ALTRINCHAM FC ARCHIVED NEWS for June 2010

Altrincham FC Archived News
June, 2010

30 June 2010

OLD BOYS

The Football Conference says that "Former Forest Green Rovers and Droylsden [and Alty] striker Alex Meechan has linked up with Telford for training".

Macclesfield Town report that "manager Gary Simpson has moved to add another player to his squad with the signing of 24 year old midfielder Lewis Chalmers who was with Aldershot last season. Starting his career as a junior with Manchester City and then Accrington and also a representative of Cheshire, he moved to Altrincham in 2002 aged 16 and came through their youth and Reserve ranks to make his senior debut in March 2005 as Alty were promoted via the Conference North play-offs. He went on to play more than 70 games for the Robins in three seasons before making the move south to Aldershot in 2007."

BSBP NEWS

Darlington announce their third manager in as many weeks as "Mark Cooper has signed a one-year deal at Darlington to become the club's new manager. Cooper has appointed former Southampton defender Richard Dryden, his assistant at Tamworth, as number two".

Colchester United confirm that they "have made their first summer signing by snapping up highly rated midfielder Andrew Bond from Barrow. The former Crewe Alexandra trainee had helped the non-league side to promotion during his time at the club and capped off his spell there by helping the Holker Street Stadium side to victory in the FA Trophy final. An England C international, 24-year-old Andrew was at Crewe with goalkeeper Ben Williams [an ex-Alty loanee] and signs a two year contract with the U's."

The Lancashire Evening Telegraph says that "Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman was left to put on a brave face yesterday after losing John Miles to Blue Square Premier side Fleetwood Town within hours of the start of pre-season training. Coleman was left furious after Miles went back on an agreement to sign a new one-year deal at Stanley and then chose to inform the Reds that he had joined ambitious Fleetwood by text on the night before yesterday's first day of training. The midfielder had been with Stanley for the past three seasons and follows fellow key players Michael Symes, Bobby Grant, Billy Kee and Darran Kempson out of the exit door this summer.

'We are just disappointed he didn't have the courtesy to phone one of us' said assistant boss Jimmy Bell. 'John (Coleman) just got a text on the night before the start of pre-season training. He had said he would sign and we took it for granted that he would, but Fleetwood have offered him more money'".

According to the BBC "York City have signed winger Peter Till on a one-year deal. The 24-year-old spent last season at Walsall in League One having previously had spells with Grimsby Town and Scunthorpe United. Till told BBC Radio York: 'I spoke to a number of clubs but this felt right. The gaffer made me feel really wanted so that was a key decision in coming. I've been playing league football all my career but it's not a problem stepping out. The idea is to step back out to step back up and hopefully we can go one better than the lads did last year and go back up'.

Manager Martin Foyle said 'People have been waiting for a wide player to come into York City. I tried to sign him when I was at Port Vale and he was at Birmingham. He's very tricky, very positive and hopefully he'll be a crowd favourite'. Foyle was criticised last year for not using the wide players in his squad often enough. He added: 'I had a little problem pre-season with Craig Nelthorpe off the pitch so I made a decision that I thought was best for the club. I thought Adam Smith was hot and cold... But I thought my midfield was absolutely fantastic'... Foyle added that his squad for the forthcoming season was now almost complete... He said, 'I'll have one or two trialists in with the option of one player to look for'".


29 June 2010

TIME RUNNING OUT!

If you want £10 discount on your Alty season ticket, you need to act by Wednesday! Details of prices and how to get your ticket are here.

SQUAD NUMBER

Damian Reeves has been given squad number 8.

PRE-SEASON

News of a pre-season opponent of Altrincham's comes from NL Daily which says that "Gareth McClelland, manager of Evo-Stik League Division One North club Woodley Sports, has secured the signing of Rick Bailey from under the noses of several other rival teams. Bailey was part of the Glossop North End side that reached the FA Vase Final and was named Hillmen supporters' player of the year for 2009/10. He had held talks with a number of clubs, including Curzon Ashton, but signed for Woodley after holding talks with the management".

BSBP NEWS

"Eastbourne Borough have increased their options 'up front' with the signing of experienced striker Richard Pacquette... from league rivals York City" reports the Football Conference. "Pacquette started his career with Queens Park Rangers and he made his debut towards the end of the 2000/01 season. He had loan spells with Stevenage Borough, Dagenham & Redbridge and Mansfield Town before being released by the Loftus Road club in 2004 having made forty-one first-team appearances, producing seven goals. He had brief spells with MK Dons and Brentford before dropping down to non-League football... and has represented Farnborough Town, St Albans City and Worthing amongst others.

Like fellow recruit Matt Langston, he made a big impact on the national stage when he scored for Havant & Waterlooville in their FA Cup Fourth Round game against Liverpool at Anfield in 2008... Pacquette has played internationally for the Dominican national team".

Wrexham report that "the news that Andy Morrell is signing a two-year contract with the club has been welcomed by supporters... as the popular striker returns to the Racecourse where he is well remembered for his goalscoring exploits. With his new strike partner Lee Trundle, he scored 34 league goals in only 45 games in the 2002-03 season, making him top scorer in all four divisions that year. This caught the eye of Coventry City manager Gary McAllister, who signed him on a free transfer that summer. Now, after further stops with Blackpool and Bury, the Doncaster-born forward is heading back to where it started for him...

Said Andy, 'People gave me a chance here, so I'd like to pay some of that back over the next couple of years. I had a good chat with the manager at Bury after I got back from holiday and also had a talk with Dean, so I took my time to make my mind up', he said.'But this move feels right and it's good to be back'...

One of [his] new team mates will be former York City winger Kevin Gall, a former Wales U21 international from Merthyr. The 28-year-old started out with Cardiff City and Newcastle United as a youth player... He moved on to Yeovil Town in 2003 and spent three years in Somerset, before joining Carlisle United in 2006. He had numerous loan spells late into his time there, before being released in 2009. A switch to Darlington followed at the start of the 2009/10 season and then last January he moved onto York City".

Chris Senior must be wondering what is happening as Darlington will start the season under their third manager since Chris left Alty for there this close season. The Northern Echo reports that "Darlington manager Ryan Kidd is understood to have resigned after just ten days... Club chairman Raj Singh confirmed 'He's told me he's having second thoughts about the job... I need to speak to him today'.

The chairman said it was not true that Kidd had agreed to follow his predecessor Simon Davey to Hereford. When Kidd, 38, was announced as Davey's replacement, he declared his intention to stay at Darlington long-term, signing a two-year deal to become the club's fourth appointment inside 16 months...

He said at the time of his appointment: 'I think you'll find I'm a loyal and honest person and will do this job to the best of my ability. I like what's going on at this club... I want to be part of that and who wouldn't be'. Before becoming Davey's assistant manager at Darlington, Kidd had been his assistant at Barnsley".

According to the BBC "Barrow have signed versatile forward Danny Forrest from Crawley Town on a one-year deal. Forrest, 25, has been a long-term target for the Bluebirds and joint-boss Dave Bayliss said 'We tried to sign him last January and he's a lad with lots of experience. He can play right or left side, or down the middle up front, he's very quick and he's a tall lad too'.

Born in Keighley, Forrest began his career with Bradford City and made 50 league appearances before joining up with Halifax and then Crawley, where he spent the last two seasons... 'If Danny's enjoying it, and I'm sure he will, then we'll look into extending that deal', added Bayliss. 'We're not in a position to offer players two or three-year deals as money is tight and Danny understands that. He's a really good pro, Crawley are one of the best sides in the division and for Danny to play 70, 80 games for the club then it shows he has calibre'".

A familar story comes from NL News 24 in which "Staines Town chairman Alan Boon has revealed that the club was priced out of bringing Mark Nwokeji back to Wheatsheaf Park. The 28-year-old, who scored 45 goals in 75 games for the Swans before moving to Dagenham & Redbridge in 2008, last week completed a move to AFC Wimbledon. Boon tells Staines News 'He wants to play full-time football, having taken two years out of university to turn professional, and we couldn’t even begin to think about the cash AFC can pay him. But even at our level and below, the likes of Woking and Sutton are throwing cash around, while Farnborough are paying Kezie Ibe twice what we were, and it makes you wonder where they money is coming from. I am proud that we are solvent and owe no money, yet have just had our three most successful years. We pay a good budget, and probably a little more this year, but Steve hasn’t asked for any more, to be honest. He’s been getting hundreds of phone calls, but players are asking for ridiculous money these days'”.

NL News 24 also reports that "A deal is close to being agreed that will bring Charlton Athletic youngsters Yado Mambo and Alex Stavrinou to AFC Wimbledon. Centre-back Mambo had a stint at Staines Town last season, while midfielder Stavrinou spent a spell on loan at Ebbsfleet, the Surrey Herald is reporting. However, boss Terry Brown will have to wait to land the duo as Addicks boss Phil Parkinson wants them to spend pre-season at the Valley".

One player the Dons have missed out on is the subject of a report in the Surrey Herald. "Tom Hutchinson's move to AFC Wimbledon has fallen through. The former Woking centre-back had agreed to join the Dons and was expected to put pen to paper when boss Terry Brown returned from holiday. But Brown has pulled out of a move for the 28-year-old, with another defender poised to join the club tomorrow instead. 'I think the deal's off now', admitted Hutchinson. 'I'm not sure why. I had a something agreed and was all ready to sign but things have gone quiet. I think they were holding on for someone else. I'm a little bit disappointed as I thought we had an agreement. It's not the best way to run a football club and a bit of courtesy with a phone call would have been nice'. The Dons are in advanced discussions with an experienced centre-half who is due to have a medical tomorrow".

A departure is reported at Luton Town that "The Hatters can confirm defender Janos Kovacs has signed for Hereford United. Kovacs arrived at Kenilworth Road in January from Lincoln City... The Hungarian centre-half featured 17 times in Town colours".

There is a departure, too, at another ex-League club, as Grimsby Town confirm that "Paul Linwood has had his contract with the club cancelled by mutual consent... Linwood was Mike Newell's third summer signing in 2009 after he agreed a three-year deal from Chester City. He went onto feature 28 times for the Mariners but was told by manager Neil Woods that he could look for another club at the end of last season...

Neil Woods says that he still has two or three transfer targets and he is hoping to tie up any deals within the next two weeks. Speaking to Mariners Player, he said: 'What I won't do is bring players in for the sake of filling a position - they have to be the right players. If that means we have to wait two or three weeks to get the correct body, that is what we'll do'".

And Linwood has now turned up at another former fishing port as Fleetwood Town announce that "Central defender Paul Linwood and wide player John Miles sign[ed] and joined squad in first day of training". Miles (28) was a forward at Accrington, who joined Stanley in 2006-07 from Macclesfield Town.

They have benefited from selling on players to League clubs in the past few months and so the spending continues at Crawley Town where the club is "delighted to announce that striker Craig McAllister has joined The Reds... McAllister (30) has been at League One Exeter for the last two seasons and during that time has had loan spells with Barnet and Rotherham respectively. The talisman striker has significant experience at Conference National Level and was a free scoring striker in his time at Woking.

Reds boss Steve Evans said, 'Craig is a player I have admired for some time and I have no doubt he will prove to be a significant signing for us. He will compliment the strikers we have signed or those we are about to sign and will give us a different option from the others - that will be needed in what is going to be a very competitive season...

Craig has had a lot of interest but I have worked hard to bring him here and he, like me, is really excited about the challenge we have ahead of us... Craig said, 'The project here under Steve Evans and Bruce Winfield is really exciting and I am looking forward to helping Crawley Town challenge at the top of The Conference. The manager worked wonders here over the last few seasons and that is widely recognised but he wants us to become true promotion contenders in the season ahead and that is why I have signed'. Manager Steve Evans says he expects to make more player signings prior to the squad reporting back for Pre-Season training on Wednesday".

This is Glos says that "Forest Green manager Dave Hockaday is 'thrilled' with his player recruitment so far this summer, but admits the club coffers are running dry. Hockaday has managed to sign up 12 players for next season, with only Jared Hodgkiss, Mike Fowler and Reece Styche remaining from the class of 2009/10...

'I've got one more signing in the pipeline but I'm aware the board are struggling to give me much more', said Hockaday. 'Everyone knows how tight things are, but we might need some extra help from a generous supporter or someone from outside. Whatever happens, I know I'll have to call upon the Hartpury College boys at times and I'm very happy and grateful to be able to do that'.

Former Salisbury City and Bath City defender Scott Bartlett is the most recent addition to the ranks, a versatile and solid performer who fits the Hockaday model. 'I'm absolutely thrilled with the business we've done – we'll have a dressing room of winners', said Hockaday. 'We might not have the numbers of other squads but they are all honest, hard-working players who I know will give their all. If they have something to say to me they will do it to my face, not behind my back'".


28 June 2010

KEEPING THEIR STANDARDS

Looking back over 50 years of non-League football, Tony Williams writes in the NL Paper, "Altrincham have just enjoyed their best season since 1996 and full marks go to their management team, led by ex-player and coach Graham Heathcote. Alty have always kept their standards, their character and their popularity despite being neighbours to the professional giants in the NorthWest. The Alliance was an almost immediate success and Alty were impressive role models in the first two important years" in which Alty won the title each season. Tony's article has a large picture of Alty's 1981-82 side.

BSBP NEWS

Southport boss Liam Watson is a big fan of Histon manager John Beck, who was assistant manager at Deepdale when Watson was a player at Preston. Watson said, "Everything I do is based on John's methods. He's been the biggest influence on my career so the Histon games are the ones I'll be looking for. It'll be a proud day to stand in the opposite dugout to John".

Watson is also tipping his youth player Danny Lloyd-McGoldrick to be "Non-League's next big star" according to the NL Paper. He said, "I've actually got enough money to bring in another player but the only thing I need is a winger. And if I did that, I'd stop Danny's development, which would be criminal. So we've contracted him and he'll be part of the squad".

The Southport Visiter adds that "Shaun Gray has been rewarded with a new one-year deal whilst a key duo have signed extensions with Southport. The 23-year-old defender was at the end of his current contract so manager Liam Watson swooped quickly to retain his services for another season. And with vice-captain Michael Powell and midfielder Ashley Winn entering the final phase of their respective deals, the Sandgrounders have handed the pair an additional year keeping them at Haig Avenue well into 2012.

Watson also confirmed he will be holding talks with defenders Chris Lever and Kevin Lee, who are out of contract next summer, before meeting with the four players who are set to leave the club this summer. The Port boss would not reveal the names of the exiting quartet but says discussions will take place in the coming days with Blue Square Bet North Droylsden to be their likely destination.

But on the retaining of Gray, Watson said: 'Shaun is a player who never lets me down and if he goes out on loan he always does well and comes back a better player... Powelly is a mainstay at this club and Ash is one of the best players here'... Gray signed a two-year contract with Southport in the summer of 2008 when Watson made the switch from Burscough to return to the Haig Avenue hotseat".

Blue Square Football says that "Grimsby Town have revealed that striker Jean Louis Akpa Akpro has been released with immediate effect. The Toulouse-born frontman was offered a new contract by the Mariners but he opted to part ways with the club in the hope of earning a deal with a Football League club. Grimsby manager Neil Woods told the club's official website: 'Jean has done it in the correct manner, in the correct way. We made a very good offer to him but it seems that he is heading elsewhere. After talking to him it seems that a lot of the foreign players have the mentality that going out of the league is going to amateur football'". Akpro joined the Mariners from Belgian side FC Brussels in the summer of 2007 and went on to make over 40 appearances, scoring eight goals in the process".

Hayes & Yeading United report that "According to Wealdstone's official website they have completed the signing of our top scorer from last season Scott Fitzgerald. His reason for moving is that he cannot spend enough time away from his day job to take in the extra training that the gaffer has planned for the new season. On behalf of the Club I would like to wish Scott all the best and thank him for his service with Hayes & Yeading United". HYU are moving to full-time football prompting the announcement that "The Board of Directors have this evening agreed the prices for our second season in the Blue Square Bet Premier Division. An increase in prices has resulted, for this the Board apologise during these hard financial times, but this is needed to help sustain football at the highest level for Hayes & Yeading United".

In the NL Paper, Hayes & Yeading boss Garry Haylock, who has retained just two players from his squad last year, says "I've got plenty of time. I honestly don't see the point of rushing into things. There are various reasons we've done what we've done... We need 18 new players. It will be a very fresh outlook but it can work".


27 June 2010

ENGLAND GAME

Grahame Rowley advises that all of England's World Cup games will be shown in the bar at Moss Lane on HD television. Sunday,
  • 27th June: England v Germany, kick off 3pm - doors open 2.30pm; beer just £2 a pint!

    Support your team whilst supporting your club and watching the World Cup at Altrincham FC. Everyone welcome, Alty supporters or otherwise. Special promotions will be run at each game.

    MORE ON DAMIAN

    In November 2007, Farsley Today interviewed Alty's new signing, Damian Reeves. Asked, "Where do you want to be in five years' time?", he replied, "I want to play back in the Football League, I've always said that... I'm quick, I know where the back of the net is and I don't mind getting stuck in...

    I support Liverpool and ever since I've been a kid I just used to idolise Robbie Fowler. He's a legend". Damian's career began with Leeds United. "I broke my leg wearing the No.9 shirt and when I came to Farsley I wouldn't wear it. But I had a few bad games in the No.10 shirt and the boss made me wear the No.9. I've worn it ever since, I started playing well and things have gone on from there".

    Damian was at Farsley for two years from August 2006 to June 2008, where he played 44(+2) games and acored 11 goals. He then moved to Histon [13(+9) games, 5 goals], whom he left in January 2009 to move to Northwich Victoria where he made 7(+2)

    After Vics. Damian went to Alfreton Town in 2009-10, followed by a spell at AFC Telford United and a loan spell with Bradford PA. The Shropshire Star report on 29 March 2010 that "Striker Damian Reeves has swapped a play-off push with AFC Telford United to join UniBond League title contenders Bradford Park Avenue. Reeves joined from the now-defunct Farsley in November, but his impact at Telford was limited – scoring four goals in 17 appearances... Said Telford’s assistant manager Larry Chambers, 'Damian wasn’t going to get enough regular football. We had enquiries from Stafford and Hyde but he’s chosen to go to Bradford Park Avenue and we wish him all the best'”.

    NICKY'S OTHER SPORT

    News of another Alty Yorkshireman comes from the Huddersfield Examiner back in May. Its cricket reporter writes "Son of elder Marsden statesman Norman, Nicky Clee is important to Marsden as an all-rounder, although his football commitment to Altrincham meant he played only 10 games last season, but he still managed almost 400 runs – including a best of 124 against Linthwaite".

    BSBP NEWS

    NL News 24 reports that "Ian Hart has quit as youth team manager at Histon, having held the role for the last three years. Hart resigned amid concerns over the future of players coming through the ranks following John Beck’s return as first-team boss. It is the latest blow to the Stutes following the departure of chief executive and acting chairman Allen Soraff on Tuesday.

    He tells Cambridge-news.co.uk: 'John Beck has come in and started running everything the way he wants to run it, but with that he’s changing a whole lot of things. The bottom line is that the young players who are at Histon aren’t "John Beck" players. I’ve done so much and organised everything we’ve set up but they didn’t want me so it was a two-way thing... I didn’t see there was a future for me at Histon due to the new management coming in'.

    Hart, who combined his role with that of No 2 to Alan Lewer last season, added he felt Histon were on a slippery slope. He said: 'I feel the club is really on a downward spiral. Resigning from Histon has been a big weight off my shoulders. I’m glad I was part of it and worked with some brilliant people but, bit by bit, more and more people are walking away from the club. It’s a shame because of what was built up, but you’ve got to be happy in what you’re doing and I wouldn’t have been happy working with John Beck'”.

    Barrow's Holker Street Newsletter reports that "Barrow AFC won't be running a reserve team next season; 'the board have decided to suspend the Reserves for the 2010-11 season and will look to develop the playing side of the club in other areas'.

    The decision doesn't appear to have been taken on financial grounds, more that the Reserves, as they were with the supply of players they had last season, were unable to supply players of Conference standard to the first team.... What will happen now when the club want to have a look at a new player or for the local lads trying to make the step up to the first team, we can only guess".

    Meanwhile, "Talking to BBC Radio Cumbria, Dave Bayliss says 'he is expecting to make some positive movement in the transfer market in the next few weeks', and the article confirms Lee McEvilly has joined Sligo Rovers. As for replacements: 'We are working really hard. Talks are positive with a lot of players. We need to address the areas where we have lost players and those we bring in will be of higher and better quality. We've got probably three of the best strikers at this level in Jason Walker, Nick Chadwick and Greg Blundell and there'll be another good striker coming in as well.

    We're talking to a really good centre midfielder'... As for new goalies: 'We would be daft to replace them (Tomlinson and Deasy) with someone of lesser calibre than either of them. The keeper we get in will be better in our opinion'. Bayliss also adds some meat to the bones about Craig Nelthorpe and him going to Gateshead: 'We spoke to Craig a number of times over the summer but we couldn't compete with what Gateshead were offering. Gateshead offered him a house, better wages and a re-location fee. He's got a wife and two young kids to think about and we couldn't offer him a deal like that'.

    The Newsletter adds, "Nelthorpe still has a court case pending after being one of four players charged with affray in York city centre last year, the Gateshead manager, Ian Bogie commented: 'He has a court case pending but hopefully he will receive a suspended sentence and maybe community service which we can work around his training at Gateshead'".


    26 June 2010

    NEW SIGNING

    Altrincham FC have made their second signing of the summer - striker Damian Reeves, seen here signing for Alty with vice-chairman Grahame Rowley, (photo courtesy of Karen Rowley).

    Alty press officer John Edwards writes: "Damian Reeves has become Altrincham's latest summer signing after being urged to bolster Graham Heathcote's attacking options by former Moss Lane favourite Greg Young.

    The 24-year old frontrunner signed on at the ground today (Saturday) then explained to the club's official website how a word with York City centre-back Young had helped convince him he was making the right move.

    Hailing from Doncaster, and an Academy graduate with Leeds United before first sampling Conference football with Farsley Celtic, Reeves said: 'I'm from the same neck of the woods as Youngy and Chrissie Senior, and I know them both quite well. 'When I got a phone call saying Graham (Heathcote) wanted to speak to me, I mentioned it to Youngy and asked him what he thought. He couldn't speak highly enough of Altrincham and told me I wouldn't regret joining them. He just said everything about the club was spot-on, from the way it was run behind the scenes to the coaching staff and players. I know he was a really popular figure, and he told me how, if you give your all and produce on the pitch, there's no better set of fans to play for.

    'It's a pity he and Chrissie have both left, just as I'm arriving, but that's just one of those things. You can't deny them the chance of full-time football.'

    Though Young was the player he consulted, Reeves is more likely to revive memories of Senior, judging by the way he described his style of play. 'I've only seen Chrissie play a few times, and I'm taller than he is, but there are similarities,' said the 5ft 10in striker. 'I like to play off the shoulder of the main striker, looking for any scraps or knockdowns, and I'll happily chase lost causes. I'm quick, and there's always the chance you might salvage one or two and turn them into attacking opportunities, so I'll do that all day long.

    'That's the way I like to play, and it's what the manager has been looking for, so when we met up and talked things over, it soon became clear this was the right move for me. I may have had a word with Greg first, but, really, no-one needed to sell Altrincham to me. When I was at Farsley, they were struggling a bit at his level, but they have come on in leaps and bounds in the last couple of seasons.

    'I'm relishing the chance to try and make sure we maintain our recent progress.'

    Reeves has become an Alty player at the second time of asking, after ending up at Northwich, instead of Moss Lane, following his departure from Histon two seasons ago. He needs no reminding of how Northwich are perceived in Alty circles but hopes his assessment of the two clubs' respective merits might count in his favour on the Moss Lane terraces.

    'I knew Graham was interested when I left Histon, and I spoke to him,' he said. 'The timing wasn't quite right, unfortunately, and I subsequently joined Northwich. The fans will probably shoot me for that, but all I can say is that a look at what has happened to them and us since tells you everything about how a football club should be run.

    'When I went to Northwich, there were promises that everything was fine, but it soon started unravelling. It isn't nice when players are not being paid and there is uncertainty about the future, but that is how it was throughout my brief time there.

    'I played in the 1-0 defeat at Moss Lane that season. It was a night game, and I remember thinking there was a real edge to it. You could feel the rivalry between the camps. Little did I know I'd be coming back as an Alty player, but I couldn't be more delighted.

    'To be honest, I've been messed about so much, with things not exactly going to plan at Telford last season, that it feels brilliant to be joining a club on an even keel, where things are done properly. You've got people behind the scenes here looking after things the right way, which means the players are free to concentrate on their football. That's got to help you produce your best, and it's no coincidence that stability like that has gone hand in hand with improving results out on the pitch.

    'I can't wait to get started, and if I face a bit of a scrap for a starting place, that's fine. Competition for places keeps you on your toes. No-one wants to be sitting on the bench, so if you know you've got a battle on our hands for a starting shirt, that's going to drive you on. And with Michael Twiss and Dale Johnson around, it's going to be a battle, all right'".

    Damian is 24, having been born on 18 December 1985.

    SEASON TICKETS

    Season tickets are now available for collection at the ground. A £10 discount for season tickets purchased by June 30th is applicable for adult and concessionary tickets and don't forget that season tickets confer free admission to all pre-season games at Moss Lane.

    The club offices at Moss Lane are open from 9am to 3pm on the three remaining working days before the end of June. Please note payment must be by cheque or cash - not be credit or debit card.

    ALTRINCHAM FESTIVAL - CAN YOU HELP, PLEASE?

    TASC's Steve Foster writes:

    "TASC and Altrincham Football Club would welcome any volunteers to help at the Altrincham Festival on 3rd July. If you are available and willing to help promote your football club to the people of Sale and Altrincham, please can you email Steve Foster.

    Further to that, if you have any items that would be suitable as tombola prizes, that you would be willing to donate to the club, please can you also let Steve know at the above address. Prizes can be handed in to the offices at the club during normal working hours.

    Not only is the Festival a potential money-earning event, but it is an important publicity opportunity for the football club, so any help that you can offer will be greatly appreciated! Thanks".

    TASC's Colin Mitchell adds, "A special call goes out to anyone who would like to be Rocky Robin for the day as Nasha is away that weekend. Further to this if you have any items that would be suitable as Tombola prizes, that you would be willing to donate to the club could you please drop them off at Moss Lane between the hours of 9am and 3pm any midweek day leading up to and including Friday 2nd July. The festival gives us an ideal opportunity to promote our club to the local community so any help is greatly appreciated.

    The club (including Junior Robins) will be involved in the Festival Procession with two floats and have a pitch on the field afterwards with Penalty Shootout Competition, Tombola and Large Football Card. The new personalised 'Altrincham F.C. - The Robins' wallets (they hold coins, plastic cards, cash etc) will also be on sale on the Festival Field. Limited stocks available".

    The Altrincham Festival site provides more details.

    BRIAN'S BLOG

    Joint Altrincham FC press officer, Brain Flynn, is sending a blog to the MAnchester Evening News from the World Cup in South Africa...

    "Cape Town is undoubtedly one of the nicest and most impressive cities in the world, but on Monday evening it cut a pretty miserable scene as driving rain and freezing cold temperatures greeted almost 63,000 fans as we arrived at the Green Point Stadium for the game between Italy and Paraguay. With half an hour of the game gone and the score at 0-0, I was beginning to feel a tad paranoid that we were destined not to see any goals at all during this World Cup, but a wonderful header from the Paraguayan central defender Antolin Alcaraz was soon nestling in the bottom corner of the onion bag and suddenly my worries disappeared. Italy scrambled a second half equaliser and the spoils were ultimately shared in a very entertaining encounter and everyone went home happy.

    Well......not quite everyone actually. The stewards in Cape Town had gone on strike over pay before the match, but this hardly seemed to matter as there are so many police about that you would have to question whether these games need stewarding!

    The previous day we had ventured south of Cape Town along the beautiful coastline to the Cape of Good Hope and along the way we thought we spotted Robert Green on the other side of the road, but it turned out to be one of the local baboons out for a Sunday afternoon stroll!

    After five days in Cape Town, we have started travelling along the world famous Garden Route. The journey is about 500 miles and on Wednesday we had breakfast in our lovely B&B in Swellendam with Helmut from Frankfurt before setting off on a scenic drive to Oodtshoorn about 130 miles away across the very interesting semi-arid Little Karoo landscape. We stopped for lunch at a famous watering hole called ‘Ronnie’s Sex Shop’ and met Ronnie, a silver haired pony-tailed rocker who is a legend in these parts.

    We are now in Oodtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world and on Wednesday evening we shared the locals disappointment as Bafana Bafana were comprehensively outplayed by Uruguay. We left our seats in the bar at half time to enjoy a couple of superb Ostrich schnitzels, before returning to watch the second half.....only to find that our seats had been taken.......by Helmut from Frankfurt! It’s a very small world and was clearly a schoolboy error on our part not to have put the beach towels down!"

    Brian and his son Niall are not the only Altrincham residents in South Africa as New Zealand's captain Ryan Nelsen, the New Zealand captain, reportedly also lives in Altrincham, while England's Emile Heskey is based in Hale.

    BSBP NEWS

    There is a remarkably quick rags to riches story occuring in Sussex where, as recently as 21 May, we reported from the Crawley Town website what assistant manager Paul Raynor had stated "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'".

    Now we read on York Press a quote from York City manager Martin Foyle that "I’ve been chasing some very good players but some have proven out of our reach. Matt Tubbs is somebody I was interested in even before anybody knew what was going to happen to Salisbury but it looks like he’s on his way to Crawley now for £35,000 and fantastic wages".

    The same article adds, "The 25-year-old striker [Tubbs] is still contracted to the Wiltshire club for the next two years. Ambitious Crawley, though, are prepared to splash out a transfer fee for his services and offer a lucrative wage package...

    However, Blackburn Rovers winger Andy Haworth will join City on loan next season subject to a successful pre-season trial. Haworth, 21, is under contract with the Premier League club until next summer having spent temporary spells at Gateshead and Rochdale last season. The length of any loan stay has not yet been determined with Foyle adding: 'We had such a good team spirit last season and it’s important we don’t unsettle that. We need to know he is the right type and then we could take him on a season-long loan, six months or three months.'...

    Foyle is also hopeful that Haworth and another winger he is targeting can improve City’s flank play after the efforts of released trio Adam Smith, Courtney Pitt and Craig Nelthorpe last season. He said: 'Both Andy Haworth and the other winger I am speaking to can play on both sides and up front. We need that because we will be going with a smaller squad. We are looking for people who can run with the ball a bit more and retain possession better in the final third of the pitch than we had last season. Adam Smith was effective at home but we didn’t really see him in away matches and Courtney Pitt was similar. But, then, a lot of players are a bit inconsistent at this level and that’s why you have to chop and change'”.

    Off the field, "York City have set their sights on a move to a new community stadium at Monks Cross. The Minstermen's chairman Jason McGill says demolishing Huntington Stadium, the current home of York City Knights, and building a new arena to house both clubs is now seen as the best way forward for City. City of York Council has revealed the four sites on the shortlist for the community stadium, with one including the existing rugby league ground and the adjacent Vangarde land at Monks Cross previously earmarked for a HSBC data centre.

    The other options are redeveloping City's Bootham Crescent home, which would involve buying the neighbouring Duncombe Barracks, a Hull Road site next to the University of York's new Heslington East campus, and on the Nestle North and Mille Crux site off Haxby Road. The council's executive will be asked to consider the four options at its July 6 meeting, with the initial proposals focusing on a 6,000-seat stadium with office space and health and fitness facilities...

    'We have a preferred site, and that would be not a redeveloped stadium at Monks Cross, but a totally new stadium there', said Mr McGill. 'We would not support a purely refurbished Huntington Stadium'".

    In addition to the Tubbs story, This is Sussex confirms that "Crawley Town manager Steve Evans has added two outstanding players to his squad for the new season. In follow-up to the arrival of three high quality signings, Michel Kuipers, Danny Hall and Steve Masterton the Reds boss has now signed striker Liam Enver-Marum and defender Darragh Ryan.

    Enver-Marum, 23, will be known to Reds fans, as he spent last season with local rivals Eastbourne Borough... Enver-Marum: 'I see next season as being vital for me and I wanted to join a club who have ambition; I believe I have done that today... I am really excited when I look at the players the manager has signed for next season, and if he signs the players he has targeted then it will be very exciting for all of us. The set up is terrific'...

    The second player to join The Reds is left-sided player Darragh Ryan, 30, who previously played for Crawley Town as a youngster and has spent time with Brighton and Hove Albion... Ryan said: 'This is now a very progressive club, we have an excellent management team and a dressing room with good quality players; our objective will be the playoffs and I believe we can achieve it'... Evans hopes to add two further players to his side in the next few weeks."

    The South Wales Argus says that "Newport County manager Dean Holdsworth is stepping up his efforts to bring winger Kerry Morgan back to Spytty Park... The squad reports for the start of pre-season training on Monday... The diminutive winger will join up with parent club Swansea City for pre-season a week tomorrow but could return on loan to County in time for the first fixtures in the Blue Square Bet Premier...

    'Kerry is a fantastic player and I’ve made my interest known to him and to Swansea', said Holdsworth. 'The ball is in their court now and I’d love him to come back and be a part of the squad again... He’s got to make the decision'... Morgan was an integral part of the team that stormed to the Blue Square South championship last season, scoring seven goals in 20 starts...

    But Morgan says 'My main aim at the moment is to impress the manager at Swansea and, if I have a good pre-season, try to get in the team there. If that doesn’t work out I’ll look at my options and look to go out on loan again. I wouldn’t say no to going back to Newport. It’s a fantastic club that’s on the up and I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to play there'...

    Holdsworth is also in the market for a goalkeeper to provide competition to number one Glyn Thompson and at least one striker to support Craig Reid, Sam Foley and new boy Giuseppe Sole".

    According to the Uxbridge Gazette , "Garry Haylock is edging closer to landing his top summer target for Hayes & Yeading after he held talks with an experienced Football League goalkeeper... who has more than 300 league appearances under his belt... The United boss has yet to make his first signing of the close season after a massive clear-out at Church Road".

    The NW Evening Mail reports that "Paul Edwards has turned down Barrow’s offer... Bluebirds' joint-manager Darren Sheridan said yesterday that the 30-year-old free agent – who was a key part of Barrow’s FA Trophy-winning side at Wembley last month – is set to go on trial with an unnamed Football League club. The experienced Edwards joined Barrow in mid-March following a lengthy spell out injured. He agreed a deal until the end of the 2009-10 season.

    'We wanted Eddie to stay with us and offered him a really good deal', said Sheridan. 'What he wants, however, we can’t match. We have a line and we can’t go any higher with our offer. We can’t go up to what he’s asking for. We’ve done everything we can... We’re looking and talking with new left-backs'”.

    On the Mansfield Town Stagsnet forum, club director Steve Hymas writes, "I would like to give a simple explanation why we need to have concerts [at Field Mill]. Over the last 2 seasons the club has been subsidised by the owners at an average £10,000 per week... We start the season £600,000 (Sky money) worse off than when we were a league club under the previous owner. This cannot continue indefinitely and we cannot ask more from our fanbase at this level. We therefore decided that the only way to raise this deficit was with non-football related events i.e. concerts,lotteries etc. This is aimed at people that would not normally go to Field Mill or support the club at all... We do need a break and we hope it will be a 15,000 sell-out of Westlife".

    At Southport manager "Liam Watson has given left sided defender Shaun Gray a new one year contract... Longest serving player Michael Powell and Ashley Winn also received a boost this week when Watson extended their contracts-keeping the two key players at Haig Avenue until 2012. Watson said 'Shaun will be competing for a starting point in the squad... Michael Powell and Ashley Winn have been given the security they have earned... I want continuity in the squad and these deals indicate that'".

    From Bath City we learn that "When City's squad returns to begin pre-season training next Tuesday they look to be joined by former midfielder Yan Klukowski and striker Jake Reid. 23-year old Klukowski was a product of City's youth system, making 14 first team appearances during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons, before heading to the US for a four-year football scholarship. He returned to the UK last summer and had spells with Chippenham Town and Larkhall Atheltic, plus trials with Swindon Town and Carlisle United. Reid is a former Team Bath frontman who played for Weymouth last season before joining Salisbury City in March, where he netted three goals in 12 games".

    PRE-SEASON

    For those looking for some pre-season competitive action within reach of Altrincham, at Oswestry, Welsh Premier champions TNS will play their UEFA Champions' League home second leg against Ireland's Bohemian FC at Park Hall on Tuesday July 20.
    25 June 2010

    KICK OFF TIME

    Altrincham's pre-season game at Woodley Sports on 10 July will be a 2pm kick off and not 3pm as previously announced.

    FRIENDS' DRAW

    Steve Foster of TASC reports the winners of the Friends of Altrincham FC monthly draw:
  • 1st - No 51 - Mrs M Warrington £100
  • 2nd - No 73 - Julie Brady £35
  • 3rd - No 12 - Peter & Judy Foster £15

    CHEER ON ENGLAND AT ALTY!

    Vice chairman Grahame Rowley writes, "Now that England are through to the last 16 our next game will be this Sunday at 3pm against Germany. There will be a special offer of all draught beers/lagers being priced at £2 per pint for the afternoon. If we progress to the quarter finals this offer will be repeated but with beer at £1-50 a pint!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Support your club as well as England - get down to Moss Lane this Sunday!"

    FRIENDLY OPPONENTS

    News of one of Alty's pre-season opponents comes from the UniBond League. "Woodley Sports has completed the signing of the talented striker Dennis Sherriff. The forward has been in excellent scoring form for Rochdale AFC over the past two seasons, by scoring an impressive 41 goals for the Youth team and the reserve side. This has meant Sherriff being top goalscorer for the past two seasons.

    Dennis was disappointed not to stay at the League one club, but now feels that Woodley Sports FC is the perfect club, to help him with his development and back into the professional game, as it has with Liam Dickinson, Simon Hackney and Antoni Sarcevic.

    Sherriff who is clearly excited to back at the Neil Rourke Stadium after a loan period last season said, ‘I am extremely happy signing for Woodley Sports because I know what the club is about... Sometimes you need to take a step back to go forward. Finally, I am looking forward to doing big things with Woodley this season'... Sherriff will be hoping to get on the score sheet with Sport’s first pre-season game against Altrincham FC on Saturday the 10th of July at Woodley".

    BSBP NEWS

    LIincoln's Sports Echo says that "New signing Drewe Broughton turned his back on an emotional switch to his home town club to work with a man destined to go 'onwards and upwards' – Chris Sutton. The 31-year-old penned a one-year deal at Sincil Bank earlier this month following his release from Rotherham... but to do so he had to turn down an enticing offer from Luton Town. The Bedfordshire club were eager to bring the Luton-born front runner to Kenilworth Road".

    This is Mansfield tells us that "Stevenage, Luton and Cheltenham are the latest clubs to be linked with Mansfield Town's in-demand striker Jake Speight. The diminutive hitman ended the last campaign as the Stags' top scorer with 17 goals but he handed in a transfer request, frustrated at not being offered improved terms. Mansfield initially vowed to take up a one-year option written into Speight's contract when he first signed. However, they have since offered him a fresh deal on better terms, although he has yet to put pen to paper.

    That has alerted other clubs, who have been impressed with Speight's pace, power and finishing capabilities... Carlisle United were understood to have made inquiries, only to be put off by the size of the fee. Stags' boss David Holdsworth rates his goal ace in the same bracket as former Stevenage man Steve Morison. Morison left Broadhall Way last summer for £130,000 to join League One Millwall".

    "York City have taken Blackburn winger Andy Howarth on pre-season trial with a view to a long-term loan signing" reports the BBC. "City manager Martin Foyle sees Howarth (21) as the likely replacement for departed right-winger Adam Smith. 'Andy's going to do all the pre-season with us with a view to a loan period', Foyle told BBC Radio York. 'He had a good loan period with Rochdale towards the end of the season. He shows his excitement and a little bit of pace, and he's a good size'">

    Meanwhile, "Fleetwood Town have continued to strengthen their squad by signing goalkeeper Scott Davies. The 23-year-old has moved to his hometown club following his release by Lancashire rivals Morecambe... He made his Morecambe debut in 2005 and went on to make 21 appearances for the Shrimps. He was allowed to leave the club at the end of the season".

    According to NL Daily relegated "Ebbsfleet United have begun building their playing squad for the 2010/11 campaign with the announcement of three signings. [One of those] arriving at Stonebridge Road is 26-year-old central defender Paul Lorraine from AFC Wimbledon".

    "Histon boss John Beck is adamant he can bring the best out of Antonio Murray if, as expected, the deal for the player goes through" reports Blue Square Football. "Murray was a crucial player in 2007 when he helped them win won the Conference South title while he also played a significant role for the past two seasons.But after failing to agree terms last season, he signed for Cambridge United after a loan period with Chelmsford, where he failed to perform at his best.

    Beck told Cambridge News: 'It's not a done deal, but we've agreed Antonio's coming on board. We've agreed terms and, as far as I'm concerned, he'll be a Histon player next season... He's probably taken a couple of steps backwards. I've spoken to him about his time at Chelmsford and Cambridge and he was used to my training and in-depth organisational work. He's realised it's a lot different at other clubs. I think he'll be pleased to get back into a routine that will bring the best out of him'".

    Scunthorpe United Mad says that "The former Scunthorpe left-back Lee Ridley has signed a two-year deal with local non-league side Grimsby Town. Ridley was a free agent having been released by Cheltenham Town in the summer. The Scunthorpe-born player came through the ranks at Glanford Park and made 117 appearances for the Iron... He spent three seasons at Whaddon Road, making 70 appearances in all competitions. He also had loan spells at Darlington and Lincoln City".

    An insight into why Weymouth are where they are comes from NL News 24 which reports that "Weymouths's playing budget next season will be less than 12 per cent of what the club was paying out to players and management two years ago [in the Conference]. Terras' boss Ian Hutchinson will be handed a war chest of just over £70,000 for the season, which includes his and his backroom team’s wages.

    Accounts for the year ending May 2008, which were presented to shareholders at Weymouth’s AGM last night, revealed that £617,939 – eight and a half times Hutchinson’s budget – was spent on wages and salaries, the Dorset Echo is reporting. Chairman George Rolls, who took over a beleaguered club in November 2009 and led it through a successful Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) four months later, apologised for the 'embarrassment' of holding the first AGM at the club in two years.

    'An AGM hasn’t taken place for such a long time, which is unacceptable for a business', said Rolls. 'What’s more embarrassing is that there are no board members sitting here who were in charge during that time'”.


    24 June 2010

    SPONSORSHIP DOUBLE

    Altrincham FC joint press officer, John Edwards writes, "Altrincham have pulled off another notable close-season triumph with a sponsorship double that is being celebrated from South Manchester to Western Australia. Club bosses were in jubilant mood after announcing four-figure deals with Manchester Glass and Altrincham solicitors Dunne and Gray for the sponsors' lounge and family stand.

    Their elation was shared thousands of miles away, after Manchester Glass office manager Maggie Needham described how her nephew in Perth was lapping up news of the latest developments at Moss Lane. 'He may live on the other side of the world, but Matthew is always on the club website, eager for any updates on his beloved Alty,' said Maggie, after Hale-based Manchester Glass owner Patrick Air agreed a three-year deal. 'So when I told him club sponsors would be sitting in the Manchester Glass Lounge next season, he was chuffed to bits.

    'I remember when Jack Swindells visited the ground, Matthew had heard so much about him from my dad, he phoned me and said: "Whatever you do, make sure you get his autograph." A signed match programme now has pride of place at his home in Perth! 'My family have always been massive supporters, selling programmes and acting as ball-boys, and, as a company, we are all so proud and honoured to be associated with Altrincham in such a positive way.'

    In another significant commercial coup, Dunne and Gray have renewed their sponsorship for a third successive year and will again have their name on the family stand.

    'I remember the heady days of those great FA Cup runs and have keenly followed the club's fortunes ever since,' said Vincent Gray. 'They are an extremely well-run club, and we were more than happy to continue our association.'

    Alty vice-chairman Grahame Rowley hailed the double breakthrough, which follows on from another substantial sponsorship agreement with Carole Nash Insurance, and said: 'We think it is fantastic that local companies are choosing to back their local football club in this way. It is what we are all about'".

    ALTRINCHAM FESTIVAL - CAN YOU HELP, PLEASE?

    TASC's Steve Foster writes:

    "TASC and Altrincham Football Club would welcome any volunteers to help at the Altrincham Festival on 3rd July. If you are available and willing to help promote your football club to the people of Sale and Altrincham, please can you email Steve Foster.

    Further to that, if you have any items that would be suitable as tombola prizes, that you would be willing to donate to the club, please can you also let Steve know at the above address. Prizes can be handed in to the offices at the club during normal working hours.

    Not only is the Festival a potential money-earning event, but it is an important publicity opportunity for the football club, so any help that you can offer will be greatly appreciated! Thanks".

    BSBP NEWS

    Confirmation comes from the Football Conference that "Rushden & Diamonds have signed South African defender Justin Miller. The 29-year-old, born in Johannesburg, can play at centre back or full-back, and returns to the UK after spending a year playing in the South African Premier Soccer League for Bidvest Wits - also known as Wits University.

    Miller started his career with Ipswich Town, signing for Leyton Orient in 2003 after a successful loan spell, where he racked up 150 League appearances before moving to Port Vale. In July 2008 Miller signed for Chelmsford City before moving to South Africa".

    "Allen Soraff has resigned as chief executive of Histon. Soraff always had in mind that he would continue with the club until he was 65 and then review his position but with increased commitments and travel, he has decided to redress the balance in his life and spend more time with his family... The club has also confirmed that following recent discussions, by mutual agreement, former chairman Tony Roach has resigned from the club".

    The Conference also reports that "Fleetwood Town manager Micky Mellon has appointed an assistant... in response to moving to full-time status this summer. Football League stalwart Craig Madden returns to the club where he finished his prolific playing career. The former Bury, West Brom and Blackpool striker clocked up over 400 League appearances and 150 goals before joining Fleetwood. Madden, 51, leaves Stockport County after thirteen seasons to join former Blackpool team-mate Mellon at Highbury... Madden will join his new side on the pre-season camp in Austria".

    Madden asserted "We have a very strong squad and we will be able to hold our own in the league. However, there’s no doubt we’re in for a tough season and it will need a lot of hard work... I will bring a great deal of experience. I’ve worked at all levels at Stockport from being first team coach for four or five years and in the reserves and youth set-up. I’ve a good knowledge of players and requirements in the lower divisions of the Football League and will support Micky however I can".

    Meanwhile, "Fleetwood`s youth system is already progressing with three young players making the step to the first team ranks this summer and Madden will take a keen interest in further progression... Mellon welcomed his new appointment and maintained first-team coach Steve Macauley has a key role to play next season.... 'Craig is able to provide a full-time commitment whereas Steve will continue part-time'. Town travel to Austria next Tuesday for a one-week training camp and will meet Romanian champions FC Cluj in a friendly on Sunday, 4th July".

    Northants Evening Telegraph says that "There will be more signings to come at Kettering Town, according to chairman Imraan Ladak. The Poppies' chief confirmed the club have offered a deal to their former midfielder Brett Solkhon although that move looks like it may not happen as Ladak, himself, admitted...

    'I can confirm that we have spoken to Brett', Ladak said. 'But he hasn't accepted the offer we made. To be fair, the contract wasn't the best. It's nothing to do with greed on Brett's part... Brett, like any player, would need to come here and show that he has still got what it takes at this level. He has had a knee operation recently after a time out due to the injury and he also dropped a level last season. I can't offer contracts based on history. But if he was to come here and show that he is still the player we know he is then he, like anyone else, would get an improved deal. We will be looking for other players to come in before the start of the season, maybe one or two more. It's strange with Lee [Harper] because he is not like other managers in that he isn't coming to me and putting me under pressure to break the bank. He is wary of the club's finances and it's sometimes taking me to reassure him that we can afford the players he wants'". Ladak, meanwhile, is pleased with the work Harper has done so far and believes the likes of Luke Graham, Tommy Jaszczun, Iyesden Christie and Moses Ashikodi coming back to Kettering can only be good".

    Blue Square Football says that "Bury boss Alan Knill says Grimsby have made an enquiry about Andy Bishop and admits the club would consider substantial bids for the striker. Highly-rated Bishop has two years remaining on his contract... Grimsby are gearing up for life in the Blue Square Bet Premier following their relegation from the Football League but their interest in Bishop is highly unlikely to bear fruit.

    Knill said: 'At the end of the day its Andy's decision, but Grimsby was just an enquiry - they were not coming in to buy him... I don't think we are in the business of letting anybody go for absolutely nothing'".

    Meanwhile, Grimsby Town announce that "Joe Widdowson and Adam Proudlock have both invoked clauses in their contracts which allow them to leave the club. Widdowson, who has made over 30 appearances for the Mariners since signing a permanent deal last summer, is expected to join a League One side very soon. Proudlock was one of seven players who were told they could leave the club at the end of last season and he has now left the club also". Indeed Rochdale confirm that management duo "Keith and Dave are back from holiday and... Joe Widdowson became their second new signing of the summer".

    The Football Conference says that "During the excitement of the England versus Slovenia match, David Hockaday, manager of Forest Green Rovers, took the half-time break to complete another couple of signings for his squad. A packed Carol Embrey Suite watching the World Cup at the New Lawn witnessed first Craig Armstrong complete his signing as player-coach and then defender Scott Bartlett, previously with Bath City, joined the club on a part-time basis.

    Bartlett, 31, had left Bath as he didn't want to train full-time, and the fact that he lived in Tetbury just three miles from Rovers` ground made it an ideal move for him".

    Also, "Crawley Town have confirmed that manager Steve Evans has added two new outstanding players to his squad for the new season. In follow up to the arrival of three high quality signings, Michel Kuipers, Danny Hall and Steve Masterton, the Reds` boss has now signed striker Liam Enver-Marum and defender Darragh Ryan.

    Enver-Marum, 23, will be known to Reds fans, as he spent last season with local rivals Eastbourne Borough... The second player to join the Reds is left-sided player Darragh Ryan. The 30-year-old local recruit has previously played for Crawley as a youngster and has spent time with Brighton & Hove Albion. In 1999, Ryan signed for Irish side UCD... After a number of years with UCD, he returned to England, where he played for Bognor Regis Town, Worthing and Haywards Heath... In 2006 he returned to UCD but a year later he signed for Cork City and moved on to St Patrick`s Athletic in 2009, signing for Stevenage Borough last January".

    Elsewhere in Sussex, "Eastbourne Borough's management team Garry Wilson and Nick Greenwood have moved to further strengthen their squad... with the addition in midfield of Steve Brinkhurst. The 19-year-old, who hails from Lewes, went on loan to the Rooks during last season - his first as a profesional at Brighton & Hove Albion - and made a big impression at The Dripping Pan".


    23 June 2010

    JACKPOT

    The first of the two Altrincham FC Yankee jackpots of £5,000 has been won but another one is still available to win for just £1. Details here.

    BSBP NEWS

    The BBC says that "Hereford United have confirmed the appointment of Simon Davey as the club's new manager on a two-year deal. Davey quit his job as Darlington boss last week and takes over from Graham Turner who left to manage Shrewsbury".

    Blue Square Football says that "Histon manager John Beck has revealed that utility player Erkan Okay will work as part of the coaching staff at Glass World Stadium in the season ahead. Okay is a former England C international and will be a key player for Beck... However, Beck feels Okay can also make a contribution to the developement of his younger players.

    Beck told Cambridge News: 'Erkan is going to be a great asset to the football club. He's got his UEFA B Licence and I would imagine he'll be able to do some coaching as well. We have to promote and develop from within, as far as the budget will allow. I would expect to have a first-team squad of 16 players and the youth team will probably be the reserve team. We understand the task ahead of us and we know it's going to be difficult, but I don't want to keep harping on about it. I'm sure if we work really hard then we can preserve our status'".

    According to NL Daily, "FC Halifax Town have confirmed the signing of 29-year-old defender Mark Bower from Darlington. Bower started his career in West Yorkshire at his home town club of Bradford City. In over twelve years at the Bantams he made over 250 League appearances".

    Wrexham announce that "It's déjà vu all over again (!) for Bangor City, as they have drawn Finnish opponents FC Honka Espoo in the 2010/11 Europa League - second qualifying round. The Farrar Road club will be using the Racecourse Ground as their home base once more and the second leg tie is due with us on Thursday, 22 July - just 24 hours after we host a Liverpool XI side in a pre-season friendly".

    News of an ex-Alty player comes from Fleetwood Town where "Sean Clancy, is recovering well from his recent hernia operation and expects to come back even stronger than last year as he eagerly awaits his first full season at the top table of non-league football... Eighteen goal Clancy’s efforts in the promotion-winning season were recognised by his fellow professionals as he made the Blue Square North Team of the Season, alongside Steve McNulty, Alan Wright and Adam Warlow...

    Sean feels that the recent acquisition of Junior Brown, who he describes as a ‘good player and a good signing’, is typical of the standard of player that the club is now able to attract... Meanwhile, fellow midfielder Milligan also underwent an hernia operation recently and is making a steady recovery".

    Cambridge United say that "As many fans will be aware Grosvenor Developments recently completed the purchase of the R Costings Abbey Stadium... Our existing lease and occupancy of the ground remains unaltered by the change in ownership. Our tenure remains unaffected as does our security and rights of occupancy...

    The club and Grosvenor have documented our mutual understanding of the steps to be taken in the immediate future. This memorandum includes provisions that Grosvenor and the club will actively assess and consider the future location of the club with a view to the development of a new community stadium. At this time there is no fixed plan in place nor is there a set timeframe for any move....

    We must be practical and accept that to remain at the Abbey will require a significant financial commitment to development, repairs and maintenance which may not be economic and could easily be beyond our funding capacity".

    According to South London Today "Alex Stavrinou is the latest Charlton youngster to attract the interest of AFC Wimbledon. The 20-year-old central midfielder spent much of last season on loan at Ebbsfleet and performed well enough for Dons manager Terry Brown to enquire about his availability. Brown asked Charlton boss Phil Parkinson about the possibility of signing centre-back Yado Mambo on loan earlier this summer and was told the Addicks might be happy to do a deal. However, Wimbledon must wait until pre-season before Parkinson will release Mambo and Stavrinou because he currently only has 10 senior players and wants to ensure he has enough squad members to fulfil his friendly fixtures".


    22 June 2010

    FRANK SIDEBOTTOM

    Altrincham FC sends its condolences to the family and friends of local comedian, Frank Sidebottom who died on Monday, aged 54. Frank recently announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer. His comic songs featured Altrincham FC on numerous occasions and his eccentric form of humour will be much missed by his many dedicated fans. He is pictured right, in Alty kit, at the York City v Altrincham game on 5th November, 2006

    OLD BOYS

    Last summer Aaron Chalmers turned down a place at Altrincham and now Mossley confirm that they "have signed midfielder Aaron Chalmers from Scottish Premier league club Hibernian. 19 years old Chalmers who can play in midfield or in defence played for Bolton Wanderers as a junior before signing pro for Oldham Athletic where he made 2 first team appearances. He then had a spell on non contract forms at Macclesfield Town before signing for Hibernian at the start of last season". Chalmers played for the Scottish club's Academy side.

    Meanwhile Runcorn Linnets confirm that "Assistant Manager/Coach Wale Kwik Ajet [aka Adewale Ajetunmobi] has left Runcorn Linnets. Steve Wilkes said 'I'd like to thank AJ for his help over the past 12 months, and I wish him all the best for the future'".

    The Football Conference says that "Danny Ellis has re-signed and Joe O'Neill and Warren Peyton have joined Blue Square Bet North newcomers Guiseley from Stalybridge Celtic... O'Neill went on to score five goals in thirty-eight appearances for the Minstermen before joining Altrincham in 2006 where he was named player of the year in the 2006/07 season. He went on to make 116 appearances for the Robins, and scored thirteen goals... Although not a prolific goalscorer, he has a reputation for holding the ball up and an excellent workrate. Outside of football he has a degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Salford, from where he graduated in 2009.

    Peyton is a very experienced midfielder having played at Bolton, Rochdale, Bury, Doncaster, Nuneaton Borough, Leigh RMI and Altrincham. Whilst at Nuneaton he was selected for the England `C` team. He is a versatile individual whose preferred position is on the left of midfield, but he can also central midfield or left-back". Celtic have gone full time which is presumably why the ex-Alty duo have moved on.

    CHESHIRE NEWS

    News of some ex-Non-League players comes from SuperAlex, which reports that "Crewe plan to closely monitor the futures of Clayton Donaldson, Calvin Zola and Joel Grant as the trio enter the final year of their contracts at Gresty Road. Strikers Donaldson and Zola and winger Grant cost a total of about £500,000 when they were signed by former manager Steve Holland in 2008. And the three front-men, who all hit double figures last season, could be crucial to Crewe's hopes of mounting a League Two promotion challenge in 2010/11...

    With Crewe's wages budget likely to be cut to about £750,000 next season, it could prove harder accommodating Zola and Donaldson – understood to be the club's highest earners – into it. Gradi said: 'It's a case of value for money and we do have to think about protecting our investment. But obviously, if we wait too long and the player is doing well he is liable to wait until the end of next season before deciding what he wants to do'".

    BSBP NEWS

    "Former Darlington manager Simon Davey has revealed to the Gazette Livewhy he quit after just 11 weeks in the job...

    He said: 'While I was away in America I received a fantastic financial offer from a USA soccer company that made me think long and hard about my current situation. After long consideration with my family, I decided to tender my resignation... I left Darlington FC for reasons that I think the football club would understand completely... I left Darlington and did so properly and having given the required notice.

    I have seen some of the propaganda that has developed while I was away. I certainly want to clear up a number of things. There was never, ever, any disagreement between the Darlington chairman and me regarding players that I wanted to bring in. Raj Singh was very supportive of me there; in fact he was very supportive in everything I did... It was my decision to say ‘no’ on that - not Raj’s - and, to his credit, he backed me on it 100%. In my view, he is a chairman who most managers would find it easy to work with. He certainly has the best interests of Darlington Football Club at heart and I think that, given time and the support of the fans, he will turn things around...

    I’ve apparently been criticised - although I’m not entirely sure by whom - for resigning in writing. I did that because that’s what my contract required me to do and because, given the formal nature of what I was doing, that was also the right thing to do... I’ve nothing but good things to say about Darlington FC and I wish them all the best for next season. Finally, since my resignation, I’ve very recently had a number of clubs make enquiries through my agent. So I’ve got a lot to think about with regards to my future'”.

    This is South Wales tells us that "Swansea City are poised to beat two Premier League clubs to land Neil Taylor. The one-cap Wales international looks set to become Paulo Sousa's first summer signing, with the Wrexham defender expected to join within the next few days... with Swansea having to pay Wrexham a compensation fee. It is understood that could be in the region of £40,000. That could prove good business for Swansea, particularly as two top-flight clubs flew to Croatia to see Taylor make his international debut. The highly-rated defender, who has been offered a new deal by Wrexham, was first linked with Swansea last season".

    NW NEWS

    He was a scourge of Altrincham and many another club when at Vauxhall Motors but the Shropshire Star reports that "Former AFC Telford United striker Terry Fearns was today jailed for seven years for his part in a drugs ring supplying heroin across England and Scotland. The 32-year-old, who scored 17 goals at the New Bucks Head in 2008/9 and is seventh on the club’s list of all-time goal scorers, showed no emotion as he was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court alongside 12 other defendants.

    Twelve of the 13, including Fearns, had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to supplying class A drugs between January and November last year. The court heard police raided Fearns’ address in the Maghull area of Liverpool in March last year, while he was still playing for Telford. They found £30,000 worth of heroin, two knives and drugs kit".

    PRE-SEASON GAMES

    For those seeking pre-season football, Welsh Premierconfirms that "Llanelli AFC have drawn KF Taurus, Lithuania home on 01/07/10 and away 08/07/10 in the First Round of the Europa League". Other ties include "Thursday 1st July 2010 FC TPS TURKU (Finland) v PORT TALBOT TOWN, 2nd Leg - Thursday 8th July 2010 PORT TALBOT TOWN v FC TPS TURKU (Finland), Bohemians v TNS

    For the second year running, Bangor City have been drawn to play Honka Espoo of Finland in the Europa League second qualifying round... The New Saints got the luck of the Irish for the third time in recent years as they were paired with Bohemians in the Champions League draw".


    21 June 2010

    EIGHTH FRIENDLY

    Altrincham have arranged their eighth pre-season game, an away match at Curzon Ashton which will take place on Saturday 24 July at 3pm. A full list is here.

    OLD BOY

    Non-League Daily reports that "Aaron Burns has become the latest signings for new Evo-Stik League Division One North club Chester FC`s boss Neil Young. Striker Burns, who spent the second half of last season on-loan at Principality Welsh Premier side GAP Connah's Quay, joins from Northwich Victoria after scoring three goals from sixteen Welsh Premier appearances during his time in Deeside".

    FA CUP COMPETITION DATES

    The FA has announced the dates for the 2010-11 FA Trophy and FA Cup.

    FA Trophy round dates...

  • Preliminary Round: Saturday 2 October 2010
  • First Round Qualifying: Saturday 16 October 2010
  • Second Round Qualifying: Saturday 30 October 2010
  • Third Round Qualifying: Saturday 20 November 2010
  • First Round Proper: Saturday 11 December 2010 - Conference clubs enter at this stage.
  • Second Round Proper: Saturday 15 January 2011
  • Third Round Proper: Saturday 5 February 2011
  • Fourth Round Proper: Saturday 26 February 2011
  • Semi-Final L1: Saturday 12 March 2011
  • Semi-Final L2: Saturday 19 March 2011
  • Final: Saturday 7 May 2011

    FA Cup round dates...

  • Extra Preliminary Round: Saturday 14 August 2010
  • Preliminary Round: Saturday 28 August 2010
  • First Round Qualifying: Saturday 11 September 2010
  • Second Round Qualifying: Saturday 25 September 2010
  • Third Round Qualifying: Saturday 9 October 2010
  • Fourth Round Qualifying Saturday 23 October 2010 - Conference clubs enter at this stage.
  • First Round Proper: Saturday 6 November 2010
  • Second Round Proper: Saturday 27 November 2010
  • Third Round Proper: Saturday 8 January 2011
  • Fourth Round Proper: Saturday 29 January 2011
  • Fifth Round Proper: Saturday 19 February 2011
  • Sixth Round Proper: Saturday 12 March 2011
  • Semi-Final: Saturday 16 April & Sunday 17 April 2011
  • Final: Saturday 14 May 2011

    FA Youth Cup

  • Dates for this competition are on the Youth Page

    BSBP NEWS

    According to the Football Conference "Gateshead have ended a productive spell on the transfer front with flying winger Craig Nelthorpe becoming manager Ian Bogie's fifth signing of the week. The 22-year-old is no stranger to Gateshead fans having spent two contrasting loan spells at the International Stadium during his time at Doncaster Rovers...

    'The signing of Nelthorpe will raise a few eyebrows as he didn't have the best of times on and off the pitch at York City last season - but he is an undoubted talent," said manager Ian Bogie. 'He seems to have been around forever but is still only 22 and has his whole career ahead of him. He will give us fantastic delivery from wide positions and set plays which is something we lacked last season, and quality left sided players are few and far between. One or two personal problems have hindered his progress'... He has, however, played for seven different clubs on loan including Luton Town, where he ended last season, Darlington and Oxford United".

    "Dedicated fans of Histon have already raised more than £6,000 in a bid to boost the club’s finances" reports NL News 24. "Stutes’ fans formed the Income Generation Group in a bid to reconnect the club with the community and increase cash flow at the Glass World Stadium. Season-ticket holder and local businessman Philip Biggs is one of the men involved, and he told Cambridge-news.co.uk: 'We’ve raised over £6,000 so far from pitch-side adverts, programme adverts, team sponsorship – all the elements you would expect... The money will be handed over to the board of directors and they will use it in the way they feel is best for the club'".


    20 June 2010

    STEWARDS NEEDED, PLEASE

    Altrincham FC Safety Officer Darren Gregory writes, "New season new voluntary stewards needed. On Saturday 10th July, from 11.30am to 1pm there will be an open hour and a half for anybody who is interested in becoming a steward to come and talk and find out what the job entails. This will be held in The Manchester Glass Lounge at Moss Lane before the annual stewards' meeting. Hope to see you there".

    SENIOR SERVICE

    The latest issue (no.8) of the NL News 24 magazine has an interview with Alty goalkeeping coach Ian Senior (right). Ian says "My last game as a player was about three years ago in a UniBond League Cup game. Graham Heathcote, the Altrincham manager, had a last minute crisis ahead of the match against Ashton and rang me up at 4.30 that afternoon to see if I would play at 7.45 that evening". [The game was actually a 6-2 mauling at Hurst Cross in a Nationwide Conference Carthium Cup Preliminary Round Match, played on Monday, 4 October, 2004. It was a bizarre match in which Alty twice led and in which the score was 2-2 after an hour. Another oddity was that three ex- or future Alty players scored goals for Ashton - namely Colin Alcide, Josh Mitten and Nicky Clee, whilst former Alty manager Gerry Quinn was the Tameside club's boss for the game.]

    Ian adds, "Things were going swimmingly for much of the game but then Ashton scored five in 30 minutes. I thought to myself, I don't need this lark and from then on I concentrated on coaching". Ian also recalls keeping goal for Chorley, one of 34 clubs for whom he played, as they drew with Wolves in the FA Cup. "Away from football, I'm a fireman. I'm coming up for retirement in July after 32 years service, as are many other ex-Non-League players, including Dave Constantine, who's played for Altrincham", says Ian, who has also played internationally for both the England and GB Fire Brigade sides. As well as coaching, Ian runs Sensport Kits, providing football kit to many clubs, including Altrincham.

    HARD CHEESE

    Altrincham had 18 points deducted in 2005 for fielding James Robinson who had joined from Accrington but had not gained international clearance. But This is Somerset reports on a much heavier penalty - but which was reduced on appeal. "Cheddar Football Club has successfully taken the sting out of a record point reduction for unknowingly fielding an ineligible player. The Cheesemen's appeal to the Somerset County League saw a 45-point reduction turned into a 13-point punishment. The club is fined a point and £35 for every game Dean Grubb played for them, after it failed to confirm his transfer from Weymouth Town had gone through. This adds up to £455 and the club warns it is a message to others to check players' transfers...

    Their appeal found favour at a league hearing as they were willing to [re-]play all the games involving Grubb again at the end of the season. However, league bosses failed to extend the season to allow this and instead reduced the punishment... 'At the time we were not given the opportunity to replay the games and we felt that was totally unjustified, even if we had to play those 13 games over a period of three weeks'" said club chairman Steve Bayliss."

    BSBP NEWS

    NL News24 reports that "Former safety officer Russ Broadbent is the man tasked with kick-starting Southport’s commercial drive. With the hunt for a new shirt sponsor the top of his priority list, former town fireman Broadbent has been engaged in meetings with potential investors this week as Port’s new commercial director.

    The Sandgrounders made public their search for a new shirt sponsor last month though insurance company Paymentshield announced their intentions to end the four-year-deal at the close of last year, the Southport Visiter is reporting. Tim Johnson, CEO of Paymentshield said: 'We notified the club at the end of 2009 following a tough decision not to renew our shirt sponsorship in the hope that this would give the club ample time to attract another sponsor'...

    Meanwhile, it was revealed at the club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday night by manager Liam Watson that last season’s second choice goalkeeper Sean Lake had left the club. Watson also said decisions on which players would be leaving the squad would be made after the weekend with the boss admitting some would be surprised by those heading for the Southport exit door".


    19 June 2010

    OLD BOYS

    Former Altrincham player Mike Farrar has been awarded the CBE. Central defender Mike joined Alty from Emley on the appointment of Gerry Quinn as manager in 1992. The NHS reports that "Mike Farrar was appointed as Chief Executive of NHS North West, the Strategic Health Authority for the north west of England in May 2006. Previous to this, he had been Chief Executive of West Yorkshire SHA and of South Yorkshire SHA before that. Other previous posts include Chief Executive of Tees Health Authority and Head of Primary Care at the Department of Health.

    During his time at the Department of Health, Mike was responsible for establishing primary care groups, primary care trusts and Personal Medical Services (PMS). Mike chaired the Strategic Health Authority Chief Executives' Group from its inception to 2009, was the National Programme Director of NHS Live and is a board member of York Health Economics Consortium. In addition, Mike leads the work on International Benchmarking of Quality for the National Quality Board and sits on the National Migration Impacts Forum.

    He is also a Board member of Sport England, having served for 14 months as its interim Chair in 2007-2009. Resultant of Mike’s connections with this arena he was appointed as the National Tsar for Sport and Health in August 2009. Prior to working in the NHS, Mike worked for Grand Metropolitan UK Ltd and pursued early sporting aspirations, playing cricket for Lancashire’s second eleven and semi-professional football for Altrincham and Rochdale".

    Mike is pictured right in the 1992-93 squad photo.

    Terry Rowley has kindly provided some more information on the recently deceased Graham Oliver, "Graham Oliver played 4 schoolboy internationals

    1 in 1953 v Northern Ireland in Belfast 7-0. Oliver scored 5 goals; this was an under-14 international (as were all matches against Northern Ireland at this level in 1949-1956)

    3 in 1954 (all Under 15 Internationals)

  • v Wales 2-1 played at Watford
  • v Scotland 1-0 played at Wembley in front of 90,000
  • v Eire 3-3 played at Cork

    BSBP NEWS

    The Football Conference says that "Gateshead have clinched the signing of skilltrainingltd Northern League hot-shot Nathan Fisher on a one-year contract. Fisher scored an incredible forty-four goals in forty-nine league and cup games for Chester-le-Street in the First Division last season... The front man is delighted to be given the chance to get back into professional football at Gateshead having previously been at Middlesbrough and Gretna.

    Fisher was the leading scorer in Middlesbrough's academy side in 2006/07 and then linked up with Gretna where he made one substitute appearance in the SPL... Fisher, who celebrated his 21st birthday earlier this month is confident he can bridge the gap of five divisions between the Conference Premier and the local Northern League...

    For Gateshead manager Ian Bogie the signing of Fisher was his seventh of the summer and a gamble worth taking. 'He had a magnificent season at Chester-le-Street in a struggling side and anyone who scores 44 goals as a 20-year-old deserves another opportunity', said Bogie. 'It is a massive step up from the Northern League to the Blue Square Premier but he has two major attributes - pace and goals'".

    "Fleetwood Town have signed long-time target Junior Brown from Northwich Victoria. The 21-year-old defender has signed a one-year contract and will go up against veteran Alan Wright for the left-back slot... 'The club has a quality left-back in place at the moment but I’m coming on the back of a good season. It’s up to me to have a good pre-season and put myself ahead. Alan might not be looking to play the full season due to his age so chances will come'...

    Mellon has dipped into the transfer market during the close season having already brought in Peter Cavanagh and Ian Craney to Highbury. His next priority target is competition in goal for Danny Hurst".

    From Blue Square Football we learn that "Kettering Town have revealed that [they have signed] striker Moses Ashikodi from Ebbsfleet United. The 22-year-old parted ways with the Poppies in January and went on to sign for Liam Daish's Ebbsfleet...

    Kettering boss Lee Harper added: 'His flair and goalscoring record are major attractions for the fans and the club'".

    "Newcomers Bath City have revealed that utility player Scott Bartlett has agreed to cancel his contract by mutual consent. The 31-year-old has been unable to guarantee he will be able to play full-time for the Romans next season due to work commitments...

    Manager Adie Britton told The Bath Chronicle: 'Scott's experience would have been useful and he's a manager's dream... But we had an honest chat and I said unless he was able to give me 120 per cent in all respects next season then there was really no point in him staying'".

    The York Press confirms that "Blue Square Premier clubs who fall into administration can only be demoted one division from next season for failing to pay their creditors by the second weekend in May. Even then, clubs can still preserve their top-flight non-League status if they put in place a Compulsory Voluntary Agreement of 100p in the pound. The amendment to the rule that means Salisbury City will kick off next season in the Southern League was passed at the Conference’s annual meeting".

    According to the Surrey Herald, "AFC Wimbledon will swoop for five more new players after the arrival of former Woking skipper Tom Hutchinson. The 28-year-old centre-back's signing will be far from the end of a busy summer of transfer activity...

    Dons have targeted another centre-back and two midfield players, plus two loan signings, before the start of pre-season training on June 29, ahead of their debut campaign as a full-time outfit. 'We have 14 players signed on now and want a squad of 18-20', said assistant boss Stuart Cash. 'We only have one centre-back, Brett Johnson, signed on at the moment. Terry met Tom a couple of weeks ago and will be dealing with that... we have four or five more slots to fill'...

    Former Dundee United defender Hutchinson will be the 15th player to sign for AFC this summer to start the new full-time era at the club. The signing of speedy ex-Staines Town striker Mark Nwokeji last week provides another option up front for AFC with last season's prolific strike pair Danny Kedwell and Jon Main having extended their stays at the club".

    This is Bath says that "Teenage Paulton Rovers winger Ben Lacey will train with the club during the summer having displayed his potential during the Zamaretto League side's famous FA Cup run last term. Britton said: 'He might be on a dual registration'".

    "John Beck is considering adding some Gallic flair to his Histon squad after running the rule over potential signings in France" reports Cambridge News. "The Stutes' manager flew to Paris to watch a showcase event and saw around 150 players strutting their stuff. Beck is already preparing to cast his eye over 30 trialists when pre-season begins... And the boss, who is still in talks with Adam Tann, Adam Bygrave, Lanre Oyebanjo and Lee Smith over new deals, wants to bring a couple of French youngsters to Bridge Road to assess them ahead of the new Blue Square Premier campaign.

    'I'm in talks with some of the players that were here last year', said Beck. ,I'm also in talks with some guys from France and then there are the trialists as well. Using my contacts and managerial know-how, I jumped on a plane and went and saw some players at a showcase in Paris. A couple looked like they might be able to do a job for Histon Football Club, so we're looking at the logistics of bringing them over and having another look at them'.

    Beck, who has seen defenders Matt Langston and Gareth Gwillim depart for pastures new, had lined up a new centre-half. But the transfer target is set to sign for Halesowen instead after being offered a much bigger salary by the Zamaretto League, Premier Division side. 'We would love for all the players to be English and be from the local area because we're a village team', said Beck. 'But the budget we've got makes that very difficult. I spoke to a centre-half that I really wanted to sign, but he was offered twice as much by Halesowen, so we had to say goodbye to him... We're throwing the net out as far as possible to try to attract young players who will take a smaller amount of money and use Histon as a stepping stone to go on to bigger and better things'".

    From The Northern Echo, we learn that "It is less than a year since Raj Singh took control of Darlington Football Club and it is safe to assume he did not plan celebrating his first anniversary in a month’s time with manager number four. Following in the footsteps of Colin Todd, Steve Staunton and Simon Davey, Ryan Kidd has stepped in to the role after being handed a two-year contract to begin his first frontline managerial role.

    The length of the deal for a rookie boss might seem surprising... With speculation mounting that Davey, who confirmed his intention to quit this week, will be taking over at either Stockport or Hereford United, history suggests he would try to take his trusted lieutenant with him...

    More details of the manner of Davey’s departure have now emerged. It is understood that from Florida, where he is coaching at Paul Scholes’ Academy, he emailed Singh last Friday, out of the blue, to reveal an intention to resign... 'Ryan says Simon has always wanted to work in America, it could be that. But unless Ryan clears his desk for him, he will have to come back to the stadium. They both live in Preston and the car could get transferred from one to the other and Ryan could bring his mobile back for him. Whether Simon decides to drive over to drop them off we will see'".

    The Uxbridge Gazette says that "Hayes & Yeading skipper Tom Cadmore will hold a second round of talks with the club about extending his stay at Church Road. Manager Garry Haylock wants to keep the 22-year-old, who led Hayes into the Blue Square Premier in 2009 and to the club's highest ever finish of 16th in the non league last season. But Cadmore has so far not agreed terms for season 2010/11, while no talks are planned with Esmond James and James Mulley about staying with Hayes.

    'I am still talking to Tom and I would imagine he will stay', said Haylock, 'but there are no guarantees that he will be here next season'. Some sections of the Hayes & Yeading faithful have grown anxious about the club's lack of transfer activity, but Haylock says he is biding his time and is not rushing into anything. 'We will have a lot of players coming in and the slate will be clean for next season', he added... Meanwhile, former Hayes favourite Dale Binns, released by Haylock last month, signed a two-year contract with Farnborough earlier this week".

    According to the Daily Post last week, "Wrexham FC chiefs are reviewing director Paul Retout’s future with the club. Mr Retout, former chief executive of the Dragons and Crusaders rugby league team, is being investigated by police in connection with alleged financial irregularities. The chartered accountant, based in Ruthin, has been questioned by the Metropolitan Police after allegations were made by a London company.

    Last month Mr Retout announced he was stepping down from his role at the club on a sixth-month sabbatical for personal reasons".

    The Leader adds that "Wrexham FC and Crusaders’ chairman has said the club has held talks with a hotel chain about building next to The Racecourse and that he would also like to see a small supermarket on the Mold Road site. A total of 156 student flats out of 521 have so far been built as part of phase one of the Wrexham Village development and will be ready for Glyndwr University students to move in to on September 13.

    And speaking about phase two – which has outline planning permission – Ian Roberts said: 'We have been approached by hotel chains and talked to them and we’d like to put in a Tesco Express... The stadium has been left to languish for far too long in the doldrums of uncommerciality... Phase two takes in part of the (club) shop, so we need to think about relocating the offices and relocating the shop... Part of phase two will be the new stand...I see The Racecourse not just as the home of sport. There have to be concerts, other sports, seminars'...

    Peter Locke has been brought in to get the club under commercial control... Mr Locke has previously worked for Punch Taverns on the large-scale redevelopment of pubs and bars. Mr Roberts said 'We’re still finalising plans, but we’ve got Costa Coffee going in, and we’ll be looking at quicker dispensing of food products, so people don’t have to wait as long to get served'... But he added there would be a delay in the publication of club accounts'".

    EX-CONFERENCE CLUBS

    The Chester Chronicle reports that Chester "chief executive Steve Ashton is 'delighted' with the FA’s decision to place Chester FC in Division One North of next season’s UniBond League. The club learned this morning that their appeal against being placed in the North West Counties League, a step lower in the non-league pyramid, had been successful... 'Hopefully now we’ll see some of the fans who weren’t prepared to watch North West Counties League football come down to the Deva and get season tickets for what promises to be an exciting campaign in UniBond North'.

    A similar story comes from NL News 24: "Having won their appeal against their placement at Step 5, thus winning a place in the Ryman League, Grays Athletic are today being linked with a winding up order.

    A noticed filed in the London Gazette, in reference to Grays Athletic Football Club (1982) Limited says that a petition to wind up the above-named Company, presented on 13 May 2010 by the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs, claiming to be Creditors of the Company, will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on 30 June 2010, at 1030 hours.

    It has this morning emerged that the above named organisation may no longer be the umbrella company for the current football club, meaning that the outcome of the hearing would not necessarily affect Julian Dicks’s men".


    18 June 2010

    NEW ALTY BADGE

    Alty Safety Officer Darren Gregory writes, "The new design Altrincham pin badge I have had made is now on ebay and also in stock at the club. I have had the badge made to raise money for new steward equipment and also the club. If you haven't got a ebay or paypal account and would like a badge you can order them off the forum. Please send me an email with your requirements, payment by cheque, or postal order, Or cash at the sender's risk. Postage 90p in the UK, £1.50 to Europe and £2.00 to the rest of the world. I will also have some with me at the England game in the NWS suite this weekend.

    GRAHAM OLIVER

    The recent death of former Altrincham FC director, Graham Oliver, was reported here a few days ago. Alty historian Terry Rowley advises that Graham was also a Robins' player. He played one game for Altrincham during 1957/58 season, turning out as number 9 in the Cheshire League Cup defeat at Winsford United 1-7 on 18th September 1957.

    BRIAN'S BLOG

    Brian Flynn's Manchester Evening News World Cup blog from South Africa can be found here.

    BSBP NEWS

    Blue Square Football says that "New Tamworth signing Aaron Mitchell is going to have a big season for the club, according to manager Gary Mills. Mitchell impressed towards the end of last season with the Lambs and Mills expecting him to continue where he left off after penning a deal for the new Blue Square Premier Bet campaign. Mills told This Is Tamworth: 'It was tough for Aaron when he left (Nottingham) Forest - it's hard for young players when that happens. But he showed me some ability in the last couple of months of the season and has a good attitude. Now it's a case of him growing up quickly because he's going to have to be a big player for us next season'".

    In addition, "Tamworth have confirmed the signing of former Kettering Town forward Danny Thomas" reports the Football Conference. "The former Leicester City, AFC Bournemouth, Boston United, Shrewsbury Town and Macclesfield Town forward signed for the Poppies after impressing Mark Cooper during the 2009 pre-season. A tricky pacey forward ... Thomas, 29, prefers to play on the left-hand side has signed a season-long contract for the Lambs".

    Also "Cambridge United have fought off competition to sign forward Conal Platt from reprieved Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Forest Green Rovers. The 23-year-old spent part of his career at Liverpool, featuring regularly for their youth team and reserves... Platt was offered a new deal by Forest Green and was also linked with moves to fellow Blue Square Bet Premier clubs Mansfield Town, Wrexham and 2009/10 season runners-up York City".

    "Kidderminster Harriers manager Steve Burr has revealed his delight at the transfers he has been able to make ahead of the 2010/11 campaign" according to Blue Square Football. "Working on a shoe-string budget, Burr believes he has signed the right kind of players as he looks to improve on the last Blue Square Premier season. He told the BBC: 'It has been a waiting game as we made certain players available for transfer to free up the wages. But with what we have had to spend I am pleased with the players I have managed to bring in. We have brought in Lee Vaughan - a right back from Telford who has a lot of experience as he has been at Telford for a long time. He is suspended for the first three games of the season but we haven't just brought him here for the start of the season as he has signed a two-year contract.

    Keith Briggs is my former captain at Stalybridge and he brings a lot of experience to the squad. Then there is Dave Hankin who is a winger - a young player with a lot of potential while Tom Shaw has put pen to paper which I am pleased about'".

    According to the South Wales Argus, "Newport County boss Dean Holdsworth has held talks over an audacious swoop for Lee Trundle – one of the biggest stars in Welsh football. The Argus can reveal that Exiles manager Dean Holdsworth had discussions with the Swansea City legend – out of contract this summer – in a bid to land what would arguably have been the biggest coup in County’s history.

    And though the former Wrexham striker, whose last fee was £1million when he joined Bristol City, has indicated that he hopes to continue in the Football League, Holdsworth explained that he had positive discussions with the skillful Liverpool-born ace. Those talks ended with Trundle, nicknamed ‘Magic Daps’, promising to keep Holdsworth in touch over the remainder of the summer as to his intentions for next season...

    Sources close to Trundle confirmed that while he’s desperate to stay with Swansea, the striker is also keen to begin a coaching career and the Exiles hoped to sway him with the promise of a dual-role with the club... Holdsworth is currently on holiday and is expecting to sign a striker and a goalkeeper next week before pre-season training begins a week on Monday. The boss has two strikers lined up for talks and will also be meeting with a stopper that would certainly provide quality competition for Glyn Thompson with Keiron Blackburn set to be loaned out.

    The Exiles are also still in talks on bringing in another wide midfielder, again hopeful of agreeing a deal in time for pre-season".

    "Alan Lewer has confirmed he will be taking Blue Square Bet Premier club Histon to court" reports the Cambridge News. "The former Stutes' manager claims he is owed unpaid wages, expenses and other costs following his bizarre departure from the club last month. Lewer possesses a letter he received from Histon, signed by ex-chairman Tony Roach, which he believes is proof he was offered the position of manager for next season.

    But the club advertised for the post and Lewer - who felt there was not a post to apply for - refused to apply, and John Beck was subsequently appointed as the new boss. And after not receiving a reply to a letter he hand-delivered, in which his financial claims were laid out, Lewer says he has been left with no alternative but to take the matter to court.

    'I popped a letter through their letterbox stating my intentions and they've not even replied to it', said Lewer, who replaced Steve Fallon at the helm at the Glassworld Stadium in December. 'I thought they'd come back to me to say they'd offer me X amount of money, but I've not heard anything. The next stage will be that I have to go through the courts and my solicitor will be writing to them. My solicitor feels I have a concrete case'".

    News of a relegated club comes from Kent Online where we learn that "Members of MyFootballClub are being asked to vote for a new chairman this week following Duncan Holt’s decision to step down from the role with Ebbsfleet. Phil Sonsara, who has been working as a volunteer for the Fleet over the last seven months, is the only candidate to replace Mr Holt and members have until tonight (Thursday) to ratify the switch in chairman. Mr Holt has put himself forward to take on the role of vice-chairman.

    Outgoing chairman Mr Holt said: 'Phil has done an awful lot of work and it makes sense. It allows me to concentrate on things such as working with Eurostar and the council. It’s just logical. I have a full-time job and he has been working at the club full-time for seven months now. He hadn’t been involved in football before but you do learn quickly. At Ebbsfleet the role is not of a traditional chairman anyway. Most chairman own the club and call the shots but it’s a different model here and it’s just a title really. I still have work to do though and so I’m not going anywhere'.

    Members have a vital vote to make this week as they decide whether to go into next season with part-time players. 'The realisation is that we will probably go part-time', said Mr Holt."

    "Crawley boss Steve Evans says hanging on to players like skipper Adam Quinn for next season is more important than keeping striker Charlie Ademeno. The 21-year-old, who was top scorer with 11 goals last season, has not signed the contract Crawley offered to him in April, a month after he was handed a 35% pay rise" reports The Argus. On the basis of those 11 goals, "Ademeno is hankering after a move to the Football League having been courted by several clubs during the last transfer window.But Evans says Reds have yet to receive any offers despite speculation of a renewed bid from Southampton for a player Crawley value at about £100,000. Because he is under-24 he can only leave for a mutually agreed fee or one settled by an FA tribunal. Evans believes Ademeno’s reluctance to re-sign for the new season is being fuelled by his agent.

    He said: 'For him to get a move he needs a manager to generate interest not an agent. Then it is up to them to agree a fee with us or go through a tribunal. There has never been an agent yet who has been man of the match or scored a goal. Charlie is not dealing with a manager who thinks his only future is with Crawley. If he goes I would wish him every success but was it more important that we kept guys like Quinn and Glenn Wilson? Yes it was. As it stands we expect Charlie back for pre-season on June 28 when I expect him to get his head down and work hard, as his colleagues will demand he does too'.

    Evans is looking to sign two new strikers to add to the summer captures of Michel Kuipers, Danny Hall and Steve Masterton but he has not spoken with Jamie Cook, who returned to Oxford last September, about a return to the Broadfield Stadium... 'I don’t want to give any clues about their identity because there are one or two managers in the Conference who regard me as a good judge of a player and they will try to sign him'", added the modest Crawley manager.

    Peterborough United "Chairman Darragh MacAnthony has revealed that the football club has recouped over £1 million for the non-league investments made over the last six months and more could follow with add-ons included in the majority of the transfers.

    The recent transfer of Shaun Batt to npower Championship newcomers Millwall was for a £300,000 fee and that amount could double if the Lions continue to be successful and Batt plays a major part in their success. Posh paid a fee of just £5,000 to Fisher Athletic for Batt's services in the summer of 2008.

    Midfielder Paul Coutts was recruited from Scottish non-league side Cove Rangers for £25,000 and last season was sold to Preston North End for £350,000, which could double with the add-ons included in the deal.

    Winger Alfie Potter was in the Oxford United side that clinched promotion to the Football League and the U's paid £50,000 for his services. Potter joined Posh on a free transfer. All three of the above deals include a 25% sell-on, so the football club have a vested interest in the futures of the trio.

    MacAnthony has also revealed that the fee for the 93-day emergency loan of George Boyd to Nottingham Forest was £350,000 and confirmed loan fees of £25,000 were paid to Posh for the services of Scott Rendell and Rene Howe by Torquay United and Gillingham respectively.

    AFC Bournemouth paid £25,000 as part of Shwan Jalal's move from London Road to Dean Court after they clinched promotion from League Two and £50,000 was paid by Norwich City as part of Russell Martin's move to Carrow Road after the Canaries won promotion from League One. Luton Town paid £60,000 for the loan services of Liam Hatch.

    Posh Director of Football Barry Fry said: 'It has been a very successful period. Over the last three years the chairman Darragh MacAnthony has turned down offers of over £6 million for George Boyd, Craig Mackail-Smith and Aaron Mclean, which shows his passion and commitment for this football club and his desire not to sell his best players. There is no doubt that the club's policy, set up by Darragh, of investing in non-league, young, hungry players has paid off handsomely and we will continue to have this policy at the football club, which is backed by the manager Gary Johnson',' Fry said".

    Darlington "have appointed Ryan Kidd as their new manager, succeeding Simon Davey who quit the club this week. The Quakers have opted to install Davey's ex-assistant manager on a two-year deal to ensure continuity with players and to try and re-establish stability at the club.

    Kidd, 38, played with Davey at Preston and joined him at Barnsley... Darlington chairman Raj Singh said: 'Ryan is the best option for us, given his involvement in player recruitment since joining the club in April, and we're hoping he'll be able to carry on all the good work we've done recently in creating a buzz around the place... He's also had a big hand in trying to persuade three other players to join us who are currently mulling offers on the table... the emphasis next season will still be on playing attractive and entertaining football. It also reassures the new players we've signed, who are tied to us having signed contracts, and they can be assured they're wanted here by the new manager.

    Up until Tuesday we were trying to identify a successor to Davey until we discovered Ryan was just as much in the dark as we were about the situation. We discussed it with him, had a meeting with him yesterday and he's assured us that he's ready and hungry for this challenge'... Kidd's first coaching appointment was with Barnsley after his retirement from playing through a neck injury. The Manchester-born defender had played 317 league and cup games for North End and was handed a testimonial at Deepdale in 2002."

    Gateshead "have added two more players to their squad with the signing of 20 year old wide men Josh Gillies and James Marwood. The pair come highly recommended by coaches Adam Sadler, who had Marwood at Newcastle United, and Paul Bryson who has overseen Gillies' development at Gateshead College. 'Gillies is one of the most talented players I have come across in my eight years coaching at College level, and that includes players who have got fixed up at Football League clubs', said Bryson. 'His pace is deceptive as he can glide past players. He has two good feet and can make things happen in a game. He has represented England Colleges and is one for the future but by training every day and playing he will get better and better'.

    The youngster had a trial at Motherwell last summer before he joined Blyth Spartans where he made a total of 26 appearances. A move in March to Whitley Bay to replace Chris Moore, who had linked up with Darlington, brought a goalscoring appearance off the bench in Bay's FA Vase final triumph at Wembley. Meanwhile Marwood, the son of former Arsenal winger Brian Marwood, came through the ranks at Newcastle United. A winger who can play on either flank he has a powerful shot and a good goalscoring record for a wide player...

    'Both Gillies and Marwood are wide players who possess genuine pace and are keen to give it a go at Gateshead', said manager Ian Bogie".

    At Grimsby Town "John Fenty has responded after being inundated with complaints about the Chairman of the Conference League's comments regarding the finances of Grimsby Town Football Club PLC. Mr Lee had said that the Conference were taking two clubs down from the Football League and that they were coming down because they were in a financial mess.

    The Town chairman responded by saying: 'Clearly Brian's comments have offended many Grimsby Town fans and I can understand that too after listening to the recording of them on the Conference league summer show. Brian suggests that the Conference only takes clubs from the Football League who are in trouble and when they do come down, the Conference rehabilitates them from a financial mess. It's fair to say that Football League clubs do get relegated due to administration and financial problems. However, that is not the case with Grimsby Town.

    Grimsby Town Football Club, as a public limited company... has more stringent financial practices than a normal limited company. 'Proudly, Grimsby Town have never been in administration and it is fully supported by its directors when making a decision to spend money that it cannot self generate, just like many clubs - something not to apologise for'.

    But Mr Fenty has reiterated that he does agree with the Conference League's hard-line stance on clubs who do not operate within their means and get into financial difficulties. He continued: 'Brian's problem with insolvency in football is that clubs cheat when they spend money they do not have, and then go into administration, and receive nothing more that a slap on the wrists. We too want to see an end to this and welcome the stance that clubs must commit to pay 100p in the pound to its creditors to remain eligible to play in the Conference.

    This board inherited many unaffordable contracts and considerable unpaid tax debt relating its past, soon followed the collapse of ITV digital. After months, it became clear that the Football League had failed to obtain parent company guarantees from its owners Carlton and Granada. I hope the Conference learnt from the Football Leagues mistake and when Setanta failed last year I hope that Conference clubs were not also left out of pocket.

    Several millions adrift left our club in big trouble, but proudly we have managed to pay the final instalment to the Inland Revenue for that past tax debt. Fans have been asking are there any foundation to Brian Lee's comments. I have to say a strong 'no'. The club operates a healthy overdraft facility backed by director guarantees and any other debt (benign debt) is owed to directors the major shareholders of the company'".

    The BBC reports that "Forest Green manager Dave Hockaday has signed a core group of eight players ahead of next season at the New Lawn. Defender Craig Armstrong is the new player-coach, ex-captain Lee Fowler returns and midfielder Lee Smith joins from Gloucester City.

    The other players include Salisbury goalkeeper James Bittner, Mansfield defender Luke Jones and Northwich midfielder Ian Herring. Full-back Jared Hodgkiss and youth product Callum Henry have also signed. Several of the signings will know each other. Armstrong joined Rovers on a short-term contract in March having been released by Mansfield, where Jones was a team-mate, and Bittner and Herring played together at Salisbury, where Bittner was first choice last season...

    Manager Dave Hockaday told BBC Gloucestershire: 'It's been a lot of hard work. This hasn't just happened overnight. There have been a lot of phone calls and trips to different parts of the country but it's worthwhile. We're not going to have masses of quantity but every player will contribute and I believe I've got a better squad than last season'".


    17 June 2010

    GET YOUR KIT FOR NEXT SEASON

    Pictured right, in his Altrincham leisure wear is the Robins' goalkeeping coach and owner of Sensport Kits, Ian Senior. Ian sponsored the recent National Game Awards Goalkeeper of the Season competition, which was won last week by Workington's number one, Tony Caig, to whom Ian is seen presenting his award. For details of the wide range of Alty merchandise produced by Sensport Kits, visit the >Robins' Shop page.

    PAINTING THE GROUND RED

    Alty joint press officer, John Edwards, adds further information on the club's current initiative involving young offenders. "Scores of minor offenders have been paying for their brush with the law - by adding a coat of paint to Altrincham's Moss Lane ground.

    The quest for a suitable venue and project for those who have been handed community service orders by local magistrates was seen as an open goal by Alty bosses looking to spruce up their stadium for next season. Vice-chairman Grahame Rowley wasted no time contacting Trafford's Community Payback team and has been delighted with the swift response and workmanship that promises to leave Moss Lane looking better than ever by the time the Conference campaign kicks off in August.

    'I told them we had the ideal location and environment for these people to put something back into the community, and they have been coming down on a daily basis,' he said. 'We got 50 litres of red paint from Crown Brolac, and they have worked their way through them, painting the main stand, railings, fences and the back of advertising boards. We are a community-based club who rely on volunteers, and it is usually the same few who bear the brunt of all the work. Sometimes we only get half the ground done, due to a lack of numbers, but this time, it should be in pristine condition all the way round.

    'The offenders have been working really well, often out in the rain, and those I have spoken with have been very friendly. They are making a tremendous difference, and the whole community will benefit, because no one wants a shabby stadium.' Community Payback officer Debbie Wilford said: 'Offenders are paying back, in a very real way, the community against which they have offended, and it is also teaching them new skills and how to work as a team. Once finished, I'm sure they will also take great pride in what they have achieved.'

    Alty are urging supporters to snap up their £10 discount on season tickets, with the offer due to run out at the end of the month. 'It is one of the best deals in the Conference and works out at less than £10 a game for a standing ticket,' added Rowley. 'That is great value, and, by acting now, supporters will be helping our cashflow, as well as benefitting from the discount.'".

    THREE JACKPOTS!

    There has never been a better time to take part in the Altrincham FC Yankee as it now has 3 jackpots to be won - two at £5,000 and a third which has been started at £300. And it takes just a £1 stake to be a winner, as is explained on the Yankee page.

    BSBP NEWS

    The Football Conference says that "Rushden & Diamonds have announced that they have agreed the signing of Ryan Charles... The 21-year-old striker, who can also play on the wing, had previously been wih league rivals Luton Town since the age of nine... During his time at Luton, he went on loan to Hitchin Town and Hinckley United and in 2009 went on loan to Kettering Town and Kidderminster Harriers.

    Manager Justin Edinburgh commented on the signing: 'Ryan is someone I think is going to have great potential, he’s at a good age. He didn’t get too many opportunities at Luton this season, but had a good number of appearances at a young age'".

    Also "Darlington have received official confirmation from Simon Davey that he wants to quit as manager. Davey sent Quakers` chairman Raj Singh an email informing him of his decision to end his contract at the Northern Echo Arena. Darlington, who are now looking to install a replacement as soon as possible, have assured supporters there has been no fall-out with Davey whatsoever, and that they desperately tried to contact him to persuade him to stay on.

    Singh said: 'We were as shell-shocked as anyone to receive this news and it does come as a big blow to us and our plans. We tried contacting Simon on several occasions and he wouldn't take our calls. Graham Fordy spoke to his agent who denied all knowledge about the situation and we then spoke to his assistant Ryan Kidd on Tuesday, and he was just as flabbergasted as we were. Unfortunately we've now had official confirmation from him in writing that he wishes to leave. The reason for the delay in making a statement about this was because we wanted to speak to Simon to try and resolve the situation, but he's made it clear he's made his decision.

    It's very disappointing and frustrating that we've not been able to speak directly to Simon about this so that he could explain to us exactly why he's made this decision. He has very briefly cited personal reasons and insists that it's nothing personal or detrimental about me or the club. I can confirm that we've had no contact whatsoever from Hereford United, or any other club, regarding his contractual situation here. It's very disappointing, to say the least. We gave Simon everything that he'd asked for, as we did with the previous two managers, and the rumours that we cut his budget [are] simply not true.

    We'd also like to make it clear that we do accept agents are part and parcel of the game and we have to work with them. My comments last week referred to one deal in particular when an agent threw a fee in at the eleventh hour. Simon backed me wholeheartedly on that decision. It's another set-back that we don't need after we'd managed to create a bit of a buzz around the club. We're absolutely delighted with season ticket sales and I'd like to thank everyone who has renewed up to now... we'll look to install a replacement as soon as possible and get on with the job'".

    The Cambridge News confirms that "Conal Platt is set to sign for Cambridge United... The 23-year-old left-winger is set to sign a two-year deal after turning down an offer to stay with Forest Green Rovers... Platt told the Stroud News & Journal: 'The reprieve from relegation made my decision difficult but, no disrespect to Forest Green, Cambridge are a big club and the money and offer of a two-year deal was just too good to turn down'. United will have to pay a fee for Platt as he is under 24 and had been offered a new contract by Forest Green".

    According to Blue Square Football "Histon FC chief executive Allen Soraff has vehemently denied recent claims that the club is on the verge of entering administration. Soraff told Cambridge News: 'If you believe all the stories you hear then you'll go mad. It's all just a load of fairytales and I wish we could all just get on with our lives'. Meanwhile, Soraff has revealed the club hope to have a new chairman installed by the end of May. Gareth Baldwin and Tony Roach parted ways with the club last season and former Royston Town chairman Rob Stewart is believed to be a candidate for the vacant post".

    Sport4Salisbury says that "James Bittner has become the latest Salisbury City player to leave the club. Sport4Salisbury understands that the highly-rated goalkeeper has signed for Forest Green Rovers, who were only reprieved from relegation to the Blue Square South following the Conference’s decision to demote the Whites, who last week lost their appeal against the ruling. City manager Tommy Widdrington said: 'Obviously I’m gutted to have lost James. As far as I’m concerned he’s the best goalkeeper in the Blue Square Premier, and he wants to stay at that level and I can understand that and have to respect his decision. He’s got a young family and these things have to be considered'.

    Widdrington also confirmed that Luke Ruddick had also left the Ray Mac. He added: 'Like James, he goes with my blessing and my thanks for everything they’ve done for the club. Luke has signed for Bath City, who’ve just been promoted into the Blue Square Premier. In my opinion the pair of them should be lauded over as legends at Salisbury City. People probably don’t realise that Luke played for us for a long time the previous season for no money at all. The pair of them have been great servants to the club and I wish them the best of luck in their future careers'...

    In two spells for the Whites, the Devizes-born goalkeeper [Bittner], now aged 28, made a total of 129 appearances. Having played for the club as a youngster he then had spells with AFC Bournemouth, Exeter City and Torquay United, returning to the Whites via Woking in the summer of 2007 ahead of their first season in the Blue Square Premier".

    "Grimsby Town goalkeeper Nick Colgan is looking to leave the club once his contract expires at the end of June". BBC Radio Humberside understands that Colgan may not exercise an option to stay at Blundell Park for another year. Mariners' manager Neil Woods has told the BBC that he would be happy for the player to stay. He said: 'I want competition for every position and to have two goalkeepers, but he does have an option to leave so that's up to Nick'. Colgan took plenty of stick from fans as the Mariners lost at Burton Albion on the final day of last season to confirm their relegation from the Football League. The signing of Kenny Arthur from Accrington last week means Colgan is facing the prospect of being Woods's second-choice keeper and that is likely to result in the player looking for a future away from Blundell Park'".


    16 June 2010

    GRAHAM OLIVER

    Altrincham FC expresses its condolences to the family of former Club Director, Graham Oliver, who died last week. A Timperley resident, Graham had been an England Schoolboy international and later played for Manchester City Reserves. For England Schoolboys, Graham once scored five times in a single match, which remains a record.

    JOIN UP PLEASE!

    Altrincham FC vice chairman Grahame Rowley writes, "We now have 96 Patrons for the forthcoming season - thank you to everyone who has joined or re-joined for this forthcoming season. It would be great to beat last seasons record of 114 Patrons so please consider joining the scheme and help the club over the close season". Details of the Patrons' Scheme are here.

    SEASON TICKETS

    Season tickets are now available for collection at the ground. A £10 discount for season tickets purchased by June 30th is applicable for adult and concessionary tickets and don't forget that season tickets confer free admission to all pre-season games at Moss Lane.

    COMMUNITY PAYBACK HELPS ALTY

    The Trafford Community Payback scheme has been providing people to do some painting work at Moss Lane over the last week.

    Stephen Hallmark, Public Relations Officer, Greater Manchester Probation Area writes:

    "Offenders have helped Altrincham FC’s ground score a new lick of paint so that the Robins will be well and truly in the red for the new season.

    The Moss Lane outfit enlisted the help of Trafford’s Community Payback to get the job done. Teams of up to seven offenders will be working for three weeks, painting railings, the reverse side of advertising hoardings and fences. The paint has been donated by Crown Brolac.

    Grahame Rowley, Altrincham’s vice-chairman, contacted Community Payback and has been delighted by the speed of the response and work’s quality. He said: 'The offenders have been working really well, and have been out in the rain doing it in tricky conditions. I’ve also found those I’ve spoken with to be very friendly, and they are making a tremendous difference to the ground. We are a community based club and rely totally upon volunteers, only the manager and a part time member of staff are paid, and we cannot afford to pay for these jobs to be done. During previous close seasons we’ve found getting this size job completed to be almost impossible'.

    The club also hosts a wide range of community groups, such as the Altrincham FA Referees, Jo – Jo Music classes and the Altrincham Juniors. Mr Rowley added: 'The whole community will benefit from this work, nobody wants a shabby stadium'.

    Trafford’s Community Payback team is part of the Greater Manchester Probation Trust. Debbie Wilford, Community Payback Officer, said: 'Offenders are paying back in a very real way to the community against which they have offended. The work will also help teach them new skills and about how to work as a team. Once finished, they will also be able to take great pride in what they have achieved'. An offender added: 'It is a punishment, I’m losing my free time and it’s not much fun being here in the rain. But I like working in the outdoors and the work is a bit different'”.

    The offenders spent last Thursday, Friday and Saturday painting the main stand and over the weekend a group of 14 started painting on the Golf Road End of the ground.

    CHESHIRE NEWS

    The FA issued a statement last Thursday headed, "Appeal by Northwich Victoria against a decision of the Football Conference. An Appeal Board of The FA Sanction and Registrations Committee met on Tuesday (8 June) to hear an appeal by Northwich Victoria FC (2004) Limited against a decision made by the Football Conference to exclude the Club from membership of the Competition.

    The Club’s grounds of appeal were that the Conference misinterpreted and/or failed to comply with the Rules and Regulations relevant to its decision and/or came to a decision to which no reasonable body could have come and that the penalty, award or sanction imposed was excessive in the circumstances.

    The FA Appeal Board unanimously decided that the Appeal be dismissed. The Club’s appeal fee of £250 was forfeited and they were ordered to pay additional costs of £200.

    The effect of this decision is as follows:-

    Northwich Victoria will play in the Unibond Northern Premier League (Premier Division) this coming 2010-11 season. Harrogate Town FC receive a reprieve and stay in Conference North (they were originally relegated)".

    The club's reaction is recorded in the Non-League Paper, where chairman Jim Rushe "has called on the Conference to declare an amnesty for insolvent clubs... Rushe says clubs are so terrified of the Conference's financial rule they are hiding their debts instead of seeking help.. Rushe opined, "There are so many clubs in trouble, really in trouble, and hiding it on a weekly basis that no one knows the true state of the league... The time for punishment is over. Someone at the Conference needs to get down off their high horse and declare an amnesty... I'm not saying this out of self interest'".

    BSBP NEWS

    The FA issued a statement last week headed "An Appeal Board of The FA Sanction and Registrations Committee met on Wednesday (9 June) to hear an appeal by Salisbury City FC against a decision made by the Football Conference to exclude the Club from membership of the Competition.

    The Club’s grounds of appeal were that the Conference misinterpreted and/or failed to comply with the Rules and Regulations relevant to its decision and/or came to a decision to which no reasonable body could have come and that the penalty, award or sanction imposed was excessive in the circumstances.

    The FA Appeal Board unanimously decided that the Appeal be dismissed. The Club’s appeal fee of £250 was forfeited and they were ordered to pay additional costs of £400.

    The effect of this decision is as follows:-

    Salisbury City will play in the Southern League (Premier Division) this coming 2010-11 season.

    Forest Green Rovers are reprieved and remain in Conference National (previously relegated to Conference South).

    Later, the BBC added that "Staff at Salisbury City are due to find out this week whether they will keep their jobs. The club's owners have announced there will be 'off the pitch'" redundancies following their double relegation from the Blue Square Premier. The Whites have been demoted to the Southern League Premier Division next season for breaching Football Conference rules on unpaid debt.

    Tommy Widdrington has already confirmed that he will stay on as manager. He is now due to hold talks with the squad having learned that his budget will be almost the same as it was last season. Salisbury have confirmed that they will be appointing a full-time chief executive and have another investor set to join the club. The job cuts will be made so the players can be kept on full-time".

    Meanwhile, "Barrow joint-boss Dave Bayliss has reassured fans the club will replace the departed Lee McEvilly next season. The 28-year-old striker is set to agree a deal with League of Ireland club Sligo Rovers after failing to earn a new contract with the Bluebirds" states the BBC.

    And "Grimsby Town are in talks with defender Robbie Stockdale about a new contract with the club. The former Middlesbrough and Hull City defender, 30, currently does not have a deal at Blundell Park and missed much of last season due to injuries. However, Mariners manager Neil Woods told BBC Radio Humberside that talks are underway to keep him".

    According to the Gazette Live "Darlington were today coming to terms with the imminent departure of manager Simon Davey to Hereford United, after fewer than three months in The Arena hotseat. The Gazette understands that Davey has decided to quit Darlington for League Two side Hereford, and will be announced as the Bulls new manager as soon as formalities are concluded. What is less clear is why. He appeared happy at the club, relished the opportunity to take them back to the Football League at the first attempt, and had agreed deals with several new players.

    The club was earlier today in the dark over the situation, but while they have yet to make a formal statement, it is understood that there have been further developments, and Darlington have learned that Davey will be leaving. Quakers chairman Raj Singh was today contacting Davey - who is spending a fortnight at a Paul Scholes coaching scheme in the USA - to confirm the situation.

    Darlington managing director Graham Fordy told the Gazette earlier: "Simon is due back this weekend, and just before he left 10 days ago he signed an agreement for training headquarters, and is waiting for replies from three players who we want to sign. 'Simon has a year’s contract with us, but either party can give a period of notice, so he’s not tied down for 12 months'.

    To lose Davey now is a huge blow to Darlington. He has been at the club only since April 1 and immediately improved the team’s fortunes even though it was too late to save them from relegation. He agreed a budget with the chairman and although he acted swiftly to bring players in [including Alty's Chris Senior], he missed out on one or two others because of the club’s reluctance to pay some agent fees, and finances look likely to have played a part in his apparent decision to move on.

    Quakers' fans had taken to Davey, and almost 1000 season tickets have been snapped up, so fans will be stunned at today's developments".

    The Football Conference says that "Bath City have made their second summer signing from demoted Salisbury City with left-back Luke Ruddick agreeing to join... The 20-year-old, who can also play in midfield, will link up again with former Salisbury team-mate Danny Webb. Ruddick, who has signed a one-year deal, began his career at Brentford".

    Further north, "Gateshead have clinched the signing of highly-rated central defender Ben Clark following his surprise release from Hartlepool United. Former England under 19 international Clark made 179 appearances for Pools in six years having started his career at Sunderland where he made nine starts for the Black Cats. The 27-year-old has signed a pre-contract agreement with Gateshead... Clark will then put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal...

    'Both the manager and chairman at Gateshead are very ambitious and, while I had a few other options, it just felt right to join Gateshead', said Clark... 'There were a couple of Football League clubs and a couple in non-League interested but I was impressed with what I saw at Gateshead', added Clark. 'There is no reason why we can't kick on now that the club has become full-time'.

    Manager Ian Bogie is delighted to bring an established League One player into his squad... 'The signing of Ben Clark is an indicator of the ambition at Gateshead and a real signal of intent', said Bogie... 'The five signings we have made so far are all major ones at this level and there are more signings to come'".

    Gateshead have also "revealed that Bermuda international Tyrell Burgess will be linking up with the Tyneside club for a trial in pre-season. The 24-year-old midfielder is currently playing for West Indies club Bermuda Hogges following his release by Canadian outfit Vancouver Whitecaps. Gateshead chairman Graham Wood told the Evening Chronicle: 'Burgess has been recommended to us by former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater'".

    In Wales, "Dean Holdsworth, manager of Newport County, has penned a fresh two-year contract. The former Wimbledon, Bolton Wanderers and England `B` striker took the Spytty Park club to promotion in a record-breaking season. He had one year remaining on his old deal, but had been coy on his future. Holdsworth said: 'I am very pleased to have signed a new contract with a club that have grown both on the pitch and perhaps even more importantly behind the scenes in my time here... I'm now looking forward to sustaining our Conference Premier status and seeing just how far we can take this group of players whilst building the club... The importance of full time training cannot be underestimated and will be a brilliant chance for us to work with players'".

    At another new club in the BSP next season, "Grimsby Town have signed Rotherham United midfielder Michael Cummins on a one-year plus a one-year option deal. The experienced Cummins joined the Millers in May 2008 after two years playing at Darlington. He began his career at Middlesbrough but made just two senior appearances for Boro in just under four years with the club. He left the Riverside to find regular first-team football and signed for Port Vale on a free in March 2000. He made over 250 appearances for Vale in six years before joining the Quakers in May 2006. The 32-year-old played a major role in the heart of the Millers midfield last season".

    The Conference also reports that "Rushden & Diamonds have announced that the club and Paul Terry have been unable to agree terms for the 2010/11 season... The club very much wanted Terry to stay, but unfortunately due to budgetary constraints personal terms could not be agreed".

    "Liam Watson, manager of Blue Square Bet Premier new boys Southport, has secured the signing of midfielder Liam Blakeman. The Burscough-based played commences his third spell at Haig Avenue".

    "Utility player Tom Shaw is the latest new arrival at Kidderminster Harriers after boss Steve Burr wrapped up a deal to bring yet another England `C` international to the Blue Square Bet Premier club. The 23-year-old has inked a one-year deal at Aggborough Stadium after leaving Tamworth where he made more than forty appearances last term".

    Meanwhile, "Striker Mark Nwokeji has revealed his motivation for opting to sign for AFC Wimbledon following his release by Dagenham & Redbridge. Nwokeji told Your Local Guardian: 'All I want to do is play somewhere where I feel wanted and I definitely get that vibe from Wimbledon. When I get at a club where I am wanted I will score goals and you can see that from what happened at Staines Town... Wimbledon came back in for me during last season to take me on loan, but I had already agreed to go to Luton Town'".

    According to the Football Conference, "New Grimsby signing Kenny Arthur says he is relishing playing for the Mariners following his release by Rochdale. The 31-year-old goalkeeper... has already familiarised himself with the local geography. Arthur told the Grimsby Telegraph: 'I've been a bit like a kid in a sweet shop for the couple of weeks I've been discussing the move. I've got a really good feel for the place by driving about town and the villages nearby and speaking to people in shops'".

    The Kidderminster Shuttle adds that "Kidderminster Harriers chairman Barry Norgrove admits manager Steve Burr’s playing budget is feeling the squeeze. A combination of lower than expected earlybird season ticket sales and a dearth of new investors means funds are tight at Aggborough. The club have sold fewer discounted season tickets, around the 350 mark, than at the same stage last summer.

    With the majority of tickets purchased during the special period, which has now come to an end, the chairman is worried his budget plans will be hit hard. Harriers had nearly 500 season ticket holders last season, with most of them sold early on...

    'I couldn’t believe it when I saw that we had only sold around 350 season tickets, it’s the lowest amount ever at this stage of the summer', he commented. 'It puts a massive hole in our budget and means we will have to assess the amount of money that we’ll be able to give the manager... We’re all working very hard to make sure we get some investment, while Steve [Burr] is doing very well with players. He rings me every day about good players and I’ve had to put him on a leash because we can’t afford some of them. I don’t understand it because we’ve got a really good manager, who has a great track record and has already signed some good players. Fans need to realise we’re doing our best and we need them to buy season tickets, otherwise we’ll miss out on players'...

    Harriers have been approaching local companies about putting in £5,000 each. Despite a tight budget, former Stalybridge Celtic winger Dave Hankin has become the latest player to join Harriers... on a two-year deal. The manager is also thought to be closing in on an unnamed striker... They are also waiting for money from fellow Football Conference outfit Luton Town, who owe Harriers money for previously on-loan defender Gavin Caines".

    From Vital Football we learn that "York City are understood to be involved in a straight fight with several of their Blue Square Premier rivals for Forest Green Rovers' winger Conal Platt. But the Minstermen are facing stiff opposition from Cambridge United, Mansfield Town and Wrexham for his services.

    Cambridge are believed to be in pole position at present, although their manager Martin Ling was refusing to either confirm or deny the story. 'I imagine there's been speculation because we're after a wide left player', he told the Cambridge News. 'We certainly hope to get to get at least one player in this week and maybe one or two more in the early part of next week. We're progressing well with the main forward I'm after, but he's under contract to another club, so I can't mention names'... Platt originally progressed through the youth ranks at Liverpool and made 44 appearances and scored six times for Rovers last season. He has also previously featured for Bournemouth, Morecambe (loan), Weymouth and Rushden & Diamonds (loan). The Minstermen are expected to complete a deal for Platt's Forest Green team-mate Jonathan Smith later this week".

    This is Glos says that "Forest Green manager Dave Hockaday expects to make several signings this week following the club's relegation reprieve... It means Hockaday can finally make firm offers to a host of players, with last season's loan recruit from Mansfield Town Craig Armstrong and former skipper Lee Fowler both thought to be high on his wish list.

    Fowler's older brother Mike is one of only three players currently contracted for next season – strike duo Reece Styche and Ross Dyer are the others – but that is likely to change quickly. Hockaday said: 'I've been talking to players for the past four weeks. I know who I want and I will go out and get them. In the next week we'll make a lot of signings and we'll look a lot better. We're not going to have a massive budget but we need something to be competitive because that's what I'm all about. I don't want to just survive – I don't see the point in that at all'.

    The signing of experienced utility man Armstrong would be no surprise after he played a key role in Rovers' upturn in form towards the end of 2009/10. No longer required at Mansfield, the 35-year-old would add experience and versatility to what it likely to be an extremely youthful squad again. The younger Fowler would also be welcomed back by the majority of Rovers fans, having failed to settle at Kettering Town or Oxford United after leaving the New Lawn last summer.

    Of last season's squad, Hockaday is keen to keep both Jonathan Smith and Conal Platt but could struggle to fend off interest from York City and Cambridge United respectively. Paul Stonehouse has already left to join Mansfield while former caretaker boss David Brown will definitely not be staying in Nailsworth".


    8 June 2010

    UPDATES

    The website may only be updated sporadically over the next week.

    SUMMER FUN WEEK

    From 26 to 30 July, 2010 there is the annual Summer Soccer Fun Week at Moss Lane. The price for this popular event is just £60 per child for a week of top quality soccer coaching. There is a discount for brothers and sisters of attendees. The footballing coaches are expected to include Colin Little. Please ring the club (928-1045) to book your place now.

    WORLD CUP

    Grahame Rowley advises that all of England's World Cup games will be shown in the bar at Moss Lane on HD television starting with the group stage games:
  • Saturday, 12th June: England v USA, kick off 7.30pm - doors open 6.30pm
  • Friday, 18th June: England v Algeria, kick off 7.30pm - doors open 6.30pm
  • Wednesday, 23rd June: England v Slovenia, kick off 3pm - doors open 2.30pm

    Support your team whilst supporting your club and watching the World Cup at Altrincham FC. Everyone welcome, Alty supporters or otherwise. Special promotions will be run at each game - details to follow.

    GRAHAM'S QUEST FOR PLAYERS

    John Edwards, Alty's joint Press officer, writes:

    "Graham Heathcote is on the look-out for new signings after completing discussions with his existing Altrincham players and ensuring there will be no more departures from Moss Lane. After losing Chris Senior to Darlington and Greg Young to York, Heathcote made a point of tieing up other contracted players on new deals and has now received firm assurances from skipper Robbie Lawton and popular keeper Stuart Coburn that they, too, will remain with the club next season.

    The Alty manager can now concentrate his efforts on a recruitment drive and is already being linked with a move for former Moss Lane favourite Lewis Chalmers, following the midfielder's release by Aldershot. 'Lewis is one of many players I will be speaking to, but I have to stress that a full-time player in his mid-20s is likely to want to remain full-time,' he said. 'I will put a call in, at least, because now everyone here is done and dusted, it's time to start considering who we can bring in.

    'Robbie and Stu are both non-contract players but have verbally agreed to be with us next season, so that's last season's squad sorted. Now it's a case of finding three new players, a centre-back, central midfielder and striker, and maybe one or two more to have a look at in pre-season games.' Heathcote, who recently made former Morecambe striker Michael Twiss his first summer signing, was mystified by a national Sunday newspaper report claiming Blackpool were ready to bid for contracted England C defender Shaun Densmore. 'I have no idea where that came from,' he said. 'I have spoken to Shaun, and he is as much in the dark as I am. Neither of us has heard a word from anyone connected with Blackpool, so you can only assume it's just speculation. 'I can see similarities to Colin Little in Michael Twiss, and I'm confident he will prove a big asset for us. His fitness is fine, and he has proven ability'".

    JOIN THE SUPPORTERS' CLUB

    Vice-chairman Grahame Rowley writes:

    "With an average gate of 1,100 last season it has been disappointing to see the Supporters' Club (TASC) membership fall throughout the season and renewals fail to materialise. The Football Club has had a thriving supporters' club over the last 15 years with SAFE setting the trend from May 1995, then STAR and now TASC - all providing vital funds for the club. TASC presently has fewer than 200 members and over 200 members who were members of STAR did not sign up to the new association.

    For the club to progress, we need to increase the membership of our Supporters' Association and with this in mind I ask each and every supporter to consider joining TASC. It costs just £10 a year to be a member. What a difference it would make if we could double membership numbers over the close season.

    Please e-mail e-mail Anthony Wright for more details.

    TASC Aims

    1) TO INCREASE AWARENESS OF AFC AMONGST THE LOCAL POPULATION AND BUSINESSES - SPECIFICALLY

  • a) To raise the clubs profile amongst Schools and Youth organisations
  • b) To develop partnership with local businesses, charities and other Sporting Clubs in the Altrincham /Trafford area.
  • c) To raise the visible presence of AFC around the town of Altrincham

    2) TO RAISE FUNDS TO ASSIST AFC - SPECIFICALLY

  • a) To raise £10,000 by October 2009
  • b) To raise £6,000 by the end of April 2009
  • c) To increase opportunities for raising funds for AFC

    3) TO ACTIVELY ENCOURAGE ATTENDANCE BY NON AFC SUPPORTERS - SPECIFICALLY

  • a) To increase awareness and knowledge among locals currently unaware of AFC and potential new markets and to change the perception of locals currently uninterested in AFC
  • b) To encourage a return to Moss Lane of local people with a general interest in AFC and of lapsed attendees by virtue of promotions and events.

    4) TO ENCOURAGE ENJOYMENT AND INVOLVEMENT OF ALTY FANS AND AFC THROUGH REGULAR FUN, WORTHWHILE EVENTS, ACTIVITIES AND PROMOTIONS - SPECIFICALLY

  • a) To provide membership and benefits to TASC members
  • b) To increase dialogue with AFC fans in order to inform the club of things they would like to see and the direction they would like the club to take.
  • c) To increase ways in which all supporters of AFC can contribute, be it through time, money, effort or just general support.

    TASC WORLD CUP COMPETITION

    Please remember that if you wish to enter the TASC World Cup 2010 Predictions Competition and you wish to score points for all games, entries need to reach Anthony Wright by the morning of June 11th. Entries can still be received after that date, however you will not receive points for any games which have already been played. If you have any queries regarding the competition, please contact Anthony Wright on 07748165253 or by e-mail.

    Anthony Wright Membership Secretary TASC

    BSBP NEWS

    Rushden & Diamonds "are pleased to announce that over the weekend midfielder Max Porter signed to remain at Nene Park for another season. Max joined the Diamonds from Barnet in May 2009 on a one year contract, being almost an ever present in the Diamonds side with 45 appearances in the Blue Square Premier... Max played many of those at central midfield, but has also deputised as a wing back when required, also getting call ups to the England C side".

    At Kidderminster Harriers "Boss Steve Burr is aiming to add more names to his 2010/11 Harriers squad this week as he continues to thrash out the details on a couple of deals for new players. Back at Aggborough on Monday following a family holiday... he admitted that he is close to completing a deal to bring free agent Dave Hankin to the club after working with the impressive winger at Stalybridge last term, whilst also eyeing up another England C International.

    'Obviously with players going there will be more coming in to replace them and over the next week or two that waiting game will continue really', commented the manager. 'I have a meeting with the Chairman on Thursday to see where we are on the financial side of things. But hopefully we should be in a position to announce something about a couple of players coming in before the end of the week... I have held talks with Dave and... I also would like to bring in another player who I have worked with before at England C level'.

    Burr spoke last month about his desire to lure an 'unnamed' striker to Aggborough following his release from a Football League club... 'He is returning from holiday in a couple of weeks and he is keen to come here but he has had one or two good offers so I'm really hoping I will be in a position to put a deal to him as soon as possible', he continued... 'He got a move into the Football League on the back of scoring goals at non-league level so obviously I am quite keen to bring him here'".

    From Sport Grimsby we learn that "Ivory Coast striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro is likely to leave Grimsby Town this summer. Manager Neil Woods concedes the forward may have played his last game for the club. Akpa Akpro has an offer on the table from Town but wants to stay in League football. And with his 18-month contract up this summer, he is free to look for a new club... His overall total since signing for ex-boss Mike Newell is eight goals in 60 outings...

    Woods revealed: 'We've made a very good offer to Jean-Louis but he has spoken very honestly about his desire to go up a league rather than down a division. I would think it is very unlikely he will be here next season It's not what we would like'... With the 25-year-old set to depart and fellow forward Tommy Wright also moving on, Woods acknowledges the need to strengthen in attack with Bury forward Andy Bishop the most high-profile name linked with a move to Cleethorpes so far this summer.

    But Woods remains tight-lipped on the identity of any targets... The manager went on: 'We have Lee Peacock who can play up front. I also believe Michael Coulson – although maybe not so much next season – will be a striker longer term. Lewis Gobern can play through the middle as well. So we do have options but will definitely be looking to strengthen the striking pool. It's plainly obvious we need to'...

    Meanwhile, the Telegraph understands a deal for Scottish keeper Kenny Arthur could be edging closer. Woods has stated his interest in the Rochdale stopper and the club revealed on Friday it hopes to conclude a deal with the 31 year old. Accrington Stanley have also been chasing the man who spent two years with them before the move to Dale 12 months ago".


    7 June 2010

    SUMMER FUN WEEK

    26-30 July, 2010: SUMMER SOCCER FUN WEEK The popular Altrincham FC Summer Fun Week at Moss Lane will be held this year from 26 to 30 July. The price is just £60 per child for a week of soccer coaching. There is a discount for brothers and sisters of attendees. Coaches are expected to include Colin Little.

    WORLD CUP

    Grahame Rowley advises that all of England's World Cup games will be shown in the bar at Moss Lane on HD television starting with the group stage games:
  • Saturday, 12th June: England v USA, kick off 7.30pm - doors open 6.30pm
  • Friday, 18th June: England v Algeria, kick off 7.30pm - doors open 6.30pm
  • Wednesday, 23rd June: England v Slovenia, kick off 3pm - doors open 2.30pm

    Support your team whilst supporting your club and watching the World Cup at Altrincham FC. Everyone welcome, Alty supporters or otherwise. Special promotions will be run at each game - details to follow.

    OLD BOY

    In the NL Paper, former Altrincham midfielder Lewis Chalmers (left) "says he would jump at the chance to return to his non-League roots. Lewis was released by Aldershot Town in May. The NLP says, "No team has yet taken a punt on Chalmers and the Manchester-born midfielder has now issued a some and get me plea to Blue Square Premier clubs in need of some title-winning experience. 'Of course, I'd come back' said Chalmers who started his career at Altrincham in 2004. I'd never forget where I came from and where I made my name. You want to go as high as you can but I'd play wherever. The Conference is a good, competitive league and there are a lot of big clubs in there now. Luton, Wrexham and Cambridge - even Rushden & Diamonds are a big club these days. With Grimsby and Darlington coming down, it's getting better all the time... I'm confident that I'll get somewhere'".

    Of his spell at Aldershot, he says, "'I'd started off dead well this year but then we got a change of manager and it didn't work out for me. It all started going a bit pear-shaped around January so I asked if I could go out on loan. Chris Wilder did me a favour taking me to a big club like Oxford. It was tough to get a foothold because they had such a big squad... I just want to get back to playing football regularly. To go from playing 50 games one season to 50 over the next two was really frustrating. And, at 24, it's not as if I'm getting on'", said Lewis, who graduated to first-team football through George Heslop's Altrincham FC Youth set-up.


    6 June 2010

    PITCH UPDATE

    The close season is a busy time for many at Altrincham FC, not least groundsman Neil Brown, who has been working hard to bring the pitch up to his usual high standard for the start of the new season. In these two pictures, taken from the Dunn & Gray Family Stand, we see the automated watering device which roves across the pitch and the new growth of grass after the top surface was removed and re-seeded. (Pictures courtesy of Sarah Rowley).

    PLAYER SPONSORSHIP

    Altrincham FC invites supporters to sponsor players for 2010-11. If you wish to continue an existing sponsorship or start a new one (£150 per year), please ring 928-1045 or e-mail the club. For this your name will appear in the matchday programme throughout the season and under the player's picture in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge. You will also receive the player's signed shirt at the end of the season.

    YANKEE

    There were three Treble winners in the Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee this week but the £5,000 jackpot, and the reserve jackpot at £4700 remain to be won. To find out how you can win this for just £1, visit the Saturday Yankee page.

    BSBP NEWS

    The Football Conference tells us that "Eastbourne Borough have made their second signing of the pre-season with the capture of Matt Langston. Langston, who stands 6` 3”, established himself as an essential part of Histon`s defence and after his debut in 2006 he became known for his goals as well as his contribution to defensive 'clean sheets'...

    Langston started the 2009/10 season as the Histon captain but joined Crawley Town in March on loan and he now completes the journey to the Sussex coast for the forthcoming 20010/11 season".

    Meanwhile, "Blue Square Premier champions Stevenage Borough have signed midfielder Robbie Sinclair from former league rivals Salisbury City".

    Fleetwood Town report that "Former Accrington Stanley skipper Peter Cavanagh has signed... The right-back first joined Town at the end of last season after serving an eight-month ban from the game. The Football Association banned the 28-year-old for breaching rules on betting in relation to Accrington's League Two match against Bury in May 2008. Cavanagh goes head-to-head with supporters’ player of the season Shaun Beeley for the Town right-back berth. Beeley, 21, has just penned a new contract with the Lancashire club, leaving his job as chef behind for full-time football...

    'I captained Accrington during their promotion season and that experience will prove to be a benefit. I had a number of good offers to return to League football in addition to Fleetwood. But I choose Fleetwood as they stand more chance of success. That’s one of the main reasons why I have joined. I want to taste promotion and success again', he said. Three former Stanley teammates are now reunited at Highbury. 'They already have the services of Anthony Barry and just acquired Ian Craney. All are proven at Conference level and above. That can only be of benefit in the long run'”.


    5 June 2010

    SEASON TICKETS

    Terrace season tickets for 2010-11 are now available for collection from Moss Lane during normal weekday office hours. Tickets for the stands should be available in the near future.

    If you order your season ticket before 30 June, you will get £10 discount on adult and concessionary tickets; details are here.

    ALTY PLAYERS TO FACE EACH OTHER

    Robbie Williams's father Nigel informs us that "Wales U23s take on England C at Welsh Premier Newtown's Latham Park on Tuesday September 14th at 7.30 or 7.45pm (to be confirmed). This match could witness Robbie in action against Shaun Densmore if both are selected."

    FLYNNS ON TOUR

    Alty's joint Press Officer, Brian Flynn, and his son, Niall, featured this week in the following article by Andy Buckley from the Manchester Evening News. "Two football-mad fans are getting their bags packed ready for a World Cup safari in South Africa. Brian Flynn, from Timperley, has spent £5,000 for him and son Niall to go on the trip of a lifetime to soccer’s showpiece tournament.

    Their month-long adventure will take in five cities and in the first group phase alone they will watch 10 different teams, kicking off with France against Uruguay in Cape Town on the opening day, Friday June 11.

    Their sleeping plans are as varied as their match itinerary. As well as hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation, they will stay in a beachside back-packers hostel in Durban and a wildlife sanctuary in Bloemfontein.

    Missing from their belongings, though, will be an Altrincham flag because there will not be enough room on the plane although they had the last one stolen at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

    'We tied it up at the front of the stand at the Ghana v Czech Republic match in Cologne and we think some German fans sat nearby nicked it,' explained Brian. 'The next day we saw a picture of the flag in the Daily Telegraph with a caption which said ‘Ghana fans celebrate with Altrincham fans.

    We shouldn’t really have been at that game. We were going to Frankfurt to watch Portugal against Iran but never made it after our motor home ran out of petrol three miles short of Dover so we only had enough time to get to Cologne'”.

    This time Brian and 19-year-old Niall – both rarely miss an Altrincham game - have hired a car for the 1600-mile journey. After watching Italy v Paraguay in Cape Town, their schedule takes in Germany v Serbia (Port Elizabeth) and Nigeria v South Korea and Portugal v Brazil (both Durban).

    They also have tickets for two matches in the last 16 and a quarter final at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg where the final is held, before heading home.

    The only time they might see England is in the later stages. 'We hope to see England but that’s not the main reason we’re going', admitted Brian. 'We want to see the country and the stadiums and enjoy mixing with fans of different nationalities. It’s certainly a different experience than watching Altrincham. They’re both very enjoyable but in different ways.

    It’s been easy to get tickets. I think the remote location and worries about security are the reasons. We were quoted £8,500 by a travel agent for the trip but have booked everything ourselves in the end and it’s worked out much cheaper'.

    The Flynns have also been to the last two European championships and you can follow their latest adventure via a special World Cup blog. Brian and Niall will be giving regular updates on their experiences in South Africa via MEN Sport.

    BSBP NEWS

    Bath City "have snapped up midfielder Marc Canham from Hayes & Yeading United. The 27-year old will be very familiar with Twerton Park having made over 200 appearances for City's former tenants, Team Bath, during five years with the now extinct club. Having began his career with Colchester United then AFC Bournemouth, he played 38 times for United last season but was released after turning down the chance to go full-time. Two more of City's current squad have agreed terms for the 2010-11 season, with Lewis Hogg and Gethin Jones shaking hands on new deals, leaving just Jim Rollo, Darren Edwards, Adie Harris and Kaid Mohamed to commit themselves".

    From Cambridge News we read that "Jez George is confident Cambridge United can avoid going to tribunal over a fee for James Jennings. United will have to pay Kettering a compensation sum for the 22-year-old left-back after signing him on a two-year deal last month. Jennings had been offered a new contract by the Poppies and is under 24, making him liable for a fee.

    Manager Martin Ling stated at the time of clinching Jennings he did not expect the club would have to pay anything more than a four-figure sum. And director of football George said 'It's in everyone's best interests not to go to tribunal. We're pretty certain it would be a nominal fee and wouldn't go beyond something we can afford, so, hopefully, we can agree something with them. The way a tribunal works it would look at what money he's on, how long he has been there and the fact he'd gone there on a free transfer... If it went to tribunal we feel we've done our homework and we're comfortable with the likely outcome'".

    Newport County manager Dean Holdsworth reports that "I'm very pleased to tell you that we have secured the signature of Lee Baker. I have watched Lee over the last couple of months of the season and,,, I was informed of Lee being interested in joining us after turning down the chance to re-sign for Kidderminster. Lee is a natural left sided player and I see him fitting in very well, he gives us good options and his desire to play at the top of his game is a delight to hear. Holdsworth has already signed former Havant & Waterlooville winger Tony Taggart, Woking midfielder Guiseppe Sole and Forest Green Rovers defender Oliver Thorne.".

    And, the BBC adds that " Harriers' assistant manager Gary Whild admitted he was disappointed that Baker had chosen to leave.... Said Whild, 'He is pretty chuffed he has had a good offer so unfortunately we can't keep him'... Harriers have also confirmed Martin Riley is likely to be the target of other clubs although he has been offered a new deal. Transfer-listed striker Robbie Matthews has reportedly been in talks with Gateshead but Gary Whild admits he is not aware if those talks have advanced beyond an initial enquiry stage".

    Meanwhile, Gateshead "have made their third summer signing with the capture of vastly experienced former Football League left back Paul Heckingbottom. Heckingbottom, 32, has played over 300 Football League games for a number of clubs including Barnsley, Bradford City, Sheffield Wednesday and Darlington. The Barnsley-born defender played 15 games for Gateshead on loan from Mansfield Town at the back end of last season.

    Manager Ian Bogie said, 'It is no secret that the left back berth has been a problem and Heckingbottom did a good job for us in the last three months of the season... The defence is taking shape nicely but I am still on the look out for another central defender with James Curtis and Carl Jones already at the club'. Bogie has a host of other irons in the fire having talked to several prospective signings with new targets identified on a regular basis".


    4 June 2010

    THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE AT ALTY

    Altrincham FC joint press officer, John Edwards writes in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger...

    "Altrincham followers can look forward to having a current England C player in the ranks again next season and are being urged to use Moss Lane for watching the senior national side's World Cup exploits over the coming weeks.

    Manager Graham Heathcote's hopes of reinforcing Alty's growing reputation as a force to be reckoned with have been given a major boost by Shaun Densmore's decision to sign on for another year. The versatile former Everton prospect pledged his immediate future to Alty after adding two more England caps to his tally by facing East of Scotland in Edinburgh and, four days later, Ireland in Waterford.

    'Shaun is a popular lad and a very good player, as reflected by his England status, so it really is great news for the club that we have secured his services for another season,' said Alty vice-chairman Grahame Rowley.

    As a further indication of Alty bosses' determination to try and keep crucial revenue streams flowing throughout the close-season, they are turning the Noel White Suite, under the main stand, into a viewing lounge for England's World Cup games, starting against the United States on Saturday, June 12.

    'We've got a super HD big-screen TV and a well-stocked bar, so we really are hoping as many as possible come along and help generate a cracking atmosphere,' added Rowley. 'Everyone is welcome, whether they are regulars at our games or not, and they can count on first-rate facilities and surroundings for watching the games. We are opening the doors for all three group games, about 45 minutes before kick-off, then we'll see how we go after that. There seems to be a perception that the club simply goes to sleep during the summer, but we can't afford to let that happen.

    'It is essential we keep things ticking over as much as possible, and everyone who comes along here to cheer England on, rather than watching at home or in a pub, will be making a positive contribution to the club's wellbeing'".

    GET THE BIG MATCH ATMOSPHERE

    Grahame Rowley advises that all of England's World Cup games will be shown in the bar at Moss Lane on HD television starting with the group stage games
  • Saturday, 12th June: England v USA, kick off 7.30pm - doors open 6.30pm
  • Friday, 18th June: England v Algeria, kick off 7.30pm - doors open 6.30pm
  • Wednesday, 23rd June: England v Slovenia, kick off 3pm - doors open 2.30pm

    Support your team whilst supporting your club and watching the World Cup at Altrincham FC. Everyone welcome, Alty supporters or otherwise. Special promotions will be run at each game - details to follow.

    TASC MINUTES

    As ever there is interesting news in The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) minutes from its latest committee meeting, the twentieth to date.

    MAPPING THE LEAGUE

    The excellent Mike Avery site has an updated map of the Blue Square Premier for 2010-11.

    NW NEWS

    Last season Stalybridge Celtic's average home gate was 472 but they are following the AFC Wimbledon model of going full-time on a smallish budget, with an emphasis on youth. Stalybridge Celtic "are delighted to announce that Jim Harvey has signed a new 2-year deal that will see Jim stay with us as manager until at least April 2012. Jim will be joined on the management team by Tim Ryan who will combine his playing role with that of assistant manager.

    It can also be confirmed that Celtic intend to become a full time club in July, although it is important to put this in context. Sadly, we will never be able to financially compete with the big spenders in our league and we need to look to a different way of trying to achieve promotion. As a result of the current environment, and despite the fact that we are going full-time, Jim's budget will actually be slightly lower than the one Steve Burr started last season with so if we cannot buy our way out of this league we need to be more creative in how we face the challenges ahead.

    Consequently we have made the decision to go forward with a focus much more based on youth, a policy that is sure to find favour with the club’s supporters.

    Chairman Rob Gorski said 'I am truly excited about the future. Coaching and bringing kids through is Jim's forte and he was extremely successful with this strategy at Morecambe. Of course there is an inherent risk when focusing more on youth, but the squad will have a backbone of quality and experience coupled with talented young professionals who will all have the hunger to become a real force in the Blue Square Bet North and beyond'.

    Celtic are keen to develop a strong Academy structure that will hopefully give youngsters the opportunity to move into the first team squad and there will be a separate announcement regarding this later this week. A further development is that Syd White will become Chief Executive of Stalybridge Celtic with immediate effect. Syd was already Vice-Chairman, but with increased activity and additional work on another commercial project - that we hope to announce very shortly - Syd will have further powers to drive the club forward".

    TAXMAN COMETH

    It is surprising that it has taken the Revenue so long to act but Bullsnews confirms that "The taxman is sueing the Premier League in a bid to remove the preferential status of football creditors. HMRC are seeking a legal ruling that the League's 'Football Creditors Rule' is unlawful and can no longer be applied. Since their own preferential status was removed in 2003 the taxman has routinely voted against CVA agreements across football in protest at footballing creditors receiving preference under the individual league's rules.

    Should the taxman be successful against the Premier League, the Football League and Conference will almost automatically have to fall into line - meaning that clubs will no longer have a guarantee of payment should another side go bust. It also means that sides would be more likely to fold and reform at a lower level.

    With the Government on an economy drive, the taxman stands to lose 80% of their claim against Portsmouth - up to £28million - if the CVA is passed and cannot allow such losses to be repeated with other Premier and Championship sides said to be in debt to similar levels. A spokesman told Accountancy Age magazine:

    'HMRC‘s view is that there is nothing in insolvency legislation that provides for unsecured debts due to “football creditors” to be paid in preference to other unsecured creditors such as HMRC. Our view is that the practical application of the so called 'Football Creditors Rule' may be unlawful'".

    BSBP NEWS

    According to the Football Conference "Grimsby Town have signed Accrington Stanley central defender Darran Kempson on a two-year-deal. The 25-year-old began his career at Preston North End. He failed to make an impact at North End and moved to Stanley on loan for the first time, featuring eleven times. He then had spells at Morecambe, Crewe and Bury before securing a permanent move to Shrewsbury. He joined Stanley for a second loan spell, featuring eight times before signing permanently at Wrexham. He moved to Forest Green Rovers on loan before signing for Stanley for a third time in July 2009 on a permanent deal. He featured fifty times for Stanley last season".

    Forest Green Rovers "announce that their 22 yr-old club captain Paul Stonehouse has signed for Mansfield Town for the coming season. Despite being offered terms by Forest Green for next season, the uncertainty existing where Rovers will play next season was instrumental in his move to the Stags, combined with the offer of better personal terms. Paul was the only player last season to appear in every Blue Square Premier fixture making 41 starts and 3 substitutions...Due to his age, and that he had been offered re-engagement terms for the forthcoming season, Mansfield Town have agreed a compensation fee for Paul’s registration. The amount involved will remain a private matter however between both clubs due to other players at this time being subject of similar possible transactions in and out at the New Lawn and Field Mill".

    From the BBC we learn that "Dagenham & Redbridge have signed Histon left-back Gareth Gwillim. 27-year-old Gwillim has penned a two-year contract. Former Crystal Palace youth team player Gwillim played 121 games in the Blue Square Premier for Histon, after joining them from Bishop Stortford in 2007. Despite still having a contract at the Glass World he was released by mutual consent".

    Earlier, it was reported that "Histon manager John Beck says he has held talks with Peterborough United about the possibility of borrowing some of their youngsters for next season. Beck worked with Posh manager Gary Johnson at Cambridge... He told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'It's the sort of relationship we need with our local League sides'.

    Histon have hugely reduced their budget over the past six months with most of their first-team squad leaving. Beck said he is going to be relying on youngsters to do the business for him on the pitch. 'We're going to be on the smallest budget in the league and it will probably be half of the lowest budget elsewhere in the league', he said." [That's at least three clubs claiming the smallest budget in the league, so far.]

    "'We'll be working under terrific constraints and it's a massive task ahead of us. Any academy boys who are pushing for a pro-contract are just the sort of players we are looking for as it's the only way we can exist'. Goalkeeper Joe Welch is the first player to sign a new deal at the Glass World, while the likes of Adam Bygrave, Lee Smith and Gareth Gwillim remain under contract...

    'We would love the likes of Adam Tann and Matt Langston to return, but it may well be the case that we cannot afford them now', he said. 'We want home games to have a carnival atmosphere, we want children to get in for free, we want bouncy castles, we want the Histon Hound'" he added.

    Meanwhile, "Barrow joint-boss Dave Bayliss has revealed that the Bluebirds are facing competition from a Scottish Premier League side for defender Paul Edwards. The 30-year-old former Oldham full-back joined the Bluebirds in March after he was released by Port Vale. 'He has been offered a contract by a side up in Scotland', Bayliss told BBC Radio Cumbria. 'If an offer comes in that we can't compete with then he will go but I hope he stays'".

    However, another BSBP club has already fought off Scottish competition as Crawley Town report that they "have beaten Scottish Cup finalists Ross County in the race to sign Greenock Morton midfielder Steve Masterton (25) and the talented midfielder [has] signed a one year contract with The Reds".

    Kettering Town report that "Local boy Luke Graham has signed a two year contract with a one year option [after joining] from play-off finalists York City. Graham, who last played with the Poppies in 2009 said, 'It's great to be back with my hometown team and I hope I can help push them one place higher. York offered me a two year contract, but being closer to my home, and my family was an important factor'".


    3 June 2010

    OLD BOY AT BENFICA

    Right: Former Alty player Peter Band - in his Robins' kit- is pictured (right), with his son Max, on a recent visit to the Estádio da Luz, home of Benfica in Lisbon. Picture courtesy of Sarah Rowley.

    WORLD CUP FUNDRAISER

    The World Cup fundraiser is now complete and the 32 teams have been allocated.
  • Derek Wilshaw - Denmark
  • Karen Rowley - Serbia
  • Phil Taylor - North Korea
  • Campbell McLay - Hondorus
  • Peter Foster - USA
  • Jo & Glynn Vayro - Australia
  • Mike Ainsworth - Nigeria
  • Claire Brennan - Japan
  • Paul Salt - Cameroon
  • John Skelhorn - South Korea
  • James Surridge - England
  • Bryan Ford - Chile
  • Mark Griffin - Argentina
  • Brian Flynn - Greece
  • Dave Johnson - France
  • Anthony Wright - Uruguay
  • Grahame Rowley - Paraguay
  • Paul Daine - Slovenia
  • Paul Brady - Portugal
  • Peter Foster - Ivory Coast
  • George Heslop - Mexico
  • Steve Foster - Ghana
  • Julie Brady - Algeria
  • Heather Brady - Italy
  • Darren Gregory - Germany
  • Mike Ford - Holland
  • Terry Surridge - South Africa
  • Peter Warburton - Slovakia
  • Jim Hankinson - Switzerland
  • Mick Taylor - Brazil
  • Colin Mitchell - Spain
  • Luke Vayro - New Zealand

    The prizes to be awarded are:-

  • Winners - £75
  • Runner -Up - £25
  • 3rd/4th Place - £10 each
  • Most goals conceded £ 20
  • 1st sending off - £20

    Many thanks to everyone who entered and Good Luck!

    If you didn't enter this competition we still have a few tickets left for the alternative World Cup Draw costing just £2 per ticket. Each ticket is allocated to a squad number of each team competing and a number of prizes are available. All proceeds from this draw go towards helping Matt Doughty and Tom Kearney whilst they are recovering from their long term injuries. Tickets available from the offices or by emailing me.

    Many thanks

    Grahame Rowley

    BSBP NEWS

    Blue Square Football reports that "Wrexham boss Dean Saunders has conceded he could lose inspirational captain Ashley Westwood to Kettering Town. The two clubs are competing for the 33-year-old centre-half's signature with the Poppies reportedly holding the upper hand in negotiations. 'It looks like Ashley might be leaving', Saunders admitted to The Leader.

    'I made him an offer, it was less than last year but still a really good offer. But Kettering have offered him a two-year deal. Kettering is nearer to where Ashley lives down in Northampton and it is disappointing he has gone. But I can replace Ashley, no problem. There are some really good centre-backs I can sign... I have got to sort out the other end of the pitch', he said.

    'I have put offers in for two strikers which I am hoping will come off. One is a forward and the other can also play wide and up front. I have got to get a centre-forward in and a couple who can play up-front as well as out wide if I can'".

    Striker Mark Williams - who suffered an injury-plagued season - has been offered a six-month contract by Saunders... Saunders said 'I was banking on him banging the goals in last season but his foot had not healed. He had an X-ray and we found out it was broken'".

    Meanwhile, "Lee Baker is set to leave Kidderminster Harriers after rejecting a new contract offer from club boss Steve Burr. The left-back, who has spent two years at Aggborough, declined fresh terms last week... 'Lee has told me that he has been made an offer that he just can't turn down', Burr told Harriers' official website. 'Obviously we are very disappointed with the news. He was a player I really wanted to keep but ultimately we have lost out. At least Lee had the decency to phone me and tell me', he added".

    However, the Kidderminster Shuttle adds that "Kidderminster Harriers are seeking to claim compensation for defender Lee Baker... The 21-year-old had been offered a one-year deal with an option to extend based on appearances and seemed eager to sign. However, the former West Bromwich Albion trainee is expected to join an unnamed Blue Square Premier club, after a change of heart over the weekend...

    Under the Bosman Ruling, Harriers will be eligible for a fee for developing Baker. While Baker refused to confirm who the mystery club was, suspected to be either Luton Town or Newport County, he hinted one of the reasons for leaving was the offer of a longer contract...

    Harriers' assistant manager Gary Whild said: “I think it’s strange that if a player has been offered such a great move he hasn’t signed already. There’s been no news about who it is and we’ll have to wait and see".

    Baker said: "'I am going somewhere that is really ambitious and I am excited about the move. I think it might take people by surprise but it’s a club that is determined to go places and I was impressed with their plans. As a footballer you’re always looking for stability as well and they’ve been able to offer me that. Last week I was pretty certain I was going to sign for Harriers, so it just shows how things can change in a short space of time'

    Baker could be followed out of the door by centre-back Martin Riley, who was also offered a deal by the club last week. The 22-year-old is also thought be interesting several clubs but if he leaves, Harriers would also be able to claim a fee for him. Meanwhile, defender Gavin Caines has been allowed to go, despite playing enough games to activate a clause in his contract to extend his stay at Harriers, after talks with Burr.

    Liam Dolman has signed for Corby, after being released last week... David McDermott has been asked to train with Harriers in the summer in the hope of earning a new deal at the club... Dean Bennett’s future is unclear after Burr admitted he had not made a decision on Harriers' current longest serving player, while Marcus Bignot is also not expected to return. The club have secured rookies Tom Sharpe, Kyle Hadley and Nathan Hayward for another season... Meanwhile, Telford winger Matt Blair has been invited for a two-week trial at Harriers in July".

    NL Daily says that "Crawley Town assistant-manager Paul Raynor has confirmed that the club do have an interest in signing Scottish midfielder Steve Masterton. Masterton, 25, was at Greenock Morton last season and is thought to be considering an offer to stay in Scotland versus accepting an offer to sign for Crawley...

    Raynor said: 'Steve Masterton is a player that was brought to the attention of the gaffer well over a year ago but our approaches at that time came to nothing. He was excellent against us last pre-season when we played Greenock Morton and we have continued to monitor him. We have watched him a few times since then and it is fair to say he has been impressive'".

    In This is Glos "The new Forest Green Rovers Chairman David Drew - former Stroud MP - sets out his vision for the Nailsworth club: 'Many of my friends feel that I am going from the frying pan into the fire... My love for the club is widely acknowledged but probably less well known is the way in which I have tried to help over the years both in terms of advice and support...I shall be working as a volunteer and I can assure supporters and public alike that I will not be taking any money from that role...

    Our financial problems are well documented and it will be my responsibility along with the other directors to stabilise the ship. Waiting to hear our fate regarding what league we will be in next year does not help getting on and planning for the future. If we can maintain our place in the Conference Premier this will obviously mean that we will have to bolster the budget for the playing staff, but will give us access to greater revenues...

    I have committed myself to meeting two objectives. First I want to broaden the base of the club's support... Second I want the club, Green in name, to be green in outlook. My ambition is to make it the most environmentally sustainable professional football club in the country... There are some ideas that I think that we can make an early start with to use the ground to make and conserve energy and water. However we will have to think out of the box in order to meet the radical proposals that I have in mind but if we get it right we can bring in revenue, reduce costs and help publicise ourselves in doing this, a trilogy of advantages that will further enhance the reputation of the club".

    But "Life is a pitch for Forest Green groundsman Matt Rainey after landing a new job at Cheltenham Town. Rainey, who has spent six seasons at the Blue Square Premier club, will move to the Robins on June 20 to take charge of their Seasons training pitches and assist head groundsman Terry Roberts".

    Issue number seven of Non-League 24 magazine is now "on sale nationwide at WHSmiths, Martins, McColls and other leading retailers. Non-League 24 is the UK’s only magazine devoted exclusively to grassroots football from the Blue Square Premier to Step 7 and below. Non-League football’s profile has never been higher and the magazine’s motto reflects that – Real Football for Real Fans. From groundhoppers to angry refs and crazy fans, Non-League 24 offers in-depth coverage of the stories behind the news with action packed pages of features, statistics, pictures, columnists, news, views, opinion and comment".


    2 June 2010

    GET THE BIG MATCH ATMOSPHERE

    Grahame Rowley advises that all of England's World Cup games will be shown in the bar at Moss Lane on HD television starting with the group stage games
  • Saturday, 12th June: England v USA, kick off 7.30pm - doors open 6.30pm
  • Friday, 18th June: England v Algeria, kick off 7.30pm - doors open 6.30pm
  • Wednesday, 23rd June: England v Slovenia, kick off 3pm - doors open 2.30pm

    Support your team whilst supporting your club and watching the World Cup at Altrincham FC. Everyone welcome, Alty supporters or otherwise. Special promotions will be run at each game - details to follow.

    OLD BOYS

    Three ex-Altrincham players remain at one of our pre-season opponents as the UniBond League reports that "Nantwich Town are pleased to announce that Jake Sedgemore (right), Chris Flynn, Richie Sutton, Glyn Blackhurst and goalkeeper Ben Chapman have committed themselves to the club for season 2010/2011. Meanwhile, joint managers Kevin Street & Darren Tinson say they are hopeful of retaining the bulk of last season’s squad that, despite a largely disappointing campaign, completed the final six matches of the season strongly. Preparations for the new season are already underway with intermittent training sessions taking place at the Weaver Stadium in order to maintain contact with the players and monitor their fitness levels".

    Alty play at Nantwich on 17 July.

    BSBP NEWS

    The Football Conference says that "Rushden & Diamonds have announced that following negotiations, Justin Edinburgh has signed a new contract to remain as manager for the next season. Edinburgh commented: 'I'm delighted it is all concluded, delighted to have signed and I'm looking forward to the new season. There was never a doubt that I’d sign, just a couple of issues to finalise. It was an easy decision to make, the players, fans and staff at the club have been fantastic. I will be making a decision with regards to an assistant-manager on my return from holiday next week'...

    Meanwhile, "Neil Woods, manager of Grimsby Town, has made his second summer signing after MK Dons midfielder Lewis Gobern agreed to join the Mariners. The 25-year-old is a traditional wide-man who loves to run at defenders. He joined the Dons in July 2009 from Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers... Gobern became a regular in Mick McCarthy's team at the start of the 2006/07 season, scoring two goals in twelve Championship appearances... He returned to fitness a year ago with Wolves reserves and played in several development team fixtures before spending a month on loan with Colchester in January".

    Confirmation comes from Kettering Town that "The deal to bring former striker Iyseden Christie back to Kettering on a one year deal with a one year option has been completed today... The 33-year-old says he's looking forward to returning to the Poppies. 'I am delighted to be an Kettering Town player again', Christie told the club... 'It was nice playing close to home with Tamworth last season but when Kettering showed some interest in me, I knew that it was the right move for me'. Christie was last with the club in 2009. He was on loan from Stevenage and scored 6 goals in 15 starts for the Poppies...

    Manager Lee Harper was happy with his new signing, "Iyseden is a proven goalscorer at this level and he will be one of 4 strikers we will need in order to compete for Blue Square Bet Premier success'".

    At AFC Wimbledon comes news that manager Terry Brown has "signed Andre Blackman [last club Bristol City]. 'I am absolutely delighted to announce the signing of Andre Blackman. Although this would appear at the outset to be another young signing, I do believe that this particular young man has all the credentials to progress to a much higher level. Andre is a very gifted, pacy and talented left back whose career needs to develop with regular first team football in a stable environment. Although he has played youth and reserve team football at a very high level I really believe that being involved in two physically demanding games every week, allied to our full time training, will allow him to progress at Wimbledon and fulfil his tremendous potential.

    Andre’s career so far has been blighted with one or two off-pitch incidents that young people can so easily get dragged into. These have undermined his focus so far as football has been concerned. He has been given opportunities before, which he has failed to take advantage of. As a nineteen year old Andre has always been part of his club’s youth and reserve set up and I do believe that becoming an integral part of our first team set up will give him the impetus he needs to channel his surplus energy into not only getting his career back on track but to allow him to enjoy his football again and express himself in an environment where he can excel'".


    1 June 2010

    DIG DEEP FOR ALTY!

    Altrincham FC groundsman, Neil Brown, invites all supporters to help themselves to as much top soil as they want from the 15 tons that have been removed from the top of the Moss Lane pitch this summer! Owners of the adjacent allotments have already removed some, but there is a large quantity left. Neil says it will make excellent soil for your garden so please help yourself. The soil is behind the Popular Side terrace.

    BSBP NEWS

    The Football Conference says that "Michael Coulson has signed for Blue Square Bet new boys Grimsby Town on two-year deal - subject to medical. Town fought off stiff competition from a league club and a new league rival for the services of the 22-year-old frontman. Grimsby boss Neil Woods has made no secret of his desire to sign the ex-Barnsley man, who impressed while on loan at Blundell Park last season.

    Coulson bagged five goals in twenty-nine appearances for the Mariners, including four in five towards the end of the campaign".

    From Blue Square Football, we read that "Newport County hitman Dave Gilroy says he will definitely leave the club after they failed to offer him a new deal. The 27-year-old has issued a 'come and get me' plea and reports suggest that Bath City and Woking are leading the race to snap up his signature.

    Gilroy told the South Wales Argus: 'I won't be going back to Newport. When I went out on loan again I had written off going back to Newport but when I was called back and scored a few goals, the boss was positive and I was hoping to stay. Since then things have obviously changed and I'm looking for a new club now. I'm open to offers. I don't know where I'll be next season.. I certainly won't be at Newport... I hope they do well because people like Matt Southall have put a lot of hard work in and they deserve success'".

    Meanwhile, "AFC Wimbledon boss Terry Brown admitted that he could miss out in the transfer market as he refuses to be forced into any quick decisions. The Wombles' boss has only snapped up Christian Jolley and Lee Minshull so far after waving goodbye to 14 players. The Kingsmeadow club have already lost out on Bobby Hopkinson, who opted to join Havant & Waterlooville and Brown knows he could not be the last.

    He told the Surrey Herald: 'We invited Bobby to come and do pre-season for us to try and earn a contract, but he had that last year with Aldershot and it didn't work out, so he didn't want to do that again... I've invited a few lads down to training, but we could miss out on them if someone comes in for them'".

    This is Mansfield reports that "Mansfield Town may move for Salisbury hitman Matt Tubbs should the Whites be relegated due to their financial problems... The Conference have ruled City 'ineligible' for the 2010-2011 season after failing to fulfil all the requirements of a company voluntary agreement (CVA) when they went into administration last season... If they do make the drop, they are unlikely to be able to keep Tubbs, thought to be the club's top earner.

    That has already alerted the interested of York City, keen to acquire the striker who finished joint top league scorer with Richard Brodie on 26. Now Mansfield are believed to be keeping tabs on the 25-year-old England C international... The Stags have a gap in their quota of strikers, with Jon Shaw joining Gateshead last week.

    One player linked with Mansfield who is not on their radar is former striker Barry Conlon. The 31-year-old – who scored six goals in 17 games for the Stags in 2007 – was released by Chesterfield in March. But boss David Holdsworth said: 'I am making enquiries about a striker, but I have not spoken to Barry'. Mansfield have already made four signings – Adam Smith, Chris Smith, Steve Foster and Kevin Sandwith. Meanwhile, released defender Michael Brough is interesting League Two new boys Stevenage".

    According to NL Daily, "Grimsby Town striker Tommy Wright has left the club to return to new Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Darlington. Wright has rejoined the Quakers despite signing an eighteen-month contract upon joining the Mariners in January. The former Leicester City forward's solitary goal for Neil Woods's side came in the home 2-2 draw against Chesterfield in April. Wright, 25, scored seventeen goals in fifty-four appearances for the Quakers in 2007/08".