff have put his name forward to Macc's new boss Ian Brightwell, while the forward believes he could yet trigger interest from Championship Blackpool... [He said] 'I am very hopeful I can find a club in England. I have joined in pre-season training with Stafford at the moment, which has been a great help for me. If I don't get a League club maybe I could go there for some time, but the main thing is that I need to be playing football on a regular basis in this country'. Suhaj made just eight appearances for Crewe in two years following his £90,000-plus move from AS Trencin in his homeland".

    At Torquay, "Boss Paul Buckle is waiting for answers on offers he's made to both ex-Yeovil stalwart Andy Lindegaard and former Torquay United starlet Simon Travis - but he won't be signing both players" according to This is South Devon. "Buckle made it clear that he will draw the line under his defensive signings when either Lindegaard or Travis, both right-backs, agrees to move to Plainmoor. Buckle has already got former Brighton & Hove Albion youngster Paul Hinshelwood under contract... Lindegaard, 26, who was a fixture at Huish Park until being surprisingly released at the end of last season, may be holding out for a higher level of football. And Travis, 30, who has just left Hereford United, has been talking the move over with his wife. Travis played for United as a teenager during the 1995-96 season, before opting to go to university. But he's since played for Stockport, Telford, Forest Green, Stevenage and Hereford".

    11 July 2007


    A curious feature of Tuesday night was that Altrincham FC were simultaneously playing two matches, half a mile apart. At Moss Lane, Alty were beating a Bury XI (see below for report link) whilst a training game was also taking place at Blessed Thomas Holford's facilities between an Altrincham side and Leek Town, whose new assistant manager is Alty groundsman, Neil Brown. Some Altrincham players actually played in both matches; legging it between the two grounds to come on as second half substitutes! The match with Leek Town ended in a goalless draw.

    ALTY 2 BURY XI 1

    Above: A break in proceedings as (l. to r.) Warren Peyton, Karl Munroe, Darren Tinson, Robbie Lawton, Colin Little, Chris Baguley, Rod Thornley and Jake Sedgemore take a breather.

    Altrincham beat a Bury XI on Tuesday night 2-1, at Moss Lane, with goals in the second half from Colin Little and Joe O'Neill putting them 2-0 up. The Shakers pulled one back 11 minutes from the end. Bury fielded a strong side in the first half before making eleven changes at the break. Captained by Dave Challinor, Bury included recent acquisitions Ben Futcher, Steve Haslam and Paul Morgan in their line-up. Alty gave first starts to Darren Tinson, Jake Sedgemore and Chris Lane, whilst trialists Colin Potts, Cavell Coo (ex-Crewe), Matthew Berkeley (ex-Gretna) and Chris Baguley (Jamie's brother) also featured.

    Match report here..


    Before last night's win over Bury, SAM quoted Alty boss, Graham Heathcote: "We're just taking a look at players right now and there will be more and more coming in over the next few weeks. Hopefully we'll be able to pick a couple of players up but if we can't it won't be a disaster, we'll just have to look at using the loan market more often this season. All the games at the moment are geared towards the new season so it's all about getting fit and ready. We'll have two games on Tuesday night [v Bury and Leek Town] so players will swap between the two so that we don't have anyone sat around doing nothing. Hopefully Bury will bring a strong side because they requested this friendly ahead of their game against Everton. It should be a good test".


    Above: "Flagger" Bryan Ford receives his £100 cheque from Gary Scott as the latest winner of the Friends of Altrincham FC monthly draw.


    The BBC says that "Northwich Victoria boss Neil Redfearn has signed former Accrington centre-back Michael Welch. Welch, 25, agreed a deal with the Vics after being released by Accrington at the end of last season. Welch started over 50 League games for Stanley following an earlier spell with Macclesfield Town. His arrival at the Victoria Stadium will help offset the loss of Kieran Charnock to Peterborough and Mark Roberts to Accrington".

    "Striker Dan Chillingworth has secured a return to Cambridge United. He has signed a 12-month deal after talks over a new contract initially broke down at the end of last season. The 25-year-old had returned to Cambridge for a second spell from rivals Rushden and Diamonds in January. 'If he can focus on being a little more selfish at times I'm sure he'll get the goals for us', boss Jimmy Quinn told Cambridge's website".

    And yet another signing at a club apparently without the money to pay its long-suffering debtors. Crawley Town who "have signed young Rushden player Glenn Wilson... Wilson, 21, was a former youth player at Crystal Palace and played in a number of positions for Diamonds last season. He was a key figure in the starting Diamonds' team that went on such a great run of form midway through the campaign. The youngster also had a short, but successful loan spell at Kidderminster Harriers towards the end of last season and was impressive as the Harriers produced some outstanding results. Crawley Town boss Steve Evans added: 'Glenn was excellent in each of the five matches I watched him take part in last season.... He can play in a number of positions and provides me with several options now he has become a part of the squad. He is young and hungry like the other players we have brought to Crawley Town... Over the next few weeks we will add some ingredients that will hopefully provide us with a balance through-out the squad and in-turn reward us with a good season'".

    10 July 2007


    SAM reports that "Graham Heathcote is looking forward to testing his first team squad as the preseason schedule gets underway in earnest tonight... Former Crewe left back Cavell Coo and striker Matty Berkeley, who spent much of last season with Scottish club Gretna, will both be involved again after playing against Gregorians. There should also be an appearance from young midfielder Chris Baguley, brother of former Alty player Jamie, after his recent release from League One Oldham Athletic. Colin Potts (right) will also make a playing return to Moss Lane after training with the Robins squad".


    Tonight (Tuesday) sees the first Moss Lane pre-season game of the summer when Altrincham host a Bury FC XI. Kick off is at 7.30pm and admission is free to Altrincham season-ticket holders. But, due to the late change in our club's league status, the printing of the season tickets has been delayed. So, all those who have bought 2007-08 season ticket tickets are asked to present themselves at their normal turnstile entrance and give their name to the operators who will check them off against a list of subscribers. Otherwise, admission is £5 for adults and £2 for concessionaries - or £1 off if you have the leaflet with you which was distributed this week with many copies of the Sale & Altrincham Messenger.

    The Bury website says that the Shakers are likely to include new signings Ben Futcher, Paul Morgan and Steve Haslam in their side and will play in their new chocolate away kit. Haslam is the former Halifax Town and Sheffield Wednesday right-back. The 6ft 7inch Futcher joined the Shakers recently from Peterborough United, whilst Paul Morgan is another defender, signed from Lincoln City. Jim Provett, who arrived this week from Hartlepool is likely to start in goal but manager Chris Casper is expected to change all eleven players at half-time. Trialists and youth players will join the first-teamers in the squad. For Alty, Joe O Neill, Warren Peyton, Colin Little and Jake Sedgemore are all players with Bury connections. In addition to the match report on this site, a match report, photos and video reaction will appear on the Bury site after the game.


    The Leek Town forum confirms that "Leek Town manager Paul Ogden has added to his 17-man squad with three more key signings this week. Firstly he swooped to sign ex-Port Vale striker Louis Briscoe... Ogden then went on to capture vastly experienced central defender Gary Talbot (right) who was released from Altrincham at the end of last season. Talbot, 36, began his career at Winsford before originally joining Alty in 1999 and is described as a commanding centre-back with powerful heading ability... On his way back from injury he played a couple of games at Kidsgrove before returning to Moss Lane where he completed last season at the heart of the Blue Square Conference side’s defence. Ogden beat off a number of interested clubs to sign Talbot whom he describes as a massive signing who has done it all and will be so important to the squad this season. Finally Ogden has added more height to his attack after snapping up Winsford United striker Rob Hopley... Leek’s next training session is scheduled for Tuesday 10 July when the squad will travel to use the facilities at Altrincham’s Moss Lane complex", at. 7.30pm. Of course, Leek's new Assistant Manager is our own groundsman Neil Brown. All at Moss Lane wish Gary and Neil well at their new club.


    The STAR (Altrincham FC supporters' trust) has changed its web address to You may find some familiar material there!


    The Yorkshire Evening Post says that "Mark Jackson readily admits he wouldn't have dreamed of signing for Farsley Celtic five years ago – but he was chuffed to bits when he became Lee Sinnott's first summer capture. Jackson has joined the club where he started out as a schoolboy in the late 1980s before moving on to Leeds United as a YTS and then young professional. When he made his Premiership debut for Leeds in 1996, Farsley's first team were struggling to compete in the first division of the Northern Premier League – some six rungs below the Elland Road men on the footballing ladder. But that gulf in class has been virtually eradicated – another bad season for United combined with another meteoric effort from Celtic could set up a Leeds Football League derby for the first time in history next season... Jackson said: "They have come such a long way in a short space of time. I was at Leeds when I was younger and Farsley are not too far behind them now. 'Five years ago I wouldn't have dreamt I would be signing for them. Obviously, I want to play as high as I can, but Farsley are in the Blue Square Premier now and it is a good level, so I am happy with the move... I had a few offers on the table but when I spoke to the manager and I spoke to the assistant, John Deacey, they said they wanted to have a real go next season. They don't just want to go in there and make the numbers up'... Jackson, who turns 30 in September, played more than 20 games for Leeds before moving on to Scunthorpe United seven years ago. The defender spent five years at Glanford Park before joining Kidderminster in February 2005, and an injury-ravaged season at Rochdale followed last time round... 'We're at home in the first game, that's the main thing, and hopefully we can get a good start which is what we need in this division', he said. 'I have been training with the lads for over a week now and they seem a great bunch, there are some really good players in there and there is a good team spirit'".

    Right: Cavell Coo, who played for Altrincham in Saturday's game against Gregorians. Cavell is a trialist, who was formerly at Crewe Alexandra.

    Referring to Clayton Donaldson we read that "York City... were forced into letting the prolific 22-year-old striker go after he signed a pre-contract agreement with Hibernian in January... It's the second successive season that York have lost their top scorer. In May 2006, the club saw 23-goal Andy Bishop join League Two outfit Bury on a free transfer...McEwan said 'The last two years we have lost our top scorers during the summer. Last time we coped and I firmly believe we will again. Players like Donaldson only come around once in a blue moon. He was a young player who came from Hull and had lost his way a little bit. We picked him up for nothing and he went on to show his qualities. He's going to be a hard one to replace but I think my track record shows that I have got a decent record of producing and developing young players... We had a fantastic season last year', he said. 'The average age of the squad was 23 and we were unlucky at the end of the day not to reach the play-off final – due in part to some bad decisions from the referee. I forgot about the defeat the next day – it was gone for me. I have not even looked at the tape and I was back at work the day after. As far as I'm concerned, it's in the history books. Who knows what we are going to do next season? We will be trying to emulate what we achieved last season but it's a big ask'. With 10 players being released over the summer, McEwan has had to give his squad a facelift for the third straight year, but he has already brought in new faces. The 56-year-old has already increased his firepower up front by signing Chris Beardsley, Onome Sodje and Paul Brayson. Midfielder Stuart Elliott and left-back Paul Robinson are the other players who have agreed terms" states the Yorkshire Evening Post

    From This is Glos comes news that "Jim Harvey will sign a new contract as Forest Green manager tonight - but not the six-year deal mooted at the end of last season. Fans have been invited to an open evening at the New Lawn, when Harvey will publicly commit his future to beyond the end of the forthcoming campaign. Back in March, chairman Colin Gardner attempted to ward off potential suitors for the popular 49-year-old Ulsterman, insisting a five-year extension to his current deal - which expires in June 2008 - would be on the table this summer. However, Harvey is instead expected to put pen to paper on a more flexible rolling contract. Gardner said: 'All will be revealed, but everyone knows Jim would be staying at Forest Green for the next 10 years if I had my way'. Midfielder Jamie Pitman will be formally sworn in as Harvey's assistant this evening, having taken on the player-coaching role vacated by Paul Wanless".

    The Halifax Courier says that "Halifax Town general manager Angie Firth has moved to reassure fans concerned by the lack of news about the proposed takeover of the club. It had been expected that the club would have been handed over to a consortium of West Yorkshire businessmen at the start of July. And there have been rumblings among supporters more than a week after the deadline set for the repayment of the final part of a loan made by the potential new owners to former chairman Geoff Ralph. The club's official line is that the loan is a private matter between the businessmen and Ralph who needed the cash to keep the club afloat last season. He has already paid back a six-figure sum but the consortium is awaiting the repayment of a smaller amount before the deal to take over the club can be finalised. 'It is currently understood there is no cause for concern regarding the positive progress of the transaction', said Firth in a statement issued by the club. 'Whilst a remaining payment is currently still outstanding, that in itself is not hindering the progress of the transaction. It does however need resolving sooner rather than later... Progress in the ongoing existence of the club, signing of players, an excellent series of pre-season matches, a brief tour to Scotland, launch of match prices and season tickets, forthcoming interviews for a full-time sales and marketing executive, are all positive signs... You can be assured real progress is quietly being made in the running of the club'".

    As its local club faces their first season in the national division, the Salisbury Journal says that "Salisbury City striker Matt Tubbs is to have an operation later this week after suffering an injury to his knee on his return to first team training. Manager Nick Holmes said: 'Hopefully Matt will be back as quick as possible. He's got a bit of a tendon problem too so we're looking at about four weeks. With a bit of luck he'll be right for the start of the season'".

    This is Weymouth says that "Weymouth boss Jason Tindall has confirmed that former Arsenal and Watford midfielder Paolo Vernazza will put pen to paper on a one-year deal at the Wessex Stadium. The 27-year-old, pictured below, trained with the Terras last week and Tindall... said: 'Paolo should be signing with us before we fly out to Croatia from Gatwick later this afternoon. I have known him for a number of years and he has turned down several other offers, some from League clubs, to come down here. He came down here for a couple of days last Thursday and Friday and he liked what he saw. He immediately got on with the rest of the lads and he likes the way that we are trying to play football. The fact that we have captured someone of Paolo's experience and ability just proves that we are going in the right direction. Over the last couple of seasons he has been at clubs that have not been right for him and have not played the style of football that suits him but I am sure he will thrive with us and be a great signing'... Vernazza began his career as a trainee at Arsenal where he made 12 first-team appearances... While with the Gunners he enjoyed loan spells at Ipswich Town and Portsmouth before Watford signed him for £350,000 in December 2000. The Islington-born playmaker made 107 outings for the Hornets but left in 2004 for Rotherham United where he went out on loan to Barnet. A move to Dagenham & Redbridge followed that last December but he only made 10 outings for the Conference National champions, six of which came from the bench".

    Speaking yesterday, Cambridge United "chairman Lee Power described the result of today's transfer tribunal for Robbie Simpson as 'disgraceful'", according to the club NL Daily states that "Ronnie Wilson, manager of Combined Counties League club Camberley Town, is looking to raise the profile of his club after taking over the hot-seat back in February... Former Welsh international Darren Barnard has joined the club as director of football and will also be appearing for the first-team. Barnard made twenty-four appearances for Wales and also over 400 League appearances with Chelsea, Reading, Bristol City, Barnsley and Grimsby Town, scoring fifty-nine times. For the past three seasons he has appeared for Aldershot Town in the Conference National. Also joining the club is former QPR, West Ham and Fulham defender Rufus Brevett, who joins the coaching staff after retiring from playing at Oxford United at the end of last season".

    9 July 2007


    The NL Paper has a feature on Altrincham chairman Geoff Goodwin's charity football match and dinner in aid of Aussie cricketer Glenn McGrath's wife Jane's cancer charity and Altrincham FC on 30 September. Geoff said, "I hope to raise more than £60,000 and the proceeds are split between the McGrath Foundation and the Club. Glenn is a good friend and he e-mailed me to auction off a place in his team". Glenn's XI (including in its ranks Michael Bevan, Darren Gough and Alec Stewart) will face a celebrity All Star XI including actors from Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Dream Team. Geoff adds, "Anyone wanting to play alongside some of the world's greatest cricketers should get in touch via the Club and make their bid". GM Radio's Jimmy Wagg will compere a fundraising dinner after the game whilst Virgin are sponsoring the Aussies' flights. The game itself is a 1pm kick off at Moss Lane with provisional prices being £5 for adults and £2 for concessionaries, with a family ticket for £10.

    Geoff Goodwin also told the NL Paper that "I once said to Graham Heathcote that we should get one of the millionaires that live near the club to come in. He said we shouldn't because what they'd do is bring in loads of players on big contracts and then, if they leave with all their money, we'd be stuck with all their contracts. He said that you've got to be self-sufficient and that's what I want to do. I want to keep getting the club known... This game will probably win us a few more supporters. We've got to keep building it up... There are people in football who will help you but they will only help you if you are helping yourself. I can't see them helping us if we'd put ourselves half a million in debt".

    Elsewhere in the same paper, it is Geoff's son, Jay (aged 10) who is making the headlines. Jay "is already making a name for himself in the karting scene", the same route which Formula One sensation Lewis Hamilton took to stardom. Despite Jay crashing over the weekend, Geoff is encouraged by the words of John Davis, the man who prepared Lewis Hamilton's karting engines. Davis "reckons my son is going to be good" said Geoff. And "Already fans are asking Jay to sign pictures, no doubt eyeing an eBay auction for ten years' time" says the NLP.


    Altrincham FC have arranged a pre-season training game against Leek Town, who have recently appointed Neil Brown, the Alty groundsman and former Alty Reserves' boss as their assistant manager. The match will be at the Blessed Thomas Holford all-weather facilities, ten minutes' walk from Moss Lane. But the Leek game clashes with the Altrincham friendly at Moss Lane against Bury - both games are this Tuesday (7.30pm). However, according to Youth Team manager George Heslop, the first-team manager (Graham Heathcote) is even planning to use some players in both simultaneous games so a player may find himself hauled off at Moss Lane and sent out with the Altrincham A to Z map to nearby Blessed Thomas Holford to play in that game. But both George and Graham have been known to pull people's legs before!

    Meanwhile, former Alty centre-back Gary Talbot is reported on the Leek Town Forum to be training with the Staffordshire side, but before signing, Gary is keen to prove his fitness after an injury affected season in 2006-07.


    Former Man. Utd youngster Dominic Lilley competes for possession in Sunday's Altrincham FC youth team match against Ashton Town.

    In Sunday's youth-team friendly at BTH, Altrincham beat Ashton Town Youth 2-1 in a well-contested match. Report and more pictures in the Youth section..


    The NL Paper lists Alty as "6/4 to be relegated" with only Farsley Celtic at evens, tipped more heavily for the drop. Alty are 66/1 to win the title whilst Farsley are 100/1.

    There are some contenders for quotes of the year in the following from The Argus, which reports that "Steve Evans says the job as Crawley manager is better than he expected... He said: 'I have found it refreshing. There are a lot of people behind the scenes who are very dedicated and the supporters I have met so far have been fantastic. It is everything I thought it was going to be, in fact to be perfectly honest it is probably better. There is a buzz and excitement back in the town, which I have been told by people at the club has not been around for a while. We have played a role in that by bringing in quality players and I'm pleased that people see what we are doing and like it. We've seen big increases in season ticket sells, so the club tells me, and people want to get involved with us on the commercial side. There seems to have been a real coming together of everyone around the club. I think people see the likes of Morecambe get promoted to the Football League and see that Crawley can do it as well. With nothing but Brighton and Hove Albion and Crystal Palace within 20 miles and the size of the town, it is crying out to get there'... Owner Azwar Majeed is set to have his flat sold off to raise the cash and until that happens, the future of the club remains uncertain. But compared with what he had to work with at Boston, Evans has been impressed with the financial side of the club. He said: 'It is refreshing coming from the situation I have come from regarding the CVA. The Majeed family have come under criticism but all the players I have spoken to have nothing but admiration because there has never been a problem regarding their wages. I came from a situation where players were not paid for four or five months but that has not been an issue here... I'm delighted with the players we have got and because we have managed to work hard to get the best value and there is still some of the budget left over to look for new players".

    Droylsden boss Dave Pace told the NL Paper, "Everything I go into, I want to win. If I play darts against my daughter, I want to win... If we go into this league and try to consolidate then we'll be flat on our faces and get relegated at the first attempt".

    NL Daily says that "David Bridges became Mark Cooper's latest signing when he agreed terms to ply his trade with Kettering Town next season. Bridges, a 24-year-old England National Game international midfielder previously with Histon, joins from Cambridge United where he started seventy league games, scoring a dozen goals."

    "Goalkeeper Dean Coleman has become Kidderminster Harriers' fourth signing of the summer. The former Walsall custodian has agreed a one-year deal to be Scott Bevan's understudy and joins fellow new boys Justin Richards, Andy Ferrell and Paul Bignot at Aggborough. After coming through the ranks at Walsall, Coleman first signed professional terms back in 2003. He made a name for himself on his first-team debut by saving a penalty with his first touch as a sub against Blackpool before stopping another spot-kick later in the game. The 21-year-old left the Bescot in May 2006 and has since had stints with Bromsgrove Rovers and most recently last season at Willenhall Town" reports the Worcester News.

    The annual Non-League Club Directory is reportedly due for publication on September 15th, 2007.

    8 July 2007


    Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote has appealed to supporters to help stop a spate of nocturnal vandalism at Moss Lane. During the last week intruders have entered the ground on several occasions overnight and caused damage by leaving hosepipes switched on and throwing bricks at office windows. Graham is asking everyone who passes the ground, at whatever time, to be vigilant for any signs of intrusion and to notify the police and club immediately if they see anything. The club is also further improving its CCTV coverage to help to catch the mindless offenders.


    Today (Sunday 8th ), Altrincham Youth start their pre-season friendlies with a 4pm kick off at Blessed Thomas Holford School, against Ashton Town Youth. Meanwhile, the starting date for the Youth Team's league season has been confirmed as 19th August. The previous Sunday (12th) it is hoped to play a friendly against a youth team from Liverpool who are coached by former Alty legend, Mark Maddox. The youth team's planned game on 5th August at Congleton Town has now been cancelled as the Cheshire club does not now have a venue on that date.

    Then, next Tuesday, Altrincham's first team squad meet a Bury XI at Moss Lane, with a 7.30pm kick off.


    Right: At Platt Lane on Saturday Alty boss Graham Heathcote was giving instructions to his team on the pitch as Droylsden boss Dave Pace (background, right) walked past with his team, who had just completed a training session at the same venue. The Bloods' owner and manager had a good look at the Alty game as he walked to the car park.

    A match report, information on players and more pictures of Altrincham's friendly game on Saturday against Gregorians are to be found here.


    NL Daily says that "Captain Paul Ellender [ex-Alty] and midfielder Stewart Talbot are both keen to carry on playing for Blue Square North club Boston United following the takeover by Chestnut Homes. The pair, who along with Burton Albion-target Mark Greaves are the Pilgrims' only remaining players, are due to meet with the new owners to discuss their future. Despite interest from Gainsborough Trinity, Exeter City, King's Lynn, and Crawley Town, Ellender says he'd like to stay at Boston where he has been for six years. 'I've never wanted to leave', said the 32-year-old centre back. 'I decided to wait as long as possible before making a decision to go else where to see if a takeover would go through. I'm looking forward to meeting Chestnut Homes and see what their plans are'" he told the Sports Echo.


    "There has been a host of transfer activity at Blue Square North club Solihull Moors ... Amidst a flurry of departures... Phil Trainer [is] heading for the exit door after his move to Oxford United" says NL Daily

    The BBC says that "Midfielder Philip Turnbull has completed his move to York following his release from Hartlepool at the end of last season. The 20-year-old was part of Pools youth team squad before forcing his way into the reserves. He made one appearance for Hartlepool's first-team".

    7 July 2007


    Above: Alty Youth and Reserves' graduate Astley Mulholland in action at Platt Lane.

    In Saturday's game at Manchester City's Platt Lane training complex, an Altrincham XI drew 2-2 with Gregorians FC. Pat McFadden was the sole first-teamer in the Alty XI which otherwise comprised a number of last season's Reserves, trialists and youth team prospects. Alty fell behind early on but levelled after 58 minutes with a well-taken goal from Scott Metcalfe, who was with Alty Reserves last season. Alty went ahead from Adam Walker's corner before Gregorians equalised with the last kick of the game. Match report and pictures here..

    ALTRINCHAM FC XI: 1. Ben RIGBY, 2. John MALONEY, 3. Cavell COO, 4. Tom COSGRAVE, 5. James MARSDEN, 6. Astley MULHOLLAND, 7. Rick CHETCUTI, 8. Pat McFADDEN (capt), 9. Scott METCALFE, 10. Matthew BERKELEY, 11. Adam WALKER. Subs: 12. Reza ZAREH-OURANG.


    When Altrincham travel to Kidsgrove Athletic on 26th July for a friendly, they will meet up with an ex-player, as This is Staffs confirms that "Kidsgrove have re-signed defender Neil Murphy (right), who was formerly with Conference North side Marine. Murphy joined Grove last season, but broke his leg in an accidental collision with Ashley Woolliscroft during the warm-up for a home game against Cammell Laird last October. Murphy is back to fitness and has just returned from Norway with the Liverpool Academy, where he is a coach". Neil was with Alty in 2002-03 season.


    The BBC says that "Oxford United have completed the signing of forward Gary Twigg from Airdrie United on a two-year contract. The 23-year-old former Derby County trainee scored 11 goals last season but could not save Airdrie from relegation to the Scottish Second Division. Oxford United chairman Nick Merry told BBC Radio Oxford: 'He can play wide or down the middle and he'll be a good asset to us'" .

    From the Cambridge Evening News comes news that "Steve Fallon is casting his eye over a forward from Whitley Bay as Histon's first pre-season test with West Bromwich Albion looms. The Stutes' boss watched the unnamed front man in training this week... He said: 'We've got a lad down from Whitley Bay, who has been highly recommended to me. He's looked good in training, so we'll see how it develops. We'll have a look at him next week as well, and he'll play a part in either the West Brom or the Nuneaton game'".

    The Northwich Guardian says that "Vics have lost their second defender in the space of 24 hours after Kieran Charnock switched to Peterborough United... for an undisclosed fee. The Guardian understands the figure to be around £50,000. Posh agreed a fee with Vics' chairman Mike Connett on Monday, after which Charnock flew to their training camp in Marbella to discuss personal terms. 'I had just come back off holiday when Northwich told me an offer had come in', Charnock told Peterborough's official website. 'So I flew to Spain and now I'm delighted to have signed'. The former Wigan Athletic trainee made 175 appearances for Vics since 2003, taking over as captain last term when Stuart Elliott was injured. He asked for a transfer in June but Connett said he would keep his prize asset unless a club came up with the right offer... Charnock's departure comes less than a day after Mark Roberts moved to Accrington Stanley, leaving Northwich manager Neil Redfearn without any recognised central defenders. The FA could be called in to set a fee for that transfer. Posh's rivals wanted to sign Charnock too, but could not match Connett's asking price".

    6 July 2007


    The above leaflet is appearing this week in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger and is also being distributed to local schools and in the Altrincham Leisure Centre. Anyone bringing it (in its original form) to Moss Lane can get £1 off one of the pre-season friendlies being held at the ground.

    Alty season ticket holders get free access to the pre-season friendlies at Moss Lane, but due to the late change in the club's status, the printing of the season tickets has been delayed. Accordingly, all those who have bought 2007-08 season ticket tickets are asked to present themselves at their normal turnstile entrance and give their name to the operators who will check them off against a list of subscribers. Otherwise, admission is £5 for adults and £2 for concessionaries.

    On 28 July, Alty have an away pre-season friendly at Marine where admission prices have ben announced as £5 for adults and £2 for concessionaries. And "Peter Cumiskey will still be a Marine player next season, according to chairman Paul Leary. Cumiskey, who was Marine’s leading goalscorer last season, has allegedly been targeted by Southport boss Peter Davenport... But Leary is adamant that the 32-year-old centre forward and winner of numerous end of year player awards will not be leaving the club. He said: 'He is under contract for another year so he is not available for transfer'. Boss Alvin McDonald, who returned from holiday at the weekend, added ... 'Southport wouldn’t pay the sort of fee that we want for Peter so it’s a non-starter. He’s an integral part of the squad and he won’t be leaving'. Meanwhile McDonald and the rest of his squad returned to pre-season training at Chesterfield High School on Tuesday night. Only centre back James Dever missed the session, which included seven trialists, while players like [ex-Alty defender] Adam Farley, Phil Brazier and Ian Latham all took full part after an injury hit season last term".


    SAM reports that "Colin Potts could return to Moss Lane for the new season after impressing manager Graham Heathcote in preseason training.The 29-year-old winger joined up with Alty after a trial period with Major League Soccer side Real Salt Lake failed to work out. He originally left the club last season after questions over his fitness led to a lack of first team opportunities. But after spending the remainder of the campaign with Conference North side Barrow, Potts worked hard to get himself into shape and has so far made a good impression in training. Heathcote told SAM Sport: 'I have never had any qualms with Colin Potts's ability, it was only his fitness that was a problem. We let him go last year because we didn't think he was fit enough for this level of football. But he has worked hard and has fitness his looked good in training so far'. Heathcote saw 24 players report for the official start of pre-season training on Saturday, which included a handful of trialists as well as first and reserve team players... He said: 'Overall, looking at the squad as a group, our fitness levels were very good. I don't think we have that many problems with our footballing ability, just whether we can meet the fitness levels required to play in the Conference'".


    Jon and Winnie Stack are running the popular "Alty goal and clean sheet sponsorship" scheme again for 2007/08 season. Jon writes, "If you'd like to enjoy the excitement of raising money for the Club every time Alty score or keep a clean sheet next season, then just email me with the amount you’d like to pledge per goal or clean sheet, or even pick a player and sponsor his goals individually! In return, you'll:
  • see your name listed as a sponsor in every match programme,
  • and at the end of the season, as a thank you for your support, you'll receive your own chosen special framed action photograph of one of those goals or one of Stu Coburn's stupendous saves,

    All monies raised will be paid directly and immediately to the Football Club, and payment will be in two instalments, one after half the season has gone and then the remainder at the end of the season. We'll be providing regular updates throughout the season of the amounts raised so far, so please take part, there's no minimum amount, and we look forward to welcoming you as a sponsor.

    Contact Jon Stack with your name, address, phone number and sponsorship details on:

  • Tel: 01827 64471 or,
  • Fax: 01827 312852 or,
  • Post: 86 Main Road, Wigginton, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 9DZ or,
  • Email

    Thanks very much for your support.

    Jon and Winnie Stack, on behalf of Altrincham Football Club"


    "Grays Athletic have signed Ben Watson from Conference South side Bognor Regis," reports BBC Essex. "The striker, who helped Bognor to a 12th-placed finish in their league last term, has agreed a two-year contract. Watson joined The Rocks from Brighton and Hove Albion in 2004, and he was top goal scorer for them with 23 goals during the 2005/06 season. Watson has also represented England in the National XI squad for the 2006 Four Nations Tournament. Watson has also played for the England 'C' team"

    The BBC reports that "Exeter City utility man Dean Moxey has agreed a new contract to stay at St James's Park. Moxey had stalled on an agreement after initially being offered fresh terms back in February. But the 21-year-old has now signed up for a further 12 months and is expected to compete for the left-back spot left by Billy Jones's move to Crewe".

    "Peterborough United have signed defender Kieran Charnock on a three-year deal from Northwich Victoria, for an undisclosed fee. The 22-year-old centre-back requested a move from the Vics in search of League football next season. 'I'm delighted to have signed', he told the club's website. Charnock, who was Northwich's current longest serving player, started over a 100 Conference games for the club since signing from Wigan Athletic".

    "Rushden & Diamonds have agreed to secure the services of defender Curtis Osano from Premier League side Reading. The 20-year-old has joined on a work experience loan basis. Osano, who has played for Reading twice as a substitute, has had previous spells with Aldershot and Woking. Manager Garry Hill told Rushden's website: 'Curtis adds an important defensive element to my squad, especially down the right-hand side'".

    "Aldershot have completed the permanent transfer of defender Anthony Charles, who had been on loan at the club from Barnet since February. The 26-year-old made 13 appearances for Aldershot in the last campaign and established himself as a firm favourite with the Recreation Ground faithful. Charles also played for the Shots between July 2002 and October 2003".

    At Woking "Following Mr Shatwell's letter in the Woking News & Mail last week, this week Woking FC Chairman, Chris Ingram responds: "Having read Mr Shatwell’s letter, ‘Don’t ignore the residents’, I think some clarification is necessary.

    1. I am not ‘blackmailing’ the council or anyone else and I find this accusation highly objectionable. I rescued the club when it was in dire financial straits more than five years ago. Three years ago, I gave notice that in 2007, I would cease to support the club financially and warned of the implications. (I thought giving three-year’s notice was ‘helpful’, not ‘blackmail’.)
    2. Because we have fallen behind schedule, we are only now able to submit a plan. The possibility was to have a big new stand, crammed full of facilities but be playing in the Ryman League! So, rather than stop the cash outflow last month, I decided to put money into the club for one last year.
    3. Ever since I became involved I have said my main aim was to make the club financially viable without relying on a ‘benefactor’, as that was much healthier for the club and the community. (Mr Shatwell can search as much as he likes, but that is my ‘ulterior motive’.)
    4. I certainly don’t intend to ignore the residents — far from it. When we have something to show, then we will show it
    5. Our Woking Football In The Community Scheme does a lot for Woking, way beyond our matchday fan base.

    And those people we help, without shouting about it, include, of course, local residents as well as those throughout the community. Chris Ingram, Chairman, Woking FC"

    Mr Shatwell's letter to the Woking News & Mail had said that "I, on behalf of the residents, have written and hand-delivered four letters to the football club asking for details of his proposals and asking to be involved in the consultation process. Mr Ingram has not had the courtesy to reply to any of these letters. He ignores the residents at his peril. Whilst most residents would be happy to see the football club progress into the Nationwide League it will not be done to the detriment of the residents, and we would not care if the club sank so low that it was relegated to the Surrey Pub League".

    The Histon Football Club forum announces a parking policy. "We have had to reduce the number of spaces available within the stadium car park. On match days the car park at the Glassworld Stadium is a closed / supervised area, this means that there is NO PARKING other than for designated vehicles and authorised disabled persons... Any disabled driver arriving at the stadium on a match day that has failed to register their request for parking will be refused entry to the car park... Car parking at the ground on match days will be until 1hour prior to kick off. Persons arriving after this will need to find alternative parking (other than Directors who will be escorted to their space at walking pace behind a steward). This will ensure the safety of pedestrian spectators. Exit from the car park will not be until 30mins after the final whistle to ensure the safety of pedestrian spectators... No visiting supporters' coaches will be allowed to off load their passengers at the ground, all supporters coaches must off load at the Railway Vue, and the coach will then park in either Villa Rd lay-by or at the junction of Cambridge Rd / Bridge Rd. Post match all coach travelling supporters will return to the Railway Vue to be collected by their Coach". The Railway Vue pub is apparently a five-minute walk from the stadium and will serve as the away fans' pub since visitors are not admitted to the club bar". It seems to be a Cambridgeshire custom to welcome away supporters by making them walk some distance to the ground, as those who have trekked across the cows in a field to Cambridge United's Abbey Stadium from the drop-off point will know.

    NL Daily reports that "Liam Daish, manager of Ebbsfleet United, is poised to unveil Raphael Nade as his new striker next week. Frenchman Nade... spent last season at Weymouth. Daish said: 'He is out of the country on family business at the moment, but we've agreed everything and have sent off his registration. The only thing we don't have yet is his signature on the contract, but I don't foresee any problems and I expect him to sign on Monday when he returns'. Daish is also hopeful of landing a second forward soon following the earlier departures of Charlie MacDonald and Onome Sodje. He added: ''I'm after someone who can play up front and out wide as well. I know who I've got in mind but I don't want to say any more at the moment'. Daish received a boost earlier this week when midfielder Mark De Bolla put pen-to-paper on a new one-year contract at Stonebridge Road after earlier appearing to indicate he wished to quit the club... The Fleet squad returned for pre-season training this week and the manager was suitably impressed by the work put in. He added: 'We took them for a run in the forest'", says This is Local London.

    From the Burton Mail we learn that "Mark Greaves could become Burton Albion's new midfield enforcer if they can secure his services from Boston United. Greaves, 32, has moved to the top of manager Nigel Clough's summer shopping list after signalling his intention to quit the troubled Lincolnshire club. The former Hull City player is renowned as a no-nonsense defender... The Brewers boss told Mail Sport: 'Mark can play right back or centre half, but we see him as a direct replacement in midfield for Paul Carden because he is such a combative player'... Clough hopes to complete his signing next week - with a little help from striker Daryl Clare. The Brewers' boss said: 'Mark and Daryl used to be team-mates at Boston and they still have a round of golf together. The fact that Daryl lives out that way means they'll be able to travel in (to Burton) together, which we hope will be a plus point'.... Greaves was recently crowned as Boston's player of the year".

    This is Exeter confirms that "Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale has seen his playing budget for next season rise by more than 10%, Echo Sport can reveal. The Grecians have pocketed £105,000 in transfer fees from the sales of Billy Jones, Lee Phillips, Danny Woodards and Chris Todd this year. And given that those four players were among the highest earners at the club, it means there is extra cash available for squad strengthening. City officials have pledged that money generated by the sale of players will be ploughed back into the playing budget".

    The Thurrock Gazette says that "The £2million transfer of Freddy Eastwood from Southend to Wolves looks likely to provoke a legal battle between Grays Athletic and their Division One Essex neighbours. Striker Eastwood joined Southend from Grays and the Thurrock club's chairman Mick Woodward has always insisted his club are entitled to a sell-on fee if Eastwood left Roots Hall. However, his claims that the two clubs have a gentleman's agreement' has been laughed off by Southend supremo Ron Martin. Woodward insists he is right and has repeatedly stated that the deal was struck with a handshake in front of witnesses. Last year he told a Grays supporters forum that he was determined to fight the case... pledging to take the case to 'the highest court in the land'. Woodward said: 'There was a handshake, a verbal gentleman's agreement between myself and Ron Martin in front of two witnesses. I'm not a greedy man or asking for anything that I am not entitled to'... The Grays chairman has spent the day discussing his options with his lawyers in Chelmsford".

    "Weymouth FC have announced that their first-team squad will be flying off to Croatia on Monday to take on Hajduk Split as part of a pre-season tour" says This is Weymouth. The Terras will stay in a complex in Split and use the Eastern European side's facilities for four days... The Wessex Stadium outfit's owner Mel Bush set up the trip after making contact with Croatia's national coach and former West Ham United player Slaven Bilic. Terras' commercial officer Ken Wilde told Echosport: "'This a great coup for the club. To play friendlies against that type of opposition who have played at the highest level in European competitions is fantastic... Mel Bush is not only looking to put the club in a forward footing here but he also wants to raise its profile in other countries'".

    5 July 2007


    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Graham Heathcote further added to his squad this week with the signing of experienced former Kidderminster Harriers midfielder Jake Sedgemore... He told SAM Sport: 'The signings I have made so far will hopefully make us a stronger squad. I'm still on the lookout for one or two more players but the nucleus of the squad is there now and I'm quite happy with it. Jake Sedgemore is 6ft 1ins and he's a good passer of the ball as well. He's also good at set pieces so he will be able to take corners and free kicks. We will be bigger and stronger than last year and have a greater presence on the pitch. Last year it was an area I was very disappointed in. We passed the ball well but there were times when we spent far too long without the ball. Hopefully the new signings will change that'".


    "Vics are locked in a transfer tussle over Mark Roberts" says the Northwich Guardian. "The 23-year-old defender had been due to sign a new deal with his home town club on Monday, but League Two rivals Accrington Stanley this morning announced he had agreed to play for them instead. But they did not check his availability, according to Northwich. 'We found out by reading it on their website', said Vics' general manager Dave Thomas. A call to the Fraser Eagle Stadium revealed that Stanley boss John Coleman thought he'd nicked Roberts on a free transfer. But Vics named Roberts on their retained list in May, meaning they can demand a fee. 'I'm really disappointed it's got to this stage', aid Northwich boss Neil Redfearn. 'I agreed terms with Mark before he went on holiday and turned up at the ground on Sunday so he could sign. I never saw him'. Roberts was also missing from Vics first summer training session on Monday, but England duo Michael Carr and Kieran Charnock were at Moss Farm with the rest of their team-mates". But "Mark Roberts was free to sign for Accrington Stanley, according to chairman Eric Whalley. The League Two club announced that the 23-year-old defender had left Vics to play for them yesterday, Tuesday, only for Northwich to say they knew nothing about it. But Stanley say the FA gave them the go-ahead. 'When we got in touch with them the FA about the transfer, we were told Mark Roberts was a free agent', said Whalley ' 'They said as of May 5 there hadn't been a retained list from Northwich Victoria'. Vics disagree. Former manager Steve Burr and chairman Mike Connett met on April 24 to decide which players they wanted to keep and Roberts' name was top of their list. The FA needed to see it by May 1, but now the game's governing body are saying they didn't have a copy when Whalley came calling. 'We will find out next week if it has to go to a tribunal', added the Stanley chairman. Roberts made 26 appearances for Northwich after switching from Crewe Alexandra at the start of the year. Accrington boss John Coleman is just happy to have his man. 'He's someone we've had a few calls about and so we've decided to sign him'".

    The BBC reports that "Boss Nigel Clough says Burton Albion's opening league game at newly-promoted Histon is not the start he wanted.... 'It's not ideal to be away on the first day of the season to a newly-promoted team', he told the Burton Mail. 'We would prefer to meet them a bit later in the season when we know a bit more of what they are about. I remember when we first came into the Conference what a big day it was for the club and our supporters'" .

    "Aldershot striker John Grant is to have a groin operation, but is only likely to be sidelined for 10 days. The 25-year-old was the Shots' leading scorer last season, with 20 goals from 46 league and FA Cup appearances. 'It's something that has been troubling John for a few weeks', Shots' manager Gary Waddock explained. 'As there has been no improvement we have decided to act now so that he is back in plenty of time for the start of the season'. Grant signed a new two-year contract in April" according to the BBC.

    "Danny Brown has been appointed as Cambridge United's new captain, signing a one-year contract extension in the process. The midfielder is set to remain at the club until June 2009... 'He's a big part of my plans for the next couple of seasons', manager Jimmy Quinn told the club's website. Brown was released by Crawley Town due to financial reasons and became Quinn's first permanent signing in November 2006. 'He's brilliant in the dressing room and a good character, and he has all the hallmarks of what we're looking for to take the club forward. I'm absolutely delighted that he's decided to sign for another year and it's good news for everyone. He doesn't like losing and he doesn't suffer fools, and if players aren't up to standard he's the first one that's onto them. Good captains help their manager do their job', added Quinn" according to the Football Conference.

    "Forest Green Rovers are to reintroduce a reserve team to play in the Football League Combination Wales and West division. In a statement published on the club's website, Executive Director John Clapp said: 'This initiative is a major step in the club's development and is seen as an essential link between our expanding youth set up and first team football at Blue Square Premier level. It is a major undertaking, which will involve a lot of extra work for a number of people in the club but will also offer outstanding opportunities, especially for younger players. Very importantly, it has the full support and involvement of Jim Harvey, who will take overall responsibility for the reserve team. Jim Harvey added: 'I am looking forward to the opportunity to develop young players so that they can challenge for a place in our first team squad. It is very difficult for me to assess youngsters playing County League or South-West Counties football and for them to make the move up to the Blue Square Premier and first team level. A reserve team playing regularly against the level of opposition the Football Combination offers an ideal opportunity for players to develop the extra strength and experience they will need to make that next step'" reports the Football Conference.

    Aldershot Town "Goalkeeper Nikki Bull has confirmed that he will be committed to the club for the coming season... The popular 25 year old shot stopper who has made 226 appearances since arriving in the summer of 2002 said, 'There has been a lot of speculation and rumours over the past few weeks and I thought that it was the right time to put all that to an end... I have a year left on my contract and I am here to stay. At the end of last season my advisor spoke to several interested clubs but the valuation of the club was higher than what people were prepared to pay. Although disappointed with that I accept that I signed a contract for Aldershot Town and they are entitled to ask what they believe my value to be. I have spent five years building up the relationship with the supporters, Chairmen and Directors and I don't want to break those relationships by handing out transfer requests and making things difficult. I am here to stay and I am looking forward to it. To be honest if Gary Waddock hadn't been the manager here I think that I may have moved on. Gary and the Chairman have stated quite categorically that they didn't want me to leave the football club and that is quite overwhelming for me... and whilst my ambition is to be playing at a higher level I still want to be able to achieve things here still Aldershot Town... The foundations are in place but they were last season when we threw away points. It should be an exciting season but we need to deliver every week and not just once a month or so... I know at times my body language wasn't the best and I know people have picked up on that but it's because I care'".

    Crawley Town "are pleased to announce a new sponsorship deal with Cannons Health & Fitness. Cannons, located in Crabbet Park, Worth, Crawley, have agreed to become the sponsor of the Crawley Town fitness programme for the coming season 2007/08. Crawley Town’s first team squad will have regular use of Cannons’ excellent facilities, including their swimming pool, exercise studios, and extensive gym, throughout the coming season. The players will also have the added benefit of the professional advice of the club’s Fitness Team. Cannons, who have recently undergone a £600,000 refurbishment, are pleased that this gives Crawley Town players the use of valuable state of the art training equipment, which will hopefully assist the team in this season’s Conference campaign".

    Ebbsfleet United "has agreed a new one-year deal with midfield player Mark De Bolla. Mark was a key member of last season’s squad and is renowned for his ability at dead-ball situations. Manager Liam Daish said: 'I am pleased to have secured the services of Mark for another season; he gives us different options in midfield with his excellent vision and striking of the ball, he is always liable to come up with a goal or two'"..

    "Prolific young striker Chris Davis has signed for Forest Green Rovers after bagging 40 goals last season for Rovers' near-neighbours Shortwood United (Hellenic League Premier). 21 year-old Chris is in his last year at Loughborough University studying for a BSc in Sports Science & Exercise and to ensure he keeps his feet on the ground, to get through those vital exams, he has signed on non contract terms at this time, thus allowing him to be free to complete his studies. The club believe Chris has a bright future, like the fellow student whom he partnered briefly as their paths crossed, exchanging passes as co-strikers for the University 1st team at Loughborough. That fellow student was Robbie Simpson, the scoring sensation last season at Cambridge United and who has now been snapped up by Championship club Coventry City, with the FA due to set a fee for his transfer at a tribunal next Monday".

    Rushden & Diamonds "have reached an agreement with Portsmouth Football Club for youngsters Paris Cowan-Hall and Callum Reynolds. The pair have both signed for Portsmouth after the Premiership outfit agreed to pay an undisclosed fee as compensation".

    The Salisbury Journal confirms that "City striker Matt Tubbs is to see a specialist today after suffering a knee injury. Tubbs was forced to sit out the remainder of Friday evening's training session after experiencing some discomfort whilst jogging to Hudson's Field en route to the session with his team mates. The striker, who was the first of City's promotion-winning team to be invited to turn pro earlier this summer, recently won his first international cap for the England National Game XI". Also, "Salisbury City striker Marvin Brown is the latest player to be invited to turn pro with the Old Sarum club. Bristol-based Brown, who joined the Whites from Weston-super-Mare in March, closed the campaign with 16 goals. Player-coach Tommy Widdrington said: 'Marvin is one of the players we think would benefit from being with us full time'... Brown is the fifth member of the promotion winning side to turn pro, joining Matt Tubbs, Robbie Matthews, Mike Fowler and Ryan Clarke plus new signings Liam Feeney, James Bittner and Darrell Clarke".

    Weymouth confirm that "Trevor Challis and Narada Bernard [have] put pen to paper and signed terms for the Terras".


    NL Daily says that "Mark Cooper, manager of Blue Square North club Kettering Town, has... [signed striker] Steve Burton, who played under [him] at Tamworth. Cooper said: 'We are trying to bring in quality players who have got a point to prove. I am not in the business of bringing in big-time charlies who will not put their heart into it. "I signed Steve at Tamworth after he took us apart when he played for Crawley Town. But he had that injury and it meant we never saw the best of him. I believe he has a lot to offer. He's quick and strong and will do a job for us'".
    4 July 2007


    Altrincham FC are pleased to announce the signing of 6ft 1inch central-midfielder Jake Sedgemore (28), who spent last season at Kidderminster Harriers, whom he joined in January 2006. The Harriers released him on 16 May 2007. His career started at WBA but he went on loan to Hednesford in 1997 and then signed for the Pitmen, before moving to Hereford United in September 2001. He made just one start there before going to Northwich Vics where he spent two seasons and made 50+8 league starts before Shrewsbury Town signed him in July 2003. Two years later he moved to Bury after making 52(+14) appearances in the league for the Shrews. After 6 months at Gigg Lane (3+6 appearances in the league) he signed for Burton Albion on loan for three months, moving on to Kiddy in January 2006. Jake is pictured right playing against Alty at Moss Lane last season.

    Alty boss Graham Heathcote is delighted with the new signing, the club's third this summer of a player with substantial Conference experience, after Darren Tinson and Chris Lane. Jake is self-employed in an architect's business and is based in Wolverhampton. In his first training session last night he was one of the fittest players in the squad, according to the manager. Further signings are expected before the start of the season.


    Saturday's pre-season friendly against Old Gregorians at Platt Lane, Manchester is definitely an 11.30am kick off and not 12 noon as originally announced.


    SAM reports how "Alty new boy Chris Lane is relishing the chance to get his career back on track after joining from Southport. The 28-year-old... was the only player in Southport's squad to remain part-time last season... He told SAM Sport: 'Last season was really difficult for me. 'Although Southport went full-time I stayed part-time because I couldn't give up my job. I didn't train with the rest of the squad all week because they trained during the day and the only time I saw my teammates was on a matchday. Then when Peter Davenport came in he just tried to freeze me out. He didn't talk to me once from the time he joined until my leaving. It was really disappointing because Southport is a good club and had played such a big part in my non-league career. But I'm ready to move on now and I'm looking forward to joining Alty'. Lane became a popular figure during his time at Southport, memorably receiving a standing ovation after coming on as a substitute in a league game at Moss Lane last season... 'I'm looking forward to having a consistent season and giving 100 per cent effort to Alty', he said. 'I'm a very committed player and always try to give my all when I'm out on the pitch. I think the fans appreciate that, especially at this level, because non-league football is more honest. But no matter what level you play at, the least supporters deserve is to see every player giving that kind of commitment... With Darren Tinson also coming in I think the defence should be much tighter in the new season. Some of the other players the club have been looking at have impressed me as well, so I think we'll stand a good chance of staying up. The reason I signed for Alty was because I wanted to play at the highest level possible. I turned down a number of offers, including one to become player/coach, to join Alty and I'm confident we can do well'".


    Before a ball is kicked this season, Alty are already seen as cannon-fodder in some quarters. This is Exeter reports that "Exeter City will be hopeful of getting off to a winning start in the 2007/8 Blue Square Premier season after being handed a trip to Altrincham on the opening day. The Conference fixture computer revelaed this morning that the Grecians will travel to Moss Lane on Saturday, August 11, hoping to repeat last season's 2-1 victory there".

    The Football Conference reports that "Newcomers Salisbury City have strengthened their ranks with the signing of Hartlepool midfielder Darrell Clarke. The 29-year-old is the club's third new signing of the summer following the arrivals of Woking goalkeeper James Bittner and Hayes midfielder Liam Feeney. Clarke started his career with Mansfield before making the move to Victoria Park but a new manager meant his opportunities became limited leading to loan spells at Stockport, Port Vale and Rochdale. City boss Nick Holmes revealed Tommy Widdrington's influence was again a big factor in bringing Clarke to the Raymond McEnhill Stadium. 'Tommy knows him well and he's also played in the same team as Jon Bass', Holmes told the Salisbury Journal. Meanwhile Matt Tubbs, Robbie Matthews, Mike Fowler and Ryan Clarke have all signed full-time contracts with the club".

    "Forest Green Rovers confirm that as their players reported back to training, manager Jim Harvey has added his second and third summer signings. Joining Rovers on an initial one year contract are a brace of 20-year-olds. Signing from Tranmere Rovers is defender Olly James and from Harvey's old club Morecambe, is midfielder Jonathan Smith. They have chosen squad numbers of 24 and 20 respectively. These now take the full time squad to 18 and Harvey will be seeking to add two non contracted players over the next few days and will be hopeful that he can complete his squad with two more full time professionals to cover the left of defence and a goalkeeper. On the goalkeeping side of the club, Ryan Robinson has extended his contract to the end of the 2008/09 season and following his recent marriage has now relocated to live in Gloucestershire" says the Football Conference.

    The Aldershot News & Mail says that "Aldershot manager Gary Waddock has admitted he is delighted with the way his squad is shaping up for the new season — and revealed that more new faces are expected to arrive imminently. The former QPR boss made his first forays into the transfer market last week to land Altrincham midfielder Lewis Chalmers and WBA striker Rob Elvins on free transfers... The former Republic of Ireland international hopes to bring in four top class players to complement his talented squad... 'I would hope that within the next couple of weeks we will have the squad fully in place', he said. 'I am really pleased to have brought both Rob (Elvins) and Lewis (Chalmers) to the club because they’re both quality players... Lewis is a current England National Game XI player... They are both young, quality players who will really add something to the squad and both were my number one targets'. It is thought that the Shots are hoping to land a left back to replace Darren Barnard, another two midfielders and a pacy centre half, with Anthony Charles possibly in line for a permanent move to The Rec after a successful loan spell at the end of last season".

    The Cambridge Evening News says that "The changing face of Histon's Glass World Stadium is beginning to take shape as building work continues on the new Cambs FA headquarters. A steel structure has been put in place for the building, which will also feature a new seating area for fans, alongside the club's existing main stand. Work on the £1.2million project is not expected to be completed until October, but the Stutes are committed to making sure progress off the field matches the forward moves they have made on the pitch under boss Steve Fallon, who has guided them to the Blue Square Premier with his fourth promotion in eight years. And with new sponsors JK Environmental now on board, pledging a six-figure sum to the club each season for the next three campaigns, Histon are aiming to continue their rapid rate of improvement in all departments".

    "Former AFC Bournemouth midfielder Marcus Browning has joined Weymouth for pre-season training" states This is Weymouth. "The 36-year-old, who was released by the Cherries at the end of last term, was close to signing for Hereford United earlier this summer but he then made a U-turn. Browning is a very good friend of Terras' boss Jason Tindall, who has revealed that the Welshman could become a permanent fixture at the Wessex Stadium. Tindall said: 'Marcus has come down to have a look at the place. I know him very well because we played at Bournemouth together and he will be training with us over the next few weeks'... Tindall has also revealed that Trevor Challis will put pen-to-paper today when the Terras return for pre-season training. He said: 'Trevor and I have agreed something and he will sign today. Ashley Vickers has also agreed something in principle and hopefully we will finalise that when he returns from America. Trevor and Ashley are both lions. They are fantastic pros on and off the pitch and they will certainly help the development of the younger lads'. Tindall added: "Simon [Wetherstone]will be signing as well. Last year he played in an unfamiliar role as a holding midfielder. If you have never played there it is hard to get used to and I know that because I have played there myself. I know what Simon is capable of. When Boston United won promotion to the Football League the amount of goals he scored from midfield was incredible. He then went to Sam Allardyce's Bolton Wanderers for a trial and scored three times for their reserves. In fact Bolton tried to sign him but Boston wanted too much. I think he got a bit of unnecessary stick last year and I know what a good footballer he is. My mind was made up about him when he went to centre-back against Dagenham & Redbridge last season and was superb. That is another position I will be looking at him in. There will be a few others floating around in pre-season and if I feel they will benefit the squad and they fit in with the budget I will do my best to bring them in... Everything is now sorted at the club. It is debt free for the first time in a long while and from now on it is going to be run professionally both on and off the pitch".

    No day is complete without news from Sussex's Argus which says that "Crawley manager Steve Evans welcomed his players back for pre-season training... He is now planning two training sessions a day for the next three weeks to get his side in top condition for the new campaign. He said: "We have broken them in gently but they know that from now on it is going to be hard work with two sessions a day. I'm not a manager who just runs the players long distances. I have recently got my UEFA A licence and have picked up a lot of ideas from that and you can do a lot of running with a ball as well as without one. But there are times when you have to get down to the fitness side of things and work hard and that is what we will be doing... We have four trialists training who we picked out very early to come and join us and we will continue to look at them. We are still talking to players and I would like to think we would have completed our squad by this time next week... I want two or maybe three more permanent signings and then we will look at getting a couple of loans until Christmas. I know the loans I want, I have already spoken to their parent clubs and they have agreed'". Meanwhile the club's creditors remain unpaid.

    The Yorkshire Evening Post says that "Farsley have continued their building for life in the Blue Square Premier with the acquisition of former Leeds United goalkeeper Mark Wilberforce. The 20-year-old former England Under-17 stopper spent last season at Scarborough after being released by United... He had an impressive season in Conference North, despite Scarborough finishing in a relegation spot. Though Boro, who started with a 10 point deduction, were third-bottom in May they conceded just 45 goals – the joint-best record in the division and six fewer than Farsley who went on to win promotion via the play-offs... Sinnott said: "Mark was in the Leeds United Academy when I was coaching there five years ago, so I knew him from there and I monitored him throughout last season... It means we have three keepers on the books now and we will be looking for him to push the other two.'".

    "All those who have helped Celtic into the level below the Football League for the first time in their history have been handed new deals, with just five or six new additions expected, but Sinnott isn't ruling out a bigger overhaul of his squad as the 2007-08 campaign unfolds.The Celtic boss said, 'Next season will be a continual evaluation. Although we are assembling a starting squad, that's all it is and that squad could be changing during the process of the season. But all the players who were here last season have an opportunity to prove their worth. My main priority before I went away was to engage everyone who was here last year and we have done that. And my advice to them will be the same as it has always been – 'if you want a shirt, get one and keep one'. Celtic completed the signing of former Leeds United, Rochdale and Scunthorpe defender Mark Jackson while Sinnott was on holiday. And ex-Oldham, Oxford, Mansfield and Chester defender Scott McNiven, who had a brief spell at Guiseley last term, has put pen-to-paper on a deal at Throstle Nest. But Celtic have missed out on two of their top summer targets. Another defender, ex-Halifax Town man Denny Ingram, opted to stay in Conference North with Harrogate Town when Scarborough FC folded 11 days ago. And Steve Torpey was considering a move to Celtic after being released by Scunthorpe, but signed for Lincoln City on Thursday... 'We will continue the search, but we won't be rushing things, we will wait for the right people who fit our criteria'" said the manager.

    The Thurrock Gazette says that "Grays Athletic's new fitness coach took the team through their paces on the first full week of training. Angie Dowd is well-known for her no-nonsense approach to health,diet and fitness as illustrated in ITV's The Biggest Loser and she let the players know exactly what she expected from them. She said: 'I will give you 100% but I must expect the same from you. If you think my sessions are a laugh then you are out of the section. Go off and have a cup of tea... Balance is key to performance, not only in movement but also in being able to control the body'. Much of the afternoon session was devoted to short sprint movements followed by Angie instilling precise static movement [??]. All the players including new signings took part. Charley Hearn looked particularly focussed and Jon Ashton showed fine technique as Angie took all the players through their paces with the kettlebells. Chairman Mick Woodward was present for part of the session and looked suitably impressed. He said: 'Angie's an illustration of our total commitment to being on the pace when the season begins'".

    3 July 2007


    Altrincham start their 2007-8 league campaign with a home match against Exeter City on August 11, followed by an away match at Halifax on the 14th and then a trip to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday 18th. Our Christmas and New Year fixtures are against Northwich Victoria, with the Boxing Day match being at Moss Lane and the New Year's Day at Northwich.

    Altrincham FC Fixtures

    The following league fixtures are also on the League Games page and the Cup Games page.

  • Sat. 11.8.07 Exeter C. H
  • Tue. 14.8.07 Halifax T. A
  • Sat. 18.8.07 Forest Green R. A
  • Sat. 25.8.07 Grays Athletic H
  • Mon. 27.8.07 Stafford Rangers A
  • Sat. 1.9.07 Aldershot T. H
  • Tues 4.09.07 York C. A
  • Sat. 8.9.07 Oxford U. H
  • Sat. 15.9.07 Woking A
  • Tues. 18.9.07 Cambridge United H
  • Sat. 22.9.07 Droylsden H
  • Tues 25.9.07 Farsley C. A
  • Sat. 29.9.07 Crawley T. A
  • Sat. 6.10.07 Rushden & Diamonds H
  • Tues. 9.10.07 Burton Albion H
  • Sat. 13.10.07 Salisbury C. A
  • Sat. 20.10.07 Ebbsfleet U. H
  • Sat. 3.11.07 Histon A
  • Sat. 17.11.07 Weymouth H
  • Sat. 24.11.07 Stevenage A
  • Sat. 1.12.07 Kidderminster H. H
  • Sat. 8.12.07 Torquay U. A
  • Sat. 22.12.07 Setanta Shield 4
  • Wed. 26.12.07 Northwich V. H
  • Sat. 29.12.07 Stevenage B. H
  • Tues 1.1 08 Northwich V. A
  • Sat. 5.1.08 Oxford U. A
  • Sat. 19.1.08 York C. H
  • Sat. 26.1.08 Cambridge U. A
  • Sat. 2.2.08 Woking H
  • Tues. 5.2.08 Setanta Shield 5
  • Sat. 9.2.08 Droylsden A
  • Tues 12.2.08 Farsley C. H
  • Sat. 16.2.08 Rushden & D. A
  • Tues 19.2.08 Setanta Shield 6
  • Sat. 23.2.08 Crawley T. H
  • Sat. 1.3.08 Exeter C. A
  • Tues 4.3.08 Halifax T. H
  • Sat. 8.3.08 Forest Green R. H
  • Tues 11.3.08 Setanta Shield SF
  • Sat. 15.3.08 Grays A. A
  • Sat. 22.3.08 Aldershot T. A
  • Mon 24.3.08 Stafford Rangers H
  • Sat. 29.3.08 Torquay U. H
  • Sat. 5.4.08 Kidderminster H. A
  • Tues.8.4.08 Burton Albion A
  • Sat. 12.4.08 Salisbury C. H
  • Sat. 19.4.08 Ebbsfleet U. A
  • Sat. 26.4.08 Histon H
  • Sat. 3.5.08 Weymouth A

    The above fixtures are liable to change due to Setanta TV coverage.

    Altrincham only enter the Setanta Shield at round 4. Earlier rounds are contested by the BS North and South divisions only, as follows:

  • Tues 2.10.07 Setanta Shield 1
  • Tues 13.11.07 Setanta Shield 2
  • Tues 4.12.07 Setanta Shield 3


    Former Altrincham Reserves' manager Neil Brown (left), who successfully ran the Altrincham second team for three seasons till the end of last season, has been appointed the Assistant Manager at UniBond Premier side Leek Town. Neil will remain as groundsman at Moss Lane, where he has worked extremely hard in all weathers to make the Moss Lane pitch a pleasure to play on. Neil also works as a coach driver for Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin's company, Go Goodwins. Neil's boss at Leek Town is Paul Ogden who is now in his fifth spell as manager of the club. Paul was manager at Vics when Graham Heathcote was briefly there and more recently he has been manager of Kidsgrove Athletic. Paul was also briefly at Altrincham himself as a player. All at Moss Lane wish Neil well in his first post in Step 3 football.

    The Leek Town forum says that "Blues’ Boss Paul Ogden has appointed former Altrincham reserve team manager Neil Brown as his assistant after the 39 year old coach driver found himself without a side to manage when the Blue Square Conference club withdrew its reserve side from the Lancashire League for the coming season. Brown, lives in Didsbury with his wife and four children and has been a scout for Premier League giants, Liverpool. He has also managed successful local junior club, Fletcher Moss Rangers for fourteen years although he never made the grade as a player.

    During his three years in charge of Alty’s reserves, Neil saw a number of players successfully graduate to the first-team and he is also the groundsman at Moss Lane where he will continue looking after the playing surface. Brown, who has extensive knowledge of players throughout the north west, will take charge of Blues’ first training session at the hockey club on Tuesday 3 July and has no plans to bring in another coach.... Leek Town manager Paul Ogden has signed 16 players and is negotiating with three others as well as looking at three trialists in his build-up to the new campaign. Only four members of last season’s squad remain whilst Ogden has opted for a mainly youthful side strong enough to deal with the rigours of UniBond football".


    Alty Youth boss George Heslop reports a change to his team's pre-season fixtures. The match on Saturday 21 July against American touring side Dearborn United has been cancelled as the Americans have called off their trip to the UK. Instead George has arranged a game the following day (Sunday 22nd) at 2pm at Blessed Thomas Holford, against Warrington Town.

    Meanwhile the FA Youth Cup draw has been made and Altrincham have been drawn away at Woodley Sports in the 1st Qualifying Round, a game to be played in week commencing Monday, 24th September. However, it is not yet clear whether this match can be played on Woodley's artificial pitch as, last year, use of that surface was not permitted by the FA. The winners of the 1st QR game have a home tie against Vauxhall Motors or Nantwich Town in the next round, which is to be played in w/c 8th October.


    Altrincham FC Welfare Officer, Paul Roberts, writes:

    30th June saw the start of the pre-season training for the senior team and other members of the club. As the Club Welfare Officer it was great to see the senior squad training next to 5-8 year-olds at our Saturday Soccer Club. The young boys and girls were proud to be training next to the lads. At the end of each session the coaches from the soccer club hand out a trophy to players who have earned the reward for their efforts. I would personally like to thank Dalton Steele (right) and Stuart Coburn for handing out the awards. The senior squad were put through their paces by Graham and Dalton and the lads were looking fit".


    The farce goes on at Crawley where the creditors, who include the taxpayers of this country, continue to be treated with contempt. The Argus reports that "Fans of debt ridden Crawley Town Football Club have threatened the mass boycott of matches until its on-going money troubles are solved. Supporters are furious following the announcement that the club would get extra time to pay off more than £100,000 owed to creditors. They have threatened the mass walkout after suffering months of torment over the debts, which club bosses Chas and Azwar Majeed have consistently said would be paid. Azwar Majeed is now having his luxury penthouse flat sold to cover the amount. The Devils Trust supporters' club has not advocated the boycott but admits its members are sick with the on-going saga. A spokesman for the trust said: 'Creditors we have consulted with are deflated that having already agreed to an eight-month extension to the original deadline, they are now being asked to accept a further extension'... One fan, who did not want to be named, said: 'There are a large number of people who will just stop going to games until all of this is sorted out'. There had been hopes that the debts, owed to creditors including former players, HM Revenue and Customs and Crawley Borough Council, would be cleared before the start of the season. However that prospect now looks unlikely, with the auction of Azwar Majeed's flat expected to take weeks rather than days... Chas Majeed has told The Argus that he believes every part of the debt will be paid 'very soon'. He said: 'There is absolutely no problem with any of it all, it is just a matter of time'".

    the BBC says that "Former Boston United midfielder Simon Rusk has sealed a deal to become Northwich Victoria's latest signing. The 25-year-old played over 150 games for the Pilgrims before leaving the club at the end of last season. Rusk was restricted to just four appearances in his final season at Boston due to knee surgery".

    Having lost several players this summer, "Stafford Rangers have signed defender Richard Sutton on a permananet basis following his release by League One side Crewe Alexandra. The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at Stafford, and has made 48 appearances for them. Sutton normally plays at right-back but has also played at centre-half" says the BBC.

    From the Burton Mail comes news that "Former Nottingham Forest striker David Johnson may have to be ruled out of Burton Albion's plans for next season. Albion hoped to have Johnson on board in the new campaign after being thwarted by the FA rule book in March. However, the former £3.5 million man has warned Albion he may not be able to meet their exacting fitness standards.. Brewers' boss Nigel Clough told Mail Sport last night: 'David has been trying to do some work on his own since the end of last season. As a result of that, he's not sure whether he will ever be up to the standard (of fitness) we are looking for... It's good he's alerted us about a possible problem now rather than in three weeks' time'. Clough already has four strikers on his books - top scorer Daryl Clare, Jon Shaw, Shaun Harrad and new signing Jake Edwards. He said: 'It's not a position we are desperate to fill, but we would still like someone else in. If it's not going to be David Johnson, we'll look elsewhere and hopefully get a couple of strikers in on trial'... Meanwhile, Clough is expecting his men to report today in 'pretty good shape'. He said: 'Some of the local lads have been coming in and doing a bit since the end of last season, while we expect those who live further afield to have done some work on their own... It's not been a problem since we first introduced the two weeks of full-time training a couple of years ago - and we don't expect it to be a problem this time'. Albion will again use the National Football Centre at Rangemore as their training base, although they will do some track work at Shobnall Sports Complex in Burton".

    2 July 2007


    Next Saturday Alty kick off their pre-season with a match against Old Gregorians. The club was originally founded for former pupils of the now defunct St Gregory's Grammar School in Manchester. It is affiliated to Gregorians FC whose website explains that, "The Gregorians Football Club now plays its home fixtures at the Platt Lane Complex, Yew Tree Road, Fallowfield - the home of the Manchester FC Academy. This facility is a top class venue for the Football Club's first season in the Premier Division of the Manchester Football League. The Club's first team is now playing at Level 7 of the National League System and if at some stage it wins the Premier Division it will be able to apply to join the North West Counties League which is the Club's aim. Hence our Club's need to develop new sources of income for the Club.

    It costs our Club around £9000 to use the new third generation artificial pitch every Saturday afternoon and the new indoor training facilities twice a week at the Academy. The offer to our Club by MCFC of the use of these facilities is one it could not refuse as the use of them will greatly help the Club's development. As you may know the Club has been searching for a home for many years and we now hopefully have one; we have an agreement to use Platt Lane for 5 years. The Club needs to ensure it has sufficient income on an ongoing basis to pay for the use of Platt Lane and all our other needs, kit, equipment, etc".

    Kick off on Saturday is apparently at 11.30am, having originally been announced as noon. I will try and verify this during the coming week. Alty boss Graham Heathcote is expected to include a number of graduates from last year's Reserves in his side for this match.


    The monthly draw for the Friends of Altrincham FC has produced the following winners:
  • 1st - Number 48 - Bryan Ford (£100)
  • 2nd - Number 50 - Jenny Heslop (£35)
  • 3rd - Number 49 - George Heslop (£15)


    Altrincham FC has for years banned smoking in the Moss Lane stands, not least because the Carole Nash Stand has a wooden floor. But with the Smokefree regulations now in force in England, Altrincham FC has now declared the Noel White Suite, the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge, the Robins' Shop and the club's offices out of bounds for smokers. However, as the terraces are either uncovered or have open ends, smoking is still permitted at the Golf Road (Dawn Abbott Stand) End, the Popular Side and the 20/20 End.

    Other clubs are also announcing their policies on smoking. At Kidderminster for example, there is no smoking at all in the Aggborough stadium.


    Altrincham host Welsh side TNS on 4th August. In the UEFA competitions, The New Saints "were paired against Ventspils, currently fourth in the Latvian Virsliga, and manager Ken McKenna knows his men will have their work cut out against a side that drew 0-0 with Newcastle United at St James' Park a year ago. 'I thought this year we would get a bit more luck, but this is one of the toughest draws we could have had', he says... 'The big disappointment for me is that they've already had 14 league games while we are out of season. Match sharpness is going to be a big problem again, but we've got to make sure we're in the best shape possible. The one positive is that we've got the home leg first, which has not happened very often for us, and we might surprise them', he added".

    Meanwhile, the Welsh Premier announces that "Rhyl have been drawn to face Haka of Finland... Although the Lillies were due to play away from home in the first leg, the ties have been switched and the Finns will travel to Belle Vue on Thursday 19 July, with the return in Valkeakoski on 2 August".


    Whilst Crawley Town continue to fail pay their debtors yet find the resources to acquire new players by the handful, at least their supporters' trust shows that some people connected with the club have the right priorities. The Devils Trust has issued a statement saying that they "have always striven to ensure that the unpaid creditors of Crawley Town Football Club have their hardship and goodwill recognised - it is only as a consequence of the creditors' sacrifice that a Conference level football club was retained last season. Creditors we have consulted with are deflated that having already agreed to an eight-month extension to the original deadline for the Creditors' Voluntary Agreement (CVA), they are now being asked to accept a further extension alongside a derisory interim payment. Hopefully the creditors will be reassured that the balance will finally be paid within the next few months, if not through new funds then via the enforced disposal of a private asset of the club owner. The Trust wish to place on record our thanks to the creditors and also joint-trustees (Rob Sadler & Mike Saville of Begbies Traynor LLC) who have had to contend with a very problematic client ever since the club deliberately tore up contracts and entered administration as a 'business decision'. Fans of CTFC want to move forward, but some who attended the recent open forum at the club may feel that the executives and officers of the club were disingenuous in their comments regarding settlement of the CVA with deliberate vagueness surrounding the actuality of payments. Some may also find it disappointing that the club cancelled a meeting with Begbies Traynor in Leeds on Tuesday 19th June after they had announced it only a few hours earlier, that the only unresolved claims were due to a failure by the club to complete two tax returns and by the absence of any new funds. Most importantly there is disquiet that the club still cannot appear straightforward and open in its dealings with fans and our hope remains that the appointment of Vic Marley as Chairman will herald an overdue end to ambiguity as a first step towards rebuilding relationships and uniting the fanbase.

    The Trust also has concerns that the level of probity at the club still fails to meet the required level and wish to offer the club every assistance to ensure that adequate checks and balances are in place to satisfy the appropriate standards. Upon fulfillment of the CVA, the Devils Trust will - as it has always done - canvass its members to see what approach they wish to be adopted in future dealings with the club. The Trust looks forward to a positive future on and off the pitch, but no new chapter at the club can begin until the CVA is finally paid in full and the club is proven to be run in a manner satisfactory to the football authorities".

    Cammell Laird "have completed the transfer of attacking midfielder Jamie McGuire to Blue Square Premier new boys Droylsden. Jamie, who has scored more than 70 goals in the last three seasons for us, has been described as 'phenomenal' by Droylsden chairman Dave Pace who has aspirations of taking his Tameside club into the Football League next season". Pace has indicated that he has paid a five-figure sum for the player. "Lairds' spokesman Paul Mcloughlin stated; 'He turned down a contract with Stockport County last year to stay with Lairds, but at the end of the day we cannot stand in the way of his progress and I'm sure you will see him play in the Football League in the very near future..hopefully with Droylsden... We have brought in ex-Tranmere [and Alty loan] striker Alex Hay and Carl Osman, brother of Everton star Leon".

    The NL Paper reports that Grays Athletic chairman Mick Woodward is intending to sue former player Ashley Sestanovich after accusing the former Grays player of misleading the club over the nature of court charges outstanding against him last season. Woodward's action comes after the FA ruled that Grays had to pay Sestanovich £14,000 in unpaid wages - Grays had reportedly got permission from the Conference to terminate the player's contract when the nature of his charges became known. Sestanovich was jailed for eight years for his part in a raid which ended in murder. According to Woodward, the player had claimed he was only facing a motoring offence when the Essex club signed him last July. But the FA rules that the player should not have been sacked.

    Meanwhile, "Blue Square North side Kettering Town have secured the services of defender Tom Kemp from Grays Athletic" says Confguide. "The 20-year-old was keen on the move as he will now link up with Poppies' boss Mark Cooper, who was his manager at Tamworth. Kemp came up through the youth ranks at Derby County before signing a professional contract at Lincoln last summer. He then joined Tamworth and was the subject of a dispute between Tamworth and Grays over his registration, which was eventually settled in March".

    Cambridge United "goalkeeper Shane Herbert has decided to move to Blue Square South side Cambridge City after being released by neighbours Cambridge United". And "Midfielder Mark Convery is the latest addition to Cambridge United's squad". He was released by York at the end of the season

    At Exeter City "Manager Paul Tisdale tonight confirmed the signing of striker Steve Basham, following his release by Oxford United. Basham, 29-years-old, started his career with Southampton, playing for Wrexham and Preston North End on loan, before joining the Lilleywhites permanently for £200,000 in July 1999. He suffered a badly broken leg and was eventually released in July 2002 when he joined Oxford United. He suffered an injury against the Grecians last season after playing 17 games, scoring 4 goals, and that was his last appearance of the season... Boss Tisdale is confident he has a valubale addition to the squad, ;He is a very confident player and has shown his committment to us by signing a two-year contract, he is already house hunting down here. He has played at a very high level and has been virtually injury free for the last four seasons, it was only the injury he suffered against us that curtailed his season, but that's football'".

    The gulf between Non-League and League Two is a big one as Hereford's Bullsnews reports: "The latest (late season) average League Two wages for players aged 21 and over is around £50,000 per year according to The Independent". For the different positions, the averages are:

  • Goalkeeper £45,900
  • Defender £44,400
  • Midfielder £46,800
  • Forward £67,900
  • Overall £49,600
    1 July 2007


    Right: Altrincham FC is very grateful to the Dulux Decorator Centre in Altrincham for the excellent work they did last Friday in repainting the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge at Moss Lane. When the work was completed, Dulux presented the Club with a certificate to celebrate their participation in the Colouring the Community project.

    Saturday's volunteers for the Altrincham FC "Working Parties" set about tidying up the Gill Oates Lounge for a meeting of the Altrincham FC stewards, who were planning for the new season at Moss Lane. Though the incessant rain limited what other work could be done, the Working Party then turned its attention to painting the covered parts of the main Carole Nash Stand, including the tunnel area, directors' boxes, dugouts and staircase rails.

    There will be another Working Party today (Sunday, 10am) and again next weekend on Saturday and Sunday so please come along and help if you can.

    Also in evidence at Moss Lane on Saturday were Graham Heathcote, Dalton Steele, physio Alan Ainsley and some of the players who called in on the way back from a well-attended training session at Blessed Thomas Holford's facilities. Graham professed himself very happy with the fitness of the squad at this early stage of pre-season and he is now planning for the first friendly match, next Saturday, at Platt Lane, against Old Gregorians.


    The player activity continues in Devon where Torquay United report that "Darren Mullings has become the latest player to sign for Torquay. The 6' 1" midfielder has signed a one year contract and joins Lee Mansell, Chris Hargreaves and Matt Hockley in the United engine room. Darren has featured in the Bristol Rovers squad and played for England schools and England colleges at U-18 level, he is considered an excellent passer of the ball and Gulls' manager Paul Buckle commented: ''His work rate is good and he can distribute the ball very well'". And from This is South Devon we read that "Former Bristol Rovers starlet Darren Mullings has become the 12th signing to join Torquay United manager Paul Buckle's new-look squad... Mullings will be up against some experienced competition in midfield, where Lee Mansell, Matt Hockley and new signing Chris Hargreaves are all vying for first-team places... Buckle now has 16 players signed up, with pre-season training due to start on Monday".

    From This is Exeter comes news that "Exeter City's chairman has moved to calm fans' fears over recent transfer activity at St James's Park. Denise Watts is angry at supporters' negative reaction to seeing several high-profile players leave St James's Park in recent weeks... She said: 'As a fan I share anxiety with the fans of the club, but I have been left blown away by Paul Tisdale's vision for the future. I'm sure Paul and his team will produce the success the supporters crave. I realise fans' concerns, but they would be embarrassed about the comments they have made if they had seen the work being done'. Echo Sport has been inundated with letters and messages from Grecians' fans keen to air their views on Tisdale's transfer policy in recent weeks. The recent departures of Chris Todd and Lee Phillips to rivals Torquay - along with the earlier losses of Jon Challinor, Billy Jones and Martin Rice - sparked dismay among many fans. The arrivals of Andy Marriott and Team Bath pair Neil Saunders and Matt Taylor has done little to sooth the feelings of unease. Watts said: 'We don't choose where players come from, we choose them for their quality and ability... I'm confident we will be just as strong as last year. Don't judge anything before the start of the season'. The chairman also said that manager Paul Tisdale has been given the money he needs to finance any future transfer deals... Watts said: "It looks like we are losing players, but we are developing players. If four or five existing players all become significantly better, then why do we need to sign players for the sake of it? There are two or three players who have left who have not been replaced and we have two or three coming through that we can develop who are capable of exceeding all expectations'".

    The Halifax Courier says that "Peter Atherton has been unveiled as Town assistant manager in place of Wayne Jacobs who has joined Bradford City... 'It is a good opportunity for me', said Atherton. 'I have known Chris Wilder a long time and things at the club are changing behind the scenes'".