an unofficial website

May, 2011

31 May 2011


Don't forget that you can order your Altrincham FC "Centenary of Moss Lane" replica shirt, produced by Ian Senior's SK Kits, with an individual number embroidered on it - for just £35. As well as being a limited-edition souvenir, the income from sales is important to the Club in the close season. Visit the Club, ring (0161) 928-1045 or e-mail the Club to secure your shirt. The photo (right) shows the shirt with its special badge and the unique shirt number, sewn in gold towards the hem of the front of the shirt.


A statistical review of 2010-11 season for Altrincham is now on the website.


Worcester City report that "Worcester City manager Carl Heeley wants to open talks with former Shrewsbury Town defender Harry Hooman. The Worcester-born 20-year-old was released by the npower League Two side earlier this week and the St George’s Lane chief is keen to make contact with the former Bishop Perowne College student. Hooman, who made two first-team appearances for the Greenhouse Meadow outfit before his exit, spent two months on loan at City’s Blue Square Bet North rivals Hinckley United...

Heeley said 'I saw a bit of him at Hinckley last season and I tried to bring him to the Lane but the move was rebuffed. I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I would like to... There isn’t a shortage of — players. Obviously players are considering what options are out there'.

Heeley says he is still waiting to discover whether midfielder Gary Walker, defender Neil Cartwright and top-scorer Danny Glover will commit their futures to the club. However, midfielder Matt Birley will be returning for pre-season training this summer. 'I have had positive talks with them and hopefully they will stay', Heeley said. Meanwhile, former City full-back Graham Ward has signed for rivals Nuneaton Town".

Closer to home, "Former assistant manager Anthony Wright has been confirmed as the new manager of Vauxhall Motors FC. This is following the resignation of previous manager, Carl Macauley, who stepped down last week due to increased work commitments. Wright has brought in former Notts County striker Gary Martindale, another former Motors' player, as his assistant... The new manager is eager to build upon the excellent work by Macauley and believes he can assemble a squad of players at Rivacre Park to maintain the progress made under his predecessor and is determined to give every player at the club their chance to shine".

Blue Square Football reports that "Rushden & Diamonds CEO Steve Beasant has issued an official statement...

  • 1. He has confirmed that the club chose not to appeal against the Conference Ruling made at the end of April regarding a breach of Rule 18, and as a result the 5 points deduction will stand, as will the suspended £2000 fine - details here.
  • 2. The Club has a hearing with the Conference on 6th June regarding the Club's current and future status.
  • 3. Negotiations are ongoing with investors.
  • 4. Full legal and insolvency advice has been taken regarding the winding-up notice due to be heard on 13th June.

    There is a further meeting tomorrow with all parties, from which the club hopes to be able to make a full announcement in due course".

    Blue Square also reports that "Cambridge United manager Jez George has confirmed that the club are actively looking to trim the squad of its highest wage earners. U's midfielder Simon Russell recently revealed that he has been asked to take what he described as a 'big pay cut', casting doubt over his stay at Abbey Stadium.

    George has since moved to clarify the club's spending plans for the season ahead, telling the club's official website: 'When I accepted the position of Manager I understood the urgent need to reduce the playing budget and implement a more realistic and affordable wage structure. The fact is that we have six players who collectively will account for two-thirds of the entire playing budget for next season. Obviously this is a situation the Club cannot afford to happen. These are financial issues that we have inherited but must be tackled head on for the Club to operate within its means. We simply cannot continue to pay contracts that we can't afford.

    I have spoken in detail to each of the players and, where appropriate, their agent. In five of these cases all parties have agreed that the best initial way forward is to circulate their names for permanent transfer or long term loans. In addition, the Club cannot afford two senior goalkeepers and, for this reason, with the agreement of both Danny [Naisbitt] and Simon [Brown], we are circulating their names to gauge interest.

    Commenting on Russell's contract situation, George added: 'It is well documented that Simon [Russell] has an option in his contract that is exercisable at his discretion not the Club's. This option provides Simon with a new salary which is well beyond the ceiling imposed by the Board. Therefore, I have asked Simon to take a smaller pay increase, which would allow him to stay within our new wage structure. Simon has until 30th June to inform us whether or not he will be exercising his option but I have explained that the Club cannot afford to pay him the higher salary. As a free agent at the end of his contract, he has the prerogative to speak to other clubs which he is doing so at present. Whilst I have expressed to Simon my desire to keep him at the Club, we cannot pay wages that are not affordable'".

    Back in BSB North, the Chronicle tells us that "New Blyth Spartans boss Steve Cuggy has targeted prolific former Gateshead frontman Graeme Armstrong... Armstrong was part of Gateshead’s back-to-back promotion side, but then joined Harrogate Town last season when he couldn’t commit to playing full-time. The 27-year-old scored 44 goals in 144 games for the Tynesiders and was Harrogate’s leading scorer after turning down the chance to join Blyth last summer.

    Cuggy hopes to bring in a defender and striker this week, though he faces a fight to land Armstrong as Conference North rivals Workington and Bedlington Terriers are also interested. Cuggy said: 'I’m also confident many of the current squad will re-sign, including Player of the Year Stephen Turnbull and defender Wayne Buchanan. Neal Hooks is open-minded but a lot of the players are keen to stay. Michael Tait has a few concerns, but I’m hopeful he will stay'.

    Whether ace striker Paul Brayson moves on following two prolific campaigns remains to be seen, but veteran defender and former assistant boss Chris Swailes will not be returning. 'Chris was No 2 to Mick Tait last season and has decided his future is elsewhere. I’ve already talked to Brayson and will have further discussions with him early this week', said Cuggy. Carl Jones, released by Gateshead, is a candidate to replace former team-mate Swailes...

    Whitley Bay captain and central defender, David Coulson, however, is on his way to Croft Park and he is unlikely to be the last from the FA Vase triple winners. 'I have a lot of irons in the fire', added Cuggy. “'You can’t sign players on a Conference form until June 11 and I only want players fully committed to the cause'".

    From the Darlington & Stockton Times, we learn that "Darlington are continuing to work on bringing in potential new players to The Northern Echo Arena, but have hit a stumbling block in their pursuit of James Walshaw. The Guiseley striker, who scored 32 goals this season, this week held talks with Quakers boss Mark Cooper...

    However, Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick believes his striker will stay with the west Yorkshire club. He said: 'Wally went to see Darlington on Monday but couldn't agree terms... He has given me his word that he will sign for us'.

    Although Darlington have been linked to several players, including Alan Gow and [ex-Alty man] Kevin Ellison, formerly of Notts County and Rotherham respectively, Cooper is not concerned by the club's lack of transfer activity so far. He said: 'We've offered one or two contracts, but I've been doing this long enough now to know that situations can change by the hour. You think you've got someone, then they'll ring you back to say "so-and-so have offered me another £100 a week". I've talked about the distance before, it's difficult getting the right players up to the area, that's what's giving us the most problems".

    The Eastwood Advertiser says that "Eastwood Town’s new owners and management will be unveiled to fans next week... The identity of the new owners has been kept largely under wraps. But in a week when two of only three players who were offered terms to stay at the club next season instead opted to join their former boss Paul Cox at Mansfield Town, fans will be keen to hear exactly what is in store on the playing side and behind the scenes for next season and beyond.

    Lindon Meikle and Lee Stevenson, both key parts of Eastwood’s excellent second-half of the season, have both signed for the Stags for undisclosed fees... Meikle told Mansfield’s official website the chance to work with his former boss once more was too good to turn down...

    He said: 'You’ve only got to look at what Paul Cox has done since joining Eastwood and the standard has gone up massively. The club was not run very well back then and the standard was poor so he has left the club a lot better off than when he found it. I’ve been with Paul since I was 16 or 17 and I’m delighted to have got the opportunity to work with him again. I know what I will get from him and he knows what he will get from me'.

    Cox is also expected to take his assistant manager Richard Cooper to Field Mill, while defender Adie Hawes is now the only player left at Eastwood who had been offered a new deal, with every other member of the squad told their contracts would not be renewed. Centre-half David Haggerty is reportedly set to sign for FC Halifax Town...

    The identity of Eastwood’s new board and management team will bring to an end speculation among fans as to who will take over with the club having issued very few details since a deal was agreed. Jamie Brough, who has playing experience with Sutton Town and has most recently been coaching with Hucknall, is the only name officially released, though his eventual role at Eastwood is currently unclear".

    News of the Conference champions comes from Bulls News which report that "Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler says he could not compete financially with Northampton over striker Adebayo Akinfenwa because of budget cuts at the Priestfield Stadium. He also expects to lose out in the race for Crewe striker Clayton Donaldson, with Crawley claimed to have offered him a deal that will make him their highest paid player".

    30 May 2011


    TASC committee member Steve Foster writes:

    "Apologies for the short notice, but we will be holding a meeting to discuss our plans for the Altrincham FC Festival float and stall on the field on Tuesday night. It will be in the Orange Tree pub, Altrincham, and will start at 7.30pm. The Festival will take place on 2nd July. If you are interested in helping out with the festival, please can you email me to let me know you are interested and if you can come along to the meeting, or not. Hopefully see some of you there on Tuesday!"


    A review of Altrincham's 2010-11 season will appear on the website shortly. In the course of compiling it, it emerges that Altrincham's 24 defeats last season constitute the highest number of league losses in a season by The Robins since the Cheshire County League season of 1960-61 when the club lost 28 games of a 42-match campaign. The 87 league goals conceded in 2010-11 was the highest total let in since 1960/61 when a monumental 125 goals flew into the Alty net. Alty netted 47 league goals in 46 matches last season, a total only twice "bettered" since World War II, in 2005-06 when just 40 goals came in 42 matches and when 41 goals were netted in a 42-match season in the Conference in 1993-94. That season Alty actually finished tenth in the league. Alty's annual league record is here


    One of Alty's Youth team, who also appeared for the first-team last season, has signed EvoStik forms, reports Mossleyweb. "Theo Kidd (age 17) is a hard working and talented young striker signed from Altrincham. Theo graduated through Altrincham's youth team to earn a first-team squad place in March and still qualifies to play youth football with Mossley as well as challenging for a first team place. Theo played alongside several of last season's Mossley youth team for the successful Manchester FA under 18s' side... Aaron Chalmers has now returned to Mossley after finishing last season on loan at Droylsden".


    NL Daily says that "With immediate effect and by mutual agreement, Garry Haylock has vacated the position of manager of Hayes & Yeading United. Haylock leaves the role as first-team manager after four years, having been appointed as the inaugural manager of the then newly formed club in May 2007...

    Derek Goodall, Chairman of Hayes & Yeading United, added: "'As the first manager of the club and having led United into the top tier of non-league football and maintained that status in the last two seasons, Garry Haylock will always have place in the club’s folklore'.

    Haylock said: 'It has been a pleasure to manage Hayes and Yeading United FC and Yeading FC previously and... I am delighted this parting is on amicable terms'. Following several discussions in the close season, the parties agree that with a challenging season ahead it is in all interests to part on good terms and head their separate ways before new season preparations are fully underway. The club, in operating with reduced income streams during their groundshare at Woking FC, will be looking for fresh impetus this season and Haylock moves on looking for a fresh challenge... Until a new appointment is made, first team affairs will be handled by Director of Football, Tony O’Driscoll".

    FC Halifax Town "confirm their second close-season signing for the new season, with the arrival of another central defender. Joining recent signing Scott McManus from FC United is 20 year old, 6'4" David Haggerty. Starting his career with Rotherham Utd, David was with last season's successful Eastwood Town side who would have made the play-offs but for ground grading issues, playing in the Blue Square Bet North. As David comes in, Mark Bower departs and has signed for Guiseley. On behalf of the Club".

    And there is a new signing at Gainsborough Trinity where "The Club announce the signing of Jamie Yates. Yates was at our local rivals last year, Boston United.. The 22 year-old winger has played 77 games for the Pilgrams, also banging in 8 goals during his time there".

    Nuneaton Town report that "Keeper Danny Alcock agrees to extend his contract at The Triton Showers Community Arena following talks with Boro Manager Kevin Wilkin. Alcock had his option activated by the club on Monday, prior to his flying out on holiday... Boro have nearly completed their retained list and manager Wilkin looks to add to the squad in a bid to better last season’s play-off finish".

    According to the Football Conference, "Following his involvement in Saturday's npower League Two play-off final for Torquay United, Newport County have announced that they have secured the signature of goalkeeper Danny Potter. Former Cambridge United and Canvey Island favourite Potter, who started his career in Chelsea's youth system, is a commanding figure and character both on and off the pitch, and was a target for Brighton before moving to former manager and team-mate Paul Buckle's Torquay side last summer".

    29 May 2011


    Asked what the biggest enjoyment in football management is, Altrincham's new manager, Lee Sinnott, told the NL Paper's Stuart Hammonds, "People always trot out that it's winning every Saturday or, at the end of the season, you've achieved promotion. That is my train of thought but I look at it in a different way. I love to create something that brings people joy. I know that sounds a bit slushy but it's not meant to. It's not for me personally. It's not so that I can say, "Look what I've done"...

    Left: Lee Sinnott is at home at Altrincham FC.

    'Farsley is the example that probably epitomises my management so far but my philosophy as well, which is to build something that gets stronger and stronger and the people enjoy it as it goes along....

    'It's giving something back, in a way. I would happily play, get promoted and then just step into the background and let other people enjoy that. That's what brings me joy and what I enjoy about the job. I love to see the enjoyment on people's faces and, this sounds a little bit daft but it hits the nail on the head, I'd rather give a Christmas present than receive one'".

    Hammonds says, "Sinnott's teams are renowned for playing attractive football" and Sinnott himself adds "I want people to enjoy themselves - supporters, players, directors - and I will get fulfilment by seeing them able to do that... I want to work at a football club where I feel happy'".

    Lee has managed one of Alty's players before - last season's top scorer, Damian Reeves. "'I've come across Damian quite a few times' says Sinnott, [who managed Damian at Farsley]. 'I started off at the Leeds Academy and he was a youngster I had there, so [now] our paths cross once more. Speaking to Damian, it's clear he's had a few moves in a short space of time but he is a goalscorer and his record [proves] it... Getting 18 goals [for Altrincham] in a struggling side is no mean feat...

    Altrincham is a well-run club, a realistic club, and that's the way you have to operate. You cut your cloth accordingly and we're taking the sensible approach'".


    Boston United "have confirmed that four existing first team players have committed their futures to the club. Goalkeeper Paul Bastock, defender Gareth Jelleyman, midfielder Danny Sleath and striker Marc Newsham have all signed on the dotted line for the 2011-2012 season. Furthermore, defender Kevin Austin and winger Ryan Semple have agreed deals in principle and will sign the necessary paperwork in due course. Striker Lawrie Dudfield has re-entered retirement after a brief playing return towards the end of the 2010-2011 campaign, meaning six players are yet to resolve their futures. In-demand defender Shaun Pearson, fellow defender Kieran Murphy, midfielders Anthony Church and Shane Clarke, winger Jamie Yates and striker Spencer Weir-Daley are all still in talks regarding their respective futures".

    At relegated Histon, "Match Day Prices have been set for the coming season as follows. There will be no surcharge for access to the seated areas of the ground:

  • Adult - £10
  • Concessions - £6
  • Under 16s and Students with a valid Student ID Card - £3"

    Colwyn Bay report that "Following promotion to the Blue Square North the following admission charges will be in place for all home league games for the forthcoming season. Prices:

  • Adults £9.00
  • Concessions (OAP-NUS) £5.00
  • Children (Under 14) £2.00

    Colwyn Bay Football Club endeavours to keep admission prices for supporters as low as possible but trusts that supporters will understand the reason for the increase in admission prices for next season following promotion. The projected increase in gate revenue next season will help us to provide a competitive first team budget and assist in funding some of the work that will be required to upgrade the ground to Conference North standards".

    Likewise, Guiseley tell us that "In order to sustain the club’s drive for promotion, fund ground improvements and ever increasing day-to-day running expenses it has become necessary to increase admission prices by £1 for the 2011 / 2012 season. Admission prices for the forthcoming season will therefore be:

  • Adults; £10
  • Concessions: £6
  • Accompanied U12s unchanged at just £1

    We believe these prices still offer exceptional value for money and are some of the lowest in league, indeed they are below the admission prices that were charged by some clubs in the Evostick Premier League last season."

    And Guiseley also say that "We are pleased to announced the signing of Mark Bower, a very experienced central defender who has made over 200 appearances for Bradford City, where he was popular with fans and even captained the side.

    Last season Bower, 31, was almost ever-present in the lineup at FC Halifax Town, making 48 appearances with one goal to his name. Prior to joining the Shaymen, Bower had started his career with Bradford City making 189 first team appearances over the six seasons between 2003/04 to 2008/9. The next two seasons saw him play for Luton Town and Darlington respectively making 16 starts for the Hatters and playing 13 times for the Quakers first team.

    Born in Bradford in January 1980, Bower was educated at St Bede’s School, before signing as a trainee at Valley Parade and was an ever-present during the 2004/05 and 2006/07 seasons. Made captain by caretaker manager David Wetherall, Bower also wrote a weekly column for the Bradford Telegraph and Argus and was in the regular first teamer until he eventually lost his place to Matthew Clarke after sustaining an injury in a pre-match warm-up at Accrington Stanley on New Year's Day 2008. Mark will be a great addition to our already strong defence as the club look to build on their successes in their first season in the Conference North."

    At Hinckley United, "Dean Thomas has just confirmed that Jermaine [Clarke] has agreed to put pen to paper for another season with the Knitters after a very successful first season with the club. Jermaine, who instantly became a crowd favourite with his gritty uncompromising performances and fair share of goals, reassured Dean several weeks ago that he wasn't looking to go anywhere else and resisted the courtship of Worcester City in preference to committing to Dean for next season".

    And "Dean Thomas has decided to reinstate Danny Haystead as the Knitters' first-choice keeper after weighing up all his options. Thomas had the luxury of being approached by several experienced keepers wanting to join the Knitters during the close season and had managed to whittle his preferred choices down to three, as long as a fortnight ago. Dean's short was reduced to two last week and he has just confirmed that he has decided to go with Haystead for next season. Danny, who chose a move sideways to fellow Conference North side Boston United, has come to an abrupt end. Having jumped ship when at the top of his game last season with the Knitters, Danny set off in pursuit of promotion and playing in front of bigger gates. Unfortunately, things appear not to have gone to plan and he was released at the end of the season.

    Danny appears to have reassured Dean sufficiently that this would not happen again, after having to learnt the hard way, and Dean believes that he has the ability to continue where he left off. Danny becomes the second key signing to what is shaping up to be a very different looking rearguard for the forthcoming campaign with more signings expected over the next few weeks."

    Elsewhere, "It is believed that Sam Belcher has agreed terms with his home town club Nuneaton for next season after reportedly securing a package that includes job."

    From the Holker Street Newsletter, we learn that "Former Barrow player, Steve Housham, has been appointed Gainsborough Trinity's football development manager, he had been the manager of Brigg Town for three seasons".

    Nuneaton Town "can confirm that is has released right back Rob Oddy. Oddy who has been with the club for a number of years has been released by Manager Kevin Wilkin after talks last week... Oddy was the first player to sign for the reformed Nuneaton Town Football Club following the demise of Nuneaton Borough AFC."

    However, "Kidderminster defender Mark Albrighton and Worcester Captain Graham Ward has signed Contracts at The Boro. The pair signed contracts tonight at the club with Ian Brown. Other players re-signed and put pen to paper to extend their contracts were James Armson and Eddie Nisevic. Gareth Dean and Adam Walker also agreed to extend their long contracts in a busy night for Kevin Wilkin. Sadly Defender Stuart Pierpoint was released tonight and becomes a free agent. Pierpoint is current leader in the Player of the Year poll and assured the club website that he will be there if he wins and thanks the supporters for a fantastic two seasons at the club. Pierpoint told the website "It's football and there is no one more gutted than me!!'... The club is still negotiating with some other players who have football league experience."

    At Solihull Moors, "Andre Francis joins Solihull having spent two years at Stafford Rangers. 26 year-old Andre is equally comfortable in a wing back or wide midfield position. Also joining Solihull is Mitch Fellows from Willenhall Town. Mitch caught the eye of Solihull during last season when he scored 31 goals for the Midland Football Alliance outfit, making him the highest scorer in the division. Despite interest from other clubs, Mitch has decided to join Solihull."

    Meanwhile, "Solihull Moors have announced next season prices for Admission and season Tickets.

  • Adult Admission remains at £10-00
  • Juniors remains £5-00
  • This season there will not be a Senior Citizen concession but Senior Citizens will be able to purchase a Season Ticket for £80 if purchased by 31st July, or £90 from that date."

    At national level, the Football Conference reports that "Anthony Hudson, manager of Newport County, has secured his number one target – striker Craig McAllister" from Crawley Town.

    The Times & Star reports that "Workington Reds' boss, Darren Edmondson, has named former Carlisle United midfielder Mark Boyd as his top transfer target. Boyd, who last season turned out for Reds’ rivals Dorylsden, is a free agent and Edmondson is keen to discuss terms about a move to Borough Park. The 29-year-old is seen as the perfect replacement for Graham Anthony, who left Workington in 2008.

    Edmondson said: 'Since Graham left we have never really replaced him and I believe Mark could be that man to fill the void in midfield. I know all about him and what he can offer us and it’s encouraging that he is willing to speak to us. I’ve spoken to Mark and we’re hoping that he will join us for pre-season and we’ll take it from there'...

    Edmondson, who is currently on a family holiday in Tenerife, is hoping to speak with Boyd, 29, and other targets on his return today. He said: 'There is a lot going on behind the scenes and we’re working on bringing players in'...

    Boyd started his career in Newcastle before playing for Port Vale, Gretna, Macclesfield, Accrington Stanley and Southport. Last year’s loan star Tom Smyth has been released by Accrington Stanley. The 20-year-old defender impressed during his stint at Borough Park, putting in some impressive displays during his 11-game spell. Edmondson said he was aware of the situation and monitoring Smyth’s position."

    According to the North Wales Weekly News, "Although player-boss Dave Challinor says he has identified some players he would like to try to sign to add further quality to the current squad, he admits Colwyn Bay’s location does make it difficult in capturing the type of player he is after because there are so many other clubs after them as well...

    Pre-season training starts on June 25 and Challinor added: 'We will try and involve as many people as we can in pre-season and the ones who perform the best will be the ones who will be involved in the opening league game on August 13th. We have just had a fantastic season and hopefully we can push on from here, but we are under no illusions about how difficult a challenge we face in the higher league'.

    The club also need to undertake upgrading work at Llanelian Road during the summer to meet the requirements of the Blue Square North. That involves the addition of a further 100 tip-up seats at the town end of the ground, plus the installation of crush barriers on the Triac terracing.

    Managing director Darren Cartwright said: 'The work we need to do is all in hand and we are fortunate to have such an excellent working party of volunteers to carry it out'... At last Friday’s presentation night there were two awards for attacking full-back Luke Denson, who took both the Supporters’ Player of Season and Manager’s Players of the Season trophies. The former Tranmere Rovers apprentice played in every game for the Seagulls last season and was one of the side’s most consistent performers.

    Defensive midfielder Fraser McLachlan was named the Directors’ Player of the Year; 19-goal Jon Newby won the golden boot award as top scorer and skipper Damien Allen took the Goal of the Season award for his volley goal against Whitby Town."

    28 May 2011


    Changing division is a problem for football club websites as the links page has to be revised more or less completely. This has now been done, though there is still work to do to add additional links. However, you will find links to all the clubs in the BSB North, along with links to maps of where the clubs are located. All links have been checked and are working at today's date. Any suggestions for additional links are very welcome by e-mail.

    It is hoped, shortly, to update the historical records section to include last season's data.


    "Manager David Livermore has submitted now Histon’s retained list", reports the Football Conference. "Zak Mills, Daniel Sparkes, Jim Stevenson and Lewis Taaffe remain under contract for the coming season as does David Knight, although the keeper has been granted a free transfer and is able to talk to other clubs. The club have also exercised one-year options with both Zac Attwood and Remy Clerima and both players will therefore be with the Stutes next season. Lanre Oyebanjo has been offered re-engagement as has Lee Smith, although the midfielder has declined the offer and therefore left the club. George Lawton, Antonio Murray, Erkan Okay and Callum Stewart have not been offered new terms and have all left the Glassworld Stadium. Dee Okojie and Omer Riza played last season on non-contract terms and Livermore is in talks with both players".

    Meanwhile, "Kidderminster Harriers have made a treble signing on Friday by boosting their options with the addition of two midfielders and a striker. Front-man Steve Guinan has penned a one-year deal at Aggborough and is by far the most experienced member of the squad. Guinan boasts almost 400 career games in both the Football League and non-League with well over 100 goals, and has remained a threat throughout. Elsewhere midfield has been bolstered with the arrival of 23-year-old Scott Phelan and 18-year-old Jack Cresswell. [Phelan]'s been one of the stars of the Shaymen's rise back up the non-League Pyramid as one of just two players to have racked up more than 100 games for the club as two promotions in three seasons saw them [FC Halifax Town] reach the Blue Square Bet North for 2011/12. Cresswell, meanwhile, is a former Manchester United trainee who was released by Walsall at the end of the season just past".

    However, "Experienced Kidderminster Harriers defender Mark Albrighton and last season`s Worcester City captain Graham Ward have signed for Blue Square Bet North club Nuneaton Town."

    Nearby, "Willenhall Town have announced that last season`s top scorer, Mitch Fellows, has signed for Solihull Moors. In his first season Fellows... helped the Lockmen stay up with his thirty-one goals."

    Still in the Midlands, "Following a meeting, Kyle Storer advised Nuneaton Town that he would like to leave to pursue full-time football. Nuneaton has exercised the option to renew his contract for next season and had been in negotiation with the player regarding an extension to this until the 2012/13 season. The club have not received any formal approach for Storer... The club did receive an offer for Storer last season, but turned down the offer as their on-going ambition and plans at the club very much involved him. He has been at the club over two and half years and has made fantastic progress with the team. The club will now look to receive offers and should a suitable offer come in for the player that will be considered on due course".

    In Nottinghamshire, "Eastwood Town have announced that Craig Armstrong and Jamie Brough will undertake the positions of joint first-team managers. Armstrong, player/assistant-manager at Forest Green Rovers last season, and Brough have worked together over the last three years and bring a wealth of experience from non-League football through to the professional game...Eastwood will shortly be announcing the name of its major shareholder who will undertake the position of chairman".

    As well as Altrincham, several other BSB North clubs will start next season with a new manager, amongst them Vauxhall Motors, whose "manager Carl Macauley has tendered his resignation to the club, following a promotion at work [which] meant that his ability to manage the club would have been impossible. Carl has been the manager at Rivacre Park for over five seasons and has enjoyed immense success in the Blue Square Bet North on a very limited budget. His ability to nurture talent has been a feature of his time at the helm and recognised throughout the area, whilst maintaining a good footballing ethic...

    Club chairman Alan Bartlam commented “'his has happened so quickly this week and it was only last week that I was saying how Carl is already assembling his squad for next season. Carl has been fabulous to work with over the last few years, a credit to himself and the club and, whilst I don't wish to see him leave, his decision is perfectly understandable. He will be sorely missed at Rivacre Park – and a very tough act to follow. I've believe he was the best manager in the league, achieving what he has with so little financial backing".

    More on this comes from the Ellesmere Port Pioneeer which reports that "Vauxhall Motors are searching for a new manager after Carl Macauley tendered his resignation. The long-serving Macauley, a playing member of the Motors team that achieved the memorable West Cheshire League double in 1995, has been forced to quit due to increased work commitments". Also, "Matchday admission prices at Rivacre Park have increased but still remain the cheapest in the league. Adult tickets cost £9, concessions £6, students £3 and under 16s £1."

    According to the BBC "A Rushden & Diamonds fans' group say their efforts to save the club have been hampered by a lack of information. At a meeting on Thursday Rushden & Diamonds Trust members decided they would continue to fundraise for the cash-strapped club. But in a statement they said: 'Further debate was hampered by the ongoing lack of a confirmed and clear picture of the financial situation at the club'...

    The club is also due in Northampton County Court on 13 June to face a winding-up petition put forward by Cloverdale Catering, who claim they are owed money... The trust said it would meet again after the hearing and the Football Conference's Annual General Meeting on 11 and 12 June".

    Play-off losers "Luton Town have handed manager Gary Brabin a new two-year deal at Kenilworth Road. Brabin, who joined the Hatters as a scout in 2009, was already contracted to the club as assistant manager. He was made interim boss after Richard Money's departure in March and led Luton to an unsuccessful Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final".

    We learn from This is Glos that "progress is being made both on and off the field, but Gloucester City chairman Nigel Hughes still wants to see the Tigers receive greater support. City averaged crowds of only 350 last term, their first as tenants at Cheltenham Town's Abbey Business Stadium, and fourth away from their spiritual home. So making ends meet on the returns ledger while achieving an improved finish in their highest-ever position in the football pyramid is a remarkable achievement.

    But with one eye on the future and a return to Gloucester to a new ground at Meadow Park in the pipeline, Hughes wants more people to join the club on their adventure... Hughes said., 'Next season will again be a struggle to meet our costs as we are again playing away from our home, so we are also looking for additional investors... We have given manager Dave Mehew a good budget and we will see how we progress during next season. We will never spend what we haven't got, but it looks as though we will balance the books for the financial year and that's a real achievement as well. We have nobody employed full-time, but we've managed to grow our sponsorship base and are hopeful we can do that again... Hopefully we will be back in the city soon and the new development will hopefully be a hub for that part of the community'".

    However, "Defenders Tom Parrinello and Tom Evans have rejected new contract offers and left Gloucester City. The pair informed a 'disappointed' Tigers boss Dave Mehew that travelling commitments had led to them seeking pastures new. Left-back Parrinello was a virtual ever-present last term after joining in the summer from Weston-super-Mare, the chief beneficiary of Jack Harris's long-term absence from the side. But with broken leg victim Harris due for a return during pre-season, Mehew, though disappointed, is not worried about the strength of the left-sided players in his squad.

    'Tom (Parrinello) was given an offer but he's rejected it as he felt the travelling from Bristol was too much', Mehew said... 'It's not like in my day where you wanted to play at the highest level you can – nowadays different things motivate the players'...

    Melksham-based Evans signed for City earlier in the year from Worcester City and provided valuable cover at centre-half after Tom Hamblin's pelvic surgery. Hamblin is due to be fit for pre-season and with player of the year Matt Coupe an almost certain starter, Mehew is again not short of options. ..'It's again an area where we have options', Mehew added. 'I'm not going to panic into looking for replacements and in a funny way it may mean I am able to balance the squad better. If they both had signed we would have had three left-sided players and four centre-halves – now I can look at strengthening other areas'.

    Top of Mehew's in-demand areas is on the right of midfield where a move for Mangotsfield United man Matt Groves has already been rebuffed... Mehew said, 'I'm not to worried about finding recruits now as we've plenty of time. We have John Else coming for pre-season and if he impresses then we can look at him and we also have Will Morford and Steve Davies who can play there. There's no need to panic and rush in as players are all looking for the best money and club they can find at the moment. That will all calm down when the season draws closer and it's then that we can get the right player at the right price'".

    In the light of the inflated prices at Eastlands for last Saturday's BSBP promotion play-off, Bullsnews informs us that recent non-Leaguers, "Stevenage face Torquay in the League Two play-off final at Old Trafford tomorrow afternoon. The two sides are likely to set an unwanted record for the lowest attendance at a play-off final, with the two sides announcing advance sales of just 9,500 by Wednesday night. Such is the low level of ticket sales, the Football League have taken the unprecedented step of selling tickets on the day at the stadium. Fans are blaming the long distances involved in travelling to Manchester, leading to suggestions that a more central location should have been sought".

    Bullsnews also says that "At a fans forum last night Lincoln chairman Bob Dorrian told supporters that the six transfer-listed players at the club were taking up 30% of their playing budget for the coming season. He told the meeting that the club was set to lose about £400,000 for the current year, £120,000 of which was spent on paying off players' contracts. For the coming season the Imps will be cutting out paying for accomodation for players and will limit boss Steve Tilson to offering a maximum wage of £700 a week, while the club's training ground will be mothballed to save money".

    The Tameside Advertiser reports that "New Hyde boss Gary Lowe admits he faces a huge task turning the Tigers’ fortunes around next season... Among those disappointed to be overlooked were Hyde defenders Scott McNiven and Steve Halford, who were hoping to placed in charge permanently after steering the Tigers to safety in Blue Square Bet North in the wake of Neil Tolson’s dismissal at the beginning of last month.

    Lowe and his assistant, Martyn Booty, who has followed him from Curzon, will each sign 12-month deals. And Hyde’s new managerial duo are already planning big changes to the club’s playing staff as they prepare to meet the challenge of ending three years of struggle in non-League’s second tier for Tameside football’s fallen giants. Lowe said: 'Like everyone else, I'd heard all the rumours about Hyde wanting me, so it's good to be here at last and looking forward to all the hard work which now lies ahead. It’s a massive challenge, but Martyn and I can’t wait to get started.

    Like every manager and player, we want to test ourselves at the highest level possible and, after 11 years at Curzon, this move represents a step up of two divisions. I think it’s fair to say there are going to be wholesale changes here. I’ve already spoken to lots of players. I’ve always said that this is the most important time of year for any manager, new or otherwise'...

    Lowe, who’s thought be be preparing to take several players with him from Curzon, says he’s confident he and Booty can be a success at Hyde but hopes the club’s fans will not expect too much, too soon. He added: 'I truly believe we can progress Hyde, but the supporters need to be aware that this will take time. Hyde can’t be turned round in a couple of weeks, but we’ve already targeted some quality players and, hopefully, we can sell them the dream'".

    27 May 2011


    The Football Conference reports that "Harrogate Town have announced that they have completed the signing of former Gateshead striker Jonny Allan. Allan, 28, has also played for Carlisle United, Northwich Victoria and Halifax Town and has proved to be a prolific goalscorer in non-League football".

    Meanwhile, "Stalybridge Celtic under-19s became champions of the Conference North Division after an emphatic win against Tamworth.... It did not take Celtic long to increase the lead to 3-1 when Congo under-18 international Aristote Kasa Joe headed home at the other end from. Celtic then cruised into top gear with all their scorers doubling their accounts to finish off a great season, winning the title for the second time under manager Alan Keeling and coach Lee Elam, with a new team. The management and players were presented with their trophy and medals at the Blue Square Bet Premier Promotion Play-Off final at Manchester City`s Eastlands."

    In the BSBP, "Young striker Obi Anoruo has become the latest to commit to the new season and sign a one-year deal with Wrexham, after spending the last campaign with Blue Square Bet North club Vauxhall Motors, where he was their leading scorer and led the Motormen to a comfortable mid table position".

    And "York City have announced the signing of 21-year-old Gateshead-born Liam Henderson from Watford. This young prospering striker has previous experience with Hartlepool United, Colchester United, Aldershot Town and Rotherham United".

    From the Redditch Advertiser we have confirmation that "Former Redditch United striker Matt Smith has joined Oldham Athletic on a two-year deal. Smith featured for United at the start of last season, before moving to Solihull Moors, where he scored 23 goals. Ex-United boss Matt Gardiner has also joined Worcester City as assistant manager to Carl Heeley, he replaces Mark Clyde".

    According to the Nuneaton News, "Kevin Wilkin is hoping that Nuneaton Town's other bright young talents will follow in the footsteps of James Armson and Eddie Nisevic in agreeing new deals at the club. Midfielder Armson, 21, and full-back Nisevic, 20, are both products of Boro’s Community Club programme, and are set to sign one-year contracts at the Triton Showers Community Arena.

    Wilkin is now hoping that the third member of the home-grown trio, Gaz Dean, also 21, will join them, along with 20-year-olds Robbie Burns and Adam Walker, formerly of Leicester City and Coventry City respectively. He said: 'The club has a lot to offer, and it’s not all about the financial aspect'...

    Skipper Mark Noon has also agreed a new deal... and Wilkin praised the 27-year-old’s committment on and off the pitch. He said: 'He stuck with us when we came down, and you only have to look at our record when he wasn’t in the side to see he’s a key player for us'... Wilkin is hoping to speak to the remainder of the squad by the end of this week, now that a large number of them are back from a team holiday in Magaluf...

    Wilkin also revealed he would chat to striker Iyseden Christie and midfielder Richard Lavery, who were brought in in April to try and halt the club’s slide. Lavery, 33, was back for a third spell with the club, while Christie, 34, signed on loan from Kettering Town".

    At Hinckley United, "Dean Thomas is working intensively this week to meet all the players from last season and complete his retained list. Dean confirmed that he has spoken to two experienced goal keepers and both have agreed to sign. So he is in the delightful position of having to decide whether he signs both or either one to complement what he already has. Defensively, Dean has already added Joe Hull and brought back Paul Lister and has agreed terms with an experienced full back who has captained sides at Conference level...

    Across the middle of the park Dean has already secured the services of Gooding and Kerry, he has already agreed terms with James Reid and is still on the look out for another experienced central player. Up front, Andre Gray has been retained after his strong showing in the final 10 games and Dean hopes that is the signal that he has turned the corner and will push on to be an accomplished player. Dean expects to meet Rickett's and Clarke this week but he is still hopeful of picking up another experienced player.

    Last season's loanees, Connor Gudger and Sam Belcher are both free agents now and have spoken to Dean who has decided to allow them to try and find full-time employment in football before trying to convince them to accept part-time football as an alternative".

    Later we read that "Dean Thomas has just confirmed that Lloyd Kerry has re-signed for the Knitters. Lloyd who is also keen to get back into playing full-time sees the Knitters has the best stage for demonstrating his ability".

    From This is Glos we read that "Cheltenham Town have spent £8,500 in a bid to improve the condition of their Abbey Business Stadium pitch next season. With Blue Square Bet North neighbours Gloucester City sharing the Robins' home ground last term 68 matches were played there, contributing to a dry, bare and bumpy playing area throughout the second half of the campaign.

    Head groundsman Terry Roberts's cause was not helped by extreme winter weather conditions... with the pitch often cited by the Robins' boss as a stumbling block. It is hoped that three days of intensive work carried out shortly after the final local league match played at Whaddon Road will allow the formerly award-winning pitch to be more resilient next year, with City due to remain as tenants for at least one more season...

    Despite having his work cut out to keep the pitch in a respectable state, Roberts accepted that the money Cheltenham received from Gloucester City far outweighed the amount spent on the pitch ahead of the new season. The Tigers are believed to be paying in the region of £50,000 per year to stage matches at Cheltenham's home ground. 'I was not happy when the groundshare was first announced but I understand the reasons and I get on with it', Roberts said. 'I knew it would happen because when we first got into the Football League our pitch consultants guaranteed the pitch for 40 games a season and I knew it would not cope with 68. I came in for some criticism, but I have broad shoulders'...

    The new pitch will be ten weeks old by the time a ball is kicked. Contractors were brought in and working from 7am to 8.30pm for three consecutive days. The pitch was fraize-mowed, given extra drainage in problems areas on the wings, verti-drained and covered with 400kg of Premier Pitch perennial grass seed. It was then top dressed with 80 tonnes of fine sand and treated with pre-seed fertiliser. It will be cut for the first time when it reaches between two and three inches to encourage faster growth".

    At Corby Town "Corporate Football are offering the opportunity to make your dream a reality with their forthcoming Experience Day at the new home of Corby Town. The curtain has come down on the end of an era at the Rockingham Triangle and there is great excitement ahead of the Steelmen's first ever appearance at their new home but before that happens, Corporate Football are offering the opportunity for supporters of all ages to be amongst the first to play on the new stadium.

    The country's leading suppliers of football experience days provide the opportunity for those who are not quite blessed with the skills required to earn a career from the game to still grace the same pitches for an unforgettable evening... in a 60 minute match on Wednesday 13th July for just £100 per person"...

    And "Corby Town are delighted to announce that Paul Holden MBE and Andy Burgess have both agreed to return to the Steelmen to make up Manager Graham Drury's coaching staff... Burgess rejoins the Steelmen, who he left at the start of the year, as Player-Coach... Burgess joined Woking after leaving the Steelmen and prior to that has represented Rushden & Diamonds, Oxford United, Luton Town, Mansfield Town, Chester and Fleetwood Town. On his return Durry commented: 'Andy is really getting into coaching now, it's something he has known for sometime would be his next step and he jumped at the chance to come back... Sadly Andy coming in means we have had to say goodbye to Tommy Jaszczun. Tommy was keen to move into coaching too but we couldn't reach an agreement to give him that chance at Corby and he'll now move on... but Burge will fill his shoes and we're delighted to have him on board as part of the coaching team. What's more he is still a very tidy player and gives us so many options. He can play on either flank, in the middle, off a striker; he has really quality from his set plays and we'll benefit from Andy's talents on and off the field'”.

    Forest Green "boss Dave Hockaday has pulled off a major transfer coup by swooping for Newport County star Chris Todd. A dominant central defender, Todd, 29, played more than 60 games for hometown club Swansea City before moving to the southwest for spells with Exeter City and Torquay United, helping the Gulls to promotion back into the Football League via the play-offs. Todd, who agreed a two-year deal today, feels excited by the challenge ahead.

    He said: 'I parted company with Newport on good terms, but I am now excited by the challenge of helping Forest Green improve on last season"

    Blue Square Football reports that "Kettering Town chairman Imraan Ladak says the club will take its time as they search for a replacement for departed boss Marcus Law. Law joined Tamworth after a single season with the Poppies where he guided the Blue Square Bet Premier side to a 14th-placed finish.

    With Ladak focusing on trying to resolve the issue surrounding the club's stadium, where a long-term lease is needed to secure their stay at Rockingham Road, the appointment of a new manager is seen as a secondary concern. Once the club's ground is secure, Ladek will then know how much the club's budget will be.

    Ladak told the Evening Telegraph: 'There's no rush at all from my point of view. The main priority is to resolve the lease issue so we know what we will be paying in rent because that will determine what is left to spend on players. We need to find a way where we satisfy the Conference and Football League and ensure we have something to play for. It's always going to be hard to attract players, managers and fans for that matter when there is nothing to aim for. Of course, we will welcome any applicants and if the right man becomes available and he understands our situation over the budget then so be it. The budget is something we are looking at today and into next week. We are obviously aware that we need someone to come in but we have four or five good players already under contract and there will be plenty of players available between now and the start of the season'".

    26 May 2011


    Altrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley reveals that a hundred season tickets have already been sold for next season in Blue Square Bet North. And, if you haven't got yours yet, don't forget to get your season ticket now as the discount reduces next week, as Grahame explains...

    "In order to give the Football Club the best possible budget in which to compete in the Blue Square Bet North next season we have decided to maintain admission and season ticket prices the same as this season. Although this will make us one of the highest admission prices in the league we hope you appreciate the reasoning behind it. We are however offering a £20 discount for any season tickets purchased before May 31st and a £10 discount for those purchased prior to June 30th.

    A season ticket also entitles you to free admission to all the pre-season friendly matches at Moss Lane of which we hope there will be five. We hope that we can rely on your support again this season and look forward to seeing you at Moss Lane in July.

  • Standing: Adults £225; Concessions £115
  • Seating: Adults £265; Concessions £125
  • Under 12s: £25.

    Contact the club on 0161 928-1045 for further details.

    Also, the Club has signed up 82 Patrons for the coming season and is aiming for at least 100. If you would like to help the Club through this initiative, the details come from Grahame Rowley...

    "For the cost of £50, your name will appear throughout the coming season in the matchday programme as a Patron of Altrincham Football Club. At the beginning of the season, every member will be entered into a prize draw, with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with nine guests. Second prize will be hospitality for five people and third prize will be hospitality for 3 people in the Sponsors' Lounge.

    If you are interested in becoming a Patron for next season, please forward a cheque for £50, payable to Altrincham Football Club, Moss Lane, Altrincham WA15 8AP, for my attention. If you require any further information please speak to me (Grahame Rowley) on 07720-606897 or e-mail me. Thank you for your support".


    The latest TASC (The Altrincham Supoorters' Club) committee minutes are here, courtesy of Brian Flynn. Please contact Brian if you wish to join the committee.


    Left: Grahame Rowley with Lee Sinnott.

    Altrincham FC joint Press Officer, John Edwards, writes in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger:

    "Lee Sinnott vowed to ‘put a smile back on people’s faces’ after being unveiled as Altrincham’s new manager at Moss Lane on Tuesday.

    Alty interviewed eight candidates from over 70 applicants and finally opted for the former Farsley Celtic and Port Vale boss to succeed Ken McKenna, who resigned in the wake of relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier.

    Sinnott’s enthusiasm was cited as one of the qualities that won him the vote, and it shone through as he sent an upbeat message to supporters.

    ‘They have a vital part to play, because there would be no club without them,’ he said. ‘After the disappointment of relegation, I will be looking to put a smile back on their faces.

    ‘I want them to enjoy their football. I want us to play football the right way but also in a winning way. I want to win as much as they do.

    ‘We are in a results-driven business. People are impatient, and I understand that. After being in the Premier last season, our supporters will be among the most impatient in the division. That is only to be expected.

    ‘It creates pressure, of course, but if you want to be manager of Altrincham Football Club, you accept that comes with the territory. If you can't take the flak, don't stand on the touchline. In my own mind, this is a long-term project. It's not a case of me coming here and looking for something else 12 months down the line. That's not me. I want to build something that will last a long time.

    ‘I want to achieve something at Altrincham that has never been done before. That is what spurs me on. Whatever it might be, I want to be able to look back and say I left my mark on this club.

    ‘Your aim is always to win whatever division you are in, and it will be no different with us next season. I'm not saying we will do it, but that will be the aim. I have been given a good budget, and it is up to me now to assemble a squad that is capable of success.

    ‘I will be speaking to the players in the next seven to 10 days, and I also hope to sort out a backroom staff shortly.’"

    The Sale & Altrincham Advertiser has an extensive illustrated report on the appointment of Alty's new manager. It says:

    "The new Altrincham manager, Lee Sinnott, has set his sights firmly on returning the Robins back to the Conference. The 45-year-old, who began his coaching career at Leeds United, was appointed after former manager Ken McKenna left the club following their relegation from the Blue Square Premier League in April.

    The former Watford, Bradford and Oldham player was chosen from a shortlist of eight candidates after more than 70 applied. He is still relatively early into his managerial career, but has already made a name for himself having gained three promotions in four years with Farsley Celtic. And he is keen to emulate the same kind of success at Moss Lane.

    '"I’m delighted to be here and I’m excited for the season ahead,' he said. 'The first task is to assemble a squad that’s capable of being successful. Our supporters will probably be among the most impatient in the Conference North for the simple reason they were in the Conference last season. But we have to be ambitious otherwise why are we in the game? Of course it brings pressure – but that comes with the territory'.

    Sinnott will now begin the process of sitting down with the squad and deciding who will stay and who will go after a disappointing finish to the 2010-11 campaign. He said: 'I’ll be looking to speak to the players within the next seven to 10 days. I need to get my feet under the table and find out about the workings of the club. I have to take into account that players are going to have their side of things as well so the two have to meet.'

    One player who Sinnott is already aware of is top scorer Damian Reeves (right), from his days at Farsley. And the new boss hinted he would be keen to keep hold of the striker who bagged an impressive 15 goals this season. 'He was a junior at Leeds United when I worked there and I kept an eye on him last season', Sinnott said. 'He’s halfway up the scoring charts with 15 goals and I think he missed some games so it’s a good return in a team that did struggle. Every successful team needs people who can put the ball in the back of the net – they’re worth their weight in gold'.

    As a former centre -back Sinnott was more accustomed to keeping the ball out but he revealed how his playing days have given him a range of experiences under some top-class managers. Sinnott said: 'I think you take little bits from each manager but then you are yourself, otherwise everybody would be reading biographies by the likes of Alex Ferguson. But there’s no doubt during my career I’ve learnt bits and pieces – the organisation of Graham Taylor, the astuteness of Steve Coppell down at Crystal Palace, whatever it is that makes Neil Warnock so successful. Neil assembles people that think as he does. Players want to play for him and that’s something I will look to instil in my squad as well'.

    Chairman Grahame Rowley is clearly delighted to have got his man. He said: 'Lee came over as a very positive person and I believe he’s the person to lead this club on. We’ve had one era and now we’re going into another. We’ve had relegation and we need to start again but Lee is the ideal person to take us to where we see ourselves going. He does have knowledge of the league – he’s done it before and has a past proven record. But he also came across as someone who


    TASC (The Altrincham Supporters' Club) is pleased to announce details of the third Golf Day for Altrincham supporters. Details of the event are as follows:-
  • Date: Friday July 1st
  • Venue: Mobberley Golf Club
  • Tee-Times: From 11.00 am

    The cost is £30 per person and, for this, you get the following:-

  • Tea/Coffee & Bacon Roll beforehand (From 10.00am)
  • 20 Minutes Golf Coaching from Gary Donnison, the Mobberley Golf Club Professional, prior to teeing off
  • 18 Holes (4 Ball, Stableford Points System)
  • A pint in the bar afterwards
  • Prizes (Top 3 Highest Points Scorers/Longest Drive/Nearest The Pin/Booby Prize for worst score)

    Please contact Brian Flynn on 07860 561011 or by e-mail to book your place or should you need further information.

    This event is aimed at Altrincham supporters and their friends who enjoy a round of Golf and should be a very enjoyable social occasion as well. All profits will go to Altrincham Football Club.


    "Neil Young has revealed to that the Club have completed the signings of striker Mark Reed & midfielder Alex Brown. Chester born Mark Reed has signed from Buxton, and joins the strikeforce currently at the club, whilst 27 year old Alex Brown signs from Droylsden to bolster the midfield... Young also revealed that Scott Barlow has been placed on the transfer list due to additional work commitments, and a fee has been agreed with a club that is currently discussing personal terms with the striker. Richard Whiteside, Tom Field, and Kyle Wilson will also follow Stuart Jones by leaving the club".

    News of one of our pre-season opponents comes from the Manchester Evening News which says that "Stockport County have named Ray Mathias as their new manager. Mathias was appointed as a technical advisor at Edgeley Park in February before taking sole charge for the last 11 games of the season. County were unbeaten at home under his stewardship but it wasn't enough to prolong their 106-year stay in the Football League... Mathias was part of a five-man shortlist including Jim Gannon, Martin Foyle, Graham Roberts and Mike Newell but after two interviews, the former Wigan and Tranmere manager convinced chief executive Graham Shaw that he was the right man for the job".

    The Northwich Guardian states that "Andy Preece will remain as manager at Northwich Victoria next season following talks with the club’s owner Jim Rushe...

    'There’s a budget in place now and we’re drawn up a list of targets we’d like to sign', said Rushe. 'I wanted to make sure that Andy’s vision for what we can achieve next season matches mine and how he sees his role in helping the team to reach those targets'...

    Preece, 44, had been linked with the vacancy at Vics’ neighbours Altrincham, but the Robins have asked former Bradford Park Avenue manager Lee Sinnott to pick their team instead. In any case the Northwich manager has spent most of the past seven days talking to players, both from last year’s squad and fresh faces too.

    Rushe said: 'We’ve drawn up a list of targets we’d like to sign... Each of them fits the profile I talked about earlier this month'. The Guardian understands that the club has exercised options to renew deals for Player of the Year Andy Fowler and Wayne Riley. Terms have been put to a handful of others from last year’s squad who are expected to make up their minds in the coming days... Four players – Michael Clarke, Tony Evans, Graeme Law and Steve Woods – are under contract already. Meanwhile David Fitzpatrick and Raphale Evans accepted offers on Friday to continue at the Victoria Stadium for a second season.

    Assistant manager Andy Morrison, who came to Northwich with Preece in February 2009, has yet to pledge his future to the club though. 'I’ve not agreed terms with him yet', revealed Rushe. 'Andy Morrison is a hugely valuable asset to the management team and I’d like to think he’d be happy to stay along with Andy Preece. They came as a package and I want it to stay that way'".


    Barrow's Holker Street Newsletter (HSN) recently reported that "Friday's Mail had an interview with Simon Spender who is leaving Barrow to try his hand in the Welsh Premier League with The New Saints (TNS), at first, it looked as if Spender would be flying the BAFC coop to join Airbus UK Broughton, but found himself tempted by TNS instead, telling the Mail: 'I discussed it with my family (wife and two daughters who live in Wrexham) a while ago. It was just more financially stable for me to stay close to where I am. It's a long way to be travelling (to Barrow). It was costing quite a lot in petrol and eating into my wages and stuff. It was becoming too much financially. There's the off-season where Barrow don't pay, and I was struggling to pay the mortgage in those months. TNS is local for me, about ten minutes from my house. I was very close to signing for Airbus, literally an hour away. Then the chairman of TNS rang me asking for a meeting. I went down there and they increased the money and the years (of the contract). Airbus offered me a decent job there and playing part-time, and I was very close to taking it. But at TNS I will still get to play full-time football and I'll get paid all-year round. Me leaving Barrow was nothing to do with the football side of it. I loved playing football for Barrow and I had two good years there. It was about what was financially best for me and my family".

    Barrow also calculate that next season they will have to travel 8,686 miles to play their away league games in the BSBP, which is actually nearly 900 miles fewer than last season.

    The HSN adds that joint manager "Dave Bayliss has vowed to reduce the number of red cards (eight - (Paul Jones, Phil Bolland, Nick Chadwick, Robin Hulbert, Darren Sheridan, Clark Masters, Wayne Curtis and Richie Baker). Barrow were awarded last season. Bayliss says: 'We're looking at our on-pitch discipline and we want to get things down in writing before we come back in pre-season. We won't stand for it next season, no chance. If there is on-pitch indiscipline, players will be fined massively. If they hit us in the pocket and we have to go and get loan players, then we'll make sure they pay for that'".

    The fixtures for the 2011-2012 Blue Square Bet North season are expected to be released on Tuesday 5th July, with the season commencing on Saturday 13th August and finishing on Saturday 28th April for those not involved in the play offs.

    From the BBC comes surprising news that "Marcus Law has signed a three-year deal to become Tamworth boss, just eight months after he took over at Kettering. The 35-year old former Bristol Rovers goalkeeper has previously had spells in charge of Coventry Sphinx, Racing Club Warwick, Quorn and Barwell. The Lambs ended the Blue Square Bet Premier season in the caretaker control of Dale Belford, securing safety with a 2-1 final day win over Forest Green. Law had guided Kettering to a mid-table finish, ending the campaign in 14th.

    The Coventry-born coach had his playing career ended prematurely by a hip injury during a spell with the Sacramento Knights in the United States, while his Football League career consisted of two appearances for Bristol Rovers in the 1994/5 season. Arguably his biggest achievement as a manager was winning the Midland Alliance with Barwell, leading the side to their highest position ever in the non-league pyramid.

    The Lambs will now be hoping for greater stability after a season that saw their long-serving manager Gary Mills move on to York City, and his successor Des Lyttle resigning shortly before they clinched survival".

    Meanwhile, "Kettering Town chairman Imraan Ladak says a merger will not happen while the club's fans are against it. Discussions took place between the Poppies and rivals Rushden & Diamonds to secure a future for both clubs. Ladak told BBC Radio Northampton: 'I'm not going to do something that the majority of supporters are against. [The priority is] a longer-term lease for the club and when we know how much that's going to cost us, we can work out what the budget is next season'.

    Ladak added: 'It's very difficult for us or Rushden & Diamonds to sustain full-time football in the Blue Square Bet Premier as separate entities - that's a fact. But our supporters have said they'd rather struggle [in that division] or get relegated as Kettering than merge with our rivals. If it's something that affects the history and everything that the club is based on, that's not a decision that I would make myself. My job is to look at the options and leave it to the supporters to make [that kind of] decision'.

    Under Football League rules, Kettering Town could not be promoted from the Conference with their current lease at Rockingham Road due to expire in 2013.

    Ladak added, 'Rent is a large part of the budget, and it's difficult for us to plan for next season when we don't know our expenditure - to attract players and managers - and also for supporters to get excited if"'. It's something [taking place] over a gradual period of time with the football club and the trust working together' he added.

    Kettering must also appoint a new manager after Marcus Law left the club for Tamworth. 'It's been a difficult time at the club pretty much since Marcus joined, and certainly in the last couple of months. That created a lot of uncertainty', said Ladak. 'He's a young man with a young family, and stability and security is what he needed. There's no doubt that he has had a really difficult time in terms of budget being cut, having to deal with some difficult players and he's got results on less money than previous managers. He's done things in the right way, he's made friends, played good football and developed a couple of players as well. It's really difficult to let someone who's done that good a job go. Once we know what the budget is, it's easier for us to decide who the manager will be because different managers are willing to work under different conditions'".

    According to the Football Conference, "Steve Cuggy was unveiled as the new manager of Blyth Spartans at Croft Park on Tuesday evening. Cuggy – a prolific striker for the Spartans in the late eighties and early nineties – begins his new role with immediate effect after leaving his post at Whitley Bay. The 40-year-old will be joined in the dug-out by new assistant-manager Gavin Fell, who also travels north from The Bay. Cuggy takes over from previous manager Mick Tait, who left the club at the end of the season.

    Chairman Tony Platten hopes that the new management team will help the club to achieve their aspirations. Platten said: "Steve and Gavin have extensive contacts at all levels of North East football. They will be exploring all options with regard to constructing a successful team for the future... Gavin played for the famous Wimbledon 'Crazy Gang' and has a UEFA `B` licence...

    Cuggy said: 'I’m quite sure that I’ll give a good account of myself. We know it’s a big challenge for us but it’s not an impossible gap for us to bridge. We don’t think it’s an insurmountable task to be competitive, put it that way. We’ll make sure we have a team that isn’t going to get bullied. It’s not about being 6'5” - it’s about having a big heart not how big you are... I wish I’d spent more seasons at Blyth. I really enjoyed the two I had here... I couldn’t wait to come back. As soon as I heard that Blyth were interested, I was really excited'...

    Fell said: 'Yes it good to have flair, but it’s also about having a backbone as well and being prepared when it’s not going for you. The minimum that we expect is 100% effort, a good work rate and the right sort of focus and professionalism.... As long as they are giving Blyth Spartans, Cuggs and myself, the fans and everyone else associated with the club 100% then I’ll have no issues with them. But if anyone is seen not to be doing that, I’m sure they’ll find out quite quickly what my expectations are'".

    Elsewhere, "Corby Town have offered Paul Caswell a chance to earn himself a deal over pre-season. Former Portsmouth trialist Caswell has previously featured for the Steelmen under Kevin Wilson... [and] is a product of the Corby Town youth set-up and following a successful spell at the Rockingham Triangle with the Steelboys he has spent the past four seasons playing in the Hereward Teamwear United Counties League with S&L, Desborough Town and most recently Irchester Town".

    Blue Square Football reports that "Hayes & Yeading manager Garry Haylock says he did not apply for the Braintree job but admits he would seriously consider taking on a new challenge. Haylock has made the admission after seeing star player Bradley Pritchard quit the club for Charlton Athletic this week.

    'I did not apply for the Braintree job, but right now I would happily talk to anyone', Haylock told the Uxbridge Gazette. 'I have agents on constantly but my line has always been to speak to the chairman first and that has happened on occasion'...

    He added: 'The jobs I would want to take have not come up. If a Ryman League club came in for me with a 10-year plan and loads of money, then I would speak to them. I worked very hard last year and I have had two or three weeks of doing nothing. I am not sure what I am doing yet and I have spoken to the players. The budget has been cut - it is a hefty cut - and a lot of the players we will not be able to afford. Some of them will be saying that they can get better money

    From the Northants Evening Telegraph we learn that "Marcus Law was today set to be unveiled as the new manager of Tamworth... [Poppies' Chairman, Imraan] Ladak confirmed he will now be taking up a full-time role at Rockingham Road, although he hinted the new manager might not necessarily be in charge of the team at the Poppies’ current home... Ladak admitted he will be keeping the Poppies as a full-time outfit for next season, regardless of where they are playing.

    'From my personal point of view, I have tied up my outstanding business with DRC Locums and, starting from this week, I will be full-time at the club and I am looking forward to that challenge', the Poppies' chairman said. 'There is a possibility we won’t be playing at Rockingham Road but what I am trying to do is secure the future of the football club beyond the next two years... It will be a full-time football club playing at either Rockingham Road or somewhere else'".

    This is Lincs says that "Lawrie Dudfield has reluctantly turned down the chance to extend his career with Boston United. The popular forward had been offered a contract for next season by joint-managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville. But Dudfield, who came out of retirement to rejoin the Pilgrims in March, says he cannot remain because of work commitments. The former Notts County striker is community manager at Nottingham Forest, where he works alongside Lee... The 30-year-old quit the game two years ago after being released by Corby just three months after signing for the Northamptonshire club".

    The Chronicle says that "Tony Platten insists Blyth Spartans DO have ambitions to go up into the Conference Premier – provided Croft Park crowds make it sustainable. However, former manager Mick Tait – replaced this week by Steve Cuggy and Gavin Fell – believes the club would prefer to stay in Conference North.

    Despite budget cuts last season, Tait led Blyth to a top-10 finish and the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy. He said: 'We got close to the play-offs but the club do not want to go up. Their ambition did not match mine or that of the players'. However, Tait’s contract has not been renewed and Spartans chairman Platten said: 'This board has been in place for 10 years and has made a lot of decisions which have moved the club forward. We hope this trend continues with this latest appointment. Spartans are recognised as being one of the best-organised clubs in Conference North, and we have ambitions to take the club into the Conference Premier. However, realistically we need our crowds to go up for us to be able to sustain promotion'”.

    From Worcester News we learn that "Worcester City have enlisted the help of a customer services expert in a bid to get more fans through the gates at St George’s Lane. Mark Bradley, founder of the Football League’s family excellence awards, will be giving a talk in the club’s Harry Knowles Lounge on Thursday... He will be looking at ways of increasing attendances through, among other things, the introduction of family areas and improved catering.

    Bradley, who has also worked with Liverpool, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and the Scottish Premier League, wants clubs to see things through the eyes of their fans. He said: 'No matter how hard clubs work to retain and attract fans, they are often hamstrung by a narrow focus on who the "customer" is and what matters to them. However, by using the real experiences of fans as a catalyst for a new way of thinking, a revolution is taking place across the beautiful game, leading to some remarkable examples of progress'...

    And "City are hoping the promotion of Telford United will not hit their finances. The Bucks, who edged out Guiseley 3-2 in the Blue Square Bet North play-off final, provided one of the biggest pay days for the St George’s Lane club because of their away support... Their absence next term means another local derby has been lost following the relegation of Redditch and Stafford. However, vice-chairman Andrew Watson believes the blow will be tempered by Halifax’s promotion from the Evostik Northern Premier League, a team who regularly travel in their droves...

    The make-up for Blue Square Bet North will be finalised at the Conference’s annual general meeting at Celtic Manor, in Newport, on Saturday, June 11. Although there is no danger of City being switched to the southern section, as has happened in previous years, manager Carl Heeley will be keen to discover who his team will face".

    On the pitch, "Asa Charlton has become the latest player to commit his future to Worcester City. The defender, who can play centre-half or left-back, joins skipper Ryan Clarke, Rob Elvins, Tom Thorley and Kevin O’Connor in agreeing terms for the 2011/12 season. Charlton, 33, made 16 appearances for the St George’s Lane side last season, scoring two goals, after arriving in March following his release from Blue Square Bet North rivals Corby Town... Heeley is still waiting to hold talks with striker Marc McGregor over his future, while a decision is yet to be taken on defensive midfielder Gavin Hurren...

    Striker Danny Glover, midfield trio Simon Richman, Gary Walker and Matt Birley and utility player Neil Cartwright are all considering offers. Right-back Graham Ward has already rejected terms, while assistant manager Mark Clyde has also left. Meanwhile, Heeley has held preliminary discussions with several targets, as he seeks to add to his squad over the summer. He is due to meet more over the coming days".

    The Cambridge News says that "David Livermore is interested in bringing seven players from the Glenn Hoddle Academy to Histon. Former England manager Hoddle runs his academy in the south of Spain with the aim of getting youngsters who have been released by Football League clubs back into the professional game. Stutes' boss Livermore watched a team of the ex-Tottenham player’s protégés take on a League side in a friendly, and would love to run the rule over a clutch of them in pre-season training.

    And Livermore, who expects to unveil his retained list by the end of the week, will offer contracts to those who impress... 'I’ve seen about six games at exit trials, and I was invited along to a Football League club that were playing a behind-closed-doors match against Glenn Hoddle’s Academy. I was the only manager there, so whoever they don’t want we’d have a chance of signing. There were about seven players that I would like to sign. Whether we can is another issue, but I’ve got their contact details and they could be coming along in pre-season'...

    Livermore also revealed the Stutes, who have officially applied to enter their reserves into the Football Combination next season, are forging links with Anglia Ruskin University in his bid to run the club more professionally. The university will be helping the club with pre-season fitness work, as well as offering help in areas such as sports psychology".

    25 May 2011


    The Express & Star tells us that "stafford Rangers today set a two-week time frame to find Matt Elliott’s successor as boss. Rangers want all applications for the manager’s position at Marston Road in by the end of the month, with interviews to be completed by the end of the following week. The Express & Star expects ex-Port Vale manager Dean Glover, one-time Altrincham chief Graham Heathcote, ex-Congleton joint boss Anthony Buckle and former Rangers player Tony Dinning to re-apply for the post. All four were interviewed the last time the club were in the hunt for a new boss, a job which eventually went to Tim Flowers, with Elliott initially coming on board as his assistant".


    Promoted to League 2 last Saturday AFC Wimbledon have now released five players; Ed Harris, Jon Main, Mark Nwokeji, Delano Sam-Yorke and Ismail Yakubu.

    NL Daily reports that "A businessman pledging cash backing for a takeover at Wrexham FC has pulled out after what he called a confrontation with some fans. But Jon Harris, who was announced as the club's new managing director last week, insists the sale is continuing despite Colin Poole's withdrawal.

    Mr Harris said the deal was not dependent on Mr Poole. He issued a statement saying Mr Poole was pulling out after the confrontation with supporters at the weekend. Mr Harris, the club's former commercial director, is meeting one of the outgoing owners, Geoff Moss, and Wrexham manager Dean Saunders on Tuesday to discuss the situation.

    Mr Poole, a former Shrewsbury Town chief executive, is a disqualified director and former head of the insurance firm Claims Direct who was recently struck off the solicitor's roll by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. Mr Harris said those fans 'may think this is a victory but... [they] have once again driven someone away from this club who had the experience and resolve to make a real difference'".

    The Wrexham Supporters' Trust report that "On Monday 23rd May representatives of the Wrexham Supporters Trust met with Geoff Moss and Jon Harris to discuss the terms of a potential transaction which would result in Wrexham Football Club, Colliers Park, and the Racecourse moving forward in the ownership of its supporters and the community.

    Following this meeting, the parties are now working on a detailed heads of terms which it is anticipated will be concluded by Friday 27th May 2011. WST are hopeful that the outcome of these negotiations will result in an exciting new dawn for the club. It is intended that a press conference will be held on Friday 27th May 2011, in the meantime we would ask all supporters and other interested parties to allow space to conclude the negotiations.

    Any deal negotiated will be subject to approval by WST’s members, and an EGM is likely to be called in early June. For the avoidance of doubt Colin Poole will have no involvement in the deal."

    From NL Daily we learn that "Gainsborough Trinity have announced the signing of Dominic Roma. The player was at Harrogate Town last season...

    Roma was born in Sheffield, and started his professional football career in 2004 with his local side Sheffield United, after working his way through the youth set-up".

    Alty were not the only BSB North club changing manager this week as "Blyth Spartans have announced the appointment of Steve Cuggy as their new manager with immediate effect. Cuggy has been brought in to replace outgoing boss Mick Tait. Gavin Fell will also join the club as assistant manager. Cuggy has arrived from FA Vase winners Whitley Bay, where he was on the management staff. The club would like to thank former manager Mick Tait, whose two year contract expired at the end of the season, for his work with the club and wish him well for the future".

    And another managerial change is happening in the BSBP, where Tamworth report that "Lambs fans will not have to wait much longer for the news of who will be the new Manager as a press conference has been called for Wednesday 25th May at 10.30am".

    At Hayes & Yeading United "The Club can confirm, with a tinge of sadness but also a sense of pride, that Bradley Pritchard's exploits in a United shirt last season have earned him a full-time contract with npower League One side Charlton Athletic. In just a single year, the dynamic 26 year old Zimbabwe born midfielder had a massive impact at United, starting 48 times and netting an important 15 goals and in doing so impressed a number of clubs including the Addicks".

    According to the BBC, "Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox has raided his former club Eastwood Town to sign attacking midfielder Lee Stevenson and striker Lindon Meikle. Stevenson, 26, scored 96 goals in three seasons with the Badgers and joins on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee. Meikle, 23, has signed a one-year deal and also joins for an undisclosed fee.

    Cox told the club website: 'Lindon is a player I have had under my wing since he was 16. He has bags of potential and was a crowd favourite at Eastwood'. Stevenson said: 'I went to look around other clubs but I got a good feeling about this place'".

    "Histon manager David Livermore has expressed his grievances with the FA's decision to place the club in the Blue Square Bet North next season" claims Blue Square Football. "The Stutes finished bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier standings last season... Livermore is not thrilled with the decision as he believes it will significantly increase the club's travelling costs, which in turn could affect the wage budget.

    'The travelling is a negative, if it's double the mileage', Livermore told Cambridge News. 'That can play its part in games as it's tough having to get off the coach after a four or five-hour journey. Our preparation is going to have to be spot on in terms of away games. Doing double the mileage is going to cost us more money, that's the other negative. We could have done with that money in other areas'...

    Livermore admits he may have to do some research on the clubs and players competing in the north, but without the advantage of a club scout. 'I suppose it could be favourable to have players that come from north of Cambridgeshire... We don't have any scouts that work for us as we don't have the money. We'll have to call in favours, speak to people on the phone and make contacts with people who were in the division last season'".

    Blue Square Bet's Alan.Alger writes, "Terry Brown from AFC Wimbledon has been named the Blue Square Bet Premier ‘manager of the month’ for April and the Play-Offs... The Blue Square Bet North ‘manager of the month’ for April and the Play-Offs is Jim Harvey from Stalybridge Celtic. Harvey’s side secured a top-half finish in the final league table with four wins and two draws during the month...

    The Blue Square Bet South ‘manager of the month’ for April and the Play-Offs is Liam Daish from Ebbsfleet United. Daish returned The Fleet back to the Premier division with victory in the play-offs...

    AFC Wimbledon’s Seb Brown has been named the Blue Square Bet Premier ‘player of the month’ for April and the Play-Offs. The lifelong Wombles fan saved two spot-kicks in the promotion final against Luton Town to secure promotion for his side...

    The Blue Square Bet North ‘player of the month’ for April and the Play-Offs is Liam Hearn from Alfreton Town... The Blue Square Bet South ‘player of the month’ for April and the Play-Offs is Michael West from Ebbsfleet United

    24 May 2011


    John Edwards (JE), joint Press Officer at Altrincham FC, has kindly provided the following interview with new manager, Lee Sinnott (LS).

    JE: This is your first full day as Altrincham manager, Lee. How does it feel?

    LS: I'm absolutely delighted to have been appointed and really excited about the future here. This club has a great tradition and rich pedigree in non-League circles, and I really am delighted to be able to call myself Altrincham manager.

    JE: What are your plans for the next few days?

    LS: When you are handed a new challenge, so many things go through your mind, but you have to walk before you can run. I'll get my feet under the table and get a feel for things and go on from there. The priority will be assembling a squad that will be ready to hit the ground running when next season starts. I will be speaking to the players in the next seven to 10 days, and there are a few factors that will have to be weighed up. There will be players leaving other clubs, for one thing, and you also have to remember that the lads already here were Premier players last season. They may have their own thoughts on what they want to do, so there is a lot to consider.

    JE: Is there a balance, then, between building a squad for the future and simply trying to get straight back up next season?

    LS: Whenever you go into any division, your aim is always to win it, and it will be no different with us next season. I'm not saying we will do it, but that will be the aim. I have been given a good budget, and it is up to me now to assemble a squad that is capable of success. Not just capable of success in this division, but beyond. It is a case of building, so that when Altrincham get their place back in the Premier, we can sustain it. That is something I'm really relishing, building some solid foundations.

    JE: I notice you said 'when', not 'if'.

    LS: You have to be positive. As I said, Altrincham have a rich, proud history and belong in non-League's top flight. No-one has a divine right to be in any league. You have to earn it, so it's important we put things in place to get out of this division and back into the Premier. Then we have to stay there.

    JE: The first bit will be challenging enough. The second probably even harder.

    LS: It's the old saying about leagues within leagues. You see it in the Barclays Premier League, and it applies in the Conference. If you look at it, there are 11 former Football League clubs in there, so I do understand what we would be battling against. First things first, though. We have to concentrate on the Conference North, but make no mistake, the Premier is where I want us to be. The players are out there to get us up. It's a question of getting the right blend.

    JE: Your interview clearly went well.

    LS: You'd better ask Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw about that! I was thinking it over on the way to the ground this morning, and I must say I consider myself very fortunate. I am very thankful to the board for giving me this opportunity. I left Bradford Park Avenue in September '09 and decided, after being in football non-stop since the age of 16, to take some time out and recharge my batteries a bit. But I have missed it. As an individual and a manager, I am driven. I drive myself to meet the targets I set myself, and I want to achieve something at Altrincham that has never been done before. That is what spurs me on. Whatever it might be, I want to be able to look back and say I left my mark on this club. This is the challenge I was waiting for. You only have to look at the response - over 70 applicants - to see what this club is about. It sparked something when I saw the job was up for grabs, and I didn't hesitate going for it.

    JE: What are your memories of putting Farsley Celtic on the non-League map?

    LS: I had a fantastic time there, not just because we were promoted three times in four years, but the way we built something special. Don't forget, they had nothing like the pedigree Altrincham have, and if you had said to anyone at the outset that we would climb from Unibond One to the Conference in four seasons, they would have given you a certain look. But that was the enjoyable part, building something and sharing in the success with everyone at the club. It was a combination of several factors, really, from getting the best out of players to spotting ones who would improve us. There was just the odd occasion when you would see someone and think: 'If I don't snap him up, it may be another 18 months before I see anyone else as good.' It is a team game, of course, but it is important to have certain types of players in certain positions. As manager, you can only stand in the technical area once the whistle goes. You rely on individuals on the pitch to enforce things you have talked about and worked on in training.

    JE: Things perhaps didn't go quite so well at Port Vale. Was there any particular reason for that?

    LS: Time. I didn't get enough of it. The team were struggling when I took over, and I went down the road of trying to bring younger players in. They are doing well now, but it does take time. Clubs are allowed to make their own decisions, and you have to go along with it. You learn from experiences like that, and I think it made me a better manager. Certainly it didn't affect how I believe in myself. I'm as enthusiatic as ever and as ambitious. And all my ambitions are with Altrincham.

    JE: How would you describe yourself as a manager?

    LS: When it comes to my approach to the game, I think most of us work on a basis of 4-4-2. That tends to be the bedrock of what you do as a coach, but I do believe in being ready and able to change the strategy when need be. It depends who you are up against, to a degree, and I think it is important your players are adaptable. If you only have one string to your bow, and you are facing opponents who can negate it, you have a problem. You need a plan B, and I want my players to be able to do that. When it comes to dealing with players, I consider myself to be firm but fair. I will be 100 per cent behind them, if they are right about something, but I will let them know if I think they are in the wrong. That's the way I have always managed. There has to be respect.

    JE: Did you always see yourself going into management?

    LS: Yes, certainly. I was ony 26, at Bradford City, when I took my full coaching badge. Maybe it's an ego thing, I don't know, but it was always a route I wanted to go down. I like the idea of being in charge and bringing together 11 individuals on a match day. I think I had a bit of that about me in my playing days. It was always there. You have to be your own person, but I did pick up bits and pieces from managers I played for. There was Graham Taylor's organisation at Watford, Steve Coppell's astuteness at Crystal Palace and whatever it is Neil Warnock has that enables him to assemble successful squads. I heard someone say about him that he will put together a team who will run through a brick wall for him, then they will look back and wonder why they did it. That is a perfect description of him. He just has something about him that makes it work. For one thing, he builds teams who believe in what he believes in. That is so important and is something I always try and instil into my players.

    JE: You live in Hull, Lee. Does that give us a better chance of keeping some of the Yorkshire lads?

    LS: It doesn't make any difference to me where the players are from. Maybe it would if we were full time, but not when we are only training a couple of times a week. The key is getting the right players. Of course, I know the players you are talking about, and I have also worked before with Damian Reeves, at Farsley and when he was at Leeds United's academy. But it wouldn't be fair, at this stage, to talk about individuals. I need to see them all and speak to them, then I can go public with how the squad is shaping up. The important thing is making sure everything is settled in plenty of time for the start of pre-season. I'm looking to get everyone back in by the end of June, to give ourselves just over six weeks' preparations. That is vital. You don't get that time back, once it has gone.

    JE: Any thoughts on an assistant?

    LS: I have ideas about my backroom staff, but I need to speak with those concerned before announcing anything.

    JE: Finally, what would your message be to the fans?

    LS: That they have a vital part to play. There would be no club, without their support. After the disappointment of relegation, I will be looking to put a smile back on their faces. I want them to enjoy their football. I want us to play football the right way but also in a winning way. I want to win. Not at all costs, because that can open a can of worms and put you in a situation you don't want to be in. But we are in a results-driven business. People are impatient, and I understand that. After being in the Premier last season, our supporters will be among the most impatient in the division. That is only to be expected. It creates pressure, of course, but if you want to be manager of Altrincham Football Club, you accept that comes with the territory. If you can't take the flak, don't stand on the touchline. In my own mind, this is a long-term project. It's not a case of me coming here and looking for something else 12 months down the line. That's not me. I want to build something that will last a long time.

    Chairman Grahame Rowley said: 'There was a very high calibre of applicants, and there was not much to choose between the final eight. But Lee's enthusiasm for the job swung it his way. He has done it at this level before, and he came across as someone with drive and real enthusisasm. He is a very positive person and the kind we want to lead us into what we hope will be a successful new era'".


    Right: Chairman Grahame Rowley (left) with new manager, Lee Sinnott

    Altrincham FC Press Release, from Brian Flynn:

    Altrincham appoint Lee Sinnott as New Manager...

    Altrincham Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Lee Sinnott as their new manager.

    Sinnott, 45, replaces Ken McKenna who left the club following its relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier at the end of April.

    Altrincham Chairman, Grahame Rowley, said “We were delighted to receive over seventy applications for the job and we interviewed eight very high quality candidates. We were particularly impressed with Lee as he has the rare combination of being a successful, experienced manager who knows what is needed to gain promotion from Blue Square Bet North, yet still has the drive and enthusiasm of a young ambitious manager.”

    Sinnott made over 600 first team appearances for Walsall, Watford, Bradford City, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town, Oldham Athletic and Scarborough before commencing his coaching career at Leeds United’s academy. He worked miracles in his first managerial appointment, achieving three promotions in four seasons with Farsley Celtic ,leading the Yorkshire side into the Blue Square Bet Premier in 2007.

    With a reputation as one of the brightest young managers around, it was no surprise when Sinnott was appointed as manager of Port Vale in November 2007.Port Vale were relegated to League Two at the end of that season and following a disappointing start the following season, Sinnott lost his position in September, with Vale 16th in League Two.

    His last management appointment was at Bradford Park Avenue, leaving by mutual consent in October 2009.


    Appointed after the completion of interviews yesterday, Altrincham's new boss is Lee Sinnott (45), who comes to Moss Lane with managerial experience of the Blue Square Bet (Conference) North, having been boss of Farsley Celtic when they were in that division. His sustained success at the West Yorkshire club led to a move to be manager at Port Vale in 2007-08. Lee has been out of football management since leaving Bradford PA in 2009 but the Altrincham FC selection commitee were impressed by his eagerness to return to a managerial role though, with an excellent field of candidates, their final decision was not an easy one.

    Lee began his playing career at his home-town team, Walsall. His other league clubs, as a six-foot two-inch defender, include Watford, then in the top-flight, and he played in the 1984 Cup Final for the club in 1984. He has also played for Bradford City, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town, Oldham Athletic and Scarborough. In all, he played in 527 Football League games.

    He moved to Bradford City in 1987 and later returned to First Division football with Crystal Palace before returning to Valley Parade in 1993. Next, he signed for Huddersfield Town, where he was captain under the managership of Neil Warnock. After that, he joined Oldham Athletic before agreeing a loan move back to Bradford City.

    In 1998–99, he joined Scarborough in the Football Conference, where he played for a season before retiring.

    At Farsley Celtic, where he became manager in 2003, the club won three promotions in four seasons under his direction. This was followed by a spell Port Vale from November 2007. But the Valiants were relegated to League Two at the end of that season and he left the Potteries club in September 2008. Next, Lee managed Bradford Park Avenue, whom he left after 10 months in October 2009.


    Harrogate Town have produced a table of league attendance averages in the Blue Square Bet North last season. Top of the list is AFC Telford United, who averaged 1,845 - but they have now been promoted out of the division. Only four other clubs averaged more than 500 and one of those (Alfreton) will also be at a higher level next season:
  • 2 Boston United 1,391
  • 3 Nuneaton Town 932
  • 4 Alfreton Town 760
  • 5 Worcester City 665

    The next best supported club is Stalybridge Celtic, where the average was 483. Bottom of the averages are:

  • 18 Droylsden 315
  • 19 Harrogate Town 295
  • 20 Redditch United 265
  • 21 Vauxhall Motors 210.

    The overall average gate in the BSB North was 552.

    The Football Conference reports that "Bath City have announced the signing of experienced midfielder Garry Mills. Mills has spent most of his career at Rushden & Diamonds".

    Meanwhile, "Solihull Moors have lost giant striker Matt Smith, who has been signed by Oldham Athletic. The 21-year-old striker arrives at Boundary Park on a two-year deal having had a phenomenal 2010/11 campaign. Smith, who stands at a towering 6`6”, scored twenty-three goals in twenty-seven appearances in the Conference North".

    Elsewhere in BSBN, "Matt Rose, the man whose goal secured Blue Square Bet North football for Gloucester City two years ago, has agreed a new contract with the Tigers. The versatile veteran... made the switch to centre-half from his more accustomed midfield berth last term. That versatility has prompted boss Dave Mehew to offer the Cheltenham-based midfielder a new one-year deal.

    'Matt had offers to go into coaching, but he wanted to play for as long as he could at as high a level as he could', Mehew said. 'He's only just turned 35 and he still has plenty to offer. Both on the pitch, where he's been a revelation as a centre-half, and off it he's a crucial part of the squad. His role in the dressing room cannot be under-estimated. He's a massive character who rallies the troops when the chips are down and that is absolutely vital. There are probably better footballers at the club than Rosey, and he'll admit that, but in the dressing room there are none better'.

    Mehew has also agreed terms with ex-Newent Community School pupil Mike Green, one of City's most consistent performers last term... 'Mike was something of my go-to man last year, filling-in in a number of positions', Mehew said. 'He can play in four different positions which is vital in any squad. But I am sure he wants to play regularly at right-back, and hopefully if I can sort the remainder of the squad out he will be able to do that next season'", reports This is Gloucesterhsire.

    23 May 2011


    Don't forget that as well as the new Altrincham FC home and away kits for 2010-11, you can also acquire the special commemorative "100 years at Moss Lane" red and black striped shirt, which is available in all sizes from 26" to XXXL. Just ring the club (0161 928-1045) during office hours. Ian Senior's SK Kits is also offering polo shirts with your initials embroidered beneath the club badge at no extra cost. Shirt prices are £35 for adults with long or short sleeves.


    Next season, in the 22-club Blue Square Bet North, Altrincham will visit several new clubs and grounds. Of the clubs who were in the division when Alty last played there in 2004-05, only nine - Blyth Spartans, Droylsden, Gainsborough Trinity, Harrogate Town, Hinckley United, Southport, Stalybridge Celtic, Vauxhall Motors and Worcester City remain.

    One of these clubs now plays at a different venue; Hinckley United have a new ground at Leicester Road, which replaced their Middlefield Lane stadium.

    Other current BSB North clubs whom we have met previously are Boston United, Colwyn Bay, Guiseley, Histon and Workington

    A couple of clubs from 2004-05 are still in the division but have been re-formed in the intervening period. One is Nuneaton Town, who are successors to Nuneaton Borough. They have also moved ground since 2005, though Alty have been to their new Liberty Way stadium tp play in the Setanta Shield. The other revamped club is Solihull Moors, who incorporate Moor Green, whom Alty met in 2004-05 and they now play at Damson Park, former home of Solihull Borough who merged with Moor Green in 2007.

    Another re-formed club we will play is FC Halifax Town, who rose from the ashes of Halifax Town, whilst Hyde United have now become Hyde FC.

    One BSB North club whom we have never played in the league is Corby Town but we have met in the FA Trophy. Alty drew 1-1 in the Trophy in 1983 at Corby before winning the replay 6-0 at Moss Lane. Other new opponents are Gloucester City (who have been playing at Cheltenham) and Eastwood Town.

    22 May 2011


    Altrincham FC's Safety Officer, Darren Gregory, writes:

    "Altrincham FC supplied the ball boys for the Blue Square promotion play-off final at Eastlands on Saturday. They are pictured here with the FA Cup. A big thank you goes to Altrincham FC, director Andrew Shaw, and Graham Wilson from the Football Conference (seen in the picture) for ensuring they all had a great experience. Thank you".

    Blue Square Football reports that "AFC Wimbledon will play in League Two next season after beating Luton Town 4-3 on penalties after the match ended 0-0 after extra-time.

    Dons keeper Seb Brown was the hero in the shoot-out after saving spot-kicks from Alex Lawless and Jason Walker, with Wombles captain Danny Kedwell scoring the all-important winner with an unstoppable drive past Luton goalkeeper Mark Tyler.

    The Hatters will now spend a third season in the Blue Square Bet Premier while Terry Brown's side, who started life in the Combined Counties League in 2002, are just one more promotion away from facing MK Dons after their fifth promotion in eight years.

    It was third time unlucky for Luton boss Gary Brabin though, who previously failed to earn promotion with Southport from the Blue Square Bet North and with Cambridge against Torquay in a final at Wembley, while Lawless was on the losing side for a second time in two seasons as York City lost 3-1 to Oxford United in the 2010 Blue Square Premier play-off final". The attendance was 18195.

    A beaming AFC Wimbledon manager Terry Brown... said after the match: 'It's a phenomenal achievement to do it in nine years. A club could possibly do it quicker with finance - but we have had no finance, just fan power. I just feel relieved, but at the same time tinged with sorrow for Gary [Brabin, Luton boss] because nobody deserved to lose like that, it stinks.

    It was a game between two good sides who gave their all, but there had to be a winner and I am the lucky manager', he added... The winning manager also revealed that he will keep his squad intact for next season. 'The nucleus of my squad is there for next season, and you can't buy the experience they have had in an atmosphere like that', he said...

    Luton manager Brabin was naturally devastated to have ended up on the losing side - again. Brabin tasted defeat in the 2009 final with Cambridge United. He said: 'It's a horrible feeling. I can't put how I'm feeling into words. We haven't achieved our goal, which was promotion... I am gutted for myself, but more so for the players, the people behind the scenes and the supporters'".

    The Bedfordshire News reports that "Gary Brabin said his side were denied a ‘stonewall penalty’ in their play-off final spot-kick shoot-out defeat to AFC Wimbledon as his own and players’ futures were left hanging in the balance... To make matters worse it was two penalty saves by AFC Wimbledon keeper, Seb Brown, that won it and it was he who was the heart of the controversy.

    Above: Danny Kedwell scores the winning penalty.

    Brabin felt that the Dons’ stopper denied Jason Walker a scoring chance but referee, James Adcock, waved away claims and the Hatters’ gaffer said...

    'I haven’t seen the replay but I thought we were denied a stonewall penalty that the referee didn’t give, which is very disappointing from our point of view... We’ve got to sit down and sort out everything because there’s a lot to be sorted in the next week or so. Decisions have to be made in terms of players’ contracts'".


    According to the Boston Standard, "Anthony Church believes Boston United have appointed the right men to lead them into the Blue Square Bet Premier. This week, Pilgrims' chairman David Newton handed the full-time managers’ roles to Jason Lee and Lee Canoville. The pair had been acting as caretaker bosses since the departure of Rob Scott and Paul Hurst, who left to join Grimsby Town...

    'This is a big club and should be at a higher level, there’s no debating that', said Church. 'Jason and Canners have done a fantastic job for us here. A lot of people thought we would capitulate when Rob and Paul left. Lots of teams with less character and spirit would have done, but we didn’t. Jason and Lee are good managers who have done a good job so far'".

    21 May 2011


    "When Saturday Comes" has two articles on the Conference; one covers the relegation of Altrincham and is written by Andy Ollerenshaw, who attended the game against Eastbourne which completed the campaign. He points out that the season "ended with the relegation of four part-time clubs". Andy quotes Alty chairman Grahame Rowley as saying that he is "not prepared to put survival at jeopardy by spending money that we haven't got". The article concludes that "One hopes that the fans' despair is tempered by rcognition that the future of their club is in good hands. Altrincham may not be happy about playing next season in Conference North, but at least they can"... they won't have gone bust.

    The other article recalls Crawley's "rather crassly named 'Project Promotion'". It ends, "Crawley have won few friends in their march to the title. Quite what bigger clubs such as Bradford and Plymouth will make of the Red Devils next season remains to be seen. Although, given how long it took the Football League to find out who exactly who owns Leeds or, last season, Notts County, Crwaley will feel right at home in that regard". The Times reports that "Supporters have criticised ticket prices for Saturday's play-off final. The 48,000 capacity City of Manchester Stadium is likely to be less than half full, with the £41.25 minimum cost of an adult seat a factor.

    The Football Conference has decided to sell via an agency, See Tickets, which charges a booking fee of £3 and P&P of £2.25 per ticket. By comparison, adult tickets for the Football League play-off finals start at £36 (Championship), £30 (League 1), and £26 (League 2)".


    One of our local rivals in BS North has appointed a new manager, as Hyde confirm that "The Board of Directors have decided to appoint Gary Lowe as the new manager of Hyde FC. Gary joins us from Curzon Ashton, where he recently decided to leave after 11 years in charge".

    Blue Square Football says that "Kidderminster Harriers landed one of their major summer transfer targets on Friday with the signing of striker Marc Williams from Wrexham".

    Meanwhile, "Tamworth chairman Bob Andrews has asked supporters to be patient as they await the appointment of a new manager. It is understood that former York City manager Martin Foyle and former Walsall assistant manager Martin O'Connor are among the candidates for the vacancy...

    Andrews told This is Tamworth: 'Nothing has been finalised and we are exploring avenues... This is a big decision... We had a good response to our advert for the manager's job and we are happy with the options we have. But we want to get the right man for the job and that means supporters need to be patient'".

    The FA announces that "Three of the four clubs relegated from Conference National have been allocated to Conference North, these being Altringham [sic!], Histon and Southport, while Eastbourne Borough return to Conference South.

    Burscough FC were reprieved from relegation at Step 3 and retain their place in the Northern Premier League. The resignations of both Glapwell and Retford United from the Northern Premier League at Step 4 led to both Beaconsfield SYCOB and Waltham Forest being reprieved from the drop to Step 5...

    Ilkeston FC, the new club taking the place of the now defunct Ilkeston Town FC, have been placed at Step 4 in the Northern Premier League Division 1 South. Their places in the NPL will be taken by Bedworth United and Rugby Town who both move from the Southern League Central Division. There are still a number of unresolved issues and the agreed allocations may be subject to further change".

    The full list is here.

    According to the BBC "England C were beaten by Portugal in the International Challenge Trophy final at Sixfields. England and Ebbsfleet keeper Preston Edwards denied Yannick Djalo early on, and England spurned two good opportunities from free-kicks. When Lewis Fernandes hit the post with a second half free-kick, the rebound was bundled home by Johan Tavares...

    Paul Fairclough's side, missing six Luton Town and AFC Wimbledon players because of Saturday's Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final, won the tournament in 2006". The Enagland team comprised, Edwards, Vaughan, Franklin (Blair, 65), Atkinson, Porter, Wylde (Coulson, 76), Mangan, Rose (Byrne, 80), Donnelly, Simpson (Styche, 70), Clancy. Sub not used: Hedge.

    Meanwhile, "Bath City have signed former Wales international goalkeeper Glyn Garner. The 34-year-old has Football League experience with Bury, Leyton Orient and Shrewsbury Town. Last season Garner, who won his only cap against Trinidad & Tobago in 2006, was reserve keeper at Newport".

    NL Daily says that "Gateshead have made their first signing of the summer with experienced former Football League and Republic of Ireland Under-21 midfielder Micky Cummins joining the Tyneside club on a one-year deal.

    Cummins racked up 287 appearances for Vale scoring 34 goals having spent the early part of his career at Middlesbrough...eventually returning to the North East to play for Darlington. After two years with the Quakers he joined Rotherham United on a two-year contract... Last season Cummins played 36 games for Grimsby Town before he was one of 11 players recently released by new Mariners' management duo Rob Scott and Paul Hurst".

    And "New Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox today confirmed one of his first tasks will be attempting to persuade hot-shot Lee Stevenson to follow him to the club... Top of his wish-list is goal-scoring midfielder Stevenson, who he worked with at previous club Eastwood. The 26-year-old from Sheffield finished as leading scorer for the Badgers with 35 goals in the season just finished... Stevenson is under contract at Coronation Park and any move is likely to require a fee".

    Meanwhile, This is Nottingham tells us that "Eastwood Town's new owners have told all but three players they can leave the club, according to Badgers' midfielder Jonathan D'Laryea... After being unable to compete in the play-offs due to their ground not meeting certain requirements, the club has since suffered the exit of manager Paul Cox following the announcement that owner Rob Yong and chairman Tony Minnis will also soon depart.

    Eastwood are set to be taken over, subject to the legal paperwork being completed, on June 1. But it appears unlikely the new regime will have the resources to sustain the current budget, leading to the decision to release the current squad. Lindon Meikle and Adie Hawes are the only two players understood to have been offered terms for next season.

    Goalscoring midfielder Lee Stevenson is already under contract, but it is unlikely he will remain at Coronation Park, being the subject of plenty of interest from bigger clubs... 'Pretty much everyone has been released after being told their options will not be taken up' said the former Manchester City trainee, D'Laryea...

    D'Laryea – who is in the second year of a four-year Sports Science course at Manchester Metropolitan University – has taken matters into his own hands in a bid to find a new club. He has written to almost a dozen clubs, enclosing his playing CV. D'Laryea, 25, said: 'It is just a waiting game now to see what develops'".

    "Dean Thomas, manager of Hinckley United, has made his first signing of the new season with a swoop for former Kidderminster Harriers youngster Joe Hull. The tall, pacy central defender, was voted young player of the season at Aggborough in 2010, and manager Steve Burr described the 19-year-old as one of the best headers of a ball that he has ever seen...

    Hull, a product of the Harriers’ centre of excellence, was unable to secure a full-time contract last season due to the strength of the squad. He instead chose to seek regular first team football at Redditch United, and featured all season for Hinckley’s Blue Square Bet North rivals. Thomas expects to be very busy this week reengaging all the players on his retained list, as well as talking to the shortlist of targets that he hopes will complement the squad for next season.

    Next season’s budget has been confirmed and Thomas will have a little more flexibility than he did last campaign, but the biggest advantage he has is that he will be starting the season without any dark clouds looming regarding the club’s long term future" reports the Nuneaton News.

    The Cambridge News says that "Fans could be split if Erkan Okay were to sign for Cambridge City, according to Supporters’ Trust treasurer Andy Harnwell. Lilywhites boss Gary Roberts has expressed an interest in signing the former Histon midfielder, as well as Stutes' captain Antonio Murray, as he prepares to reshape his squad for next season.

    But the move is likely to cause mixed emotions in those fans who remember Okay revealing a T-shirt with the words ‘Cambridge City RIP’ on it at the end of a Conference South derby clash between Histon and City in January 2006. Okay later apologised, but City fans have not forgotten the incident.

    'I’m sure there will be some fans who will not want to see him there', said Harnwell. 'And I’m sure they’ll make their views known to Gary... It’s not for the supporters to decide who joins the club. That’s up to the manager, and if that’s who Gary wants then that’s the decision he will make, and he will stand of fall by that decision... Sometimes you have to forgive these things'".

    20 May 2011


    TASC's Pete Foster, writes of the Altrincham Football Club Golf Day, 2011:

    "The Club's annual golf day was held on Tuesday at Withington. We had 9 teams entered, including representatives from Ravenscroft & Co, J. Mills Construction, Slater Heelis, Gemini UPVC, Float Glass, Manchester Glass, and the Cresta Court Hotel. The standard of golf was very good, despite the conditions, and the competition was won by Patrick Air's Manchester Glass team, with the runners-up being Float Glass. Withington Golf Club proved once again to be exceptional hosts, with the course in good condition and the food being excellent. The Club would like to thank all of the participants for their support. Pictured, right, are the winning team from Manchester Glass".


    According to the Daily Post, "The businessman at the centre of the Wrexham FC takeover deal has broken his silence about his involvement. Colin Poole, a disqualified director and ex-boss of collapsed insurance firm Claims Direct, hit back at claims he is the power behind the throne at the club.

    Mr Poole says he has not been offered a seat on the board, will exert no control over the club and will act as an advisor to the club – and his former Shrewsbury boardroom colleague Jon Harris – the managing director of Wrexham...

    Daniel Geey, a solicitor in the Sports Group at London firm, Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, believes that if the controversial Shropshire businessman is exercising 'indirect control' of the club he could be subject to the FA’s fit and proper person’s test for directors.

    Mr Poole firmly rejected that analysis of the takeover and said: 'The level and extent of my involvement was made clear yesterday. I have been helping to varying degrees three different parties during the last few weeks. One of those has been Jon Harris as well as WST. It remains my belief that WST should form a significant part of the future ownership and management of the club and I am aware Jon Harris has offered 50.1% of the shares of the club giving them effective day-to-day control.

    My role is limited to that of an advisor and minority shareholder. I will not have a seat on the board nor will I have any control over the decisions made by the board'.

    He revealed he sought and received assurances about a number of issues of great concern to Wrexham’s fans before offering his assistance, these are:

  • THAT ownership of Colliers Park would remain with the football club.
  • THAT Stephen Vaughan (the jailed former Chester City chairman) was not involved in the deal.
  • THAT everything that could be done to preserve the Centre of Excellence would be done.
  • THAT the Racecourse would remain in the control of the club.

    He then made a direct appeal to fans: 'The important thing now is for everyone to get behind the club. Treat the new owners with some scepticism, by all means, but give the club a chance to survive and regain its league status'.

    Nevertheless, doubts remain about Mr Poole’s intentions. Companies House records show he is a major stakeholder in League Two side Shrewsbury Town FC, with 40,000 shares and Wrexham MP Ian Lucas has urged the Business Secretary Vince Cable to intervene in the takeover. Wrexham’s MD, Mr Harris, insisted yesterday Mr Poole was a 'consultant' to the club and he is the '100% shareholder', a statement partially contradicted by the former Claims Direct man who said he has a “minority” shareholding...

    Mr Geey said: 'The takeover situation with Wrexham concerns whether Colin Poole, who according to Wrexham's press release has provided the financial backing for the takeover, is subject to the FA's Fit and Proper Persons Test (FPPT). 'He may be subject to the FPPT if he is exercising indirect control over the new Wrexham MD Jon Harris... If Mr Poole is subject to the FPPT it would appear unlikely he would pass...

    The rules prohibit anyone from owning a club if they have been disqualified by a professional body or are a disqualified director of a UK registered company... Many supporters may argue however that it is counter-intuitive for a businessman to invest in a club only to have no say in its day-to-day affairs'".

    The Football Conference says that "Mansfield Town have officially announced that former Eastwood Town boss Paul Cox has been appointed as the Stags' new manager. In five seasons, Cox has won two promotions, five Nottinghamshire Senior Cups, and has taken Eastwood to the Third Round of the FA Cup. Cox's win ratio as manager and points gained per game were also among the key factors in his appointment".

    Elsewhere, "Club captain Mark Noon was first to agree terms with Kevin Wilkin and Ian Neale, manager and chairman respectively of Nuneaton Town. Noon was quickly followed Eddie Nisevic and James Armson after the club exercised the option clause it had in the players contracts. Other players have ended into negotiation but the whole team has now embarked on a four-day break in the Balearic Islands as a reward for reaching the First Round of the FA Cup.

    Neale said: 'We have started to talk to other players, but the team holiday has come in the middle of the formal talks. We will continue talking to the players in the meantime and, at present, no one has said they are not re-signing. As a club we have built up a great working relationship with the players and we are able to take each other on our word'... Wilkin remained tight-lipped on the new players the club intend to bring in, with talks having already taken place with the players and their agents".

    From Blue Square Football we learn that "Newport County have confirmed they will be switching to a full-time outfit for the 2011/12 campaign. The Exiles have been a part-time club since their revival in 1989 and manager Anthony Hudson is relishing the change as he aims to steer his side back to the Football League.

    Hudson told the South Wales Argus: 'Everyone who is going to be here next season will be full-time and that is the way it has to be. In a sense, because I am new to all these things, there is a bit of learning on the job but some things are black and white and this is one of them'".

    Also in the Principality, we read that "Wrexham manager Dean Saunders has secured the futures of two more players with midfielders Nat Knight-Percival and Lee Fowler penning new deals".

    Meanwhile, "Bath City manager Adie Britton has released three players... Gethin Jones, Scott Murray, Joe Burnell, Jim Rollo, and Danny Webb have been offered new contracts, but Ryan Robinson, Giancarlo Borhy and Leigh Henry have all been released. Marc Canham, Marley Watkins, Sekani Simpson, Lee Phillips and Adam Connolly have already committed their futures to the club. Lewis Hogg, Luke Ruddick and Adie Harris have been invited to pre-season training, along with Hector Mackie.

    Britton told the club's official website: 'I'm talking to a number of other players, and I hope to end up with a squad of 17 or 18. Next season we are planning to have fewer players but of higher quality'".

    NL Daily reports that "Omer Riza has put himself on the Professional Footballers’ Association’s transfer list in a bid to secure a Football League return. The 31-year-old striker is out of contract at Histon and has been offered a new deal as a player-coach by Stutes' manager David Livermore.

    But the forward, who was the club’s leading marksman with 12 goals... wants to attract the interest of bigger teams. 'Once you’re out of contract, you have got the option to put your name on the PFA list', said Riza. 'If people are interested then they give the PFA a call and you take it from there. I still feel I can play at a higher level, but you can only play with the opportunities you’ve been given. We’ve gone down and, to be honest, I didn’t want to be playing in the Conference last year, but I didn’t have any other options.

    I’ve spoken to the gaffer and he wants me at the club for next year as a player-coach... If a team comes in for me at a higher level for better money then I’ll have to realistically consider it, and the manager knows that'", he told Cambridge News.

    According to NL News 24, "Kidderminster Harriers boss Steve Burr has made his first 'new' signing of the summer by snapping up Forest Green Rovers captain and one-time Harrier Luke Jones on a one-year deal".

    The BBC confirms that "Barrow have agreed new deals for defender Phil Bolland and midfielder Richie Baker, although striker Nick Chadwick has been released. Bolland, 34, has been a regular since he joined the Bluebirds from Cambridge in July 2009, playing 72 league games. Baker, 23, signed a short-term deal in February after his release by Oxford... Chadwick, 28, was affected by a knee injury last season, which restricted him to just 15 appearances".

    A report in the Gravesend Reporter tells us that "A victorious return to the Blue Square Conference has kicked-off crucial talks on the future of Ebbsfleet United’s football ground - Stonebridge Road.

    Both the club’s directors and new Gravesham Borough Council leader John Burden are keen to meet to discuss a major upgrading of the ground, or revive plans for a potential move... Club director Jessica McQueen is a former member of Fleet Group Development Ltd, formed in 2008 to look at buying Stonebridge Road, or building a new ground.

    She said: 'There aren’t many clubs who get relegated and come straight back up. We want to first stabilise and then push on. Improved facilities can only help that'... Stonebridge Road was brought by the council in 2009 and is leased to the club at £1 a year until 2025...

    Improvements to the main stand, the roofing areas and to away fans facilities are all required at the 106-year-old ground".

    Nearer to home, the Southport Visiter reports that "Liam Watson says Steve Akrigg could be the first of seven summer signings. The Southport manager swooped for the Skelmersdale United defender earlier this week, with the Haig Avenue side parting with a "nominal fee"...

    Port were always going to make a bid for the highly-rated Akrigg even if they had avoided relegation and remained in the Conference, such is Watson's belief in the 6'4" defender".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph conforms that "Max Porter believes his future probably lies away from Rushden & Diamonds. The midfielder... confirmed he has not spoken to anyone from the club since the campaign ended...

    Porter, like the vast majority of his team-mates, has now become a free agent as his contract ran out on May 7 and he will be able to move on a Bosman as he will be over 24 by the time the transfer window opens...

    'It’s been very disappointing, I have not had any contact from anyone at the club', he said. 'It’s not a big problem because my contract was up on May 7 and I can get a move on a Bosman this summer... I have great memories of my time there and I really hope the club survives... The facility they have there is fantastic... I would only go back in the right circumstances and with Justin Edinburgh still there as manager. From the players’ point of view, not all of us have been paid'".

    Departures are also the theme in the Worcester News as "Mark Clyde and Graham Ward have dealt Worcester City a double summer blow by leaving the club. Clyde has decided to leave his post as assistant manager, while right-back Ward has rejected terms... The Irishmen have been major players for City in recent seasons with Ward, who started the campaign as captain, making 194 appearances since joining in October 2006.

    Former Wolves centre-half Clyde relaunched his career at Worcester two years ago after being forced to retire from the professional game with a long-term knee problem...

    Manager Carl Heeley said: 'I have been speaking with Mark for a week or so and he’s unfortunately decided to leave the club... An offer was made to Graham but he rejected it. I urged him to take some time but he didn’t want to do that so, as things stand, he has left the club but the door has not been slammed in his face'.

    However, centre-half Rob Elvins has agreed a new deal and joins fellow defender Ryan Clarke and midfield duo Tom Thorley and Kevin O’Connor on the books for next season. Offers have also been made to 20-goal striker Danny Glover, midfield trio Simon Richman, Gary Walker and Matt Birley and utility player Neil Cartwright.

    Heeley is also due to hold talks with midfielders Gavin Hurren, Josh Quaynor and Kyonn Evans as well as defender Asa Charlton and striker Marc McGregor. Left-back Shabir Khan and goalkeeper Tim Sandercombe, who both had knee surgery, have been invited to prove their fitness in pre-season.

    The City boss added: 'The offers made give us the opportunity to bring in more players. I have to try and improve the squad and the numbers with similar resources'".

    19 May 2011


    Altrincham's joint Press Officer, John Edwards, writes:

    "Altrincham’s players have underlined the club’s enduring appeal as one of non-League football’s biggest names by declaring to a man that they want to stay at Moss Lane.

    There were rumours, in the wake of relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier, that whoever succeeded Ken McKenna as manager would arrive to find contracted striker Michael Twiss as the only player on the books.

    But, as he continued an interview process that should be completed early next week, chairman Grahame Rowley revealed how the truth could hardly be more different.

    ‘We received over 70 applications for the post and have whittled the list down to 10,’ he said. ‘Two have already been interviewed, because they are going on holiday, and the other eight will be seen on Monday.

    ‘So we are looking at an appointment early next week, and I have to say it has been really pleasing to see how the calibre of applicants has proved Altrincham remain a big draw in non-League circles.

    ‘I’ve been just as pleased with the response from the players. I spoke to them when Ken left and again this week to tell them about the interviews. Each and every one of them said they were happy to wait for the appointment to be made and wanted to speak to the new manager before deciding what to do.

    ‘They all said they wanted to stay. Whether that will be possible remains to be seen, but I thought that was fantastic. They are all free agents, except for Michael, but no-one has jumped ship, and some even told me they have turned down offers from other clubs, because they want to see what is happening with us first.’

    Season tickets are on sale at the club (0161 928 1045), with a £20 discount for anyone buying one before the end of this month. The club would also like to hear from any potential sponsors interested in having their name on the back of the team’s new-look shirts".

    The Sale & Altrincham Messenger adds "Season tickets are on sale at the club (0161 928 1045), with a £20 discount for anyone buying one before the end of this month. The club would also like to hear from any potential sponsors interested in having their name on the back of the team’s new-look shirts".

    In the Sale & Altrincham Advertiser it is also reported that ""Altrincham have begun interviews for the vacant manager’s job... An announcement is expected to be made before chairman Grahame Rowley goes on holiday next Thursday. After receiving more than 70 applications for the post, a nine-man shortlist was drawn up...

    He said: 'The initial intention was to interview four to six candidates but the quality of the applications was so high we wanted to make sure we’d spoken to everyone who we felt deserved an interview. It’s going to be a long and arduous task but in the end we want to find the absolute right man for the job, so I’m sure it will be worthwhile'.

    Former Bury boss Andy Preece, currently manager at Northwich Victoria, has been linked with the job, along with recently-departed Curzon Ashton boss Gary Lowe. Graham Heathcote, who guided Alty to promotion from the Blue Square North in 2005, could also be in line for a shock return".


    According to the Football Conference, "Winger Adrian Cieslewicz has become the first player to sign a new contract with Wrexham for next season, when he agreed an eighteen-month deal with manager Dean Saunders".

    Meanwhile, "Laurie Wilson has become Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver's second signing this week when the 26-year-old midfielder agreed terms with the Blue Square Bet North club. Wilson, who is the son of former Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley and Bristol City manager Danny Wilson, has signed from Alfreton Town and becomes the second player to do so following the capture of Ian Ross on Monday.

    Harrogate have also announced that, despite great interest from a league rival, local player Adam Nowakoski has shown his loyalty by re-signing for the club. Nowakowski made his debut in 2009 and has gone on to make over fifty appearances with four goals to his credit".

    Also "Alfreton Town have released four players from last season’s Blue Square Bet North title-winning squad. Central defenders Darren Stride and Paul Lister and midfield players Chris Hall and Ian Ross have all been thanked for their services at the Impact Arena as manager Nicky Law begins planning for life in the Blue Square Bet Premier Division in earnest.

    Also departing from last season’s successful squad are striker Daryl Clare and Aden Flint, whose loan spells ended at the conclusion of the campaign and they have returned to their parent clubs Cambridge United and Swindon Town respectively".

    Elsewhere, "AFC Telford United will remain a part-time outfit for their first season in the ultra-competitive Blue Square Bet Premier.. In total, around 16 of the 24 sides in the top division of non-League football will be fully professional next season — but Telford chairman Lee Carter insists they will not risk their financial stability by over-stretching.

    'There may be some tinkering and a couple of extra nights of training thrown in here and there but we will definitely remain a part-time outfit', said Carter. 'It will be hard financially but by staying part-time we can attract some of the best part-time players to our club. There are only a few clubs in that league that can really afford to go full-time and I don’t understand how some of them can do it. I look at Bath City, who retained their core players when they went up last season and added quality and experience', he added. 'They have done reasonably well (finishing 10th) without going full-time and that is the model I would like to follow. We will aim to be the best part-time club in the country'", he told the Shropshire Star

    In BS North, Gainsborough Trinity report that "Steve Housham has joined as 'football development manager'. The former Scunthorpe United defender has been in charge of Brigg Town for three seasons and helped the town to near promotion when they just missed out in the Evo-Stik Division One (South) play-offs.

    He will advise the manager on availability of local players who have been released by other clubs or have been scouted. He will support the coaching staff and start to develop a link between the club and the community and also be involved in a general aspect at Trinity in its day to day running.

    'I think the fact that I did well at Brigg Town and being a local lad has brought me to the attention of Gainsborough chairman Peter Swann and manager Brian Little', said Housham. 'The other thing is, I am Gainsborough born and bred and I will be extremely proud to work with and for my home-town football club'.

    Gainsborough Trinity Chairman Peter Swann says 'Brian has spoken to the players today and we have no intention of offering new contracts to anyone else at this time'".

    According to the BBC, "Acting Stockport County chairman Mary Gibbons has resigned from the club. The 47-year-old was part of the 2015 Consortium that took the Edgeley Park outfit out of administration last year..

    Gibbons was informed by Greater Manchester Police that threats had been made against her before the final home game of the season against Cheltenham Town. Gibbons, along with her husband Tony, have also resigned from their positions as directors at Edgeley Park".

    She stated "We are fully aware of on-going discussions that we believe will secure the club's future and provide an exciting foundation on which to rebuild County".

    The BBC reports that "Max Porter says his England C team-mates cannot be put off by the prospect of facing a star-studded Portugal line-up at Sixfields on Thursday... for the International Challenge Trophy final.

    Portugal are set to field a team of under-23 internationals. 'We don't really want to look at their squad, we might be a bit in awe', Porter told BBC Radio Northampton. 'Their team is full of under-21 internationals and they have two full internationals. They've got players from Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Braga, and they're probably going to wonder who we are'..

    Porter, who is a free agent after leaving cash-strapped Rushden, says the squad are a tight knit unit. 'Tuesday night we did a team bonding exercise, where we practised singing the national anthem in front of each other in an X-Factor style audition', he explained... Portugal's squad includes Sporting Lisbon midfielder Andre Bernardes Santos and striker Yannick Djalo, who have each won a senior cap and played in this season's Europa League.

    ENGLAND C SQUAD: Hedge (FC Halifax Town), Davies (Fleetwood Town), Wylde (Tamworth), Coulson (Cambridge United), Atkinson (Unattached), Frankiln (Alfreton Town), Vaughan (Kidderminster Harriers), Simpson (Crawley Town), Porter (unattached), Clancy (Fleetwood Town), Byrne (Kidderminster Harriers), Rose (Newport County), Styche (Forest Green Rovers), Mangan (Wrexham), Donnelly (Fleetwood Town), Blair (Kidderminster Harriers).

    PORTUGAL UNDER-23 SQUAD: Ventura (Portimonense), Mario Felgueiras (Rio Ave), Andre Marques (Beira-Mar), Daniel Carrico (Sporting Lisbon), Joao Goncalves (Olhanense), Ruben Fernandes (Portimonense), Tiago Pinto (Rio Ave), Yohan Tavares (Beira-Mar), Castro (Sporting Gijon), Andre Santos (Sporting Lisbon), Rui Sampaio (Beira-Mar), Nuno Coelho (Academica de Coimbra), Victor Gomes (Rio Ave), Saleiro (Sporting Lisbon), Candeias (Portimonense), Pizzi (Pacos de Ferreira), Yannick (Sporting Lisbon), Yazalde (Rio Ave)".

    Reports from This is Lincs say that "Lee Canoville has revealed "80%" of the players offered new deals by Boston United have agreed to stay at York Street. That does not include defender Shaun Pearson and midfielder Anthony Church, who are still considering their options.

    However, new joint-manager Canoville is hopeful the pair will decide to stay at York Street for next season's Blue Square Bet North campaign. Canoville, along with Jason Lee, was sworn in as joint-boss last week... All but five of the Pilgrims squad were offered fresh terms, with keeper Dan Haystead, defender James Cullingworth and forwards Stef Frost, Danny Davidson and Adam Boyes being released".

    Alan Alger of Blue Square Bet writes, "Despite finishing one place and six points behind AFC Wimbledon in the final Blue Square Bet Premier table it’s Luton Town that are the narrow 7/5 favourites to win Saturday’s match. AFC Wimbledon are the 8/5 outsiders...

    Terry Brown’s team have not tasted defeat since March 18 when they were 3-1 losers at eventual champions Crawley Town...

    Luton boss Gary Brabin who does at least have some real striking options at his disposal... The Kenilworth Road side have been scoring goals from all sections of the pitch recently which bodes well for this final.. Full match prices and special markets are available on".

    18 May 2011


    News of recent Altrincham boss, Ken McKenna (left), comes from the BBC, which confirms that "Morecambe manager Jim Bentley has finalised the appointments of Ken McKenna and Stewart Drummond to his coaching staff. McKenna, 50, will be the Shrimps' assistant manager after resigning as Altrincham manager earlier this month.

    Drummond, 35, is to take on the role that Bentley, 34, filled under previous manager Sammy McIlroy, coaching the first team and managing the reserves... Morecambe have also confirmed a list of nine players they intend to release".


    The winning code of 4013 was unissued this week, but 5 lucky winning trebles each won £40. The jackpot to be won now stands at £3400.


    Former Alty winger Kevin Ellison has been released by Rotherham United. He spent the latter part of last season on loan at Bradford City.


    You can order your Altrincham FC 2011-12 clothing merchandise now from the club on 928-1045 or by e-mail.

    The prices for Altrincham FC's are below. Further details will follow for other products:

  • Tracksuits (full): £48 (adult), £45 (juniors)
  • Tracksuits (top only): £35 (adult), £32 (juniors)
  • Tracksuits (bottom only): £15 (adult), £13 (juniors)
  • Replica shirts: £35 (adult), £30 (juniors)
  • "Jenny" ladies' top: £20
  • T-shirts: £24 (adult), £20 (juniors)
  • Polo shirts: £24 (adult), £20 (juniors)
  • Sweat shirts: £26 (adult), £23 (juniors)
  • Hoodies: £27 (adult), £22 (juniors)
  • Shorts: £16 (adult), £13 (juniors)
  • Director's coat: £50 (adult), £40 (juniors)

    Alty kit supplier Ian Senior of SK Kits adds "the Red/Black shirt is also available, as a Special Edition with '100 Years at Moss Lane' badge attached". For a photo, see eBay.

    Ian has also offered to put your initials on the polo, t-shirts and sweat shirts, free of charge, if ordered now - as seen right.


    From Blue Square Football we learn that "Histon's fate is yet to be decided after their relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier this season. A decision will be made by the Football Association 'at the end of the week' as to whether the Stutes will be playing their football in the Blue Square Bet North or South in the upcoming campaign.

    Football Conference's general manager Dennis Strudwick put paid to a rumour that the club will play in the Blue Square Bet North after Boston United published next season's North league table on their official website. Strudwick told Cambridge News: 'It seems they (Boston United) have jumped the gun. We're waiting for the FA to give us the list'.

    A Boston United spokesman explained... 'We've not had anything through officially, it's just what we've presumed. We're expecting it all to be confirmed at the end of the week'.

    Histon are one of a group of five most northerly teams yet to be allocated a spot for next season out of 10 new sides that will be in the Blue Square Bet North and South. The others include Altrincham, Southport, FC Halifax and Colwyn Bay".

    Meanwhile, "Southport boss Liam Watson has confirmed which players he wishes to keep at Haig Avenue following the club's relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier. Tony McMillan, Kevin Lee, Chris Lever, Earl Davis, Matty McGinn, John Paul Kissock, Karl Ledsham, Aaron Turner, Shaun Whalley, Alan Moogan, Tony Gray and Steve Daly have all been told they will be retained.

    Watson told the club's official website: 'I expect to make a couple of early signings'. Liam Blakeman is currently on the transfer list at Southport, while Matty McNeil and Paul Barratt have parted ways with the club".

    And NL Daily goes on to confirm that "Liam Watson... has made his first close season signing. Central defender Steve Akrigg signed at Haig Avenue. The 24-year-old highly experienced defender has been a bedrock at Skelmersdale United playing in Tommy Lawson's defence for four seasons since joining from Warrington Town. A versatile ball-playing centre back Akrigg now steps up to a higher level with Liam Watson stating: 'Steve has impressed me over a long period. Other clubs have been eager to sign him this summer and I am very pleased Steve has agreed to join us'” .

    There is no mention of Wes Baynes as "Dean Saunders, manager of Wrexham, has begun planning for next season by offering 13 players new contracts – but others will have to wait to see if they have a future at The Racecourse while striker Marc Williams has been released. Saunders only has eight players – Mark Creighton, Chris Blackburn, Jay Harris, Dean Keates, Nat Knight-Percival, Adrian Cieslewicz, Andy Morrell and Mathias Pogba – under contract going into next season but has begun negotiations with most of his first team squad members now the current owners have agreed to sell their interest in the club.

    Chris Maxwell, Joslain Mayebi, Curtis Obeng (pictured), Neil Ashton, Jamie Tolley, Lee Fowler and Andy Mangan have all been offered new deals along with Johnny Hunt, Kai Edwards, Declan Walker, Jack Deaman, Nick Rushton and Obi Anoruo...

    'Neil Ashton and Lee Fowler have got other clubs they have been speaking to', said Saunders. 'Andy Mangan has been offered a new contract but he has got other options as well. Chris Maxwell was offered that in January but hasn’t signed it and, from what he was telling me, he’s got other clubs chasing him so we might lose him... There is no doubt that we are going to lose a few players I don’t want to lose... I couldn’t nail them down when I wanted to because obviously we didn’t know know who was going to own the club and what I can offer them'.

    Working on a reduced budget, Saunders added: 'There are some that I can’t offer the same amount of money to who are probably just going to think about it... I am going to have to have a smaller squad again next season and I am unable to offer some of them the money they were earning this year'", he told The Leader.

    Back in BSB North, NL Daily tells us that "Manager Kevin Wilkin slammed his Nuneaton Town team following last week’s debacle at The Lamb – intimating heads will roll over the next fortnight. Wilkin was left fuming by the 1-0 Birmingham Senior Cup final defeat at the hands of two-tier lower Sutton Coldfield accusing his players of having a ‘poor attitude’ to the tie.

    'To end the season with a poor performance was gutting', said an angry Wilkin. 'I fielded a side that was more than strong enough to beat Sutton but we just didn’t perform and that was really disappointing. Some players did themselves no favours. There are no excuses as to the result. As far as I’m concerned we were woeful and didn’t deserve anything... It certainly poses a few questions as to the future of some of the players...

    I realise Sunday took the wind out of our sails after losing the play-off semi-final at Telford but, instead of lifting ourselves off the floor, we just didn’t seem interested and that’s not fair on the fans, especially those who travelled over to Tamworth with high expectations of us winning the tie and retaining the trophy'" reports the Coventry Telegraph.

    From the Histon end, the Cambridge News adds that "Histon have not definitely been put in the Blue Square Bet North for next season, according to the Football Conference...

    A Histon spokesman confirmed that negotiations over a settlement with former manager John Beck, who was sacked two games into the 2010/11 season, continue to progress but nothing has yet been resolved".

    From This is Lincs comes news that "Gainsborough Trinity chairman Peter Swann admits there were times last season when he doubted whether manager Brian Little was the right man for the Blues. Little suffered a tough season with his well-funded side only managing eight wins in a campaign which saw them finish fourth-bottom of the Blue Square Bet North table.

    But an upturn in form towards the end of the campaign saved the club from the drop. After witnessing the turnaround, the Trinity chairman says he is convinced he has the right man at the helm.

    'There were doubts in my mind about whether it was going to work, but in the end, I trust him (Little). I totally believe he is the right man for the job', said Swann. 'There were times when I could have made many snap decisions and they may have worked, but they may not have worked either. He kept us up, but I can totally understand people asking questions about Brian's position. It has been a very difficult season. We are trying to develop a successful team and I can honestly say I trust Brian to do that. We will invest in the team again and go for the play-offs next season'.

    Swann's comments came as the club announced its retained list for next season. In a move which may be a surprise to supporters, only two of the current squad who are out of contract have been offered deals – goalkeeper Phil Barnes and defender Andrew Boyce.

    With a summer of re-building ahead for the Trinity management team, which now includes former Brigg Town boss Steve Housham, Swann has indicated they will be using many means to discover players who can take the club forward.

    'Everyone now starts on zero points', said Swann. 'Brian will have about the same budget as last year. We need to bring in the right kind of player this time. I think we are looking for younger, hungry players who can produce consistent performances... We are also planning to hold some open trials... to see if we can prove that theory and find players locally who can play at this level'...

    Swann has been chairman at Trinity since 2009 and despite a difficult campaign, he insists he is still loving his time at the club... 'I want to get into the play-offs next season'", he added.

    Trinity layers released: Darren Williams, Mark Robinson, Leon Hibbert, Luke Beckett, Mark Greaves, Paul Mayo, Nathan Peat, Sam Aiston, Neal Spafford, Josh Davies. Contracted players: Gavin Cowan, Leon Mettam, Ryan Kendall, Ryan Williams, Luke Waterfall, Lewis McMahon".

    17 May 2011


    Former Alty man, Chris Senior, is the subject of the Big Interview in Sunday's Non-League Paper. Between scoring the FA Trophy winner for Darlington and a civic reception in Darlington, he was told that his contract would not be renewed. He revealed that after giving post-match interviews, all the Darlington medals had been claimed by other players, leaving him without one! "When he joined Alty in 2007, Senior went part-time" writes Stuart Hammonds. "And on the advice of [team mate and] Manchester United and England maseur, Rod Thornley, started studying sports massage himself. He gave up his job at Sheffield United to go back to playing full-time after his 16-goal third season at Moss Lane but 12 months and seven goals later, finds himself without a job....

    I text Rod every week telling him to get me in at United". Chris's wife, Emma, is expecting their baby in August.

    Sunday's Non-League Paper reports that "Kettering chairman, Imraan Ladak, believes the Poppies moving to Rushden & Diamonds and forming one club is the only way forward. Town face being homeless in two years with their Rockingham Road lease expiring... Rushden's problems are more immediate...

    Ladak told the NLP, 'It wouldn't be a merger as such because, technically, the Rushden & Diamonds entity has so much debt that it can't continue... Kettering Town will be debt-free... fairly soon so we are not going to take on £750k of someone else's debt. We would be talking about something if Rushden can't continue. Kettering Town would play at Nene Park and change its name. You would need both identities kept in some way...

    Both sets of fans have to accept that it's unlikely they will have Conference Premier clubs in two years if we don't do something jointly".

    According to the Football Conference, "Wrexham is to be sold to the club's former commercial director, Jon Harris. Outgoing owner Geoff Moss confirmed the deal, adding that Harris was the club's new managing director.

    Moss rejected bids from the Wrexham Supporters' Trust and businessman Stephen Cleeve, claiming Harris was best for the club's 'long-term future'. Harris, who is financed by businessman Colin Poole, asked supporters to 'give us all a chance'...

    In a statement, Moss 'applauded the professional approach' of the supporters' trust. He said the trust's "enthusiasm and dedication is beyond reproach but the truth is that the people who run the trust all have their own full time jobs and the club needs strong, experienced leadership now'. But he said they had failed to provide 'satisfactory comfort' in terms of its financial ability and experience of running a football club.

    He also thanked rival bidder Stephen Cleeve, but said there were 'some technical and legal issues with the proposals put forward by Stephen which could not be overcome easily'.

    The statement added: 'There have been many rumours circulating that in the event that Jon Harris was successful in his bid that the Racecourse Ground or Colliers Park would be sold off or redeveloped, but Harris has confirmed that this is not the case. Moreover, Harris has confirmed that he will ensure that the mechanisms are put in place publicly to ensure that the club's assets are retained by the club for the club.

    Jon Harris has the experience and expertise to ensure that the club is run professionally off the field and has secured the financial backing of businessman Colin Poole...

    The sale has been questioned by Wrexham MP Ian Lucas, who backed the Supporters' Trust. He said: 'I raised concerns about Colin Poole, who the club acknowledge is involved with the winning bid, with football authorities last week. He was struck off the Solicitors' Roll last week and he is a disqualified director', Lucas said, adding that he was investigating the matter further.

    Wrexham Supporters' Trust have been offered a position on the new board. Last week local hotelier Stephanie Booth withdrew her offer to buy Wrexham, saying she had received death threats.

    The club also announced that Dean Saunders has signed a new manager's contract. Saunders said he hoped to retain the 'nucleus' of the squad next season. He added: 'I have met with Jon Harris and Colin Poole and am convinced that the club is in safe hands. They are both very experienced and have a good understanding of football and what it takes to run a successful club'".

    Meanwhile, "Fleetwood Town have confirmed striker Richard Brodie has signed a one-year loan deal from Crawley Town. Town beat off a host of other clubs for Micky Mellon’s first signing as he capitalises on the club’s first, successful campaign in non-League football’s top flight".

    Elsewhere, "Neil Aspin, manager of Blue Square Bet North new boys FC Halifax Town, has made his first new recruit of the close season with the signing of 21-year-old centre half Scott McManus from FC United of Manchester".

    At Aspin's former club, "Harrogate Town have announced that former Alfreton Town central midfielder Ian Ross has become manager Simon Weaver's first signing for the new season. Another positive bit of news is that defender Matthew Bloomer has also agreed to stay at the CNG Stadium for another season".

    At another BSBN club, "Dave Mehew, manager of Gloucester City, has wielded the axe in preparation for next season, cutting Mike Symons, Callum Preece and Mike Tambling from his squad. Symons failed to make a mark in the league last season. The striker managed only seven goals, convincing Mehew to let him go...

    However, top scorer Darren Edwards has signed for another season with the Tigers. The former Bath City man is joined by fans` favourite Will Morford as well as two strikers who had short spells with the club last year - Steve Davies and Lewis Pountney – in putting pen-to-paper".

    Altrincham will be visiting Blyth Spartans again next season, where "Manager Mick Tait is hoping the club's wage budget will be maintained for the upcoming season. Tait, who is set for a one-week holiday, is concerned that some of his stalwarts may be forced to leave if the wage budget is cut. Reports have linked top scorer Paul Bryson and midfielders Stephen Turnbull and Neal Hookes with moves to Harrogate Town, and Tait concedes he may be unable to influence the transfers.

    Tait said: 'The chairman will tell me what the budget for next season is when I get back from holiday. I'm hoping for the best. We can't afford to lose our top players. That, and who we can bring in, will depend on the budget. It won't rise but I'm hoping it won't be reduced'".

    One of our opponents next season have lost a player who almost joined Altrincham a couple of years ago, as Chester FC report that they "have completed their second signing in 24 hours, with Liam Brownhill joining the club from Droylsden.

    Brownhill, an England C International, has been the subject of interest from clubs in higher leagues, but Neil Young has beaten them to the signing of the 24 year old, who has previously played for Connah's Quay Nomads, Stockport County, Bangor City, and Witton Albion before making the move to The Bloods...

    [He] has signed on a 2 year deal. Neil Young was delighted with the signing, "I'm pleased with the signing of Liam, who is a great full back, and is a quality player that many Clubs in both Conference leagues were chasing, so I'm delighted that we've won that race". Chester play next season in the EvoStik (Northern Premier) League.

    Like Tait, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports that "Proud boss Steve Kittrick wants to keep his Guiseley squad together... after yesterday’s heart-wrenching 3-2 Blue Square Bet North play-off final defeat at AFC Telford United...

    The manager is looking to add one or two signings, but he stated: 'I have asked them all to stay. I know the ones who will probably be leaving, but I would like to keep the side together... I thought we failed to deal with their set-pieces a bit, but for 25 minutes after we went 2-1 up, they hardly got a touch...

    This will give us another 12 months to regroup, get the ground a bit better and sign one or two better players'... Leading striker James Walshaw netted Guiseley’s opener from the penalty spot, taking his tally for the season to 32. He is being linked with a move to Halifax – who will be playing in Conference North next year – but said he is keen to stay.

    Walshaw said: 'I love the club and I hope we can sort a deal out. If we keep the same side next year I think we can have a real push for it next year. I can’t see any reason why we can’t push for the title. Telford and Alfreton have gone up and they are two of the best sides. Altrincham will be tough next year, but I don’t see why we can’t push for automatic promotion'".

    16 May 2011


    Altrincham have arranged the following pre season friendlies. Full kick-off times to follow. (Please note the game with Barrow is a home game at Moss Lane, not away as previously stated).

  • Saturday, 9th July 3pm v. Burnley FC XI(H) - many thanks to Eddie Howe, manager of The Clarets.
  • Tuesday, 12th July v. Woodley Sports (A)
  • Saturday, 16th July v. Manchester City XI (H)
  • Tuesday, 19th July v. Buxton FC (A)
  • Saturday, 23rd July 3pm v. Tranmere Rovers (H)
  • Tuesday, 26th July v. Trafford (A)
  • Saturday, 30th July v. TBA - game being arranged
  • Tuesday, 2nd August v. Barrow (H)
  • Saturday, 6th August v. Stockport County (H)

    The Blue Square Bet North league season begins on Saturday 13th August.

    Please remember that by obtaining a season ticket, you gain free entry to the home pre-season friendlies. Details below...


    Altrincham FC announce that the following letter will go out to season ticket holders...

    "In order to give the Football Club the best possible budget in which to compete in the Blue Square Bet North next season we have decided to maintain admission and season ticket prices the same as this season. Although this will make us one of the highest admission prices in the league we hope you appreciate the reasoning behind it. We are however offering a £20 discount for any season tickets purchased before May 31st and a £10 discount for those purchased prior to June 30th.

    A season ticket also entitles you to free admission to all the pre-season friendly matches at Moss Lane of which we hope there will be five. We hope that we can rely on your support again this season and look forward to seeing you at Moss Lane in July.

  • Standing: Adults £225; Concessions £115
  • Seating: Adults £265; Concessions £125
  • Under 12s: £25
  • 12-16 years: £50


    Pictures of the new Altrincham FC kit for 2011-12 season are shown here, courtesy of Sarah Rowley. The home kit is, of course, the one on the left and the away strip is on the right. More photos of Alty leisure wear are to follow. You can order your merchandise now from the club on 928-1045 or by e-mail.

    The prices for Altrincham FC's clothing merchandise for the coming season are below. Further details will follow for other products:

  • Tracksuits (full): £48 (adult), £45 (juniors)
  • Tracksuits (top only): £35 (adult), £32 (juniors)
  • Tracksuits (bottom only): £15 (adult), £13 (juniors)
  • Replica shirts: £35 (adult), £30 (juniors)
  • "Jenny" ladies' top: £20
  • T-shirts: £24 (adult), £20 (juniors)
  • Polo shirts: £24 (adult), £20 (juniors)
  • Sweat shirts: £26 (adult), £23 (juniors)
  • Hoodies: £27 (adult), £22 (juniors)
  • Shorts: £16 (adult), £13 (juniors)
  • Director's coat: £50 (adult), £40 (juniors)

    Alty kit supplier Ian Senior of SK Kits adds "the Red/Black shirt is also available, as a Special Edition with '100 Years at Moss Lane' badge attached". For a photo, see eBay.

    Ian has also offered to put your initials on the polo, t-shirts and sweat shirts, free of charge, if ordered now.


    The Football Conference says that "AFC Telford United are back in the Blue Square Bet Premier after a thrilling victory over Guiseley in the Blue Square Bet North play-off final on Sunday at the New Buck's Head. In front of a terrific crowd of 5,436, Sean Newton gave the Bucks a great start with a penalty conversion in the 9th minute.

    Underdogs Guiseley, who have surprised many this season, equalized a minute before the half-time break through top scorer Jamie Walshaw, also from the penalty spot. And just a couple Of minutes after the restart the Yorkshire side went 2-1 ahead through Darryn Stamp.

    It took Telford until 11 minutes from time to pull back on level terms through Liam Murray and then Phil Trainer popped up with a dramatic winner for the home side in the 2nd minute of stoppage time".

    In the BSB South play-off the result was:

  • Farnborough 2 Ebbsfleet 4

    According to Blue Square Football "Owner Geoff Moss has moved to assure manager Dean Saunders and the club's supporters that the sale of Wrexham AFC is on the verge of being completed.

    Saunders recently expressed his concern over the delay in securing the sale of the club as he looks to begin his preparations for the 2011/12 Blue Square Bet Premier campaign...

    'I would hope that in the next two or three days we would be in a position to work something out', Moss told the Daily Post. 'We don't want to see the club running out of money by this time next year so we need to ensure there is a sustainable plan in place. We haven't made any firm decisions yet but I would like to think we might be able to do so over the weekend. We need to make sure that we have a good team on the field, one that is capable of competition'.

    The three competitors vying for the ownership of Wrexham AFC are believed to be London businessman Stephen Cleeve, Shropshire-based millionaire Colin Poole and fans' group Wrexham Supporters' Trust".

    Meanwhile, "Lincoln City manager Steve Tilson has spared no sentiment following his side's relegation from the Football League by axing the majority of his squad. The Imps boss has offered new deals to Luke Howell, Danny Hone and Andy Hutchinson. Joe Anyon, Josh O'Keefe and Adam Watts have been released, while Mustapha Carayol, Ali Fuseini and Gavin McCallum have been made available for transfer. The remaining Lincoln players have been told they are free to find new clubs this summer.

    'We need to change things around, hence what we have done', Tilson told PA. 'We have got to be sensible in and around a certain wage cap and sign players that are hungry and want to come and play'".

    From the BBC we learn that "Boston United have released five players from their squad. Defender James Cullingworth and striker Danny Davidson, who each made more than 70 appearances for the Pilgrims, have been allowed to leave York Street.

    Goalkeeper Dan Haystead, striker Adam Boyes and midfielder Stef Frost have also been let go. The remainder of the squad, including Shaun Pearson and Anthony Church, have been offered new deals for next season. Defender Pearson and midfielder Church have been linked with moves to clubs in higher leagues but joint-manager Jason Lee has said he would like to retain their services".

    15 May 2011


    Altrincham FC gateman Nigel Hennerley is a member of "Harbingers" who, with "Surgical Supports", are performing in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane on Saturday, 21 May from 7.30pm. Tickets are just £4 and can be bought on the night. Nigel extends a special invitation to Alty fans who may not have seen the band yet. All proceeds of the event go to the Football Club.


    The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that "A former Wakefield Football Club goalkeeper faces charges in connection with an alleged £60,000 Nigerian email scam on banks. Prosecutors say Ashley Timms, 25, was involved in the money laundering side of the sting, which is claimed to have targeted banking customers.

    Timms, an ex-Manchester City trainee, appeared at Wakefield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to face 22 charges said to total £60,000. The most serious charges allege he conspired with others to defraud various banking institutions on or before May 10 this year.

    Timms, of Woodlands Village, off Barnsley Road, Wakefield, is also charged under the Fraud Act and Proceeds of Crime legislation. Prosecutor Richard Ogden told the court: 'This gentleman is effectively charged with being a money launderer for other and bigger fish, if I can use that expression'.

    Timms was signed by Wakefield FC in September 2010. He made 15 appearances between September 18 and December 11. Magistrates remanded him in custody until he appears at Leeds Crown Court on May 18". Timms had a brief spell at Altrincham, during which he turned out for our youth, reserve and first-teams.


    In the final of the Neil Thomason Memorial Trophy, named after Altrincham FC Youth's former coach, Morecambe defeated Mossley 3-1.


    The Football Conference confirms that "Crawley Town have released eight players. Striker Craig McAllister, 30, heads the list after scoring fourteen goals to help the Reds win promotion to League Two. Defender Sam Rents and forward Jamie Cook are also leaving, while midfielder Simon Rusk will take up a role with the club's centre of excellence. Nick Jordan, Danny Hall, Tommy Brewer and Steve Masterton complete the list".

    Meanwhile "Cambridge United have made their first signing of the off-season with Kidderminster Harriers midfielder Tom Shaw joining the club on a two-year contract", reports Blue Square Football.

    The BBC reports that "Former Histon chairman Gareth Baldwin says he is looking to sell his shares in the club as part of a drive to shake up the boardroom. Baldwin, along with fellow ex-chairman Tony Roach, are keen to see the Bridge Road outfit take a new direction.

    'New investment can come to the club and hopefully provide some stability', he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire... The club's board currently consists of chairman Russell Hands and directors Angelo Darma, Mac McDonald, Graham Muncey, Colin Pettit and Paul Pleszko.

    'It's obviously pretty tough there at the moment', added Baldwin, who spent 18 years at the Stutes. 'It would be very difficult for the club to go forward with its current structure. They may be able to stabilise, but I doubt it, and it's likely the club is going to continue to go backwards unless something changes. I think the shareholders, who have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds, are looking at their investment thinking "there's a lot of money, a huge amount of time gone into this project and it's going down the tube".

    Baldwin is currently acting as a commercial consultant at local rivals Cambridge United".

    News of one of our opponents next season comes from the Wirral News. "Fprmer Tranmere defender Dave Challinor led his Colwyn Bay FC team on an open top bus tour of the North Wales town last night as they celebrated back-to-back promotions and a place in the Blue Square Conference North next season... with the play-off final victory over FC United of Manchester...

    'I took the job last year initially with the idea of consolidating, but now we’ve got ourselves promoted it is really important we move on', Challinor said. 'We need to make sure a lot those people who watched the play-off games start coming more regularly to help push the club forward. As far as the team is concerned we’ll have to sit down and see what the board will allow me to do, but although I want to keep as many of the current squad as possible, we will need to add some more quality for us to compete in the Conference North'".

    According to the Southport Visiter, "A relegation lifeline for Southport would not signal the return of ousted assistant manager Chris Price. The plight of Rushden & Diamonds appears to be growing worse by the day with reports of financial trouble emerging from a supporters’ meeting.

    Inside Haig Avenue, confidence continues to rise that a reprieve from demotion to the Conference North could be in the offing this summer.

    Sources suggest staying in the Conference would mean the drastic budget cuts outlined by chairman Charlie Clapham would not be forthcoming, however with the role of Liam Watson’s number two having been made redundant – leading to Price’s shock departure last week – another assistant could not be sought.

    It is also thought Price, a 2005 title winning captain with Port, would refuse any offer to return given the upset caused by his exit, leaving Watson’s coaching set-up in upheaval should they retain their place in non-League’s top flight as a result of Rushden’s demise.

    Watson told the Visiter: 'If we get a reprieve, then the whole set up would have to be looked at again'.

    Reports emerging from the Rushden fans’ forum with club officials on Wednesday night revealed the alleged extent of the Nene Park club’s situation. It has been said the club have debts totalling close to £750,000 with a £110,000 bill with the HMRC needing to be settled in less than two weeks".

    From This is Lincs we learn that "Grimsby Town chairman John Fenty says there is 'no case to answer' as his club prepares for a court battle with Boston United.

    The clubs are in disagreement over compensation for Rob Scott and Paul Hurst, the former Pilgrims' managers who left to join Grimsby in March... Fenty has chosen to go through the route of the courts...

    'The situation with Boston hasn't entirely gone away which I am a bit surprised about', he said. 'Clearly David Newton has a bee in his bonnet and is seeking to pursue this through the courts... We are happy to go to court to defend our position. They asked if we would like to go to arbitration or court; it certainly won't be arbitration and we are going to allow the courts to decide...

    Am I worried about it? No. Do I think it is going to cost this football club anything? No. Can I believe they are pursuing it? No'"

    Fenty added "Boston formerly announced they had accepted their resignation. They then changed the message on their website; it more or less said the same but didn't acknowledge the second time they had accepted the resignations. It did say they were looking for a new management team; and they appointed new managers on that same day... They did all of this before we got into detailed discussions and agreed terms with both Rob and Paul. So I don't see how on earth we can be at fault".

    14 May 2011


    Altrincham FC's joint Press Officer, John Edwards, writes:

    "Altrincham are closing in on a new manager after receiving a positive response to their search for a successor to Ken McKenna.

    Alty chairman Grahame Rowley has been sifting through a lengthy list of early applicants and will begin drawing up a shortlist next week, after McKenna brought an end to his eight-month stint in charge last Sunday.

    ‘We received close on 40 applications in the first couple of days, and anyone interested in the post has until Monday to let us know,’ said Rowley. ‘There are some familiar names among the applicants, and some interesting ones, and we hope to start interviewing towards the end of next week.

    ‘Ken gave me his decision, after giving it plenty of thought, when we met up on Sunday evening. I was sad to hear it, but we parted on very good terms, and I have nothing but admiration for him and the job he did here.

    'But we move on, and whoever gets the job must know the division we are playing in next season, because it is quite different from the Premier.’

    McKenna said: 'I'm still shellshocked at what happened on the last day against Eastbourne. But I won't forget my time at Altrincham, and I will continue looking for their results, just as I have for the past 20 years.'

    Alty are already celebrating one significant breakthrough after announcing J.Davidson scrap metal merchants as new shirt sponsors, in a three-year deal worth a five-figure sum each season. They succeed Go Goodwins, who will continue to provide coach travel for the team next season.

    ‘It is excellent news for the club that we have tied up a deal for three years, and we look forward to a rewarding partnership with J.Davidson that will benefit both parties,’ added Rowley.

    Alty fans narrowly voted to stick with the traditional red and white stripes, rather than changing to red and black, and the new shirts, with J.Davidson across the front, can be ordered now from the club, on 0161 928 1045 or by e-mail.


    Gareth Thomas, assistant to Altrincham FC Youth Team manager, George Heslop, is running in the "Manchester 10K" event this weekend. If you would like to sponsor him, visit his Just Giving page. Proceeds go to The Christie hospital.


    Altrincham FC announce that the following letter will go out to season ticket holders...

    "In order to give the Football Club the best possible budget in which to compete in the Blue Square Bet North next season we have decided to maintain admission and season ticket prices the same as this season. Although this will make us one of the highest admission prices in the league we hope you appreciate the reasoning behind it. We are however offering a £20 discount for any season tickets purchased before May 31st and a £10 discount for those purchased prior to June 30th.

    A season ticket also entitles you to free admission to all the pre-season friendly matches at Moss Lane of which we hope there will be five. We hope that we can rely on your support again this season and look forward to seeing you at Moss Lane in July.

  • Standing: Adults £225; Concessions £115
  • Seating: Adults £265; Concessions £125
  • Under 12s: £25
  • 12-16 years: £50


    Altrincham FC Youth's final league game, away at AFC Liverpool, will not be played after the NWYA league agreed that the season would now end.


    The Football Conference says that "Fleetwood Town have announced nine out of contract players have not been offered new deals for next season.

    Goalkeeper Danny Hurst, Lee Thorpe, former Blackburn and Aston Villa defender Alan Wright, John Miles, Simon Grand, Sean Gregan, Steven Connors, Wayne Curtis, and Nick Rogan".

    Meanwhile, "Mansfield's Board of Directors have sanctioned the release of five players - defenders Paul Stonehouse and Mark Preece along with midfielders Tyrone Thompson and Kyle Nix have left Field Mill, while young forward Niall O'Rafferty also joins the list of departees".

    Our former BSBP colleagues at Eastbourne Borough have relaunched their official website.

    News also comes of one of our BS North opponents next season, "Harrogate Town have released three players as manager Simon Weaver starts to prepare his squad for the 2011/12 season. Defender Craig James, midfielder Steve Bowey and striker Gary King have all been released".

    Also in BSBN, "Mick Tait, manager of Blyth Spartans, headed for warmer climes yesterday disappointed by the Northumberland Senior Cup final against Newcastle Reserves and anxiously awaiting news of next season’s budget. Tait will enjoy his annual one-week holiday with his mates, but would have preferred a better send-off, and is concerned that some of his top performers may have played their last game in a green-and-white shirt.

    With Harrogate Town believed to be keen to prise top-scorer Paul Brayson and midfield pair Stephen Turnbull and Neal Hookes away from Croft Park, Tait is aware he may be powerless if there is another wage cut. Speaking after the County Cup final defeat at St James’ Park, Tait said: 'The chairman will tell me what the budget for next season is when I get back from holiday. I’m hoping for the best. We can’t afford to lose our top players. That, and who we can bring in, will depend on the budget. It won’t rise but I’m hoping it won’t be reduced'” he told the Chronicle Live.

    The Conference also reports that "Justin Edinburgh wants to stay in charge of Rushden & Diamonds next season. But the highly-rated boss admits that assurances will be needed soon over the club’s future to prevent him looking for another job. Edinburgh is believed to be on the shortlist of candidates for the manageral vacancy at Brentford.

    He previously rejected approaches from rivals Grimsby Town and Cambridge United plus Watford who asked him to join the coaching staff. He said: 'I’ve shown my loyalty over the last two-and-a-half years when I’ve had offers and turned them down. However, I need to know what we will be doing here next season – even if that means a new challenge of keeping us in the Conference...

    Like everyone else, I have to think about what is best for myself and my family. I was always selfish as a player but I’ve worked hard to get a reputation as a manager... I’ve found a place where I can achieve something... I just feel my hands are tied at the moment and I’m sitting here waiting for answers'", reports the Northants Evening Telegraph.

    Meanwhile, "Boston United will go to court in a bid to claim compensation for former managers Paul Hurst and Rob Scott after Grimsby Town opted against an arbitration process. The pair quit York Street for the Mariners in March but United chairman David Newton believes there was no "mechanism within their terms that allowed them to resign...

    'We made the offer of going through the court route or through arbitration, and we're going through the court route', said Newton... Newton said a court battle would not affect his club's dealings with the Mariners should they come in for any of the Pilgrims' players, such as central defender Shaun Pearson" reports This is Lincs.

    According to NL News 24 "Danny Alcock says he would be keen to extend his stay at Nuneaton Town into a second season. The goalkeeper has been a massive success since arriving at the Triton Showers Community Arena in the summer. However, he has been rumoured to be a target of former club Tamworth in recent months...

    He told Nuneaton News: 'I’ve not heard anything from any other clubs. I’ve been fully focused on the play-offs... I’ll speak to the gaffer (Kevin Wilkin) and see what he wants to do next season. I would definitely be keen to remain... The only kind of stumbling block might be job wise being fully honest. I’ve just qualified as a teacher. The travel might be an issue but I can’t see any issues otherwise'".

    12/13 May 2011


    John Edwards, joint press officer at Altrincham FC, has issued the following press release:

    "Altrincham are looking for a new manager, following Ken McKenna's decision to step down after eight months in charge at Moss Lane.

    After agonising over his next move ever since a last-day 4-3 defeat by Eastbourne cost Alty their place in the Blue Square Bet Premier, McKenna broke the news to chairman Grahame Rowley at a meeting on Sunday evening.

    The club are now inviting applications for the post and are keen to make an early appointment to allow the new manager as much preparation time as possible to hit the ground running in the Conference North next season.

    'We are looking for someone who has knowledge and experience of the Conference North,' said Rowley. 'There are no parameters regarding experience in general. It could be a manager who has been around a while or someone up and coming.

    'But we feel whoever gets the job must know the division we are playing in next season, because it is quite different from the Premier.

    'Ken had been giving his position plenty of thought, and I was sad to hear his decision when we met up. But we parted on very good terms, and I have nothing but admiration for him.

    'He took the job on in very difficult circumstances, with us bottom of the table on one point from nine games, and I dare say he wondered what sort of cauldron he had stepped into when his first game finished in a 5-0 defeat at Eastbourne.

    'But if you took his points per game average since then and extended it over the season, we would be mid-table. It was a superb effort, and I always found him a very honest chap to deal with. We had some very honest conversations, even at the end of the season, and I haven't a bad word for him.

    'But we have to look ahead now, and this is a fantastic opportunity for someone to take charge of a great club and steer the ship back in the right direction. We need to plan for next season, and we want to start the process as quickly as we can.'

    As Alty prepared to assess candidates, McKenna gave the job they are applying for a ringing endorsement.

    'I would urge anyone interested in succeeding me to go for it, because it is a fantastic club with a very loyal support,' he said. 'The fans have stayed loyal through thick and thin down the years and will continue to. As long as people there can see you are trying your hardest, they will give you their backing.

    'There are some outstanding people at the club who put so much into making it work, and I've got nothing but praise for the chairman.

    'Grahame backed me 100 per cent at all times and even allowed me to go well over budget in an attempt to stay up. He was really flexible. No manager can ask for more than that, and it made it all the harder for me to walk away.

    'But I just felt it needed a fresh face with fresh ideas, and I'm also just not too sure how patient the fans would have been, after taking the club down, if we didn't start too well next season'".

    'There were one or two factors to take into consideration, and the need for cuts was another. The club have come up with a decent, competitive budget, but it would have meant breaking up the staff. Due to the cuts, I wouldn't have been able to retain all my backroom staff - my assistant (Stuart Bimson), physio (Sean Riley) and goalkeeping coach (Ian Senior).

    'There would have to have been changes, and that came into the equation. I always felt we worked well as a team, and it wouldn't have been the same without them. It was a very tough decision, but perhaps it is best that someone new comes in with their own people and own ideas.

    'I'm still shellshocked at what happened on that final day, and I just need to step back, gather my thoughts and consider what to do next. I have worked as a scout, assistant and manager, so I don't know what might be round the corner. I do want to remain involved in the game in some capacity, though.

    'Whatever happens, I won't forget my time at Altrincham. I loved every minute. All except the last couple against Eastbourne, anyway. I wish everyone there all the very best and, as has been the case for the past 20 years, I will be looking for their results'".

    According to the Manchester Evening News "Altrincham chairman Grahame Rowley has revealed he has already received a flood of applications for the vacant manager’s position at the club following the departure of Ken McKenna.

    McKenna’s shock decision to leave Moss Lane came just a day after he’d suggested he was ready to accept their offer to remain in charge next season, following the club’s relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier.

    Less than 48 hours after announcing the 50-year-old had parted company with the club, Alty have received 25 applications for the manager’s post – with Rowley looking to move quickly to get a new man in place.

    He said: 'It’s been a very encouraging amount of interest but, then, I still feel Altrincham are one of the big names in non-league football so I’m not too surprised. We’ve received some very good applications already, and I hope we’ll receive many more. There’s been one application from a 19-year-old saying he’d like to give management a go, and a couple from people who’ve achieved great things on their computer games, but overall it’s been a pleasing start.

    We don’t want to wait around too long; we’re going to stop receiving applications by Monday and hopefully have the interviews of between four and six candidates sorted by the end of next week'.

    With applications coming in from overseas as well as from domestic managers, Rowley has emphasised the need for the club’s new gaffer to have experience of the Blue Square Bet North.

    'The budget in place will be at least in the top 10 in the Blue Square North and we’re looking for someone with a good knowledge of that league', he said. 'We won’t be demanding promotion from any new manager – we would like to be challenging but I don’t like to put my managers under pressure so early on. This is a community-based club where we want players and supporters to enjoy their football and hopefully the fans will stick with us and get behind us next season'.

    Despite having left the club over concerns about next season's budget, McKenna insisted the Moss Lane hotseat would be an excellent challenge for the right manager".

    The Manchester Evening News for Thursday speculates on who might get the vacant managership at Altrincham. "A likely target would appear to be Gary Lowe, who is eager to get back into work after leaving Curzon Ashton... He's also tipped as favourite to take over at Hyde.

    Others who might interest Altrincham include Nantwich's Jimmy Quinn and Northwich Victoria's... Andy Preece. Paul Cox, fresh out of Eastwood Town, ex-Farsley boss Lee Sinnott, Vauxhall Motors' Carl Macauley and Colwyn Bay's player/manager Dave Challinor... could also be said to fit the bill. So, too, does Alty legend Graham Heathcote".


    Dave Stringer is the man who provides the Non-League Paper with its match reports from Moss Lane but, outside the game, he is also a local politician. All at the Club congratulate him on his recent election as a Labour Councillor on Kidsgrove Town Council.


    There were very decisive results in the BSBP play-off semi-finals this week:
  • AFC Wimbledon 6 Fleetwood Town 1;; agg 8-1
  • Luton T. 2 Wrexham 1 agg 5-1

    So, on Saturday 21 May, it will be AFC Wimbledon v Luton Town at Eastlands, in the play-off final.

    "Rushden & Diamonds fans are forming a task group in a bid to help the club with their financial issues" reports the BBC. "The club may need to raise £250,000 or could enter a Company Voluntary Arrangement, administration or liquidation.

    Speaking at a fans' meeting, former club chairman Keith Cousins told BBC Radio Northampton: 'The fans are very passionate in what they want to do. They (have) a scheme that is going to meet all the costs of the club. That is going to be by various actions - by buying season tickets or making donations'".

    The BBc reports that "Darlington have released striker Chris Senior from their squad, less than a week after his FA Trophy final winner against Mansfield Town. The 29-year-old scored in the final moments of the 1-0 win, his fifth goal in 34 appearances for the Quakers.

    'It's been a frustrating season for him', boss Mark Cooper told BBC Tees. 'We only have a certain amount of money, and that money we spend on strikers has to fire us into the Football League'.

    Senior, who made the announcement [that] he had been released via Twitter and subsequently in the media, is the only player so far confirmed to be leaving the club.

    'I would have liked that to have come out in an official way, but I think Chris has posted it on a social media site', Cooper added. "There can't be any sentiment. If I didn't do it, I wouldn't be doing my job properly. I've been a player myself and I've been told I wasn't needed and it's horrible. But hopefully with the season we've had and with Saturday gone, I'd like to think any players that leave us would get fixed up, and I'd give any of them a fantastic reference'".

    News of another departure comes from the BBC, as "Mansfield Town are not renewing Duncan Russell's contract as manager. Russell, who was appointed boss on a short-term deal in December, guided the Stags to the FA Trophy final. But they finished 13th in the Blue Square Bet Premier table, with Russell winning nine and losing 11 of his 27 league games in charge.

    Chairman John Radford told the club website: 'League results have not been good enough. We must make a fresh start to give us every chance of promotion'. Assistant boss Paul Hall has been placed in temporary charge".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph proclaims, "We are all in this together. That was the message for Rushden & Diamonds supporters at last night’s forum held in the fight for the club’s survival. Former owner Keith Cousins, who chaired the meeting of more than 400 fans, revealed £250,000 is needed by the end of next week to keep Diamonds alive.

    Current chairman Liam Beasant and his dad Steve, the chief executive officer, have agreed to hand over control if a rescue plan is put together. Cousins... said: 'A lot rests on what happens in the next seven to 10 days. We are in the most appalling position. But it’s not about pointing fingers. We need to work out what we are going to do to save this club. If we don’t do something together then we will have to accept the dire consequences. I put in a lot of hard work and money over five years so I would hate to see the club disappear.

    No one should be under any illusions – this is a very serious situation. I’ve done my bit and I’m not about to put any more money in... I’m here to help sort out this dreadful situation'...

    It is understood Diamonds have debts of around £750,000 while the Football Conference have also asked for further assurances from the Beasants... The club is already under a transfer embargo and last season’s squad have complained to the Professional Footballers’ Association over delays to their wages for the last three months".

    A poster on the Rushden Forum added:

  • We owe HMRC £110k. Football creditors £50k. Outside creditors the rest amounting to £750k as a total debt. Some of what is owed to Keith Cousins, and £110k is owed to Gill Wignal, whose husband Dave spoke very well...
  • KC will provide no further income to the club. He said he spent £450k-per-season of his own money keeping the club running and simply cannot afford to do it anymore.
  • We have one player on our books, Jamie Day, although it sounded later as if SOME others may return if the club sorts itself out off the field (no names given)...
  • Kettering have been in touch with us about merging to become Kettering Diamonds. A groundshare is not an option due to the fact that both clubs are in the same league, and Conference rules don't allow that.
  • We have 14 days to pay the HMRC 110k or we've more or less had it. Once that is paid, the transfer embargo will be lifted and we can start to assemble a squad. We then have three options. Accept a CVA, which means that we must pay all football creditors (50k) within one year or be relegated instantly, and the rest of the £750k must be paid within three years or the club is automatically liquidated. Go into Administration and be demoted at least one league, most probably two. Or liquidate the club. Cousins said that Administration and subsequent relegation is not an option if we wish to keep the club as we know it, as we'd be forced to leave Nene Park. (Running costs too high)
  • Cousins owns Nene Park and everything on it (except the sports centre which Griggs sold and we now lease to the tune of 50k a year - although this will stop). Cousins admitted that whilst it is probably in his best interests for the club to go bust so he can develop the land, that is not what he wants and he 'wouldn't be able to sleep at night'. He came across as very genuine, and said he was heartbroken at the state of the clubshop when he returned to watch the Kidderminster game having been away for 4 months. Also said that the pitch was in a 'poo' condition.
  • Cousins admitted that he decided to leave after the ''poo'' response to the shirt-sponsors-raffle. He said he sold 26 tickets, 11 of which he bought himself, and he thought enough was enough.
  • Going part-time is not an option either, as it would only save us £1k a week...
  • The club bank account has been frozen, and all money coming in is paid directly to HMRC and Cloverdale Catering and those that back them.
  • Our budget was the 12th highest in the league at the start of the season".
    9 May 2011


    Altrincham FC manager Ken McKenna, (left), has decided to leave Moss Lane. Ken took over the reins in September 2010, with the club at the bottom of the BSBP but despite his best efforts and those of his assistant, Stuart Bimson, (right), the club was relegated to the BSB North for 2011-12.

    Stuart, who has been commuting to Altrincham from south of Cambridge, is also leaving.

    Altrincham FC would like to thank both men for their efforts and commitment during the season. Ken, of course, had been a celebrated player at the Club and had rejoined as assistant manager in 2009-10.

    Applications are invited for the managerial vacancy and these should be sent to the chairman, Mr Grahame Rowley either by e-mail to or by letter specifically addressed to Grahame at Altrincham FC, Moss Lane, Altrincham WA15 8AP.


    Peter Foster of TASC writes: Winners of the End of Season Club Draw:
  • Appear on the Official Photograph – Dana Laidlar
  • Coach Travel with the team (conditions apply) – Steve Foster
  • Be a Guest of the Club in the Boardroom (conditions apply) – Ray Sant
  • Table for 4 in the Sponsors Lounge to a game of choice – Ian Foden
  • New first team shirt – Paul Salt
  • Sponsorship of Home Friendly (max 10 people) – Tom Jacobs
  • Free Coach travel to 2 furthest trips next season – Grahame Rowley
  • Assistant kitman for a game – John Edwards
  • Framed picture and named spot in the Noel White suite – Jill Sant
  • Be the Mascot for a game – Paul Brady
  • Personalised fitness programme for season from Coach/Physio – Brian Ford
  • Signed Match Ball – Paul Daine
  • Club Polo shirt – Pete Foster
  • Bottle of Whiskey – Nick Jefferson
  • Free ticket for 2 x Football Club fund raisers – Paul Daine
  • Bottle of Wine – Andrew Nash

    Thanks to all who participated – the draw raised around £500 for Club Funds.


    The pre-season friendly away at Buxton, announced for Tuesday 26 July, has been moved to the preceding Tuesday, 19 July.


    Ian Senior of SK Kits, writes...

    "237 votes were received for new shirts for next season, 182 were in favour of red/white home shirt, and 155 in favour of red/black shirt. For the away, voting was considerably in favour of the yellow option, 196 for yellow, 41 for white. With the considerable interest in the red/black shirt, the club are considering using it as a Centenary Special Edition to be used in the FA Cup and FA Trophy next season. Watch this space!!"


    The next scheduled update of this website will be on Thursday.


    In Sunday's Non-League Paper, it says that Ken McKenna "has his fate in the Moss Lane dug-out in his own hands after the club asked him if he would continue. McKenna... has been mulling over the offer...

    Chairman Grahame Rowley... said, 'There are lots of different factors. Obviously the budget will have to be cut next season and we've all got to decide what we want to do. It is a difficult decision to make because the last thing you want to do is make a snap decision either way and regret it. We said we'd give ourselves a week so Ken could talk to his backroom staff and his players because, again, if they want to stay, everyone knows there is going to be a cut in wages. It's just how deep that cut is for them whether people will stay or not'.

    Meanwhile, the club have agreed a new three-year shirt sponsorship deal with J. Davidson's scrap metal merchants".


    Warren Peyton's thirty-yarder gave his Guiseley side a 1-0 lead from the first leg of the BSB North play-offs against Boston United this week and he then scored the winning penalty in the second leg decider.

    Tamworth boss Mark Cooper said of Chris Senior, his FA Trophy Final goalscorer, "He wasn't even supposed to be here" after picking up a calf injury in a league game. Cooper added, "It's a miracle, really. He was out as far as we were concerned. He wanted to be on the bench, so I agreed. The rest is history".


    Sunday 8 May:
  • BSBN POSF Leg 2: Boston Utd 3-2 Guiseley, Guiseley won 3-2 on penalties; aggregate score 3-3.
  • BSBN POSF L2: AFC Telford 2 Nuneaton T. 1, Telford win 3-2 on agg.
  • BSBS POSF L2: Farnborough 1-1 Woking, Farnborough win 2-1 on agg.
  • BSBS POSF L2: Ebbsfleet United 2-1 Chelmsford, Ebbsfleet win 6-2 on agg.

    The finals are both on Sunday, May 15th.

    The BSBP play-off semi-final second legs are:

  • Tue 10 May Luton Town (3) v Wrexham (0)
  • Wed 11 May AFC Wimbledon (2) v Fleetwood Town (0)


    Blue Square Football reports that "Southport manager Liam Watson has wasted no time in making changes ahead of the new campaign by releasing two members of his backroom staff. Assistant manager [Chris] Price has been informed that his services are no longer required, along with [Mal] Liptrott, who worked in the scouting department.

    Fringe player Liam Blakeman has been placed on the transfer list, while out-of-contract duo Matty McNeil and Paul Barratt have informed the club of their intentions to leave Haig Avenue.

    Commenting on the backroom changes, Watson told the club's official website: 'It is time for a change and I thank both Chris and Mal for their unstinting service for Southport, both are close friends as well as colleagues, these are always difficult times but I have had to make decisions in the best interests of the club for the future."

    The reason for switching the upcoming England C v Portugal match from Nene Park is revealed in the NLP. "Fears surrounding the current situation at [Rushden & Diamonds] meant the FA felt they had no choice but to switch venues [to Northampton Town]. The NLP also understands there were serious concerns over the state of the Nene Park pitch after the Rushden groundstaff left the club because they were owed money...

    [With] both sides already booked into hotels, the Cobblers's Sixfields Stadium, 20 miles down the road, was considered the best option".

    Meanwhile, Rushden "players have said their goodbyes to each other, with the majority of the squad still unpaid for April and the club unable to access funds... Their bank accounts [are] frozen] after a winding-up petition... due to be heard on June 13... and the Club remain under a player registration embargo as a result...

    Just five of the Diamonds players ... have received their latest salary payment... A dressing room source told the NLP, 'The writing seems to be on the wall for us. We were given payslips which clearly said the money was paid into our accounts on April 21, which is a blatant lie, because it wasn't'".

    Also in the NL Paper, Stuart Hammonds's analysis of Conference clubs' budgets concludes that of the six teams with lower than £250K budgets, only Bath City did not finish in the bottom five. According to Stuart's estimates, Alty's budget was the fifth lowest in the division.

    8 May 2011


    Following the end of Go Goodwins' sponsorship of Altrincham FC, the Club is pleased to announce that its new sponsors will be the well-established local company of J. Davidson, scrap metal merchants. Based in Broadheath, the area of Altrincham from which Altrincham FC emerged at the turn of the last century, Davidsons' strikingly painted vehicles are a common sight on the local roads. And there are also echoes of the 1960s when the successful Altrincham FC boss was Fred Pye, owner of the Pollitt and Pye scrap metal business.

    Davidson's have signed up for a three-year sponsorship of Altrincham and the Club looks forward to a productive relationship with them.

    The Davidson website states:

    "Based in Altrincham, Cheshire; J Davidson are one of the North West's largest & longest established scrap metal dealers, servicing industrial, commercial, & the general public sectors.

    Established in 1970 on our present site in Broadheath by the late Jack Davidson, the company is now run by his son James.

    With almost 40 years experience in the scrap metal industry our knowledge, staff, equipment, policies and levels of service are what sets us apart from the competition. We are the experts but we do not sit on our laurels we continue to challenge the way we do things and are constantly looking for ways to improve what we provide. This is why we were one of the first companies in the North West to be credited as an Authorised Treatment Facility for the disposal of end of live vehicles.

    Our core business is the recycling of all types of metal products arising from, end of life vehicles, industrial and construction demolition or general commercial metal waste. We recycle around 40,000 tonnes of metal each year using the most up-to-date equipment available to the Scrap Processing Industry.

    We buy all types of scrap metal, ranging from non-ferrous metals such as copper to ferrous metals such as steel and provide an extensive range of recycling and collection services tailored to meet customer requirements".


    Altrincham have arranged the following pre season friendlies, with more to follow...

  • Saturday 9th July 3pm Burnley FC (H) - many thanks to Eddie Howe, manager of The Clarets.
  • Saturday 23rd July 3pm Tranmere Rovers (H)
  • Tuesday 26th July - Buxton FC (A)
  • Tuesday 2nd August - Barrow (A)

    Curzon Ashton have also announced an away fixture at Altrincham (date to be confirmed), which is presumably the Jack Crompton Trophy game.


    In Saturday's FA Carlsberg Trophy, Darlington beat Mansfield Town 1-0. The BBC reports that "Darlington won the FA Trophy as substitute Chris Senior scored in the last minute of extra time to defeat Mansfield Town. Senior reacted first to a loose ball inside the box to head past Alan Marriott with 120 minutes looming on the Wembley clock...

    It was Mansfield who looked the most [more] likely to score in the early stages but grew tired as the game went on and Darlington's fitness showed, especially in extra time... In the closing stages of normal time Darlington had two great chances for a dramatic winner; Bridge-Wilkinson's 25-yard free kick hit the upright with a minute remaining and in injury time Wright put a diving header wide from only six yards out...

    Darlington manager Mark Cooper told BBC Tees: 'We didn't think it was going to come but the one thing about them (Darlington) is they are fit, they are organised and they keep going. What a way to win it, that will go down in folklore'. Mansfield Town manager Duncan Russell told BBC Radio Nottingham: 'I am devastated and I feel gutted for the players and the supporters. My players played their hearts out... I do believe we did enough to warrant a penalty shootout, I thought we played the best [better] football'".

    The BBC has and audio interview, with former Alty man Chris Senior.


    Courtesy of Darren Gregory, various pictures from the Altrincham FC Corporate 7 a Side competition held on Saturday are to be found here. The Winners were:
  • 1st Altrincham FC
  • 2nd Robinsons Preservation
  • 3rd Dimension Data
  • 4th Altrincham FC Juniors managers

    The Club wishes to thank all participants and hopes that they enjoyed the event.

    7 May 2011


    Details of at least four pre-season friendlies for Altrincham FC will be announced over the weekend, so watch this space...


    Altrincham FC Youth had an impressive 3-0 away win at Curzon Ashton on Thursday night.


    Semi-Final 1st Legs
  • Thursday 5th May: Wrexham 0 Luton Town 3
  • Friday 6th May: Fleetwood Town 0 AFC Wimbledon 2


    As Altrincham move from the BSP to BSN, the focus of this daily section will move from the Premeier to North division of the Football Conference. In the short term news will be reported from both levels.

    According to the News & Star, "Carlisle United are reportedly tracking non-league goal machine Astley Mulholland, [a former Alty Youth player] – while former Blues flop Richard Offiong has been axed by Gateshead.

    Mulholland, who plays for Vodkat Premier Division side Flixton, has been invited to train with the Cumbrians in pre-season. But United are only one of a number of teams tracking the 40-goal hitman, who recently spent time with Crewe and Kidderminster.

    The Blues have not commented on reports of their interest in the 22-year-old, who is the leading scorer in the ninth-tier North-West Counties League. But the diminutive striker’s manager, Lloyd Morrison, said the talented frontman will be in demand this summer.

    'If he chooses the right club he will score goals at any level' Morrison said. 'He’s got the ability and goalscorers are few and far between. I think he should just choose whichever club is best for him'.

    Offiong, meanwhile, was yesterday informed by Gateshead that he was not being kept on next season after a three-month spell. The 26-year-old was part of a clear-out by manager Ian Bogie, which also included former United striker Jonny Allan.

    The Football Conference announces that "Details of the venue for the International Challenge Trophy Final have now changed, with England `C` set to take on Portugal at Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium later this month. Having overcome the holders Belgium at the semi-final stage in February, Paul Fairclough's side now face the Portuguese at Northampton with silverware up for grabs. The Three Lions now prepare themselves for the showdown on Thursday, 19th May at Sixfields with the match kicking off at 7.45pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and children under 16 are free". The match has been switched from Rushden's Nene Park for reasons that have not been made public.

    Meanwhile, "Paul Cox has resigned as manager of Eastwood Town. The news comes after Cox, who took charge at Coronation Park in 2005, led the Badgers to their highest ever league finish of fourth in the Blue Square Bet North last season.

    Chairman Tony Minnis announced the news: 'After speaking with Paul last night, it is with regret that he has now resigned from his post as manager of Eastwood Town FC. Paul has spent the last few weeks considering his future and although it was a tough decision, he has decided that it is time to move on from Eastwood Town FC. He feels that with the disappointment of the decision from the Conference not to allow us to compete in the play-offs and with myself and Rob's decision to step away from the club, now would be a good time to step aside and give someone else the opportunity to take the club to the next level'".

    From Blue Square Football, we learn that "Kettering Town have revealed that striker Jean-Paul Marna has put pen-to-paper on a new three-year deal".

    "Charlie Clapham has launched a passionate defence of his Southport chairmanship and targeted an immediate return to non league's top flight" reports Non-League Pitchero.

    "Coming straight back down in the Conference North after their 2010 title win has hurt everyone at the club says Clapham and though he stressed nobody is pointing the finger of blame, changes will be to playing and coaching staff this summer. Clapham confirmed a meeting had already taken place with manager Liam Watson about next season, where the chairman says finishing in the play-off places is a must.

    However the club will work with a smaller budget than the campaign just finished and Clapham once again stressed the importance of living within their means, responding strongly when the accusation of lacking ambition.

    'It is early days to be making firm declarations as to where we are going to be', said Clapham. 'But it is fair to say everybody connected with the club was devastated on Saturday night around 8pm when it became known we had been relegated. What was clear was that we were not good enough over the 46 game season. We had some great performances, beating Luton Town 2-1 was enjoyable and the high of our FA Cup game with Sheffield Wednesday was an added bonus. But there were not enough of these performances.

    There is no "I" in team and we all have to accept the responsibility, apart from the supporters who have been magnificient. They have been magnificient again, especially away from home and when we take between 400-500 fans with us, it is testament the support they have for their home town club.

    We have got to move forward and I have already sat down with Liam. Even at this early stage he knows the players he feels he wants to retain as well as the players he would like to bring into the club. It is all about bouncing back; we want to start and finish the season in the top five.

    That is not putting pressure on people, but we cannot allow the season that has just gone to descend into anything more than one season. We have to bounce back with promotion into the Blue Square Bet Premier and also equip ourselves for a run in one of the cup competitions.

    It is clear the income of the club will be affected considerably by the move from Blue Square Premier to Blue Square North." There will have to be changes on the management side of things and I am just finalising with Liam what they are. There will be changes throughout the whole squad, both playing and coaching. We were always going to take stock of everything, even if we had stayed in the Blue Square Premier."

    There has been no conversation on the line about Liam leaving the club. I sat down with Liam earlier part of the week and we conducted our review of the season. Anyone who knows me would not be saying that I am not ambitious. I have not got to where I am professionally if I was not so. People must realise ambition needs to be affordable because often it is measured by money.

    My record stands before me. I have had 29 years at this football club and I have kept Southport Football Club in the community. This club will always belong to the town and with the exception of the support of (Vice Chairman) Sam Shrouder I have ploughed a lone furrow. Nobody yet has put their head above the paraphet and said, "Let me invest." But I will not sell the football club short and leave it relying on one individual, in whose absence the club would get into trouble. The vast majority of Southport supporters believe in the way we run the club'".

    6 May 2011


    Thursday's BSBP play-off semi-final first leg:
  • Wrexham 0 Luton Town T. 3


    Saturday witnessed Altrincham's third relegation since 1997, or their sixth if you include those where points deduction and/or reinstatement at the Conference AGM were concerned. Long-time Altrincham supporter Mike Garnett has done some interesting statistical work, reproduced below, based on our club's record in recent years at the end of each season from 2005/6. That season Alty finished comfortably out of the relegation places but were deducted 18 points for the James Robinson registration problem. Mike writes...

    Theory 1 - Alty run out of gas in April

  • 2006: p.8 w.1 d.1 l.6, goals 8-18, pts. 4
  • 2007: p.5 w.1.d.1 l.3, goals 6-8, pts. 4
  • 2008: p.5 w.1 d.2 l.2, goals 7-8, pts. 5
  • 2009: p.7 w.2 d.3 l.2, goals 7-8, pts. 9
  • 2010: p.7 w.1 d.1 l.5, goals 5-12, pts. 4
  • 2011: p.6 w.1 d.1 l.4, goals 8-13, pts. 4

    Theory appears proven.

    Theory 2 - If it goes to the last day Alty will blow it

  • 2007: H v Aldershot, D 0-0. Final position 21st
  • 2008: A v Weymouth, D 2-2. Final position 21st
  • 2011: H v Eastbourne Borough, L 3-4. Final position 22nd

    I think I'm right in saying that in all three cases a win would have brought survival - although we were saved by other factors in 2007 & 2008, once again theory appears proven.

    Theory 3 - Alty's record against those around them fell away this season

    Against clubs in bottom six:

  • 2005/6: p.10 w.4 d.4 l.2, goals 11-13, pts. 16
  • 2006/7: p.10 w.5 d.1 l.4, goals 14-8, pts. 16
  • 2007/8: p.10 w.4 d.5 l.1, goals 17-12, pts. 17
  • 2008/9: p.12 w.7 d.1 l.4, goals 18-13, pts. 22*
  • 2009/10: p.10 w.4 d.4 l.2 goals 20-14, pts. 16^
  • 2010/11: p.10 w.2 d.2 l.6 goals 9-20, pts. 8


    * Alty finished outside bottom six ^ Alty finished outside bottom six - results v Chester City disregarded; (if you include them it's 12-5-5-2-24-16-20)

    Theory appears proven.


    According to the Football Conference "Steve Burr has added another body to his Kidderminster Harriers ranks for 2011/12 with the signing of teenage striker Robert Thompson-Brown.

    Highly-rated Robbie made his first-team debut for the club in the final game of last season, the 2-2 home draw with Histon in which he set up the team's equaliser. The one-time Aggborough youth team player has spent the majority of the last season training alongside the squad and under the watchful eye of Burr, whilst gaining first-team experience lower in non-league.

    Meanwhile, Harriers confirmed that neither goalkeeper Andrew Stevens nor defender Aaron Griffiths will be offered new deals".

    "Cambridge United have been boosted by the news that caretaker manager Jez George has accepted the role as permanent manager. Club chairman Paul Barry confirmed that George will take over the manager position, but will simultaneously oversee the youth development at the U's.

    Barry told the official Cambridge United website: 'In our opinion Jez is the right man to take charge of our team and bring about the many changes needed. No one should underestimate the scale of change which is required to restore the ethos of our football club and we believe that Jez's inside knowledge of the club and its players together with his understanding of our financial constraints make him the most realistic candidate. Jez will now manage the first team as well as continuing to oversee our youth system'.

    Barry admitted that George has a tough job ahead of him as he attempts to work with the club's board to reduce the U's wage budget ahead of and into next season.

    He added: 'It is unlikely that all the issues will be fully resolved prior to the start of the season and Jez will continue to work through these until we have completely restructured our playing cost base. By necessity this will mean that a number of players will leave the club over the summer as Jez implements the board's requirements. We expect no further leadership changes until this restructure is completed. In the future, if the board and Jez believe that it is in the interests of the club for a change to take place, then Jez will revert to his role as Director of Football'.

    Barry added: 'We note also that there are a number of existing contracts which are currently outside this agreed structure which must now be addressed'".

    5 May 2011


    Altrincham FC joint Press Officer, Brian Flynn, tells us "It is highly likely that there will be an important announcement during the early part of next this space!".


    Altrincham FC joint Press Officer John Edwards writes, "Ken McKenna was left ‘absolutely devastated’ after seeing a dramatic second-half fightback narrowly fail to save Altrincham from relegation to the Blue Square Bet Conference North.

    Trailing 3-0 at half-time in a game they had to win, Alty clawed their way back to level terms before conceding a killer fourth Eastbourne goal. To make matters worse, they left the Moss Lane pitch to discover a win would have kept them up, after Southport lost at Kettering and Tamworth beat Forest Green Rovers.

    Alty boss McKenna, who will consider his position at the club over the next few days, said: ‘It’s the first time I’ve been relegated, and it’s the worst feeling I’ve ever known in football.

    ‘After the position we were in a few months ago, if someone had offered me beating Eastbourne on the last day to stay up, I’d have bitten their hand off. We’ve been underdogs all the way through, down and outs, yet we clawed our way back and gave ourselves a fantastic opportunity.

    ‘I still can’t believe we missed it after working so hard for so long to get back into it. I’m still sitting here in a state of shock. I’m gutted, absolutely sick and absolutely devastated.

    Right: Marc Joseph makes a fine tackle on Eastbourne's Pacquette last Saturday.

    ‘I honestly believed we were going to do it, but the inconsistency that has been our main problem all season cost us again. They all did their jobs to a man at Grimsby, but they couldn’t do the same five days later. Maybe that sums up why we are only part-time.

    ‘When we got back to 3-3, and the crowd were bouncing, I thought I was 10 minutes away from the best moment of my football life. It turned out I was 10 minutes away from the worst. It has hit me like a sledgehammer, and I feel for the club and all the people who put so much effort into running it.

    'You question yourself at times like this and wonder whether you emphasised enough to the players exactly what was wanted. I spoke to Stuart Bimson about that, and we both honestly believe the preparation and things said were exactly the same as for the Grimsby game.

    'I spoke to them about being patient and staying solid and also about the need to get up to the front three to support them as quickly as possible. I even warned them about how, after performing well on our travels previously, we had looked lacklustre in the next game. I said that mustn't happen, but it did.

    'Of all the days for them not to do what they were supposed to, they couldn't have picked a worse one. I still thought we were going to win after getting back to 3-3. We just had to settle down for a moment and regroup, then go for it, but that last goal killed us.

    'I really hit the roof at half-time. Things were said, because I had warned about the dangers. You just wonder why it took a half-time rollicking for them to go out and perform.

    'The truth is, I've been having to shout at them from the touchline far too much. You shouldn't have to be screaming at players to work harder and close down. If you are a striker at this level, you should know you have to work for every scrap.

    'It's not going to arrive on a plate. You have to fight, and, again, there wasn't enough of that in the first half. The second half was fantastic, but it was too late. The damage had been done. Fancy scoring three at home and still losing.'

    McKenna will now turn his attention to his own future but is adamant he has had no contact with any other club, despite rumours of a possible role under Gary Brabin at Luton.

    'I haven't spoken to anyone about any position elsewhere, because I have been so convinced all along that we would be staying up and planning for another season in the Premier,' he said. 'But we have to be realistic and accept that things are different now.

    'I have spoken to the board, and cuts are going to have to be made that are going to affect the staff. I am in the process of speaking to players about wages being cut, so quite a few things are up in the air at the moment.

    'Ideally, I would like to let the dust to settle and think things through carefully, but I appreciate the club want to crack on, and that supporters need to know what is happening. People need to know whether I am staying or not, so I will try and sort that out, one way or another, in the next few days.

    ‘There are decisions to be made. I feel honoured to be manager of the club I played for and have followed for 20 years, and if I feel I can take them forward, I will. Equally, though, if there’s someone around with a better chance of taking the club back up, I won’t stand in his way.

    'When Graham Heathcote left, I told Grahame Rowley I would understand if he wanted to consider others, but he said he felt I could steady the ship. I have failed in that respect, as well as the players, because we have gone down, and I need to be sure I won't be taking the club backwards by carrying on.

    'It's not a matter of whether I want to or not, because I have loved every minute of being in charge. All except the very last one, that is. I've just got to weigh everything up. I do tend to take every single defeat personally. I'm not the best to be around when things are not going well, so I've got to give it some thought and decide whether I can take the club forward again.'"


    In the Sale & Altrincham Advertiser, Tom Brooks-Pollock writes that "Relegated Altrincham say they will decide by the end of this week on the future of manager Ken McKenna. The Moss Lane board has been in talks with McKenna... The club held a series of meetings on Tuesday, with McKenna, meeting Alty chairman Grahame Rowley.

    'We’re about to sit down to discuss budgets for next year', Rowley told The Advertiser. 'At the end of the day, it all boils down to money. Because of relegation, we can’t pay out the same money next year as we did this year'. Rowley said the club planned to make an announcement on McKenna’s future by the end of the week. Alty also hope to announce a new shirt sponsor to replace Go Goodwins coaches – whose contract has just expired.

    Once relegation was confirmed... the Altrincham board was able to sit down and draw up a financial plan – which in turn will allow them to make a concrete offer to McKenna and other coaching staff... They expect crowds – and therefore gate receipts – to be down. With no TV money to speak of, this is the Robins’ major source of income.

    Attendances, which averaged around 1,100 this season, are expected to drop by around a third – mainly due to a decrease in the number of visiting fans from well-supported former league clubs such as Wrexham, Luton, Mansfield, York, Cambridge United and Grimsby. The biggest crowd at Moss Lane this season came against Wrexham. Of the 1,928 people in the stands, some 764 travelled from North Wales – a following few clubs in the tier below can hope to match.

    Added to this is the likelihood that, in the long term, sponsorship will be more difficult to attract when playing at lower level. The club is understood to be in talks with two or three potential new shirt sponsors"...

    McKenna said after the match that he would be discussing his future with the Altrincham board within 'a couple of days'. He said: 'I've had a few preliminary talks but nothing concrete. All the emotions are running quite high at the minute. We need to calm everything down and then see where we go... It could have been one of the best comebacks of all time. You've got to look after your own end and we didn’t do that. We said when we took over, we looked at the fixtures and said if it meant going to the last game of the season needing to win to stay up, we would take. Unfortunately, collectively we haven't been able to close the game'".


    TASC's chairman, Brian Flynn, writes about the conclusion of this season's Penalty Competition. "The winner of the penalty competition that we have been running this season was Mike Green, who won the final, which took place during the half time interval of Saturday's game against Eastbourne. Thanks to everyone who participated in the competition, including the two goalkeepers, James Fossdyke and Adam Reid".


    Blue Square Bet South Semi Finals 1st Leg :

    Wednesday 4 May 2011

  • Woking 0 Farnborough 1

    Alan Alger's "Blue Square Bet Premier Play-Off Guide" reports that "Blue Square make Luton Town the 2/1 favourites to go up, but the outsiders in the market, Wrexham, are only a point and a half bigger at 7/2. League runners-up AFC Wimbledon are second favourites at 5/2 with Fleetwood Town making up the quartet at 10/3. The closeness of the clubs is illustrated by the regular season mini-league between the four which would have seen the sides finish equal with two wins, two draws and two defeats each from the games against each other.

    The action gets underway at The Racecourse Ground on Thursday night when fourth placed Wrexham host Luton Town... Luton are getting used to the stewardship of new boss Gary Brabin and the Liverpudlian has had experience of the play-offs with Cambridge United two seasons ago... Ten games under his management have only seen one defeat, although six draws in that period could also hint at the need for something extra...

    On Friday AFC Wimbledon make the long trip up to Fleetwood Town for their first-leg encounter. The Wombles top the recent form guide... Both will have the hurdle of history once they get to Eastlands as only once in the eight years of the play-offs has the runner-up in the league been promoted and the fifth placed team has yet to break its duck.

    Semi-Final 2nd Legs

  • Tuesday 10th: Luton Town v Wrexham
  • Wednesday 11th: AFC Wimbledon v Fleetwood Town

    Final – City of Manchester Stadium

  • Saturday 21st May.

    Gateshead "have released seven players, with another transfer-listed and two more returning to their parent club following loan spells at the International Stadium. The following players have been released:

    Defenders: Paul Heckingbottom, Carl Jones

    Midfielders: Andy Ferrell, Craig Nelthorpe, Steven Baptist

    Strikers: Jonny Allan, Richard Offiong

    Midfield man Ashley Winn, signed on a one-and-half year contract from Southport in January, has been made available for transfer. Wide man Adam Rundle and left back Michael Liddle have returned to parent clubs Morecambe and Sunderland respectively. Goalkeeper Tim Deasy has accepted a new contract offer and signed for the 2011/12 campaign taking the number of contracted players for next season up to nine... New deals have been offered to goalkeeper Paul Farman, full back Craig Baxter, wide men Josh Gillies and James Marwood, and front man Gary Mulligan".


    Altrincham FC Youth conclude their season with two away fixtures, which both kick Off @ 6.30 p.m.
  • Thursday 5th May: Curzon Ashton (Away)
  • Tuesday 10th May: A.F.C. Liverpool (Away)


    TASC chairman Brian Flynn, writes: "The following is a summary of the voting for the two awards organised by TASC last Saturday...

    Goal of The Season

  • 6 goals received votes from 10 nominations
  • 2 goals received almost 70% of votes
  • Runner Up: Robbie Lawton's goal at home to Cambridge at the beginning of April
  • Winner: Shaun Densmore's injury time header against Grimsby Town at Moss Lane

    Supporters' Player of the Season

  • 14 Players received votes
  • 6 players received over 90% of votes

    In surname alphabetical order these were:- Nicky Clee, Stuart Coburn, Marc Joseph, Robbie Lawton, Carl Piergianni, Damian Reeves

  • Runners Up: Marc Joseph & Nicky Clee
  • Winner: Damian Reeves.
    4 May 2011


    Ian Senior indicates that the choice for next season's kit will be announced during Saturday's "End of Season" event at The Cresta Court Hotel. Any remaining votes must be received at the club by noon Friday (6th). Ian thanks all those who have voted for their favoured design of kit."


    Right: Alty keeper Adam Reid gathers the ball ahead of a Woodley player, as James Smart, Joe Coombs and Jake Barnabas help out.

    Altrincham FC Youth lost 0-2 at home to Woodley Sports on Tuesday evening at Wythenshawe Town. Woodley were deserved winners, netting their first goal just after the interval against a very young Altrincham side lacking several regulars. A report is in the Youth Page.


    Blue Square North

    Semi Finals 1st Leg:

    Tuesday 3rd May 2011

  • Guiseley 1 Boston United 0 - Warren Peyton scored the goal.
  • Nuneaton Town 1 AFC Telford United 1

    Blue Square South

    Semi Finals 1st Leg :

    Tuesday 3rd May 2011

  • Chelmsford City 1 Ebbsfleet United 4

    4 May 2011


    Ian Senior indicates that the choice for next season's kit will be announced during Saturday's "End of Season" event at The Cresta Court Hotel. Any remaining votes must be received at the club by noon Friday (6th). Ian thanks all those who have voted for their favoured design of kit."


    Right: Alty keeper Adam Reid gathers the ball ahead of a Woodley player, as James Smart, Joe Coombs and Jake Barnabas help out.

    Altrincham FC Youth lost 0-2 at home to Woodley Sports on Tuesday evening at Wythenshawe Town. Woodley were deserved winners, netting their first goal just after the interval against a very young Altrincham side lacking several regulars. A report is in the Youth Page.


    Blue Square North

    Semi Finals 1st Leg:

    Tuesday 3rd May 2011

  • Guiseley 1 Boston United 0 - Warren Peyton scored the goal.
  • Nuneaton Town 1 AFC Telford United 1

    Blue Square South

    Semi Finals 1st Leg :

    Tuesday 3rd May 2011

  • Chelmsford City 1 Ebbsfleet United 4

    3 May 2011


    If you can bear to recall Saturday, David Bauckham has some great pictures of Alty spectators, officials and players on his Flickr site. David is also compiling a website and, hopefully, a book, about volunteers at non-League clubs. An Eastbourne supporter, David attended the game with Andy Ollerenshaw, who is writing an article in the forthcoming When Saturday Comes magazine on the plight of part-time clubs in the Conference - a point proven by the majority of the teams who were relegated this season.


    Altrincham will be playing Colwyn Bay again next season after The Seagulls overcame FC United of Manchester 1-0 at Llanelian Road on Monday. Bay join FC Halifax Town in the Blue Square Bet North for 2011-12.

    The line up for the division is not yet finalised as it depends on where the geographical line is drawn betwen Conference North and South but is likely to include: Altrincham, Blyth Spartans, Colwyn Bay, Corby, Droylsden, Eastwood Town, Gainsborough Trinity, Gloucester City, FC Halifax Town, Harrogate Town, Hinckley Utd, Histon, Hyde Utd, Solihull Moors, Southport, Stalybridge Celtic, Worcester City, Workington, Vauxhall Motors

    Three others will make up a division of 22, who will come from Boston United, Guiseley, Nuneaton Town or AFC Telford who are all competing for a single place in the Conference National.


    Last Saturday's game witnessed the awards to Altrincham FC's dedicated team of ball boys and girls. Here we see Stuart Coburn making the awards to Hannah and Jack.


    In the EvoStik First Division North Play Off Semi Finals on Monday, Chorley beat Curzon Ashton 2-1 and AFC Fylde's 89th minute goal gained them a 1-0 win at league runners-up Skelmersdale United. So it's Chorley v AFC Fylde in the Final.


    York Press reveals that "Former Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote has been putting players from New Earswick-based Fox Football Club through their paces. Heathcote took charge of a session with the York Minster Engineering League division four strugglers after they won a national Premier Makeover competition run by paint firm Glidden Trade.

    A one-time Alty player and manager, Heathcote offered expert coaching advice and ran through various skills sessions with the Fox squad.

    As part of the Premier Makeover prize to live and play like a Premier League club for the season, the pub team also won a clubhouse makeover, exclusive travel to and from away matches, a new kit and washing service, and a VIP night out in London for all their WAGs".


    Football Conference Play Off & Promotion Final dates - 2010/2011

    Blue Square Bet Premier

    Semi Finals 1st Leg:

  • Thursday 5th May 2011 – Wrexham v Luton Town
  • Friday 6th May 2011 – Fleetwood Town v AFC Wimbledon

    Semi Finals 2nd Leg:

  • Tuesday 10th May 2011 – Luton Town v Wrexham
  • Wednesday 11th May 2011 – AFC Wimbledon v Fleetwood Town

    Play Off Promotion Final

  • Saturday 21st May 2011 - City of Manchester, Manchester City FC (All above games are live on Premier Sports TV)

    Blue Square North

    Semi Finals 1st Leg:

    Tuesday 3rd May 2011

  • Guiseley v Boston United
  • Nuneaton Town v AFC Telford United

    Semi Finals 2nd Leg:

    Sunday 8th May 2011

  • AFC Telford United v Nuneaton Town
  • Boston United v Guiseley

    Play Off Promotion Final

  • Final - Sunday 15th May 2011 at the the higher placed Club

    Blue Square South

    Semi Finals 1st Leg :

    Tuesday 3rd May 2011

  • Woking v Farnborough
  • Chelmsford City v Ebbsfleet United

    Semi Finals 2nd Leg :

    Sunday 8th May 2011

  • Farnborough v Woking
  • Ebbsfleet United v Chelmsford City

    Play Off Promotion Final

  • Sunday 15th May 2011 at the the highest placed Club *


    Also at last Saturday's game, Chris Bullock, who heads up Altrincham FC school coaching, and his coaching colleagues organised some training sessions on the pitch for the aspiring young footballers, some of whom are pictured here with Chris and Alty mascot Rocky Robin, a.k.a. Andrew Nash.

    2 May 2011


    After the game on Saturday, Altrincham held its annual awards event during the TASC Race Night. The winners were:
  • Players' Player of the Season: Nicky Clee
  • Supporters' Player of the Season: Damian Reeves; runner-up Nicky Clee; third place Marc Joseph
  • Young Player of the Season: Rob Williams
  • Goal of the Season: Shaun Densmore v Grimsby
  • Clubman of the Season: Stuart Bimson
  • Volunteer of the Season: Keith Davey
  • Special Players' Award: John Skelhorn (kitman), who moved so quickly that he was missed by the camera!

  • Top row l. to r.: Nicky Clee receives his runner-up award as Supporters' Player of the Season from Grahame Rowley, the Alty chairman; Keith Davey receives the Volunteer of the Season shield, donated by the John Rylands University Library, University of Manchester, from John Laidlar; Nicky Clee receives his Players' Player of the Season from Robbie Lawton.
  • Middle row l. to r.: Shaun Densmore with Brian Flynn, who presented him with the Goal of the Season trophy; Damian Reeves with chairman Grahame Rowley after being named Supporters' Player of the Season; the McKiernan family, who donated the Jimmy McKiernan award for Goal of the Season, with Alty director Andrew Shaw.
  • Bottom row l. to r.: Marc Joseph, third placed as Supporters' Player of the Season with Grahame Rowley; manager Ken McKenna awards his assistant, Stuart Bimson, the Clubman of the Season trophy; Rob Williams is awarded the Young Player of the Season award by Dave Johnson.


    Above: Ken McKenna's penalty is well saved by Supporters' keeper Joe Barry, moments before the Alty boss celebrated his headed goal from Brian Flynn's pinpoint cross.

    The annual Altrincham FC Staff v Supporters game took place at Sunday lunchtime. The Supporters started well but the Staff got themselves back into the game in a goalless first half. With the managerial duo of Ken McKenna and Stuart Bimson taking part for the Staff it was nevertheless assistant kitman Luke Pickering who opened the scoring for the Staff after 56 minutes. He scored from close range after good approach play from the Alty manager.

    The Altrincham FC Staff

    With the Staff side's coach, John Skelhorn, bravely telling Ken "You've got to be stronger" when the manager lost a challenge, the lead did not last for long. The Supporters' number eleven, Stuart Bell, converted a cross from the right to level in the 69th minute.

    However, parity was even shorter lasting as Tom Beech poked the ball home after the Supporters'keeper, White, had been unable to hold a well struck McKenna freekick (72 mins). Racing Club Altrincham's Andy "Sly" Topping prompted his side forward and Niall Flynn equalised by converting a corner from the right for the Supporters (78 mins).

    The Altrincham FC Supporters.

    Four minutes from time, the Staff won a penalty which Ken McKenna took but which the keeper saved well. But the ball came out to midfield maestro Brian Flynn to the left of goal. His expertly flighted cross was met by a firm, trademark McKenna header at the back post to clinch the match for the Staff at 3-2.

    Fuller details of the two sides will follow, hopefully!

    STAFF included 1. Chris Rowley, 2. Alan Ainsley, 3. Steve Foster, 4. Grahame Rowley, 5. James Dawson, 6. Stuart Bimson, 7. Brian Flynn, 8. Richie Bentley, 9. Josh Cheal, 10. Ken McKenna, 11. John Edwards. Subs: 12. Chris Bullock, SUtcliffe, Luke Pickering, Winstanley, 17. Tom Beech.

    SUPPORTERS included: Roger White, Joe Barry, Tom Jacobs, Stuart Bell, Ollie Needham, Andy Topping, Jack Jolly, Niall Flynn, Martin Green, Andrew Nash.

    1 May 2011


  • Match report here.

  • Final league table; subject to alteration if Rushden & Diamonds' points deduction is confirmed
  • Alty player stats
  • Alty line-ups, bookings

    Above: Alty were booed off by some supporters at half-time when they trailed 0-3, but saluted (as seen here) at the final whistle after a tremendous second half comeback left them, at 3-3, just a goal away from an unlikely survival in the BSBP, before Eastbourne's injury-time winner.

    Saturday 30 April.

  • AFC Wimbledon 2 Grimsby Town 1
  • Altrincham 3 Eastbourne Borough 4
  • Barrow AFC 2 Hayes & Yeading Utd 0
  • Bath City 2 Mansfield Town 0
  • Cambridge United 0 Fleetwood Town 1
  • Crawley Town 1 York City 1
  • Darlington 2 Rushden & Diamonds 0
  • Gateshead 1 Newport C. 7
  • Kettering Town 3 Southport 1
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2 Histon 2
  • Luton Town 1 Wrexham 1
  • Tamworth 2 Forest Green Rovers 1

    Alty and Southport were relegated today; FGR stay up on goal difference.