an unofficial website

May, 2010

31 May 2010


The NL Paper reports that "Michael Twiss says that signing for Altrincham is the perfect solution for him to go back to school. The ex-Morecambe striker was looking for a part-time club so he could balance training two nights a week with a full-time property and construction course... 'I'm looking to got to college for a few years so obviously I needed to work around that and go back to part-time football' said Twiss who has penned a two-year deal at Moss Lane. 'I still want to be playing football but I've got to look at what I'm going to be doing for the next 30-35 years... The manager at Altrincham had me in mind anyway so it's come together nicely and I'm looking forward to it. The main thing is to get a full season and enjoy it'... Twiss says the play offs aren't out of reach. He said, 'It's obviously harder work when you are part time but I suppose then you are looked upon as an underdog, so it's a challenge'".


The Huddersfield Examiner reports that "Local footballers throughout Huddersfield and beyond are mourning Charlie Bradshaw after his death at 43. Best known for his exploits with Altrincham, Emley (in three separate spells), Bradley Rangers, Brackenhall United and Sikh Temple, the versatile player had been suffering from lung problems.

Bradshaw, a former Newsome High School pupil, was on the verge of being signed by Tottenham Hotspur in September 1992, with the Premier League giants offering Altrincham a £100,000 package, only to withdraw it after a mix-up over his age. Later that season he was a star performer when Altrincham toppled then-Football League club Chester City in the first round of the FA Cup.

Bradshaw’s other clubs included Rossendale United, Accrington Stanley, Droylsden, Garforth Town, Harrogate Railway, Bridlington Town, Bay Athletic and leading Bradford Sunday side Albion Sports, while he has also been hailed for his coaching ability".

Altrincham FC sends its condolences to Charlie's family after his untimely death.


They have only just finished the 2009-10 season, but Altrincham FC Youth have already planned two pre-season friendlies. After a trial match on 27 June, from which manager George Heslop will start to reshape his squad - a major task, given that most of his players from last season are now over-age for the under-18s' North West Youth Alliance Premier Division in 2010-11, two pre-season games have been arranged:
  • Sunday 11 July at 2pm at Blessed Thomas Holford, versus Congleton Town
  • Saturday 17 July at 11am at Egerton Youth Club, Knutsford, versus Macclesfield Town.


    The latest instalments, parts 21 and 22, of Barry Pikesley's series, "When Alty were Kings", covering the 1979-80 season, is now on the website, here, courtesy of The Robins' review.


    Ian Craney "has signed a two-year deal at Highbury", home of Fleetwood Town, says the NL Paper. This is despite thte fact that the former Alty midfielder says, "I had one offer in League One and a couple in League Two but when I came up [to Fleetwood]... I was blown away.... The facilities, the pitch, the plans, the ambition of the chairman, the players they want to sign, it was spectacular. The way they go about things is like a League One club. We're even flying off to Austria on a pre-season tour... With the finance and the ambition of the chairman, I'm thinking that Fleetwood can get in the League and might even be in League One by the time my contract ends... I know what it takes to win the Conference... The biggest part is team spirit'".

    Alty old boy Phil Sharpe has taken over as manager of Ossett Town.


    From the York Press we learn that "Fans' favourite Djoumin Sangare has agreed to sign a new contract that will keep him at York City until Christmas. Frenchman Sangare, affectionately known as ‘Jimmy’ by City supporters, has accepted the six-month deal he was offered at the end of an injury-interrupted season with the Minstermen. Manager Martin Foyle has now challenged the 26-year-old defender to earn a longer stay at Bootham Crescent by proving his fitness during the first half of the 2010/11 campaign.

    Former Salisbury and Stafford Rangers centre-back Sangare was sidelined for a total of 16 games last season and the City chief said: 'He didn’t play enough games for me last season but he’s never done a pre-season in five years and that doesn’t help. I’m not doubting his ability, but I want to see more of him in terms of games. “He’s got a contract until Christmas so I’m putting him under a bit of pressure, but good players respond to that'” .

    According to Welsh Premier, "Former TNS duo Michael Wilde and Michael Taylor are among a clutch of players departing Fleetwood Town, following the club's promotion to the Blue Square Premier. Wilde, who spent part of this season on-loan at Halifax Town, has been released, while Taylor is leaving by mutual consent in view of the club’s new full-time status. Striker Wilde scored 89 Welsh Premier goals from 135 (+50) appearances after signing from Wirral outfit Poulton Vics in 2003... Central defender Taylor was a trainee at Blackburn Rovers and made two Football League appearances for Rochdale while on loan from Ewood Park. He made a further 19 Football League starts for Cheltenham Town and also played on loan at Conference outfit Forest Green during his time with the Robins. He signed for TNS from Hyde United in August 2007 and made 43 Welsh Premier starts, before also joining the Codmen in January 2009".


    You can make savings for yourself and earn commission for Altrincham FC by booking your holiday through the Alty Holiday club. All you have to do is book through Going Places or Thomas Cook. Their local branches are:
  • Altrincham - Thomas Cook 0845 308-9110
  • Sale - Going Places 0871 664-7413
  • Sale - Thomas Cook 0845 308-9538
  • Wilmslow - Thomas Cook 0845 308-9648

    Click on poster image (right) for further details. Just mention the Alty Holiday Club and you will get a discount and Altrincham FC will get commission.

    30 May 2010


    The annual website review of the season for 2009-10 is now here. Who played the most games, got the most bookings, scored the most goals and much more besides...


    An Alty old boy has won a two-year contract as Welsh Premier reports that "Rhyl manager, Greg Strong has secured the services of two key players... Central-back Shaun Dowling and winger Andrew Pearson have both signed two year contracts for the relegated Belle Vue outfit. Pearson, 21, started his career with Urmston as a striker before joining the Bolton Wanderers' youth set-up. Later a mainstay of the youth team at Wigan Athletic, he made regular appearances in the reserves before joining Altrincham in August 2009, where he made 1 (+5) Blue Square Premier appearances before his release in January 2010. He has since scored three goals from 12 starts for Rhyl".


    From the Football Conference we learn that "Richard Sneekes, a player developed in the fabled Ajax Academy system, will be joining the coaching team at Tamworth for the 2010/11 season. Sneekes made his debut for Ajax at 16... His previous clubs include Ajax, Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion. Sneekes will be assisting academy head coach Dale Belford in developing Tamworth`s growing youth talent".

    Meanwhile, "Assistant-manager Michael Stone has left Rushden & Diamonds in order to take up a coaching position at Barnet. Stone departs Nene Park after failing to agree terms on a new contract for the coming season".

    According to Blue Square Football, "Luton Town have announced the release of two players, who came up through the club's youth system. The club decided not to renew the contract of Ryan Charles and George Beavan... The pair have both struggled for game-time and were sent out on loan last season. Charles was farmed out to Kidderminster Harriers while Beavan spent time with Grays Athletic".

    Also, "Barrow have been dealt a major blow as both of their goalkeepers, Tim Deasy and Stuart Tomlinson, have left theclub. However, joint-boss Dave Bayliss... told the North-West Evening Mail: 'We are already talking to other clubs about keepers but there is no rush at the moment. There is no need to worry. Stuart Tomlinson's move has nothing to do with money. I understand he has signed for less than we offered, but he was ambitious to get back into the Football League and he will be a signing for a League Two club [Port Vale]. You cannot fault a player for having ambition'".

    NL Daily adds that "Barrow have lost goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson to Port Vale on a free transfer. The 25-year-old... has penned a one-year contract with the Valiants after rejecting a new deal at Holker Street. Tomlinson said: 'I do feel better for having that year's experience with Barrow'".

    Meanwhile "Cambridge United goalkeeper Danny Potter has joined Torquay United after being told by the U's that he could look for new employers. Simon Brown took over from Potter as the club's first-choice stopper... U's manager Martin Ling decided to let Potter go as a result of Brown's form and it has not taken the former Stevenage man long to find a new home" at a higher level!"

    NL Daily also reports that "Defender Gavin Caines has been told he can leave Kidderminster Harriers, despite being awarded a new contract. The 26-year-old former Cheltenham Town centre half triggered an appearance clause in his current contract for a one-year extension. However, Caines... has been told he can leave on a free transfer should another club come in for him.

    Fellow defender Martin Riley has been offered a new deal but may leave as a number of clubs have expressed an interest in the player. Harriers would demand a fee for the former Wolves youngster as he is under-24... Deals have, however, been agreed with midfield duo Kyle Hadley and Nathan Hayward and defender Tom Sharpe...

    Meanwhile, winger David McDermott has been offered the chance to join the squad for pre-season training in a bid to earn a new deal but full-back Liam Dolman has been released. Veteran defender Marcus Bignot is not part of the club’s coaching staff plans and also looks to be on his way out. A decision on the future of midfielder Dean Bennett has yet to be made" adds the Worcester News.

    At Fleetwood Town, two ex-Alty men are on the move, as "Michael Wilde, Steve Torpey, Tom Cahill and John Hills have been released by the club, with Craig Dootson and Michael Taylor also leaving by mutual consent, in view of the club’s new full time status".


    If you want some pre-season action "Four Welsh Premier clubs now qualify for European competitions" confirms Welsh Premier. "In 2010, champions The New Saints will play in the second qualifying round of the Champions League. Runners-up Llanelli will enter the Europa League (first qualifying round) along with third-placed Port Talbot". Bangor City have qualified for the Europa League.

  • 29/30 June 2010 1st qualifying round Champions League, 1st leg
  • 1 July 2010 1st qualifying round Europa League, 1st leg
  • 6/7 July 2010 1st qualifying round Champions League, 2nd leg
  • 8 July 2010 1st qualifying round Europa League, 2nd leg
  • 13/14 July 2010 2nd qualifying round Champions League, 1st leg
  • 15 July 2010 2nd qualifying round Europa League, 1st leg
    29 May 2010


    There is more good news for Altrincham FC supporters as the club announces that England C international Shaun Densmore has signed for another year at Moss Lane. Shaun, who features for the Club at right back or in right midfield recently gained another cap for England and will now enjoy little more than a month's break before the pre-season friendlies begin.


    NL Daily reports that "Ashton United`s appeal against the recent Marcus Hallows court ruling has been rejected". Marcus Hallows suffered his injury playing for Altrincham against Ashton United.

    The UniBond League has a statement from the Ashton chairman, Dave Aspinall - "The appeal against the recent Marcus Hallows court ruling has been rejected, leaving Manchester's oldest semi-pro football club in a dire position... At the outset of proceedings Ashton United clearly demonstrated that it did not have the financial means to meet any substantial claim from either its own funds or assets, yet Mr Hallows and his legal team continued with their legal action, aware that a successful outcome on their part would be liable to have serious implications for the club’s future. A dangerous precedent may have been set by this verdict, which Ashton United always felt was deeply flawed...

    It is not difficult to determine who the real winners are here; Mr. Hallows will never get back the career he lost through an unfortunate accident on the field of play, the verdict will not help protect other players from accidental injury in similar circumstances, yet the cost of the legal fees due to both parties are much greater than any award granted to Mr Hallows by the court...

    Over the next few days, officials at Ashton United will be consulting with their solicitors, insolvency advisors, the Northern Premier League, the Manchester F.A. and Tameside Council about the club’s position, with a determination to carry on the club’s proud 132 year history if at all possible".


    He almost joined Alty a couple of years ago when he played some trial games but NL News 24 now confirms that "colwyn Bay have announced that last season’s promotion-winning captain, Dave Challinor, has today accepted an offer from the board to take over as first team manager...

    Colwyn Bay Managing Director Darren Cartwright said: 'Dave has all of the qualities required to step up to the job and was the unanimous choice of the board'".

    The new manager of Witton Albion is Paul Ogden, former manager at Leek Town.


    The Football Conference reports that "New boys Bath City have confirmed that centre back Chris Holland has left Twerton Park. But manager Adie Britton has moved swiftly to replace the towering defender with Salisbury City’s Danny Webb, who has featured regularly at Conference National level for the past two seasons.

    Holland, who has made more than 200 appearances for City since signing from Team Bath in 2005, turned down the chance to stay at the club for non-football reasons. He is moving from Bath to the South Coast and does not feel he can commit to the travelling involved in training and playing at the highest level of the non-League game.

    Webb, meanwhile, is the 26-year-old son of former Chelsea star David Webb. He played in the League for Southend, Hull City, Lincoln City, Brighton and Yeovil and joined the Whites as a striker in 2008 before switching to a defensive role".

    Elsewhere, "Steve Foster has returned to his roots by signing a one-year deal with Mansfield Town along with another experienced defender in Kevin Sandwith. Thirty-five-year-old Foster, who started here as a trainee in the early 1990s, has racked up over 600 appearances in a career lasting almost two decades. He is best known from his days at Bristol Rovers and Doncaster Rovers...

    Foster said: 'As a Mansfield supporter, I know how much this club means to the fans and the community... They are desperate for this club to be back in the Football League and so am I', he added...

    Veteran Sandwith has also put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal. The 32-year-old, who began his career with Carlisle United, has made over 300 appearances in a career spanning fifteen years. He lists seven other clubs on his CV including Oxford United, where he played last season, making twenty-two appearances".

    From Blue Square Football we learn that "Forest Green Rovers' manager Dave Hockaday has completed the signing of Hednesford Town striker Ross Dyer... Rovers will pay a compensation fee for the 22-year-old despite him being out of contract, while in a further boost, Mike Fowler and Reece Styche have agreed one-year extensions...

    'We've been able to sign three very good players, I'm delighted with them', Hockaday told BBC Radio Gloucestershire. 'Fowler is a warrior, he'll secure the middle of the park, Reece and Ross are very quick and are both goalscorers'".

    The same source adds that "Tom Sharpe, Nathan Hayward and Kyle Hadley have given Kidderminster Harriers a boost by signing new one-year contracts. Defender Sharpe, midfielder Hayward and winger Hadley will all be staying for next season while Martin Riley is mulling over fresh terms, but Liam Dolman has been released and Gavin Caines is set to leave...

    Riley's future is unclear. The 21-year-old defender is attracting interest from bigger clubs and could still move on this summer... Meanwhile, veteran Marcus Bignot has not been offered a coaching role at the club".

    Kettering Town claim they "will be the cheapest side to watch in next season’s Blue Square Bet Premier after a huge reduction in matchday admission prices. Adult admission for league matches will be £10 across the board for the terrace and main stand. Children under the age of 16 will be admitted for just £1 while concessions (students and OAPs) will see a 50 per cent reduction from the £10 fee but only if they purchase a season ticket. Matchday prices will go up by £2 for adults and £1 for children for matches that require a police presence.

    Season tickets, which will be charged at the rate of £10 a game and will not include any further charges for police matches, are due to go on sale within the next two weeks". [Note, Altrincham FC season tickets are actually cheaper than this at £225 for 23 games or just £215 - which is just £9.35 a game - if bought by 30 June; details here].

    Last season Kettering used a three-tier charging programme for supporters but now have changed their tune. The Poppies' chairman said: 'There should be a definite gap between ticket prices from the Championship, League One, League Two and the Conference but that’s not something that has happened recently... It was obvious that parents were struggling to bring their families along last season'... Season-ticket holders who book before the Northampton Town game on July 13 will get free entry to friendlies against MK Dons (July 20) and Peterborough United (August 2)". All pre-season friendlies at Moss Lane are free to season ticket holders.

    NL Daily has an interesting insight on why Salisbury found themselves in financial trouble. It says that "York City could make a move for free-scoring striker Matt Tubbs if Salisbury City are unsuccessful with their appeal over their demotion from the Blue Square Bet Premier. Manager Martin Foyle has already confirmed his interest in the 25-year-old marksman who netted thirty-two goals last season. However, he also conceded that his expected wage demands would probably scupper any possible deal. 'You look at everything and everybody as a manager but I don`t know if Salisbury have gone yet so we`ll have to see what happens', said Foyle. 'Things can change on a daily basis. Matt Tubbs is a player you would like but you have to be realistic', he added. 'He`s on fantastic money down there - more than my top earner here'".

    The BBC confirms that "Harrogate Town have made their first signings of the close season. Striker Graeme Armstrong, 26, and midfielder Steve Bowey, 35, have both agreed terms. Teacher Armstrong left Gateshead earlier this month after 48 goals in 144 appearances, following their decision to go full-time. Bowey spent last season at Scottish First Division side Ayr United after previously spending time with Gateshead, Queen of the South and York".

    Local paper, the Southport Visiter reports that "Chairman Charlie Clapham was confident a new Southport FC shirt sponsor could be found after Paymentshield announced plans to end their four-year deal. The insurance company... were forced into making 60 redundancies in November... Clapham has already held preliminary discussions with interested parties and was optimistic companies would be keen to support the Sandgrounders in their forthcoming Blue Square Bet Premier campaign".

    Tamworth confirm that "Richard Tait has informed the club that he will be staying for the forthcoming season and is already training on his own in an attempt to be ready for the pre season training which starts on the 5th July. One familiar face who will not be at Whittington when the team reconvene will be Club Captain Chris Smith who has accepted an offer from Mansfield Town".

    28 May 2010


    You can make savings for yourself and earn commission for Altrincham FC by booking your holiday through the Alty Holiday club. All you have to do is book through Going Places or Thomas Cook. Their local branches are:
  • Altrincham - Thomas Cook 0845 308-9110
  • Sale - Going Places 0871 664-7413
  • Sale - Thomas Cook 0845 308-9538
  • Wilmslow - Thomas Cook 0845 308-9648

    Click on poster image (right) for further details. Just mention the Alty Holiday Club and you will get a discount and Altrincham FC will get commission.


    NL News 24 says that "Northwich Victoria will bank a four-figure cash boost after ex-skipper Simon Grand helped new club Fleetwood Town to promotion. A clause in his deal, signed in March, entitles Vics to pocket the sum as a result of the Lancashire club winning the Blue Square North play-off final earlier this month.

    'We wanted to make sure we got something by way of compensation', Vics’ owner Jim Rushe tells the Northwich Guardian.

    Meanwhile, Ryan Brown has made his temporary move to Northwich Victoria’s rivals Altrincham a permanent one after signing a one-year deal to stay at Moss Lane. The full back joined Graham Heathcote’s men on an emergency loan in February after the Robins’ regular starter Matt Doughty damaged knee ligaments.

    Also, Vics’ longest serving player has left the club after eight years. Jonny Allan has signed for Blue Square Bet Premier club Gateshead".


    Gateshead "have made their first two close season signings with manager Ian Bogie landing Jon Shaw at the second attempt and fellow striker Jonny Allan. Shaw, 26, who joined Mansfield Town from Rochdale in January, has signed a two year contact and Northwich Victoria legend Allan, 27, a one-year deal.

    Experienced former Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, Bradford City and Darlington left back Paul Heckingbottom meanwhile has agreed terms to join Gateshead on a permanent basis after impressing on loan last season.... Shaw initially played 20 games for hometown club Sheffield Wednesday in 2003-4 as a teenager before moving to Burton Albion where he played over a century of games...

    Shaw is delighted that he has finally got his move to Gateshead. 'I thought I was joining Gateshead at the start of the year', said Shaw 'Unfortunately the deal fell through but it is great that I can now join what is an ambitious club... My move to Rochdale didn't work out and then I was played out of position at Mansfield for a lot of the time. I was on the right side of a front three or on the right wing rather than my preferred position through the middle... It will be good to link up with Daryl Clare again. I will be looking to win the aerials and chip in with my fair share of goals'...

    Bogie meanwhile is delighted to finally get his man, 'He still had a year on his contract so it was very good of David and Mansfield to let him go on a free transfer and I thank them for their co-operation. Shaw will give us a physical presence up front. He is great in the air, at 26 is at the peak of his powers and his stats and pedigree are impressive... We now have four experienced, top quality strikers, all of whom have played in the Football League, so there will be real competition for places'...

    With Northwich suffering a second successive demotion for financial irregularities Allan has severed his links with the club to ply his trade at Gateshead. 'I enjoyed my eight years at Northwich but off the field problems have made life difficult in recent times and the club have just suffered a second successive demotion... I am a 100% player who will score my fair share of goals. Gateshead are a club on the up and I'm glad to be a part of what hopefully will be a good season'...

    Peter Winn meanwhile has signed for Stevenage Borough on a one-year contract. The 21 year old scored five goals in 21 appearances during two loan spells at Gateshead last season from Scunthorpe United. 'Winn was offered terms to join Gateshead on a permanent basis but has decided instead to join Stevenage', said Bogie. 'I am disappointed but not overly concerned'".

    According to This is Bath "Geoff Todd is to stand down as Bath City chairman... Todd's five years at the helm have seen City climb from the third tier to the pinnacle of the non-league game... A lack of resources means their playing budget – according to manager Adie Britton – will be the division's 'poorest by miles' and their first objective will be to avoid relegation.

    Todd, 58, is desperate to see his beloved club gain a foothold in the national Conference... after 13 years away and conceded that a change at the top is essential if they are to continue their rise... Said Todd, 'By announcing my retirement now, with the platform we have to build on, there's a good chance that, through the summer, we might be able to find somebody who really does have an interest in taking the club forward and who has some investment... Potentially, it can be a Football League club – if Cheltenham and Yeovil can do it, then we can do it. They say Bath is a rugby city but there is room here for a football side playing in the league too. It is a city with nearly 100,000 people within a short radius of the centre, it is a rich city with lots of millionaires, it is an interesting city and a place – if you looked at it from a business perspective – where people would want to come and watch football because there are lots of other things to make the package enjoyable.

    'It would be great if, in five years time, Bath could have a Football League side to go along with its very fine rugby side and it's not impossible'. And with Bath Rugby to build a 20-25,000 capacity stadium in the city by 2015 and the knock-on effect that could have on the football club, paving the way for a move away from a decaying Twerton Park, Todd says he is ready to hand over the reins at a pivotal period in the club's 121-year history. City have expressed an interest in either ground-sharing with the Guinness Premiership giants at a new venue...

    Todd said: 'Money will allow us to have one solid season in the Blue Square Bet Premier and we can start to get that platform well and truly established for the move that is probably going to occur over the next five years as that stadium for Bath becomes a reality. Their aim is 2015 and the Rugby World Cup, and we have to be on a similar timescale to them'. Todd owns Combe Park-based video, multimedia and television production company BVC (Bath) Ltd and has ploughed more than £300,000 of his own money into the club since becoming a director in 1998".

    From The Leader comes news that "Dean Saunders, manager of Wrexham, has revealed that midfielder Kristian O’Leary is close to agreeing a new deal – but defender Aaron Brown has rejected his contract offer. O’Leary and Brown joined Wrexham on short-term deals in March... While Brown has turned down the offer of a new contract, Saunders is hoping that the 30-year-old will make a U-turn. 'We could not afford to keep Aaron', said Saunders. 'I made Aaron an offer and he has refused it'...

    Saunders is eager to bolster his midfield after releasing Hedi Taboubi, Mark Jones, Nathan Fairhurst and Silvio Spann, and he has already signed former Peterborough man Dean Keates while Christian Smith has agreed a new deal... Saunders is also close to tying up a deal for former Shrewsbury Town and Chester City left-back Neil Ashton... Saunders has made two more new signings. Centre-back Chris Blackburn helped Aldershot Town reach the League Two play-offs this season but he has penned a two-year-deal, while the versatile Nat Knight-Percival, predominantly a left-sided player, has arrived from Histon...

    The addition of a number of strikers remains a priority to address last season’s poor goal scoring record and Saunders is also looking to sign a second goalkeeper after Sam Russell turned down a new contract in favour of joining former club Darlington. Saunders is also hoping to bring in a right-sided midfielder and is keeping tabs on a player at a rival Conference club... Saunders is waiting to hear if centre-back Ashley Westwood and striker Gareth Taylor accept new deals with slightly lesser terms. Striker Wes Baynes was initially released last month but Saunders has had a change of heart, offering the 21-year-old a new deal".

    Acording to the BBC, "Histon goalkeeper Joe Welch says he is relieved to have resolved his future at the club. The 22-year-old has signed a new one-year deal following the return of John Beck. Welch told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'Four months ago I was out of the team, I wasn't training or playing and I was thinking I was going to have to start again elsewhere'".

    "Barrow are poised to make their first signing of the summer. The Bluebirds joint-boss Dave Bayliss revealed that talks with the un-named player are at 'an advanced stage'. 'We've agreed terms but until he's signed his contract I don't think it's right to name any names,', Bayliss told BBC Radio Cumbria. 'He's an attacking player who will make a big impression with the fans when we do sign him. The fans will be really happy with the signing'...

    Bayliss has hinted that the player could have previously played for Barrow... He said, 'His name probably won't come as a great big shock to some people'. Bayliss has effectively ruled out a move for Barrow-born striker Wayne Curtis, who was released by Morecambe this week... Bayliss said: 'Unless there is a rich benefactor out there who can come along to help us with his wages that isn't going to happen. Our budget is not massive this year. We'd love to have Wayne Curtis at the club but 99% that won't happen'. Barrow have yet to add to their squad following the departures of several players following their FA Trophy final win against Stevenage...

    Midfielder Carlos Logan, defender Gareth Jelleymen and forward Luke Powell have been released while highly-rated midfielder Andy Bond has turned down the offer of a new deal with the club. Bayliss also revealed that goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson is set to leave Holker Street. 'I don't think he'll come back', he said. 'It's almost a done deal so we've basically discounted Stuart from Barrow now'".

    "Cambridge United's landlords are determined to help them back to the Football League, say U's commercial consultant Gareth Baldwin. Their Abbey home was sold to Grosvenor Estates for £3.5m in March. Baldwin told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'The ground is now owned by Grosvenor and they will want a return. But they're proving to be a very positive landlord and want to give us every opportunity to progress back into the Football League'. The U's sold the Abbey to previous landlords Bideawhile in 2004 for £1.9m and currently spend around £250,000-a-year in rent.

    Baldwin hinted Grosvenor may look to review the situation and has told U's fans to expect a statement by mid-June... Meanwhile, Baldwin said he is still in a position where he cannot join the U's board owing to his previous involvement with Histon. Baldwin still owns shares in Histon, but said he is keen to sell for the right price. 'I do have shares in Histon and because FA rules state there may be a conflict of interests, I can't take a position on the Cambridge board', he said. 'I've invested hundreds of thousands of pounds into Histon so I'm not just going to toss my shares out of the window'"

    Interesting in sight s on the wages being offerd in the BSBP come from Luton Town where "The Hatters have made a huge statement of intent ahead of the 2010/11 season in the Blue Square Bet Premier by landing attacking midfielder Andy Drury from Stevenage to become the fourth new recruit of the summer...

    Drury signs a two-year deal at Kenilworth Road after two seasons at Broadhall Way where he made 65 appearances in all competitions and joins Danny Crow, Dan Gleeson and Kevin Pilkington as the newest member of the dressing room. He started his career at Sittingbourne as a youngster before making the short hop to sign for Gravesend and Northfleet... Three successful years at Stonebridge Road followed before Lewes secured his signature in 2006 helping the Rooks lift the Conference South title in 2007/08...

    The driving force behind Stevenage's Play-Off campaign in 2008/09 that also saw the club win the FA Trophy, Drury scored six times but was the creator of many more... Hatters' boss Richard Money told 'Andy has been a player who has been at the forefront our minds throughout the whole of last season... It's fantastic to be able to attract a player of his ability and believe that our long-term plans and current stature were the main factors in persuading him to agree terms with us. Playing in front of 7,000-plus crowds every week is a massive incentive for any footballer, especially at this level'".

    "Football Conference officials have confirmed that the fixture lists for their three divisions will be released on Friday July 2" reports NL News 24. "The season will kick-off on Saturday August 14 and conclude on Saturday April 30".

    Kettering Town says that "Andre Boucaud has signed a new 2 year deal with the club today...The club is delighted to announce that Ian Roper has committed his future to the Poppies for another season".

    Bullsnews says that "Bury striker Andy Bishop is a target of relegated Grimsby. The former York man started only 12 games in an injury hit season and is believed to be available due to financial constraints at Gigg Lane".

    27 May 2010


    Altrincham's Shaun Densmore played the full 90 minutes as England C beat Ireland 2-1 last night. Andy Fleming and Max Porter were the scorers.

    Before the match, the FA reported that "Two players from outside the Conference top flight make the starting line-up. Alfreton’s Kyle McFadzean retains the captain’s armband after an impressive performance last Saturday in Edinburgh and he is joined by Ilkeston Town’s Amari Morgan-Smith, a late call-up to the squad following the withdrawal of Matt Green who picked up a knock in the Conference Promotion Final.

    England C Squad: Roberts (Rushden & Diamonds), Densmore (Altrincham), Newton (AFC Telford United), Cadmore (Hayes & Yeading United), Gregory (AFC Wimbledon), McFadzean (C) (Alfreton Town), Morgan-Smith (Ilkeston Town), Fleming (Wrexham) Barnes-Homer (Luton Town), Deering (Oxford United), Porter (Rushden & Diamonds) - Substitutes Garner (Mansfield Town), Mimms (York City), Hall (Bromley), Rodman (Tamworth), Jarvis (Luton Town) Saah (Cambridge United), Obeng (Wrexham)".

    After the game, the FA Ireland reported that "England got the upperhand over the Republic of Ireland in tonight's match at the Waterford RSC thanks to a goal in each half. The visitors were two goals to the good by the time substitute Paddy Madden replied for the Irish. That goal on 67 minutes sparked a revival by Paul Doolin's side but they were unable to capitalise on their territorial advantage".


    Altrincham FC joint Press Officer writes:

    "Altrincham bosses have maintained the momentum of an outstanding Blue Square Conference campaign by securing a lucrative new sponsorship deal with one of their main backers.

    There were concerns that lifelong fan Carole Nash's decision to sell her Broadheath-based business to French mutual insurers Groupama might jeopardise one of the club's main sources of commercial revenue, particularly in the current financial climate.

    But Carole Nash Insurance Consultants commercial director Simon Jackson made a successful pitch to his board of directors and confirmed that they would again be paying a 'substantial sum' to keep their name on the back of Alty shirts, as well as on prominent display round the ground.

    'I made a presentation to the board, explaining the local and historic connections between us and the club and stressing how it was an ideal way to put something positive back into the area,' said Mr.Jackson. 'To be fair, they were already aware of Altrincham's standing as one of the most revered names in non-League football, and they expressed their delight with the progress made last season.

    'They were happy to continue with the arrangement and asked me to convey their best wishes to Graham Heathcote and the players for continued success next season.'

    Relieved Alty vice-chairman Grahame Rowley hailed the agreement as a significant breakthrough, as the club endeavour to give Heathcote and his squad the backing needed for another crack at the Conference's big-spending full-time outfits next season. 'Carole and Fred Nash have been friends and supporters of the club for years, so when they sold the business, you couldn't help wondering whether a multi-national company would be as keen to keep things going,' he said. 'Along with the chairman Geoff Goodwin, they are our main sponsors, so we were delighted when they told us they wanted to continue what has been a close and mutually-beneficial association'".

    Carole Nash is Britain's leading insurance company for motorbikers but they also cover a lot more besides. Visit their website for full details and a very competitive quote.


    Andy Buckley recently interviewed former Altrincham FC joint owner, Noel White, for the Manchester Evening News. Noel went on to become chairman of the FA and a major figure at Liverpool FC.

    "Noel White has rubbed shoulders with royalty and world leaders during almost half a century in football. He was one of the power brokers of the English game and helped set up the Premier League. He would hire and fire England managers and his final act before retirement was to appoint Fabio Capello as national team boss.

    All in all it’s not been a bad life for a man who once sold records at a shop in Altrincham. White’s incredible story revolves around his home town and his friendship with the late Peter Swales who was chairman of Manchester City for two decades.

    Back in the 50s, the pair spotted the potential of the home entertainment market and started selling gramophones, radiograms and black and white televisions. White and Swales became a well-known brand name and was bought by Thorn in 1968.

    Swales stayed in the TV business while White bought the Bowdon Hotel which he ran successfully until 1986 – the last time he has worked. He also stepped down as chairman of Altrincham that same year after a 25-year involvement with his local club. Swales had held that position when they first went to Moss Lane but then switched his focus to the Blues where, of course, he ultimately failed to bring success and was ousted in a bloody boardroom battle.

    'I couldn’t believe what was going on at Maine Road', recalled White. 'Peter didn’t always tell you how he was feeling and kept his cards very close to his chest but it was a very sad time for him'.

    White had joined the FA Council in 1976 and was instrumental in helping introduce automatic promotion and relegation from the Football League a decade later. 'I’d been involved in trying to get the pyramid system going and we set up the Conference', recalled White. 'In the old days clubs that finished bottom had to apply for re-election and always got back in thanks to the old pals’ act'.

    White’s reputation as a leading football administrator was noticed by Liverpool chairman John Smith who invited him on to the board at Anfield in 1986. 'People ask me why I went to Liverpool and say "we thought you might have followed your mate to Maine Road". I was thinking about having a break from Altrincham after so many great times, especially with the fantastic cup runs. We used to work like the clappers to raise money there and I think John also looked at my experience in hospitality, catering and banqueting from the hotel business and so asked me to go to Liverpool. I’d also got the time having sold my business.

    'Within two months of becoming a director I was attending the first Merseyside FA Cup Final and four years later I took over as chairman which was the highlight. During that period I would meet people like Martin Edwards, David Dein, Philip Carter and Irving Scholar to talk about setting up a Premier League'.

    At the start of the 90s, White and Swales were leading powers on the Manchester and Merseyside football scene and the old mates were also partners round the boardroom table at the Football Association. Swales was chairman of International Committee with White his deputy. By 1994, White had taken over the top job, assuming overall control of the England team – a position he held for 14 years until his retirement, enforced once an age limit was imposed.

    It means that White, now aged 80, will not have an active role at the forthcoming World Cup although he was at Wembley for the friendly with Mexico in his role as a Life Vice President. As head of England’s international committee he has been to the last three World Cups. 'I’m going to miss the involvement of being with the team and supporting them', he admitted. 'It was always nice shaking hands with a few people and making a few speeches representing England. I’ve had a bet on England to win the World Cup and also had a flutter on Argentina as well. I’ve been very lucky to go all over the world representing England and Liverpool'.

    His home is stacked with mementoes, including a picture of him alongside Nelson Mandela and David Beckham taken in 2003 when England went to Durban to support the South African bid for the World Cup. His one regret is missing his golden wedding anniversary because he was on official duty at the 2002 World Cup in Japan.

    'I was head of the delegation out there and Prince Andrew asked whether my wife was with me. I explained that wives didn’t travel with us and said he’d touched a sore spot because it was our 50th wedding anniversary. He joked that I’d got a few brownie points to pick up. While we were in Japan the staff gave me a cake and a big card which they’d all signed. Robbie Fowler had written on the card "no wonder you look so grey after 50 years of marriage".

    In fact, White still looks remarkably good despite his advancing years and has rarely courted controversy. Others in similar high profile roles should perhaps learn from his diplomacy although he did once cause a stir when he left Liverpool in 2006. He resigned after a national newspaper ran a story in which he criticised Rafa Benítez for his squad rotation and transfer policy. 'I wasn’t misquoted but a lot was added to embellish the story', he explained. 'I was sad the way it ended at Liverpool because I’d worked my socks off for the club for 20 years. I didn’t have a vendetta against the manager and it wasn’t as though I didn’t like the bloke. He had a lot going for him and the year before had won the Champions League.

    The fans would have agreed with what I was saying because he didn’t seem to be getting us anywhere'. Indeed, the passage of time has proved that White was spot on in his assessment though his style is such that he would refuse to gloat. Not that being involved with the FA during troubled times has been bed of roses. White’s role was looking after the national side which meant working alongside the chief executive, a job which has had a few high profile casualties.

    Winning the World Cup remains the No 1 priority, hence the appointment as manager of Fabio Capello. 'He arrived just before I’d finished', explained White. 'One of my last acts was to appoint him as manager. He’s got everything he wants in terms of results so far. It’s all right saying he’s won nothing yet but he’s got us this far and now there is everything to play for. Being chairman of the International Committee was a difficult situation as opposed to being at a club like Altrincham or Liverpool because you’re not on the scene all the time because you only see the manager at meetings and speak to them quite often on the telephone.

    'I must have done something right to have done the job for 14 years. They were great times and admittedly the results could have been a bit better'”. Understandably, White looks back on his football career with enormous pride. 'I never earned any money from the game. The only time I received anything was a daily allowance to attend FA council meetings. My manager at the Bowdon Hotel once said to me that if I hadn’t spent as much time with football we could probably have opened another couple of hotels'”.


    There has scarcely been a better time to join the Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee. Not only is the jackpot standing at £5,000, which can be won for a £1 stake, but the reserve jackpot, which starts when the main jackpot is won, is already up to £4,400. Last week there were six winners of Treble prizes, each netting £33.33. To join, ring the club on 928-1045.


    The Football Conference reports that "Terry Brown, manager of AFC Wimbledon, made his second new signing of the close season when Lee Minshull successfully came through his medical and put pen-to-paper to commit himself to the Dons for two years. Twenty-four-year-old Minshull played a leading role in Tonbridge Angels’ ultimately unsuccessful campaign to obtain promotion from the Ryman League Premier Division last season when he played over forty games, scoring seventeen league and cup goals.

    Brown said: 'Lee started off his non-League career at Ramsgate as a centre back, and Dons fans may recall that he played against us in a 1-1 draw in December 2007. When he moved to Tonbridge Angels in 2009, Lee was converted into an attacking midfielder, and last year he blossomed. He was voted the Angels’ player of the year... Lee is a powerful, tough-tackling player who will add much-needed bite to our midfield as well as a good number of goals. This was an area in which we were weak last year, and Lee will also contribute mental and physical strength'.

    Minshull said: 'Like Terry and the club, I am ambitious and want to play in the Football League. I was very impressed with what I heard about this club’s plans'".

    Meanwhile, "Blue Square Bet South club Basingstoke Town have announced the signing of midfielder Matt Pattison. Pattison, 26, spent last season with Rushden & Diamonds, and he has signed a one-year contract with the Hampshire outfit".

    According to the BBC "Striker Jon Shaw looks set to join Gateshead after leaving rivals Mansfield Town. Shaw, 26, who scored three goals in 14 appearances for the Stags, has previously spent time on loan at the International Stadium. He told Mansfield's club website: 'My family are in the North East and I want to take my wife and son nearer to them. I have enjoyed my time at the Stags and wish them all the best. They are a club destined for the Football League'".

    Crawley Town are delighted to confirm that manager Steve Evans has made his second new signing of the close season. Former Chesterfield, Shrewsbury Town and Oldham central defender Danny Hall (26) has today completed a medical and put pen to paper on a deal for next season.

    Hall has been in discussions with Steve Evans and two other interested clubs over the last few weeks but yesterday he made his decision to sign for The Reds... Steve Evans was delighted, he said, 'Danny Hall is a lad who has impressed me every time I have seen him play. He is very good in the air, something you would expect of a lad at 6'3 but he is also very quick and that is a major asset for any central defender. Pace is also something we identified that we needed at the heart of our defence and we have now got that... We have beaten two very good clubs to land his signature and today we move on to our other player targets... We will once again have a small squad so the players I want to bring in will all be expected to play a big part'".

    At Grimsby Town "boss Neil Woods is at advance stages in talks with an unnamed League One midfield player and with former Barnsley player Michael Coulson. The Town boss is confident that he can close the deals within the next week. Coulson arrived on loan from Barnsley in November... He went out on loan to Chester in October 2009 and scored once in five matches before his switch to Town".

    According to the Express & Star, "Kidderminster Harriers have offered left-back Lee Baker a new contract – as Gateshead look to end transfer-listed striker Robbie Matthews’ Aggborough hell... The 21-year-old has made his name at Aggborough since joining from WBA 20 months ago, signing a permanent deal in January 2009 after a successful loan spell. Now assistant boss Gary Whild... has also had to front an enquiry from their rivals for Matthews, with Harriers desperate to move on their signing from Salisbury last August. But the eight-goal striker still has a year left on what is one the most highly-paid deals at Aggborough, which is really eating into plans for next season’s playing budget.

    The York Press reports that "No timetable has been set on delivering a community stadium for York as city council chiefs say just securing a site could take between six and 20 months... Jason McGill, York City chairman, said the club 'very much fear' the authority’s inability to confirm a timetable. He added 'immediate action' needed to be taken when sites and funding options for a new ground are presented to the council’s ruling executive in July. There has been growing disquiet in recent months among chiefs and fans of the Minstermen about the prospects of a new stadium being built in the city... and McGill has again warned the football club’s future is being threatened by continued hesitancy over the project".

    "Hayes & Yeading United are set to model their new 6,000-capacity stadium on League Two Burton Albion’s ground – and the opening date could be as early as August 2011" claims the Uxbridge Gazette. "A fact-finding mission from H&Y’s administration has already given the Pirelli Stadium a once over in order to collect ideas for an intended move to the former Yeading FC’s Warren ground, two miles down the road from their current Church Road set-up.

    General manager Derrick Matthews was confident the economic crisis that brought sale negotiations to a skidding halt was a thing of the past, and the Blue Square Premier team could look forward to a new stadium – not a million miles in look and design from the Staffordshire team promoted to the Football League two seasons ago.

    He said: 'We need to move to the new stadium as soon as possible. I think we’ll play one more season at Church Road, and then make the change.... We’ve taken ideas on board from a number of places, with Burton’s ground springing to mind, as well as the set-up at Rushden’s Nene Park'.

    United hope the sale of Church Road to property developers Barratt Homes will not only finance the amalgamated club’s new start – but back other projects that build a fan base as well as making seven-day use of the facility. United joined forces with Yeading at the end of the 2007-07 season after both club’s finances reached a parlous state. The Warren is still used for a host of non-league games as well H&Y reserve and youth matches – and although the freehold is owned by London Borough of Hillingdon and rented back to H&Y on a long lease – the council is understood to have given its blessing to the project that sees the Hayes part of the equation move to their first new ground in 91 years".

    In the South Wales Argus we learn that "Newport County’s squad enforcement isn’t over with at least four new faces still set for arrival. The Exiles board of directors met yesterday... though boss Dean Holdsworth was absent as he continues identifying potential targets... [He is] expecting to sign a quartet of new faces before pre-season begins.

    Holdsworth is targeting a goalkeeper, central midfielder and a striker and is hopeful of concluding a deal for another winger sooner rather than later. He may then opt to add one further player who could provide competition for places across the backline...

    The Spytty Park faithful who have already seen defender Ollie Thorne, winger Tony Taggart and striker Giuseppe Sole snapped up in the past week... Only Paul Cochlin (now at Neath) and Dave Gilroy – understood to be in talks with Bath and Woking – have opted against staying with the Exiles, Martyn Giles (Llanelli) and Nathan Davies also departing...

    'We don’t have as much room to play with (in terms of budget) as most other sides in the Conference, but that doesn’t mean we can’t strengthen the squad even further than we already have'... Further good news could be on the agenda for County fans with Holdsworth inching closer to signing a new deal at Spytty Park... Holdsworth has a year to run on his present deal [but] both parties are keen to extend the agreement. The main incentive for County is to increase the compensation they’d receive if Holdsworth left for a job at a higher level".

    26 May 2010


    Yesterday, during daylight hours, a number of teenagers trespassed on the pitch at Moss Lane to play a game of football. The damage they did to the surface, which had been re-seeded only days earlier, was significant and much work will now have to be re-done. All supporters, neighbours and passers-by are urged to be vigilant when passing the ground and, should they see anyone trespassing, they are requested to ring the police immediately. Also, if anyone has any information regarding the identity of those trespassing, please ring the club on 928-1045 as soon as possible. Your help in this regard is very much appreciated.


    Altrincham supporters were very sorry to hear that Greg Young (right) had joined Chris Senior in leaving Altrincham this summer as he,too, was offered full-time football - and much nearer to his Doncaster home, too. Greg has sent an open letter to the website which we are pleased to reproduce below...

    "To all staff and supporters of Altrincham Football Club

    I know Chrissy [Senior] has set the trend, however it was always my intention, should I have left the club, to publicly thank everyone associated with it. I think the fact that we have both felt the need to write demonstrates the feelings we hold for Alty.

    The last few weeks have been very difficult for me because I have had much to consider. On the one hand is my genuine affection for Alty and everyone associated with the club, on the other is a desire to return to full time football whilst I still have some good years of my career left.

    Also from a practical point of view York is much nearer to my home in Doncaster, which is an advantage.

    Altrincham Football Club will always hold a place in my heart, as I know it will for my parents who have become big fans. This is no doubt down to the welcoming and friendly atmosphere, which pervades the club at all levels, and the fantastic way it is run. I’ve enjoyed being part of the best part-time club in the country for which I have the utmost respect.

    I’m excited about the challenges ahead and I look forward to returning to Moss Lane in the future. Should I happen to score, I’ll not perform a stupid celebration, in any case my wee partner in crime will not be there to help me.

    Best wishes, and thanks once again


    All at Moss Lane wish Greg well and can appreciate his reasons for leaving. Making the 120-mile round trip from Doncaster to Altrincham for training and matches, on part-timer's wages, was a clear sign of Greg's dedication to our club - in addition to his wholehearted performances on the pitch. And when Alty fans got back from places like Salisbury after a midweek game at 2am or later, Greg still had 60 miles to go to his bed!


    Alty vice-chairman Grahame Rowley writes... "So far over 70 people have signed up to the Patrons Scheme for the forthcoming season. The Football Club would like to thank all those who have signed up and urge fellow Patrons to re-join. Last season we had over 100 members and are loking to at least equal that for this season. All the money from the scheme goes towards strengthening the squad so as Graham and Kenny look for re-inforcements for the new campaign I urge you to consider joining the scheme.

    For further information click here or please email me or contact the club during office hours on 0161 928-1045.

    Thank you for your support. Grahame Rowley".


    Congratulations go to former Altrincham captain, Mark Maddox (left) who is the subject of a report from the Football Network. "Leigh Genesis are delighted to confirm the appointment of former Leigh player Mark Maddox as the club's new manager, bringing a wealth of experience to the club as they continue their preparations for the 2010/2011 Evo-Stick [formerly UniBond] League Division One North campaign at Crilly Park. Thirty-seven year old Maddox spent two seasons at Leigh between 2006 and 2008 whilst the club were playing in the Conference North division, having previously played in the Conference National with Altrincham, captaining the Cheshire side in a spell at Moss Lane that lasted ten years and included winning the Conference North play-offs in 2005 and four Cheshire Senior Cups.

    Maddox spent the 2007/2008 season in the Conference North with Vauxhall Motors, before accepting the post of Centre of Excellence Manager at League Two side Accrington Stanley. In terms of coaching qualifications, Maddox is almost without comparison in the league, having earned the hugely-respected UEFA 'A' Coaching Licence in 2009 before taking charge of Vodkat North West Counties Premier League side Formby in October 2009. Maddox took over a side that were languishing at the bottom of the table but, under the Liverpudlian's guidance, managed to finish fourteen points clear of the relegation zone in a credible fifteenth position.

    On his appointment, Maddox said 'I'm delighted to be here and to be given the opportunity at a higher level. I enjoyed my time with Formby, but this was too good a job to turn down. Leigh were always a well-run and friendly club when I was here as a player, so it made perfect sense to return as manager when the chance presented itself. Although we will be looking to consolidate our position in the league next season and take each game as it comes in what was a very tough league, I can certainly guarantee that I will be looking to build an honest, hard-working side that will do the club proud'". Maddox takes charge at Crilly Park with immediate effect, with the club's full coaching line up to be confirmed soon".

    And Blue Square Football tells us that "Fleetwood Town have made a significant addition to their squad ahead of their first season in the Blue Square Bet Premier with the signing of Ian Craney. The attacking midfielder has made 132 Football League starts as well as being part of Accrington Stanley’s victorious Conference-winning team in 2005-06. Ian has also scored 24 League and Cup goals for his four League clubs.

    Liverpool-born Craney (right) cannot wait for the season to start... 'I’ve been following the promotion push all through the season. It’s been really exciting and I came on the last day of season to see them being promoted. I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the set-up and the ambition surrounding the club. Then I got talking to Micky Mellon and the rest is history! I know some of the players, including Anthony Barry, Steve McNulty and Peter Cavanagh, and I went to school with Mike Taylor. I was also at Accrington and Huddersfield with ‘SOS’ (team physio, Ian Liversedge)'.

    ‘I was at Everton as a kid then went to Runcorn before Mark Ward took me to Altrincham where I had 4 or 5 great seasons and did really well'. Craney averaged one goal per 4 games at Moss Lane. In 2004, Accrington Stanley gave him the opportunity to go full-time which was a big decision to make: 'I had a good job at the time but the chance to go full-time was a dream. I’m glad I did it because in my second season we won the Conference and went into the Football League'.

    Since leaving Stanley in 2007, Craney has played for Swansea City, Huddersfield Town and, most recently, Morecambe. Craney signed at Christie Park for the 2009-10 season on loan from Huddersfield. After 16 League and two Cup appearances for the Shrimps, his season was cut short by injury. He believes that his experience will help the squad and looks forward to offering ‘desire and leadership, as well as skill and craft on the pitch. I’m a ball player and like getting the ball down and playing it around. I’ve played at a good standard and won this league before so know what it takes. Micky Mellon has produced a good little squad at Fleetwood and there’s a great chance of going up again. That’s what we should be aiming for, otherwise there’s no point in being in the league'.

    ‘I’ve been impressed by the Cod Army and didn’t expect a fan base like that in Conference North. I can’t wait to start'... 27-year old Craney clearly has the ambition and desire to become a key part of an ambitious set-up, as well as a crowd favourite".


    Grahame Rowley has kindly sent some a brief report on the England C game against the East of Scotland last weekedn, in which Alty's Shaun Densmore played.

    East of Scotland 0 England C 1

    "A tightly contested game on a swelteringly hot afternoon saw England C go into their game against Ireland on Wednesday with a narrow 1-0 win behind them. In truth, the East of Scotland side had the better chances and were unlucky to lose the game to a 90th minute deflected shot from Max Porter (Rushden & Diamonds). Shaun Densmore played the whole of the second half and put in a very competent display in front of his watching mother who had made the trip up from Merseyside.

    The starting line up was:-

  • Josh Mimms – competent display. Dominated box.
  • Curtis Obeng – Very fast on the overlap – caused the Scotland defence a few problems.
  • Sean Newton – Worked hard down the left . Nothing fancy.
  • Brian Saah – Solid display at the back.
  • Steven Gregory – Sprayed ball around from just in front of back four.
  • Kyle McFadzean (Capt) – Had the first real shot on goal after 38 minutes.
  • Amari Morgan-Smith – Very tricky winger who had the beating of his man.
  • Andrew Fleming – Improved as the game progressed especially when further forward.
  • Alex Rodman – Tried hard but first touch could be improved.
  • Sam Deering – My Man of the Match – never stopped running.
  • Ryan Hall – Average performance, tried very hard.

    In the second half:-

  • Scott Garner replaced Brian Saah – Took over as captain with a very solid display
  • Rossi Jarvis replaced Steven Gregory – Not as competent as Gregory in this role
  • Shaun Densmore replaced Curtis Obeng – Biased view but played well & cleared shot off line.
  • Matthew Barnes-Homer replaced Rodman – Worked hard but well contained by centre backs
  • Max Porter replaced Amari Morgan-Smith – Good shot for goal
  • Dale Roberts replaced Josh Mimms - didn’t like being crowded out at corners
  • Tom Cadmore replaced Kyle McFadzean – Strong at the back".


    Promoted Fleetwood Town have announced prices for next season: Adults £12.50, concessions (over 65s) £8, Children (5 to 16 and college students) £7, Under 5 - free.

    "Cambridge United boss Martin Ling believes his charges will have one of the best defences in the Blue Square Bet Premier next season. The U's mentor snapped up the services of Brian Saah on a two-year deal last week to add new recruits Danny Naisbitt and James Jennings. To add to this Josh Coulson, Kevin Roberts and Simon Brown also recently also recently signed new deals at the club.

    Ling told Cambridge News: 'We've also got Dave Partridge, Blaine Hudson and Darryl Coakley, as well as Rory McAuley, and I think a lot of clubs would be hard pushed to have better back 10 to pick from. We look like we're going to be very solid, and getting Brian in was a big part of that. It proves that if the likes of Luton come in and offer people stupid money, it's not for a lack of ambition on our part. Most of the players played together towards the end of the season and defensively we started to look very sound. James Jennings has replaced Aiden Palmer and Naisbitt has taken over from Laurie Walker, and I'm very happy with Roberts and McAuley at right-back with Dan Gleeson going. The good thing with both those players is their versatility, because they can play centre-half or central midfield as well. It's up to me now to put some flair into the side and we'll be looking to bring in a wide left player, another midfielder and two centre-forwards".

    AFC WImbledon report that they "have carried out a review of the costs of [supporters'] coaches for season 2010-11 and we are pleased to announce that prices have been frozen at the same level as the last two years, namely either £10 or £15 flat fare, depending on the distance.

    We plan to run supporters' coaches to every away game except Hayes and Yeading. Over the season, our costs will be covered by these charges so long as the coaches are full. Therefore, we will be very cautious before starting to take bookings for a second coach for any particular game. Nearer the time we will remind fans of the importance of booking early to secure a place at these very cheap rates".

    Mansfield Town confirm that "David Holdsworth has snapped up Tamworth defender Chris Smith on a one year deal... The centre half made 38 appearances for the Lambs last season and received the most Man of the Match awards for the club... The 28 year old, a former Reading trainee, previously played for York City and Worcester...

    Smith said: 'You only have to look around the place (Field Mill) to realise what a big club it is. Mansfield is a bigger club (than Tamworth) with the right foundations to get into the Football League'"

    At Kidderminster Harriers "Gary Whild has confirmed that Gateshead have enquired about transfer-listed striker Robbie Matthews as former Harrier Ian Bogie continues to build his first full-time squad. Former Salisbury hit-man Robbie was made available for transfer by the club at the start of the summer and Whild explained to the official site this afternoon that the north-east club have been in touch. As such, the International Stadium outfit have been given permission to put an offer on the table to the player with a view to taking him up north".

    From the BBC we learn that "Rushden & Diamonds' manager Justin Edinburgh says he has matters in hand after a turbulent week for the club. Tabloid newspaper reports about player unrest [involving Paul Terry] have disrupted Edinburgh's plans for the summer break. Edinburgh told BBC Radio Northampton: 'They're not the headlines the club want to be attracting or seeing. It wasn't pleasant, certainly off the back of a fantastic season, but we look forward. It's in hand, we're dealing with it internally'.

    He continued: 'I've agreed a deal in principle. I've shaken hands with the chairman, he's got my word and I'll be in charge of the club next season'".

    Meanwhile, NL Daily says that "Rushden & Diamonds have announced that striker Aaron O`Connor has signed to remain at Nene Park for another season... As things stand the following players are confirmed as having signed for the 2010/11 Blue Square Bet Premier campaign: Dale Roberts, Joe Day, Curtis Osano, Michael Corcoran, Jamie Stuart, Aynsley McDonald, Neil Cousins, Lee Tomlin, Sam Smith, Craig Farrell, Nabil Shariff, Aaron O'Connor".

    The South Wales Argus says that "Newport County and Charlie Henry have come to an agreement that will see the flying winger stay at Spytty Park against all the odds. And the Exiles have also swooped to make their third signing of the summer, winger Tony Taggart joining Giuseppe Sole and defender Ollie Thorne in penning one-year, full-time deals... Winger Henry... saw his contract offer withdrawn last week, the Argus can reveal, with boss Holdsworth only willing to recapture his player if he would commit to moving to South Wales... Henry opted to agree to relocate, and the manager is thrilled to have tied him down. 'It wouldn’t have been possible to do all that travelling with the increased training schedule'".

    "Tony Gray has tonight completed his move back to Southport FC" confirms the Southport Visiter. "The 26-year-old striker rejoins the Sandgrounders having been sold to Droylsden in December 2008. Port have secured Gray, who hit 27 goals in the Blue Square North last season, on a free transfer but the deal to prise him from Droylsden will involve a number of players going in the opposite direction. Gray becomes the Yellows third close season signing after Matty McNeil and Steve Dickinson arrived at Haig Avenue. Defender Robbie Williams [not Alty's!] is expected to rubber stamp his move to Southport sometime this week".

    25 May 2010


    Left-back Ryan Brown, who signed yesterday for Altrincham's 2009-10 season, originally joined Alty on loan from Northwich Victoria on 16 February 2010 as emergency cover for the injured Matt Doughty earlier that month. As a youngster, Ryan joined Port Vale and he was also briefly with both Manchester United and City. He made his first-team debut for Port Vale in May 2003 but after 38 league appearances he was released by the current York City manager Martin Foyle in May 2005. He went to Leek Town and from there to Northwich Victoria, a club he joined in June 2006. He later signed a two-year contract extension in April 2008 but injury limited his appearances in 2009-10. Ryan made 13(+4) appearances for Altrincham last season.


    It wasn't just Greg Young who joined York City yesterday as "City Manager Martin Foyle has secured no less than three players' signatures. Full back Duane Courtney has joined City from Kidderminster Harriers and Centre half Greg Young has signed for the club from Altrincham. Current midfielder Levi Mackin made it a hat-trick for City by committing himself to another year with The Minstermen.

    Duane Courtney is 25 years of age and began his career at Telford. He was subsequently sold to Burnley for £25,000 but after making only one senior appearance joined Kidderminster Harriers where he went on to make 37 appearances last season".

    The BBC adds that "manager Martin Foyle told BBC Radio York: 'Duane's exciting. He's got the energy to get forward and hopefully he'll be a good addition to the squad. Greg is a big danger from set-plays but most importantly he's a left footer and that gives us balance'.

    Right-back Courtney has was an apprentice at Birmingham City before moving to Telford and then Burnley in the Championship. A spell with Welsh club TNS followed before he joined Kidderminster...

    Greg Young said: 'I think York offered me something that matched my ambitions. I've been at Altrincham the last two years and they've been a fantastic club, a very well-run club, and I enjoyed it there but they're not a team that are going to charge up the table like York are. I've come here to get promoted and the manager wants to get promoted next year. I want to be part of a team that can get promotion'... Talks are still ongoing with Djoumin Sangare".

    "Neil Taylor refused to comment over his Wrexham future after the defender was once again linked with a move to Swansea City. Taylor, who won his first Wales senior cap in Sunday's 2-0 friendly defeat to Croatia, was linked with a move in January before he was hit by injury" reports the BBC.

    Kidderminster Harriers confirm that "The release of fixtures for the new Blue Square Bet Premier season is set for early July... We've received word from the office of the Football Conference that the list of who, when and where will be made public... in the week commencing Monday, 5 July".

    From South London Today we learn that "Kettering defender John Dempster and Rushden captain Jamie Stuart are among the players AFC Wimbledon have missed out on signing in the last two weeks. Dons' manager Terry Brown has so far only made one addition - left-sided player Christian Jolley from Kingstonian...

    'Players I couldn’t get two weeks ago are now suddenly being offered to me', said Brown. 'What has become clear is that, like me, most managers are reducing the sizes of their squads and looking to run on tight budgets. In the cases of pro teams, they are reducing squads which had 33 or 34 players, so there are suddenly 10 good pros without a club. It’s slow going at the moment but you always tend to find that money is a factor in May while people are holding out for the best salary they can get. But as we move into June and July there needs to be a realisation - and I think there is - that football clubs can’t just keep spending money they don’t have and getting help from the banks'".

    More on this comes from the Surrey Comet where "Terry Brown admits he faces one of his toughest summers as a manager as he looks to juggle his playing budget and put together a promotion-challenging AFC Wimbledon side. The Dons boss is hoping to bring in up to six players as he aims to remould a side torn apart at the conclusion of the last campaign. But with the Kingsmeadow outfit electing to go full-time this season, Brown is set for a summer of haggling.

    He said: 'In a perfect world I would like to have a couple of deals sorted by the end of this week before players go off on holiday, but it is not that easy. We are running with the same budget as last season, but with us going full-time the money is spread more thinly. The squad will definitely be smaller than last season, and we will be probably go with 18 players. That is purely for financial reasons. With Salisbury City being expelled for the Conference last week over money issues it shows just how easy things can gallop away from you in football. As a club we will never let that happen, and if it means supplementing the first team squad with players from the academy so be it'”.

    News of a BSP player from a year ago comes from Bullsnews which says that "Crewe have not made a move for Peterboro [and ex-Kettering] defender Exodus Geoghaghon, with the defender saying the Posh are expecting a fee. Kidderminster have expressed an interest in signing him".

    "Eastbourne Borough boss Garry Wilson has played down fears he will be working with a reduced budget next season" reports the The Argus. "Outgoing striker Liam Enver-Marum claimed he was released because Borough were looking to slash their wage bill and the departure of senior players Marc Pullan and Paul Armstrong heightened rumours Wilson had less money to work with. Goalkeeper Rikki Banks is the only new player to arrive at Priory Lane so far but Wilson insists, 'The budget is the same as the last two years but the only difference is that I keep spending over the budget and now it’s a case of getting it back into line'".

    24 May 2010


    Alty manager Graham Heathcote goes on his holidays this week much the happier for having secured the services of striker Michael Twiss, a player who played in pre-season for Alty as far back as August 2001. Michael was released by Morecambe last March (2010) but, as he had had his contract paid up, he was unable to join any club above Conference North level. He had a brief spell at Stalybridge Celtic before the end of the 2009-10 season.

    Michael, born in Salford in 26 December 1977, started out at Manchester United where he spent four seasons in the Reserves, though he did make a number of first-team appearances too, as well as spending much of the 1998-99 season on loan at Sheffield United in the old First Division. He joined Port Vale on leaving Old Trafford in July 2000.

    In 2000-01 he played for Leigh RMI where he was top scorer in the Conference before joining Chester City for 2001-02. He stayed there till he joined Morecambe in 2004, where he later played in their promotion winning side. Michael was released by Morecambe last March.

    Also with Alty for next season is defender Ryan Brown, who has signed on for 2009-10 after joining Alty late last season on loan from Northwich Victoria.

    But leaving Moss Lane is defender Greg Young who has signed a full-time contract with York City. Based in Doncaster, Greg departs with Graham Heathcote's good wishes following two and a half excellent seasons at Moss Lane, culminating in his award of the Players' Player of the Season award last month. In all he made 117+8 appearances and scored 11 goals for Altrincham.


    Right: Altrincham FC vice-chairman Grahame Rowley and his family travelled up to Scotland to watch Altrincham FC's Shaun Densmore gain another England C cap against the East of Scotland FA on Saturday at Spartans FC's excellent facilities. In sweltering conditions, Shaun played the second half as England won 1-0.


    With the promotion of Blackpool, there are now two current Premiership clubs who have been beaten by Altrincham in the FA Cup. Alty beat both Blackpool and Birmingham City in their 1985/86 Cup run, having previously also beaten the Seasiders in 1984/85. The other current Premiership side to taste defeat at the Robins' hands is Wigan Athletic, who lost to Alty in 1994/95.

    Alty have also drawn against Everton and Tottenham Hotspur (before losing replays), whilst losing to Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers. So, in all, Alty have met seven of the 2010-11 clubs in the top flight of English football.


    Total Tranmere "can confirm that a Tranmere Rovers XI will also visit Altrincham FC the night before" before another friendly against Shrewsbury Town. "The game, on Friday 30th July, will kick off at 7.45pm at Altrincham's Moss Lane ground and whilst it is unclear what a Tranmere Rovers XI will consist of, it is thought it will most likely be a Youth team game with the first team likely to appear at Shrewsbury Town the following day. Tranmere's last pre-season appearance at Moss Lane, saw them win 1-0 thanks to a second half strike in a game which also saw a young Ash Taylor make an appearance at centre-back alongside Ian Goodison and several other first teamers in a sign of what was to come for him in the future".

    That game was in July 2007, when Alty lined up as follows: 1. Stuart COBURN; 2. Chris LANE, 4. Karl MUNROE, 5. Darren TINSON (capt), 3. Steve ASPINALL; 7. Robbie LAWTON, 8. Val OWEN, 6. Jake SEDGEMORE, 11. Cavell COO; 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 8* Chris BAGULEY, 10*. Chris SENIOR, 12. Gary SCOTT, 14. Stephen ROSE, 16. Colin POTTS, 16* Matthew BERKELEY, 17. Rod THORNLEY, *. Steven MOORE, GK. Richard ACTON. Only Coburn and Lawton remain at Moss Lane from three years ago.


    The Club President of Altrincham FC, Noel White is the subject of an article in the Manchester Evening News today (Monday).


    The Surrey Herald reports that "AFC Wimbledon have told Christian Jolley he is too skinny to deal with the ‘monsters’ of the Blue Square Premier. The Dons new signing from Kingstonian will spend the summer hitting the gym and the fridge in equal measures as the 22 year-old left winger bids to make a successful two-league jump from the Ryman Premier... A year ago the talented player was still turning out in the Oxted & District League...

    The player... is 6ft, but reckons he is no more than 11 stones dripping wet... He said: 'I’ve met some of the AFC squad already – and they’ve told me the Conference have players who are more intelligent in how they play – and lots that are built like monsters... I’ve been given a guide about eating twice what I do, providing it’s the right stuff'...

    The winger, who was signed for an undisclosed fee that includes a sell-on clause, can also play at left-back or up front".

    According to the Football Conference "Barrow`s joint bosses Dave Bayliss and Darren Sheridan have extended their contracts until the summer of 2013. The pair were already under contract for a further year, but the club wanted to reward them for their superb record since taking over in November 2007... The duo are still trying to tie up the loose ends on the players' contracts for those players who were offered new deals recently".

    Left: The Moss Lane pitch has been undergoing its end of season treatment thanks to the hard work of groundsman, Neil Brown. Here the pitch is seen on Saturday.

    "Darlington chairman Raj Singh has backed manager Simon Davey to bring in 'high calibre' players this summer" claims Blue Square Football. "Singh believes Darlo still remain an attractive option despite the prospect of meetings with the likes of Bath City, Tamworth and Barrow next season. 'The players Simon is looking to bring in over the summer are exciting, better than those we've had in the squad this season', Singh told the Northern Echo. 'Even though we'll be in a lower division I expect us to have a stronger team than this season. If we are able to bring them in I am convinced we will be in a strong position ahead of next season... It's essential we get off to a good start... Darlington is still in a position to attract players of a high calibre'".

    News of the other relegated club comes from Sport Grimsby which tells us that "Grimsby Town manager Neil Woods says former Bury defender Paul Scott is a player he is interested in signing... He has spoken to a range of players this week already and has been pleased with the positive response.

    The Town boss said: 'I've been in work every day talking to players and the response has been good. The first question I've asked is about playing outside the league and if it affects them and they have all been open with me and impressed with what we have to offer regardless of what division we are in'...

    A new goalkeeper must be high on the list as Nick Colgan's name is on the PFA transfer list released this week and Leigh Overton has already been let go... Meanwhile, Woods has said talks about a new deal for Robbie Stockdale are ongoing. The 30-year-old right-back is out of contract at Town this summer".

    The BBC says that "Stevenage have signed defender Darius Charles from Ebbsfleet on a two-year deal for a yet to be decided fee. The clubs will attempt to agree on a fee for the 22-year-old but, should they fail, the cost will be decided by a Football Association tribunal... Meanwhile Chris Day, Ronnie Henry, Jon Ashton, Mark Roberts and Scott Laird have all signed two-year contracts to stay at Broadhall Way".

    At Bath City, "Richard Evans and Marcus Browning, along with the previously announced Stuart Douglas, have been released as manager Adie Britton looks to build a squad capable of surviving the club's first season in the Blue Square Bet Premier. The rest of the squad that won promotion via the Blue Square South play-offs have been offered new deals, although six are on non-contract terms to prove they are capable of making the step up to the top flight of non-league football. Mark Badman, Sido Jombati, Adam Connolly, Sekani Simpson and Scott Bartlett have already agreed deals and the remaining players have been told they must decide whether they are staying on by this weekend."

    Fellow newcomers, Newport County report that "We have signed Tony Taggart. 'TT' has also committed himself to training full time and he really does give us another player with skill, energy and knowhow... He said 'When Dean approached me I saw it as a great opportunity to play for a team that could give me a crack at playing in the Football League. I am looking forward to to the full time training. The extra days can really make a difference and it is something that I have always wanted to do. Without being full time, Newport County showed last season that they were a strong outfit. They were very well organised and everyone knew their job'".

    23 May 2010


    The England C team beat the East of Scotland League 1-0 today at Spartans FC in Edinburgh. Max Porter (Rushden & Diamonds) scored the late winner. Shaun Densmore played for the second half of the game, which took place in very hot conditions. Paul Fairclough played several trialists in the game. Photo and report to follow.


    The annual presentation night for the Altrincham FC Youth team took place on Friday (21st May) at Moss Lane. Youth team manager George Heslop compered the event whilst first-team manager Graham Heathcote and vice-chairman Grahame Rowley presented the awards.

    Before the awards, and after a team photo had been taken (see below), George gave a summary of the season which had ended successfully, with the team winning the NW Youth Alliance Premier Division title and being runners up both in the NWYA Open Cup and the Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup competitions.

    Recalling how the season had started in summer 2009 with Altrincham's participation in the Umbro International tournament, George lamented that this would not be possible next season as the competition has been moved to Keele in Staffordshire. The Umbro and other pre-season friendly games had meant the squad was in good shape for the start of the 2009-10 competitive season. The lads won eight and drew one of their first nine games but missed out on an away FA Youth Cup match at Oldham Athletic by losing narrowly to Stalybridge Celtic.

    They progressed, narrowly,in the Open Cup but went out of the Neil Thomason Trophy and then had the season interrupted by seven weeks'enforced inaction due to the bad weather last winter. The lads got back on track with seven league wins before suffering their first league defeat to Marine. They then lost the CCFA District Cup on penalties. Alty clinched the league with two wins in their final two games and, for George, the league remains the best trophy to win as it shows consistency throughout the season.

    As ever, the team will be broken up because of the under-18 age requirement of the NWYA. Amongst those young enough to qualify for another season at youth level are James Smart, Jamie Brown, Kieran Madden and Harry McAughtrie. Sadly, Glodi Kuba-Kuba is just three days too old to qualify for next season.

    George paid tribute to his team of assistant manager Tony Spilsbury and coaches Gareth Thomas, Jason Linney and Richard Williams, as well as his "chauffeur" Jim Vince. He also pointed out how well his team's defence had done, recording nine clean sheets out of 18 in the league. Up front, three players had reached double figures- Michael Linney (15 goals), Kieran Madden (11) and Glodi Kuba-Kuba (10).

    Moving on to the presentations, George announced that the winner of the Clubman of the Year was Dominic Bates who had played 26 games and hardly missed a training session in his second season with the team.

    Graham Heathcote then awarded Michael Linney with the Players' Player award before Mr and Mrs Black presented Ben Shawcross with the James Black Trophy for Player of the Season (as selected by the manager) which they had generously donated in memory of their 18 year-old son, James, who had died last year at the age of 18. James was a devoted Altrincham supporter, following the team both at home and away. George Heslop paid tribute to James, who had shown a keen interest in the youth team's progress whenever they met.

    Graham Heathcote explained the options open to last season's youth players. A small number will be invited to join the firstteam pre-season though they should not expect to bridge the gap from the NWYA to the Conference in the short term; patience and dedication were needed, he emphasised. He thanked all the players and their families for their efforts on behalf of the club and wished all of the lads well whatever their footballing future might be.

    More photos from the awards night are to follow.

    Action photos from the NWYA Open Cup Final between Salford City and Alty Youth are on the NWYA. site.


    According to Welsh Premier "Port Talbot have failed to attract Kaid Mohamed to the GenQuip Stadium after the striker committed to Bath City for next season. Mohamed turned out in a midweek friendly for the Steelmen, but City boss Adie Britton says he fully expects him to be at the club next season. 'He spent all last season on non-contract terms because that suited both of us and we get on exceedingly well. I’m sure he’ll be as good as his word. If he has played for Port Talbot, then fine. Kaid just loves playing football and there’s nothing untoward going on. Kaid was a major player for us in the second half of the season so obviously we are keen for him to stay on'".

    We learn that "Saliabury City Football Club’s new directors have confirmed that the club is to appeal against a ruling by the Football Conference that it is ineligible to play in the Conference in the 2010/11 season. The City directors have reiterated that the club has done everything in its power to satisfy the demands of the Football Conference and the FA as well as meeting all requirements under the CVA.

    Earlier this week, the new directors confirmed that all its football creditors have been paid, and that all salaries, payments to suppliers and other liabilities have also been met in full. A spokesman for the club’s board said: 'This action by the Conference is a clear message to all clubs with financial problems – do not try to pay your creditors as you will be punished anyway. This is not an approach the board of Salisbury City can accept'”.

    Blue Square Football says that "Tommy Jaszczun is looking forward to taking up a new role as player/assistant-manager at Kettering Town... despite not considering himself for the role. Jaszczun was released by the Poppies a year ago and had been playing for Blue Square North side Corby Town but accepted the post after club owner Imraan Ladak and manager Lee Harper asked him to return.

    Jaszczun told the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph: 'It came as a shock because initially I was looking to get back playing. I spoke to Lee then all of a sudden Imraan asked me to come back as the assistant-manager. I was taken by surprise and that wasn't really something I'd thought about doing. When you are playing you look at the management set-up for each club but it's a different scenario. I'm delighted to be back and looking forward to a fresh challenge for myself and Lee. I hadn't spoken to Imraan since I left as a player - although I know he didn't want me to go. That was the manager's decision at the time and you have to respect it sometimes. I played with Lee at Northampton Town so I know he's passionate about what he does. I was born in Kettering so it's an honour to be part of my local club again. I never planned to do my coaching badges but I can't wait for the daily routine helping Lee'".

    "Barrow trio Tim Deasy, Stuart Tomlinson and Paul Edwards have been handed a final offer by the club" according to Blue Square Football... "Joint-manager Dave Bayliss told the North-West Evening Mail: "Our two goalkeepers and left-back Paul Edwards have now been given what we consider final offers. There is no way we can look at excessive pay rises. Players have to be realistic , this is Barrow and we can only pay what we can. We have not got a massive budget and we cannot and will not pay over the top'.

    Bayliss is also confident that skipper Paul Jones will re-sign with the FA Trophy champions. 'He told me he was happy with what has been offered before he went away on holiday with his family. I would say he is 99 per cent certain to sign when he gets back'".

    "Kidderminster Harriers are hoping that new assistant boss Gary Whild's ties with Peterborough defender Exodus Geohaghon help them in landing the player. Whild played a role in Geohaghon's development when manager of Redditch before selling him to Kettering in 2008. But with unnamed Football League clubs also showing an interest in the transfer listed player, they know their chances of signing him are slim at best".

    "Liam Watson is confident of being able to bring Tony Gray back to Southport soon. The boss is also bidding to secure defender Robbie Williams [not Alty's player of that name!] for next season. Striker Gray held talks with the Sandgrounders on Tuesday night and though it is believed a deal has been agreed in principle for the 26-year-old to make his comeback, the transfer has been delayed. Gray’s parent club Droylsden, who signed the forward from Haig Avenue for £6,000 in December, are believed to be working on the premise they had first refusal on the player after his 18 month contract expired at the end of this season, but the Visiter understands this is not be the case.

    Watson tells the Southport Visiter: 'The Tony Gray deal is still on-going at the moment and there’s not much more we can say at this point. We held talks with Tony on Tuesday and everything went well but we are still trying to sort some issues out with Droylsden. I’m planning to sit down with Robbie this weekend, or Monday by the very latest, to try and get him to commit to us for next season. Robbie has indicated to me he’s keen to stay on with us next season'".

    And NL Daily adds that "Liam Watson...has brought former fans' favourite Steve Dickinson back to Haig Avenue. Watson said: 'Steve Dickinson will be coming back as our number two keeper. Steve is a legend at Southport and he decided he wanted to come back and work with myself and Chris Price'... Since leaving Southport Dickinson has had spells with Alfreton Town and Bradford Park Avenue. The signings have continued with Paul Barratt agreeing another year`s deal. The versatile wide player again increases options for Watson as he builds his squad".

    Meanwhile, "New Histon manager John Beck says getting his players organised for the new season will be key to their survival next season... He told the Oxford Mail: 'With a mix of experience and youth and my expertise of getting a team to play as one and be extremely well disciplined, organised, fit and physically strong, we'll have a chance. If we finish just one place above relegation it will be a fantastic achievement. Then we'd hope to move on the following season and build from there. We have the smallest budget and we have hardly any players, but I'm going to get them organised...

    We're going to have to treat every game like an FA Cup final. If we don't, we'll go down. We'll have to be fit - physically fit, technically fit and mentally fit... We'll probably have three to four under-21 players in the side. I want to get four or five experienced players in as well'" reports NL News 24

    22 May 2010


    Right-back Ben Shawcross was the inaugural winner of the James Black Trophy for the Altrincham FC Youth Team Player of the Year. Ben is pictured receiving the magnificent bronze trophy from James's parents. James was a dedicated follower of Altrincham, home and away, until his untimely death last year at the age of 18. More pictures and news from the Youth Team awards night on Friday will appear on the website over the weekend. First-team boss Graham Heathcote and vice-chairman Grahame Rowley assisted with the awards to the players.

    A team picture of the Youth team with their league trophy is on the Youth Page. The other individual awards were:

    Players' Player of the Season.

  • 1st Michael Linney
  • 2nd Ben Shawcross
  • 3rd John Bennett

    Clubman of the Year

  • Dominic Bates


    Altrincham have arranged another pre-season game. It will be against League One club Tranmere Rovers who will send a side to Moss Lane on Friday, 30th July at 7.45pm. If you purchase an Altrincham FC season ticket you will get free entry to the home friendlies in pre-season; details here


    From NL Daily we learn that "A major piece of the new Chester FC jigsaw fell into place when the club unveiled its first manager. Neil Young, who has an impressive recent track record at non-League level, has been chosen... The highly-rated young boss has quit his job at Colwyn Bay to take over at the Deva Stadium, where he will be assisted by Chester-born former Tranmere Rovers player Gary Jones... Young has been involved in management since the age of 24, after injury ended his playing career early. He had spells with Queen’s Park, Poulton Victoria, Cammell Laird and Rhyl, where he was assistant to John Hulse". Bay were promoted to the UniBond Premier this summer.


    Altrincham FC chairman Geoff Goodwin's son, Jay (left), continues to make great strides against more senior opposition in his karting career. Motorsport journalist, Russell Atkins, writes that "Highly-rated young Sale-based karting star Jay Goodwin, ably proved himself as one of the very best in Britain with a brilliant performance to take a podium finish and battle for victory on both days in the second meeting of 2010 in the Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone-backed Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship at Whilton Mill." Picture courtesy of Chris Walker/


    The Football Conference says that "Dean Holdsworth, manager of Newport County, has signed his first new players of the close season. Woking midfielder Guiseppe Sole has put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal along with Forest Green Rovers' defender Oliver Thorne...

    Holdsworth confirmed that defenders Chris Todd and Jamie Collins have agreed to stay... but Paul Cochlin has joined neighbours Neath".

    Dean's brother is the boss at Field Mill where "Former Blackburn Rovers coach Duncan Russell has been appointed as David Holdsworth's new assistant... First-team coach Gareth Holmes will now take up a new role within the club... [Russell] coached some of England's top players in recent times including Matt Le Tissier and Paul Gascoigne".

    Blue Square Football reports that "Promoted Oxford United have confirmed the capture of Peterborough winger Alfie Potter and York full-back Ben Purkiss. Potter joins Chris Wilder's side for an undisclosed fee after penning a two-year deal, while Purkiss has also put pen-to-paper on a two-year contract".

    BS Football also confirms that "Wrexham have signed Aldershot defender Chris Blackburn and have put an offer on the table for Chester left back Neil Ashton. 27-year-old Blackburn has signed a two-year-deal while Ashton has been offered a rolling month-by-month contract. Blackburn told the Daily Post: 'I know the division, Dean Saunders is somebody who I respect, and I want to come to Wrexham and be successful. I'm taking a bit of a gamble but I hope I can do well here'... Wes Baynes and Johnny Hunt have also committed themselves to the club but Saunders is still waiting on Ashley Westwood and Gareth Taylor to sign new deals".

    With their club seemingly reprieved from relegation, the Gazetteer reports that "Former Stroud MP David Drew is the new non-executive chairman at Forest Green Rovers. Forest Green fan Drew, 58, will replace Trevor Horsley who will remain on the board elected at last night’s AGM at the New Lawn. The new board will include secretary Colin Peake, Ken Boulton, Mike Bullingham, Mark Coles, Glenn Hurley, Jamie Ponting, Rob Walker and Tom Williams".

    Meanwhile, "Dave Hockaday, manager of Forest Green Rovers, has told midfielder Mike Fowler he will get a new contract, despite confusion which division the club will be playing in next season. Fowler, 28, broke his ankle in the club’s final pre-season friendly after signing from Salisbury City last summer... Fowler had a corrective operation on his posterior tendon a fortnight ago after making just two appearances for Rovers during an aborted March comeback".

    Forest Green Rovers themselves report that "An Employment Tribunal claim for Unfair Dismissal and Breach of Contract brought by Jim Harvey (former Manager) against Forest Green Rovers Football Club (the “Club) has been settled ahead of the tribunal listed for hearing on 17th and 18th May 2010. The claim related to the dismissal of Mr Harvey prior to the commencement of the 2009/2010 season.

    The Club, without admission of liability, has agreed a settlement with Mr Harvey. The settlement includes payment to Mr Harvey of compensation, the issue of this joint press release and an agreed reference. Both parties regret the events of last summer, especially given the Club’s recent relegation from the Blue Square Premier League, and the Club regrets any unintentional damage to Mr Harvey’s reputation as a result of his dismissal... The Club wishes to place on public record its thanks to Mr Harvey for the style of attractive football he brought to match days at the New Lawn... Full details of the settlement are to remain private and confidential".

    21 May 2010


    Today, Friday 21st May, is the date for the Altrincham FC Youth team presentations. Having won the NW Youth Alliance Premier Division title and narrowly lost in the Open Cup Final, it has been another successful season for the team, managed by George Heslop with the help of Tony Spilsbury, Gareth Thomas and Jason Linney.

    Everyone is welcome in the Noel White Suite at 7.30pm for 8pm. The awards will include the new James Black trophy for the Youth Player of the Year. George advises that this is a magnificent trophy and a fitting memorial to James, a young Alty supporter who died suddenly last year.


    Kevin Ellison scored on Wednesday to help Rotherham United qualify for the League Two promotion play-off at Wembley.


    Forest Green Rovers state that "Following the statement made by Salisbury City FC, Forest Green Rovers decline to make any comment on the speculation with respect of retaining its membership of the Blue Square Premier League. Matters are subject to sub judice and rest solely with The Football Association".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "It has been reported in the Daily Mirror that Rushden & Diamonds player, Paul Terry, has been having an affair with a team-mate's fiancee. Paul is the elder brother of Chelsea and England footballer John Terry and his fling mirrors that of John's alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel, ex-girlfriend of the star's England colleague Wayne Bridge...

    Paul, 31, has been linked with Lindsey Cowan, the 25-year-old fiancee of Rushden & Diamonds keeper Dale Roberts. Lindsey admitted the affair when a suspicious Dale confronted her at their home in Higham Ferrers. Heartbroken Dale, 24, said yesterday: 'It's true, she told me she'd been seeing Paul. We've split up. I'm trying to get my head around it all, it's only just happened. I'm a bit messed up. It is bad enough she's done it at all but the fact that it is with him, one of my team-mates, makes it that much harder to bear'.

    The revelation has also stunned players and staff at the Conference side and it has plunged Rushden & Diamonds into crisis, with players calling for divorced Paul, 31, to be sacked. Dale is refusing to play alongside Paul next season – just as Bridge refused to line up with John for England. It is believed Paul got to know secretary Lindsey after Dale let him stay the night at their home last year when he was injured.

    Dale's angry dad George, 62, said: 'Paul is just like his brother John in my eyes. Dale has been with Lindsey since school. They say every family has a black sheep – the Terrys must have a flock'".

    From NL Daily we learn that "Ben Austin and Jamie Taylor have both re-signed for the 2010/11 season with Eastbourne Borough... Austin has made in excess of 400 appearances for Boro in his ten seasons at Priory Lane. Taylor has in contrast just completed his 1st season at Priory Lane after joining in the 2008/09 close season from Grays Athletic".

    Also "Oxford United have signed former Luton Town midfielder Asa Hall on a two-year deal, while releasing four players. Hall, 23, scored five goals in thirty-three Blue Square Premier appearances this season before being released last week. Meanwhile, United have let go veteran goalkeeper Billy Turley, defender Kevin Sandwith, experienced midfielder Chris Hargreaves and striker Francis Green. [Ex-Alty man] Lewis Chalmers (right) and John Grant have returned to parent club Aldershot Town, while Jamie Cook is transfer-listed".

    A Conference National club two seasons ago, "Farsley Celtic will drop three leagues into the KoolSport Northern Counties East League Premier Division next season but president John Palmer hopes the club can win back their Blue Square North status in the next few years. The Celts had hoped to be accepted into the UniBond League following their expulsion from Blue Square North last term for entering administration and subsequently being disbanded.

    Instead, Farsley have dropped three rungs into the NCE for failing to fulfil their fixtures last term, while Northwich Victoria have been granted a place in the UniBond Premier for playing their games" reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.

    According to This is Bath, "Adie Britton has given Bath City's promotion heroes the chance to prove they are good enough to play in the Blue Square Bet Premier next season. The manager released Marcus Browning and Richard Evans this week but has offered terms to the rest of the squad... However, six of those players have been offered non-contract terms, with Britton saying they will need to show they are able to make the step up to the top flight of non-league football.

    'I think the lads who have got us promoted, many of whom have been here for four or five years, deserve the chance to prove their worth in the Conference', Britton explained. 'But at the end of the day, they don't know whether they are good enough and I don't know whether they are good enough so we cannot afford to retain them on a contract basis yet. If I used our resources to sign every player from last season I don't think we would be strong enough to stay up and that is our sole aim for next year. If we stay up it would be an even greater achievement than winning promotion but to give ourselves a chance we need to strengthen the squad'.

    Adam Connolly, Sido Jombati, Mark Badman, Scott Bartlett and Sekani Simpson have already agreed contracts for the 2010-11 season and the remaining players have been told they must decide whether they are staying on by this weekend. Britton... [has been] given the go-ahead by the board to increase his squad to around 19 players...

    Said Britton, 'We probably had the lowest budget of any team to get promoted to the Conference in the past ten years. We have gone up on nothing but there is no way we can stay up on nothing... 'The most important thing is the preservation of Bath City so the players are going to have to come on our terms and on our money. We must also preserve our team spirit as well. We did not have the best players last season but we had the best team ethic and I want to keep that. The players who come in must really want to play for Bath City. I do not want journeymen who just want to play in the Conference, I want to see hunger'...

    Britton... admitted he would probably still be shopping around the lower leagues. 'If you look at the average wage of players in the Blue Square Bet Premier last season, we are a long way away from being able to afford that', he said".

    The BSBP league seems split between those throwing money at promotion and those competing to claim the greatest degree of adversity. In the latter camp are Crawley Town where "Assistant manager Paul Raynor... is helping manager Steve Evans as he attempts to build a squad that is capable of improving on last season's outstanding seventh place finish. However that will be no easy task given that Darlington, Grimsby Town, Fleetwood, Southport and Newport County have all publicly announced they have big team budgets in place for the new season. When you further consider there is still the likes Luton Town, York City, Rushden & Diamonds, Wrexham, Wimbledon, Mansfield Town, Barrow, Kidderminster Harriers and Kettering Town all expected to fight for promotion it shows clearly the task that the Reds management team face.

    Paul was speaking minutes after welcoming the Reds first new signing of the summer, Michel Kuipers to Crawley Town. He said, 'The Gaffer and myself are trying to recruit a squad of players that can improve on what we achieved last season, that is a huge ask given the big team budgets a number of managers in The Blue Square Premier have been given... We will not overspend, that is not an option open to us... Our team budget, set by owner Bruce Winfield, is in the bottom three team budgets in The Blue Square Premier according to Bruce and he would know. Last season's budget was confirmed as being in the bottom four budget table and we finished just outside the playoffs so it is possible to be successful without big monies'".

    Also at the lower end of the budget spectrum are Tamworth as the Birmingham Mail reports that the Lambs "will have to use the priceless value of team spirit and loyalty rather than pay rises to keep their squad together. Lambs' boss Gary Mills and his assistant Darron Gee have been told they will face a small cut in budget for next season...

    Mills and Gee accept their players, who enjoyed an excellent first season in non-league’s top tier, will be targeted by other clubs but they will offer their squad the best deal they can... Said Gee, 'There will be no bartering. The offer we make to each player is the best we can afford. If some other club makes them a fantastic offer then we will shake hands and wish them all the best. But I hope they will see the other things they have enjoyed this season – the team spirit, the way we play the game and hopefully they will feel a bit of loyalty'".

    This is Nottingham says that "Mansfield Town chairman Andy Perry insists he is right to dig his heels in over Jake Speight's contract – despite the striker's transfer request. Last season's top scorer with 17 goals is unhappy that no fresh contract has been negotiated...And if nothing changes, that means the player will not be paid between the end of the season and the start of July...

    Said Perry, 'Jake is a player that came from Droylsden who had not been fit the previous season. With that in mind he signed a year's contract with a year option that was in the club's favour because it reflected the work the gaffer (David Holdsworth) and the club would be investing in him. Jake scored some goals but then got injured and we paid £2,000 for his op, so we have shown faith in him.... I think players have to realise where we as clubs are coming from. From a purely business point of view... We want him to be happy here and to do that, we may have to give him a few more quid'...

    He said: 'I can understand the fans' frustrations to a degree that we aren't signing people when more than ten players have left the club. But we are looking to trim the squad and we have not been left threadbare. There are, of course, areas of which we are mindful, including a left-back... Good business tells us not to pay people until July 1 when contracts start...

    People may call me egotistical, but you have to put the club and the town first', he said... 'I would step aside if someone came forward and it was for the best of the club'".

    Meanhwile "David Holdsworth is backing chairman Andy Perry's decision to bring Westlife to Field Mill. The Stags are due to host the hit Irish band on Saturday, August 21 – when the new season will have already kicked off... The club have written to the FA to request an away fixture on that day. A big concern, should it rain, is the potential damage to the pitch...

    'Of course the pitch is a concern, but I trust the chairman's judgement on this one', said Holdsworth".

    As ever Bullsnews can be relied upon for interesting insights into lower Football league developments. As Blue Square managers strive for the promised land of League Football they might bear in mind that "The League Managers' Association says the average manager now lasts just 1.4 years - the lowest ever figure. Managers now last an average of 511 days in their jobs, down by 25 days on last season. In League Two the average boss lasted less than a season with both Notts County and Darlington having three different permanent managers through the season. 51 of the 92 clubs in the top four divisions changed their boss during the 2009/10 season, 36 of those managers were dismissed including 12 first-time bosses". Meanwhile, Alty boss Graham Heathcote has been a BSBP manager for a continuous period longer than anyone else in the division with five seasons at that level behind him.

    At Wrexham, "the Dragons boss wasted little time in getting an agreement out of Aldershot Town defender Chris Blackburn to join the club for the next two seasons... The Northwich-born centre back has been pretty much of a regular for the Shots since they returned to The Football League two years ago. There was more good news for Wrexham fans with winger Wes Baynes on the verge of settling terms over a new one-year deal".

    Southport report that "Liam Watson expects to complete the signing of striker Tony Gray in the next few hours[from Droylsden]. The former Port favourite has completed negotiations with Liam Watson and is due to Haig Avenue to finalise the paper work with secretary Ken Hilton. Gray spoke to Fleetwood earlier this week but decided to return to his former club and rejoin another ex-Droylsden striker, Steve Daly".

    At Luton Town "The season has barely finished and the World Cup is still over three weeks away but the Hatters have secured yet another signature... Goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington, who featured 11 times for the Town whilst on-loan from Notts County last season, has signed a one year deal with the Club. The 36-year-old former Manchester United stopper made his debut between the sticks for the Hatters in a 2-0 victory at Grays Athletic... before he returned to parent club Notts County where he ended up receiving a Championship winners' medal following the Magpies' League 2 title success".

    They sacked him a year ago but Histon report that "The directors of Histon FC are pleased to announce that John Beck has been appointed as First Team Manager. John was prevously Assistant to Steve Fallon during a highly successful period at the club... John returns to the club with a vision to build a team which combines experienced players alongside young scholars".

    Nearby, Cambridge News confirmes that "Cambridge United are pleased to announce defender Brian Saah has signed a two year contract with the Club".

    20 May 2010


    Altrincham FC are pleased to announce that Chris Denham has signed on for another season at Moss Lane. Despite an injury-affected season, Chris ended the 2009-10 campaign as Alty's second-leading scorer and he netted some memorable goals in his total of 11 from 29 league starts.


    Just two days after Forest Green Rovers issued a press release confirming they would play in BS South next season, it is reported that Salisbury City have been demoted from the Conference, thereby reprieving the Gloucestershire club for next season in the Blue Square Bet Premier. Salisbury, like Northwich, were required to pay their creditors in full by the second Saturday in May and, it seems, have failed to satisfy the Conference that this has happened.

    Salisbury City have now issued a statement, which includes the following:

    The issue is that of Appendix E in the Football Conference rules, which states that any club which suffers an insolvency event during the course of a season must pay all creditors in full by the second Saturday in May. According to the rules failure to pay all creditors in full would mean that the club would not be eligible for inclusion in the league for the next season and the FA would need to place the club in an alternative league.

    The Directors have worked ceaselessly to find a solution that would keep Salisbury City where we deserve to be on merit, which is in the Conference Premier. Part of this solution was to construct a CVA that met the requirements of the Conference for the amended Appendix E which is likely to be adopted at the forthcoming AGM on 12th June. In effect the club will be fully compliant with the new rules in just over 3 weeks time and in those circumstances would be eligible for inclusion in the Blue Square Bet competition.

    Over the last month in particular the Directors have worked with the Conference, to find a solution that would bring a satisfactory conclusion to this issue. Unfortunately the club have now concluded that it will not be possible to satisfy their requirements and have accordingly advised the Conference of this.

    As a result the Club has now been informed that despite all our achievements and efforts we will not be eligible to play in the Conference in the coming 2010/11 season. Naturally we feel a great sense of injustice that having complied with every request from the Conference, the fans, all the employees, the management and players will be made to suffer.

    The Club will now continue to consult with its legal advisors, as to the best way forward"


    By Brian Flynn, joint Press Officer...

    "Altrincham Football Club have been able to support two local charities through a community initiative run by The Football Association. Almost forty per cent of the matchday income from the FA Community Shield match, played last August, between Chelsea and Manchester United was set aside for charities and Altrincham F.C. applied for and were allocated £2,000 which has been split equally between The Christie Hospital and The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust.

    The Christie Hospital is the leading cancer care hospital in the country, whilst the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust is a small charity that receives no statutory funding. They provide special holidays for special children - the terminally ill, sick, disabled and disadvantaged children from the North West.

    Each charity was presented with a cheque at the Robins’ last home game of the season against Cambridge United".

    Above: Altrincham F.C. Vice Chairman, Grahame Rowley, presents £1,000 cheques to Stephen Anderson from The Christie Hospital and Julie Gray and her son Jordon from The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust. (Photos by Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography).


    Altrincham Football Club are pleased to announce that Carole Nash Insurance have agreed to renew their Sponsorship of the Football Club.

    Carole Nash Insurance are the UK's favourite motorcycle insurance specialists and one of the UK's top 40 brokers with over 230,000 policyholders. The company are the most used motorcycle insurance specialist in the UK & Ireland, a major player in the classic car insurance sector and also provide a range of added-value private car, van household and travel policies. Altrincham FC are proud to be associated with a market leading company and look forward to many more years of working together.

    All the club's existing Sponsors as well as new potential sponsors are being contacted over the coming weeks as we strive to build our relatonship with local companies at our community club. More news to follow shortly...


    A report on Alty Youth's narrow defeat in the NWYA Open Cup Final is in the Youth section.


    Backpass magazine has an interview with Graham Heathcote. It is available in most W.H. Smith shops, leading Tesco stores and many independent shops. You can also buy it via the website at the above link.


    The Altrincham v Manchester United XI friendly game on Tuesday 3rd August is now a 7.45pm kick off and not at 7.30pm as originally announced.


    If you book a holiday with Thomas Cook through the Alty Holiday Club, you not only get a quality journey and accommodation at a great price but you earn important sponsorship funds for Altrincham FC. Grahame Rowley reports that the scheme "So far has raised a four figure sum for the Football Club - so not only are people getting a discount on their holiday costs by mentioning the scheme but they are also helping out the Football Club - a win-win situation". Click on the logo, which is also permanently at the top of this web page, to make your booking.


    According to the Chorley Citizen "New manager Garry Flitcroft... said he would be linking up again with former Manchester City team-mate Mike Quigley, who rejoins him as assistant manager after a successful season together with Leigh Genesis. Quigley, who also played for Hull City, Wrexham, Altrincham and Northwich Victoria, has a wealth of footballing experience and a passion for the game".


    According to the Football Conference relegated "Forest Green Rovers are able to officially confirm that the club will next season participate in the Blue Square Bet South, [and] David Hockaday’s position as manager has now been finalised with a contract to the end of next season...

    The budget agreed, although greatly reduced from last season, will nevertheless allow the club to be in a position to be able to compete for the signatures of key players and so enable the squad to be competitive. The budget does allow for the ability to have at least a third of the intended squad in a full-time capacity and other flexibility around other signings...

    We are also able to announce that negotiations are on-going with Hartpury College to retain their excellent facilities and to ensure that we also retain membership of the Football Combination to field a good quality reserve squad... The club were also very pleased, via its strong links with the Football Conference, to be able to supply the ball boys for the Blue Square Premier Promotion Final last Sunday at Wembley Stadium".

    From NL Daily we learn that "Grays Athletic, having finished bottom of the Blue Square Premier during a tumultuous season, are facing further heartbreak with a proposed relegation by a staggering four divisions.

    Having no longer being given use of the New Rec ground, the Blues had asked to be placed in the Ryman League. A groundshare with Tilbury and a place in its Premier Division had been the most likely outcome. That, however, appears to have been scuppered after the FA and the Ryman League announced its divisional set-up with no mention at all of Grays. Although no official announcement has yet been made, an FA spokesman confirmed: 'Grays have been placed in Step 5 and that will mean the Essex Senior League'".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "Kettering Town owner Imraan Ladak insists moving the football club to Rothwell Town's ground was 'never an option'. He revealed to the Evening Telegraph that a proposed deal over the Cecil Street site has broken down – leaving him to focus fully on sorting out issues at the Poppies' Rockingham Road stadium.

    Mr Ladak believes he can bring Football League action to the current ground, even though Kettering are currently ineligible to compete in the Conference play-offs without a long-term lease. He said: 'We are not going ahead with the Rothwell Town opportunity for a number of reasons. We needed the whole site but part of it has already been bought by a company with a five-year option on the rest... We never wanted to play at Rothwell because there was a real danger, if the deal had progressed and we ultimately purchased the land, that the club would be relegated three divisions. Now the main focus remains on our current site and somehow we need to extend the lease, purchase the land from the current landlord or find somewhere else to play... Any chance of staying at Rockingham Road is going to be in the hands of the current landlord so we need to make sure there is an attractive option for him.

    Going to Rothwell was never an option but Kettering Town can't die as a football club – I won't let that happen. I want us to become a Football League club at Rockingham Road and if I didn't believe in that I wouldn't be spending money to take us forward'... Mr Ladak also confirmed that he rejected two offers for the Poppies in the final three months of last season because there was no solution for the stadium issue".

    "Histon defender Adam Tann is offered a new deal at the Glass World, but will hold back his decision until a new manager is named" says the BBC. "Interviews are currently taking place as the Stutes hunt for a successor to former boss Alan Lewer. Tann, 28, told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'I've been offered a new contract, but I want to see how the situation develops as regards the management set-up... I suppose we need a manager who is up for a challenge as considerable budget cuts have been made', he said".

    "Barrow midfielder Andy Bond is considering a move to Cumbrian neighbours Carlisle United, BBC Radio Cumbria reports. The 24 year-old is out-of-contract this summer after turning down the offer of a new deal at Holker Street. Barrow boss Dave Bayliss said: 'Carlisle are one of the clubs who want to sign him but there are other League One clubs who want him'".

    Mansfield Town's "Flying winger Adam Smith has turned down a contract offer with York City to sign a one year deal with us... He began his career at Chesterfield in 2002, where he made over 70 appearances".

    And "Mansfield Town have offered a new and improved deal to striker Jake Speight. Speight, 24, ended last season as the club's leading scorer with 17 goals - despite starting only 17 matches. The Stags had already exercised an option to extend his current contract by a year but have now offered Speight a longer deal on better terms, manager David Holdsworth told BBC Radio Nottingham".

    Meanwhile, the Football Conference announces that "Stevenage Borough’s Mark Roberts has won the Blue Square Premier player of the month award for April and the end of season play-offs...Salisbury City boss Tommy Widdrington has won the Blue Square Premier manager of the month award for April and the end of season play-offs".

    At Crawley Town "manager Steve Evans is delighted to have landed his first new signing for next season and they do not come any better. Following ten outstanding years as number 1 goalkeeper at Sussex rivals Brighton & Hove Albion, Michel Kuipers has completed a medical and put pen to paper on a full time one year contract to be at The Broadfield Stadium next season. At Albion, Michel has won Championship medals for League 1 and League 2 and was again outstanding as they won promotion to The Championship via the playoffs.

    Michel has vast experience and has made almost 300 competitive first team Football League and Cup appearances... 'This is my first new signing for the season and there will obviously be a few more signings to follow. We have to be very careful with our recruitment, the numbers need to balance... He is settled in the area and it will take him about fifteen minutes in the morning to get here, that has also been a factor in his decision I would have thought'".

    No longer in the Conference but Alty fans will be interested to know that at Torquay United, "After the substantial losses made in the financial year to June 2009 the Club will make a substantial loss for the financial year ending June 2010. This loss is in the region of £600,000.

    In the circumstances the Club needs to take urgent action to reduce its overheads as it is operating well beyond its financial means. As part of the review of overheads the Club has concluded that it is no longer viable to retain the services of a Chief Executive. Accordingly, the Club have decided to give notice to terminate his employment. Having given notice the Club feels it would be best for all parties concerned that the Chief Executive be placed on gardening leave during his notice period. The Club are appreciative of all the hard work of the Chief Executive over the last 3 years and his contribution to establishing the Club back in the Football League. This was a very difficult and regrettable decision but inevitable given the substantial losses incurred by the Club over the last two years". Colin Lee is the unnamed Chief Executive.

    From Luton Town we read that "Striker Kevin Gallen became the second player in the space of two days to commit his future to the Hatters after agreeing a one-year contract...

    Richard Money has bolstered his defence further with the capture of Daniel Gleeson from Cambridge United. The 25-year-old defender has signed a two-year deal at Kenilworth Road".

    News of an ex-opponent of Alty at Burton Albion comes from Bullsnews which informs us that "Crewe have confirmed the sales of John Brayford and James Bailey to Derby for an initial fee of just over £1million. The pair also have additional clauses and a 15% sell-on deal... Boss Dario Gradi won't be splashing huge amounts of cash this summer, saying the club needs £600-700,000 a season in transfer profits to break even. Burton will receive some of the Brayford fee as part of the 20% sell-on clause they hold".

    Meanwhile, Blue Square Football tells us that "Cambridge United look set to lose Danny Crow to Luton Town after all, with a medical scheduled for Tuesday afternoon... U's manager Martin Ling told Cambridge News: 'I had a message from Greg (Reid, physio, Monday, 17 May) that Luton were asking for Crowy's medical records, so I'm guessing he's going there today (Tuesday, 18 May). I still expected him to go last week, but it definitely looks like a done deal now unless he fails the medical'.

    On finding a replacement, Ling added: 'They don't drop off trees, but Chris Holroyd went and we weren't worse off for it because Danny stepped up to the plate... Although he had a good second half of the season, for the 18 months before that the jury would have been out on him... I won't be losing any sleep over it. If I thought it was down to me or the club doing something wrong, I'd have a look at it, but the fact is we can't go to a level of funds that clubs like Luton have'".

    But, "Ling says he has enough money left in his budget to buy at least one more player, this after snapping up Kettering's James Jennings. The 22-year-old defender came at a price as he is under 24 - meaning he is bound by certain transfer restrictions as per League regulations - coupled with the fact that Kettering offered him a new deal. Jennings signed a two-year deal at Abbey Stadium with U's boss Ling telling Cambridge News: 'Kettering offered him a re-engagement for next year because he's a quality player, but he decided to join us. He has only been there for one year, so it will only be a nominal fee whichever way you look at it'....

    Kettering are currently unable to earn promotion as they do not have a 10-year lease on their Rockingham Road ground".

    "Kidderminster Harriers have announced the capture of vastly-experienced former Shrewsbury and Stockport midfielder Keith Briggs on a two-year deal. Twenty-eight-year-old Briggs has more than 150 Football League appearances across his career and also has a wealth of non-League experience under his belt following spells at Mansfield Town and Stalybridge Celtic. He began his career with Stockport in 1995... Briggs dropped into the non-League game with Stalybridge, where under the guidance of one Steve Burr, he was the driving force behind their campaign to reach the Blue Square South {?North] play-offs in 2008/09...

    He said: 'When I left Stalybridge last season I was aware that I did not want to be signing players from there for Kidderminster that would leave them in jeopardy. I never had intentions of taking anyone because I only wanted them to do well and push on towards the play-offs, though unfortunately that didn't come to fruition for them... Keith made his intentions clear in saying that he would be leaving the club, and obviously I then discussed him coming to Kidderminster".

    Ex-Alty man "Matty McNeil intends to make the most of a move to Southport after dropping down from the Football League. The 33-year-old has been clubless since January after being released by League One Stockport County and signed up for the new season to get back to playing the game. McNeil rejected an offer from Altrincham with his preference to sign for manager Liam Watson, who he knows well from their time together at Runcorn. He has now signed a one-year-deal with the Sandgrounders but will be allowed to talk to any potential suitors if a bigger club comes calling.

    McNeil told the Southport Visiter: 'It has come to a stage in my career, I'm 34 in July, where I just want to concentrate on playing the game I love... I want to concentrate on playing at a decent level and must put the pro game to the back of my mind. Liam had me at Runcorn and have always found him quite relaxed, easy to get on with and not a shouter. That I get on with him was a big reason for me signing for the club.

    I did have another offer from Altrincham, with similar terms and money, and though I already know Graham Heathcote and they are closer to my home, I liked the fact that certain players have followed Liam around the levels from their time at Runcorn. I'm still good friends with Tony McMillan... I'm going to bring experience, a lot of power and all round play".

    Blue Square Football also reports that "Liam Enver-Marum is close to securing a deal with AFC Bournemouth after being released by Eastbourne Borough... Enver-Marum admits he would have like to have stayed at the club, but is now looking forward to the challenge of playing in League One....

    He told the Argus: 'Bournemouth contacted me at the end of the season and asked when my contract was up and then invited me down to train with them for a couple of weeks to see whether I fitted in. It went really well down there and I was quite confident I would get something when I was let go by Borough. If I hadn't had something else lined up I would have been disappointed as I would have liked to stay. I loved my time at Eastbourne and there is no doubt that dropping down into part-time football helped me focus better on what I want to do. It made me realise how much I want to be a professional footballer and also gave me time to analyse my game and work out how I could improve'".

    The Football Conference says that "Eastbourne Borough have announced that Paul Armstrong will not be at Priory Lane for the 2010/11 season. Armstrong has recovered fully from his thigh injury and is available for a full pre-season training programme but, in a difficult decision, the club have decided not to offer him a contract for the forthcoming season. Armstrong joined The Sports in June 2006 and throughout his 182 games, scoring thirty-three goals".

    At Stevenage Borough "Chairman Phil Wallace has announced that the club will start its new life in the Football League as Stevenage Football Club, dropping the word ‘Borough’ from its name from 1st June. He also said that the club had officially adopted the nickname of ‘The Boro’ after discussions with the Supporters' Association.

    'The club was originally founded in 1894 as Stevenage Football Club and it seems fitting that we should start our new life in the Football League with the original name that started a football club in Stevenage so long ago', Wallace said. 'Strangely enough, when the present club was reformed in 1976 it was as Stevenage Football Club and it was six months later that the word Borough was added to reflect the support given to the club by the local council at the time. Looking to the future, the directors do not believe the connotation of the word Borough in the name should be carried into the Football League. It’s served us well as a non-league club in the climb up the non-league pyramid and we shall always be ‘The Boro’ in recognition of our roots, but now it’s time to look to the future. The club has to change, the stadium has to change and we have to do things better in every department so that we can prosper in the League, not just try to survive.

    Getting out of the Blue Square Premier and into the Football League is the hardest step of all, now we have to make sure we kick on from here. Dropping the word Borough and rebranding, by taking the name of the town, just as Barnet, Watford, Fulham, Chelsea and many others have is the right thing for the future. The alternatives of ‘Town’, ‘Athletic’ and ‘United’ all have their problems so, bearing in mind our roots, simply being Stevenage Football Club that started it all off just seems right.

    Recently our Supporters' Association asked fans to suggest a nickname for the club. That doesn’t need thinking about really - the obvious choice is ‘The Boro’. It has a place in our history so let’s use it in our songs, our match programme and our conversations, just as we’ve done for the last 34 years'".

    "A professional approach is the only option going forward. That’s the opinion of the Grimsby Town board as they prepare for a first season in non-league football for 100 years" reports Sport Grimsby. "Chairman John Fenty was quick to come out and announce plans for the future of the Mariners and confirm the club would remain professional and work with a budget in line with that of a league club next season... The chairman said: 'We have talked to clubs who have gone down at board level and equally so we have talked to clubs in the Football League like Northampton who have pulled out of the Reserves league... We decided that we wanted to remain in that competition. It’s healthy for the youth and the progression of the youth into the first team...

    We are providing a competitive budget on the playing side... We’d prefer not to be in this division but the facts are, that’s where we are... I think we have an exciting future'...

    Vice-chairman Mike Parker agreed... 'We’ve met people from clubs in League Two who have been in the Conference... There are clubs in the Conference that are part-time but generally they are not the ones who are successful. Some say it can help going down but I don’t agree. I don’t see it as a blessing in disguise. I don’t want us to be where we are. The reality is that all of our decisions this summer would have been taken even if we had remained in League Two. It’s a strategy to move the club forward, not a response to being in a lower league. I’d much rather we were in League Two as opposed to where we are'".

    At York City "City Manager Martin Foyle has moved quickly to secure the signatures of eleven of his playing squad in preparation for next season and the following players are already contracted to the club for 2010/11.

    James Meredith, David McGurk, Daniel Parslow, Michael Gash, Andy McWilliams, Alex Lawless, Neil Barrett, Michael Rankine, Richard Brodie, Michael Ingham and Chris Carruthers. In addition the Manager is in ongoing talks with Djoumin Sangare, Adam Smith and Goalkeeping Coach, Simon Miotto. Offers of new contracts have been made to Ben Purkiss, Levi Mackin & Luke Graham. 2nd year Scholars Dean Lisles and Jamie Hopcutt have been offered short term professional deals with City.

    The following players have been released and the Manager and everyone associated with the club would like to thank them for their services and help in getting City to the Promotion Play-Off Final. Richard Pacquette, Josh Mimms, Jamie Clarke, Kevin Gall, Alan O'Hare, Simon Russell and Craig Nelthorpe... Loan players Paul Harsley (Chesterfield) and Courtney Pitt (Cambridge) will return to their respective clubs".

    From the BBC we learn that "Barrow striker Lee McEvilly says regaining his fitness during the pre-season is a priority if he is to remain at Holker Street in 2010-11. McEvilly, 28... admitted his future is by no means certain at Barrow. McEvilly told BBC Radio Cumbria: 'I need to lose a stone and a half and then fingers crossed people might see the new Lee McEvilly'".

    "Luton Town captain George Pilkington has signed a two-year contract extension to keep him at the club until the summer of 2012" says the BBC.

    19 May 2010


    Chris Senior has written the following Open Letter to Altrincham FC.

    "I'd like to take this opportunity to thank every single person connected with Altrincham F.C for their fantastic support over the past three and a half seasons.

    My decision to leave was not an easy one and the phone call to Graham to explain my decision was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. The club is managed fantastically and I support the board with their stance on how they run a football club.

    The chance for me to return to full time football was too good an opportunity for me to turn down and I hope that my decision is understood and respected.

    I made some great friends at Alty, not just players but supporters, and I plan to return to Moss Lane as many times as possible to watch. Hopefully when I return as a player you'll give me the awful reception I expect you to give to every opposing player next year!

    Good luck for 2010/11, except for when we meet, and keep up the great support of the boys!



    Altrincham FC Youth's attempt to add the NWYA Open Cup to their Premier Division league title failed at the last hurdle when a 119th-minute goal from Salford City allowed the home side to win 3-2 after extra time. Glodi Kuba Kuba in the first half and Ryan Marsden in the second half levelled the scores for Alty after City had twice taken the lead. Report to follow.

    Above, (left) Alty's Andy Gamble receives his Man of the Match award. After the game Alty also received the league trophy, and captain John Bennett is seen with his medal.


    John Edwards, Alty's joint press Officer, writes:

    "Graham Heathcote has moved to reassure worried Altrincham fans by securing the services of crowd favourite Nicky Clee for another year and claiming his squad could be stronger than ever by the start of next season. The Alty manager would not be drawn on rumours of interest from York City in defender Greg Young but admitted losing top scorer Chris Senior to Darlington was a setback.

    He refused to be downcast, though, as he appealed for patience from supporters and explained why he believes Alty are well placed to bring in reinforcements who could make them even more of a force to be reckoned with next season. Work has already begun on filling the gaps up front, following the departures of Senior and Colin Little, though it may be another month or two before the diligence of Heathcote and his assistant Ken McKenna brings its rewards.

    'There won't be signings straightaway, so it is important we are all patient,' said Heathcote. 'People forget our players are only paid for the duration of the season, so you can't very well expect someone to sign now and sit around getting nothing for the next couple of months. But I am confident there will be new recruits, and very hopeful they will be of a good enough quality to make us even stronger next season. I have been looking at availability and talking to players who have been freed, and I am very encouraged by the calibre of those up for grabs.

    'I can understand supporters being concerned by Chris Senior leaving, and some of the rumours flying around, but it is just a case of playing a waiting game and enhancing what we've already got with two or three additions from what is going to be a long and interesting list of players looking for clubs. Losing Chrissie was a blow, and something we didn't expect. I addressed the players before the Cambridge game and asked to be informed if anyone was thinking of leaving. No one said a word. I then spoke to them individually, and there was a verbal agreement from Chrissie that he was staying.

    'I've no qualms about his decision, though. Darlington came along and put a full-time contract in front of him, and the least anyone would do in that situation is consider it. He is getting married in June and has a mortgage to pay like the rest of us, so it was hardly rocket science, working out which way that one would go. Greg Young is at the end of a two-year contract and at liberty to talk to anyone he wishes to, as applies to most of them. All I will say is I won't sit around and wait for any player to use this club as some sort of back-up. If I need to bring in replacements, I will crack on with that - and there are plenty out there, don't worry.

    'Believe me, there is a lot to be optimistic about. I have just been over to see Nicky Clee and signed him up for another year, and Robbie Williams and James Smith are both under contract for another year. That's on top of a positive feedback from a lot of the other lads. I have already started talking to players who are on free transfers. They are not going to commit themselves now, admittedly. They are going to consider their options over the next few weeks, but the outlook is bright.

    'For a start, we are not looking for a whole new team. We already have a settled squad, lads who have played together a year or two, some longer. That will be a massive plus for us, because we know the division and what it is all about, as opposed to some who think they do but may be heading for a shock. The league is going to be even harder next season, but I firmly believe we are an attractive package for a lot of players. We are a smashing, well-run club in the top level of non-League football, and when players start looking at their situation and ours, I think they might realise Moss Lane is the ideal venue for them.

    'I have spoken to some quality strikers who are being released by Football League clubs, and, though they want to weigh up all their options, they have shown interest in us. That is why I am confident about the outcome of this summer's endeavours. We may have to be patient and play a waiting game, but there have even been some ex-League players saying they are interested in going part-time next season.

    'There may well be some players who don't get fixed up at all, because clubs are cutting their cloth according to their circumstances. That tells you there should be plenty to choose from, and you can rest assured Ken and I will have our fingers on the pulse throughout the close-season and do our utmost to bring the best we can to Moss Lane.'

    Heathcote vowed to develop Clee's flourishing wing play even more next season and revealed how he brought Darlington into line over their approach for Senior. 'I just had to put them straight on how things should be done,' he said. 'They seemed to forget he was our player, and, as such, there was a certain protocol to follow. Prior to June 1st, he couldn't be considered a completely free agent, and that is something we made them aware of. I wasn't looking for an apology, or anything like that. I just felt it was important to make them realise we are no Mickey Mouse outfit. Having made the point, hopefully it won't happen again.

    'Last season was Nicky's first at this level, and he did very well. There is no reason now why he can't really push on and show a better level of consistency next season. That must be the aim'".

    18 May 2010


    Alty fans will be pleased to hear that Nicky Clee has signed for another year at Moss Lane after a very successful first season at Altrincham.


    The Chester Chronicle says that the phoenix club "Chester FC can expect to kick-off next season in the Vodkat League. The Chronicle has learned the FA contacted officials from the league, otherwise known as the North West Counties, to advise them to accept the resurrected club into their competition. It means the Blues could be playing against the likes of St Helens Town and Runcorn Linnets if they are placed in the Premier Division. City Fans United, the owners of Chester FC, were hoping to start a step higher in the UniBond [Evo-Stik] League".

    The NL Daily reports that "The FA National Leagues Committee has confirmed that Rossendale United have been relegated from the UniBond League Division One North and that they will play in the Vodkat League Premier Division next season. However, there are still issues outstanding in relation to other clubs being allocated to the league for next season, including the acceptance of the newly-formed Chester FC" and "The newly-named Evo-Stik Premier Division includes Northwich Victoria, who have been told they are not eligible for the Blue Square Bet North for 2010/11".


    The Cambridge News reports from Histon, where "Allen Soraff believes Histon must re-engage with the local community in order to boost their dwindling attendances.Some Stutes supporters became disenchanted with the club in the second half of the season following manager Steve Fallon's sacking by former chairman Tony Roach. Fans were also dismayed by the approach taken by Roach, who axed experienced players Neil Andrews, Jamie Barker, John Kennedy and Craig Pope in an attempt to slash the wage bill and replaced Fallon with Alan Lewer.

    The crowd at the Glass World Stadium only exceeded 750 three times since the turn of the year, and the chief executive is keen to get fans and local businesses back on side... Said Soraff 'We're coming up with ideas to work our way back in with the local community, much like Gareth Baldwin (Roach's predecessor as chairman) did before. We need to learn from the mistakes that have been made and make sure we don't make them again. Season ticket sales have been going reasonably well and we're hopefully looking at an average Histon crowd of around 550 to 600. That's the base figure and that can go up or down depending on who you're playing against'...

    Soraff and his fellow directors are currently searching for a new manager and chairman, with the chief executive telling the News last week he plans to have them in place by the end of the month... Said Soraff, 'We'll be looking to get in the play-offs and people might say that's wishful thinking, but if you don't have the will to win then there's no point competing. Every team in the Blue Square Premier will go into the season aiming to get in the play-offs, but four of those teams will have to get relegated'".

    The Football Conference has published the "Proposed Blue Square Bet Premier, North and South Line-Ups for 2010/11" which exclude Northwich Victoria but do include Salisbury City - both of whom were required to pay their creditors 100% by the secomnd Saturday in May.

    Blue Square Bet Premier line-up: AFC Wimbledon, Altrincham, Barrow, Bath City, Cambridge United, Crawley Town, Darlington, Eastbourne Borough, Fleetwood Town, Gateshead, Grimsby Town, Hayes & Yeading United, Histon, Kettering Town, Kidderminster Harriers, Luton Town, Mansfield Town, Newport County, Rushden & Diamonds, Salisbury City, Southport, Tamworth, Wrexham, York City

    The Blue Square Bet North: AFC Telford United, Alfreton Town, Blyth Spartans, Boston United, Corby Town, Droylsden, Eastwood Town, Gainsborough Trinity, Gloucester City, Guiseley, Harrogate Town, Hinckley United, Hyde United, Ilkeston Town, Nuneaton Town, Redditich United, Solihull Moors, Stafford Rangers, Stalybridge Celtic, Vauxhall Motors, Worcester City, Workington

    The Blue Square Bet South: Basingstoke Town, Bishop’s Stortford, Boreham Wood, Braintree Town, Bromley, Chelmsford City, Dartford, Dorchester Town, Dover Athletic, Eastleigh, Ebbsfleet United, Farnborough, Forest Green Rovers, Hampton & Richmond Borough, Havant & Waterlooville, Lewes, Maidenhead United, Staines Town, St Albans City, Thurrock United, Welling United, Woking"

    Blue Square Football says that "Cheltenham Town manager Mark Yates has made attacker Brian Smikle his first new signing of the summer. The 24-year-old winger follows Yates and first-team coach Neil Howarth to Whaddon Road from Kidderminster Harriers, having come through the ranks at West Brom...

    Howarth believes 'Over the past two seasons he has been as good as any player in the Blue Square Premier and a lot of clubs were interested in him so it's great that he has come to us. Junior had a couple of better financial offers on the table but has chosen to join us because he has worked with Mark and me before and he knows he will enjoy it'".

    At Kettering Town "The club are pleased to confirm that Lee Harper has been appointed as manager, following his caretaker role for the second half of last season. Returning to assist Lee and provide cover for the first team squad is our former Championship winning left back Tommy Jaszczun. In further good news, John Dempster and Sol Davis have put pen to paper on two year deals that will include a club option to extend the contract for a further twelve months.

    Dempster and Davis join Marcus Kelly, JP Marna (testimonial year), Patrick Nubissie, James Dance and Greg Taylor in committing to at least another year at the Poppies. Darren Wrack and Damien Spencer also have contracts for next season. The club are in talks with three more of last season’s squad along with several new players who are set to join shortly.

    Chairman Imraan Ladak said 'We are all really looking forward to next season and are genuinely excited with the squad being assembled. Lee had one hand tied behind his back last season in terms of budget and he deserves the full backing of the board for the forthcoming season – which is something he will get. We have enjoyed an incredible four seasons on the field and we will be doing everything we can to make Kettering an enjoyable and successful experience for all connected to the club next season. This is a tough division and I do not want to put too much pressure on Lee and Tommy in their first season together or raise expectations too far but I am confident we will have a good year'".

    Tamworth are introducing three-tier pricing, with Alty in the cheapest band, "Category C: Adults will pay £10 on the terraces and £12 in the stand. In this category are Altrincham, Bath City, Crawley Town, Eastbourne Borough, Gateshead, Hayes & Yeading, Histon and Sailsbury City. The highest band, Category A, costs £4 more and will be charged to the likes of AFC Wimbledon, Cambridge United, Grimsby Town, Luton Town, Mansfield Town, Newport County, Wrexham and York City".

    17 May 2010


    In Sunday's play-off final at Wembley, Oxford United defeated York City 3-1 to return to League Two.


    Altrincham F.C. Supporters, Neil Faulkner, Dan Martell, Alan Ainsley and Anthony Faulkner were running the BUPA Great Manchester Run on Sunday May 16th on behalf of The Children's Adventure Farm Trust. The Farm is a haven for hundreds of disabled and disadvantaged children and its aim is to provide special holidays for special children. Groups of children, between 4-14, and their carers, visit the Farm for a free weeklong holiday. You can sponsor 'The Alty 4' by going to:- Just Giving.

    Neil reports, "We all completed the run, Not sure on the exact times but Dan Martell and Anthony Faulkner completed the run in well under the hour and me and Alan Ainsley came in below our target at 1 hour 9 mins and 36 seconds. In fairness Alan could have kept up with the younger ones but I am not built for speed. We had a great time and we are pleased with the money raised. Just had the benefit of a massage from Alan, [Alty's assistant physio] which has loosened the muscles up. Thanks for everyone's support".

    Congratulations to Neil, Anthony, Alan and Dan for their efforts.


    The NL Paper reports that "Defiant Northwich Victoria have vowed to go all the way to the European Court of Arbitration for Sport to preserve their Blue Square North status... Northwich have failed to fulfil the revised financial rules... which say that all debts to creditors must be paid in full by the second Saturday in May. The Conference have told them they are not eligible for membership but Vics' chairman Jim Rushe has pledged to appeal to the FA and take the legal route".

    Reportedly, an e-mail was sent to Vics by the Conference, last Thursday, barring them from the league. Vics' director and lawyer, Howard Roberts, claims that "I believe the court will not hesitate to grant a declaration that the approved CVA represents payments to the creditors in full". In short Vics claim is that payment "in full" is the same as full payment of the reduced amount of the actual debt which was agreed by the CVA.

    Rushe "expects Vics to come out of administration this week when a 15-year lease on the Victoria Stadium is signed". Whilst unable to pay their creditors in full before the CVA, Rushe asserted "There isn't any amount of money that will frighten off this legal case". Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick said of Salisbury City, who are in the same predicament, "We've had positive information from Salisbury and we're very hopeful in that case. But we've not received any information from Northwich that they are compliant with our financial rules."


    According to the Uxbridge Gazette "Ram Marwa has launched a blistering attack on Hayes & Yeading United manager Garry Haylock after being shown the door at Church Road. He was one of 11 players told they can leave the Blue Square Premier part-timers last week, a decision which has angered the midfielder.

    Marwa has accused Haylock of being controlling and has questioned his judgement over the players he has retained and released. He also claims the club owe him goal bonus cash. The midfielder's scathing parting shots paint an unsettled behind-the-scenes picture at a club he says is determined to go full-time.

    'I was not really expecting it and am disappointed', said Marwa. ,The goals I scored secured the club seven vital points to keep them up. I thought I had done enough to have another shot next year, so I am not happy about it. He (Haylock) wants to make a lot of changes. He told me he wants to go full time and bring in younger players, but who knows if that is the truth? I think the club will struggle if it does go full time. I do not know where they are going to get the money from'.

    Marwa admits his relationship with no-nonsense Yorkshireman Haylock broke down mid-way through last season but thought his final flourish to the campaign, four goals in the last seven games, would have earned him a new deal. 'I think a few of us have been unfairly treated', added the former St Albans City play-maker... 'I do not really understand it as the players he kept on are defenders, players who made a lot of mistakes last season'".

    From NL News 24 we learn that "Manager Steve Evans has confirmed that Michael Malcolm, Lewis Killeen and Danny Forrest have left Crawley Town. All three players were offered terms for next season but have decided to move on for next season. Evans tells the club’s official website: 'Michael Malcolm was seen by us as a squad player for next season and his contract offer therefore had to reflect that. He decided he would seek a new contract elsewhere and we all wish him every success.

    [Ex-Halifax Town player] Lewis Killeen missed a lot of game time through injury and that was a little concern. However the lad can play but he feels he would like to move up north and join a part time club as he wants to look at a further education course. He is a smashing lad and is an asset for any club. Danny Forrest is a great kid, everyone loves him. It was never about terms with Danny, it was all about what he wants to do with his life. He is a northern lad and ideally wants to move back up near his hometown of Bradford. I have told him if he changes his mind he can come and have a chat with me, we all love the lad to bits.... The talks with last season’s squad are all over now and we can concentrate on building our squad for next season'".

    The manager confirmed he has a number of meetings scheduled with new prospective signings over the next ten days".

    At AFC Wimbledon we learn that "Even though the season is now over, everything at Kingsmeadow is as busy as ever... Terry Brown spent the first two weekdays after the season ended, speaking to players who were being released, before setting about discussing terms with retained players. By the end of that week, seven players had re-signed with three still in negotiation. All of the signed players have committed to AFC Wimbledon for two years.

    Since then, two more retained players have signed, with one of them, Kennedy Adjei, going on season-long loan to Sutton United... and, of course, Ryan Jackson signed just before the end of the season...

    Terry explained to all the players that we are looking to get into the Football League with them but we won’t stand in their way if a good offer comes in for them. He also explained that ‘a good offer’ does not mean a club in our league or, indeed, from most of the clubs in the two leagues directly above us.

    Christian Jolley’s signing, the first from an outside club, was announced yesterday... We moved quickly to finalise a deal, which involves a small fee to Kingstonian and a pre-season friendly where all the proceeds will be ours, unless they exceed an agreed level, when Ks will be entitled to a minority share of the surplus.

    All the players have been given exercise and weight training sheets, designed by fitness and conditioning coach Jason Moriarty, to keep them in shape during the summer break. In addition, on Thursday 13 May all the players came into the stadium for their fitness levels to be recorded and for Jason to make sure they all lift the weights correctly. Until pre-season training resumes, there will be seven Thursday sessions designed to keep tabs on player fitness, and every player is expected to be present at least three of the sessions, fitting them in around their holidays.

    As regards other signings, Terry Brown has had detailed discussions with a few targets and with one, a centre back with a top Conference club, we came close to agreement. In the end we were unwilling to match the terms that he was offered to stay put. Terry is not hurrying and, with some players still discovering that wage expectations need to be lowered in a recession, the club is not rushing into any deals".

    At promoted Bath City, "Adan Connolly, City's joint player of the year, and Sido Jombati... have both committed themselves to the club for the 2010-11 season. They join Mark Badman and Sekani Simpson in agreeing terms... Manager Adie Britton has already had talks with the board over his budget for the task of competing in a league containing a majority of full-time teams... One player who won't be pulling on a City shirt next season is goalkeeper Steve Perrin, after the 39-year old have announced his retirement from football. He made 42 appearances for the club in several spells, providing cover for Paul Evans and Ryan Robinson during the last three years".

    16 May 2010


    Altrincham FC Youth take on Salford City at their Moor Lane ground on Tuesday 18th May at 7.30pm in the NWYA Open Cup Final. Alty Youth have already won the NW Youth Alliance Premier Division league title and the trophy is expected to be awarded to Altrincham after this game.


    Altrincham F.C. Supporters, Neil Faulkner, Dan Martell, Alan Ainsley and Anthony Faulkner are running the BUPA Great Manchester Run on Sunday May 16th on behalf of The Children's Adventure Farm Trust, which is based at Millington in Cheshire. The Farm is a haven for hundreds of disabled and disadvantaged children and its aim is to provide special holidays for special children. Groups of children, between 4-14, and their carers, visit the Farm for a free weeklong holiday. You can sponsor 'The Alty 4' by going to:- Just Giving.

    Neil advises that so far pledges amount to more than £1,000 but more are always welcome.

    For further information about The Children's Adventure Farm Trust visit its website.


    Last weekend a 7-a-side tournament for local companies was held at Moss Lane and was mentioned on the Real radio station a few days earlier. Neil Faulkner informs the website that his company, Robinsons Preservation, lost in the final to Halliwells by a single goal. Neil adds "A special mention is due to Grahame Rowley and his team for organising such a great event, even Colin Little was down watching. He declined my last minute offer for him to play for Robinson's who had a small squad of 8 players (it should have been 10). Colin still had a tight hamstring so was unable to accept my offer".

    Neil provides some good news for the club when he writes that "I would like to announce that Robinson's will be renewing our sponsorship for the club this coming season and I urge other companies and individuals to pledge their support of the club. We need to keep all our existing group of sponsors and add more. With the appointment of the new commercial manager, Paul Broadley, this should help raise the club profile and help to increase Graham Heathcote's playing budget".


    Vice-chairman Grahame Rowley writes, "The 2009/10 season's highlights are now available on DVD priced at just £15. The DVDs Can be obtained from the club offices from 9am-5pm on weekdays or by e-mail and arranging payment to be sent to the club (£2 P&P)".

    Alternatively, TASC's Mike Ainsworth writes that the DVD can also be bought from the club's shop on Ebay.


    According to NL News 24 "Newport County’s players have arrived back safely after their excursion to Las Vegas. Boss Dean Holdsworth reports that the whole group had an excellent time, though having arrived back late on Tuesday evening, Holdsworth was up at 7am on Wednesday with only business on his mind.

    He spent the morning talking with agents, watching DVDs of player targets and continuing talks with his unsigned quartet of Charlie Henry, Jamie Collins, Paul Cochlin and Dave Gilroy. All players are still negotiating with the club, but no time frame has been put on a possible decision. One is understood to be likely to stay, two are pondering their options and one appears to be leaning towards an exit".

    From Cambridge News we learn that "Alan Lewer is threatening legal action against Histon after severing his ties with the club yesterday. The Stutes have been advertising for a new manager, but former Weymouth boss Lewer claims he is legally entitled to remain in charge. He said that earlier this year the board, led by then-chairman Tony Roach, guaranteed him the position of manager next year if the Stutes remained in the Blue Square Premier.

    But on Wednesday, chief executive Allen Soraff said Lewer would have to re-apply to stand any chance of continuing in the post. 'I won't be at Histon next season, I will definitely not be there', said Lewer. 'They've said I'm no longer manager'. Lewer is taking advice as to whether this constitutes constructive dismissal. He has contacted the League Managers' Association and will be pursuing claims for wages that he says he is still owed, as well as earnings he would have received as manager next season. 'I'm obviously not the man for the job, which is fair enough, that's their call, as long as I get the full compensation', he said.

    Adding to the confusion, Lewer said he was told by Soraff and director Angelo Dama to look for a house two weeks before the end of the season... 'From my point of view, to move up here with my wife, who has had cancer, was a big thing for her. To be treated like that is very poor'...

    Lewer said whoever does come in as first-team manager will face an uphill task. He said Histon's playing budget is likely to be just over £100,000 a year, far less than their Blue Square Premier rivals. 'I've been in the Conference a long time and the budget for most clubs is between £400,000 and £1.5 million', he said...

    Histon chief executive Allen Soraff said: 'We're going to talk to Alan early next week and see what the situation is. Until we've sat down and spoken to him, it's not for me to comment'".

    "Kingstonian winger Christian Jolley has completed a deal to sign for AFC Wimbledon for an undisclosed transfer fee" reports NL News 24.

    15 May 2010


    Darlington report that "Simon Davey has added another two players to his squad with a double signing this weekend. The Darlington boss has snapped up Trinidad and Tobago international goalkeeper Kelvin Jack, who was out of contract after finishing the season with League One Southend United.

    He's also signed experienced Conference striker Chris Senior, who scored 15 goals in 40 games for Altrincham in the Blue Square Premier last season. Both players have signed one-year deals... Senior has spent the last three-and-a-half seasons with Altrincham"...

    "Simon Davey is excited by his latest new recruits... Davey released 17 players earlier this week... Goalkeeper Kelvin Jack and striker Chris Senior are the fourth and fifth new signings for the Darlington boss - added to the 10 players he retained from last season... He hopes to have around 20 players by the time the squad return for training in early July...

    'It's important to have players who know the division (Conference) inside-out and we're getting a good mix of signings at the moment... Chris (Senior) is well experienced at playing in the Conference so he'll bring a lot to the squad. He's a quick, aggressive striker who likes to play off a big man. He scored 15 goals last season as a part-time player with Altrincham and he knows what it's all about, so he'll be coming to us as a full-time player and he also wants to make a go of it and to progress both as an individual and as part of a successful team. What's been the most pleasing about our new signings is how hungry they are all. It's one thing speaking to a player and listening to what they have to say. But it's what they say and how they say it and all the new boys have made it very clear that they're ambitious and they want to win promotion next season'".


    Altrincham FC groundsman Neil Brown (right) advises the website that the pitch at Moss Lane hosted 62 competitive matches last season for the club and for Manchester United Reserves, Cheshire Senior Cup etc. The pitch has now been Koro'ed, which apparently means that "bad grass"has been removed, and 100 tons of special soil and compost has been applied. The pitch has also been verti-drained and re-seeded so should be in even better condition next season.

    The pitch has also been levelled on the Popular side so that there is no drop between the touchline and the perimeter fencing.

    Neil produced one of the best surfaces in the BSP last season and deserves the thanks of players and supporters alike for all his hard work. He only underwent a hernia operation recently yet already Neil is working hard to lay the foundations for an excellent surface in 2010-11.


    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot now stands at £5,000, with the reserve jackpot at £3,800. Last week, saw two winners on Trebles, each gaining £100 each. Why not sign up, for just £1 a week, and have a chance of winning the jackpot?


    Anthony Wright, Membership Secretary of The Altrincham Supporters' Club writes:

    TASC Football Predictions Competition 2010

    After 10 weeks of intense competition, and a finish closer than that of any league this season, the winners of TASC's 2010 Football Predictions are now known. After an extremely tight finish which sees all the top three separated only by their number of 100% correct predictions, Ian Hunter has emerged as the top predictor this season, winning himself £19 in the process. Runner-up was Peter Wragg who, despite being the only entrant to score 0 points in a week (sorry Peter!!), can console himself with £14.25 in prize money. David Martin takes third place and £9.50 in prize money, and Bryan Ford finished in the 'AGM Cup' postion and wins his £5 stake back.

    All the winners will be contacted in the next couple of days to sort out payment. Many thanks to all those who particpated. Please keep your eye out for a World Cup version of the Predictions Competition which will appear on the website and forum in the next couple of days.".

    TASC World Cup 2010 Predictions Competition

    Following on from the success of the Football Predictions which ended last week TASC are running a World Cup 2010 Predictions Competition.

    Entry into the competition costs £5, and entry forms can be obtained either by downloading here, or by e-mailing Anthony Wright, who will send one out to you. Closing date for entries is June 10th; however entries will be accepted after this date, but any entries received after this date will not earn points for games that have taken place prior to receipt of your entry.

    The rules are simple; predict the results of the 48 Group stage games of the 2010 World Cup, and earn points based on your predictions. Points are earned based on your predictions as follows:

  • 'Home' goals tally correct = 1 point
  • 'Away' goals tally correct = 1 point

    If your predictions of both the home and and away tallies are correct (100% correct prediction) = 1 point

    The prize breakdown will be as follows:

  • Winner 20%
  • Runner Up 15%
  • Third Place 10%
  • Stake Back Position £5
  • Remainder to TASC

    If entrants finish level on points, the number of 100% correct predictions will decide who finishes higher".


    The Football Conference says that "Rushden & Diamonds have announced that defender Jamie Stuart has signed to remain at Nene Park for another season. Defender Simon Downer has also been offered a contract and is in talks with the club. So as things stand the squad list for the 2010/11 Blue Square Bet Premier campaign is as follows:

    Confirmed for next season are Dale Roberts, Joe Day, Curtis Osano, Michael Corcoran, Jamie Stuart, Aynsley McDonald, Neil Cousins, Lee Tomlin, Sam Smith, Craig Farrell and Nabil Shariff.

    The following have been offered contracts and talks are in progress - Simon Downer, Kurt Robinson, Shane Huke, Max Porter, Mark Byrne, Paul Terry and Aaron O’Connor".

    Meanwhile, "Midfield pair Matt Smart and Simon Johnson have both signed on for the 2010/11 season at Eastbourne Borough".

    From Blue Square Football we learn that "Kidderminster Harriers boss Steve Burr is hoping to sell Robbie Matthews in order to raise cash to by an as yet unnamed striker... It is believed that the player is currently plying his trade in the Football League - but Burr denied it was former loan signing James Lawrie. Matthews, who scored eight goals since signing from Salisbury in August, has a a year left on his current contract but was transfer listed last week".

    BSF also reports that "Mansfield Town chairman Andy Perry says manager David Holdsworth will have a big enough budget to challenge for the play-offs next season... Perry told this is Mansfield Town: 'The budget will be no different to last season, but it does not always work out that teams with the biggest budgets do best. You get a good idea what other teams can pay because you know what players are asking. I think we will be in the top eight budgets next season, which gives us a good chance of being in the play-offs'".

    The BBC says that "An advertisement in the Financial Times offering an 'unnamed Blue Square Football League club' for sale has been revealed as Forest Green Rovers. A club source confirmed to BBC Radio Gloucestershire the advert relates to Rovers, but would not comment further.

    The small advert describes Forest Green as 'more than just a successful club with a prestigious history'. Rovers were relegated from the Blue Square Premier on goal difference after 12 years among the non-league elite. The club had set a target of raising £250,000 through a share issue by the end of June following the extent of its financial problems becoming public and money raised so far has enabled it to pay tax bills.

    Officials have previously talked about the club being bought in an outright sale as an ideal solution to its problems... Other options being investigated include investment from potential new shareholder, directors or the club being taken over by someone with a controlling interest".

    "Alan Lewer has said he is legally entitled to remain manager of Histon. The club claim Lewer's contract ran out at the end of the season and have advertised his position while encouraging him to reapply. But the former Weymouth boss told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'I won't be applying for my position because legally I know I'm still in a job here. I was told that if I kept the club in the Blue Square Premier I would have another year to go'...

    He took charge of first team affairs after Fallon was sacked in January, but managed just three league wins in 22 matches. 'I'm not applying for a job I'm already in. They asked me if I was applying for the job and I told them I would not be', he said".

    South London Today says that "AFC Wimbledon have re-signed Kennedy Adjei on a two-year deal – but have immediately loaned him out to Sutton United. The central midfielder endured a series of injury problems during the Dons’ first campaign in the Blue Square Premier but manager Terry Brown was keen to keep him because he has impressed when available. Adjei will return to Kingsmeadow in 12 months with Brown hoping he will have proved he can overcome his injury troubles".

    14 May 2010


    Graham Heathcote has just announced that Chris Senior has left the club, having accepted an offer of full-time football from Darlington.

    Huddersfield-born Chris (28) joined Alty on loan in the latter part of 2006-7 season from Halifax Town before signing for Alty when released by the Shaymen in summer 2007. He made his Alty debut, at Woking, on 20 January 2007. After a scoring burst in late 2007, he was suspended for three games and found the going tougher on his return but still maintained a good scoring ratio per games played. In 2008-09 he again varied between starting games and being on the bench but, having secured a regular run of starts, he suffered a hamstring injury on 10 March and was sidelined for the rest of the season. When not playing for Alty, Chris was latterly employed in the physio team at Sheffield United.

    He became a qualified masseur whilst playing for Altrincham. After a bright start to 2009-10. He was sidelined by ankle ligament damage suffered at Kidderminster on 29 August 2009 but returned ten days later before picking up a three-match suspension in October. He went on to become the club's leading scorer in 09-10, a campaign in which he made more starts (45) than in any other season at Moss Lane. Chris was named Blue Square Player of the Month for February 2010.

    In all Chris made 114 starts and 31 sub appearances for Altrincham, and scored 42 goals. He will be greatly missed at Moss Lane but all at the club will thank him for his service and wish him well for the future.


    Two more home pre-season friendlies have been arranged by Altrincham FC, both of which are against clubs who are in the Premiership. The new fixtures are:
  • Tuesday, 3rd August at 7.30pm v a Manchester United XI
  • Tuesday, 10th August at 7.30pm v a Wigan Athletic XI

    The full list of the six friendlies arranged, to date, is here. More pre-season fixtures will be arranged over the summer.

    Don't forget that you can get free entry to all the pre-season friendlies at Moss Lane. Details of season-ticket prices and how to get yours are here.


    Altrincham FC manager has confirmed that Anthony Danylyk has re-signed for next season, whilst both James Smith and Robbie Williams remain contracted for next season. A number of other players are currently considering offers from the Club but the manager will not allow any such situations to drift on for too long. Graham also confirmed that, before his signing for Southport this week, former Altrincham striker Matty McNeil, had held discussions with him.

    The close season is a very busy one for the management and all supporters will wish Graham well in the often complex task of assembling his squad for next season.


    The 2010-11 season starts on Saturday 14th August and ends on 30 April 2011, with fixtures being released in early July.

    "Striker Graeme Armstrong has left Gateshead after three years at the Blue Square Premier club to concentrate on his teaching career while continuing to play part-time football" reports the Football Conference. "The popular 26-year-old scored some important goals for Gateshead - a total of forty-eight in 144 games - after signing for a £5,000 fee from Northern League neighbours Dunston Federation. However, while the other players offered full-time contracts have accepted the switch to professional status Armstrong has been unable to do so.

    Said Gateshead boss Ian Bogie, 'He is a player who has been pivotal to our success over the last three years'...

    'If I had been in my early 20s it might have been different but I'll be 27 when the new season gets underway' said Armstrong. 'It wasn't an easy decision to leave but I had to let the head rule the heart... I still want to play at the highest level on a part-time basis and we'll have to wait and see who my next club will be'".

    News of an Alty old boy comes from NL Daily which says that "FA Trophy winners Barrow have released winger Carlos Logan, striker Luke Powell and defender Gareth Jelleyman after their contracts expired. Logan, 24, who has made seventy-eight league appearances for the side, ends a two-year association at the club having played his part in the run to Wembley...

    'We felt over the length of the season, in a season's worth of games, we didn't get enough out of Carlos', Bayliss said. 'Even though he was fantastic on Saturday, we had to look at the bigger picture. Gareth Jelleyman was a hard decision, but with the form of Paul Edwards, we couldn't keep both of them financially'. Bayliss also revealed that teenage striker Luke Powell was in the club's plans, but has been uncontactable and thus leaves the club without a new deal in place.

    Meanwhile, contract offers have been issued to Andy Bond, Paul Jones, Paul Edwards, Paul Rutherford, James Owen and goalkeepers Stuart Tomlinson and Tim Deasy. Bond in particular has been linked with a move away from the Furness peninsula following his form this season but Bayliss is confident the club can cope regardless of the decision. 'He's like the other ten we've got to play every Saturday, he's a jigsaw piece but he's not the complete puzzle', he added... Phil Bolland, Jason Walker, Robin Hulbert, Mike Pearson, Simon Spender, Nick Chadwick, Gregg Blundell and Mark Boyd are all signed up until 2011".

    At Grimsby Town they record that "Town's involvement in the FA Cup is likely to kick-off in October, and the FA Trophy campaign will probably get under way in December. The last time the Mariners had to qualify for the FA Cup was in 1911, a 3-2 defeat at Lincoln City. The FA Trophy final will take place at Wembley in May."

    "Danny Crow insists he has not ruled out the possibility of staying with Cambridge United" claims the Cambridge News. "It had been understood United's top scorer was on his way to Luton in a double deal with Dan Gleeson, who is now expected to be unveiled by the Hatters by the end of the week. But Crow told the News he had still not made up his mind over his future, having also had talks with League clubs - thought to include Colchester and Leyton Orient - as well as Luton.

    And the 24-year-old striker said he was still considering signing the two-year deal put in front of him by Martin Ling. Crow said: 'All the speculation that I've signed for Luton isn't true... It will take me a bit more time to make a decision. But I like Cambridge because it's a big club and I'm happy there... There's always a possibility I may stay... I'm speaking to my agent'".

    THe Independent reports that "Forest Green attack FA after corruption investigation is quietly closed. The vice-chairman of a football club tarnished by match-fixing suspicions for the past year has launched a blistering attack on the Football Association and the Gambling Commission for their 'inept' handling of the case.

    Colin Peake, vice-chairman at Forest Green Rovers, has told The Independent it is a 'total disgrace' that the Commission has now closed its investigation, apparently without interviewing anybody involved. The game was Rovers' match in the Blue Square Premier against Grays Athletic on 26 April 2009. Betting was suspended after 'unusual' bets, at odds of 22-1 or more, that Rovers would lead at half-time but lose. That happened and bookmakers said the betting was the strangest they had ever seen: up to £50,000 was in bets (or attempted bets) by hundreds of individuals in an attempted £1m sting.

    Alan Alger, the spokesman for Blue Square, sponsors of the division, and bookmakers, said at the time the betting looked 'extremely dodgy'. Alger went further on a Radio 5 documentary to make the declaration that he believed the game had been fixed. With the Commission closing the case, bookmakers must pay out, and industry sources say there is 'disgust' and 'alarm' at the outcome.

    Peake's frustration is twofold. He cannot understand how his club has been under suspicion for a year with no updates on the case. As a former policeman with 26 years' experience in the CID, he is also "flabbergasted" that nobody at either club involved has been questioned by any investigatory body, to his knowledge.

    'We're very unhappy', Peake said. 'How the hell can you investigate alleged match-fixing and nobody from the club ever gets interviewed? You go and rattle a few cages'. The Independent has been told the Commission was presented by bookmakers with 'clear, irrefutable evidence' that bets were placed by individuals linked to the match, in some cases by residents at players' addresses. The Independent has also been told by an informed source that the Commission looked solely at whether it could prosecute anyone for the offence of 'cheating' as defined by Section 42 of the Gambling Act 2005. Commission sources say it is impossible to link an individual bet to a specific incident that "fixed" the game – as would be necessary to use the Act".

    According to NL Daily "Justin Edinburgh, manager of Rushden & Diamonds, wants five new signings to strengthen his squad...

    Edinburgh has already revealed 'I'm trying to keep the nucleus here to push us forward... I've also spoken to a couple of Football League clubs about the possibility of signing players on loan because that certainly served us well at times last season without using up the budget... I've very confident in keeping the [current] players because they know this club and how I like to do things... I'd like to bring in two forwards plus an out-and-out winger so we don't become predictable with the formation. We also need a left-footed defender and an attacking midfielder who can get double figures. I've already got my eyes on one of those from a lower level who I think can adapt and progress. We will look for a mix of youth and experience'".

    Sport Grimsby tells locals "Why life can be very Sweet in the Conference. Can relegation to non-league football ever be a good thing? Luton Town's managing director Gary Sweet certainly thinks so...

    The club's MD, Gary Sweet, speaking before that disappointment, said: "I would suggest that this season has been a wonderful experience. 'Our squad now is better now than it was 12 months ago and is costing us around 40 per cent less. "Conference clubs generally do very well once they get promoted and having knocked out Rochdale and Rotherham in the FA Cup this season, and being beaten only narrowly 1-0 at Southampton, it's proof that the delta[?]is minimal'...

    However... 'There was a significant shortfall in terms of Football League central funding and youth funding, which approached £300K', Sweet confirmed. 'Additionally, we budgeted aggressive losses in sponsorship, executive memberships and season ticket holders whilst reducing prices. So financially, you have to cut your cloth accordingly. Paying salaries expecting to get promoted is a very high risk strategy and with only one guaranteed promotion spot, it could see any club playing this game rooted at this level for some time if it doesn't pay-off'.

    While the number of away fans visiting Kenilworth Road has been around a third of what Luton saw in League Two, average attendances at the ground were up ten per cent last season, to more than 7,000, and season ticket sales improved by 30 per cent to 4,400. This loyalty from the home fan base has been a godsend from a financial point of view, but has brought its own challenges.

    Sweet said: 'Make no mistake, the quality of football seen in the Conference bears little resemblance to what you may expect. I would go as far as to say that if the top two-thirds of the Conference is exchanged for the bottom two thirds of League Two, we certainly wouldn't notice a difference. Firmly accept where you are from the outset, accept that football won't necessarily be pretty and have patience. The Conference is a very professional set-up and still an enjoyable place to be, but accept that you may there for a while looking at the examples of Cambridge, Oxford, Mansfield, York, Wrexham and ourselves'".

    Luton will be renewing acquaintance with a former League opponent in Southport next season. The Sandgrounders "have completed the signing of ex-Stockport County and Macclesfield [and Altrincham] player Matty McNeil. McNeil 6' 5" can play at Centre Half, Centre Midfield or Centre Forward. Liam Watson said signing Matty is another piece in the jigsaw. Steve Daly has also signed a new two year contract".

    The local paper, the Southport Visiter adds that "The experienced frontman has penned a one-year contract with the Sandgrounders having been released by Stockport County earlier this season. Thirty-three-year-old McNeil reunites with manager Liam Watson after the pair worked together at Runcorn".

    13 May 2010


    Joint Press Officer, John Edwards, introduces Altrincham FC's new Commercial Manager...

    "Altrincham have taken a positive step forward in their campaign to drum up support from local businesses by appointing a commercial manager who will 'go knocking on doors.'

    Eager to adopt a proactive stance, after manager Graham Heathcote's plea last week to the entire community to help generate urgently-needed funds during the summer months, Moss Lane chiefs have sent out a statement of intent by recruiting Sale resident Paul Broadley.

    'It would be nice to get more local businesses involved with the club, and Paul will be doing his utmost to make that happen,' said vice-chairman Grahame Rowley. 'He recently retired, after specialising in sales for the RAC, but soon realised sitting around doing nothing was not for him.

    He wanted a new challenge and jumped at the chance of joining us and getting out and about to promote the club. He is the type who will go knocking on doors and speaking to people face-to-face, rather than sitting back and hoping word of mouth gets round that we are interested in forging links.

    I firmly believe there are a lot of people out there who might not come forward unprompted but will get involved, if approached. It is about being proactive. Paul is certainly that. He will take the club to businesses and companies in the area, rather than waiting and hoping it might work the other way round. He will take the bull by the horns, and that is what we need, because there is great potential out there.

    Only the other day, one of our partners, Bubble 'n Squeak, who provide party balloons, told me how amazed they were at how their business had taken off since coming on board with us.

    Paul will try and drive home the message that it can be a two-way thing, with real benefits in return for sponsorship. The good thing is, he has agreed to work on a commission only basis, so it cannot have an adverse effect on budgets.

    Naming rights for the stadium would be the dream sponsorship, but we would never forget we are a family club who have been built on small bricks, rather than large ones. Any concern of any size would be most welcome, and they can be sure we would go out of our way to promote them in return.'


    Steve Foster announces the latest winners of the Friends of Altrincham FC monthly draw, They were:-
  • 1st: No. 16, Daniel Eadie (£100)
  • 2nd: No. 72, Barry Pond (£35)
  • 3rd: No. 89, Paul Salt (£15)

    For details of the Friends and other important ways in which you can help raise funds for Altrincham FC over the summer months, please visit the Social Events and Fundraising page.


    Pictured right by Colin Mitchell, is a scene from last Saturday's Altrincham FC End of Season Dinner and Ball. Here, manager and compere, Graham Heathcote oversees Isabel and Stan Riley as they open an envelope in the course of a game based on TV's "Deal or No Deal". Stan and Isabel have loyally followed Alty home and away for many years.


    Local comedian Frank Sidebottom, who has featured Altrincham FC in his songs and TV programmes. On Twitter, he writes "After all the hospital tests of scans, and x-rays and cameras down me etc etc ,... yes, I've got cancer !!! But don't worry, I'm not going anywhere just yet, I'm looking forward to another 25 years in fantastic semi-professional show-bizness first! So I've got a few weeks off from live shows now to have a couple of op's and get shut!!!" Altrincham supporters will wish him well.


    At Luton Town, "The Hatters can confirm a number of dynamic changes to the Kenilworth Road coaching staff... Alan Neilson, assistant manager to Richard Money last season, has taken up a brand new role as First Team Development Manager. Alan's infectious enthusiasm allied with forward-thinking coaching techniques have impressed everyone at the club and his new position will allow him to have a greater impact on the transition of young players into the first team as well as developing and scouting young talent.

    Current chief scout and former Cambridge United manager Gary Brabin has taken on the role of Assistant Manager. The Blue Square Premier Manager of the Year in 2009 will continue to oversee the scouting of senior players and opposition for the first team, while his know-how of sports science, fitness and nutrition programmes will also be utilised throughout all levels of the Club.

    Under Richard Money, Gary and Alan will share the responsibility of first team coaching and day-to-day duties in the dressing room... Last season's first team coach Kevin Watson, however, has left Kenilworth Road... Town managing director, Gary Sweet said: 'Whilst we felt we learned a lot from our first season in the Blue Square Premier we are keen to ensure that we leave nothing to chance next season and these changes reflect our desire to improve'".

    According to the BBC "Experienced midfielder Dean Keates has agreed to join Wrexham on a two-year contract. Keates joined relegated League One side Wycombe Wanderers in January until the end of the season, having been released by Peterborough United in December. Keates, 31, was recommended by ex-Wrexham player Darren Ferguson...

    Since making his professional debut in 1996, Keates has won promotion six times with three different clubs - Walsall, Hull City and Peterborough... Saunders told the Wrexham website. 'He is aggressive, is a good character and a good professional, which is what I want at the club. At 31 he is experienced enough and not too old'".

    Grimsby Town confirm "that three players have been released by the club and seven have been placed on the transfer list. Leigh Overton, Matthew Bird and Jammal Shahin have all been released... The following players are under contract with the club but have all been told that they can leave and will be placed on the transfer list; Chris Jones, Adam Proudlock, Nick Hegarty, Adrian Forbes, Paul Linwood, Nathan Jarman and Peter Sweeney. YTs Mark Gray (1 year), Tom Corner (1 year) and Nathan Dixon (6 months) have all been offered professional contracts. The club are also talking to other members of this season's squad".

    Still at Grimsby a press conference was held this week at which the Chairman stated:

    "Grimsby Town Football Club are hoping to return to the Football League at the earliest opportunity... Our business plan is predicated on maintaining a full time, and professional football club, which arises[?] a substantial investment required from the board of directors.

    The central objectives are:

  • Endorsement and support by the board for my reappointment as Chairman...
  • Endorsement and reappointment of Neil Woods as manager
  • To provide a competitive playing budget

    To complete the root and branch changes to the football structure to include:

  • A. Building upon technologies recently acquired, Prozone, heart monitors and fitness equipment.
  • B. The appointment of a Nutritionals and Sport Therapist
  • C. Extended duties, Goalkeeping Coach to provide, conditioning coaching
  • D. Investment in training facilities at the club's training ground...

    Simply our objective is to return to the Football League at the first opportunity".

    From NL News 24 we learn that "Histon could retain the services of Lanre Oyebanjo and Joe Welch next season. Both players are out of contract and had been tipped to leave... But their representative Sean Blom revealed Welch is very keen to stay with the Stutes, while Oyebanjo would look to remain at the club if he decides to start a university course in the autumn, is reporting...

    Said Blom [of Oyebanjo], "He’s done his A-levels, and if he goes to university then he’ll need part-time football, which is what Histon can offer him. With Joe, we’re just waiting to see what’s happening manager-wise. He doesn’t want to sign up and find he’s out of favour again. But he’s been offered a new contract and he’s very keen to sign it. He wants to fight for the No 1 jersey".


    The Northwich Guardian reports that "Jim Rushe is bullish despite the reality facing Northwich Victoria. The club’s owner received a letter, twice, this week from the Football Conference that made clear a repeat of a battle fought last summer is likely. At stake is Vics’ future in the competition, again.

    'Can we be punished twice?' he said. 'If the league gets its way and we are kicked out, then that jeopardises the club’s future'. The Conference cannot apply another ten-points penalty – Vics’ sanction for entering administration last May – so has called on Appendix E in its rules book instead.

    It says: ‘…A club will not be eligible for membership of the competition for the following season if it shall have entered into an Insolvency Event during the preceding season and exited such Insolvency Event without paying its creditors (including but not limited to football creditors) in full'.’

    Vics’ future could depend on a court’s interpretation of those words. 'Nowhere does it say a full payment is 100p in every pound', added Rushe. 'Before Christmas the tax man, and all of our other non-football creditors, accepted our offer of a 42p dividend [in every pound] but if we are not playing in the Conference then the club is worth less'.

    He proposes a new firm, Northwich Victoria Football Club (2007) Ltd, buys the old one and takes on the responsibility of paying off the remaining debts in monthly instalments over a fixed period. He feels a fall in crowd numbers, plus loss of income through marketing and sponsorship, makes Vics a less enticing proposition if they are relegated to the UniBond League. He is right".

    The Conference's Colin Peake said “'Clubs know that by the second Saturday in May they have to pay their creditors in full'... Which is why Rushe, in tandem with administrator Gary Pettit, is considering whether to ask a judge instead this time around. Pettit said this week: 'The disagreement is over a legal point... A CVA is a legally binding contract that allows the parties to compromise on how much of a debt will be paid. Creditors are still paid in full [i.e. the 'full' reduced amount agreed in the CVA]. It seems that is not the Conference’s interpretation of its rules'...

    Pettit also revealed the company that pays the players’ wages, Northwich Victoria Football Club (2004) Ltd, will exit administration before the weekend... Meanwhile Vics and their stadium remain separate. Perhaps uncertainty would be eased should Northwich Victoria Developments – set up by Rushe in March last year – complete a deal to buy the club’s ground".

    12 May 2010


    Don't believe everything you read in the media. No less an authority than the BBC reports that "Detectives trying to find out why a 61-year-old grandfather was shot in the eye while gardening in Manchester say the case remains "a real mystery". Peter Hesford was admitted to hospital last month after being hit by the bullet outside his Chorlton home. He was thought to have suffered a stroke but a CT scan later revealed an object lodged in his brain...

    He was found by his partner, Marie Fuller, 50, who was inside their home when she heard a noise... Mr Hesford, who is secretary of Altrincham Football Club and has three grandsons, has no memory of what happened". Oh, no he is not. The Club Secretary at Moss Lane is Mr Derek Wilshaw who, we are pleased to report, is in rude health and doesn't live in Chorlton either. BSBP NEWS The BBC says that "Luton Town are in talks to sign Danny Crow and Dan Gleeson from rivals Cambridge United... U's assistant manager Paul Carden [brother of Alty's Adam] told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'We expect there to be interest'".

    At Rushden & Diamonds, "Manager Justin Edinburgh and the staff at Rushden & Diamonds have been hard at work securing players under contract for the 2010/11 Blue Square Bet Premier campaign...

    The following players are confirmed as staying:

  • Still Under Contract; Dale Roberts, Lee Tomlin and Sam Smith will stay at Rushden & Diamonds next season under their existing contracts.
  • Options Undertaken: Curtis Osano, Craig Farrell, Joe Day and Michael Corcoran will remain at the club, with options on their contracts undertaken for next season.
  • Others staying: Youth Team players Aynsley McDonald and Nabil Shariff have signed pro-contracts to become first team squad members for next season. Neil Cousins will stay with Rushden & Diamonds to continue his rehabilitation following injury...

    Jamie Stuart, Aaron O'Connor, Shane Huke, Paul Terry and Mark Byrne have all been offered contracts for next season, also Kurt Robinson and Max Porter have been offered a re-engagement of their contracts for next season...

  • Rob Wolleaston, Nick McNamara, Jamie McGuinness, Matt Pattison and Lewis Hilliard have all been released, with Jake Beecroft also leaving by mutual consent. Loanees Wes Thomas, Cliff Akurang and Jefferson Louis have all returned to their parent clubs".

    At Crawley Town "Reds' defender Glenn Wilson has met with manager Steve Evans and immediately signed a one year contract extension... Nick Jordan, Sam Rents, Eddie Hutchinson and Charlie Ademeno [are] all contracted for next season".

    Relegated Ebbsfleet United report that "Fleet fans and MyFC members have raised almost £10,000 already in this close season via the new Adopt A Player scheme... As budget realities continue to bite at Stonebridge Road, Fleet fans have pooled together to pay players' wages for the forthcoming season. Fans can now ensure that their favourite players remain in a Fleet shirt by signing up to one of Adopt A Player's three levels of membership (bronze, silver, gold).

    The individual investor chooses the position they would like to sponsor, forming a bond with the team and making sure their contributions are transparent and accountable. Investors sign up for an Adopt a Player certificate, which is good for two seasons. There are three levels of fee - £40, £80, £120, to buy into the certificate. After that there is a small recurring payment of £5, £10 and £15 per month, corresponding with the initial investment amount, during the first year. In year two there are no fees to be paid!".

    A manager returning to his former club is evidenced at Kidderminster Harriers where manager "The gaffer has revealed exclusively that Harriers are one of many clubs, including those in the Football League, who are in the chase for the signature of influential Stalybridge Celtic midfielder Keith Briggs. Briggs was Captain under Burr when they were both at Celtic... Burr has also confirmed that he is in talks with an unnamed striker who has recently been released from a Football League club...

    Also, Burr has signed "England C International defender Lee Vaughan from AFC Telford. The highly-rated 23 year-old has agreed a two-year deal here at Aggborough... Vaughan, a former Walsall man, has established himself as one of the most consistent defenders in the non-league game whilst at Telford during a four-year stay. Comfortable at right back and further forward, he was instrumental in the club winning promotion to the Blue Square North".

    A curious official statement from Oxford United states that "Oxford United can confirm that midfielder Adam Chapman was involved in a serious road accident last summer, 2009. The case has been adjourned until 4th June and no further comment will be made at this stage due to the ongoing legal proceedings". This cryptically alludes to a case reported by the Oxford Mail which says that "Oxford United player Adam Chapman has pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. Chapman, of... Retford, in Nottinghamshire, admitted the offence at Nottingham Crown Court. The charge relates to a collision on the A620 in May last year. Chapman, 20, was bailed to be sentenced on June 4".

    After Histon, Gateshead and Hayes and Yeading all reported that they would be full-time next season despite having low home gates, the Blackpool Gazette reports that newcomers Fleetwood Town are joining their ranks too. "Fleetwood Town manager Micky Mellon was understandably elated at clinching promotion. The shrewd Scot insisted: 'It is what we have deserved – and we think that we have won it twice!... But we are a gutsy team'...

    Mellon said preparations were already in place to try to cope with the demands of playing Blue Square Premier soccer next season, one quantum leap from the Football League itself. The Fleetwood boss said: 'We have already spoken of some targets with a view to bringing in new players. We have to sit down with the players and get them all to play full-time... We made sure when we recruited that they were all young or players who could perform at a higher level'".

    The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "Grimsby Town may be set to announce sweeping changes as they prepare for life in the Blue Square Premier. Club chairman John Fenty and his board were locked in talks for more than three hours yesterday with a wide-ranging agenda. And a press conference is to be given at Blundell Park [onWednesday] at 9.30am by Mr Fenty and newest director Mike Parker.

    The Telegraph understands changes at both managerial and directorial level, as well as financial matters, were discussed in depth... Mr Fenty appeared to stand by his manager in the immediate moments after the club's 99-year stint in the Football League ended on Saturday with a 3-0 defeat at Burton. But he went on: 'It's not through funding we are in this position, it's through the appointment of managers and players.Ultimately they've not been good enough. We choose the manager and the manager chooses the players. In between them, we weren't good enough. But I'm the man at the top, the board makes decisions and I take the responsibility'.

    He also said: 'Neil's shown that he is a capable manager. He rejuvenated what was Mike Newell's team'. Woods has expressed his desire to stay as manager'... Mr Fenty, who has put around £2-million into GTFC, has vowed the club will remain professional and that the board would provide the funding necessary to try to bounce back into the league at the first time of asking. Although the club could lose around £500,000 for going out of League Two, they can expect a parachute payment of something like £250,000.

    He said: 'We have to acknowledge we're in the Blue Square now and try to bounce back as quickly as possible. To that extent we will be looking to put together a budget that will enable the club to continue to be professional and enable us to compete. We'll need to provide funding sufficient for us to bounce back and that's what we'll do'".

    Things are more unsettled at the other relegated League Two club, where the Northern Echo says that "Simon Davey's Darlington revamp took a huge stride forward yesterday when he told seven more players they are surplus to requirements. Two weeks after announcing the first stage of his clearout, there were few surprises as the Quakers manager announced his retained list.

    Paul Arnison has been offered a new deal, but Nick Liversedge, Simon Madden, Mark Bower, Gary Dempsey, Nathan Mulligan, Dan Groves and Mark Convery were all axed. The two loan players who finished the season in the side, Alan White and Andrew Milne, have returned to their respective clubs, Luton Town and Leeds United...

    The outgoings, including Tadhg Purcell who has turned down a contract offer, take the total number of players no longer with the club since Davey’s appointment to 18. Two weeks ago Davey told the out of contract Stuart Giddings, Richie Byrne, Rikki Baines, Dan Riley, Ross Chisholm, Patrick Deane and Mor Diop that they would not be offered a new deal. Midfielder Chris Lumsdon remains under contract for another year, but hardly featured this season due to a back injury.

    The clear-out means that of the 23 signings made by Steve Staunton, only Gareth Waite and Chris Moore remain. Davey, who now has only 13 players, said: “'It’s not easy telling someone that they won’t be staying at this football club.. Some of the players need a rest and operations'. Ian Miller will undergo a hernia operation this week while Gary Smith requires surgery on an ankle knock... Right-back Arnison has signed a one-year deal and the deal represents a huge turnaround in events for the defender.

    Under Staunton the 32-year old was frozen out of first team duties and ordered to train with the youth team. But Arnison impressed Davey during the last ten games and ended Saturday’s final game of the season by wearing the captain’s armband... As well as Arnison, already under contract are Miller, Smith, Gareth Waite, Chris Moore, Josh Gray, along with youngsters Curtis Main, John McReady, Michael Smith and Corey Barnes. They will be joined by new signings Sam Russell, Jamie Chandler and Dominik Werling".

    11 May 2010


    Altrincham were "relegated" in three successive seasons between 2006 and 2008, only to earn reprieves because others had broken the financial rules. Lancashire club Rossendale United now look set to emulate the Robins as NL Daily reports that they "Could avoid relegation from the Unibond Division One North for a third time. On two previous occasions, Dale have dodged the relegation bullet when they have finished bottom of the division. And the demise of four clubs further up the Pyramid could create the escape route yet again. Rossendale chairman Steve Hobson (pictured) said Newcastle Blue Star, King`s Lynn, Chester City and Farsley Celtic had all folded and that had created four vacancies.

    The teams with the best playing records then fill those places as the Pyramid unfolds with promotion still taking place but with four less teams relegated. Hobson: 'I expect to hear something around the middle of the month but I am quite optimistic that we will remain in the UniBond League again... The clubs that have gone are higher than us so their positions have to be filled and they will be filled by clubs not being relegated but still being promoted so that will leave a gap... We are trying to stabilise the club and when we can move forward then we will do'" he told the Rossendale Free Press.


    NL Daily says that "Kidderminster Harriers have swooped for their first signing of the summer with the acquisition of goalkeeper Danny Lewis from Blue Square North neighbours Redditch United. Lewis is no stranger to Aggborough Stadium – his re-signing marks the start of a second stint for him here following a two-season stay between 2004 and 2006... going on to enhance his reputation with a season at Moor Green before joining Redditch in 2007...

    He came close to a return to the Blue Square Premier after attracting interest from Oxford United last summer.. Said boss Steve Burr, 'For my money he is one of the best goalkeepers outside of the Football League and we are delighted to get him... I know we have competed with a number of Conference sides to bring him here so we are really pleased'... Lewis has agreed a one-year contract which begins on July 1st. Meanwhile, Harriers can confirm that forward Darryl Knights will not be offered a new contract".

    He played against Alty for Torquay United a couple of years ago but "Kaid Mohamed is determined to be at Bath City again next season after grabbing the goals which took them into the Blue Square Premier... Mohamed dedicated the goals to manager Adie Britton, who brought him to the club at the start of the season to solve City's striker shortage.

    'It's my first season at Bath and I have really enjoyed it because the gaffer has told me just to go out and enjoy my football', said Mohamed... 'We haven't discussed a deal yet... but I really want to be here next season... I've had a good run of goals at the end of the season but so have Bath, we have been brilliant over the past few weeks'", he told This is Bath.

    "Stevenage boss Graham Westley will discuss his future and that of his players with club chairman Phil Wallace this week. Westley's contract ends next month and his future is undecided after taking the club into the Football League. He told BBC Three Counties Radio: 'I have got to talk to the chairman about my own situation first and foremost'...

    Westley said: "There are a lot of out-of-contract players that need to speak to the football club... They have over-achieved in terms of resources available to us and resources available to others. There are some big clubs that have tried to win this league, the likes of Oxford and Luton who have had the pick of players and these boys haven't had all the advantages that they have got... They have got on with the job and what a fantastic achievement they have put together'".

    "Ebbsfleet United’s sponsorship deal with Eurostar will be significantly lower for next season after the club’s relegation to Blue Square South. Some doubt still lingers over whether 'Fleet will in fact go down as financial difficulties at other clubs threaten to spark a further non-League reshuffle, but chairman Duncan Holt is preparing himself for the worst. An extension to the Eurostar deal has yet to be signed... ''But I know the numbers', he said. 'It depends on whether – by some miracle – we are playing in the Blue Square Premier, or in Blue Square South. It’s a significant difference between the two deals for us because we’ve been playing in a national division, but it would probably still be the best deal in the whole of the Blue Square South'.

    Boss Liam Daish and Holt held their first post-season discussion last Thursday and the manager’s future, along with the playing budget for 2010/11, remains undecided" he told Kent News.

    Cambridge News announce that a "Magnificent Seven Commit to U’s in Signing Bonanza! Seven players have agreed contracts with the club. Defenders Josh Coulson, Kevin Roberts and goalkeeper Simon Brown have all signed on the dotted line and are joined by Simon Russell who enjoyed a successful loan spell [from York] with the Club last season. The squad is further boosted by three new signings in the form of Danny Wright (striker [from Histon]) Danny Naisbitt (goalkeeper [from Histon]) and James Jennings (defender [from Kettering, and an ex-Alty loan player]).

    Roberts has signed a one-year contract while the other six have all signed two-year deals... On the signing of Wright, Naisbitt and Jennings, Martin explained, 'The three new lads all have experience at this level... Danny Naisbitt is a very good 'keeper for this level and like Wright has had a number of league clubs after him, so I'm happy we've managed to get them both here. With him and Simon Brown at the Club it will see some real healthy competition for that position.

    James Jennings is a versatile player who can operate at left back or left-midfield and was part of a successful team last year at Kettering, they were very keen to hold on to him but he's signed with us and the deal might have to go to tribunal to set the fee. I've signed him predominantly as a left-back but versatility is important to me and he can plug holes in other areas when we have them'...

    The players join Paul Carden, Robbie Willmott, David Partridge, Luke Berry, Blaine Hudson, Sam Ives, Rory McAuley, Adam Marriott, Darryl Coakley and Jordan Patrick in the 2010/11 squad list. Martin added, 'We're still a way from the squad being finalised. I want to work off a squad of 24 for next season with two players for each position, with the squad to include the six development players. The three lads we're waiting for answers from (Crow, Gleeson and Saah) have until 24 May to make their decision but I'd like to know as soon as possible. I want them with us next season...

    They've had attractive offers put in front of them and I think it would have to be a big offer or League football that could beat what we're offering them. I can't see any other reason why they'd want to leave as I think they've enjoyed playing for me and they know I want them to be part of the future here'"...

    Danny Naisbitt stated, "It wasn't a hard decision for me to make; I've known Martin for a few years from my time at Barnet. The Club has real ambition and I've bought into the dream - we want to get back to the Football League".

    James Jennings interestingly added that "Martin made me aware of his interest in me a while ago, and I kept my eye on the results towards the end of the season... This Club should be in the Football League and I can't wait to get started".

    At Crawley Town "Following discussions between manager Steve Evans and striker Jefferson Louis, it has been mutually agreed to cancel the second year of the player's contract with immediate effect... The former Wrexham man has spent a number of months on loan at Rushden & Diamonds this season so perhaps this decision was to be expected...

    After signing his contract termination Jeff said; 'It has not really worked out for me at Crawley Town so I will take up one of a few offers I have elsewhere. This is a good football club, they operate very professionally and have an ambitious manager'".

    Also in Sussex, Eastbourne Borough report that "Eastbourne Borough have secured the continued services of Simon Weatherstone, scorer of the dramatic late penalty that secured the clubs 3rd season in the BSP, and Andy Atkin, long term servant of 'The Sports', for 2010/2011".

    10 May 2010


    In Sunday's NW Youth Alliance Premier Division, Altrincham FC Youth clinched the league title with a 3-1 win over Marine "A". Glodi Kuba-Kuba scored twice and Michael Linney once. Report in Youth section.

    Above, Altrincham defend their goal in the first half; note the dust from the hard pitch around the players' feet.

    Altrincham FC Youth take on Salford City at their Moor Lane ground on Tuesday 18th May at 7.30pm in the NWYA Open Cup Final. The league trophy is expected to be awarded to Altrincham after this game.

    On Friday 21 May at 7.30pm at Moss Lane there will be the annual Youth Team presentation evening, at which the various player of the year awards will be made. Everyone is welcome to come along to the Noel White Suite.


    More pieces of the Blue Square Bet Premier division jigsaw fell into place with the play-pff finals in BSN and BSS on Sunday. Barring nay changes which may occur at the Conference AGM, 23 of the 24 teams in the national division of the Conference are now known, with just the Oxford United v York play-off to be decided.

    BSN Play Off Promotion Final

  • Fleetwood T. 2 Alfreton T. 1

    BSS Play Off Promotion Final

  • Bath City 1 Woking 0

    So, Bath City returned to the Conference after going down in 1997 - the same year that Altrincham were first relegated. For Fleetwood, it is their first taste of national non-League football.


    The FA Vase was won 6-1 by Whitley Bay who beat East Anglian side, Wroxham. Bay scored the fastest goal in Wembley history after just 21 seconds.
    9 May 2010


    Altrincham FC Youth host Marine "A" at Wythenshawe Town today, Sunday, at 2.30pm. Should they win, Altrincham will be champions of the NWYA Premier Division, so why not come along and support them? Kick off is at 2.30pm and entry is free. The venue is Wythenshawe Town FC, next to Tesco at Baguley.


    Saturday night's Altrincham FC End of Season Dinner and Ball was again a great success, thanks largely to the organization by the Rowley family and colleagues as well as the inimitable compering of Graham Heathcote. Sadly the Alty manager's attempts to pair off Alty centre-back Robbie Williams with a young lady guest from Cardiff, which formed a running gag, were not successful! It was good to see all the long-termed injured players, Dale Johnson, Matt Doughty and Tom Kearney present at the occasion along with their team-mates.


  • Barrow 2 Stevenage Borough 1 (aet)


    Grimsby Town were relegated by Saturday's results so will join Darlington in coming down to the Blue Square Bet Premier for 2010-11.

    Meanwhile today will decide who is promoted to the division in the regional play-off finals.

    BSN Play Off Promotion Final

    Sunday 9th May 2010, 2pm

  • Fleetwood T. v Alfreton T.

    BSS Play Off Promotion Final

    Sunday 9th May 2010, 2pm

  • Bath City v Woking

    Woking, who may qualify today for a return to the national level of Conference, have managerial concerns after boss Graham Baker was reported to be "worried after his board warned him of more big budget cuts this summer" reports the NL Paper. "Baker is already working with 50% less money than the Cards had when relegated last summer. And with finances so tight, he has had to reach into his own pockets to pay striker Craig Faulconbridge... Baker says that even if Woking clinch a return to the top flight, his playing budget next season will be 35% less. he may quit because he fears the hard-up Surry side may face a whitewash next season".

    8 May 2010


    The FA Trophy Final between Barrow and Stevenage Borough is live on ITV4 on Saturday (k.o. 3pm).


    Altrincham FC Youth host Marine "A" at Wythenshawe Town this Sunday at 2.30pm. Should they win, Altrincham will be champions of the NWYA Premier Division, so why not come along and support them? Kick off is at 2.30pm and entry is free. The venue is Wythenshawe Town FC, next to Tesco at Baguley.


    The FA reports on the Republic of Ireland v England C, International Challenge Trophy match at Waterford United FC on 26 May 2010. Manager Paul Fairclough has selected ... an 18-man squad... The game will be preceded by an FA Representative XI fixture against the East of Scotland League which will be played at Spartans FC in Edinburgh on Saturday 22 May.

    The opportunity to play the FA XI fixture has worked out well, said Fairclough: 'With six new faces in the squad and with a number of players not having played a competitive game for a few weeks, the match in Edinburgh will be an ideal opportunity for the players to gel together and get rid of any rustiness prior to the game in Waterford. With only two games in our qualifying group against the Irish and Estonia we cannot afford to drop any points if we want to qualify for the semi-finals...

    Dale ROBERTS - Rushden & Diamonds, Josh MIMMS - York City, Shaun DENSMORE - Altrincham, Kyle McFADZEAN - Alfreton Town, Sean NEWTON - AFC Telford United, Tom CADMORE - Hayes & Yeading United, Steven GREGORY - AFC Wimbledon, Brian SAAH - Cambridge United, Sean CLANCY - Fleetwood Town, Max PORTER - Rushden & Diamonds, Matthew GREEN - Oxford United, Sam DEERING - Oxford United, Scott GARNER - Mansfield Town, Tom CRADDOCK - Luton Town, Rossi JARVIS - Luton Town, Matthew BARNES-HOMER - Luton Town, Curtis OBENG - Wrexham, Andrew FLEMING - Wrexham".

    Vital York adds that "York City's reserve goalkeeper Josh Mimms is a shock call-up to the England 'C' squad... The 20-year-old has managed only a couple of appearances for the Minstermen this season".


    Alan Ainsley, assistant physio at Moss Lane is also the physio at Abbey Hey. He is seen here with the Vodkat League Challenge Cup which Abbey Hey won this week. Picture courtesy of Sarah Rowley.


    With no matchday revenue over the summer months, it is important that the club continues to raise funds in other ways. There is a wide range of ways to help - starting from just £1 a week:
  • Saturday Yankee - £1 a week - details here
  • Patrons - £50 (£5 a week during the close season) - details here
  • Friends of Altrincham Draw - £5 a month and the chance to win £100 - details here

    Vice-chairman Grahame Rowley says, "Although the Club appreciates that supporters like a rest from football during the close season, funds are still needed to be generated during this time and joining one of these schemes is an ideal way of helping the club".

    Details of these and other schemes are permanently on this site on the Social Events and Fundraising page.


    TASC's Steve Foster writes,

    TASC invite all supporters to join the goal sponsorship scheme. We are happy to have any arrangement, whether to sponsor for every goal the team score, every clean sheet the team have, every goal an individual player scores, or even every penalty that Stuart Coburn (or any other keeper!) makes.

    As previously, we will be updating you during the season of how much your sponsorship has cost you and we propose that the money should, as before be paid in a couple of instalments.

    As last season, the names of the goal sponsors and the amount that they have sponsored will be published in the programme, and, at the end of the season, a framed photograph of an image of your choice will be sent out to you.

    For sponsors of last season, Jon Stack informs me that he will have the framed photos ready to send out, or collect shortly. If anyone is interested in renewing their sponsorship for this season. Please send me an e-mail and I will add you to the list.

    Thanks, Steve.


    Grahame Rowley writes:

    "We have available for collection 'All Change for Alty' money boxes. This scheme was started last year for fans to collect small change and was a great success raising in excess of £1000. Seventy five boxes were distributed last year and this year we aim to distribute in excess of 100. Please consider taking one home – it’s a great way to help fundraising with very little effort. Your support would be much appreciated". Ring the club (928-1045) to arrange to collect a tin.


    BSP SF Play offs 1st leg
    Thursday 29 April

  • York City 1 Luton Town 0 (att. 6204)
  • Rushden & Diamonds 1 Oxford United 1 (att. 4535)

    BSP SF Play offs 2nd leg
    Monday 3 May

  • Luton Town 0 v York City 1. York won 2-0 on agg. Gate 9,781
  • Oxford United 2 v Rushden & Diamonds 0. Oxford won 3-1 on agg. Gate 11,963 - 1109 away fans.

    Play Off Promotion Final

    Sunday 16th May 2010 - Wembley National Stadium - 5pm kick-off (live on Sky Sports HD)

  • Oxford Utd v York City

    BSN SF play offs 1st leg
    Wednesday 28 April

  • Droylsden 2 Fleetwood Town 0
  • Workington 0 Alfreton Town 1

    BSN SF play offs 2nd leg
    Sunday 2 May

  • Fleetwood Town 3 Droylsden 1, making it 3-3 on aggregate, a.e.t. Fleetwood won 4-3 on pens after Liam Brownhill became second Bloods player to miss.
  • Alfreton Town 3 Workington 1 - Alfreton won 4-1 on agregate

    Play Off Promotion Final

    Sunday 9th May 2010

  • Fleetwood T. 2 Alfreton T. 1

    BSS SF play offs 1st leg
    Tuesday 27 April

  • Woking 2 Dover Athletic 1
  • Bath City 2 Chelmsford City 0

    BSS SF play offs 2nd leg
    Saturday 1 May 3pm

  • Dover Athletic 0 Woking 0 - Woking win 2-1 on aggregate
  • Chelmsford City 0 Bath City 1 - Bath win 3-0 on aggregate

    Play Off Promotion Final

    Sunday 9th May 2010

  • Bath City 1 Woking 0


    Luton Town say that "The Golden Gamble prize from our match against Altrincham is unclaimed. Were you the winner? Are you in possession of the winning ticket worth £765? The winning number was 36939. If this if your ticket please contact the Commercial Department on 01582 411622 to claim your prize".


    "Luton Town can confirm the release of the following players after the expiry of their contracts... four players have been released while a further four who [were] with the Town on-loan will not have deals renewed. Shane Gore, Rossi Jarvis, Asa Hall and Steve Basham join Liam Hatch, Mark Nwokeji, Craig Nelthorpe and Gavin Caines in leaving Kenilworth Road".

    According to NL News 24 "Redditch United goalkeeper Danny Lewis is set to follow former boss Gary Whild to Kidderminster Harriers in the next few days. Lewis... is set to follow new Harriers assistant manager Whild by returning for a second stint with Kidderminster. Lewis had been signed by Jan Molby from Studley in 2004 and played 20 first-team games for Harriers before being freed in 2006, the Birmingham Mail is reporting.

    Kidderminster boss Steve Burr has created room for a new keeper by deciding not to offer Dean Coleman, last year’s No 1, and understudy Jasbir Singh new contracts. Burr has also placed striker Robbie Matthews on the transfer list as he looks to balance working with a reduced budget with the need to revamp the squad. Ex-Salisbury City forward Matthews, who joined on a two-year deal last summer, is one of the bigger earners at Aggborough...

    'It probably hasn’t worked out for Robbie but we also have to weigh up the wages situation', said Burr. 'Money is going to be tight next season. At the moment, the budget will be less than last season, considerably less, but the chairman [Barry Norgrove] is working hard to improve the figures... There are players coming out of the League, the Conference Premier, and I’ve got no fears looking at players lower down who can still do a good job. They just need an opportunity – that’s what we can offer'".

    "Darlington striker Tadgh Purcell has turned down a new deal with the club after interest from Championship sides" says NL News 24.

    "Rikki Banks looks set to join Eastbourne Borough from Blue Square South outfit Lewes" says Blue Square Football. "The goalkeeper enjoyed a fantastic 2009/10 campaign and Borough have wasted no time in making their move for him. Rooks boss Steve Ibbitson revealed that the deal is set to go through for next season, despite making a late effort to try and keep the stopper".

    "Crawley Town manager Steve Evans has started meeting the players he has offered contracts to for next season... Targeted midfield duo Ben Smith and Barry Cogan have now signed contracts... Ben Smith held talks with three interested Blue Square Premier clubs, one of which is a giant in Non-League, but he arrived back at The Broadfield Stadium yesterday afternoon to put pen to paper on a one year deal...

    After signing Ben said: 'I am delighted to be here for next season. I have really enjoyed my time here at Crawley Town and I gave careful consideration to how much I enjoyed my job here over the last year versus taking more money at a big club elsewhere in this league. The Gaffer is very professional and also shared his team plans with me in relation to the players he would like to sign. If he can get most of those players I see us being a better team next season and that was a big factor in my decision, I want to get into those playoffs next season and with the Gaffer in charge I believe we have a chance'.

    Influential midfielder Barry Cogan has also signed a contract for next season despite interest from two Blue Square Premier managers who held talks with the young Irishman. Speaking minutes after signing Barry said: 'This was a very big decision for me but I am happy in my mind that I have made the right decision... I met a couple of other managers who were very courteous and made me good offers but like Smudger I have really enjoyed playing for the manager and Crawley Town. I believe that I have become a better player under the Gaffer and Rayns but I can get better that is for sure'.

    Manager Steve Evans was delighted with both signings. He said: 'Its great to have Smudger and Barry on board for next season. I must admit that earlier this week I thought both of them would be leaving us... Both of them had offers from what I would describe as big clubs in The Blue Square Premier so I get a great personal satisfaction that they have decided to sign here. We work the lads very hard but it is very important to us that they enjoy coming to work and that they as individuals want to improve'".

    "Simon Russell is hoping to make his stay with Cambridge United a permanent one as his York City career is all but over" claims Blue Square Football. "The midfielder is contracted to the Minstermen until June of this year, but is likely to be shown the door at Kit Kat Crescent...

    'I'm totally not involved (with York) at Wembley as the manager has told me I'm off, even though I'm contracted to the club until June', Russell told Cambridge News Online. 'It's almost certain I won't be at York next season, and, hopefully, I showed the people at Cambridge what sort of a person and player I am. If Cambridge wanted me, then I'd be very interested and happy to talk to them'".

    Blue Square Football says that "AFC Wimbledon manager Terry Brown is hoping to sign John Marquis and Yado Mambo on loan. The two youngster, who ply their trade for Millwall and Charlton respectively, are highly-rated and Brown is hoping to do a deal to bring them to Kingsmeadow...

    Marquis, a 17-year-old striker, made an impact in the Blue Square South... during a loan spell with Staines last season... Yado Mambo is a towering centre-back who has enjoyed successful loan spells with Dover, Welling and Staines. He recently signed a contract tying him to the Valley for his short-term future".


    Unibond (Northern Premier)League Premier Division Play Off SF
    Monday 26 April

  • Bradford PA 2 Kendal Town 1

    Tuesday 27 April

  • Boston U. 2 North Ferriby U. 1

    Unibond (Northern Premier)League Premier Division Play Off Final
    Saturday 1st May, 3pm

  • Bradford PA 0 Boston U. 1 - Boston promoted to Conference North

    Unibond (Northern Premier)League First Division North Play Off SF
    Tuesday 27 April

  • Curzon Ashton 1 Colwyn Bay 2
  • Lancaster C. 2 Skelmersdale U. 0

    Unibond (Northern Premier)League First North Play Off Final

  • Lancaster C. 0 Colwyn Bay 1

    Unibond (Northern Premier)League First Division South Play Off SF
    Tuesday 27 April

  • Chasetown 3 Sheffield FC 2
  • Glapwell 1 Kidsgrove A. 0

    Unibond (Northern Premier)League First South Play Off Final

  • Chasetown 1 Glapwell 0
    7 May 2010


    On Sunday, May 9th, the all-important final match of the season between Manchester United and Stoke City will be shown live on Sky HD in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane. The bar opens at 3.30pm for a 4pm kick off. Everyone is welcome to come along - and why not bring a friend, too?


    Altrincham FC holds its annual End of Season Dinner and Ball at the Cresta Court Hotel, Altrincham this Saturday (7.30pm for 8pm). Vice-chairman Grahame Rowley writes...

    "Come and join us to celebrate our most successful season so far in the Blue Square Premier!

    Our "End of Season Dinner" is to be held on Saturday 8th May at The Cresta Court Hotel. We have tried to price this dinner as low as possible to try and encourage as many fans as possible to join the players and management for this celebratory evening. Tickets are just £30 per person which includes a four-course dinner.

    The evening consists of presentations, a raffle and a disco till late. Please contact Karen or Sarah for more information and tickets or email us. You can contact them vis the club on 0161 928 1045 or on 07720 606897.

    So come and thank the players and management for all their hard work this season, in a party atmosphere.



    Alan Ainsley, star full-back for the Altrincham FC staff side in their recent win over the Supporters, is physio at Abbey Hey FC as well as assisting Sean Riley with his physio role at Altrincham. On Thursday night the Gorton-based side, who suffered relegation in the league this season, won the Vodkat (NW Counties) Football League Cup, 3-0 against Winsford. Former Alty Youth Daniel Doherty was in the winning side.


    Confirmation of Hayes and Yeading United's plans to go full time, reported yesterday, are confirmed by the Uxbridge Gazette. "Hayes & Yeading United have let 11 players go as manager Garry Haylock starts to reshape his squad for next season... Danny Allen-Page, one of several casualties of the mass cull, says he is not surprised Haylock has wielded the axe to so many of last season's squad. He also revealed the club's desire to go full-time, despite Haylock recently telling the Gazette that the club's current infrastructure would make it difficult.

    Said the right-back, 26, 'They want to go full-time eventually and I have commitments outside of football (running his own personal training business). Garry wants things to be more professional and wants to go down the full-time route, which I would not be able to commit to. There will be a lot of new faces at the club next season, definitely. He is having a big shake-up at the club as Garry is always trying to push the bar higher'...

    Midfielder Toby Little said, 'Garry had told me to come back and see how it goes... I think he will keep the spine of the squad as we have a good young base to build on'”.

    Another BSP club with low gates who are going full-time are Gateshead who "have announced their retained list which includes 15 of the 26 man squad that finished the 2009/10 season. A total of 11 players have left the club, including loan pair Rikki Bains and Gavin Hurren, with a minimum of seven new signings expected during the close season. Manager Ian Bogie met the majority of the players offered new deals on Tuesday night to discuss terms for the 2010/11 season.

    On loan pair Peter Winn, released by Scunthorpe United, and Paul Heckingbottom have both been offered permanent deals... Players offered full time contracts: Paul Farman, Craig Baxter, Paul Heckingbottom, James Curtis, Carl Jones, Martin Brittain, Kris Gate, Andy Ferrell, Alex Francis, Phil Turnbull, Peter Winn, Graeme Armstrong, Daryl Clare, Brian Wake, Steven Baptist.

    Players released from the club: Jim Provett, Phil Cave, Chris Swailes, Wayne Buchanan, James Sinclair, Andy Parkinson, Neale McDermott, Wayne Phillips, Steven Richardson, Gavin Hurren, Rikki Bains. Rikki Bains has been released by Darlington while Gavin Hurren has returned to Tamworth".

    In The Chronicle confirms that "The Tynesiders have offered full-time terms to 15 players and will look to bring in at least seven new faces for the 2010/11 campaign... Bogie said: 'Very few are in full-time employment and the chance to play football for a living is an opportunity not to be passed up... If a player does not commit then we’ll move on and bring in a replacement. There will be a surfeit of players to choose from again this summer as clubs cut their cloth... We only stayed up on the last day of the season so it was obvious the squad needed freshening up', added Bogie".

    Blue Square Football adds Bogie's comment that "Switching to a full time squad will be a huge benefit and I expect us to push on next season in what is a very competitive league",

    There is a lot of player movement, too, at a third BSP club going full time in 2010-11 - AFC Wimbledon. Indeed, the Surrey Herald reports that the club "have been running the rule over 24 young pros as part of their summer recruitment drive. The Dons are set to bring in at least seven new faces during the close season after showing the door to 12 players last week. Terry Brown and assistant Stuart Cash cast their eye over youngsters from the likes of Fulham, West Ham, Charlton, Watford and Brentford in a trial game this week, with the duo set to make a decision on the hopefuls in the coming days.

    said Cash, 'There were five or six players who stood out, and Terry and I will put our heads together and decide who to invite back for pre-season training. We can't go out and get ready-made players, so we're looking at those with the potential, who we can bring in and turn into good players'".

    According to This is Mansfield Town "David Holdsworth today backed Mansfield Town's partnership with Glapwell – although he fears how it will affect the club's pitch. The Stags have agreed a deal that will see the UniBond League side play their home fixtures at Field Mill, most likely on Sundays...

    'The chairman has come to a decision along with Glapwell and if it benefits the club then I will adhere to it', said Holdsworth. 'The business side of things must come first and if the revenue generated from it helps us to buy and bring in better equipment then it's good. The pitch will be a concern for the fans. When the pitch cuts up, it's not good to play on, it's awful and the players suffer. But the chairman has spoken to me and believes it will be looked after in the correct fashion'".

    Meanwhile, "Jake Speight will only be allowed to leave Mansfield Town for a sizeable fee, manager David Holdsworth insisted. The striker handed in a transfer request after the last game of the season... The Stags have an option in his original deal signed last summer to keep him at Field Mill on the same terms. But Speight is unhappy no improved contract has been agreed, meaning he is not being paid over the summer.

    Holdsworth said: "'We hope to sit down with Jake and his advisers and establish a way forward', he said. 'We haven't had any concrete bids for Jake. There are maybe four or five League clubs that are said to have been monitoring his progress. But I would put him up there with Steve Morison (who joined Millwall from Stevenage for £130,000 last summer) because I believe he could play in League One'".

    From the BBC we learn that "Fans of Chester City have been given the lease to the club's stadium by their local council, prompting hopes of a revival. Cheshire West and Chester Council has offered Chester Fans United (CFU) a five-year lease to the Deva Stadium. The authority rejected a proposal from a Danish consortium.

    Chester City was wound up in the High Court in March, after being expelled from the Conference in February for failing to play games due to debts. They plan to start life again as Chester Football Club in August, playing in a lower league...

    Jeff Banks, from CFU, said: 'The Deva Stadium is key to our plans to take the football club forward so we put together a fantastic business plan which I'm pleased to say the council has given their thumbs up to'... CFU and the Danish consortium Fodbold Selskabet presented their business cases to a special panel led by the council's chief executive, Steve Robinson. In a statement, Mr Robinson said the panel had been impressed with both bids but members had agreed unanimously that Chester Fans United should be offered the lease.

    He said... 'CFU have promised a club 'run by the community for the community' with a multi-sport approach designed to reach all sections of our society from the young to the disadvantaged. On that basis this authority will do everything it can to help, support and advise the new club and we urge the Chester public and businesses to do so as well'".

    "Boyhood Cambridge United supporter Dan Gleeson is agonising over his future after receiving contract offers from two of the club's Blue Square Premier rivals" reports NL Daily. "The 25-year-old defender, who made his United debut in 2003 after coming through the youth system at the Abbey, is pondering a two-year deal offered to him by U's manager Martin Ling...

    'I've had two other offers from Conference clubs and one of them was a very good offer', said Gleeson, who was released by then boss Rob Newman in 2006 before returning permanently at the start of the 2007/08 season... 'It's not easy, because I've been at United since I was 15, apart from the year away at Notts County. And I've supported the club since I was a kid, standing in the Newmarket Road end... I really want to play in the Football League as soon as possible', said Gleeson. 'I'm still only 25 and there's plenty of time, so I need to weigh the options up. Is it time to move on? I don't know yet'" he told Cambridge News

    Meanwhile the Stroud News & Journal reports that "Forest Green Rovers` midfielder Conal Platt insists reports stating he penned a deal with Crawley Town are 'simply not true'. 'I appreciate there will be speculation, but this is simply not true', said Platt. The Preston-based winger revealed boss Dave Hockaday contacted him with a view to remaining at the New Lawn. 'The boss wants me to stay and I would like to stay but it depends on what league we play in next season as I understand we may yet get a reprieve with other clubs experiencing financial difficulties'".

    The FA provides "Details on the close season transfer window. The FA have confirmed that the International Transfer Window will open on 9 June for all clubs in the Premier League, Football League and Conference National. Domestic transfers remain unaffected and deals can be done as soon as a club’s season is over following the completion of a club’s last competitive game. The transfer window will close at 6pm BST on 31 August (7pm European time). The FA have been working closely with the Premier and Football Leagues who, in turn, have been liaising with other senior European Leagues to try to agree common deadlines".

    From the Northants Evening Telegraph we learn that "Imraan Ladak insists his main priority for Kettering Town is to finally find a resolution to their long-standing stadium issue. But the Poppies' chairman is hopeful manager Lee Harper and the players will soon learn what the future holds for them.

    Ladak was at Rothwell Town's meeting last week where he made them an offer to pay off their debts in a bid to secure Kettering's future... It remains unclear what his intentions for the Cecil Street site are should his offer be accepted by Rothwell's members...

    He confirmed he is hoping to finalise things with Harper, who has already made it clear he wants to stay on as manager at Rockingham Road for the new campaign... 'The priority is securing the long-term future of the club', Ladak said. 'I am unable to confirm budgets for next season as there are other things going on, which could affect it... The next two weeks could prove to be pivotal for the club... I do believe that if the budget had stayed as it was, which wasn't possible, then Lee would have taken the club into an even higher position. There were no disagreements when it came to players we wanted to keep and we will try to finalise things as soon as possible'".

    At Eastbourne Borough, "Management duo Garry Wilson & Nick Greenwood have already started to formulate plans for the new season. Head Coach Nick Greenwood confirms 'Garry and I have began the process of meetings with the existing playing squad and potential new signings. To date we have taken up the options on their contracts with Neil Jenkins, Matt and Nathan Crabb. Dan Brown will be starting the second of his two-year contract with the football club and terms have also been agreed with Darren Baker. Marc Pullan and Liam Enver-Marum have not been retained".

    6 May 2010


    Altrincham FC joint Press Officer, John Edwards, writes:

    "Graham Heathcote has parted company with four Altrincham players and launched an urgent appeal for help to continue defying the odds in what promises to be an even more competitive Blue Square Conference next season.

    Colin Little has already left, to pursue a coaching post at Manchester United, and has been followed out of Moss Lane by Michael Welch and John McAliskey, both released, and midfielder Peter Doran, who turned down Alty's terms.

    Heathcote intends strengthening two areas of his side but will have to bide his time over recruiting after being told his budget will be the equivalent of the one he had at the start of last season. With the accent likely to be on spending among next season's Conference newcomers, the Alty manager delivered a heartfelt message to 'anyone who has an interest in the club's wellbeing' and warned his team may be heading for their sternest challenge since being promoted.

    He said: 'The budget has been returned to what it was at the outset last season. People may think we've got four lots of wages available, with the lads who have left, but that's not the case. We had to spend more after Christmas to cover all the injuries, so in reality, it's more like two. Even the figure from the start of last season was a reduction on the season before, because we lost a substantial amount from the demise of Setanta.

    'It is becoming increasingly difficult year on year, and the fact that others are going out and spending significant sums is making it even harder for us. Everyone here is trying their best, and the board have been magnificent to keep things on an even keel, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to move the club on as we would like. Tom Kearney (left) and Matt Doughty (right) won't be fit until the end of September or early October, so we may have to start next season with only 16 players. It is a delicate situation with Tom and Matt, but I want to give them every chance to come back into the team, because they are good players.

    'I would like to sign a footballing midfielder and striker to replace Colin, but I'll have to play a waiting game and see what is available in July. That is the reality. We can't start throwing money around now and will have to wait and see what we can pick up. It may even be that I try and find a loan signing or two. I hate starting a season with loan players, but there may be no choice.

    'I do understand the reality of our situation, and I had an idea of what the figures for wages were likely to be. But the question now is how do we progress? I just sense there may be an air of complacency about where we are and that, in some people's eyes, we are comfortable in mid-table. People within these four walls know that is not the case, and it is important everyone else wakes up to the fact that next season could be the most difficult we've had since we were promoted back to this division.

    'You look at the teams joining the Conference - Darlington and possibly Grimsby and the likes of Fleetwood or Alfreton - and you know they are going to spend big. Last season was Ebbsfleet's first as a part-time outfit, and they were relegated. That's another reminder of what we are up against. We can't just sit back and watch the summer go by. We have to respond now, and I would appeal to anyone with Altrincham's interests at heart to help us generate the funds we need.

    'It really is critical that a reality check kicks in now, rather than wait and risk our position deteriorating. We need people to come forward with ideas and action if we are even to maintain the progress of last season, let alone build on it. We need fresh impetus, on top of what is already being done, and we need it now.

    'It is needed in a lot of areas, simply more bodies to rejuvenate enthusiasm and try and generate revenue. There are some supporters who are aware of that and are doing their bit, but we need more ideas, more input, if we are to maintain the progress of last season.

    'Cup runs would help boost income, obviously, and that is down to us as a coaching staff and playing squad, but we have to exploit as many areas as we can.'

    Heathcote hopes the rest of his squad will remain intact and is refusing to blame Doran for turning down terms. He said: 'Peter was offered the same money he was already on, as were the rest of the players. There were no increases. But he felt it wasn't enough, and you can't argue really, when you consider he could get the same sort of money at some North West Counties League sides. The others have all given me a verbal agreement but that's not exactly the same as having something in writing. I'm hoping they will all still be here, come the start of the season, but we are walking a very precarious line'.

    A few tickets, at £30 each, are still available from the club (928 1045) for Saturday's end-of-season dinner at the Cresta Court.


    NL News 24 confirms that "Following the successful stint of [ex-Alty duo] Kevin Street and Darren Tinson as caretakers, Nantwich Town have announced that the duo have been appointed as the new managerial team on a permanent basis. During Kevin and Darren’s spell in temporary charge, the Dabbers won five out of six matches, drawing the other while keeping clean sheets in all four away games. Club chairman Clive Jackson said: 'Kevin and Darren have done a great job whilst in temporary charge and they deserve the chance to take the club forward. They will be preparing the squad for next season'".


    The latest instalments of Barry Pikesley's excellent chronicle of the 1979-80 Alliance-winning season, "When We Were Kings", parts 19 and 20, are here, courtesy of the author. These instalments include Alty's encounter with Stuart Pearce, then at Wealdstone, when Alex Stepney was Alty's keeper.


    At Hayes & Yeading United "Garry Haylock has announced there will be sweeping changes to his squad... With a proud tradition of developing young home-grown talent, the Club will be exercising the options on the contracts of Daniel Wishart and Charlie Wassmer who both successfully progressed from the youth set-up to the first team last season. A contract has been offered to former loanee striker Steve Basham but he has turned that down. Meanwhile, negotiations are on-going with Tom Cadmore, Adam Green, Esmond James and James Mulley for the forthcoming season whilst Scott Fitzgerald, Matt Ruby, Chris Baker and Toby Little have all been invited back to pre-season training with United this summer.

    The Club has decided not to retain the services of Simon Overland, Danny Allen-Page, Ram Marwa, Marc Canham, Robert Gradwell, Dale Binns, Sami El-Abd, Craig Watkins, Andrejs Štolcers, Jake Lovell and Justin Cochrane and all are expected to leave the club".

    Meanwhile on the HYU Forum it is stated that "Danny Allen-Page has been released, many of the current squad are expected to follow and the club is apparently looking to go full-time eventually (presumably with a small squad of generally younger players, as AFC Wimbledon appear to be doing)". Another poster adds that "If, as reported in the Gazette, the club is planning to go full time next season, hopefully that will allow us to compete for better players and we can continue to improve next season... My concern is whether the club can afford to go full time, especially based upon the low gates". HYU's average gate last season was just 632.

    "Steve Evans's vision for Crawley Town has been dealt a massive blow as it emerged that rival clubs are in negotiations to sign two of his star players" claims This is Sussex. "It is understood that both Ben Smith and Barry Cogan have both been offered contracts by other Blue Square Premier clubs keen to steal them for next season... Evans has already lost Thomas Pinault after the midfielder turned down a contract extension with the Reds to return to France...

    He said: 'A couple of managers have respectfully phoned me to let me know that they have made an offer to two of my players, in the same way I have contacted other clubs to speak to their players myself. We have given the lads until the weekend to decide if they want to be at Crawley next season... We have given them the best offer we can'...

    The manager says he will revoke any offer not accepted by this Friday... He said: 'I think 10 days is more than a fair enough amount of time to think through the offer of another year's work. I know Mansfield manager David Holdsworth has only given his players three days to make their minds up, but it shows you clubs can't afford to sit round and wait for their players to take forever'... Evans, who himself has made tentative enquiries to six players at other clubs already this season, says he wants to get the spine of his team signed up as quickly as possible.

    'We are particularly looking at bringing in some new strikers to the club this summer', added Evans. 'We'll certainly be signing one but if Danny Forrest decides not to accept our contract offer then we'll be looking at two or even three new faces in the striking department this year'".

    Bulls News reports that "Cheltenham may yet sign former Hereford trialist Kris O'Leary after he told the press he'd go there this summer over a permanent deal with Wrexham. The Welsh side have offered him a one year contract".

    News of some recent Conference players comes from Peterborough United where "Manager Gary Johnson has informed Sergio Torres, Exodus Geohaghon [ex-Kettering], Ben Wright and Kwesi Appiah [ex-Ebbsfleet] that they do not feature in his plans. All four have been transfer listed...Johnson also revealed that he has yet to speak to the players out on-loan, but is due to talk to those when the season concludes. They include Shaun Batt, Scott Rendell [ex-Cambridge United], Rene Howe and Toumani Diagouraga".

    A relatively local referee, "South Yorkshire official Michael Naylor will referee York City’s Blue Square Premier play-off final against Oxford at Wembley on May 16" reports the York Press. "He will be assisted by Carl Fitch and Michael Salisbury, with Robert Madley the fourth official. Naylor will be a familiar face to Martin Foyle’s men having refereed a number of Minstermen matches this season. He gave City two penalties, both converted by Richard Brodie, when York beat AFC Wimbledon 5-0. He was also in charge of the 1-1 draw with Stevenage and the 2-1 FA Trophy loss at Barrow".

    Mr Naylor, from Sheffield, reffed Kidderminster Harriers' 3-0 win over Altrincham on 29 August, 2009.

    From the BBC we learn that "Darlington boss Simon Davey is determined to tie-up the contract of striker Tadhg Purcell ahead of next season's Blue Square Premier campaign. Purcell, 25, has been a bright point in a disappointing season for the Quakers and Davey is keen to persuade the Irishman to remain at the Arena...

    Davey, a former Barnsley boss, is keen to bolster the Darlington squad... and he has offered deals to youth team players John McReady, Michael Smith and Corey Barnes following their first-team efforts this season... 'They'd be part of the squad next season and hopefully a promotion winning side'", stated Davey.

    The Southport Visiter tells us that "Dominic Morley has agreed to a Southport comeback as first team coach... in a week when four players have signed new deals. Goalkeeper Tony McMillan, defender Earl Davis and midfielder Matty McGinn have all penned fresh two-year contracts with the Sandgrounders while manager Liam Watson has rewarded the progress of youth development star Daniel Lloyd-McGoldrick with a one-year deal.

    Watson says his close-season transfer work has picked up pace this week with a number of bids placed for targets as well as talks having been held with the majority of the current squad. But as much as the Yellows’ manager believes new on-field acquisitions will be pivotal to the club’s Blue Square Bet Premier campaign, he has hailed the return of 2005 Conference National winner Morley as ‘hugely significant’. Watson said: 'Dom is coming back to the club as first team coach for next season. With the extra scouting needed at this level of the game we feel Dom’s return is vital'".

    5 May 2010


    On Tuesday night, Alty Youth beat Salford City 2-0 to go back to the top of the NWYA Premier Division with one match left to play. Both goals came from Glodi Kuba-Kuba. Alty host Marine "A" at Wythenshawe Town this Sunday at 2.30pm. why not come along and help the lads in their quest for the league title? Entry is free; the ground is located next to Tesco at Baguley,


    Bullsnews confirms that "Kettering owner Imraan Ladak has offered to clear Rothwell Town's £350,000 debt that threatens the Zamaretto side's existence. The exact terms of the deal are unclear, but Rothwell own their own ground just five miles away from Kettering's current base. The Poppies have two years to secure a new home while Rothwell, who reportedly have just 15 paying fans, are expected to go into Administration without a deal".

    And Bullsnews adds that League Two "Grimsby have been allocated another 501 tickets for their trip to Burton on Saturday - and sold the lot this morning. They will take over 2,000 to the Pirelli Stadium". If Grimsby win and results go their way involving Barnet or Cheltenham they can escape relegation to the BSP next season. BBC says that "York City's 1-0 Blue Square Premier play-off semi-final win at Luton Town was marred by serious on-pitch violence at the final whistle... Striker Richard Brodie said he was struck by a coin and the squad had to escape through the back of a stand... York players were forced to cower at the back of a stand before being led to safety. Police said they made seven arrests outside the Luton ground, after officers were attacked by fans wielding brooms and mops taken from a local DIY store.

    Broadcaster Owen, part of a consortium that took control of Luton in 2008, apologised to York for the behaviour of a 'minority' of Hatters fans. 'At a lot of grounds, fans run on to the pitch at the end of the season, which is not ideal in itself but it happens. Most of the people running on were just running on. A crazy few took it further and turned it into aggression and I deeply regret that and apologise to York as I have done in the boardroom and do now to all the fans and, of course, the players'...

    York chairman Jason McGill stated: 'It is a very intimidating atmosphere here. We need to see what the police report is and the referee's report is but I don't think I've experienced anything like it in my time at York City and I don't think since watching football. The way that the Luton supporters went after our players was quite animalistic and I think it was very, very dangerous'...

    'It's a game of football. It's not life or death', said York striker Brodie. 'It was very frightening at times. You get coins, bottles, anything possible thrown at you. There were 20 pences, 50 pences. One has hit me on the side of the head and one hit Chris Carruthers too'...

    York manager Martin Foyle said, 'I was worried about my players' safety but fair play to the stewards, who did a job and got them out through the police room'...

    Owen, who watched the game next to fellow broadcaster Esther Rantzen - a parliamentary candidate in the Luton area - said the club had employed extra security. 'We were convinced we had the right number of stewards and had extra because of today being such an important day - but it wasn't enough'".

    Teamtalk reports that "Darlington manager Simon Davey has completed the signing of goalkeeper Sam Russell on a one-year deal from Wrexham. The 27-year-old made 117 appearances for the Quakers during his first spell at the club between 2004 and 2007. Russell is the ninth player to sign up for Darlington's 2010/11 campaign... Said Davey, 'He's a local boy so he knows the area and obviously he's been with the club before so he knows what it's all about and he knows the fans. We need experience going into the Blue Square Premier and Sam offers us that so he fits the bill perfectly'".

    According to NL News 24 "Steve Fallon will not be drawn on whether he is about to make a return to the dugout at Histon. The Stutes are advertising for the position of manager, even though the current incumbent Alan Lewer claims to have had no official contact from any board members since April 24’s 2-2 draw with Barrow.

    Histon supporters have been clamouring for Fallon, who led the club from the Eastern Counties League to the top of the non-League pyramid during his 10 years in charge, to return ever since he was sensationally sacked by former chairman Tony Roach in January. When asked if he would consider applying for the post of manager, Fallon said: 'No comment'.

    But he added he may be prepared to make a statement about his future following his testimonial match at the R Costings Abbey Stadium on Saturday, which marks his 35 years in Cambridgeshire football".

    "Newport County boss Dean Holdsworth doesn’t know whether defenders Paul Cochlin and Jamie Collins, winger Charlie Henry or striker Dave Gilroy will be with the club next year after the Exiles’ D-Day to sign the players passed" states the South Wales Argus. "Just two of the first team squad, Nathan Davies and Martyn Giles (who has joined Llanelli), have so far left the club, with a whole host of players committing for next term. However, despite the deadline of Friday – which Holdsworth insisted was the date where everything would be decided one way or another – passing, the boss is still hopeful the quartet will stay on.

    With Gilroy and Cochlin, it is up to Holdsworth to decide if he wishes to continue with negotiations after hearing the wage demands of the players, both of whom would be expected to fit in more training sessions around their day jobs. Cochlin has confirmed to the Argus that he wants to stay and says he is 'not a million miles away' from agreeing new terms. However, with Collins and Henry, there is still some distance to go before any new deals are agreed.

    Holdsworth, particularly close to both, appreciates the extra difficulty involved with both players based in the London area".

    Blue Square Football says that "AFC Wimbledon manager Terry Brown has confirmed that he is looking to clinch the services of Brentford defender Fraser Franks. The 19-year-old centre-back is out of contract in the summer and Brown sees him as a perfect addition to his squad. Brown told the Surrey Herald: 'We're only running with 18 players next season, so with only three centre-backs, he'll certainly be playing some games'".

    "Forest Green have confirmed they will revert to being a part-time club next season" claims This is Glos. "Relegated from the Blue Square Premie... Rovers need to slash costs and can no longer sustain a squad of fully contracted players. The decision spells the end of five seasons of professional football in Nailsworth, and very few of last season's players – all now out of contract – are likely to be retained...

    Rovers' vice-chairman Colin Peake said: 'David Hockaday has been offered the opportunity to continue in his role at the club, but with a management and playing set-up which will revert to a part-time/semi part-time basis'... Yet to discover whether they will play in Blue Square North or South next term, Forest Green are likely to wait until after the board's AGM on May 20 before finalising their playing budget.

    Peake said: 'At this present time the budget for all activities, let alone the football club, are being finalised without knowing at this time exactly which division of the Blue Square we will play our competitive football over the next 12 months'...

    Meanwhile, midfielder Jonathan Smith has been voted player of the year by Rovers' supporters... Signed by Jim Harvey in the summer of 2007, Smith grew to become the club's most consistent performer and will almost certainly be snapped up by a Blue Square Premier club this summer. Right-back Jared Hodgkiss scooped the players' player of the year prize, with winger Conal Platt named man of the season by the directors".

    The Football Conference says that "Steve Burr, manager of Kidderminster Harriers, has confirmed that goalkeeping duo Dean Coleman and Jasbir Singh will not be offered new contracts at Aggborough for next season.... Both players leave the club after their contracts came to an end. News on the futures of Harriers' other out-of-contract players will follow in due course, with Burr opting to wait as long as possible before making final decisions, retaining hope that his playing budget may yet be increased over the coming weeks".

    Also, Blue Square Football reports that "Kidderminster Harriers have confirmed the appointment of Gary Whild as assistant manager to Steve Burr for the 2010/11 season. Whild parted ways with Blue Square north side Redditch United at the end of the season and Burr is delighted to have a man of his valuable experience on board at Aggborough. Burr told the club's official website: 'It is an opportunity for him - he has done an unbelievable job at Redditch and he has a knack of knowing the local scene, and young players who are hungry to achieve'... Meanwhile, Burr has also confirmed that John Finnigan will remain at the club in a player-coach capacity".

    More on the Harriers comes from the BBC which says that "Striker Robbie Matthews has been placed on the transfer list after one season at Aggborough... Matthews, a former Crawley Town player, joined last summer on a two-year contract". The Kidderminster Shuttle adds that Matthews is "up for sale to generate more funds.... to bolster Burr's spending power this summer".

    From the other side, the Luton and Dunstable Express tells us that "Seven people were arrested yesterday (May 3) after violence broke after Luton Town's home defeat to York City... A number of [police] officers received minor injuries... A small number of Luton supporters were reported to have continued into Dunstable Road, where they removed articles for sale, for example brooms, mops and pans outside a hardware store and used them as weapons at the police...

    Luton Town managing director Gary Sweet has said that the club will try to identify and deal with the people that caused the violent scenes".

    Meanwhile Luton Today tells us that "Captain George Pilkington pledged his future to the Hatters after seeing them miss out on a Wembley play-off final... 'I've enjoyed my season here. It's been tough and it's just disappointing we are not in the Football League where we want to be. I'm in form as are a lot of players and it's the time of year when your phone starts ringing. The manager has done excellently since he came in. We did a mini pre-season around Christmas and we pushed on. It's just disappointing we couldn't go one step further.

    The manager has brought us all together. You look at the bench and there are centre-forwards like Matthew Barnes-Homer and Liam Hatch and they can make a difference. We've got a very strong squad. The more we keep together the better but as with most seasons not everyone will be here'".

    The FA have issued a statement in which it "Confirmed it will be investigating two separate incidents following fixtures at Hillsborough and Kenilworth Road at the weekend. Following Sheffield Wednesday's fixture with Crystal Palace there were several reported incidents and The FA will this morning contact both clubs as well as local authorities to begin collecting information and evidence relating to the allegations. Similarly The FA will also be contacting Luton Town, following scenes during their fixture with York City yesterday".

    Blue Square South play-offs,

  • Bath City v Woking 2pm, Sunday 9 March
  • Fleetwood Town v Alfreton Town 2pm, Sunday 9 March
    4 May 2010


    Following Colin Little's decision to join the coaching staff at Manchester United, three more players have departed from Moss Lane. Manager Graham Heathcote announced tonight that he had released defender, 28 year-old Michael Welch, and striker, John McAliskey.

    Michael's stay at Altrincham was ruined by a longstanding injury which he had incurred before joining the club in February 2009. Whereas his previous club had chosen to overlook the problem, Michael underwent an operation last summer and undertook a long programme of rehabilitation. He made just 3(+13) appearances in 2009-10 to bring his Alty career total to 12(+17). Michael will always be remembered for his "Goal of the Season" in 2008-09 when he scored direct from a quickly taken 70-yard freekick against Crawley Town. This was one of three goals he scored for The Robins.

    25 year-old John McAliskey signed from Witton Albion on 20 November, 2009, soon after he had impressed when playing against Altrincham in the Cheshire Senior Cup. John had previously played in the Football League for his home town club, Huddersfield Town, between 2003 and 2007, appearing in 16(+32) games in all categories and scoring 7 goals. Whilst with Huddersfield he had loan spells at Torquay United and Wrexham. He then also played League football for Mansfield Town. For Alty, John made 15(+6) appearances, scoring twice.

    Also leaving is 21 year-old midfielder Peter Doran who joined Alty from Welshpool Town on 28 January 2010. Peter was offered terms to stay at Moss Lane for 2010-11 but he has opted to try his luck elsewhere. He made 14(+3) appearances for Altrincham.

    Altrincham FC wishes all the above players good luck in their careers and thanks them for their efforts on behalf of the club.

    Manager Graham Heathcote underlined that his offers to players have been limited as his budget has reverted to the level that applied at the start of last season. That budget had increased during the course of 2009-10, prompted mainly by the need to acquire cover for the serious injuries to Dale Johnson, Tom Kearney and Matt Doughty. "We're operating on what is really a Blue Square North budget not a Blue Square Premier one" said Graham. He advised supporters not to expect too many new faces this season and any that do arrive were likely to come towards the end of the summer break rather than the early part.

    Graham confirmed that the remaining members of the squad had all indicated that they would remain at Moss Lane. In addition to his limited budget Graham is also restricted by the fact that, although Dale Johnson should be fit to start the season, two players on the payroll will not be available for two or three months of 2010-11. They are Tom Kearney, who is unlikely to be available again till late September after breaking his leg, and Matt Doughty, whose recovery from a cruciate ligament operation is likely to keep him sidelined till October.


    Altrincham FC Youth lost 1-0 away to Stalybridge Celtic on Sunday and are now second behind the Tameside club but with a game in hand in the table.


    After Monday's play-off semis, the Football Conference issued a statement. "The Football Conference has followed the scenes broadcast nationwide at the conclusion of the Premier Division Play Off semi final second leg at Kenilworth Road this afternoon between Luton Town and York City.

    In line with the rules and regulations of our national governing body, reports will be called for from both clubs and these will be submitted to the Football Association for further investigation. The Football Association will then be in a position to take any subsequent action that they may deem appropriate in the circumstances.

    Whilst the Football Association are the authority having initial powers to deal with breaches of discipline, where clubs and their supporters are involved, the Football Conference retains the right to deal with breaches of their own regulations, specifically in relation to Rule 18 if it is felt necessary.

    No further comment will be made by the Football Conference at this stage until they receive a report of the investigation findings from the Football Association".

    The BBC says that "Rushden and Diamonds manager Justin Edinburgh told BBC Radio Northampton: 'We've come up short, we've been beaten by the better side. I didn't feel we were in the game, I'm disappointed that we had too many passengers out there over the two ties. With people not performing to their maximum, you're going to come unstuck'".

    At Luton Town "A bitterly disappointed Richard Money admitted that his side came up short in their quest for promotion... 'I'm disappointed but we've got to hold our hands up and say we've come up short' he said afterwards. 'We've had a good go of it in the second half of the season but not be able to make that final push. We've landed up the league's leading goalscorers we haven't scored enough goals against the top sides and that's proved to the be the case this afternoon. A lot of teams in this league are well equipped to win games 1-0 and that's something we need to think about when playing for next season. I always felt, and I tried to make the players aware without putting too much pressure on them, that we needed to win the first leg', he said.

    'To lose the tie at the death was harsh as we played well but it really set the scene for today... They got nine men behind the ball and made it difficult for us'...

    But "Richard Money has vowed to bring the good times back to Kenilworth Road, 'At the back of my mind I'm already planning for next season. You've got two type of people: those that roll over and died or those that pick themselves up and go again... We won't roll over and die. The board are up for the fight, I'm up for the fight and we need players that are as well. A lot of other clubs have large budgets and there will be a number of ex-Football League clubs in the division so it's going to be difficult, believe me. I don't think anyone will run away with it but who knows? We'll be up there but we've got a lot of work to do in the summer... We've been playing catch-up since I came to the club and while we've had enough to put our mark on things we've fallen short'".


    The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Kettering Town Football Club could pay off Rothwell Town FC's debts in a bid to secure its own future, it has been revealed. Members of Rothwell Town voted on Thursday to first try to sell the social club and car park land to clear debts of about £350,000. But with predictions that they have just weeks to do this before administrators come in, they agreed that plan B would be to accept an offer from Poppies chairman Imraan Ladak to clear the debts.

    Bones chairman Neil Griffin told the Evening Telegraph yesterday that he was stepping down from the role following the behaviour of some members at Thursday's meeting. He said: 'Imraan came along and offered to pay off the debts. It would mean Kettering would have an asset to negotiate with to keep its club alive and progress football in the borough. It could save both clubs if they could both play in Kettering... That will give Kettering an asset for them to negotiate with and try to save their club'... Mr Griffin said there was no mention at Thursday's meeting of Mr Ladak's intentions for the site".

    From the Birmingham Mail, we learn that "Tamworth vowed to offer their players the ‘best deal’ they can afford but admit it might not be enough to keep their squad together... Manager Gary Mills knows which players he would ideally like to keep but he will have to wait for further talks with chairman Bob Andrews to finalise the budget...

    'We know our players will be eyed up by other clubs because, one, they have had good seasons, and, two, we are not big payers', said [assistant manager Darren] Gee. 'All we can do is to offer the best deal we can and then it’s down to the players... If we can’t keep them because we can’t afford to, then we will shake hands and wish them well'...

    The Lambs, though, could have one advantage over their rivals, who also face having to cut their budgets in these belt-tightening times. 'From our point of view, we’ve got used to having to work within restraints so maybe that will work in our favour', added Gee".

    According to Blue Square Football, "Gateshead boss Ian Bogie has moved quickly to fill the void left by the departure of assistant manager Jeff Wrightson and coach Paul Thompson... Bogie has brought in Adam Sadler as his assistant and Paul Bryson as reserve team manager.

    Sadler is a former Newcastle United reserves' coach who last season was number two to Mick Tait at Blyth Spartans before taking over at Team Northumbria. Gateshead-born Bryson, currently employed by Gateshead College and Sunderland FC. Sadler joins Gateshead on a full time contract while Bryson's link up with his hometown club will be on a part-time basis...

    Said Sadler, 'We need to make the International Stadium a fortess and a place teams don't want to come to and also be much more difficult to beat on our travels'... Gateshead's new reserve side will play in the Central League and will be under the tutelage of the experienced Bryson next season".

    "Histon manager Alan Lewer is expected to apply for a job that he already holds after the Stutes put an advert in the Non League Paper advertising his post" claims Blue Square Football. "Lewer... is expecting to discuss his future at the club when chief executive Allen Soraff returns from holiday later this month... This new turn of events has left him bewildered. He told Cambridge News: 'I heard that they might be advertising, but I wasn't told any more than that'.

    Lewer is naturally keen to continue in his job and had repeated that numerous times since the completion of the season but he doesn't understand applying for a job that he is already in. 'I've got to wait and see what happens but I can't see why anyone would apply for a manager's job when a manager is already in place. I haven't been sacked and I haven't resigned. "So why would I want to apply for a job I'm already in? I haven't got a clue what they're doing'.

    Histon Public Relations manager Graham Eales confirmed...'There is an advert for a new manager in the Non League Paper and the club are hoping Alan will apply for it'".

    3 May 2010


    BSP SF Play offs 2nd leg
    Monday 3 May
  • Luton Town 0 v York City 1. York won 2-0 on agg. Gate 9,781
  • Oxford United 2 v Rushden & Diamonds 0. Oxford won 3-1 on agg. Gate 11,963 - 1109 away fans.


    The latest instalments of Barry Pikesley's excellent chronicle of the 1979-80 Alliance-winning season, "When We Were Kings", parts 17 and 18, are here, courtesy of the author.


    Altrincham's pre-season friendlies, to date, are listed here.
    2 May 2010


    The results of today's BSN Play-Off semi-finals were:
  • Fleetwood Town 3 Droylsden 1, making it 3-3 on aggregate, a.e.t. Fleetwood won 4-3 on pens after Liam Brownhill became second Bloods player to miss.
  • Alfreton Town 3 Workington 1 - Alfreton won 4-1 on agregate, so the final is now Fleetwood v Alfreton.


    Four pre-season friendlies have been announced by Altrincham FC. They are:
  • Saturday 10th July, 3pm: Woodley Aports (away at Lambeth Grove)
  • Saturday 17th July, 3pm: Nantwich Town (away at the Weaver Stadium)
  • Tuesday 20th July, 7.45pm: Trafford (away at Shawe View)
  • Tuesday 27th July, 7.45pm: Macclesfield Town (home, at Moss Lane). This is to mark the 100th anniversary of Altrincham FC's move to Moss Lane from nearby Pollitt's Field, in 1910.

    Three Premiership clubs are in the frame to play friendlies against Alty at Moss Lane. Remember, all pre-season friendlies at Moss Lane are free if you buy a 2010-11 season ticket, details of which are here.

    Saturday, 8th May: END OF SEASON CELEBRATION

    Vice-chairman Grahame Rowley writes...

    "Come and join us to celebrate our most successful season so far in the Blue Square Premier!

    Our "End of Season Dinner" is to be held on Saturday 8th May at The Cresta Court Hotel. We have tried to price this dinner as low as possible to try and encourage as many fans as possible to join the players and management for this celebratory evening. Tickets are just £30 per person which includes a four-course dinner.

    The evening consists of presentations, a raffle and a disco till late. Please see me, Karen or Sarah for more information and tickets, ring me (07720 606897) or email us.

    So come and thank the players and management for all their hard work this season, in a party atmosphere.



    There has been a late change of arrangements for the game today (Sunday 2nd May) with Stalybridge. the venue is now Wright Robinson Sports College, off Abbey Hey Lane, Gorton, Manchester, M18 8RL and kick off is at 2.15 p.m.


    Ian Senior of kit suppliers Sensport Kits announces that the free name/number offer has been extended on orders for the "new" Alty away shirt. All orders for these shirts received until the end of May will now be entitled to the free offer. Details of the full range of clothing merchandise are on the Robins' Shop page.


    Wrexham "manager Dean Saunders has had a busy day talking to most of his senior squad with regard to next season and the inevitable shake up in personnel that follows a mid table finish. The boss has offered new deals to: Sam Russell, Ashley Westwood, Gareth Taylor, Marc Williams (six months), Neil Taylor, Frank Sinclair, Andy Fleming, Kai Edwards, Kristian O'Leary, Obi Anoruo, Christian Smith, Johnny Hunt, Aaron Brown.

    Talks will be ongoing with Mansour Assoumani, but it seems unlikely that the club will be able to match his present contract. Following injury problems, striker Marc Williams will be offered a new-six month deal, as the club continues to work with the player to recover his full fitness. Obviously, a few of the above have previously turned down their new contracts and in addition, there are four another players who have contracts that run into next season: Curtis Obeng, Adrian Cieslewicz, Chris Maxwell, Andy Mangan.

    The following players have been released: Sam Williamson, Mike Williams, Mark Jones, Hedi Taboubi, Nathan Fairhurst, Silvio Spann, Wes Baynes, Jamie McCluskey, Matty Wolfenden, Steve Abbott. In addition, loan signing Luke Holden is not being offered a deal following his three-month spell at the Racecourse. Of the current crop of scholars, Declan Walker has been given a professional contract, while fellow second years Rob Pearson, Leon Clowes and Nick Rushton have been invited back for pre-season training".

    And NL Daily confirms that "Wrexham have decided not to offer a contract to Luke Holden following his three-month emergency loan spell at The Racecourse. Holden joined the Dragons on February 1st from Charlton Athletic... The former Liverpool youth and Tranmere Rovers trainee signed for The New Saints in August 2007 and was released at the end of the season... After following manager Ken McKenna to Cammell Laird, he also played at Bradford Park Avenue before returning to the Principality Welsh Premier with Rhyl in January 2009.

    Meanwhile, the Dragons have also released Steve Abbott, who spent the whole of this season on-loan with The New Saints, while Wes Baynes, Mark Jones and Mike Williams could also attract the attention of Welsh Premier clubs".

    Meanwhile, "Steve Evans, manager of Blue Square Premier club Crawley Town, has offered new terms to several of his current players. Top scorer Charlie Ademeno, midfielders Barry Cogan, Byron Napper and Lewis Killeen have all been offered new terms, but youngster Mithun Nayee, who did not make a first-team appearance last season, has been released. Evans revealed that he is in discussions with four potential signings and will hold talks with the remainder of the squad about his plans for next season this weekend".

    Acording to the Chronicle "Gateshead are now unlikely to move into their new purpose built Prince Consort Road stadium in time for the start of the 2011-12 season. The club had hoped next season would be their last at the all seater International Stadium, their home for almost four decades. But while the design and infrastructure of the new stadium is in place, there is still work to be done behind the scenes.

    A 16-week planning process will then take place, with the actual construction of the stadium on the old North Durham Cricket & Rugby club site expected to take around nine months. Chairman Graham Wood said: 'The relocation to a new centre of town stadium is pivotal to our aim to bring League football back to Gateshead. The site is right and the stadium, which will be covered on all four sides, will be a tremendous facility... Both the main east stand and the west stand will now be all-seater, leaving terracing behind both goals and the capacity reduced from 9,000 to just under 8,000.

    Gateshead’s gates have more than doubled over the last three years with this season’s average of 677 a 40% increase... Despite that continued upward trend, Gateshead were one of only four Conference Premier clubs to have three figure average crowds. 'The aim is to get the average up to 750 next season and we would hope to double that when we are in the new stadium and playing Blue Square Premier football', added Wood. 'If we achieve our goal of Football League status then there is no reason why we can’t average 2,000-plus crowds as a lot of people have indicated they will come to watch the club in a new stadium'.

    The 2010/11 Blue Square Premier, North and South season meanwhile will begin on either August 7 or 14 dependent on whether the BSP promotion final is again at Wembley".

    From the Surrey Herald comes confirmation that "Nathan Elder has been struck by AFC Wimbledon's cruciate curse. The Shrewsbury Town striker suffered anterior ligament damage to his left knee during his last game for the Dons in the defeat against Tamworth last week. He is the fifth player to be hit by a cruciate injury at Kingsmeadow this season, following lengthly lay-offs for Alan Inns, Ross Montague, Lewis Taylor and Jon Main. The former Brentford frontman is set to undergo surgery, and faces up to nine months on the sidelines".

    But "Terry Brown has re-signed five players as he continues AFC Wimbledon's squad rebuilding. The Dons' boss has handed new two-year deals to Jack Turner, Brett Johnson, Steven Gregory, Ricky Wellard and Luke Moore, who join Ryan Jackson, Danny Kedwell and Jon Main at Kingsmeadow next season. Brown is still in negotiations with Seb Brown, Sam Hatton and Kennedy Adjei, and hopes to iron out new contracts in the next couple of days... Brown said: 'I am not in a massive hurry to fill all the available slots as previous experience has shown me that sometimes exceptional players become unexpectedly available later in the close season'".

    AT Mansfield Town Chairman Andrew Perry answers supporters' questions. After confirming that the Stags will stay full-time he added, "I did stand up at the start of the season and say that there will be a Centre of Excellence for two seasons. We do lose the parachute payments now (from the Football League) and we are looking hard at the figures... As we stand at the moment, there will be some news coming through next week on our stance on that...

    There has been a lot said of the size of squad over the season and the manager has held his hand up and looked at that and maybe has thought that a tighter squad will pay greater dividends next season... The budget is not being cut. The amount of players being brought in will be much tighter, at the manager's request. That doesn't mean we will cut the budget. We won't be putting a full budget in front of the manager but instead will work with him to get a good squad of players together... He has told us he wants to work with a tighter group. He has learned from last season. We gave him a four year contract and we will support him".

    1 May 2010


    The play-offs can be a cruel event as the pictures below show. On 1 May, in the UniBond First Division North play-off final at the Giant Axe, the hosts Lancaster City, who had finished second with 96 points, met Colwyn Bay who had finished fourth with 75 points. The game was played in torrential rain and was decided by a clear-cut penalty very late in the game. However, the penalty spot, which had been re-marked at half-time, was by then under water so a broom was sent for. Below, the Bay captain, Dave Challinor, a former Alty trialist and ex-Tranmere Rovers defender, was provided with the broom and gave a new meaning to the phrase "playing as sweeper" as he brushed away the excess water.

    Finally, Bay's Ian Sheriden hammered home a superb penalty which Lancaster keeper Martin Fearon almost got to. On the day, the Seagulls were deserved winners, having hit the woodwork three times in the first half. But to miss out on promotion when you amass 96 points is hard on any team.

    BSP SF Play offs 1st leg
    Thursday 29 April

  • York City 1 Luton Town 0 (att. 6204)
  • Rushden & Diamonds 1 Oxford United 1 (att. 4535)

    BSP SF Play offs 2nd leg
    Monday 3 May

  • Luton Town v York City
  • Oxford United v Rushden & Diamonds

  • Play Off Promotion Final - Sunday 16th May 2010 - Wembley National Stadium - 5pm kick-off (live on Sky Sports HD)

    BSN SF play offs 1st leg
    Wednesday 28 April

  • Droylsden 2 Fleetwood Town 0
  • Workington 0 Alfreton Town 1

    BSN SF play offs 2nd leg
    Sunday 2 May

  • Fleetwood Town 3 Droylsden 1. 3-3 on aggregate but Fleetwood won 4-3 on pens after Liam Brownhill became second Bloods player to miss.
  • Alfreton Town 3 Workington 1 - Alfreton won 4-1 on aggregate.

  • Play Off Promotion Final - 9th May 2010

    BSS SF play offs 1st leg
    Tuesday 27 April

  • Woking 2 Dover Athletic 1
  • Bath City 2 Chelmsford City 0

    BSS SF play offs 2nd leg
    Saturday 1 May 3pm

  • Dover Athletic 0 Woking 0 - Woking win 2-1 on aggregate
  • Chelmsford City 0 Bath City 1 - Bath win 3-0 on aggregate

  • Play Off Promotion Final - 6th May 2010 * subject to review

    Unibond (Northern Premier)League Premier Division Play Off SF
    Monday 26 April

  • Bradford PA 2 Kendal Town 1

    Tuesday 27 April

  • Boston U. 2 North Ferriby U. 1

    Unibond (Northern Premier)League Premier Division Play Off Final
    Saturday 1st May, 3pm

  • Bradford PA 0 Boston U. 1 - Boston promoted to Conference North

    Unibond (Northern Premier)League First Division North Play Off SF
    Tuesday 27 April

  • Curzon Ashton 1 Colwyn Bay 2
  • Lancaster C. 2 Skelmersdale U. 0

    Unibond (Northern Premier)League First North Play Off Final
    saturday 1 May

  • Lancaster C. 0 Colwyn Bay 1 - Colwyn Bay promoted to UniBond Premier

    Unibond (Northern Premier)League First Division South Play Off SF
    Tuesday 27 April

  • Chasetown 3 Sheffield FC 2
  • Glapwell 1 Kidsgrove A. 0

    Unibond (Northern Premier)League First South Play Off Final
    Saturday 1 May 3pm

  • Chasetown 1 Glapwell 0 - Chasetown promoted to UniBond Premier


    The latest minutes of The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) are here.


    NL News 24 reports that "Kevin Street and Darren Tinson have re-iterated their desire to become permanent Nantwich Town managers. Caretakers Street and Tinson have guided Town to five wins and a draw since taking over from sacked Pete Hall. The sequence has secured a top 10 finish. Street made it clear the pair want the role but he would not be drawn on what the future holds.

    The former Crewe favourite tells the Crewe Chronicle: 'Darren and I feel we can do the job well, and we’d like the opportunity. But we don’t know what’s happening yet... We’ve ended the season very strongly and restored some pride for the club and the fans'... Street, 32, has experience of management after a successful and prolonged stint as caretaker at Stafford Rangers in 2007-08. Tinson, 40, is well-versed in league and non-league football after a career that took him to the likes of Shrewsbury Town and Macclesfield Town. Both remain key components in the Dabbers’ playing staff".


    The latest instalments of Barry Pikesley's excellent chronicle of the 1979-80 Alliance-winning season, "When We Were Kings", parts 15 and 16, are here, courtesy of the author.


    Salford City report that their "Youth Team added to the club’s changing fortunes by defeating Nantwich 5 – 4 in a pulsating North West Youth Alliance Open Cup semi-final on Sunday. With four goals from striker Jordan Lee and yet another captain’s performance from Will Mellor. Salford had enough to see off a talented and spirited Nantwich side and secure our first victory on a 3G surface this season. Making the final is a fantastic achievement in a league that boasts the Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside County champions... The final is to be played at Moor Lane on Tuesday May 18th (7.30 K.O) against Altrincham F.C".


    From the Cambridge News comes a report that "Senior Histon players Adam Tann and Matt Langston admit their future at the club remains unclear. The Stutes will already be without Glen Southam next season after the midfielder agreed to have his contract cancelled...

    'I've got to speak to my family and the club', said Tann. 'I'll, hopefully, know in the next three or four weeks where I stand... I came here at the beginning of the season into a very positive team, but it's been a difficult season," he continued. It hasn't panned out as I expected. On a personal note I'm disappointed with the way it's gone. We'll have to see how stable the club is and see where we go from there. From a neutral's point of view, with the form over the last six to eight weeks we probably didn't deserve to stay up'...

    Langston said he enjoyed his return to the Glass World for the Barrow game following his loan spell at Crawley, but... 'I don't know if there's an offer on the table for me', he said. 'I don't know who's going to be in charge. I'm a free agent at the moment, weighing up my options'".

    A few miles away "Martin Ling has admitted he would be disappointed if players offered new deals left Cambridge United for anything but big money or a League club. Leading marksman Danny Crow, Dan Gleeson, Josh Coulson, Brian Saah and Simon Brown were all offered two-year deals on Monday, while Kevin Roberts has received a one-year offer... 'As a club, we've put attractive offers in front of these players that go as far as we can with the wage bill', said Ling. 'If they go elsewhere for an extra £50, then I'd be disappointed about it, but we've put our wares on the table. We didn't set the world alight this season, but I've put what I see as good, competitive contracts in front of them... I think it would have to be a big offer or League football that can beat what we're offering them... I think they've enjoyed playing for me'.

    Ling would not comment on speculation linking him with a move for Histon's out-of-contract striker Danny Wright".

    News of one of the BSP newcomers comes from the Southport Visiter which says that "Liam Watson has set himself a deadline of May 25 to have his summer transfer moves wrapped up.... The Sandgrounders’ boss is adamant all his close season business will be concluded before he jets off for a well earned holiday.

    Watson revealed he is targeting up to six additions to his Blue Square North championship winning squad for next season as well as resolving the futures of a number of out-of-contract players... The Haig Avenue manager has promised to make Southport the 'Bolton Wanderers or Stoke' of the Blue Square Bet Premier season and believes Port need bolstering in all departments if they are to emulate such a blueprint and become difficult to beat.

    Long rumoured to be top of Watson’s wishlist is Droylsden striker Tony Gray but the Southport boss refused to be drawn on naming players he is chasing... Next week the manager says he will have to begin making the tough decisions of letting players go but rebuffed the suggestion [of] being overly loyal to his players was a downfall in Southport’s flirtation with relegation in 2005'".

    Steve Evans, manager of Crawley Town "gave an update... as the last few players remaining spoke with the management team to review the season and to have outlined to them any prospective offer.

  • Ben Smith, Barry Cogan, Michael Malcolm - offered terms
  • Tommy Brewer, offered pre-season trial

    Again the manager would not give comment on the players' talks... He would give a full account after the bank holiday weekend".

    At Mansfield Town, "Andy Burgess has left Field Mill by mutual consent... after initially signing on loan from Luton Town. He made 15 starts and three substitute appearances, scoring two goals. Said Manager David Holdsworth: 'I've acted in the best interests of both Andy and the club. I wish him and his family well and thank him for his contribution whilst with us'".

    Play-off semi-finalist from the BS North, Alfreton Town have two players named in the provisional England 'C' squad for matches against Scotland and Ireland in May. Central defender Kyle McFadzean and goalkeper Paddy Gamble are the players in question.

    The FA adds that in the International Challenge Trophy "Paul Fairclough's team will face the Republic of Ireland in their opener, with the game taking place at Waterford United FC on Wednesday 26 May kicking off at 7.45pm. Group B comprises England, Estonia and the Republic of Ireland and the UEFA sanctioned competition is now in its third edition with 11 National U23 sides taking part".