an unofficial website
30 June 2011
LEE'S PLANSThe Sale & Altrincham Advertiser reports that "Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott is hoping swift summer transfer activity will help his new-look squad hit the ground running in their Conference North promotion campaign. Sinnott has been busy in the transfer market since taking over in May, adding five new faces ahead of his squad’s return to pre-season training on Thursday.
The 45-year-old manager believes he is just 'two or three' signings away from a squad capable of a promotion push and hopes to add more pieces to his jigsaw ahead of the first pre-season game against Burnley on July 9.
He said: 'We always wanted to get our business done early and hit the ground running and we’re happy with the business we’ve been able to do so far. There are still a couple of positions we’re looking at, primarily a centre-half and maybe one or two forwards, but the squad is shaping up. Of course, we’ll be looking at the youth team as well and I think it’s important for any club to do that. There were a couple of the younger lads involved at the end of last season and it’s important to keep giving them the opportunities.
Coming in after a relegation you know you’re going to be lucky if everyone wants to stay, and a few players have left us, but getting their replacements in early gives us the chance of getting a good pre-season behind us going into the first league game on August 13'.
Former Wrexham midfielder Brian Summerskill became Sinnott’s fifth capture of the summer after signing from Northwich Victoria last week. He joins defenders Chris Lynch, Mark Lees and Adam Flynn, as well as former Bolton midfielder Simon Richman, who played under Sinnott at Port Vale, on the list of new arrivals at Moss Lane".
The Advertiser also tells us that "Lee Sinnott is looking forward to finally putting his new-look Altrincham squad through their paces five weeks after taking charge at Moss Lane. The Robins will face a full-strength Burnley side in a tough start to their pre-season campaign, before taking on a Manchester City XI, Buxton, Tranmere Rovers, Trafford, Barrow and Stockport County.
After weeks of managing the comings and goings from the Moss Lane dressing room in the wake of Alty’s relegation from the Blue Square Premier, Sinnott is relishing the chance to get back out onto the pitch. He said: 'It’s felt like a long wait, a lot of my work has been done over the telephone since I arrived, assembling the squad and assessing which of the current players will be staying. As a manager, you always look forward to being able to get your squad together and start preparations out on the training pitch as it’s a very important time of year.
Pre-season is there for a reason and we’ll be looking to learn and assess with each game and make sure we’re fully prepared ahead what will be a tough league campaign'.
Altrincham have cancelled their pre-season friendly against Woodley Sports on July 12 after Sinnott decided he wanted his players to have more time on the training ground. The cancellation gives the Robins squad a full week between games with Burnley and a Manchester City XI, time Sinnott believes will be valuable after facing Eddie Howe’s Championship side. He said: 'Burnley will be bringing their first team which will be a very, very big test for us as they are a real quality side. We will have had four pre-season sessions by then and, as much as you don’t want to have to cancel games, I felt it would benefit the squad.
The schedule has us playing, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday for most of pre-season and I felt it was important to spend more time on the training ground to work things through with the players before we get into the thick of those games'.
With Alty’s Blue Square North fixtures set to be announced on Tuesday, Sinnott already has one eye on August 13 – the start of his side’s league campaign. The Robins have been named second favourites to win promotion from the sixth-tier, a feat Sinnott achieved in 2007 with Farsley Celtic. But his experience at this level gives the former Port Vale boss reason to be wary of the favourites' tag. He said, 'Altrincham are one of the prestige names in non-league football and I think we will be a scalp for other clubs in this league so we will have to be strong. I think the players might find they have less time on the ball than last year and teams certainly won’t be rolling over for us. But we’ve got to impose our own style on the other teams and dictate the pace of the games, and we’re all looking forward to the challenge'".
MARK MADDOX'S TESTIMONIALJoint Altrincham FC Press Officer, John Edwards, writes:
"Tranmere manager Les Parry has vowed to field a full-strength team, including Bayern Munich target Dale Jennings, in the benefit game for former Altrincham defender Mark Maddox at Moss Lane on Saturday, July 23.
Parry was quick to respond after being told the pre-season friendly had been earmarked as the centrepiece of a tribute day to raise funds for one-time Tranmere junior Maddox, in the wake of his recent diagnosis with motor neurone disease.
'I was extremely sorry to hear about Mark, and I know I speak on behalf of everyone at Tranmere in saying we want to do everything we can to help make it a special day for him,' said Parry. 'You can rest assured, I'll be bringing a full-strength line-up, the one that will be starting in League One a few weeks later.
'The chances are, it will include Dale. Bayern are genuinely interested in him, but, at the current rate of progress, I can see him still being a Tranmere player, come July 23. If so, Moss Lane will get the chance to see why he is so highly rated, because he will be playing.
'I have been hearing a lot about Mark from Warwick Rimmer, who brought through players like Ryan Taylor, Jason Koumas and Iain Hume as head of youth development here. Warwick is 70 now, and only part-time, but he remembers Mark clearly.
'It's a terrible thing to happen, especially at such a young age, but it will be something if we can at least play a part in making the day a resounding success. I'm going to make sure the game gets maximum publicity in our local papers to drum up as big an away following as possible. I really hope there is a bumper turnout.'
Alty have produced a poster (right), outlining a range of special attractions for the day, with all the proceeds going to Maddox and his family, including hospitality packages in the Manchester Glass sponsors’ lounge at just £20 each. Details are available from the club on 0161 928 1045".
The hospitality mentioned in the adjacent poster is available before the match, at 1.45pm, in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge.
The Liverpool Daily Post confirms that "A transfer taking Tranmere’s teenage prospect Dale Jennings from Prenton Park to Bayern Munich could be completed within the next few days. The Bundesliga giants are moving closer to agreeing a deal for Jennings, after more than a month of negotiations with Rovers.
Bayern are understood to be ready to pay an upfront transfer of £500,000 plus add-ons based upon appearances for the 18-year-old from Liverpool, who burst out of Tranmere’s youth and reserve set-up and onto the first-team scene in spectacular fashion last autumn. The Germans had originally wanted to negotiate a modest fee with the deal’s emphasis on further payments based on appearances. But Rovers, who turned down a £600,000 offer from a Premier League club for Jennings during the January transfer window, have been insisting on a significant upfront payment.
Bayern representatives were among the dozens of scouts who flocked to Prenton Park during October and November last season to assess Jennings. The youngster’s exciting performances earned him recognition as League One apprentice of the year at the Football League Awards. Injuries and a dip in form limited Jennings’s impact in the second half of last season but even so, he finished the campaign with six goals in more than 30 first-team appearances under his belt. Jennings has another year of his Tranmere contract left to run, and whether he departs or not, manager Les Parry will be looking to add a number of new faces to the squad for the new campaign.
Tranmere are due to start pre-season work a week tomorrow when they commence five weeks of preparations for the opening League One fixture against Chesterfield at Prenton Park on Saturday, August 6. Rovers will be playing their part in supporting Altrincham’s former skipper Mark Maddox when they play a friendly at the Moss Rose [aagh!] on July 23. Maddox has been diagnosed as suffering from the life-threatening Motor Neurone Disease.
Altrincham have designated the Tranmere fixture as a benefit match for Liverpool-born Maddox, 38, who made almost 350 appearances for the club. They plan to host a re-union of Maddox’s playing colleagues, a raffle and auction".
RECYCLING FOR ALTY
Grahame Rowley writes:
"After the success of phone recycling which raised over £1000 for the Football Club we are now broadening our range of products to include CDs, DVDs and computer games. Please look around your house for unwanted phones, CDs, DVDs and computer games and bring them into the Fooball Club's office. We will then arrange for them to be recycled and all funds raised will be added to Lee Sinnott's playing budget for this season.
This is an ideal way for each and every fan to be able to do their bit to help the club with its fundraising initiatives as well as helping tidy up your home. Regular updates on the progress of the scheme will be posted on the site throughout the season".
TASC's Peter Foster adds:
Fund Raising: How You Can Help
Following the above, recent, appeal we had a really good response from many supporters, and some great ideas. Thanks to all who responded. We are starting this scheme immediately as we believe it allows all supporters to help and doesn’t cost anything!
We know that times are difficult and not everyone will have much cash to spare to support the club. However, you may have unwanted items about the house that you may like to donate to the club.
We are extending our existing Ebay presence and, in addition to the Club merchandising, we hope to sell football memorabilia, as well as general items such as unused old computers, printers, Play Stations, vinyl records, etc. If you have anything cluttering your cupboards that may have a value to someone else, please email a description (preferably with a picture) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will store, advertise, sell, despatch, and promise that every penny we raise will go to the playing budget for next year!
We will publish progress with this idea in the early season programmes next season. Thanks to Tony Chetham for his help with this idea. "
HITTING OUTAn Alty player who has certainly been keeping fit over the summer is Nicky Clee (right) as Shepley Cricket Club reports on a cricket match with another West Yorkshire club, Marsden on 18 June. "Shepley secured a one-wicket win at Hemplow with two balls to spare in a tense game of cricket. Marsden won the toss and elected to bat on a greenish pitch. The first five overs were maidens and at 9-2 off eleven, it looked a doubtful choice, particularly as Craig Glover (6-76) was taking advantage of the conditions. But gradually the middle order through Chris Coleman (30) and Nicky Clee (61) got Marsden back into the game, allowing Jack Smith (28) and [Nicky's brother] Danny Clee (38*) to get some late runs and a handy total of 204-7".
OLD BOYNL Daily states that "Former midfielder and caretaker boss Kevin Street has returned to Stafford Rangers in the hope of reviving his playing career at Marston Road. Street was the surprise face among the ranks as a much-changed squad reported back for pre-season training last night, in their first session under new manager Greg Clowes".
LOOKING FOR ACTION?If you are looking for any pre-season competitive football to supplement the Altrincham FC friendlies, you may need to go to Wales (or, at least, Oswestry) where Welsh Premier tells us that "The Europa League (formerly the UEFA Cup) comprises a wide range of clubs across Europe that have qualified for the competition from a selection of differing routes. The competition is open to the Welsh Premier runners-up The New Saints [qualifying round 1], the Welsh Cup runners-up Llanelli [qualifying round 2] and Neath, the winners of the Europa League play-offs [qualifying round 1]. The New Saints are the first Welsh Premier side ever to be seeded in the competition or in the UEFA Cup.
The UEFA Champions League is UEFA's most prestigious club competition. Originally created as the European Champion Clubs' Cup prior to the 1955/56 season, the competition changed format and name in time for the 1992/93 season. The UEFA Champions League is open to the Welsh Premier champions, Bangor City.
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSAccording to the Halifax Courier, "Town boss Neil Aspin has confirmed that full backs Danny Lowe and Aaron Hardy have agreed deals that will keep them at the Shay for a third season. The duo were among the players who joined Aspin from his former club Harrogate Town when he was appointed Halifax manager two years ago...
'They have both played in the league we are going into this season', said Aspin. 'When we signed them we knew they would be good for a few seasons. They are good characters as well as good players and they were two of the easiest players to negotiate with. Danny Lowe came to the club first and I knew when he came that he was capable of playing in Conference North', said Town boss Aspin...
Of the players who joined Town from Harrogate, Richard Marshall has since returned and Jonathan Hedge has left the club after rejecting a new deal. The keeper’s new club, believed to be Tamworth, has yet to be confirmed".
We learn from the Football Conference that "Richard Lavery has agreed terms with Nuneaton Town. The locally-based midfield general quickly settled in at the end of last season following his transfer from Corby Town. Nuneaton manager Kevin Wilkin confirmed the signing by saying, 'The experience and presence on the field will complement the young squad, he is vastly experienced at this level and that will be required this season as we look to progress'. Lavery joins the other experienced heads at the club that include Mark Albrighton and Guy Hadland."
At another Blue Square Bet North club, "Gloucester City boss Dave Mehew has confirmed the signing of versatile midfielder Matthew Lock following his departure from Chelmsford City. The 27-year-old left Chelmsford this summer to move back to Cheltenham and is currently recovering from a broken metatarsal suffered towards the end of the campaign".
In the Times and Star, we read that "New recruit Dan Dillon is promising to hit double figures next season and insists he’s not the boy he once was. Matured Dillon, 24, left champions Alfreton after being offered a job in Cumbria and jumped at the chance to join the Borough Park [Workington] side.
The former England Universities' captain, who will join the rest of the squad for pre-season training tonight, said: 'I’m a different player from the last time I was in a Workington shirt. In 2005 I was young and naive but I’ve come on a lot since then. I’m not so much a headless chicken anymore. I’m a player that thinks about their game and I know I can score goals at this level. My target is 10 but I’d love to exceed that. I’m excited about joining Workington. There are a lot of positive noises coming from the management and I already know most of the players, which will help me adapt'.
Alfreton’s decision to go four-days a week swayed Dillon’s decision to leave. He was also fed up with being a bit-part player and hopes to break into the starting XI. He said, 'I only played a handful of games for Alfreton, which was disappointing because I believe in my ability. I know I can handle this league and I will be doing all I can over the next few weeks to prove I’m worth starting'.
Boss Darren Edmondson said, 'Dan will have to perform in training to guarantee a starting role. He will bring a lot to the team and I’m delighted he’s joining us on a year-long deal'... Dillon joins Mark Boyd and Tony Hopper for Workington’s first session tonight with three other trialists involved".
This is Lincs claims that "Out of all the Lincolnshire football teams, Gainsborough Trinity have undoubtedly been the busiest in the transfer market this summer. After a disappointing season, Brian Little has been trying to ensure he does not suffer a repeat of being dragged into a relegation fight. With Gavin Cowan, Andrew Boyce, Luke Waterfall [an ex-Alty loanee], Phil Barnes, Leon Mettam, Lewis McMahon, Ryan Kendall and Ryan Williams contracted to the club, Little has supplemented them with quality signings.
Incoming from Boston were Shane Clarke and Jamie Yates, while Craig Nelthorpe and Mark Gray have signed up from Blue Square Premier sides Gateshead and Grimsby respectively. Jonathan D'laryea has penned a deal from Eastwood so too has Rory Coleman and Jonathan Williams from Scunthorpe. Brigg duo Ryan Paczkowski and Andrew Pettinger and Harrogate's Dominic Roma complete the Blues' summer spree".
The Cambridge News says that "Joe Welch wants to end his contract limbo and sign a permanent deal at Stevenage by the end of the week. The goalkeeper joined the Hertfordshire club on loan from Histon in March, and was on the bench at Old Trafford when they beat Torquay in last month’s npower League Two play-off final.
Welch, whose contract with the Stutes expired at the end of the campaign, would love to be given the chance to further develop his skills at the Lamex Stadium. But the shot-stopper would face increased competition after Boro re-signed keeper Alan Julian last week, and expects to be loaned out if he is given a new deal.
'I’m having a couple of meetings with them later this week to sort things out', said Welch. 'I still want to stay at Stevenage. It’s such a good environment to be in and that’s the main reason I want to stay. You’ve got to get your head down, work hard and progress. It wasn’t a surprise they brought someone else in, especially with the quality Julian’s got. It would be important that I went out on loan to a decent club where I can get games, to prove myself and show I’m more than capable of staying at Stevenage'"
29 June 2011
MAD DOG'S TESTIMONIAL
Right, Mark Maddox is mobbed by his colleagues (Val Owen, Colin Potts, Gary Scott) after scoring Alty's final goal in a 4-0 win over Lancaster City in January, 2005. Photo kindly supplied by Gavin Rathbone.
Last Sunday's NL Paper had an interview with former Alty captain, Mark Maddox, for whom Alty's friendly against Tranmere Rovers XI on Saturday 23 July (3pm) will be a testimonial game. Mark has been diagnosed with motor-neurone disease and the 38 year-old told the NLP, "The support I've had from Altrincham and the fans has been unbelievable. I wish I was having a testimonial in other circumstances but this is the way it's come about and it'll be emotional going back.
I like to go and watch [Alty] whenever I've got a free Saturday and the supporters always come over for a chat. I suppose this time it'll be a bit different, with everyone knowing, but it's a way of me saying thanks to them and their way of showing their support, which is much appreciated".
He added, "I've had loads of brilliant messages, even from players I used to get in headlocks when I was playing against them. They're the ones texting back, saying 'Thank God, you're finished!' My mates are taking the p*** but I wouldn't have it any other way. You have to laugh, otherwise you'd cry".
Please do come along and show your support and appreciation for Mark.
WIN A SIGNED SHIRT
Thomas Cook Sport announce "We are currently running a promotion to win a signed shirt from your club in conjunction with your holiday club (click adjacent image for link). There is still time for a holiday before the season starts, so pop along to your local Thomas Cook or Going Places today to find that perfect holiday! Mention the club and receive your guaranteed discount *, and not only will you save money but this week you will also be entered into a free prize draw to win a signed shirt!
If you have already booked your Summer 2011 holiday don’t worry a full range of Winter and Summer 2012 holidays are also available.
You can book at any store to get your Holiday Club discount but to be entered in to the free prize draw please visit our participating stores.
(* Terms and conditions apply on Holiday clubs bookings, and certain restrictions apply. Full T&Cs can be found in store)".
OLD BOYSPitchero NonLeague also tells us of a potential 23 signings at Leek Town! "Details of Leek Town's new look squad for the 2011/12 season have now been revealed. In the absence of Director of Football Neil Baker who has been on holiday, Blues’ chief scout Kenny Scragg has been busy signing players ahead of the new season. In a hectic 48hrs last week, Scragg secured the signatures of no fewer than 16 players to add to the previous week’s captures of striker Matt Haddrell and central defender Mark Fitton. Scragg was also discussing terms with 7 other players before Baker flew back to the UK on Saturday...
[Amongst] players [who] have agreed non-contract terms at Harrison Park for the coming season... [is] Darren Tinson [pictured, left]... Darren Tinson (41) is a vastly-experienced defender who last season was joint player-manager at Nantwich Town. He began his career at Colwyn Bay and also played for Northwich Victoria before joining Macclesfield Town and helping them win the Conference in 1996. Tinson played over 250 games for The Silkmen before moving on to Shrewsbury Town, Burton Albion, Altrincham and finally The Dabbers...
Also signed is former Port Vale youth team player Danny Holmes. The 24 year old played in the same Vale youth side as the likes of Louis Briscoe and Jake Moult. After leaving Vale he has played for Burton Albion, Ilkeston Town, Altrincham and joins us from Gresley FC... Up front there is...Dan Cope. Joining him are Matt Haddrell and Jimmy McCarthy... Jimmy McCarthy (25) has twice before played in friendlies for Leek Town but never actually signed. McCarthy was most recently with Chester FC and has also played for Kidsgrove Athletic, Warrington Town and Alsager Town [and Altrincham]".
He spent a period on loan at Alty and now the BBC tells us that "Northampton Town have agreed a fee with Stockport County for midfielder Paul Turnbull. The 22-year-old made 45 appearances for the Hatters last season, scoring five goals, as they were relegated to the Blue Square Bet Premier. Former trainee Turnbull is the longest serving player at Edgeley Park, having made 152 appearances since making his debut in April 2005".
News of a former Alty loanee comes from Bulls News which says that "Macclesfield have signed defender Jonathan Bateson following his release by Accrington. The former Blackburn trainee played only 12 times for Stanley last term before being sent out on loan to Altrincham".
Bulls News reports that at Crewe "The Railwaymen have former Bulls loanee Mat Bailey training with the club. He asked to come back to Gresty Road to help him train as he is without a club."
And NL Daily says that "Chasetown have further boosted their squad for the 2011-12 season with the signing of former England 'C' captain Jake Sedgemore".
News of a former Alty reserve comes from FC Halifax Town where the Shaymen "have confirmed that first team regular Tom Baker [has] committed to [a] new deal next season."
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSBulls News reports that "Kettering have named Morrell Maison as their new manager to replace the departed Marcus Law. Their fans are threatening to start up their own club in the wake of moves to take the club to Rushden's ground. Their Supporters' Trust has voted in favour of starting a new club rather than following the Poppies at Nene Park".
An unusual development is reported by the BBC which states that "The Glenn Hoddle Academy have linked up with Blue Square Bet North side Hyde. The GHA, which gives footballers released by professional clubs another chance to succeed, will move from Spain to England, training at Bisham Abbey" [186 miles from Hyde, in Berkshire].
"The GHA will have no ownership stake in Hyde, but intend to use the club to attract interest in their youngsters. They had been keen to take over Rushden & Diamonds, but that deal collapsed earlier this month and the Diamonds have since been demoted. The GHA had a link with Spanish fourth-tier side Jérez Industrial last season, providing their entire squad and coaches, but fell out in a dispute over cash.
However, their set-up with Hyde will be different, with the Greater Manchester club still providing players of their own alongside the GHA youngsters and the GHA having no say on the coaching or management side. Hyde will take over registration of GHA players and, in that capacity, have already transferred GHA striker Ben Williamson and midfielder Ryan Burge to Port Vale.
Numerous players who have been in the GHA since it was formed in 2008 now play in the English leagues, while former Oxford City striker Ikechi Anya joined Spanish top-flight club Sevilla in 2009".
The GHA describes itself as "The first independent, professional football academy, offering an alternative to the professional club system. The primary goal of the GHA will be to offer a genuine route back into professional football for some of the youngsters discarded by the professional system... Glenn and his coaching team are looking to join forces with an English club with the aim of placing its squad of players into the club and at the same time continuing to identify and develop future footballing talent, which will be channelled through the partner club. The academy is now actively looking for a club in League One, League Two or the Conference to forge an innovative relationship that will not only enhance the club, but also provide opportunities for talented academy players to move forward with their careers...
Glenn Hoddle said: 'We have specialised in identifying talent in the age group 19-22, our players have played together regularly and all of them have the ability and desire to return to the professional game. We are now looking to forge a close relationship with a forward thinking club which will provide them with a squad of players in every position. At the same time this will ensure the players have the opportunity to showcase their talent and develop their careers and succeed with their goals to earn a life-changing contract with a professional club'”.
Whilst not mentioning the above arrangement with GHA or the moves of Williamson and Burge, Hyde FC say that they "are pleased to announce the first wave of new signings for the upcoming season. They are as follows:
The Hoddle Academy may have left Spain but the Hinckley United manager "Dean Thomas flew back from his trip to Las Vegas to complete the signing of flying winger Tom Byrne from Quorn before jetting off to Spain for his last break before the players clock in for pre-season. Tom, 22, is a product of the very successful Kidderminster Harriers Youth setup and made is first team debut in the Football Conference Premier Division in 2006 against Canvey Island. Kidderminster did not offer Tom a full-time contract so he moved to his hometown club Quorn where he has been ever since except for a short spell with Grantham...
He was top goalscorer for Quorn in 2009 - 2010, he is seen by Dean as more than capable of stepping up to the riggers [?rigours] of the Conference North... Byrne is a quicker version of James Reid and has the perfect opportunity to step into the left sided forward role that was a revelation last season".
"Chairman Nigel Collins made the announcement that Solihull Moors have appointed Marcus Bignot as the man to replace Michael Moore as manager. Marcus who was appointed assistant manager towards the end of last season and is seen as the natural successor. Marcus is a vastly experienced player at both Football League and Non League... The Chairman was keen to emphasise that despite considerable interest it was decided to stick to the clubs tried and tested methods by appointing from within. It must be remembered that our sadly missed manager Robert Faulkner was also chosen from within and went on to be one of the Midlands' outstanding managers. With the majority of the players signed with the knowledge of Marcus it was the natural choice to continue the good work from last year".
According to the BBC "Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox has completed his backroom staff by recruiting midfielder Andy Todd from Eastwood Town as player-coach. Former Nottingham Forest trainee Todd, 32, has a wealth of experience in the area having played for Worksop, Hucknall and Eastwood. Todd has also played for Burton Albion, Accrington Stanley, and Rotherham."
The BBC says that "Histon defender Lanre Oyebanjo has joined York City on a two-year deal. The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has put pen to paper on a two-year contract". The Herts & Essex Observer states that Bishop's Stortford "have lost two keepers in a month but are closing in on the signature of an experienced custodian. Ross Kitteridge, joined Dover on Saturday on a one-year deal after ex-Bishop’s Stortford boss Martin Hayes swooped for the Sawbridgeworth-based 21 year-old. Blues lost Nicky Eyre earlier this month. He rejoined Chelmsford City. A Blues' source has revealed that a new keeper from Hayes & Yeading is expected to sign. This could be Delroy Preddie, who was number two at Hayes last season".
At the other end of the BSB North map, Blyth Spartans tell us that they "can announce the signing of French forward Yanis Galas, subject to club obtaining International Clearance from the FA. The 25-year-old was playing in the French league system last season with Chauny and has been capped by Guadeloupe at various youth age categories. Manager Steve Cuggy commented 'We’ve had Yanis at the last couple of training sessions and he looks a more than decent player. I got a tip off about his availability from a contact of mine and thought I’d invite him down to have a look at him, as we have nothing to lose. He doesn’t speak a great deal of English, but he has impressed me and Gav since he arrived.. It might take him a while to settle, but the signs so far have been promising'".
At Boston United "Grimsby Town have announced the signing of United defender Shaun Pearson. The 22-year-old, who scored 20 goals in 78 appearances for the Pilgrims between 2009 and 2011, also collected nine player of the year awards during his two campaigns at The Jakemans' Stadium. Due to Pearson being under 24 years of age, United are entitled to compensation and the figure payable to the Pilgrims will be determined by tribunal... Elsewhere, former Pilgrim Kieran Murphy has joined Carshalton Athletic."
28 June 2011
TESTIMONIAL FOR MARKAltrincham FC joint Press Officer, John Edwards, writes:
"Players, officials and supporters of Altrincham have been left shocked and saddened by news that former Moss Lane favourite Mark Maddox has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease. The 38-year old, affectionately known as ‘Mad Dog’ for his wholehearted approach as the cornerstone of Alty’s defence, was told around Christmas-time he had the same wasting illness that claimed the life of ex-England manager Don Revie.
Chairman Grahame Rowley revealed that Alty’s July 23 pre-season friendly against Tranmere has been set aside as a benefit match for Maddox and described how the long-serving centre-back visited Moss Lane to inform club officials of his condition.
‘I sensed something might be wrong, because Mark had texted a few times, saying he needed to speak to me', said Rowley. ‘He attended a game, near the end of the season, and I remember George Heslop coming into the directors’ box, just before half-time, and saying Mark wanted a word.
‘I went down the steps, and we stood there in the mouth of the tunnel, with the game going on in the background, while he told me how he had been diagnosed with this terrible disease.
‘It was one of the most upsetting experiences of my life. I headed towards the Sponsors’ Lounge, absolutely gutted, and my wife Karen asked what was wrong. I couldn’t speak. I was in tears.
‘You’re talking about a true gentleman, as well as top defender, someone who was the heart and soul of the place throughout his 300-plus appearances for us. He is so unassuming, as well. When I said we would arrange a benefit game for him, he said: “It doesn’t matter. Don’t make any fuss.”
‘We’ve talked him round, though, and I’m sure he’s going to be there, with his wife and children, for the Tranmere game. We’re contacting all his old team-mates, as well, to try and get them along. We want it to be special for him.’
Former Alty striker Rod Thornley (left) sent a message to the Alty fans’ forum, saying: ‘This bloke is not only a legend to the fans but to the players who played alongside him. Mads is a great lad and, to me, a great friend, one of those you stay in touch with all your life. Please tell friends and relatives to come to this (benefit) game.’".
Rod Thornley's full message on the Alty Fans'Forum, reads...
"Mark Maddox is not only a legend to all the fans but a legend to all the players in the dressing room who played alongside him. He was always a great crack in the dressing room and a massive influence to everything on and off the pitch as far as players were concerned. This game needs to be attended and not taken as a normal pre-season friendly. As a club it would mean so much to him and his family just to show support, forget the money side of it. 'Mads' is a great lad and, to me, a great friend, one of those you stay in touch with all your life. I am gutted for him and gutted I am working on United's USA tour so cant' be there, but I will be sending my family down to support him. Please, please, please tell friends and relatives to come to this game as he was a massive part of this club during really difficult years. WE LOVE YOU 'MAD DOG'."
Eddie Hussin, Alty's captain when the club was last promoted to the Conference, in 2005, adds "I would just like to echo Rod's comments. 'Mads' gained the respect of team mates, opponents and fans alike for his no-nonsense approach to the game and it's only to the odd injured striker who would have a bad word to say about him, ha-ha. All the staff and play-off players where devastated by this news when we found out leading up to the reunion a number of months ago. The reunion itself was both enjoyable to be back together again but very hard, knowing what 'Mads' was going through.
After that night a few of the players spoke about what support could be given and a match was mentioned but, knowing what a proud man 'Mads' is, it was felt it would have to be a TESTIMONIAL match as reward for his service to the club and not just because of his illness. Plus we new 'Mad's was, and still is, trying to shelter Sonny his eldest son from the news for as long as possible.
The fact that it has been announced as a benefit match now will increase the attendance as I know players, managers and fans of others clubs will be attending to show their support for 'Mads' but I know 'Mads' would like to see the match as his TESTIMONIAL. 'Mads' hasn't been on the forum himself, which is understandable, as it's hard enough for us to read the posts but I do know that a number of people have been passing on the messages of support for which he is very grateful and humbled. So let's get behind the LEGENDS TESTIMONIAL as I'm sure we all will".
In the Sale & Altrincham Advertiser, Tony Glennon writes:
"Altrincham have pledged their support for Moss Lane legend Mark Maddox, who has been diagnosed as suffering from the life-threatening Motor Neurone Disease. The Robins are to designate their pre-season friendly with Tranmere Rovers on July 23 as a benefit match for their former skipper, who made nearly 350 Alty appearances in a playing career there spanning more than a decade.
And Altrincham chairman Grahame Rowley says the Blue Square Bet North outfit are also planning to form a committee aimed at raising further funds to help 38-year-old Maddox and his young family cope with the muscle-wasting illness. Rowley said: 'It’s with great sadness that we have to announce this news about Mark, who, during his time with us, became one of the most popular players ever to pull on an Altrincham shirt. We intend to help him, his wife, Jane, and children Sonny, Vinnie and Beau in every way that we can.
After the Tranmere game, we will hopefully be hosting a reunion of Mark’s playing colleagues, together with a raffle and auction. I’d urge our supporters to keep this date free in their diaries and come along and support a club legend. I’m sure Mark will be pleased to see as many people as possible there'.
Liverpool-born Maddox first joined Alty from Sunday football in 1996. After a brief spell with Barrow, he returned to Moss Lane in December 1998 and went on to play 348 times for the Robins, earning himself the nickname "Mad Dog" due to his typically wholehearted approach. Among the 11 goals he scored for Altrincham was`one memorable effort in the FA Cup against Darlington, which was later shown on BBC’s "Match of the Day". After leaving Alty, Maddox both played for and managed fellow non-Leaguers Leigh Genesis, whom he left just six months ago".
FESTIVAL DONATIONS SOUGHTAlty chairman Grahame Rowley reminds us that this Saturday...
"Altrincham Football Club will again be represented at the Altrincham Festival on July 2nd with floats organised by both the Senior and Junior sections of the Club. Once at the Festival fields in Timperley - Beechfields - we will be holding a penalty competition as well as a chocolate/bottle tombola. We would like to appeal to fans to donate non-alcoholic bottles and bars/boxes of chocolate as well."
Also, please come along to walk with the float and help to collect money and hand out publicity material for the club; all help much appreciated. The event starts at St Margaret's Road, Bowdon at 10-10.15am.
GOLF DAY THIS FRIDAYTASC chairman, Brian Flynn, reminds us that The Altrincham FC Supporters' Club, TASC, is holding another of its popular Golf Days this Friday, July 1st at Mobberley Golf Club with tee-times from 11am. Details of the event are as follows:-
The cost is £30 per person & for this you get the following:-
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 it should be a very enjoyable social occasion as well. All profits will go to Altrincham Football Club.
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSFrom the Tameside Advertiser, we learn that "Chester-bound Liam Brownhill has left Droylsden along with Alex Brown. Droylsden boss Dave Pace insists the Bloods will shrug off the exits of Liam Brownhill and Alex Brown to mount a fresh promotion assault next season. England C international full-back Brownhill and his close pal Brown have each left Droylsden for Chester, leaving Pace with two sizeable gaps to fill in his defence and midfield.
But the Bloods' chief is adamant he could have kept both players had he wanted to and, despite having yet to announce any summer signings, says Droylsden will be ready to stake a claim for the title when the new Blue Square Bet North campaign kicks off on August 13.
Pace said: 'No player has left us who we’d have wanted to keep. Had we wished to retain the services of either Liam or Ally, we could have done so. I’ve already made a couple of signings, although I’m not going to reveal who they are just yet, and plan to make three more. I’m confident we’ll be up there challenging again, just as we are year in, year-out, and my targets, as always, will be for us to win the league and finally break down the door in the FA Cup after our two recent painful second-round exits'.
Pace confirmed one of his transfer targets is striker Tony Gray, who quit the Bloods a year ago to return to Southport but could now be on his way back to the Butcher's Arms. Former Droylsden winger Chris Denham (right) has also, says Pace, contacted him about a possible return after being released by Altrincham. But he insists his main priority is to inject fresh blood into his squad, adding: 'Ninety-nine per cent of the players who leave us end up wanting to come back, but I think it’s time we had an influx of new faces. Chris has spoken to me, but I also know he’s speaking to other clubs, including FC United. And, despite what’s apparently being said, I certainly haven’t been in touch with Jody Banim about him also coming back. That’s just not true'.
Pace will, though, be taking a look at Mossley midfielder Mike Oates during pre-season, which, in Droylsden’s case, starts a week on Saturday. The Bloods have so far fixed up six friendlies – all of them to be played away from home – commencing with a trip to Irlam on July 12. Droylsden have also announced a change to their midweek fixture night, with home games from to be played on Tuesdays rather than Mondays. Pace’s men have been installed as a 12/1 shot for the title, as have neighbours Stalybridge Celtic. Newly-relegated Altrincham are 6/1 favourites, while Hyde are among the outsiders at 33/1".
Pitchero Non-League says that "Blyth Spartans’ recent tie up with Monkseaton Academy has seen the club make its first signing in the shape of highly-promising midfielder Adam Forster and keeper Matty Hunter. Eighteen-year-old Forster... put pen-to-paper on the night. Manager Steve Cuggy commented: 'We’ve got really high hopes for Adam... He’s obviously a young lad, but he is well known to us, as we have been keeping an eye on him for a while... He’s got a bit of everything - he’s got good stamina and is an excellent footballer, who keeps the ball moving nicely - with the right coaching and if he continues to show the right attitude, he could have a bright future'. Seventeen-year-old Hunter is currently studying at Monkseaton Academy and has joined the Spartans for their pre-season training".
Also, "Blyth Spartans have announced the signing of hard working, industrious central midfielder Shaun Vipond from rivals Workington. The 22-year-old started his career at Carlisle United, where he made four appearances... [where] he was reported to be the target of a £100,000 bid from Leeds United. In 2008, he enjoyed a loan spell at Workington and following his release signed at Borough Park on a permanent basis. In 2009 he moved to Swedish side Ostersund FK, but a dislocated shoulder meant that he only made three appearances before heading back to Cumbria, where he has played ever since, captaining the cumbrians on several times last season".
Pitchero also states that "Nuneaton Town continues with its closed season team-building, following the capture of young midfield ace Sam Belcher from Wycombe Wanderers. Belcher spent a short spell in the Blue Square Bet North just up the road last season at rivals Hinckley United... Hinckley was keen to convert the loan to permanent but for Nuneaton’s intervention. Nuneaton born and bred, Belcher a product of Coventry City’s Academy before spending two seasons at Wycombe, where Keith Allen, former Boro secretary and brother of one current Nuneaton directors, assisted in pushing the player the club`s way".
The Football Conference adds that "Last season’s FA Cup player of the round against Coleshill Town and England `C` player, Justin Marsden, has agreed to stay with Blue Square Bet North club Nuneaton Town for another season."
Nearby, "Busy Corby Town have signed young Welsh defender Aynsley McDonald from beleagured neighbours Rushden & Diamonds. McDonald is a product of the Nene Park youth system, and former under-18s captain, who spent the end of last season on loan at Banbury United. McDonald is a Welsh under-17 international... During the 2009/10 season he went on loan to Wingate & Finchley and later Banbury, and after signing a professional contract in 2010 he went on to make his league debut for the Diamonds against Wrexham. Last season began with an injury, meaning McDonald had spells on loan at AFC Sudbury and Banbury in order to regain his fitness".
According to the Football Conference "Corby Town`s captain Phil Gulliver agreed terms with manager Graham Drury prior to his honeymoon and having now returned, the experienced centre half has signed his contract." Also "Corby Town have snapped up winger Aaron Daniels from Redditch United and goalkeeper Damian Clarke from Mickleover Sports."
Meanwhile, "Defender Michael Burns is the latest recruit to join Guiseley’s squad as the Lions prepare for their second season in the Blue Square Bet North. The 22-year-old, who can also play in defence, was a member of the Liverpool team that won the 2007 FA Youth Cup final... Bolton, under Sammy Lee, then signed Burns, and he later played for Carlisle United, Accrington Stanley, Stafford Rangers and Runcorn and ended last season with Newport County."
The Conference also confirms that "Simon Eastwood, 21 who was recently released by Oxford United, has signed up for FC Halifax Town. Eastwood signed for Oxford from Huddersfield Town during the summer of 2010 on a two-year deal. However, the impressive form of U's number one, Ryan Clarke, prevented him from making a first-team appearance... Also joining FC Halifax again for the 2011/12 season is Phil Senior, who is providing competition for the first-team place, now starting his third season with the club. Despite being offered terms for the new season, the Shaymen have said farewell to Jonathan Hedge, who is likely to secure a move to a full-time club with a guaranteed starting place".
In addition, "FC Halifax Town have announced that agreement has been reached with manager Neil Aspin to extend his contract with the Shaymen. His new contract extends to the end of the 2012/13 season and adds to the two seasons he has already enjoyed with the club."
"Workington boss Darren Edmondson has confirmed experienced midfielder Mark Boyd has agreed to join for the 2011/12 campaign" reports BS North. 'Mark has agreed to come to the club for the year', Edmondson told the Times & Star. 'He has had good experience at this level and we wanted to put something together to get him on board. He is good with both feet and is great from set plays. We have needed some more goals from midfield and in his last three seasons he has scored 11, 12 and 14 goals with many of those coming from free kicks'. Boyd represented Droylsden last season and can also count Newcastle, Port Vale, Gretna, Macclesfield, Accrington Stanley and Southport amongst his former clubs".
Meanwhile, "Recently appointed Vauxhall Motors manager, Anthony Wright, has revealed that finding a striker is his top priority this summer. Wrexham hitman Obi Anorou spent last season on loan at the Motormen and netted 17 goals to become the outfit's top goal scorer for 2010/11. However, he has returned to his parent club to sign a new one-year deal, leaving a gaping hole in Vauxhall's attacking department as they prepare to stave off relegation once again.
Wright told the club's official website: 'Without doubt finding a centre forward is our main priority straight away. There are no names as yet... The strength of the squad is key and something I want to try and keep hold of but that will be difficult, though, as I know there are clubs sniffing around at the players we would want to stay here... The main aim for the year ahead is definitely to stay up. We had a bad end to the season, but I do believe we are good enough to build on what we have'".
In Nottinghamshire, "Eastwood Town have bolstered their squad with no less than four new signings after Ian Deakin, Jason Bradley, Sam Benjamin and Danny Poole put pen to paper. Deakin is a 24-year-old goalkeeper who returns after a spell at Hinckley United last term. Bradley has been snapped up from Tamworth, despite receiving a better offer from Wrexham. Benjamin, a left-back, was released by Nottingham Forest after eight years at the club, while winger Danny Poole has joined the Badgers after spells at Carlton Town and Hucknall Town.
Joint managers Jamie Brough and Craig Armstrong are deligthed with the signings, and Brough told the Eastwood Advertise, 'Wrexham offered Jason a contract but he's ended up coming here for less than half the money he was offered there. He's played alongside Craig and I think that helped... Sam Benjamin is a powerful, attacking full-back who was wanted by Histon but he also chose to come here after we spoke to him... Danny Poole fell out of favour a bit at Hucknall which wasn't necessarily down to a lack of form, more due to numbers there. He's very quick and works hard but we'll have to assess during pre-season whether the step up will suit him, so whilst he has officially signed there will still be a bit of a trial period for him during the summer.
Ian Deakin knows the club and the level inside out so it's great to have him back here. He'll form part of what we hope will be quite a good goalkeeping set-up as we're aiming to bring in one or two more keepers to challenge for a place in the team'".
Also, "Eastwood Town joint manager Jamie Brough says defender Adie Hawes will be allowed to pursue full-time football but only if the right offer comes in... Brough told the Eastwood Advertiser, 'Adie wants to go full-time and we can't blame him for that and morally can't stand in his way if an offer comes in. But he also knows the club comes first and that unless an offer comes in that's right for us initially, and we then give him permission to speak to the club involved, he is our player and we expect him back for training with the rest of the squad on June 30'.
Meanwhile, Brough revealed that the club have not received payment from Mansfield Town for Lee Stevenson and Lindon Meikle. He continued, 'The club is entitled to a percentage of the transfer fees paid by Mansfield, but there are complications with regard to the timing of the transfers and in relation to the date the club changed ownership... Our solicitors are currently on the case'".
Elsewhere, "Worcester City have snapped up former Mansfield striker Simon Brown ... Brown, 27, is a talented forward who can play as a striker or winger and has been touted as a replacement for departed striker Danny Glover".
Over in Lincolnshire, "Gainsborough Trinity manager Brian Little is excited to have finally captured Gateshead midfielder Craig Nelthorpe after "chasing him for a long time". The 24-year-old, who coun, 'I am absolutely chuffed to bits with the news Craig has decided to join us... I understand a few clubs were interested in him. He falls into the mould of what we are trying to build here. He has played at a higher level and done well. He is the right age and I think he is capable of moving back up to that level - hopefully with us. He can play anywhere on the left and can score goals. He has a great left peg and he is known for being dangerous with set-pieces. I am delighted because it really is a brilliant signing for us'".
Mike Avery has calculated the average return mileage for each BSB North club's away trips this season. Alty emerge as the club with the fifth lowest mileage, 154 miles, after Stalybridge and Hyde (both 149 miles), Eastwood (150) and Droylsden (151). The club with most travelling to do is Blyth Spartans (337 miles per return trip), followed by Workington (335), then Bishop's Stortford (289). The average return journey in BSB North is 202 miles compared with 155 in BSB South, where Truro City will average a 462 mile round trip for each away game.
In the national division, Kettering Town have confirmed "Its new management team of first-team manager Morell Maison and assistant manager Nicky Eaden. Along with playing for the club, Nicky assisted Mark Cooper as we won Conference North by a record margin... Nicky is an outstanding coach and organiser who is about to complete his UEFA pro licence.
Morell took over Kettering in 2006 with the club in freefall, having won just one of nine games, and turned the team around with us just missing out on the play-offs before finishing second the following season. Morell brought in, or recommended, several fans favourites including Rene Howe, Craig Westcarr, JP Marna, Exodus Geohagon, John Dempster, Luke Graham, Andre Boucaud, Lee Harper, Gareth Seddon, Marcus Kelly and Nick McKoy. Morell again took the reigns in a caretaker capacity following last year's disastrous start to the season, again turning results around before handing over to Marcus Law.
Chairman Imraan Ladak released the following statement, '“Morell and Nicky were two of the three people responsible for one of the most successful periods in the club's history between 2006 and 2009 and I am confident that combining their experience and abilities has great potential for success on the field. Their appointment has given a lift to the playing squad...
It is essential that the club returns to its policy of bringing in and developing young talented players, which has not happened since Morell left. With us being in the Conference Premier, potentially moving to Nene Park and adding Nicky Eaden to the management/coaching team, it will be far easier to attract the right calibre of players and achieve this".
Also Kettering "can confirm that a 'heads of agreement' has been finalised with the landlord of Nene Park and solicitors have been instructed to begin preparing a lease. In the meanwhile, the club will be writing to the Football Conference requesting permission that we can stage four or five home league fixtures per season at Rockingham Road for the remaining two years of our lease, should we be successful in relocating our first team to Nene Park. The club also plans to utilise Rockingham Road for our youth teams for matches on a Saturday and Sunday.
The board has also agreed that supporters voted in favour of the move to Nene Park on the basis that the name Kettering Town FC would remain unchanged and so are planning to amend our articles to ensure this is the case. It has been proposed that the name can never change unless 90% of our supporters vote otherwise, regardless of ownership of the club...
The club is aware and appreciative of the difficulties some members of the supporters trust have in reconciling their wish to remain within the borough of Kettering with the well being of Kettering Town FC. Regardless of the decisions reached on Thursday evening the club is looking to continue to work with our supporters trust to ensure football remains in Kettering. The club will be proposing that the Kettering 1872 concept becomes our reserve/U21 side from this coming season, playing fixtures at Rockingham Road until the end of our lease and allowing time to find a suitable venue within Kettering from 2013...
Several of our players and trialists have commenced an early preseason training programme at Morell Maison’s Silsoe training site alongside Blackburn Rovers’ Jason Roberts, Nathan Ellington, Danny Simpson, Nick Blackman, Jamie Cureton and players from other league clubs. Blackburn Rovers’ physio/fitness coach is working with Moses Ashikodi to further assist with his rehabilitation".
27 June 2011
FRIENDLIES' ADMISSIONAltrincham are playing five pre-season friendlies at Moss Lane - details of these and of the away friendlies are here - and the admission prices for these home games are as follows:
2011-12 Altrincham FC season tickets will confer free entry to all of the home friendlies but, it is hoped that many ticket holders will wish to donate an admission fee at the Tranmere game, which will go towards Mark's fund.
THANK YOUOn Saturday 18th June at The Roebuck Inn in Altrincham, Damian Skelhorn and 'Mr Big and the Love Contraption' performed a gig with all proceeds going to Altrincham Football Club. Damian, son of Alty kitmen John Skelhorn, raised a much appreciated £221 for the football club.
BURNLEY TO BRING FIRST TEAMFor the pre-season friendly at Moss Lane on Saturday, July 9th (3pm) at Moss Lane, Burnley FC will be bringing their first-team squad to play Altrincham and sources suggest that up to a thousand Clarets' supporters could come to see their 2011-12 players. If you have a 2011-12 Altrincham FC season ticket, entry is free; further details of admission prices will be published shortly.
WOODLEY GAME OFFThe planned pre-season game at Woodley Sports on Tuesday, July 12th, has been cancelled as new Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott wishes to have more time to hone his new squad for the coming season.
20 June 2011
SHORT INTERMISSIONThe close season affects all aspects of football, including this website. Consequently, there will be a brief gap in updates over the next few days.
In the meantime, you can read Barry Pikesley's fascinating account of the 1979-80 season, "When Alty Were Kings", which chronicles one of the club's two title-winning seasons in the Alliance (now Conference). It was also a season of off-field development as is shown, right, in the upgrading of the Hale end of the Moss Lane ground. The pictures, (enlargeable by clicking on the image), are taken from a special souvenir edition of the Robins' Review entitled, "Reviewing the 1979-80 season", compiled by Allan Sykes with photos by John Rooney.
Parts 39 and 40 have now been added to the website and the full collection of articles, to date, can be found here.
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSGuiseley report that "Defender Michael Burns is the latest recruit to join Guiseley’s squad... The 22 year old former Liverpool, Bolton, Carlisle, Accrington and Newport County man is an F.A Youth Cup winner and has represented England at u-16 level. Also, in what will be an added boost for the Lions, Simon Baldry has now confirmed he will remain at Nethermoor next season".
Pitchero Non-League says that "Former Newcastle United prodigy Mark Boyd is close to agreeing terms on a one-year deal with Workington. The midfielder has been holding talks with boss Darren Edmondson in recent weeks and the pair are close to sealing the deal. Boyd, who has also played for Carlisle United, Port Vale and Barrow, has been one of Edmondson’s top transfer targets. The 29-year-old will join up with the side for pre-season training, after leaving league rivals Droylsden at the end of the season".
Meanwhile, "Worcester City have softened the blow of Danny Glover’s departure to Nuneaton Town by snapping up former Mansfield Town forward Simon Brown. The versatile 27-year-old, who can play up front or out wide, is the sixth new addition to Carl Heeley’s squad for the 2011/12 campaign... He is not a direct replacement for top-scorer Glover... He will, though, further enhance Worcester’s attacking options which already include Mike Symons, Luke Corbett, Danny Edwards and Neil Cartwright".
And the BBC adds that "Worcester City have signed former Hereford United and AFC Telford striker Danny Carey-Bertram. The 27-year-old was released by the Bucks following their promotion to the Blue Square Bet Premier. City assistant boss Matt Gardiner told BBC Hereford & Worcester, 'Last season, he was a bit unlucky with injuries. He went on loan to Hednesford and scored six goals in four games so he has still got it'".
The Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "Imraan Ladak says he would be open to a sensational return to Kettering Town for former manager Mark Cooper. In the wake of a meeting held for the club’s fans at Wicksteed Park in which an overwhelming majority voted in favour of a move to Rushden & Diamonds’ Nene Park if the opportunity arises, the Poppies chairman has spoken out about the vacant managerial position.
And he insists he wants someone who he has worked for before and confirmed the two names he has in his head are that of Cooper and Morell Maison, who was in charge during a failed attempt to win the Conference North title before returning for a brief caretaker role last season. Cooper is currently in charge at Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Darlington...
Ladak said: 'I need someone I can trust, someone I know can get results and someone who knows the players who are still at the club and can get the best out of them. The two names I have in my head are Mark Cooper and Morell Maison. We need to get something sorted quickly because time is ticking on... Obviously, Mark is at another club but we will have to see what happens.”
19 June 2011
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSFollowing Greg Young's move, a second ex-Alty player joins him as Alfreton Town have "announced their second and third signings of summer with the capture of striker Chris Senior and goalkeeper Dan Lowson. Both arrive as full-time players, Senior signing a two-year deal and Lowson penning a one-year contract.
Senior, 29, has joined the Reds after being released by Darlington in May while Lowson, 23, was a free agent after being part of the Ilkeston Town squad which was left without a club in the early part of last season and then seeing out the campaign at Blyth Spartans. Senior’s most recent claim to fame is that he scored the winning goal for Darlington in their 1-0 win over Mansfield Town in last season’s FA Trophy final at Wembley. A regular goalscorer wherever he has been, Chris has plenty of experience at Blue Square Premier Division level having joined the Quakers last summer from Altrincham where he had three-and-a-half seasons with the Robins. Prior to that he had been with FC Halifax Town for two seasons and Scarborough FC for two campaigns before that.
North Shields-born Lowson has previously been described as a quality goalkeeper and excellent shot stopper... The pair become the second and third new faces at the Impact Arena following the earlier capture of central defender Greg Young."
Pitchero Non-League reports that "former Fleetwood Town midfielder Steven Connors (left) has signed a two-year deal with Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Cambridge United. The 25-year-old Liverpudlian, who spent time on loan at Altrincham last season, is enthusiastic about his future with the U's.
Connors said,'It feels great to sign for Cambridge. After meeting with manager Jez George and his assistant Nolan Keeley I could see Cambridge are going in the right direction. I believe in hard work and team work and I hope to be a big influence in the side. I can't wait to get started'.
George said, 'Steven first came to my attention when we watched Altrincham against Southport. He is a tenacious, ball-winning left-footed midfield player who gives us tremendous balance and completes a group of midfield players that cover every base. Steven has a lot to prove, which augurs well for us, and has shown a huge desire to join us ever since we first spoke immediately after the season. He's made several sacrifices to come here and I am delighted that we've been able to secure his services. Steven is a competitive character who will give us a steel that every team needs, has a fantastic left foot and brings something different to our squad. He may not be known to many of our fans but I believe he will be very important to us next season'".
The BBC adds that "The 25-year-old was not offered new terms by the Cod Army, after ending the season on loan at Altrincham in the Blue Square Bet Premier. He featured 11 times for the Robins after joining them in March... Connors joined Fleetwood from Bradford Park Avenue in February 2009".
The Football Conference confirms that all of its "fixtures will be published on Tuesday, 5th July 2011".
Interesting information on football and its tax liabilities comes from Welsh Premier, which says that "Welsh Premier HMRC liabilities rose by two-thirds last year, despite the domestic licensing system which is supposed to prevent clubs from piling-up tax debts. According to Sportingintelligence, at the end of the tax year, domestic league clubs owed £71,733 in direct tax and £4,482 in indirect tax, compared to a £42,583 direct tax debt at the end of the 2010 tax year.
The Football Association of Wales declined to comment on the rise but last week HMRC sought a winding up petition against Neath for an outstanding debt which would have precluded the Eagles from playing in the league next season...
The situation in Wales is in stark contrast to the Barclays Premier League, where the clubs have cleared their entire backlog of tax debts... At the end of the previous tax year, the Premier League had collectively owed £14.4m in PAYE, National Insurance contributions and VAT. That figure rose to £27.4m a few months later as the full scale of Portsmouth’s tax liabilities were uncovered by HMRC. Last year, 40 winding up petitions were sought and Sportingintelligence identified 19 clubs in the top seven tiers of the English football pyramid that were subject to winding up orders during 2010.
So far this year, HMRC has succeeded in winding up non-league side Windsor & Eton and sought winding up petitions against Plymouth Argyle and two former Football League sides, Rushden & Diamonds and Kidderminster Harriers. That purge against tax debts has reaped rewards with the total monies owed to HMRC by the clubs in Championship, League One and League Two down to £236,782 at the end of the latest tax year. That compares with a liability of £7.4m according to an earlier FOI request by Sportingintelligence.
HMRC’s purge against football’s tax debts will move forward another stage on 28 November. That is the date that a long-running and much delayed challenge over the Football Creditors' Rule, which allows football-related bodies and people to be paid before other creditors if a club fails, finally comes to the High Court".
It is only a move of 13 miles or so and, according to the BBC, "Kettering Town chairman Imraan Ladak says the majority of their fans have backed a potential move to Nene Park, home of rivals Rushden & Diamonds. The Poppies' lease at Rockingham Road runs out in 2013 and Ladak hosted a meeting to set out the options for the club's future.
He told BBC Radio Northampton, 'I don't know whether we can agree a sustainable deal at Nene Park but, overwhelmingly, we've got the mandate from the supporters to go'.
Nene Park landlord Keith Cousins repossessed the ground from crisis club Rushden & Diamonds on Monday, and held a meeting with their fans which floated the idea of allowing rivals Kettering to play there...
'We're negotiating with Nene Park because we have to', said Ladak. 'The door remains open for our current landlord to get in touch and say he can give us a long-term lease at a sustainable level, and our supporters might change their mind at that'. On the subject of a possible name change as a result of a move, Ladak said he was not looking to switch from Kettering Town FC. 'I said that what we want is to have [attendances] above a certain level to be sustainable there. The supporters are more comfortable if it stays as Kettering Town FC so that's what we'll do - I don't want to change the name. Max Griggs built a wonderful stadium for the community of Northamptonshire and he wants to see football continue there. It is an astonishing facility. We would have to go in with a conservative budget because we don't know what the numbers [of supporters attending matches] would be'...
'I would be much happier if Rushden & Diamonds were playing at Nene Park [and] Kettering were at Rockingham Road or another facility in Kettering, because it's a great rivalry', Ladak said. 'It's a real shame, and I'm not at all happy with what's happened to Rushden'.
Ladak also revealed the club has 'two main candidates' to fill the managerial vacancy created by Marcus Law's departure to Tamworth last month. Diamonds' manager Justin Edinburgh has already said he would be interested in the job".
From 200% we learned on Saturday that "It is the Annual General Meeting of the Southern Football League today, at which the ratification of the constitution of the league for next season will take place. One of the teams that is supposed to be starting the new season, however, Rushden & Diamonds, is now almost certainly not going be starting the new season at the end of a week that seems likely to change the face of football in Northamptonshire forever. This time last week, Rushden were expelled by the Football Conference. As big a blow as this might have been to the club, that was nothing in comparison with the High Court hearing during the week that was brought by one of the club’s (numerous) creditors. The result of that hearing – a twenty-one day adjournment – could be regarded as a no-score draw...
Kettering’s owner Imraan Ladak has been making louder and louder noises about moving to Nene Park for some time now, and at a meeting last night, their supporters voted in favour of a move there. Of course, one could wonder why these show of hands meetings have suddenly proved to be so popular, but as things stand Kettering Town will be playing next season at Nene Park, and with the likelihood of anyone now wanting to save Rushden & Diamonds now seeming particularly remote, it now seems unlikely that the club that calls Nene Park home today will still exist in a couple of weeks’ time...
Cousins gets Blue Square Premier football back at Nene Park, whilst Ladak gets the keys to a piece of property that he has long-coveted... How a non-league club playing nine miles from its home town will continue to attract support over the coming years is a question that has seldom been happily answered before, though".
NL Daily reports that "Rob Smith and Larry Chambers, managers of Evo-Stik League Premier Division club Hednesford Town, have secured the signature of their first import for the new season, bringing in experienced Blue Square Bet North defender, 27-year-old Chris Shaw from Eastwood Town".
18 June 2011
MARK MADDOXAltrincham FC chairman, Grahame Rowley writes:
"It is with great sadness that Altrincham Football Club have to announce the news that Mark Maddox (left), a Legend of over 300 appearances and 11 goals for the club has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease.
Born in Liverpool, Mark joined Altrincham in 1996 and returned to Moss Lane in December 1998 after a brief spell at Barrow. He established himself as first-choice centre-back and also played occasionally at right-back and in midfield. A very popular and whole-hearted player, nick-named 'Mad Dog', Mark works outside of football as a care worker.
The club are looking at ways in which they can help Mark and, with this in mind, we are planning to form a benefit committee and to designate the Tranmere Rovers pre-season friendly on July 23 as a benefit match to raise funds for Mark and his family - wife Jane and children Sonny, Vinnie and Beau.
After the game we will hopefully be getting a gathering together in the bar of Mark's playing colleagues along with a raffle and auction.
Please keep this date free in your diary, come along on the day and support a Club Legend - I'm sure Mark will be pleased to see you there".
For Terry Rowley's "Legends" article on Mark, please click here. Liverpool-born Mark (38), made 326+22 appearances for the club and scored 11 goals, including one captured by Match of the Day cameras against Darlington in the FA Cup. A very popular and whole-hearted player, he became club captain and senior professional at Moss Lane.
More details of the event on July 23 will be published here, when finalised.
FUND-RAISING EVENT FOR ALTYOn Saturday 18th June at The Roebuck Inn in Altrincham, (opposite the Market Tavern), starting at 8.30pm Damian Skelhorn will be performing as 'Mr Big and the Love Contraption' with all proceeds going to the Football Club. There will be a raffle, football scratch cards and pork/beef spit-roast barms on sale. Come along, have a drink and help raise money for the club".
OLD BOYHe was at Altrincham on loan from Wrexham for most of last season but Wes Baynes (right) has now joined a club two levels down min the EvoStik Premier as Chester FC "completed a double signing last night, with winger Wes Baynes joining from Wrexham, and former Blue, Rob Marsh-Evans, from Southport... Chester-born Baynes, joins the Blues having spent most of last season on loan to Altrincham, having previously featured in 74 games for Wrexham, his first one of those was against Chester City at the Racecourse back in November 2007.
Young revealed to ChesterFC.com that he had faced an anxious wait whilst Baynes was on holiday, 'We have been in talks with Wes for a couple of weeks now as he has been away on holiday and I'm very glad on his return he has agreed to come to the club and it is also great to see how enthusiatic he has been with the move. Again, we have been looking for genuine width on either flank as I thought it was something we missed more than anything last year, particularly when we were looking to change games, and with Jerome and, now, Wes we have both pace and skill in abundance in these areas. Wes also brings with him great ability from dead ball situations which with our height could be invaluable from set-pieces. He is a Chester lad and has been following the club's progress very closely over the last 12 months".
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSKettering Town report that "The Chairman has called a meeting with the supporters to discuss the future of the club on Friday the 17 June 2011 at Wicksteed Park. The meeting is open to all season ticket holders, trust members and club members and will commence at 8pm in the North Pavillion. Supporters may sign up as Kettering Town 'Poppies' Supporters' Trust members on the night".
Reports from the Football Conference tell us that "Harrogate Town have released details that Bill Fotherby has handed control of the club to businessman Irving Weaver. Fotherby, who will remain as chairman, said: 'I have taken the club as far as I can take it. Obviously, for financial reasons, I’ve had to pass it on. When I took over 11 years ago I had a dream of success, building the club and getting us into the Conference. But people in Harrogate have said to me "How do you get success?" Well, the answer is money. The best thing that I could do for the town and the club was to put it onto somebody who could take it that step further. I think that dream can be realised with Irving Weaver'.
New owner, Irving Weaver, 62, who is the father of manager Simon Weaver, made his fortune building a successful business in the construction industry. He is currently chairman of Strata Homes and acquires control of Harrogate by virtue of Fotherby selling his stake in the club to the housing firm. Commenting on his new position and vision for the club, Weaver said that his first aim was to help the club support itself, 'The important thing to note is that it’s not "new man throws money at it"'. Also joining the board as a new director is Tad Nowakowski, 55, a retired police officer and teacher who is the father of current player Adam Nowakowski".
Meanwhile the local Harrogate Advertiser confirms that "Bill Fotherby has handed control of Harrogate Town to Irving Weaver in the biggest power shift at the club for a decade. The millionaire businessman - and father of Town head coach Simon - was persuaded to take over after talks with Fotherby who will remain as chairman...
Weaver, who was worth £46 million according the Sunday Times 2009 Rich List, said his first intention was to help the club support itself financially... He said, 'Bill said to me would you take the club on? And that’s a very difficult decision because it’s not ideal when you’ve got manager, son, and father, owner. And that has been preying on me for six months. It’s not an easy step. We ultimately need to get (the club) sustainable so we can be in a financially secure position and that’s not an easy task in this financial climate'".
The BBC has an audio interview with Mr Weaver, to which it adds, "Irving Weaver, the multi-millionaire father of manager Simon Weaver, is the new owner of Harrogate Town. He has taken over from Bill Fotherby after the 80-year-old decided to stop funding the club.
'We're going to try and put Harrogate further up the football pyramid', the chairman of Yorkshire-based Strata Homes told BBC Radio York. 'There is a fixed budget, it's a realistic budget. This has got to be on a business footing... The options were, we either match the player budget with an income stream that's going to be dramatically reduced, [or we] ask the team to come out of the Blue Square [Bet] North and go down two or three leagues to suit the situation.
It was a difficult one for me because of the awkward angle of the manager being my son. I didn't like that situation. But what am I going to do? Am I going to walk away, go home, or do we try?'">
Simon Weaver added, "It does put more pressure on me. It doesn't sit easily with me, the fact that my father's involved behind the scenes, but it's definitely going to make me more motivated to succeed for Harrogate Town. An outsider may say there's nepotism here. My father probably wouldn't have got involved if it hadn't have been for my involvement"...
Joining Irvine Weaver as a director is Harrogate businessman, and father of striker Adam, Tad Nawakowski. He has been brought to the club to try and increase links with the local community. Last season Town regularly attracted around 250 people to games at the CNG Stadium, but Irvine Weaver says that needs to be increased to 700 to break even".
Promoted Alfreton Town "have transferred leading scorer Liam Hearn to rivals Grimsby Town for an undisclosed five-figure fee. Hearn, who hit 32 goals for the Reds during the title-winning 2010/11 season, has moved on despite being offered improved terms by the club for the forthcoming campaign. Alfreton chairman Wayne Bradley explained: 'We wish Liam well and thank him for his efforts over the past three seasons. However, our fans need to realise that it wasn't something we planned, wanted, or needed to do. At the end of the day, it is entirely down to the player and his agent who had informed us that no matter what deal or how much money we put on the table for Liam, he would not be stopping at Alfreton. The reality is that while Liam still had one-year left on his current contract with Alfreton Town, his agent has persuaded him that he should be moving on to chase honours with a "bigger club".
It is obvious that Liam had no desire to stay with us and prove himself at the highest non-league level. Yes, we are disappointed, but we are certainly not despondent. Things like this happen in football and the spirit and confidence in the camp remains totally buoyant... I have no doubt we still have plenty of fire power in the club and our fans can also look forward to welcoming several new faces to the Impact Arena in the not too distant future'.
Alfreton have negotiated a sell-on clause with the deal".
In BSB North, NL Daily tells us that "nuneaton Town have secured the signature of much sought after forward Danny Glover. Glover, released from Port Vale, was signed by Worcester City and made a big impression at St George's Lane scoring 20 goals in his first season in the Blue Square Bet North. The likeable 21-year-old gained many admirers with his hard working performances. Nuneaton officials travelled up the M6 yesterday to complete the signing of Glover and the chairman commented that the signing states the intention of the club to secure the most exciting players to take them a step further than last season and push for a place in the Blue Square Bet Premier in 2012...
Nuneaton have signed a long-term deal with Glover. With Danny Spencer leaving to join local rivals Solihull Moors, Boro needed to boost their goal tally from the forward players and have gone out in search of more firepower, with Glover the first addition to the forward line. Wilkin is also holding talks with several players, two of which are current nPower Football League regulars".
The BBC reports that "A Rushden and Diamonds supporters group which tried to raise funds to save the club has admitted it is not possible. Fans attended a meeting on Thursday, hosted by former chairman and Nene Park landlord Keith Cousins, to which the media were not invited. John Ward, from SaveRDFC, told BBC Radio Northampton: "As a club at Nene Park, I think it is done and dusted. Unless someone comes in with a lot of money, I doubt we'll be saved. Sadly, it's the fans who are suffering." SaveRDFC say that without an outside investor, they cannot buy the club, clear their debts or form a new club.
The winding up petition, heard on Monday, 13 June at Northampton County Court, was adjourned for 21 days after a Japanese property management company were said to be interested in investing. "We were told that the Japanese company were still interested but that the interest was dependent on us being in the Conference," said Ward. In a statement on their website, the SaveRDFC group said they would be keen to gauge interest in forming a new club for the 2012/13 season.
Nene Park was repossessed by Cousins this week and Kettering Town chairman Imraan Ladak has told BBC Radio Northampton that they are considering a move to their rivals' ground. Neither Keith Cousins nor Rushden & Diamonds chief executive Steve Beasant were available for comment."
17 June 2011
ALTY'S LATEST SIGNINGAltrincham FC's fifth signing of the summer is 19 year-old midfielder Brian Summerskill from Northwich Victoria; he played for the Vics in their CSC final game against Alty last season. Born in Liverpool on September 10, 1991, Brian joined Northwich in November, 2010, from Wrexham, where he had been a regular in the reserves. He made 16(+4) appearances for the Vics and was previously on the books of Crewe Alexandra and TNS. As a youngster, he was Kirkby Schoolboys’ Player of the Season.
ADJUSTING TO BSB NORTHThe Sale & Altrincham Advertiser reports that "Altrincham chairman Grahame Rowley has called for the introduction of parachute payments for teams dropping out of the Blue Square Bet Premier. Currently, teams relegated from the Premier League receive £48 million spread over four years. Clubs who drop out of the Football League also receive payments to cushion the financial blow.
But Altrincham, who were relegated from the Blue Square Premier on the final day of the season, will receive nothing, despite expecting to see income cut by £100,000.
'You look at Premier League clubs going down into the Championship and league clubs going down into the Conference and if you follow that progression downwards, maybe there should be some kind of payment when you drop into the Conference North', said Rowley.
'Our playing budget has had to be reduced by about 30 or 40 per cent. When you look at the sponsorship figures and the potential loss on gate income, we’ll probably lose about £100,000. Parachute payments would cushion the blow because it’s a big difference'.
Rowley has handed former Port Vale and Bradford Park Avenue manager Lee Sinnott the job of rebuilding the Robins following relegation. And, despite feeling the pinch, Rowley is confident Alty will be in a position to push from promotion next season.
'We’ve retained about five or six of the squad from last year and built around that', said Rowley. 'I’m quietly confident we’ll be able to compete next year at least. You’ve got to look at the likes of FC Halifax as the main challengers. I’m sure Droylsden will be up there as they always are, as well teams like Guiseley and Nuneaton'.
He added: 'When we first got relegated we were very disappointed but we’ve dusted ourselves down and we’ll get on with the job in hand. We have got a few targets and by the time we get back into pre-season training at the end of the month we should be in a position to compete'".
GET YOUR SEASON TICKETSAltrincham 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 £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.
Contact the club on 0161 928-1045 for further details.
WIN £25 TO SPEND AT ALTYBrian Flynn writes, "Some Alty fans will be aware that Mark Eckersall and I run an online marketing business together. We are currently going through the process of setting up a limited company and are considering changing the name of the business from its current guise 'Perry Online Marketing'. As we are both massive Alty fans, one of the things that we are considering is changing the name to something that relates to Altrincham Football Club. We have come up with a few options ourselves but thought that we would try to draw inspiration from Alty fans to help us.
If you have any ideas, please let us know, by sending me an e-mail. If we use your idea to rename the business, then we will give you a £25 voucher to be used in the Club Shop. Just to be clear, what we are looking for is 'XXXXXXXX Online Marketing' and if we can't find a suitable 'Altrincham FC' related name, we will look for something else".
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSThe Wharfedale Observer has news of a former Moss Lane favourite. "Darryn Stamp and Warren Peyton have both been released by Guiseley. Stamp is 32 and Peyton 31, and they join James Walshaw, Ryan Toulson and Liam Needham out of the exit door at the Blue Square Bet North play-off finalists.
Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick said: 'They helped us to get where we needed to be... but Warren couldn’t commit to training twice a week with us last season and I needed fresher legs where Darryn is concerned'.
Kittrick confirmed that he will be in talks with a midfielder on Saturday, who has played at Conference level, and he also still needs a back-up goalkeeper to first choice Steve Drench, with teenage shot-stopper Clarke Lydon having also left the club. Guiseley have been installed as fifth favourites by the league’s sponsors to win the Blue Square Bet North title.
The Lions are a 10-1 shot behind Altrincham (6-1), Boston United (7-1), newly-promoted Halifax Town (8-1) and Nuneaton Town 9-1".
According to the Southport Visiter, "Earl Davis could be on his way out of Southport - as manager Liam Watson shakes up his squad following their Conference reprieve. Relegated Altrincham have made an enquiry about the double Conference North title winning defender and the Sandgrounders are understood to be willing to let Davis leave.
Striker Tony Gray also appears to be heading for a Haig Avenue exit after former club Droylsden made an approach...The Yellows’ boss says the club, granted a lifeline following Rushden and Diamonds’ expulsion from the Blue Square Bet Premier, must undergo a change in mindset and move away from searching for diamonds in the non-league rough.
Watson has agreed terms with two defenders in the past few days, with the deals expected to be completed once the pair return from holiday. The Southport manager has identified a centre half and two forwards he would like to sign...
'We’ve talked about changing the structure at the club and bringing in an additional night of training and bringing in better quality players', he said. 'The chairman has upped the budget a little bit. I’ve got to speak to the players and see if they want to be a part of it; if they do then great. I’m looking to bring in an experienced first team player-coach. I’ve got a few ideas popping round in my head as to who I would like to approach and who I think would be suitable for me and the club over the role. I’ve made some tentative enquiries'".
According to NL Daily "Crisis club Rushden & Diamonds could be entered into the Zamaretto League Premier Division if they get their finances in order. A statement from the Zamaretto League has confirmed that the Premier Division at Step 3 will run with one extra team if Diamonds can satisfy their entry criteria".
NL Daily also tells us that "Hayes & Yeading United have announced the appointment of Nas Bashir to the position of first team manager... As one of the brightest young coaches in the national game, the club hope Bashir's appointment sends out a message of intention to the football world that Hayes & Yeading United continue to build and work towards their goal of becoming a Football League club.
On looking to appoint a new manager Hayes and Yeading United were adamant that they would stay close to their beliefs of giving a young manager a chance to develop and shine. They sought somebody with a track record of developing young players while also staying close to their desire to maintain an eye-pleasing game. Bashir ticks all of those boxes and more.
A former professional and non-league player (notably at Reading, Slough Town, Chesham United, Aylesbury United, St Albans City, Hendon & Hampton & Richmond), he began his professional coaching career at Wycombe Wanderers before moving to Reading FC where he quickly earned promotion to Assistant Academy Director at the Madejski Stadium. There Bashir developed and guided tens of players through to the first team squad of the Royals and other professional clubs.
41 year-old Bashir gained his UEFA Pro Licence in 2008... During his time at Reading he worked alongside managers Steve Coppell, Alan Pardew and Brendan Rodgers. He has also worked with the England U-21 and U-19 squads, Northern Ireland U-21s and the Tottenham U-18 team amongst others and has also acted as a scout for clubs including West Ham United.
Supporting Bashir in his new role will be Tristan Lewis as Assistant Manager. Lewis holds a degree in Sports Industry Management and Football Studies and has worked at the Wycombe, Reading and John Madejski academies... Upon taking up the appointment Bashir said: 'It's a great chance for me to build upon my reputation and be part of developing a club that has a very exciting future'".
Meanwhile, NL Daily reports that "Returning striker Darryn Stamp has warned against making any outrageous predictions for Gainsborough Trinity next season. The 32-year-old striker is due to put pen to paper on a one-year deal shortly, returning to the club with which he spent the 2009/10 season. The veteran spent last term with Trinity's rivals Guiseley... But after Lions boss Steve Kittrick opted to bring in fresh faces in attack – including ex-Trinity forward Lee Ellington – Stamp has returned to the Northolme...
'Having no expectations helped us at Guiseley', said Stamp, who netted seven goals in 37 appearances last season... 'The team were doing it without anyone expecting it and I think that was key. What Gainsborough should be targeting this season is an improvement on last year – a massive improvement. If we are in or around the relegation places again then that's not good enough. When I was here previously... we had plenty of people who had dropped down from the Football League or Blue Square Bet Premier and they could not adapt to part-time football. When you are used to being a full-time player and then you are training only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is a big change. But this season it looks like the club have been recruiting young and
From the Northants Evening Telegraph we learn that "Fans have halted plans to rescue Rushden & Diamonds. A group of supporters looked into the prospect of finding investors or setting up a phoenix club. Thursday night’s forum at Nene Park was arranged to discuss those plans – although former chairman Keith Cousins is ready to speak to any fans from 7pm in the Kimberley Suite.
A statement on the Diamonds' Supporters Group website read: 'Over the last week or so, saveRDFC have been working tirelessly in order to try and put a number of options in place to keep a Rushden & Diamonds playing... and can report the following:
We do not believe that it is possible for the fans to save or purchase the current club without the help of an outside investor. We have not been able to find such an investor and therefore feel that the fans are unable to make any approaches to the club of this nature. We do not believe that it is possible or indeed financially viable for the fans to create a phoenix club for the 2011-12 season playing in the stadium at Nene Park...
Given the above, we as a group have no proposals of merit to discuss at a fans meeting on Thursday. We therefore feel that there would be no constructive outcomes from such a meeting and as such will not be chairing or hosting it... We have not given up on Rushden & Diamonds but until there is a more definite outcome from the current situation we do not feel able to help in any further way".
According to the Cambridge News "Histon may be compelled to call an annual general meeting following an informal get together of the club’s main shareholders last night. Former chairman Gareth Baldwin, Colin Pettit, Paul Pleszko and John Webster met with three other shareholders at the Quay Mill to discuss how new investment could be brought into the club. A consortium is keen to invest £250,000 a year for the next three years but will only do so if there is a change at the top of the club.
Baldwin said: 'It was an informal meeting. There were a number of new shareholders who turned up that we didn’t know about and we had some really constructive discussions about the way forward for the football club. We’ll be writing to the club with a number of signatures from shareholders asking for an annual general meeting where these issues can be discussed in an open forum and where the media can attend'".
"Solihull Moors' manager, Micky Moore, has announced two more signings for season 2011/12. Danny Spencer and Stuart Pierpoint have both joined from Nuneaton Town. Danny is a striker who scored eight goals in 33 starts for Town last season, whilst centre half Stuart made 37 appearances for Nuneaton in the same campaign".
Concerning Nuneaton Town, the Coventry Telegraph tells us that "While the Storer saga grinds on, another is set to end with centre-back Guy Hadland expected to sign a deal for another season... 'Guy was in earlier in the week and it seems certain he will be staying. He had a fine season in Blue Square North and showed he’s more than capable of holding his own at that level', added [manager] Wilkin.
Striker Lee Moore has yet to have discussions with Wilkin although the frontman is keen to continue his university studies which could mean him leaving the area and therefore parting company with the club and a similar scenario is facing Ed Matthews. Meanwhile, Justin Marsden is holding out on signing a deal just yet... However, Wilkin is not prepared to wait too long and looks set to bring in a striker with experience at Blue Square level".
At Hinckley United "Dean Thomas has snapped up highly rated striker David Kolodynski from Cambridge City on a one-year deal. Kolodynski, 22, progressed through Rugby Town's youth programme and finished as the British Gas Business Premier top scorer in 2008/9 with 26 league goals. David finished top goal scorer at Cambridge City last season with 21 goals from 39 appearances last season and was being heavily courted by Nuneaton Town and Histon but chose instead to further his career with the Knitters".
16 June 2011
SHIRT SPONSORSHIPNow that Altrincham FC have 12 players in the squad, the Club is seeking Shirt Sponsors for next season. Sponsorship is held at the same price as last season:
Anthony Danylyk (right) and Stuart Coburn's "home" shirts have already been sponsored as has Lee Sinnott.
PREPARING FOR THE SEASONAltrincham FC joint Press Officer, John Edwards, writes:
"Lee Sinnott is following the tried and tested formula of building from the back after adding another central defender to his new-look Altrincham squad for next season. After already recruiting experienced right-back Chris Lynch and centre-half Adam Flynn, Alty's new boss has further bolstered his back line by landing 22 year-old former Hyde defender Mark Lees.
Sinnott has reacted swiftly to the loss of towering centre-back Robbie Williams and given himself options at the back, with the arrival of Lees, Liverpool youth coach and ex-Southport skipper Flynn and another Hyde old boy, in Lynch.
There has been plenty of activity off the field, too, with the announcement of a major fund-raising night this weekend and an appeal for volunteers to help spruce up Moss Lane for the new season.
Professional singer Damien Skelhorn and his band, "Mr Big and the Love Contraption", are the star attraction at The Roebuck Inn on Saturday, at a live music event that starts at 8.30pm and includes hot food from a spit roast.
'It should be a great evening and a thoroughly enjoyable way of generating more funds for next season's squad,' said chairman Grahame Rowley, who confirmed that director Andrew Shaw had been appointed vice-chairman. 'We are always looking for ways of adding to the playing budget, and this is another welcome initiative.
'we want the ground to look its best, as well, and would appreciate hearing from anyone who can pop down during the week and help with painting and general tidying up work'".
YOUTH TEAM GAMESAltrincham FC Youth team manager George Heslop advises us of some pre-season games for his team:
Trial matches at Blessed Thomas Holford School, on Sunday 26th June & Sunday 3rd July:
Cheshire County F.A. District Youth Challenge Cup League 1 Matches (venues & kick-offs to be confirmed):
OLD BOY"Evo-Stik League Premier Division side Kendal Town have signed top-rated keeper Craig Dootson on a two year deal. The former professional at Bury, who has also played for Leigh RMI, Alfreton, Fleetwood and Altrincham, will play in Town’s colours beginning with the pre season friendlies...
Manager Lee Ashcroft said: 'I am absolutely delighted to have signed Craig Dootson and firmly believe he will be a great asset for the football club. I have played against and known Craig for a long time and know he has a fantastic attitude, a will to win and he will add to the ever improving squad I am building. Craig has always impressed me as a goalkeeper and has had a lot of interest from other clubs this summer for his signature. We have come up with a deal in which Craig is happy to commit his future to the club'".
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSThe Daily Mail reports that "The Football League are examining paperwork from newcomers Crawley Town needed to pass the owners' and directors' test. This also requires the club, favourites to win promotion to League One at the first attempt, to make public on their website anyone holding a stake of more than 10 per cent - which has yet to happen. Mystery surrounds Crawley's anonymous Far East bankrollers to the alleged extent that a shell company based at Gatwick Airport owns the club".
The BBC reports that "A football club has begun spreading cow manure at its ground to create what it believes will be the first organic pitch". Actually, Altrincham tried something similar 50 years or so ago, as former Alty director Len Pollitt's 1967 memoir of Moss Lane's pitch states...
"I was talking a little about the state of the ground. It was known as a quagmire for years and looking back I am not surprised really after what was thrown on it!
At one time sheep grazed on it and their manure was used to fill the stands. I remember former chairman Ernie Odlin, the Broadheath butcher, having loads of sewerage manure thrown on the ground. When it was wet it used to get all slimy and the water could not get away. Then, to break this mess up, the directors had coke breeze (a fine coking dust) sprinkled all over the manure. This dust was brought from the nearby Altrincham Gas Works, but things went from bad to worse, and every time a player fell down he got a septic sore. Both the sewerage and the breeze all had to be eventually scraped off again and dumped, and the lethal concoction was used to form the spectators' standing area at one end of the ground".
Anyway, the BBC continues that at the New Lawn, "The move is part of Forest Green Rovers' ongoing plans to become more eco-friendly. Club chairman Dale Vince also runs green electricity company Ecotricity.
Manager Dave Hockaday said the smell was 'a little bit lively, but the pitch is looking magnificent'. Groundsman Stewart Ward said it would take about two years for the ground to be declared organic by the Soil Association. '"On a farm you've got to have a period of three to five years for chemicals to be leached out of the ground', he said. 'It's only around two years for a sports ground'.
The club will meet the Soil Association on Thursday to discuss exactly what they need to do to become officially organic. Red meat was taken off the menu at the ground in February, and plans for the club to become more environmentally friendly are in the pipeline.
Mr Vince said: 'We've got a solar project planned, we're looking at LEDs for the floodlights and we're also looking to collect the rain water from the main stadium and collect the drain water from the pitch so that we can recycle the water round and round. We're also looking at sinking a bore hole so that we can feed the pitch with spring water".
On the playing side, NL Daily adds that "David Hockaday, manager of Forest Green Rovers, has moved swiftly to negate Ross Dyer’s switch to Mansfield Town by swooping for former Forest Green duo Charlie Griffin and James Norwood. Experienced striker Griffin, 31, returns to the New Lawn for a third spell after moving from Stevenage, whilst speedy winger Norwood, 20, rejoins from Exeter City, following a loan spell at Rovers last season. Jared Hodgkiss has also agreed a new deal."
The Northants Evening Telegraph states that "Keith Cousins is back at Rushden & Diamonds in a last-gasp bid to save the club. The former chairman returned to Nene Park on Monday and reclaimed control in the absence of current owners Steve and Liam Beasant. Cousins confirmed that a takeover deal has been agreed with Japanese investors Marge Property Management Ltd., [which you won't currently find on Google].
But that would only go ahead if Diamonds are successful in an appeal to the Football Association against the Conference board’s decision to expel the club for breaches of rules. Cousins said: 'We have tried everything to meet the obligations of the league but it was made impossible. I have now taken possession of the place and seized the premises. I’m going to sit down and take stock of the situation then decide what we’re going to do'.
Cousins had offered to pay £350,000 to the Conference towards the club’s £750,000 debts but he was unhappy over conditions being imposed. A deal with the Glenn Hoddle Academy broke down before the Conference’s annual meeting and the Tokyo-based group are now awaiting assurances over Diamonds’ status.
A winding-up order was adjourned at Northampton County Court for 21 days to provide a stay of execution while the FA consider an appeal".
Meanwhile, the same paper reports that "Imraan Ladak says Kettering Town are 'quite far down the line' in deciding who the club’s next manager will be. The Poppies have been without a boss since Marcus Law left to join Tamworth last month. Various names have been linked to the position including, most recently, Rushden & Diamonds boss Justin Edinburgh.
And now chairman Ladak, who insisted no talks have taken place with Edinburgh, has revealed that the identity of the new boss is likely to be confirmed next week, although he again admitted the stadium issue and the short and long-term future of the club remains the priority.
'Our budget is likely to be quite restricted', Ladak said. 'And when I say that, it includes the budget surrounding the manager and his coaching staff as well as the players... It means we are looking for someone who has been able to work with a small budget in the past. We are quite far down the line in terms of the manager now, we have pretty much decided who it’s going to be. We haven’t held talks with Justin Edinburgh and, like I said, we are quite far down the line'.
Others who have been linked with the job include former York City boss Martin Foyle, ex-Salisbury City manager Tommy Widdrington and former Northampton Town chief Ian Sampson, although Ladak has previously stated that he is looking for someone with Conference experience".
According to the BBC, "Kettering Town chairman Imraan Ladak has confirmed the club are considering a move to Rushden & Diamonds' home ground at Nene Park. The Poppies have long-running issues with their own base at Rockingham Road, the lease on which runs out in 2013.
'We're in negotiations with [Kettering's landlord] Ben Pickering and have been for some time', Ladak told BBC Radio Northampton. 'And we're also negotiating with Nene Park', he added. 'The ideal scenario for Northamptonshire would be Rushden & Diamonds playing at Nene Park and us at Rockingham Road until we can build a new stadium but it looks as if it will be impossible for us to do that, and it's also very tricky for Rushden. We're looking to get final proposals from both parties and then we'll present them to our supporters so they'll be in possession of the full facts before making a decision', Ladak continued. 'We signed an option a couple of years ago to play at Corby - but that's not something we're looking to take up'".
According to NL Daily, "Jonathan Smith has agreed to join Swindon Town from York City for a transfer fee of £30,000. Smith joined City at the start of last season from Forest Green Rovers and became a regular under Gary Mills".
NL Daily also says that "Jez George has swooped quickly to sign Ryan Charles for Cambridge United following Danny Wright’s move to Wrexham for an undisclosed fee. George admitted his interest in the Rushden & Diamonds striker last week and has signed him on a one-year deal".
The Football Conference reports that "Brian Lee has announced that he is standing down as chairman of the Football Conference. Lee has been chairman of Conference for five years but announced at last Saturday’s AGM that he will step down from the position in twelve months".
From Blue Square North, we learn that "Corby Town have signed two new players, whilst also handing new deals to three squad members. Defender Delroy Gordon joins the Steelmen from Southern League Premier Division outfit Banbury, while midfielder James Ozmen has signed from East Midlands Premier Division side Holbrook Sports...
Manager Graham Drury told the club's official website: 'Delroy was Player of the Year at Banbury last season and has played at right back, centre-half and right wing for them so he's another versatile player coming in with a few positions up his sleeve. He has been at Rushden & Diamonds and Kettering and will be a name that people will know... Meanwhile, Corby have also confirmed goalkeeper Lee Windrum, midfielder Jordan Spruce and striker Gregg Smith have all committed their futures to the club".
BSN also confirms that "Worcester City have increased their summer signings to five with the addition of Stafford Rangers winger Danny Edwards and Redditch United centre half Jacob Rowe. Worcester assistant boss Matt Gardiner told Worcester News: 'Danny is a left-sided player who is very good technically with a fine engine... Jacob is 6ft 3ins tall, reasonably quick and strong and he will do well for us. He was unfortunate not to be kept on by Birmingham and I think he's what we are looking for'".
Bullsnews reports that "AFC Wimbledon striker Danny Kedwell has submitted a written transfer request to the club. The 27 year-old scored 24 goals last season, with the Wombles accepting the request but looking for a fee with the player still under contract."
The Boston Standtard says that "Julian Joachim reckons he’s still got what it takes to bang in the goals for Boston United. The former Premier League forward will spend pre-season training with the Pilgrims. And the ex-Aston Villa and Leicester City striker says he hopes he can convince managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville to offer him a return to his home-town club.
'That’s the plan,” he said, when asked if he was looking for a season back in amber and black'... Joachim grabbed 16 goals in 48 appearances for Boston during the 2005-06 League Two season... Joachim will have to prove himself in attack as United have already added Boston-born Chris Hall and Mikel Suarez to their squad this week, while Jason Lee and Marc Newsham are also signed on. Joachim has played little football since leaving Evo-Stik Division One South side Quorn in 2010".
Nearer to home, the Manchester Evening News states that "Stockport County are still waiting to hear whether three players will commit their futures to the club – and they’ve got just six days to decide. Daniel O’Donnell, Danny Rowe, Andy Halls, Paul Turnbull and Greg Tansey were all offered one-year deals following County’s relegation to the Blue Square Premier.
Tansey looks set to leave Edgeley Park, despite seeing his move to Inverness stall this week, while Halls has indicated he wants to stay. That leaves O’Donnell, Rowe and Turnbull – who is also a target for Northampton Town – who are yet to make up their mind, and Ray Mathias says...
'It’s got to be decided by June 21. If things aren’t moving with them then we’ll have to go elsewhere... It’s a massive job. The budget’s not big but we’ve got to try and bring quality in with what we’ve got... I was working away on holiday and you never get a break away from the phone. You don’t get holidays in football but you’ve got to be prepared to do these things'".
It is reported by the Cambridge News that "Lanre Oyebanjo has left Histon after rejecting the offer of a new deal to remain for another season. The Republic of Ireland under-21 international informed manager David Livermore of his decision yesterday and is now considering offers from clubs in League Two and the Blue Square Bet Premier.
'Lanre has rejected our re-engagement', said Livermore. "It’s his decision and we’ve reluctantly accepted that'.
Livermore also confirmed yesterday that former Yeovil striker Craig Calver will be one of the players turning up for Histon’s pre-season programme".
Off the field, "The group of shareholders looking to oust Angelo Dama from Histon want to bring Steve Fallon back as manager. The possibility of re-installing Fallon as Stutes' boss will be raised at an extraordinary general meeting set to take place tonight. Shareholders Gareth Baldwin, Colin Pettit, Paul Pleszko and John Webster hope to discuss the matter with directors from the football club, as well as a number of other issues about the way the club has been run.
An anonymous consortium is believed to be interested in clearing the club’s debts and investing £250,000 a year for the next three years, but will only do so if there is change at boardroom level. Former Histon chairman Baldwin, now a commercial consultant at Cambridge United, said: 'It’s no secret that the consortium and shareholders are very much in favour of bringing Steve Fallon back as manager. One of the items we want to discuss (at the meeting) is to understand the contractual obligations of the current manager. If there are genuine contractual obligations, it may make bringing Steve back difficult'.
Histon issued a statement earlier in the week declaring the meeting invalid... But Baldwin disputed the claim and said it will still take place as planned. 'We will have 62 per cent of the share holding', he said. 'We have a number of items of concern that we want to discuss with the directors of the business. If they refuse to attend, that is their right but we will still be meeting and will proceed with what we’re trying to achieve. We’re the majority shareholders and are quite within our rights to ask questions relating to the business. It’s clear a number of changes need to be made and one of those is new investment'... Any legal wrangling between the shareholders and the club over its legality is likely to be referred to the FA."
Droylsden report that "Our midweek home fixtures will now be played on Tuesday evenings 7.45pm kick off". The Bloods formerly played on Monday nights at the Butcher's Arms.
Hinckley United say that "Dean Thomas has swooped to sign former Stafford Rangers captain Craig McAughtrie to add further oppositions to what is now on paper a very resilient looking defensive line-up. McAughtrie who played professionally at Sheffield United and Carlisle... and at 30 will bring both experience and maturity to the Knitters' defence. Craig is also a winner having enjoyed promotion from the Conference North twice... in 2006 with Stafford Rangers and then in 2009 with Tamworth".
At Guiseley, "Businessman and Guiseley AFC benefactor Steve Parkin says he remains fully committed to the club. Mr Parkin was linked earlier in the week with a bid to purchase Bradford City and Bradford Bulls in order to form a joint sporting club in the city. He maintains, however, that should this bid come to fruition he would still be committed to investing in Guiseley AFC... He would have to comply with F.A regulations prohibiting a person from being a director at two clubs. Mr Parkin says that this wouldn’t prevent him from being involved with Guiseley AFC. He told the Yorkshire Evening Post, 'I would remain a benefactor. After all the hard work that has gone into getting Guiseley this far, I could not let that go to waste'".
15 June 2011
NEW VICE-CHAIRMANAltrincham FC joint Press Officer, Brian Flynn, writes:
The Board of Altrincham Football Club are pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Shaw to the position of Vice-Chairman. Andrew joined the Board in the summer of 2002 and he, along with Geoff Goodwin and Grahame Rowley, has played a major part in helping Altrincham Football Club achieve sustained stability during the last nine years. The position of Vice-Chairman has been vacant since Grahame Rowley replaced Geoff Goodwin as Chairman last September and Andrew's appointment is seen as both logical and very well deserved.
TEAM-BUILDINGAltrincham FC joint Press Officer, Brian Flynn, writes:
Lee Sinnott will be getting his new squad together during the last two days of July for a training and team-building weekend. The squad will be based at a local hotel and the new manager sees this as an important step in ensuring that fitness levels are optimised for the start of the season, a fortnight later, as well as helping to integrate the players remaining from last season's squad with the new players who have been recruited for the 2011/12 Blue Square Bet North campaign. This means that there will be no pre-season game on Saturday July 30th.
RECYCLING FOR ALTYGrahame Rowley writes:
"After the success of phone recycling which raised over £1000 for the Football Club we are now broadening our range of products to include CDs, DVDs and computer games. Please look around your house for unwanted phones, CDs, DVDs and computer games and bring them into the Fooball Club's office. We will then arrange for them to be recycled and all funds raised will be added to Lee Sinnott's playing budget for this season.
This is an ideal way for each and every fan to be able to do their bit to help the club with its fundraising initiatives as well as helping tidy up your home. Regular updates on the progress of the scheme will be posted on the site throughout the season".
YANKEEThe Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot currently stands at £900 after last week's winning code of 7221 was unissued. There were seven winning "trebles", each netting their holder £28.57.
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSBlyth Spartans confirm that "After due consideration the club have informed the FA today that they will now not take up the contract option with Stephen Turnbull. Stephen did verbally agree, with new manager Steve Cuggy, a deal for the forthcoming season but then chose to accept an offer from another club. Blyth Spartans feel that there is no mileage in pursuing their option and Stephen will be allowed to leave the club."
At Boston United "Defender Kieran Murphy is looking forward to a new challenge in his life — but is disappointed to be leaving in the process. Murphy, who made 24 appearances for the Pilgrims last season, is moving back to Kingston-upon-Thames upon the completion of his studies at Loughborough University. The centre-half is aiming to continue his football career in the London area".
In the wake of recent boardroom resignations, Colwyn Bay say that "It's business as usual. At a recent board meeting the resignation from the Colwyn Bay FC Board of Geoff, Darren and Martin Cartwright were accepted. At this moment, this doesn’t change anything as ‘The Bay Management Team’ (TBMT) still has over twelve months remaining on [its] contract, which do[es] not expire until September 2012. Therefore, TBMT are still responsible for the operational running of the club. However, TBMT have put together an offer that would release them from this contract, while safeguarding various initiatives that have been set up in the club's name. The board are giving this offer serious consideration, but until a couple of the finer points have been addressed, TBMT remain in place".
There is also a "club announcement" from Droylsden, issued "In response to speculation regarding the comings and goings of players for next season. It has always been the club's policy not to provide details of close season movement around the club. Any such interest the club may or may not have in players will not be put in the public domain for the benefit of a rival club who may wish to take advantage of any such information.
Behind the scenes enquiries are constant and although it may appear that a flurry of signings happen just before the season starts it does not mean these signings are rushed, indeed the groundwork for these signings would have begun weeks or months before. The club reports new signings when pen has been put to paper and it is unlikely that any such action will take place before the players return for pre-season training on 2nd July.
Any players that you may have heard have left the club, have done so to take up offers elsewhere but. should the club have wished to retain their services. it could have done so. These players would not have figured in the club's plans for the next campaign so no counter-offer was made. Speculation regarding [Jody] Banim and [Chris] Denham is unfounded and Ciaran[Kilheeney] has an existing contract in place".
According to the Cambridge News, "Histon Football Club have declared Wednesday night’s extraordinary general meeting, planned by four shareholders, invalid. Former chairmen Gareth Baldwin and Tony Roach, along with fellow shareholders John Webster and Paul Pleszko, have scheduled the meeting in a bid to oust director Angelo Dama, as previously reported in the Cambridge News.
But a statement from the club said: 'Following recent speculation in the local media, Histon FC would like to make the following clear to our shareholders and supporters. Based on legal advice from our lawyers we can confirm that contrary to those media reports, any meeting held this week will not be a valid general meeting or shareholder meeting of Histon Football Club Ltd. We will continue to be guided and advised by our lawyers in this matter and further statements will be made if and when appropriate'".
This is Lincs claims that "Boston United appear set for another battle for compensation with Grimsby Town after Shaun Pearson closed in on a move to Blundell Park. The Mariners' former Boston joint-bosses Rob Scott and Paul Hurst look set to have won the battle for the highly-rated central defender, who has rejected a new contract offer from the Pilgrims to pursue his dream of joining the full-time ranks.
Boston will be due a fee for Pearson because the player is under the age of 24 and chairman David Newton is likely to drive a hard bargain. Newton is taking Grimsby Town, plus Scott and Hurst, to court following the pair's controversial switch from Boston in March. When contacted yesterday, Pearson refused to confirm he had agreed to join the Mariners, but speculation in North East Lincolnshire is rife that Town have won the battle for his signature.
'I was offered a fantastic deal to stay at Boston, it really made me feel wanted', he said last week. 'But I've told the managers (Jason Lee and Lee Canoville) and the chairman (David Newton) of my decision. They've been fantastic and totally understand. Part of me wanted to stay and help get the club promoted but I had to think about my career. It's always been my dream to become a professional footballer and now I've got that chance'. The Pilgrims yesterday re-signed striker Mikel Suarez, who left the club for Worksop in January".
Interesting developments are reported by Bulls News, which tells us that "Bradford [City] are reported to be the subject of takeover talks from local millionaire Steve Parkin. The current Guiseley director wants to buy them and Bradford Bulls rugby league side and put the two together in a new stadium."
More on this comes from the Bradford Telegraph & Argus which says that "City have warned prospective buyer Steve Parkin that he must deliver a better offer if his dream of uniting both Bradford clubs is to get off the ground... City have rejected Parkin’s initial interest, insisting he is under-valuing the club. The Bulls have also played down reports of an ambitious amalgamation. Parkin is willing to make a £3m bid but the Bantams say they are a far more attractive proposition since the current owners eased the stadium overheads by buying the Valley Parade office block.
Bantams joint-chairman Julian Rhodes wants to see a detailed business plan from Parkin, the Guiseley director who failed in a previous bid to buy his boyhood club Leeds. Rhodes said: 'We’ve had a few meetings and will continue to do so but Steve’s offer isn’t enough as it stands. We would like to think there may come a point where we might be able to make a deal but we aren’t there at the moment'".
From the Bucks Examiner we learn that "Ex-Wycombe assistant boss Martin Kuhl has missed out on the vacant managerial position at Hayes and Yeading. The 46-year-old was interviewed for the job at the Blue Square Premier side after resigning from his post at Wanderers after a team bus spat in April. But the former Portsmouth midfielder has been told he is not being considered for the job".
Former opponents of Alty, "Evo-Stik League Division One South club Hucknall Town have been saved after the VAT man agreed to the club's offer to settle a tax bill of around £75,000. President Brian Holmes hatched an 11th-hour rescue-plan that included an offer of £50,000 to HMRC Customs And Excise. The tax authority has finally accepted the deal, which means Town are free to continue operating. Meanwhile, Hucknall goalkeeper Ross Whalin has joined local rivals Eastwood Town, Grant Brindley has gone to Grantham and winger Tris Whitman has left the club by mutual consent" reports This is Nottingham.
According to Sky Sports former Alty loanee "Greg Tansey's proposed move to Scottish Premier League outfit Inverness Caledonian Thistle has stalled following Stockport County's insistence that the player sees out his contract with the relegated Cheshire side. Tansey was hoping to move to Scotland in the first week of June with pre-season training due to start next week. With the SPL season to kick-off early on July 23rd, Inverness were also hoping Tansey could join up with the rest of the squad and settle into his new surrounds.
However, with Stockport's well-reported financial problems still an issue the Hatters are waiting to see if they can get any sort of fee from an English side for Tansey, whose move to Scotland will be as a free transfer under FIFA rules. Tansey returns from holiday later this week and his agent Rob Shield has updated skysports.com on the situation: 'Stockport are entitled to hold onto Greg until the end of the month, hoping that a club in England will offer them some money instead of him moving to Scotland for free. However, Greg is committed to Inverness and would only consider a stay in England if a Championship side came knocking which hasn't happened. He's had a number of clubs in League Two and a couple from League One show interest but he's really impressed with Inverness and manager Terry Butcher's ambitious plans and the exposure he will get in the SPL'".
200% has a lengthy report which says that "The events of the weekend in the Football Conference have re-opened a debate within non-league football that has lain dormant for several years, in spite of increasingly contradictory geographical arrangements starting to become more commonplace. Mike Bayly wonders whether it is time to rip up the league committee’s rule book and start again...
The real problem here is not geographical interpretations of arbitrary boundaries, but the failure of the English football league system to address the financial and logistical considerations of its member clubs... With the introduction of the Alliance Premier League (now Football Conference) and the Conference North and South divisions in 2004-05, these same leagues now sit at step three of the non-league structure...
The main problem with the setup is the enormous concentration of clubs in the South East, and polarisation of clubs in the North East and South West, meaning teams are reluctant to take promotion owing to the exorbitant travel costs involved; it is no coincidence that Cornwall based Truro City are the only club in recent history to have emerged from the area, largely due to the huge financial backing of chairman Kevin Heaney. As a result, the border lines have been squashed. With little or no promotion from the Northern League at step five, but a steady stream of mobility from other parallel leagues, the Northern Premier League and Conference North are moving further and further south each season, resulting in the farcical situation Stortford now found themselves in".
14 June 2011
INTERVIEW WITH CHAIRMANThe BBC's "NL Show" has an audio interview with Altrincham chairman Grahame Rowley, which covers the reduction in our club's budget this season amongst other topics.
WHEN ALTY WERE KINGSParts 37 and 38 of Barry Pikesley's series "When Alty Were Kings", chronicling the 1979-80 season, are now on the website, courtesy of the author. The latest instalments are here. The Alty team of that season is pictured right.
BLUE SQUARE BET LEAGUES' NEWSBullsnews reports that "At this weekend's Conference AGM and awards evening, Kettering chairman Imraan Ladak hijacked the BBC's Non-League Show recording equipment and interviewed a number of prominent Conference figures:
Brown believes his budget for the coming season will be one of the lowest in the division but he believes the squad he has will be competitive as they have been together for two years. He also told Ladak that he had spoken to around half the managers in League Two and that the average budget was going to be £1 million+ for the coming season".
Blue Square Bet has installed Altrincham as 6/1 promotion favourites in Blue Square North.
At Workington we learn that "Following the controversial AGM on Saturday morning/afternoon, over seventy clubs were represented at the Congress Dinner in the evening in one of Celtic Manor’s opulent banquet suites. Reds were represented at the dinner and were seated with newcomers Tonbridge Angels.
Master of Ceremonies for the evening was renowned footballer commentator Steve Bower...
The various player of the year presentations were made with Alfreton Town’s Liam Hearn receiving the Blue Square Bet North award while Matthew Tubbs (Crawley Town) and Adam Birchall (Dover Athletic) were the Premier and South recipients respectively. All three players also picked up the top goal scorer gong for their division.
The Blue Square Bet North ‘Team of the Year’ was dominated by Alfreton Town and AFC Telford United players with the hypothetical line-up as follows:
Alfreton Town boss, Nicky Law, was nominated Blue Square Bet North Manager of the Year. Programme of the Year in our section went to AFC Telford United while the Fair Play Award was won by Blyth Spartans with Reds finishing third".
The Football Conference reports that "A winding-up petition brought against Rushden & Diamonds has been adjourned for twenty-one days. Northampton County Court heard today that the Diamonds expect to be able to pay their creditors in the form of finance from Japanese investors. The petition is headed by catering company Cloverdale, who are owed in the region of £65,000. But the club owes money to a range of creditors, including a debt of around £189,000 to HM Revenue & Customs".
Blue Square Football tells us that "Wrexham AFC have issued an update with regards to the sale of the club to Wrexham Supporters' Trust. Wrexham owner Geoff Moss has been in discussions with representatives of the WST for the past few weeks to negotiate the transfer of ownership of Wrexham Football Club, Colliers Park and the Racecourse.
An official club statement read: "Wrexham Football Club have been working closely with representatives of the Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST) over the last couple of weeks to provide full legal and financial due diligence, whilst still trying to keep the Club running. We have now provided all the requested information and await a further response. To ensure a smooth transition and to make the most of the important selling period, we need to push on quickly together".
"Boston United manager Lee Canoville has confirmed that the Pilgrims have agreed to re-sign striker Mikel Suárez. The popular Spanish frontman left The Jakemans' Stadium in January — but is now poised to return ahead of the 2011-2012 campaign following a spell with Evo-Stik Premier Division side Worksop Town. Suárez scored 12 goals in 57 appearances for the Pilgrims during a successful 18-month stint at the club between July 2009 and January 2011".
13 June 2011
FOURTH NEW FACEAltrincham FC are pleased to welcome their fourth new signing of the close season. The player concerned is former Hyde centre-back Mark Lees. Born on 23 July 1988, Mark made his Tigers' debut in August 2009. His previous clubs as a youth player included Mossley, Curzon Ashton and Stalybridge Celtic. He then joined New Mills, Buxton and Ashton United before arriving at Ewen Fields. Mark will, of course, be well known to Alty assistant manager, Neil Tolson, the former manager at Hyde.
The three earlier signings are Chris Lynch (another former Hyde player), ex-Southport captain Adam Flynn and Simon Richman, formerly with Port Vale and Worcester City.
ANDREW ELECTED TO FA COUNCILThe Football Conference announces that Altrincham FC director "Andrew Shaw (left) has departed the Board of the Football Conference in dramatic fashion.
While others enjoyed a round of golf at the Celtic Manor on Friday, Andrew decided to don his walking boots and made his way along the disused Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal on the outskirts of Newport, pounding out well over fifteen miles to raise money for Level Playing Field (National Association of Disabled Supporters).
The Football Conference has long been a great supporter of the charity which does so much for those less fortunate than most and among their aims they aid attendance at non-League level matches.
Usually donations to the charity from the Conference comes from funds held by the Conference itself, so on this occasion Andy thought he would literally go that extra mile and seek individual sponsorship from other members of the Board. In total he reported back to his colleagues that his efforts raised in excess of £500 which will be passed on shortly to the charity.
Andrew Shaw has served as one of the representatives for the Premier Division on the main Board of the Conference, through his role as a director of Altrincham FC, for a number of years but at this years` AGM had to reluctantly stand down due to his club's relegation into the Conference North. His expertise and experience will not be lost, however, due to being selected to serve on the FA Council to look after the interest of the 68 member clubs."
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSThe BBC confirms that "Rushden & Diamonds have been expelled from the Football Conference for financial reasons, ahead of a hearing for a winding-up petition on Monday.
'The primary reason why we've been expelled is because of the financial issues with the winding-up petition', said chief executive Steve Beasant. Relegated Southport earn a reprieve as Diamonds' fate means they will stay up. Thurrock will remain in the Blue Square Bet South, while Bishop's Stortford will move to Blue Square Bet North.
Hopes of being rescued by a consortium linked in with the Glenn Hoddle Academy were dashed on Friday...
'We've had two investment consortiums show interest in taking over the club and injecting money', Beasant told BBC Radio Northampton. 'We needed more time to get that interest confirmed. We've got a business model and we had investors but the conditions put on us by the Conference made the deal impossible'.
Beasant says that Diamonds will now aim to find a place in next season's Zamaretto League - a drop of at least two divisions. 'We'd have to make representation to them to be included, so we'll deal with that on Monday', he said. 'But the priority is to make sure that the club isn't wound up on Monday. We've got to deal with the winding-up petition. We're looking for an adjournment'".
Meanwhile there is also turmoil at a club just promoted to BSB North as "Colwyn Bay FC have been rocked by the shock decision of the Cartwright family, who have run the club since 2007, to step down just weeks after the Seagulls won promotion to the Blue Square Bet North.
It follows a stormy club AGM last Monday and chairman Geoff Cartwright announced that after considerable reflection and with much regret, he and his two sons, managing director Darren Cartwright and Matchday Operations Director Martin Cartwright, have decided to step down from the board.
All three are directors of The Bay Management Team Ltd (TBMT) which has run the club on behalf of Colwyn Bay Football Club Ltd. In a statement they said that the current relationship with some of the club's existing directors, who were re-elected by shareholders at the AGM, was 'no longer a tenable or workable prospect, mainly stemming from an apparent lack of shared vision and trust'.
Geoff Cartwright performs his last duty as chairman by attending Saturday's Blue Square Conference AGM at the Celtic Manor, with his resignation effective from tomorrow (Sunday). That leaves the club needing to appoint a new chairman with the new season, which presents a huge new financial challenge for the club, only nine weeks away.
Club President Roger Skinner said the news had come as 'a complete shock'. He added, 'The remaining board members will now have to meet to discuss where we go from here'.
Player-manager Dave Challinor said, 'The timing of this is obviously not ideal and hopefully things will get sorted out sooner rather than later in terms of moving the club forward'.
The North Wales-based Cartwrights, as TBMT Ltd, took over the management and operation of Colwyn Bay Football Club in 2007, with the support of shareholders, after an appeal for boardroom support, and they implemented a five year plan aimed at achieving Conference level football for the club within five years. Back to back promotions in 2009/10 and 2010/11 have seen that achieved.
The statement from TBMT Ltd says, 'The tenure has also seen a stadium development plan drawn up, which provides a tangible vision and goal to work towards in the coming years. Wtih average match attendances up, season ticket sales increasing year on year, record sponsorship deals secures, TMBT Ltd are set to leave the board feeling vindicated in their aims and ideas for the club. MBT Ltd would like to wish the club, the supporters, volunteers, sponsors, its management team and playing staff every success in the future, building upon the vision set in motion both on and off of the pitch'".
The 200% site states, "The non-league football AGM cup had been eagerly awaited, but the early results have still come as a bit of a shock. Rushden & Diamonds were expelled from the Football Conference... Southport, who finished in fourth from bottom place in the league and were to be relegated into the Blue Square North for next season, will be reprieved and Hertfordshire club Bishops Stortford, in one of those quirks that is always possible in a regional system, seem likely to be shifted into the Blue Square North. Amongst the round trips that they will face next season will include a six hundred mile round-trip to Workington and a five hundred and fifty mile round-trip to play Blyth Spartans.
We have reported on the problems at Rushden on this site before, of course. The arrival of Gary Calder (formerly of Hornchurch and Weymouth, hardly a Curriculum Vitae to inspire a great deal of confidence) with the father and son Beasant duo in December of last year brought considerable problems for the club, and a familiar argot of phrases – players unpaid, transfer embargo, HMRC, winding-up order, creditors' meeting – has come to encircle the club over the last six months or so, culminating in a farcical meeting which only seemed to exacerbate the tensions that had built up between the club and its creditors...
The club has a Winding Up Order hearing at the High Court on Monday... The courts have been lenient in the past with this sort of hearing... but such uncertainty [as at Rushden] only seems likely to make the granting of an adjournment less likely...
It is understood that the expulsion of another club was discussed at the Football Conference’s AGM this morning, but that this club has been reprieved for the time being. At the time of writing, however (and in the best interests of not wishing to induce panic elsewhere, it is probably for the best not to name the other club at this time), only Rushden & Diamonds’ fate is sealed, and they will start next season – if they start at all – in the Southern League Premier Division...
The effects of playing in the Blue Square North could be ruinous for Bishop's Stortford. Travel costs will be immense, and there is also the small matter of how difficult it may be to attract players when so many away matches involve the sort of epic journeys that they will face next season... Bishop’s Stortford are innocent victims of the mismanagement of another club...
It is worth asking the question of whether Stortford will be recompensed... Bishops Stortford have been pushed into a position of effectively having all of the drawbacks of national football with none of the benefits that it brings. It is to be hoped that they are helped out, should they need to be".
The Football Conference reports that "Blyth Spartans have confirmed that, due to change in his personal circumstances, new signing Darren Timmons will not be joining on a full-time basis. He will, however, remain registered with the club as emergency cover. Manager Steve Cuggy commented: 'It’s a shame that Daz won’t be here full time as I feel he could have been an asset. Gavin Fell and I hope that he has another success season with Whitley Bay'".
According to Blue Square North "Darren Edmondson is looking forward to welcoming midfielder Tony Hopper back to Workington despite the 35-year-old having retired last July. The former Carlisle United and Barrow player even enjoyed a testimonial of sorts after a 19-year career with a friendly match against The Cumbrians but admitted to Edmondson that he misses the game.
The Reds boss will run the rule over the out of practice player in pre-season before making any decisions over his future. Edmondson told the Times and Star: 'It's going to be difficult because although Tony's been looking after himself, he hasn't been playing regularly... but I'm delighted that he's wanting to give it a go'".
Elsewhere, "Nuneaton Town centre-back Gareth Dean has confirmed that he will not represent Great Britain at the World University Games. The news is a welcome boost for Boro who would have been without the 21-year-old for the start of the campaign... Dean feels it would better serve his career if he rested up for the new season...
He told Nuneaton News: 'I went to the trial day and really enjoyed it overall, but I felt mentally and physically exhausted. My body was telling me things it hasn't done before. I've been getting little tweaks over the last few months and that has never happened before. I'm 21 but after the trials I felt like a 50-year-old. I've played regularly since I was 18 and that's not a problem because I've had a summer break. If I'd gone to China that wouldn't be the case. I would have played for two years solid and we were told we'd lose weight after every game there. I had my injury at Telford and I lost a stone in about ten days with tonsilitis as I couldn't eat properly.
Nuneaton pay me to play football and I didn't want to come back from China as a lesser player'".
It was a good week for the Southport chairman as he saw his club reprieved from relegation and was also made MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list; "Charles Clapham, Chairman, Palace Chemicals Ltd. For services to Manufacture and to Football in Merseyside."
"Gary Stones, assistant manager at Evo-Stik League Division One South side Hucknall Town, has accused former first team coach Jamie Brough of breaking a gentleman's agreement by targeting Yellows players. Brough, along with Craig Armstrong, has taken the reins at Eastwood – playing two divisions higher in the football pyramid. Watnall Road player Josh Burge has since been signed by the Badgers, with Ross Whalin expected to follow, while another Martin Ball, was approached.
That has angered Stones and manager Tommy Brookbanks, who initially made their feelings known on a club message board. 'We entrusted Jamie with a lot of responsibility last year and tried to help groom him for bigger and better things. Now he has stabbed us in the back', he said. 'He gave us his word he wouldn't come back for players. It wouldn't be so bad if he had been up front and said he wanted to take two or three players. We wouldn't have liked it, but we would have respected it. In this game you have to have contacts and if you start burning bridges, then you make it very hard for yourself...
But Brough says nothing was formally agreed upon his departure and feels he has done nothing wrong. He added 'It is very rare for a manager to move from one club to another and not take players... I am just doing my best to make Eastwood a successful team'" reports This is Nottingham.
However, Blyth Spartans themselves "Announce that left back Phil Cave is the latest player to put pen to paper on a new deal for the upcoming campaign. The defender signed from Gateshead at the start of the previous season...
Manager Steve Cuggy commented 'It’s great that Phil has agreed to stay as he is a quality left back. He is good friends with new signing Wayne Philip... so hopefully they’ll continue the good form they showed together for the Spartans'".
Interesting news comes from Bulls News to the effect that "The People newspaper is reporting that Glenn Hoddle is set to become Stockport's new manager, taking his Academy set up to Edgeley Park, if the current shareholders drop their financial demands for a takeover.
After talks with Rushden fell through when the Conference rejected their rescue plan, Hoddle and his financial backers have turned their main focus to Stockport. Among those backers are reported to be Stockport based darts player Tony 'Silverback' O'Shea and the sports editor of a national newspaper. The paper also claims Phil 'The Power' Taylor is on the fringes of the consortium.
Their plans include a new stadium and sports university in Stockport but the deal hinges on the sums the current shareholders are prepared to walk away from the club for. Leaked emails to a fans site suggest they have offered existing shareholders their investments back, but some are holding out for a cut of the profits of the proposed development".
Meanwhile, Blue Square Football reports that "Stockport County have issued an official statement with regards to investment negotiations currently taking place. Lord Peter Snape, chairman of Stockport County, has issued the statement after an unnamed website published details of the ongoing negotiations.
The statement read: 'For some time Stockport County Football Club have been in detailed negotiations with interested parties with a view to substantial investment in the club. Unfortunately this evening very sensitive information pertaining to the discussions has been leaked into the public domain. As Chairman of Stockport County Football Club I can assure all of our supporters that the Board of Directors are only interested in the good of the Football Club both short and long term, and I very much regret that such confidential information has been so publicly aired.
I ask that our supporters understand that negotiations are still ongoing and, when concluded, any proposals will be considered by the Football Club Board and the shareholders. I very much regret not being in a position to give any more detailed information but ask our supporters to understand that confidentiality agreements are in force and should be respected'".
The Worcester News says that "Gavin Hurren is set to undergo knee surgery this week in his bid to play a part in Worcester City’s pre-season programme. The defensive midfielder has been out of action since sustaining the problem in the 1-0 victory at Guiseley on March 12. He has been waiting on a date for the operation to repair cartilage damage and it is hoped to be in the next few days.
Hurren will then face a period of rehabilitation, but should be fit enough to be involved at some point in the build-up to the new campaign. City return from their summer break on Saturday, July 2... 'If he had his surgery some time next week, he would miss the first couple of weeks of pre-season', said Worcester physio Steve Ball. The 25-year-old former Kidderminster Harriers man played seven games before his injury after leaving county rivals Redditch United in February. His efforts in front of the back-four gave more freedom to fellow midfielder Kevin O’Connor to work in tandem with Tom Thorley".
12 June 2011
WHEN WE WERE KINGSThe next two instalments of Barry Pikesley's series on Altrincham FC's championship winning season of 1979-80, When We Were Kings, is to be found here.
PORT SAVED AS DIAMONDS EXPELLEDThe Football Conference announces,
"At today`s Annual General Meeting of the Football Conference Limited, the member clubs unanimously approved the Constitution of the Competition. This followed the unanimous decision of the Board to expel Rushden & Diamonds FC from the Football Conference under Article 5.2 of its Articles of Association.
The club had admitted various breaches of the Rules of the Football Conference, including not paying numerous football creditors, failing to respond to correspondence and failing to comply with instructions from the Board regarding its debts and its plans for the future.
Based on information provided by the club, it is clear that it has significant financial problems. Among other things, it owes several hundred thousand pounds to creditors, including substantial sums to football creditors and HM Revenue & Customs and in a few days time, faces the hearing of a winding-up petition supported by HMRC.
The Board explored matters fully with the club and its representatives in an attempt to resolve issues satisfactorily for the Football Conference and the club and to ensure payment of creditors.
The club was given until the last possible moment to make proper arrangements to pay the most pressing of creditors, namely those supporting the winding-up petition and football creditors (understood to be approximately £350,000), but it has not done so.
The Board has no confidence in the club`s ability to pay its creditors or as to its ongoing viability or its ability to meet its obligations in the forthcoming season, and in order to preserve the integrity of the Competition, it was with regret that the Board considered it had no alternative but to expel Rushden & Diamonds FC.
The consequences of this decision for the Constitution are that Southport retain its membership of the Premier Division; Thurrock retains its membership of Conference South and Bishop`s Stortford is transferred from Conference South to Conference North on a geographical basis.
While Bishop`s Stortford`s transfer is far from ideal, it is simply the result of the relevant regulation governing such placement".
The >Rushden & Diamonds club's response is, as follows...
"The following statement has been released by Steven Beasant following news that Rushden & Diamonds FC have been expelled from the Football Conference. The statement is reproduced 'as is' below.
Rushden & Diamonds FC Ltd
Club Statement Saturday 11th June 2011 By Steven Beasant CEO.
It has been some weeks since we have made any official statement this is due to complex contractual reasons which the Directors after taking legal advice were advised.
Since the Cloverdale Winding-Up petition became public and all banking accounts became frozen, astonishing efforts have and are being made by all supporters, staff, Directors past & present & many others to assist the Club in its hour of need to which we express our un-reserved gratitude.
The Club has been in an impossible position due to these restrictions but I wish to personally record my sincere thanks to Rachael Roberts & all our staff who have kept our doors open & continued working without pay.
The Club's issues are complex and have been effected by various factors & organisations which we will report as follows:-
That said Keith Cousins(who has been negotiating Investments) proposed to deposit a large sum of funds to be held by leagues lawyers in order to demonstrate strength of Investors. but this was rejected by League (Dennis Strudwick) & their lawyers, Clintons (Mel Stein).
The amount rejected was £350k, which was in-excess of all Winding-up creditors & football creditors, & was first instalment of investment. This rejection by the League terminated preferred investor being "The Glen Hoddle Academy" as inclusion within Premier league was critical to terms.
Monday 13th June we will be seeking adjournment of petition based upon pending investment which is in the best interests of all creditors & Club, this is now putting Club at risk of liquidation should order not be granted & is due solely to the Leagues action.
The above is a synopsis of the events that have been taking place for the past several weeks & is an attempt to inform on matters up to today.
We wish to state that as Directors we are acting in the best interests of The Club & record the exceptional endeavours that Keith Cousins has & is making with us to safe-guard our Club & we will make further statement during next week.
Steven Beasant. CEO"
The club then issued a further statement...
"Steve Beasant has provided a further update to his earlier statement. We are taking legal advice and, although we have not received an official statement, members at the AGM have confirmed our expulsion from the league.
We have 14 days to appeal and will be taking full legal advice immediately. Due to this devastating news & the barrage of emails and calls being received from all supporters we will be calling an open fans' forum next week in order to evaluate our Club's position. The Directors assure all supporters we will do all in our power to overturn this ruling whilst continuing to secure the Clubs long term security.
Steve Beasant, CEO, Rushden & Diamonds FC".
Meanwhile,NL Daily says that "Bishop's Stortford have vowed to appeal the decision to move them to Blue Square Bet North for the coming season following the expulsion of Rushden & Diamonds from the Conference. The knock-on effect of Diamonds' downfall means that Stortford have been placed alongside Histon in Blue Square Bet North, rather than their ususal Blue Square Bet South surroundings.
Club chairman Luigi del Basso said: 'BSFC expressed its displeasure and serious concerns regarding this decision. The board of directors of BSFC intend to appeal this decision with the Football Association (FA)'".
11 June 2011
CENTENARY KITIan Senior reports that sales of the limited edition "Centenary of Moss Lane" shirt (pictured right), have already reached fifty-four. To get yours, please visit the Club, ring (0161) 928-1045 or e-mail the Club to secure your shirt. The photo (right, click to enlarge) shows the shirt with its special badge and the unique shirt number, sewn in gold towards the hem of the front of the shirt.
The shirt, with its unique number of issue embroidered on it, costs just £35. As well as being a limited-edition souvenir, the income from sales is important to the Club in the close season.
The prices for Altrincham FC's other clothing merchandise for the 2011-12 season are below. This page will be fully updated shortly but technical problems prevent this at the moment. Further details will also follow for other products:
Ian has also offered to put your initials on the polo, t-shirts and sweat shirts, free of charge during pre-season.
OLD BOYSThe Northwich Guardian says that "Andy Preece plans to accelerate his activity on the transfer market this week... The Northwich manager will ask for an answer from players from last year’s squad still pondering whether to stay at the Victoria Stadium... Winger Mark Peers and front man John McAliskey are unlikely to be offered new deals after failing to hold down a regular starting place in the team during the second half of last season. Mike Byron is expected to reject an offer of reduced wages while Pedro Monteiro, who lifted the Cheshire FA Senior Cup following April’s 2-0 win against Altrincham in the final, is seeking a new club".
Welsh Premier reports that "Bangor City boss Nev Powell has completed the capture of former FC United of Manchester goal-machine Kyle Wilson. The 25-year-old striker started his career at Crewe Alexandra where he was loaned out to Altrincham before being released without making an appearance at Gresty Road".
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSThe BBC confirms that "Kidderminster Harriers were deducted five points for breaches of the financial rules. Kidderminster Harriers chairman Mark Serrell wants clubs breaking financial rules to face more serious sanctions. Harriers were deducted five points and handed a £5,000 fine after breaching financial regulations last season.
'I would look for the Football Conference to be harder on teams that break financial regulations', he told BBC Hereford and Worcester. 'We've had that experience and I would like a directive where clubs that owe the revenue can't be promoted. We were deducted five points for breaches of the regulations and quite rightly so. Kidderminster should take their part in that simply because it was a fraud as we had done something we should not have done. You should not get an advantage from not paying your dues'.
Harriers came within three hours of going into administration but despite this they still finished sixth in the Blue Square Bet Premier table....
'It was a reality check and people have got to realise that we will only work on those principles', he said. 'I am not in a position to let the football club spend money on players that we can't afford - it is a simple economic equation as far as I am concerned. We want to try to develop players but we won't spend money we haven't got'".
From the BBC we also learn that "Mansfield Town have signed midfielder Anthony Howell from Alfreton and former Port Vale trainee defender Matt Bell on one-year contracts", whilst "Blyth Spartans' striker Robbie Dale has signed a new one-year deal after completing his sixth full season with the club. The 26-year-old has scored 96 goals in 291 games since switching to Croft Park from Northern League side West Allotment Celtic in March 2005. Meanwhile the club have also signed 20-year-old Whitley Bay goalkeeper Tom Kindley".
However, "A deal that would have seen Rushden & Diamonds run by the Glenn Hoddle Academy (GHA) has fallen through. The GHA stated that it had been approached by an investment consortium looking to acquire the club...
'Regrettably, the academy was informed that the investment consortium has now withdrawn its interest in the club', a statement continues... The GHA, currently based in Spain, says it is still searching for a suitable football club to partner in the future.
Rushden & Diamonds are due to make presentations to the Football Conference AGM this weekend concerning their status for next season. The hearing for a petition to wind up the club is being heard at Northampton County Court on 13 June".
And "Cambridge United have signed midfielder Kieran Murtagh on a two-year deal following his release from Wycombe", whilst "Fleetwood Town have signed out-of-contract Grimsby Town captain Rob Atkinson on a free transfer. The 24-year-old centre-back, who turned down a new contract with Grimsby, has signed a two-year deal with the big-spending Blue Square Bet Premier side. Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley told the club's website: 'Rob is our seventh signing of the summer and was very high on our list'".
According to Bullsnews "Supporters Direct (SD) are holding urgent talks after their funding was withdrawn. The group assists supporters to set up Trusts and get involved in the ownership of their clubs, but a Twitter outburst from their chief executive Dave Boyle appears to have cost them around £600,000 a year from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF). Boyle made a number of comments on the social networking site in the wake of AFC Wimbledon's promotion. The 'crude and offensive' messages have been removed, and Boyle has apologised, but the FSIF have pulled their promised funding for the next three years after being dissatisfied at the organisation's response. The FSIF have stated that the money due to SD will now be available for fans group to apply for funding directly from them. SD are to hold a board meeting tomorrow and will make a statement afterwards".
The Cambridge News says that "Ross Parmenter will be given the chance to earn himself a contract at Histon in pre-season. The midfielder, who was being tracked by Harlow Town, is one of 10 trialists Stutes manager David Livermore will be running the rule over when training resumes on June 29.
Parmenter helped Brentwood reach the Ryman League, Division One North play-off final last season... Livermore is still waiting to hear if Lanre Oyebanjo and Omer Riza will sign the new deals they have been offered, with the former’s agent and Riza himself both away on holiday. And the boss would like to get Oyebanjo’s situation resolved sooner rather than later, with the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international believed to be interesting Crewe".
Also, "Histon Football Club have had enough dizzying highs and terrifying lows in the recent past to put any hardened rock ‘n’ roll star to shame. For million-selling albums, off-stage shenanigans and criticism in the music press, read promotions, cup runs, overspending and relegation. And now the Stutes have their very own rock ‘n’ roll star in the form of new club president Rick Winter. The drummer learned his trade with the aid of amplification pioneer Jim Marshall, before recording hit singles with Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, as well as Heinz and the Saints in the 1960s.
Winter is showing no signs of slowing down, and will now be combining his drumming with the current incarnation of the Saints, backed by singer Paul Neon, with being "Mr Histon" on match days. It is a task he is relishing after falling in love with the club more than 15 years ago following his move to the village from Royston.
'A pal of mine said I should come along and watch the football, and that there was a good little team playing around the corner', said Winter, whose enthusiasm volunteering in the boardroom at home matches last season was noted by director Angelo Dama. 'I went, I loved it and I’ve been there ever since. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, through all the highs and the lows. The job of president is what you make it. It’s all about showing people around and making them feel welcome. To them, you are Histon. It’s all about looking smart and doing everything you can to help them'...
We’ve been paying off the debts we were left with by previous chairmen and people, but we’ve kept going', said Winter... 'We can’t buy the players we’d like to and we’ve got to stick to tight budgets, but we’ve got good scholars coming through. It’s a bit of a blow being put in the Conference North, but we’ve got to get on with it and get fully behind David Livermore and Brian Page'".
According to This is Lincs, "Shane Clarke insisted he fell in love with Boston United despite leaving the Pilgrims for county rivals Gainsborough Trinity. The midfielder last week became the second Boston player to swap York Street for the Northolme following winger Jamie Yates's last-minute decision to turn down a contract offer and join Brian Little's Blues.
Clarke confessed making the cross-county switch was a tough decision. 'It was an issue, of course it was', said Lincoln-based Clarke. 'It was a worry, because I enjoyed my time at Boston, I kind of fell in love with the club. But I have a new-born and a mortgage to sustain and the money I was offered at Boston would have made it difficult. Once I had spoken to Brian (Little), it was a decision that just made sense for me. I was impressed with the ambition shown by the club. I would have loved to have stayed at Boston, but that's football...
Moving to Gainsborough also made sense geographically, because it's local to me'. Trinity have signed a third ex-Pilgrim, Dominic Roma, who played two games on loan from Sheffield United in 2005...
'In the main, the people we sign will be players of that ilk. There may be one or two exceptions, but in the main we are looking at younger players who are based fairly close to the town', said Little. 'I think we are looking at bringing another three or four in so we get the balance right'".
From Worcester News we learn that "Key player Neil Cartwright has committed himself to another season with Worcester City. The 28-year-old was a regular fixture in Carl Heeley’s team last term, after joining in the summer following his release from Corby Town, and started 41 games. He was originally brought in as a winger and impressed with performances on both the right and left flanks. However, injuries to full-backs Shabir Khan and Graham Ward saw him deployed in defence for the majority of the campaign.
Heeley, though, was keen to keep the versatile Cartwright and has moved to assure him that he will be predominantly used in an attacking role next season... Left-back Shabir is hoping to prove his fitness in pre-season following 10 months out with a knee injury.
Heeley said: 'We are looking to make the kind of signings over the next couple of weeks which will give us enough defensive cover so we can use Neil in a position further up the pitch'. Cartwright’s commitment comes hot on the heels of the acquisitions of keeper Jimmy Dormand and strike duo Luke Corbett and Mike Symons. Midfielder Gary Walker is considering an offer to stay but Heeley said the 23-year-old, who started 18 games last season, was wary of being a bit-part player".
According to This is Nottingham, "Adie Hawes will only leave Eastwood Town if it is in the club's best interests, joint manager Jamie Brough insisted. The 23-year-old central defender joined the Badgers last summer and has flourished at Blue Square Bet North level. He is the only player still under contract at Coronation Park following the departure of Lee Stevenson to Mansfield Town and has attracted a string of admirers...
'Adie is a very good player and one who I have no doubt will go on to play in the Football League', said Brough. 'There is interest in him from a number of clubs and we have spoken to him and told him that we won't stand in his way... But, at the same time, that doesn't mean we won't look after the interests of Eastwood and we expect compensation'...
Professional boxer Curtis Woodhouse... has signed for the Badgers, along with Chris Adams from Sheffield FC. Adams is quick and can play on either flank or in the striker role. Previous clubs include Ilkeston Town and Retford. Josh Burge has also joined from Hucknall Town. The central midfield player has played at Grimsby, Boston and Ilkeston Town. Former Notts County and Forest striker Ben Fairclough, Steven Istead and James Cullingworth have all also joined the club...
'We don't want any big time Charlies. We want people who are going to work hard as part of a unit'", added Brough.
And Eastwood Town "would like to announce the signing of Steven Istead. Steven was released from Mansfield by the new management and is the 9th signing so far. Jamie Brough 1st team manager 'We are delighted to secure the services of Stevie, from our point of view it shows the Club's intent for the future. He is a born winner, tenacious in the tackle and a great all round footballer'... Former Forest Starlet Aaron Mitchell also joins the new look Badgers' squad today. 6’ 5” Aaron has signed from Tamworth and joins the growing gang of talent at Coronation Park"
At Hinckley United "Dean Thompson confirmed last night that Gary Ricketts had agreed terms with Ilkeston to combine his playing career with a coaching role. Ricketts, who had agreed personal terms to re-sign with Dean several weeks ago, appeared to be stalling indefinitely before finally admitting that he had accepted the combined role from Ilkeston, who will be playing two leagues below the Knitters, in the Unibond Division One this season. A disappointed Dean Thomas was optimistic that he would get another season out of Gary'".
Finally, Southport announce that "Liam Watson received the news he feared regarding midfielder Aaron Turner. The midfielder will be out until 2012 after suffering a ruptured cruciate which will require a full reconstruction. Turner picked up the injury at Kettering... on the last day of the season. Liam Watson said 'We will miss him in the first half of next season. I am also waiting on the medical reports for Kevin Lee who also picked up a worrying injury on the last day'".
10 June 2011
COME ON DOWN!If you have a free couple of hours in the coming weeks, your help would be much appreciated at Moss Lane assisting with the pre-season "spruce-up" of the ground at Moss Lane. The work that needs to be done includes painting and general tidying of the ground. If you can help, any weekday time from next Tuesday onwards, please ring the club on (0161) 928-1045 to check with Karen Rowley that the ground will be open. Please do come along and help if you can!
FAC AND FAT DATESDates for the rounds of the FA Trophy and the early rounds of the FA Cup in 2011-12 are:
BSBP NEWSAt Corby Town, "Striker Steve Diggin has agreed a deal to remain with the Steelmen for at least another season. The Northampton-born striker signed for Corby Town in June 2007, from Cogenhoe United... He has an impressive strike rate for the Steelmen and was our top scorer on two occasions with thirty goals in his debut campaign. This form earned him both the Supporters' Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year awards...Paul Mayo has become the latest player to sign for the Steelmen, following Leon Hibbert in a move back to Corby from Gainsborough Trinity. Left-back Mayo spent one season at the Rockingham Triangle in 2009/10 following spells with Lincoln City, Dagenham & Redbridge, Watford, Notts County, Darlington and Mansfield Town. He departed in the summer of 2010 to join Brian Little's Gainsborough, however he has returned to Northamptonshire after just one season".
Guiseley report that "As a result of the dressing rooms being enlarged and refurbished, Nethermoor has been awarded a ‘B’ grading as a result of the latest ground inspection. The work was identified during the assessment to check the suitability of Nethermoor to potentially host the end of season play-off games, which in the event was not required, as the Lions' league position meant that both the semi-final and final [were] staged at the grounds of opponents Boston and Telford. Much has been said by the supporters of other BSN clubs about Nethermoor, but the one thing they cannot ignore is the speed with which the remedial work has been completed in such a short space of time".
Morecambe have posted a list of League Two players who have been released. They include ex-Robin Andy Owens and many names from other clubs who have played against us in recent years in the Conference.
The BBC says that "Wrexham have signed striker Jake Speight from Bradford City on a two-year contract for an undisclosed fee. The 25-year-old scored six goals in 36 appearances last season, with one of those goals coming during a short loan spell at Port Vale. Speight was given a 12-week prison sentence for assault in July 2010, shortly after joining Bradford from Mansfield Town for £25,000.
'He's a proven goalscorer', said Wrexham manager Dean Saunders. 'He'll do well for us'... Saunders has been looking to sign a striker since losing last season's top-scorer Andy Mangan to Fleetwood Town in May".
The Eastwood Advertiser reports that "Eastwood Town’s squad has grown from two players to eight after a flurry of signings this week. Joint managers Jamie Brough and Craig Armstrong have raided their contact books to bring in a mix of youth and experience, as the duo prepare to head for Ireland to complete their UEFA ‘A’ coaching badges.
Former Sheffield United and Birmingham City midfielder Curtis Woodhouse is the most eye-catching of the acquisitions... Armstrong said: 'I played against Curtis in a play-off final in 2005 when I was at Cheltenham and he was with Grimsby, and we’ve been good friends for a long time. He’s been floating around non-league for a couple of years due to his boxing, which has made him very fit albeit in a physical sense rather than actually being match fit at the moment. But his experience will be invaluable and I’m delighted he’s agreed to sign. Being a boxer he has a massive desire to win at all costs and that will be a huge benefit in the dressing room and out on the pitch, especially if things get tough. He’s been there and done it. We’re hoping his boxing career won’t interfere too much, and whilst there may be occasions where he will have to miss training if he is preparing for a big fight, he should be available most of the time'.
Also joining are former Notts County striker Ben Fairclough, ex-Nottingham Forest and Boston United winger James Cullingworth, midfielder Josh Burge, once of Ilkeston and Hucknall, another former Ilkeston man in winger Chris Adam and centre-half Aaron Mitchell, who started his career with Forest and was at Tamworth last season.
'We’ve got one of the smallest budgets in the league at the moment so to be able to have brought players like these to the club is excellent', said Armstrong. 'Ben Fairclough was at Hinckley last year, having lost his way a bit at Notts County, but is a great talent who I think will do well here. Josh Burge is currently studying at University and the experience of those around him should see him develop into an excellent player. We’re really pleased with all of the signings and expect more to follow quite quickly'.
Armstrong also emphasised the need for sponsors to come on board... He said: 'The financial sitution is totally different from before and because virtually all of the previous sponsors have walked away for various reasons, we’re urging people to help us out and generate vital funds that are needed for player recruitment and wages as well as general running costs."
In the Boston Standard we learn that "Kevin Austin is expected to sign a one-year Boston United deal. The 38-year-old former Trinidad and Tobago international made 14 appearances for the Pilgrims last season, while on loan from Darlington. The no-nonsense defender played an important role as United reached the Blue Square Bet North play-off semi-finals...
After his contract with Darlington came to an end, Austin agreed return to York Street on a permanent basis. Austin has also played for Bristol Rovers, Swansea City, Leyton Orient, Lincoln City, Cambridge United, Kettering Town and Chesterfield. Ryan Semple, Paul Bastock, Mark Newsham, Gareth Jelleyman and Danny Sleath have all joined Jason Lee and Lee Canoville’s playing staff".
Also Boston "Fans have been told not to expect a spree of new signings over the next few weeks. Boston United chairman David Newton has told The Standard he believes managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville are ‘relaxed’ about taking their time to run the rule over potential new recruits.
'I’m like everyone else, I’d like to have the squad in place', said Newton... 'But Jason and Lee are a lot more laid back about things... They’re happy to wait until pre-season to look at a number of players... and I’m comfortable with that'...
Despite snapping up Chris Hall from Alfreton this week... Newton has revealed he has ‘slightly’ reduced the club’s playing budget for the campaign, but suggests that not rushing into any signings could save the club a few pennies as well. He added: 'A lot of players will be looking to get clubs as soon as possible. But the longer they go without signing a contract the more affordable they become. We have slightly less of a budget than last season, the managers were aware of that when they took the position. We want to balance the books - we didn’t quite achieve that last year'".
9 June 2011
LEE EARNS HIS BREAK
Left: Alty manager Lee Sinnott has been busy deciding who will wear Alty's shirt next season.
In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger Brian Flynn writes, "It’s been a whirlwind fortnight for new Altrincham manager, Lee Sinnott, who has set about trying to get the Robins back into the Blue Square Bet Premier at the first attempt, in impressive style.
No loose ends have been left from last season as Sinnott prepares to jet off to Kos for a family holiday at the weekend and Altrincham supporters are now eagerly awaiting the start of the pre-season games on July 9th.
During the last few days, the three players who were still considering Sinnott’s offers have made their decisions and whilst Robbie Williams has opted to join newly promoted Telford United and James Smith has declined the terms offered, there was a massive boost with the news that last season’s leading goalscorer, Damian Reeves is staying at Moss Lane.
Sinnott summed up the events of the last few days by saying 'We would have liked to have kept Robbie and James, but the move to Telford gives Robbie the chance to continue at the level he was playing at last season and James wants to play full-time football, which we cannot offer him. Damian had a really difficult decision to make with a number of offers on the table from full-time Conference clubs, but I asked him to weigh up the pros and cons of each offer and I’m sure that the fact that he really loves playing for Altrincham and likes the fans here, were big factors in influencing his decision'.
It is believed that Reeves, Altrincham’s current Player of The Year, had four offers from full time professional Blue Square Bet Premier Clubs, but each one required him to relocate from his home in Doncaster.
The new Altrincham supremo is also delighted to bring 26 year-old central defender, Adam Flynn, from Southport. Flynn was captain of the Sandgrounders’ side that won the Blue Square Bet North title a year ago and is also a coach for Liverpool’s Youth Team. With eight players signed from last season’s squad and the capture of Chris Lynch (Hyde) and Simon Richman (Worcester City), Flynn is the eleventh player to sign at Moss Lane and Sinnott hopes to add five or six more names to his squad in the coming weeks".
Meanwhile the Sale & Altrincham Advertiser also confirms that "Altrincham have secured the services of last year’s top scorer, Damian Reeves, for another season... Persuading the striker to drop down a level to the Blue Square Bet North represents a coup for Sinnott, who previously managed him at Farsley Celtic.
It is understood that Reeves – a plasterer when he isn’t scoring goals – received offers to play full-time from a number of Blue Square Bet Premier clubs, but turned them down because of he didn’t want to move out of Doncaster, where he lives. Sinnott told the Advertiser: 'It is good news for us. It is an interesting time for managers when a club is relegated, and the budget is trimmed accordingly'.
The new Robins boss was quick to praise Reeves upon his arrival in the Moss Lane hot seat and his previous relationship is bound to have contributed to the forward’s decision to stay. The core of Sinnott’s squad is now taking shape, having also kept Robbie Lawton, Nicky Clee, Anthony Danylyk and Michael Twiss. Chris Lynch, Simon Richman and Adam Flynn have joined from Hyde, Worcester and Southport respectively. Craig Dootson, Marc Beesley and Chris Denham have been released while Stuart Coburn, Shaun Densmore and Ryan Brown have elected to leave the club". [This last clause is wrong; Coburn and Brown have agreed terms, whilst Densmore is hoping to play at a higher level than Blue Square Bet North].
Greg Young had already departed for Alfreton, where he was offered a full-time deal. [Young was not an Alty player last season; he returned to his employers at York City before the end of April and has now moved from there to Alfreton]. However, Sinnott has been unable to retain the services of centre-back Rob Williams, who has departed for Telford United".
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSAccording to NL Daily "The contracts of Paul Hall as assistant manager and fitness coach Steve Bonnington will not be renewed at Mansfield Town. Hall returned to Field Mill in December last year as Duncan Russell's no.2, with ex-Forest coach Steve Bonnington joining the backroom staff in January. The duo were both part of the coaching staff which led the club to Wembley last month... Meanwhile, boss Paul Cox has announced that there are three people in the running to be his new assistant manager and is also looking to sign a player/coach".
At nearby Eastwood Town "Managers Craig Armstrong and Jamie Brough have been busy building the new look Badgers' team for the forthcoming season with several exciting signings this week. Curtis Woodhouse, the former Sheffield United and Birmingham City midfielder, has a wealth of experience which he brings to the club. Curtis is also a professional boxer whose combative style of play will thrill supporters.
Chris Adams has signed from Sheffield FC. The pacy player is very quick and can play on either flank or in the striker role. Previous clubs include Ilkeston Town and Retford. Josh Burge has also joined the revolution from neighbours Hucknall Town. Josh is a competitive central midfield player who has played at Grimsby, Boston and Ilkeston Town. Ben Fairclough the former Notts County striker has also penned his arrival from Hinckley United. Ben spent two years with the Magpies and has a wealth of talent...
James Cullingworth is the 5th signing of the day as the new managers prepare their team. James has Forest and Boston as previous clubs and the full back is highly rated in the game".
From Worcester News we learn that "Hot-shot striker Danny Glover says he wants to be a Worcester City player next season. The 21-year-old was City’s leading marksman last term with 20 goals but has yet to agree a new deal at St George’s Lane. He has been contacted by other clubs but says staying with Carl Heeley’s team is his preferred option and has dismissed rumours suggesting he had signed for Tamworth.
Negotiations have slowed because the striker, who lives in Stoke, has only just returned from a holiday. 'I am looking to stay, I think Worcester are a good team and we have got to progress next year. We are still negotiating', Glover said. 'I have said all along that I want to stay but, with Simon Richman going and me having to travel from Stoke on my own, it was another thing we have had to discuss. Simon lived that bit further away and couldn’t really turn Altrincham down.
One or two clubs rang but if I can sort something out with Worcester first I would like to stay. They have signed a few players so we will have to wait and see'... Manager Heeley is keen to keep hold of a player who made a huge impact in his first season in non-league football following his release from League Two side Port Vale. Glover’s scoring record, which included a hat-trick against Hyde in February — the first by a City player since 2006 — plus a willingness to do his fair share of defending, made him a favourite with fans.
Having already recruited Leamington striker Luke Corbett and former Gloucester forward Mike Symons in recent days, retaining the striker would give City a powerful looking attack"
From Yorkshire comes news of the signing of an ex-Alty player, as Guiseley "manager Steve Kittrick has wasted no time in plugging the gap left by top-scorer James Walshaw’s departure; having signed Harrogate Town striker Lee Ellington. Thirty year old Ellington has a wealth of experience at Blue Square North level having played for [Altrincham], Gainsborough Trinity, Stalybridge Celtic, Farsley, Droylsden and Harrogate Town. The Lions don’t look to be short on firepower for the coming season having added Danny Forrest, Alex Davidson, and Peter Davidson so far and with Goole forward Gavin Allott expected to join in the near future". Former Robin, Joe O'Neill, has also re-signed for Guiseley.
At Corby Town they "have completed the signing of Ollie Thorne from last season's Blue Square Bet South champions Braintree Town. The 21-year-old defender, born in Gravesend, began his career with MK Dons as a youth team player, moving on to Forest Green Rovers at the beginning of 2009/10. He departed for Newport County after 20 appearances, helping the Welsh side gain promotion to the Blue Square Premier Division.
Thorne left Newport that summer to join Kidderminster Harriers, however following a short loan spell with Rushden & Diamonds at the turn of the year, he left the Aggborough Stadium for Braintree. Corby Town boss Graham Drury is pleased to have captured Thorne, and told www.corbytownfc.co.uk: 'Ollie is a big, powerful, 6' 3" centre-half and I'm glad to have him on board. He was made skipper at Forest Green Rovers at the age of 19 so it's another young, ambitious leader to join the ranks'".
According to the BBC "Fleetwood Town have signed full-back Paul Edwards on a free transfer after he rejected a new deal from rivals Barrow. The 31-year-old made 43 appearances for the Bluebirds in 2010-11, after a trial with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
'With the offer he had I can't blame him', Barrow joint-boss Dave Bayliss told BBC Radio Cumbria. 'They blew us out of the water again with the offers for players'".
The BBC also reports that "Robbie Williams has marked new club AFC Telford United as a side to make a real impact in the Blue Square Bet Premier. The defender has signed from Altrincham as the Bucks, re-formed seven years ago, prepare for their first season in the top flight of non-League football.
He told BBC Radio Shropshire: 'There'll be big crowds and the euphoria round the club will make a real buzz. They had a great defensive record last season, they can score goals, and I know they can handle the Conference'.
Williams (right) was also sold on the club by Telford manager Andy Sinton. 'Andy was great', Williams said after putting pen to paper on his contract. 'He told me he was looking for someone with a bit of experience in the Conference. I've done that with 100-odd games for Altrincham, and he wants me to pass on my experiences to the other players. But he also stressed how we will all work together, how he does his best to get players to improve, and that's good for me too'.
The Wales Under-23 international is looking forward to returning to Shropshire having started his career at Oswestry-based The New Saints. 'The New Saints gave me a great grounding - full time in the Welsh Premier League, training every day, it gave me as a young player the chance to practice all your skills and all the technical aspects of the game. TNS played good football, liked to have it on the deck, and being a big defender that's the sort of stuff I needed to improve on rather than just the heading and kicking. It provided a good experience for me to improve - and so will Telford'".
This is LIncs says that "Hometown hero Julian Joachim is set to train with Boston United this summer and could be joined by another former Pilgrim, Jamie Stevens. The pair have been in talks with joint-bosses Jason Lee and Lee Canoville and could link-up with the club when pre-season training starts on July 2.
Boston are not, at present, looking to sign Joachim, who is a friend of Lee and Canoville. The former Premier League striker, who will turn 37 in September, is determined to get fit after spending part of last season with Holbeach United. However, Canoville has not completely ruled out taking an extended look at the striker, who scored 17 goals for the Pilgrims before leaving for Darlington in 2006 in a deal worth £100,000.
'If he comes in and does well, we would be silly not to have a good look at him', said Canoville. 'But at the moment, he's not someone we are looking to sign. He's been out of the game for a bit and is looking to get fit, that's all it is. But just having him around will benefit the rest of the squad. You can't help benefit from one like that who has played at the top level'...
As for Stevens, the central defender is believed to be on the lookout for a club closer to his county home after ending last season in Blue Square Bet South with Farnborough. Canoville played alongside the centre-back during the Pilgrims' final season in the Football League".
The Birmingham Mail says that "Solihull Moors boss Micky Moore is still on the hunt for 'four or five' additions after making Mitch Fellows and Andre Francis his first summer signings. Moors have recruited Midland Alliance golden boot winner Fellows from Willenhall Town and snapped up wide player Francis from Stafford Rangers.
But Moore... is happy to wait until pre-season to pick the right players... Said Moore, 'We’ve had a few phone calls from players keen to come, which is a nice position to be in, but we are able to pick and choose'...
Fellows netted 31 goals in 33 games for a Willenhall team that struggled in the Alliance, and Moore hopes the striker can emulate the exploits of Adam Cunnington, who was the 2010 Golden Boot winner with Barwell before joining Moors and then sealing a full-time deal with Kettering Town...
Said Moore, 'It will be a step up but 12 months ago we took a chance and signed Adam, who won the Golden Boot, and he did superbly for us. There are gems out there. A club like Solihull Moors has to try to unearth them'".
The Birmingham Mail also reports that "Midfielder Chris McPhee seems certain to have played his last game for Kidderminster. McPhee, who bagged 18 goals from midfield last season, is out of contract and the tight finances at Aggborough are likely to mean the Devon-based player will go. McPhee has been a firm favourite since joining from Weymouth 18 months ago, whether as a striker or in the centre of the park.
But the reality is that Harriers can use his wages – McPhee has been the highest paid player at Aggborough – to bring in a couple of players. Harriers assistant boss Gary Whild said: 'We’re looking at the future without him'".
Cambridge News asserts that "The extraordinary general meeting which could force Angelo Dama out of Histon is set to take place next week. Assuming the director does not decide to quit the club beforehand, the meeting will be held at the Cambridgeshire FA’s headquarters on Wednesday, June 14 at 8pm. If Dama is forced out, a consortium is in line to come in with the intention of clearing the club’s debts and investing £250,000 a year for the next three years.
The leader of the consortium asked to remain anonymous at this stage when contacted by the News. As reported in the News last month, former Histon chairmen Gareth Baldwin and Tony Roach, along with fellow shareholders John Webster and Paul Pleszko, are behind the move to oust Dama. As well as the proposed cash injection from the interested consortium, Roach has signalled he could be prepared to reinvest in the club if there were changes in the boardroom".
Meanhwile, "David Livermore wants Histon’s wage-paying problems to be sorted out as a matter of urgency. Members of the Stutes’ squad were paid late on more than one occasion last season, and the manager wants the matter to be resolved quickly. Livermore believes being able to guarantee transfer targets will get their cash without problems might tempt them to turn their back on a better deal elsewhere...
'It was a tough season and the money wasn’t always there on time, but the players always got their money', said Livermore.. 'I think players would be prepared to accept a lower wage at a club like ours instead of a higher wage somewhere else if they knew the money was going to be guaranteed. It’s something we need to make sure we’re on top of from next season. It helps with team morale as well, and helps to get everyone fighting for the same cause'...
The finer points of assistant manager Brian Page and goalkeeping coach James Alger’s new contracts are still being sorted out, while Livermore is also keen for the funds to be found to allow CHEK practitioner Steve Linger to be used more often". [Apparently, "C.H.E.K qualified practitioners possess expert knowledge of both how the body moves and responds when it is out of balance and how it moves and responds when it is in balance. So they understand exactly what lifestyle and nutritional changes, stretches, exercise programmes and other therapies are required to bring a body back into a state of equilibrium].
8 June 2011
CLUB STATEMENTThe club wish to deny a statement in today's Sale & Altrincham Advertiser that "Stuart Coburn, Shaun Densmore and Ryan Brown have elected to leave the club". As previously stated on the website, Stuart and Ryan have agreed terms with the club, whilst Shaun is still considering his future.
ALLISON IS NEW SAFETY OFFICERDarren Gregory, who recently announced his departure as Altrincham FC's Safety Officer writes on the Alty Fans'Forum that "Allison Lewis has stepped forward and agreed to be the club's new volunteer Safety Officer. I hope you will give her the same support and respect I received. For those who don't know Allison, she has been at the club longer than I have and has been a steward most of the time and has valuable experience and for the last couple of years she has been an Assistant Chief Steward. I wish Allison well and know she will do a great job for the club."
Right: Allison is seen here at Alty's last game of the 2010-11 season as Stuart Coburn makes an award to Jack Bowyer, whilst James Antrobus looks on. As well as Allison, Alty fans will be familar with Allison's husband, Peter, and daughters Samantha and Zoe, who all are or have been regular members of the Alty stewarding team. Indeed, Peter is chief steward at Moss Lane.
FESTIVAL DONATIONS SOUGHTAlty chairman Grahame Rowley writes:
"Altrincham Football Club will again be represented at the Altrincham Festival on July 2nd with floats organised by both the Senior and Junior sections of the Club. Once at the Festival fields in Timperley - Beechfields - we will be holding a penalty competition as well as a chocolate/bottle tombola. We would like to appeal to fans to donate bars/boxes of chocolate as well."
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSYork Press tells us that "Luton Town striker Jason Walker is the subject of a renewed bid from York City... Walker, then at Barrow, was tracked by City boss Gary Mills last autumn...
The Minstermen lost out to Luton, though in November, with Fleetwood also believed to have been interested in doubling the 5ft 7in forward’s wages. But Walker, 27, was only handed eight league starts by the Hatters last season and The Press understands there is a clause in his Kenilworth Road contract that allows him to leave if any interested club are prepared to stump up a transfer fee of a pre-determined amount.
It is believed Luton could be reluctant to sell Walker to City, though, considering the animosity and rivalry that has grown between the clubs over the past two Blue Square Bet Premier campaigns even though Mills put that aside when he sanctioned Alex Lawless’s transfer to Bedfordshire last season... Mills reiterated the admiration for Walker he first expressed in The Press last season, saying: 'From the moment I came to York City, I wanted to bring him here. He went to Luton but he’s a player I would love to get to York... I’m certain they would want a fee and it could be dependent on how much they want but, along with the chairman, we are working hard to bring him in and I believe he would complete our frontline if we are successful'.
Despite being overlooked for most of the campaign by Luton, ex-Greenock Morton forward Walker still totalled 17 goals for the season after a prolific first three months at Barrow. He also finished 2009/10 on 21 goals for the struggling Bluebirds and is a proven marksman at Blue Square Bet Premier level...
Mills added he was unperturbed by centre-back Greg Young’s decision to join Blue Square Bet Premier new boys Alfreton. The former Altrincham defender was one of a clutch of out-of-contract players at Bootham Crescent whose futures Mills had remained non-committal on. The City boss said: 'He knew he wasn’t really in my plans. When I came to the club I brought in Chris Smith and, with Dan Parslow and David McGurk as centre-backs as well, I think those three take some beating at this level. Greg’s a good honest lad who will compete for you but not quite the player I wanted'".
The Football Conference reports that "Former Bromley player Harrison Dunk has signed a two-year contract with Cambridge United. The 20-year-old becomes manager Jez George's third new signing for the 2011/12 season, following in the footsteps of Tom Shaw and Michael Wylde. George said: 'Harrison is an exciting young talent... We first saw him play towards the end of last season and were so impressed that we closely monitored his performances since. Harrison is quick, naturally left footed and we see him being able to play primarily as a wide left but also offering cover to James Jennings at left-back".
Meanwhile, "Grimsby Town have made their first summer signing by acquiring the services of right-back Gary Silk from league rivals Mansfield Town on a one-year deal. The 26-year-old arrived at Field Mill from Notts County where he spent two years".
And "Dave Hockaday, manager of Forest Green Rovers, has snapped up highly-rated Salisbury City centre back Jamie Turley on a two-year deal".
There is one in and one out at Hinckley United where manager "Dean Thomas confirmed that James Reid had left the Knitters and signed for AFC Telford United... Whilst James had agreed terms to stay with the Knitters he had also expressed his desire, and left the door open, to play at a higher level if the opportunity arose after resisting last season's approach from Boston United...
Coming into the club is Rob Oddy, who has penned a one-year deal with the Knitters after parting company with Nuneaton Town. At 25, Rob comes with a mixture of good defensive attributes, a winning mentality, Conference North experience, maturity and the grit and determination that Dean wants to bring in to sure up what was a leaky defence last season. The addition of Oddy provides the Knitters with different options across the entire defence and between the sticks from the squad that finished last season. Dean fully expects Rob to be one of the first names on his team sheet. Dean is still looking to sign another experienced defender".
Also, "Dean Thomas has confirmed that Chima Dozie, Rikki Baines and Stuart Giddings will not be offered terms of re-engagement with the Knitters for the forthcoming 2011 - 2012 season".
However, Hinckley reportedly face a winding-up order in the High Court today (Wednesday).
At national level, we learn that "Tim O'Shea has thrown his hat into the ring for the vacant manager's job at Hayes & Yeading United. The former Spurs defender is out of work after leaving Lewes at the end of the season following relegation to the Ryman League. However, the 44-year-old, who also had a spell in charge of Croydon Athletic, is keen to get back in to management, and wants to succeed Garry Haylock at Hayes. Ex-West Ham hardman Julian Dicks is also in the frame for the post" reports the Uxbridge Gazette.
Corby Town report that "With contract negotiations progressing well on a number of fronts and Corby Town’s squad beginning to take shape, manager Graham Drury has confirmed that seven players have now left the club... Drury confirmed he has not offered terms to the following players: Aaron Butcher, Liam Dolman, Jordan Fitzpatrick, Tommy Jaszczun, Tom Manship, Scott Mooney, Netan Sansara. Drury also added that, whilst an offer has been made to Jordan Fairclough, he believed
The BBC says that "Gateshead have signed Yemi Odubade and Eddie Odhiambo on one-year contracts, after they were released by Stevenage and Newport County respectively".
NORTH-WEST NEWSThe EvoStik League reports that "Due to Enfield 1893 not being able to compete at Step 4 due to ground grading, the next club to be reprieved from relegation to Step 5 is Ossett Albion. The system of reprieves works on an average points per game calculation from which Ossett Albion have the advantage over fellow Evo-Stik clubs relegated at the end of the 2010-2011 season. Ossett Albion will be placed in the First Division North which will mean that New Mills, recently promoted from the Vodkat League will compete in the First Division South".
7 June 2011
WILLIAMS JOINS TELFORDAltrincham centre-back Rob Williams has joined AFC Telford United. The Shropshire club took the lead in announcing the deal which, it had been expected, would be made public later today. Telford state: "AFC Telford United are pleased to announce their first two new signings of the close season. The Bucks have swooped to sign a Defender and Midfielder...
Midfielder James Reid joins from Hinckley United. The 21 year old midfielder started at Nottingham Forest moving through the youth and reserves eventually making his first team debut. He went to play in short spells for Rushden and Lincoln City. He joined Hinckley in 2010 and had an impressive first season with them scoring 13 goals from midfield. Reid has signed a one year deal at the Buck's Head.
Defender Robbie Williams joins from Altrincham. The 6’5”, 24 year old Centre Back has been an ever present for Alty since joining at the start of the 2009/2010 season from TNS. He won the first of 3 Wales under 23 Caps in March 2010. Williams joins the Bucks on a one year deal".
Altrincham would like to thank Rob for his service to the club, which he joined on 28 July 2009 after a successful pre-season. Robbie made his Conference debut as a sub on the opening day of the 2009-10 season against Ebbsfleet United and soon established himself as a regular starter. He won the first of his 3 Wales U23 semi-pro caps in March 2010 when he scored against Portugal and he has also played against England and Poland. For 2010-11 he was again a near ever=present in the Alty defence. His appearances for Altrincham totalled 94(+7) and he scored 7 goals.
SPONSORS SUPPORT ALTY; PLEASE SUPPORT THEM!Press release:
"Altrincham Football Club are pleased to announce that Manchester Glass Limited have agreed to continue their sponsorship of the "Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge" at Moss Lane for the forthcoming season. Patrick Air of Manchester Glass has been a long time supporter of the Football Club who are delighted with this news.
Altrincham Football Club also wish to announce a new sponsor for the back of our shirts. Forestdale Hotels, part of the Akkeron Hotels Group, have agreed a two-year deal. Many thanks to Alan Murray, son of the late John Murray, both long-time Altrincham FC supporters, for his help in negotiating this deal".
Please click on the respective logos, above and below, to go to the companies' websites.
OLD BOYSNL Daily report that "Congleton Town have announced the appointment of Guiseppe “Joe” Paladino as their new first team manager. A native Sicilian, Paladino is a well known character in both league and non-league football circles having spent time either as a player, coach or manager at clubs such as Everton, St Helens Town, Wigan Athletic, Altrincham, Ashton United, Stalybridge Celtic, FC United and most recently, during the 2010-11 season as assistant manager at Rossendale United...
After finally hanging up his goalkeeping gloves, Paladino adopted a different set of gloves and enjoyed some success as a professional heavyweight boxer, reaching the British top 10 before retiring in 1997 and returning to football in a coaching capacity. Paladino is joined by his playing assistant Adriano Rigoglioso".
From the Ellesmere Port First site, we learn that "Neil Young continued to build his new look squad at the weekend with the signing of Matty McNeil. The Chester boss managed to beat off competition from a number of other clubs for the signature of the versatile 6ft 5in tall Southport [and Altrincham] player. Young said: 'Matty has great experience and can fill two positions for us. He is an excellent target man up front but is also a very good central defender who can play on the left side to give us balance... There was a number of clubs chasing his signature from leagues higher up the pyramid'".
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSBlyth Spartans say that "Harrogate Town are reporting that they have signed midfielder Michael Tait for the upcoming campaign, to play alongside former Spartans, Paul Brayson and Richard Pell". Tait is the son of the recently sacked Blyth manager.
"Boston United have completed their first summer signing — with the acquisition of versatile attacker Chris Hall. The 28-year-old predominantly left-sided player can operate across midfield and up front and has put pen-to-paper on a deal to join the Pilgrims from Alfreton Town... Hall is the first permanent signing of the summer — with further recruits set to follow for new first team managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville.
With Jamie Yates and Shane Clarke both joining county rivals Gainsborough Trinity and Shaun Pearson, Anthony Church and Kieran Murphy all seemingly moving on too, the only existing United player whose future has not yet been resolved is Spencer Weir-Daley".
At Stalybridge "The Celtic squad for the 2011/12 season continues to take shape, with the current squad list comprising thirteen players. Negotiations continue with the remainder of last year's squad, whilst Jim [Harvey] and the team are looking at new players to strengthen the squad. The current list stands at: Mitchell Austin, Tom Buckley, Lloyd Ellams, Craig Hobson, Arthur Gnahoua, Adam Kay, Phil Marsh, Rhys Meynell, Kristian Platt, Jack Rea, Callum Warburton, Andy McWilliams, Greg Wilkinson.
Andy McWilliams joins permanently from York City, while Arthur Gnahoua becomes the first player to come through the new Celtic academy into the first team".
The Football Conference confirms that "Following the issue of two charges late in the season, it has been necessary to consider cases against Blue Square Bet Premier clubs Rushden & Diamonds and Kettering Town. Now the charges have been heard, and the time for Appeal procedures exhausted, details of the Board's decision and the sanctions imposed can be released. As both sanctions involved a points` deduction the Premier Division table can also be adjusted and is now final for season 2010/11.
In Rushden & Diamonds' case, upon the Club's own admission it was found guilty of a charge of misconduct for submitting incorrect information under the Football Conference's Financial Reporting Initiative, which misled the Panel of Independent Members formed to review Club Returns. Rushden & Diamonds was fined £2,000, suspended until 31st May 2012, and had five points deducted from its League Table score.
Upon Kettering Town's own admission it was found guilty of fielding an ineligible (unregistered) player in matches on 2nd and 5th April after failing to inform the Competition of the renewal of a short term loan agreement. Kettering was fined £100 for each breach of Competition rule and had the two points won in the matches [deducted]".
So, both Mansfield and Gateshead rise a place in the final table.
The NW Counties Football League (formerly Vodkat) reports that "The organisers of last year’s Non-League Football Day have announced that this year's event will be held on Saturday 3 September 2011. The event was the brainchild of James Doe, a lifelong football fan, supporter of QPR and follower of Harrow Borough FC, who was joined in publicising the event by Mike Bayly, Commercial Manager at Wingate & Finchley FC.
Their idea was to promote the semi professional game in this country by taking advantage of a break for an international weekend, when England played on a Friday night and the weekend saw no action in the Premiership or Championship. The duo have sent a press release to all leagues around the country in relation to this year’s event".
NL Daily says that "Additionally, there was a short article on BBC London News. 'The promotion for last year's event was entirely self-funded, and despite limited time and resources, we managed to get a considerable amount of coverage in local and national media. This year, we want to gain a head start and ingrain the day on the public consciousness.
We have already started this process by signing up Macmillan Cancer Support as our official charity, which we hope will be a mutually beneficial partnership. The charity is of particular relevance to the non-league game as it was the chosen beneficiary of and carer for Tony Kempster, the nationally recognised non-league statistician, who sadly died from the disease a couple of years ago...
We are also seeking a sponsor to cover the costs of developing and maintaining a fully interactive website that will leave a legacy for all fans to explore our non-league game. Given the potential interest the campaign will generate - last year we were getting 3000 hits a day with limited marketing - it could be an interesting commercial opportunity".
The Football Congference confirms that ""Blue Square Bet South club Farnborough have unveiled Garry Haylock and Gareth Hall as their new management team. The duo were in charge at Blue Square Bet Premier side Hayes & Yeading United... and kept the club in the top flight of non-League football for two seasons. And in a further announcement, Farnborough will switch to full-time status next season".
According to Chronicle Live, "Gateshead chairman Graham Wood is confident theclub will be playing in a new 7,000 capacity stadium in the centre of town within the next few years. Proposals for the Prince Consort Road development were unveiled some time ago. Wood had hoped the club would kick-off the 2012-13 campaign in their new surroundings, but he accepts that may now be a tall order.
Midway through that campaign or the start of the following season is a more likely scenario, the new stadium going hand in hand with Wood’s vision of taking Gateshead back into the Football League. Wood said: 'It would not be possible to sustain a team in the Football League without the benefits a new stadium would provide. In each of the past five seasons we have finished higher up the football pyramid than the previous term, including two promotions, and we are now only one promotion away from achieving our ultimate objective.
Our average gates have risen in each of those five years [to 752] and the target next season is a top-five placing. The enabler for the new stadium, as well as for the club’s ongoing sustainability, is the inclusion of a significant element of non-football, or lettable, space within the development. The original intention was to follow the successful model used elsewhere in the country and include medical facilities. All was going well, with significant interest from GPs and other medical providers, until the government announced its plans to slash spending. We have since redirected our efforts and hopefully are now very close to securing an alternative and equally suitable tenant which will allow the project to proceed'".
From the Worcester News we read that "Worcester City’s summer recruitment continues apace following the acquisition of striker Mike Symons. The 6ft 3ins target man has agreed a one-year deal at St George’s Lane following his release from rivals Gloucester City. Symons spent three years with the Tigers, playing against Worcester last season...
Manager Carl Heeley has fought off competition from other clubs for his signature and... said: 'He’s a big strong lad and he gets hold of the ball. He didn’t have the greatest goal-scoring return last season but I think he’s capable of scoring goals with a change of style. I think our style of football will suit him. We desperately needed a big target man but he’s also got a great touch...
He runs at defenders and if you asked most of the centre-halves in our league he would be up there as one of the most difficult to defend against'. Symons is the third player to join City in the space of a week following the arrival of fellow forward Luke Corbett and goalkeeper Jimmy Dormand...
Heeley is now likely to seek answers from the players currently pondering offers to stay at City for another year. Midfielder Gary Walker and utility player Neil Cartwright are both yet to commit, while leading scorer Danny Glover has been talking to another club".
In the Gainsborough Standard is a report that "Gainsborough Trinity have continued to add to the squad ahead of the 2011/12 season, with another trio of signings announced. Chairman Peter Swann confirmed that former Eastwood midfielder Jonathan D’Laryea, ex-Boston United man Shane Clarke and centre-half Mark Gray, formerly of Grimsby Town, have all joined Brian Little’s team".
6 June 2011
DAMIAN STAYINGAltrincham FC's leading scorer Damian Reeves (right) - he hit 19 goals in Alty's struggling side from 35(+11) appearances last season - has confirmed he will be re-joining the club for the 2011-12 season. Damian joined the club last summer and became an ever-present starter in the second half of the season after intermittent starts in the first part of the campaign.
JOIN THE PATRONSThe Altrincham FC Patrons' scheme is an important source of funds over the close season. To date, 96 supporters have signed up for 2011-12; last season we had 123, a total the club hopes to beat this time around.
Grahame Rowley writes... "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, 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".
MORE PLAYER NEWS
Altrincham FC hope to have more news on who will be playing for them next season during Monday; when known, the news will appear here.
Above, is Alty's squad warming up before their first pre-season friendly ten years ago in July 2001 against Tranmere Rovers. Two Alty players in our squad for 2011-12 were involved in the pre-season for the Robins ten years ago, though neither is actually pictured here; one was Stuart Coburn, who was the other?
THREE LOTS OF BROTHERS & A GATEMAN!TASC chairman Brian Flynn writes...
The recent gig by Harbingers and Surgical Supports raised £208 in ticket sales........all of which has been given to Altrincham Football Club. In addition, Jenny Heslop reports excellent bar takings at the event, so all in all a very profitable evening!
To listen to Harbingers' tracks and to find out more about the band click here. The members of the two bands are pictured in the Alty dugout before the gig:-
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSGuiseley report that "Last season's first-team captain Simon Ainge has agreed terms for the coming season and signed on the dotted line. Meanwhile highly-rated midfielder Liam Needham has moved across West Yorkshire to FC Halifax Town and although his talents will be missed, he did spend most of last season on the side lines though injury... Manager Steve Kittrick is not resting on his laurels though snapping up local boy James Booker after the 18 year old was released by Leeds United. Booker, who can play in defence or midfield, was a regular with Leeds Reserves last season".
Meanwhile, "Paul Caswell has signed a deal with Corby Town following a successful trial period with the club. Former youth team player Caswell joined the team last month, with the task of proving his fitness to manager Graham Drury, and has now been handed a deal for next season. 'He has worked hard to get fit and he has the right mindset to make the most of this chance. He is untried at this level but I am confident he will make the step up, he has the right attitude to give it a go and make the most of the chance'" said the manager.
"Defender Tom Land had also joined the club. The former Gresley Rovers man is a product of the Derby County academy and has also featured for Sheffield Wednesday U18s and Burton Albion. Drury told corbytownfc.co.uk: 'Tom can play at either right back or centre half and I've been impressed by how ambitious he is. He is another youngster who is hungry to do well and I think he'll be a good signing for the club. His attitude is spot on and he has always stood out whenever we've watched him'".
From solihull Moors we learn that "Micky Moore has confirmed that eight of last season's squad have agreed to sign terms for next season and that more are on the horizon . The Moors manager has confirmed that Ryan Beswick, Junior English, Henry Eze, Nick Green, Dominic Langdon, Phil Midworth, Alex Price and Jas Singh have all agreed to remain at Damson Park. Micky Moore also confirmed that offers have made to a number of other players from last season's squad and that talks are continuing. As well as bringing in Mitch Fellows and Andre Francis, Moore is also talking to possible new additions to the playing staff".
At national level, Blue Square Football reports that "Cambridge United manager Jez George admits that trying to improve his squad while cutting the wage bill is a difficult balancing act. George is expected to reduce the Us' wage bill by 25 per cent ahead of the new season. In order to reach this target, George has already confirmed that he will need to release the top six wage earners in the Us' squad before the end of the off-season.
However, he has also secured the signatures of England C internationals Tom Shaw and Michael Wylde to bolster his forces. He told Cambridge News: 'It's a very delicate and difficult situation, but I think we have to sign players if we believe the right players are available at the right amount of money in terms of weekly wages. In effect, we're reducing the wage bill in as far as we're signing players on terms that the club can afford'".
The Uxbridge Gazette says that "Julian Dicks has expressed an interest in the vacant manager's position at Hayes and Yeading. The former West Ham hard man, nicknamed the Terminator, is out of work after leaving Grays Athletic last month following two seasons in charge of the Essex boys. And the 42-year-old, who also spent a stint in charge of Wivenhoe Town, has thrown his hat into the ring for the United post. Former Brentford boss Nicky Forster is the frontrunner to succeed Garry Haylock at the Blue Square Premier club, but is keen to take over at Torquay United instead".
5 June 2011
FLYNN AGREES TERMSAltrincham FC have agreed terms with central defender Adam Flynn who was the Southport captain when they were promoted in 2009-10 back into the national level of the Conference. He played a further 23(+5) Conference games for Southport in 2010-11, despite being transfer-listed by Liam Watson as is explained below.
Adam's former clubs include Prescot Cables and Busrcough and before that he was in the academy and reserve teams of Liverpool FC. Later he became youth team coach at Anfield.
In November 2010, the Liverpool Echo reported that "Skipper Adam Flynn is searching for a new club after Southport boss Liam Watson surprisingly slapped him on the transfer list. Watson felt he had no other option but to put the Blue Square North championship winning captain up for sale after claiming life outside the Haig Avenue club affected Flynn’s performances. As a coach at the Liverpool FC Academy, Flynn was often required to spend time overseas and has already missed two matches this season through work commitments. But it was Flynn’s looming 11 day stint in Malaysia that brought the situation to a head.
'I have transfer-listed Adam because I don’t think he has the commitment levels required for the Conference', said Watson. 'He has missed a couple of games already this season because he was unavailable due to work commitments. He informed me that he will be away for 11 days after the Chorley match on November 30. Flynn has been a great player for me at Burscough and at Southport, leading us to the championship last year, but when it comes to your captain not being the first name of the team-sheet, that is when something has to change'.
Later in November, 2010. "Neil Young says Chester FC can lay down a title marker with victory over Skelmersdale United today - as the manager rules himself out of a move for Adam Flynn... Young was offered the chance to bolster his squad - who are six points clear at the summit - with the cut-price signing of Southport captain Flynn. Although Young revealed he is an admirer of the 26-year central defender, that a fee would be involved for his signature meant he passed up the chance...
Flynn was transfer-listed by Blue Square Bet Premier side Southport this week and was offered to Chester. 'Liam Watson spoke to me about Adam but it is not something we are going to pursue', added Young. 'There would be a fee involved... Flynn would be on decent wages at Southport as well. But of course if there was no fee required then we’d be in the market for him'".
CLOTHES BANKAltrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley writes...
"We are having a 'Clothes Bank' delivered to the club over the next couple of weeks so we are appealing for people to bring in their used clothes and shoes before they go out and buy their Summer wear. This will be a permanant fixture at the ground so we need to get people to spread the word."
EVENT FOR ALTYAlso, on Saturday 18th June at The Roebuck Inn in Altrincham, (opposite the Market Tavern), starting at 8.30pm Damian Skelhorn will be performing as 'Mr Big and the Love Contraption' with all proceeds going to the Football Club. There will be a raffle, football scratch cards and pork/beef spit-roast barms on sale. Come along, have a drink and help raise money for the club".
GET YOUR SEASON TICKETSAltrincham 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 £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.
Contact the club on 0161 928-1045 for further details.
TASC NEWSTASC's Steve Foster writes...
Thanks to all the new members of the monthly draw, we've had a great response, and now have over 100 members! Numbers for all the new members will be published as soon as possible.
Thanks to everyone for their attendance to the meeting on Tuesday night and the offers of help received so far. We have now formulated a plan for the festival on Saturday 2nd July. We would still like more help if anyone else wants to assist with anything, either on the day of the festival or in the build up to it. If you think you may be able to help, please email me and I will get back to you in due course".
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSBlyth Spartans "are pleased to announce that Whitley Bay centre back David Coulson is the latest recruit to join Steve Cuggy’s new look squad. The 27-year-old has been involved in two of Whitley Bay’s three FA Vase victories (he was injured for the middle one)... He started his career at Lincoln City and since played for Ilkeston Town, Gateshead and Spennymoor before moving to Hillheads some 6 seasons ago.
Manager Steve Cuggy commented 'He is an excellent defender - aggressive, strong and a real leader on the pitch. I think he felt he’d gone a bit stale at Whitley and was looking for a new challenge at a higher level, so with me and Gav coming to Blyth, it feels like a natural progression. He had a bad knee injury the season before last and, having played the last 20 or so games of last season and with a strong pre-season behind him, I think he’ll be back to his very best'".
At Nuneaton Town "Defensive player Simon Forsdick has agreed terms for another twelve months following talks with... Kevin Wilkin. Wilkin currently on holiday in Thailand will be looking to finalise his squad for the coming seasons with some new blood into last season’s play-off semi-finalist. Forsdick told the club website, 'I'm excited to be signing for a progressive club that I believe can deliver my ambition to play Conference Premier football'... The Club is looking to continue signing players next week and currently is looking at three Football League players".
From Blue Square North, we learn that "Gainsborough Trinity chairman Peter Swann has confirmed the capture of three new players as they continue to strengthen for the 2011/12 campaign. Swann announced the signing of Jonathan D'Laryea, Shane Clarke and Mark Gray via the club's official forum.
Midfielder D'Laryea, 25, links up with Trinity after parting ways with Eastwood Town. Centre-half Gray, 19, joins Gainsborough following his release by Grimsby Town this summer. Midfielder Clarke, 23, has signed for Brian Little's side after a short spell with North American side Chicago Fire. Clarke left Boston United in February after being offered a trial by the MLS side, but his stay was brought to an end after the signing of Marko Maric. Meanwhile, long-term target Liam Needham will line-up against Trinity in the coming season after signing for newly-promoted FC Halifax Town".
Meanwhile, "Boston United have been dealt a blow with news that midfielder Anthony Church has turned down the opportunity to stay at York Street. The 23-year-old is on the verge of completing his studies at Loughborough University and is keen to forge a career in banking closer to London... Church told the Lincolnshire Echo: 'I was considering staying at university for another year and doing a Master's which would have allowed me stay up here but I don't think I would have benefited from that. I had an offer to stay at Boston and it was a good offer, but it's not about that. After finishing university, it's just not possible for me to stay up here. Even if we'd have gone up to the Conference, I'm not sure if the club would have gone full-time so I probably would have been in the same boat, having to look for somewhere else. It might have been different if I was a teenager, but I'm 23 and have to look at a career outside football too. I'm a very ambitious person in everything I do. I've told the managers (Jason Lee and Lee Canoville) and the chairman (David Newton). They've been absolutely first-class'". Grimsby Town announce that "Charles Ademeno has left the club by mutual consent. The former Crawley Town striker was signed by Neil Woods last summer but has had a terrible season with injuries, featuring just 12 times for the Mariners".
Similarily, "Dwayne Samuels has left the club by mutual consent. The former West Bromwich Albion defender was signed on a 2-year deal by Neil Woods last summer after impressing during the pre-season games. However, injury hampered Dwayne's progress and he featured just 11 times during the season.!
From the Daily Post we learn that "A Supporters' Trust denied talks to buy Wrexham FC have stalled. The Wrexham Supporters' Trust said talks were continuing with current owners Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts with a view to buying the club. It appeared a couple of weeks ago the WST were on the verge of a historic deal to take over the club.
But a scheduled Press conference to announce the purchase was postponed because talks had not been concluded. Yesterday WST chairman Richard Owen said: 'As far as we are concerned talks have not stalled and negotiations are continuing. This is a very complex deal'.
Meanwhile Wrexham fans will be in the town centre today to sign up members and promote a community share scheme... People interested can sign up to become members of the WST or look at a £1 a month scheme the trust are setting up to buy shares in Wrexham FC".
The Uxbridge Gazette tells us that "Nicky Forster looks set to pull out of the running for the Hayes job to focus on the vacancy at Torquay United. The former Brentford boss is the frontrunner to succeed Garry Haylock at the Blue Square Premier side, and his representatives held talks with the club this week. However, Forster has also applied for the post at Plainmoor, and is keen to take over a side pushing for promotion rather than survival.
His agent, Darren Lewis, said: 'Success for Hayes this season would be escaping relegation, but Nicky wants to be at a club going for promotion. He's bright, young and ambitious and doesn't see beating the drop as a success. His passion is winning. There's no doubt Hayes will be an exciting prospect in years to come with the new stadium on the horizon, but I think Torquay would be the perfect club for him at this moment in time'". Forster's managerial experience comprises three months as acting manager at Brentford but he was not appointed permanently at the end of last season.
4 June 2011
YOUTH TEAM PRESENTATIONSThe annual Altrincham FC Youth team presentations took place on Friday evening at Moss Lane, compered by manager George Heslop. George reviewed the season which, in terms of results, had not been as successful as in recent years. However, George pointed out that, in one respect, the season just past had been consistent with previous campaigns; namely, away results had been better than those at home, where matches have been played at Wythenshawe Town FC. Alty's youth team had over the years performed best on wide, flat pitches, stated George, and he was therefore looking at options for next season.
from Grahame Rowley and George Heslop
award from Mr and Mrs Black, James's parents
Runner-up award from Director, Andrew Shaw
an award on behalf of the players' parents
from the players' parents
as third-placed Players' Player of the Year
The 2010-11 season had been marred by player injuries and a long weather-induced winter break. However, the youth team manager took heart from the fact that the team, towards the end of the season, had included as many as 12 players in the 16-man squads who were young enough to be eligible for the under-18s league next season. Indeed, in the game at Morecambe, the central midfield's combined ages were just 31 years! George also highlighted the excellent performances and conduct of all those youth team players who had either trained or played with the first team, not least in the Cheshire Senior Cup Final.
The Players' Player of the Year award went to goalkeeper Adam Reid, with James Smart the runner-up and Matt Fearon third. The James Black memorial trophy for the manager's player of the year went to Adam Reid, too. This handsome trophy was presented by Mr and Mrs Black and it commemorates their late son, James, who was a much loved figure at Moss Lane, where he was a an ardent supporter before his untimely early death.
George also paid tribute to his coaching team of Gareth Thomas, Josh Collins and Richard Williams. He also recorded his gratitude to Tony Spilsbury who had resigned as coach early in the season after several years dedicated service. Having also thanked the players' parents for their support for their sons, George Smart, on behalf of the parents, made a short speech during which he made a presentation to Jenny Heslop, for her help and her hard work in laundering the team kit every week. He also paid tribute to George and his coaching team.
Chairman Grahame Rowley also thanked everyone associated with the youth team for their efforts over the season and he pointed out that new manager Le Sinnott had already invited a number of the team to pre-season training. Grahame also pointed out that relegation meant that the youth team had a better chance of making an impact at first-team level than had been the case over recent years.
SHAUN DENSMOREAltrincham FC have clarified the position of Shaun Densmore, Altrincham's 22 year-old England C international midfielder/defender. Shaun is covered by football rules which apply to under-24s under which he has been offered terms at Moss Lane for next season but has not accepted them. Shaun himself naturally wishes to play at the highest possible level but, were another team to make an approach for him, the club in question would be required to pay a compensation fee to Altrincham.
OLD BOYSThree players with differing degrees of connection with Altrincham are in the news at Mossley where "Manager Gareth McClelland is delighted that Aaron Chalmers has pledged himself to Mossley for the coming season" and "Very experienced but still extremely fit central defender Peter Band (37) has signed from Woodley Sports. Peter has previously played for Altrincham, Hyde United and Northwich Victoria. He was player / assistant manager last season at Woodley under ex-Mossley boss Chris Wilcock.
Last season's players who are still with the club [include] Cavell Coo... while Mike Oates is trying his hand at Droylsden".
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSThe Wharfedale Observer confirms that "Guiseley have signed form-er Bradford City centre back Mark Bower. The defender made over 200 appearances for the Bantams, and is a former captain. Last season the 31-year-old was almost an ever-present in the line-up at FC Halifax Town... Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick said: 'Mark was a bit disappointed about not being offered a new deal by Halifax Town and contacted me'...
Moving in the opposite direction is midfielder Liam Needham. Kittrick added: 'Liam has decided that Halifax are a bigger club than us and offer him a better chance of getting into the Conference but that is a conversation that needs to be continued with him at the end of next season'.
Striker Joe O’Neill has re-signed for the Lions, and joining them is 18-year-old James Booker from Leeds United... Guiseley’s leading scorer James Walshaw has joined Blue Square Premier club Darlington. Walshaw, who scored 32 goals for the Lions last season, had initial talks with the Quakers but they broke down over terms... but Darlington came back with an improved offer that has tempted Walshaw to the Northern Echo Arena... [on] a one-year deal with an option for a second year.
Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick said of Walshaw’s on-off-on move: 'That’s football but we have helped James to get where he wanted. I am talking to a striker from Altrincham'".
News of a departure comes from Blyth Spartans where "The club has been informed that winger Liam O’Mahoney has relocated to Yorkshire and as a result will be leaving".
But there is also an arrival at Croft Park as "Blyth Spartans can announce that Liam Atkin has signed for the club from Ashington. The former Newcastle United defender, 24, has already made one appearance for the Spartans, featuring for Harry Dunn in a Northumberland Senior Cup match against Ashington in 2007". In addition, "Blyth Spartans are delighted to announce that Wayne Phillips has signed for the club from Harrogate Town. "Wayne is no stranger to Croft Park, having made his senior Football debut for the Spartans side in an away win at Hucknall Town in 2003 as a teenager..
The 25-year-old enjoyed a few seasons with Blyth before moving onto Whitley Bay and Gateshead - scoring the winning goal for Gateshead, which saw them promoted to the Blue Square National. Following his release from Gateshead he was snapped up by Harrogate Town where he enjoyed a successful season providing ammunition for other new signing Graeme Armstrong. The pacey winger has regularly been linked with a move back to Blyth and it is hoped that the speed, trickery and crossing ability, which he has demonstrated in numerous games against the Spartans since his departure, will once again entertain the Croft Park faithful."
And that is not all as Blyth's new boss "Steve Cuggy has moved to secure the signature of a player he knows all about with the signing of Whitley Bay centre half Darren Timmons. The former Ashington and Hartlepool United ‘tough tackling’ defender, who can also play sweeper and is equally adept at full back, has been involved in the last two of Whitley Bay’s three consecutive FA Vase wins".
At Corby Town "midfielder Steve Towers has committed his future to the Steelmen by signing a new deal with the club". And, "Former Corby Town fans' favourite Leon Hibbert has returned to the club from Gainsborough Trinity. Leon is a goal scoring, central midfield player who has strength and pace. He spent two seasons at the centre of the Corby Town engine room, and also spent a six match spell on loan at Slough Town where he netted three goals in six games. He then forced his way back into the Corby side with an impressive string of performances, before departing the Rockingham Triangle last summer to join Gainsborough Trinity alongside Paul Mayo and Leon Mettam. Following a poor season for the Lincolnshire club, who narrowly avoided relegation from the Blue Square Bet North, Leon has returned to Corby Town for the 2011/12 campaign."
Also, "Corby Town manager Graham Drury has captured young duo Jordan Smith and Karl Dimidh from Thurnby Nirvana and Borrowash Victoria respectively. Dimidh is a pacy striker, who can also operate as a winger. He followed up his 10-goal debut season in senior football with 18 goals last term,... Drury told corbytownfc.co.uk; 'Karl can play up front but was mainly used wide right last season, where he scored 18 goals. That is a good return from midfield at any level and he is similar to Leon Metton in many ways. He really plays on people's shoulders, he'll keep the opposition's backline on their toes because he is the sort of player who is always capable of popping up with a winner out of nothing. He is hungry for goals and I'm looking forward to seeing him score them for Corby'.
Talented striker Jordan Smith has been described as one of the hottest prospects in non-league, after scoring 65 goals last term. Drury revealed that there had been interest from other clubs for the Thurnby hotshot".
The Worcester News tells us that "Worcester City have completed the signing of goalkeeper Jimmy Dormand for next season. The 6ft 4ins former Redditch keeper has agreed terms with the St George’s Lane club for the 2011/12 campaign. He will be one of two players manager Carl Heeley wants in his squad to create competition for the position.
Tim Sandercombe, out since November with a knee injury, and Dean Coleman, who finished last season between the posts, have both been invited to pre-season training in a bid to win a place. Heeley, though, is delighted to have secured 24-year-old Dormand, who impressed against City for Redditch in a goalless Blue Square Bet North draw in January.
The Worcester boss said: 'He played a handful of games at Redditch last season but because of business couldn’t totally commit but that has changed... I really rate him. I will have two keepers hopefully challenging for that jersey. You can’t really go with one so it will be down to merit#. Dormand, a former Birmingham City trainee, has also had spells with Halesowen Town and the now defunct Bromsgrove Rovers. He becomes City’s second signing in a matter of days following the arrival of former Leamington striker Luke Corbett".
Nearby, Gloucester City "are delighted to confirm that Darren Mullings has agreed a new deal with the club for the 2011-12 season. Players'-player of the year last time out, [he] was an important source of goals for the club last term".
AndThis is Glos reports that "Goal-scoring midfield man Darren Mullings has a agreed a new deal to remain with Gloucester City. The former Torquay United and Weston-super-Mare tyro fired 14 goals for City last season and impressed with industry and creativity in midfield...
City boss Dave Mehew said 'I want him to play more in central midfield next season and really be dominant in there'... Mehew was always confident the Bristol-based player would commit for another season, despite seeing fellow former Bristol Rovers trainee Tom Parrinello depart the club... Mullings's signature secured, Mehew now has an answer from every member of last season's squad regarding their futures. After releasing striker Mike Symons, midfielder Mike Tambling and youth team graduate Callum Preece, Mehew saw Parrinello and fellow defender Tom Evans reject terms and depart.
But the five departures have been countered by the signings of strikers Steve Davies and Lewis Pountney, while Mehew is still chasing around for a combative midfielder and right winger. Mehew will also run the rule over a number of triallists when the City squad return for pre-season training at the end of the month. Former Forest Green winger Jon Else will be joined by Matt Barnes, latterly of county rivals Cinderford and Bitton's Brandon Barnes. 'I've got Steve and Lewis as new additions already and having Jack Harris back will also be like having a new signing', Mehew said. 'Matt Barnes has been recommended by Paul Bodin at Swindon, while we'll also have a look at Else and Brandon Barnes to see what they're about'".
"Following the arrival of Gary Lowe as the new manager of Hyde FC, we would like to announce that Martyn Booty will be joining him as his assistant. Martyn was assistant to Gary at Curzon Ashton".
According to Blue Square North, "Workington manager Darren Edmondson is in talks with Accrington Stanley full-back Tom Smyth with regards to a potential summer transfer. Smyth played 11 games for the Reds while on loan at the club last season and has now been released from his League Two employers. Edmondson has moved swiftly in order to discuss a permanent move with the 20-year-old, but admits it will be difficult to fend off his other suitors.
He told the Times & Star: 'I know other teams with bigger budgets are sniffing around him. It isn't going to be easy to lure him back but he knows our set-up and he knows what a great bunch of lads we have in the dressing room'".
Blue Square also reports that "Aynsley McDonald is being lined up to slot into Histon’s new-look defence. The 19-year-old former Welsh youth international was one of a number of players to catch Stutes manager David Livermore’s eye in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Glass World Stadium... [He] is set to leave cash-strapped Rushden & Diamonds, during pre-season...
Livermore [has] released Erkan Okay and Callum Stewart, while Lanre Oyebanjo appears unlikely to accept a new deal. [Referring to McDonald, the manager said] 'He’s waiting to hear 100 per cent what’s happening at Rushden. Once that’s cleared up we’d be in a position to have another look at him and see where it goes from there'... McDonald, who had loan spells at Sudbury and Banbury last season, could partner Frenchman Remy Clerima at the heart of the defence...
Boss Livermore will reassemble his troops for the start of pre-season training on June 29, when the next stage of his rebuilding job will begin. 'There were only four players that had contracts beyond this season, so this was always going to be the case', said Livermore. 'It’s going to be tough, but we’ll work with it'" he told the Cambridge News.
From the Hinckley Times we learn that "Dean Thomas has wasted no time whatsoever in putting his plans in place for his side’s 2011/12 campaign. The Hinckley United gaffer has persuaded a number of players that the Greene King Stadium is the place to be for next season...
Lloyd Kerry, Jermaine Clarke, Andre Gray and Connor Gudger have all re-signed and Thomas is confident that Andy Gooding and Gary Ricketts are also on the verge of agreeing deals. Also pulling on the Hinckley shirt once again will be goalkeeper Danny Haystead and defender Paul Lister, who will line up alongside 19-year-old defender Joe Hull who spent last season at Redditch United after being released by Kidderminster Harriers.
Thomas is pleased with his dealings... He said: 'Primarily I wanted to keep as many people that helped us to improve towards the end of the season and will be a benefit to us. I knew the areas we needed to improve, especially defensively which was a major concern. We have addressed that with Danny Haystead, Paul Lister and Joe Hull all coming in, and Connor Gudger has agreed to sign as well. I am hoping to sign a right-back this week and this all helps us change things as things were going wrong and we could never get a foothold in games as we kept conceding. We need to be strong down the spine of the team.
I am in talks with Gary Ricketts to try and tie him up to a deal as he would be a key player again and we have got Jermaine Clarke and Andre Gray up front. Also Andy Gooding has been offered a new contract. There is still a question mark over James Reid as he still has ambitions of playing professionally and he might be talking to a few clubs... My budget has been cut by about 15% and I can’t go out and offer silly money to players – those days are behind us. We need to keep our feet firmly on the ground and make ourselves sustainable on a weekly basis'".
3 June 2011
PLAYER NEWS"Altrincham Football Club is pleased to announce that the following players have agreed terms for next season:-
Terms have also been offered to Damian Reeves, James Smith, Shaun Densmore and Robbie Williams and negotiations are ongoing with them. Dale Johnson and Marc Joseph have declined the terms offered to them and the club have been unable to offer terms to Chris Denham, Mark Beesley and Craig Dootson.
The club also wish to announce that they have agreed terms with Simon Richman, a midfielder from Worcester City and Chris Lynch a right back from Hyde FC. We wish Simon and Chris successful careers with us.
The club would also like to announce the arrival of Danny Rothwell as Physiotherapist for the forthcoming season. Danny worked at Swansea City last season and we welcome him to Moss Lane".
Some background information on the new players...
Midfielder/winger Simon Andrew Richman (d.o.b. 2 June 1990 at Ormskirk) is a product of the Bolton Wanderers' academy and Port Vale youth system. He broke through into the Valiants' first team in League One in 2007-08 and made 48 League appearances for them in all, mostly in 2008-09 in League Two, when he was voted the club's Young Player of the Season.
Simon then suffered a groin injury which kept him out of action for several months and, though he made five first-team League Two apperances for Vale in 2009-10, he was released at the end of that campaign. Last summer he had trials with Southport and Worcester City, joining City and making eight league appearances in the Blue Square Bet North.
Experienced right-back/midfielder Chris Lynch (d.o.b. 29.12.1984) follows Alty's new assistant manager Neil Tolson, from Hyde FC, for which club he made his debut in 2004. Previously he had been at Wigan Athletic and he arrives at Moss Lane after 249 starts and 38 sub appearances for The Tigers, for whom he has been a virtual ever-present for the past three seasons.
JOIN THE MONTHLY DRAW!Altrincham FC thanks all those who have joined the Monthly Draw scheme; the numbers are now 105 but there is always room for more. Each month a top prize of £100 is awarded with runner-up awards of £50 and £25 also offered. Details of the scheme are here. The Monthly Draw is an important fundraiser for the club, especially during the close season.
OLD BOYSThe EvoStik League reports that "Two of Matlock Town's brightest young stars have signed new one year contracts ahead of the new campaign. Defender Adam Yates and midfielder Liam King have signed on the dotted line to the delight of Gladiators' manager Mark Atkins...
'They're both exceptional young players who've been great for us and were excellent last season, so I'm naturally delighted that they've committed themselves to the club again. The team spirit we have at this club is first class and they obviously enjoy being here. They're also very popular with our supporters who will no doubt be as pleased as we are with the news'".
BSB LEAGUES' NEWSAcording to the BBC, "Right-back Lanre Oyebanjo could still choose to stay with Histon next season, despite their relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier. The Republic of Ireland Under-21 man has been offered a new deal.
He told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'I've just got to weigh up my options as I'm not too sure what I want to do at the current time. I think I've done well this season on a personal level, though it was tough getting relegated'.
Oyebanjo has proved a huge success since joining the Stutes in the summer of 2008 after leaving Brentford and has been attracting plenty of interest from rival clubs. However, he has turned down the option of full-time football in the past in order to concentrate on a mathematics and finance degree. 'I've still got a way to go with my course so if I went full-time, I'd need to turn my studies into evening classes', he said. 'Histon haven't handed me a deadline, but they'll obviously be wanting to sort themselves out as soon as possible'.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Joe Welch is hoping to agree terms at Stevenage with his current deal at the Glass World having come to an end. The 22-year-old spent the last two months of the season on loan at Broadhall Way, winning promotion to League One through the play-offs. 'I'll sit down with the manager at some point and hopefully go from there. I'd certainly love to stay here', he said."
More news from Histon comes from the Cambridge News which says that "Convincing Omer Riza to agree a new deal could be the difference between Histon succeeding and failing next season, according to David Livermore. The striker topped the Stutes’ scoring charts in his first season at the Glass World Stadium, notching 12 goals, but has always been on non-contract terms.
And manager Livermore would dearly love to retain the services of his long-time friend, despite the forward placing himself on the Professional Footballers’ Association’s transfer list. 'The Omer situation is the same it’s been since day one', said Livermore. 'He was only ever a non-contract player. I want to keep hold of him and I’ve spoken to him about it, but if he can go on to bigger and better things, and earn more money, then I certainly wouldn’t stand in his way. I think Omer would be our most important player next season. If we had him and a player to compliment him, then I think that would be key to our success'".
Alty will be visiting Cheltenham next season as Gloucester City play there, and "Cheltenham chairman Paul Baker says that they could not compete with the deal offered by Blue Square Bet Premier champions Crawley to Wes Thomas. The 19-goal striker left the Robins for Crawley at the end of his contract. Baker told BBC Gloucestershire: 'I've heard the package he's on and he wouldn't get that at a lot of clubs in League One, it's staggering. It shows the money someone is putting in at Crawley to sustain the wage bill. They're not doing it on gates. There's no way we could have kept Wes but we've learned our lessons. We should have had an option on his deal'".
Bullsnews confirms that "Stockport midfielder Greg Tansey has completed his move to Inverness, meaning the Hatters will not receive a fee for the 22 year old", who was an Altrincham loan player in 2007-08.
The NW Evening Mail says that "Striker-turned-physio Gregg Blundell has been released by Barrow AFC. Bluebirds joint-manager Dave Bayliss said the club could not afford to take on another member of staff going into the 2011/12 Blue Square Bet Premier season. The 33-year-old forward joined Barrow in late 2009, going on to make 42 appearances and scoring six goals. He featured just 11 times last season and took over the team’s physio duties following the departure of Tommy Cosh in November.
Bayliss said: 'Gregg has been released. He has something else in the pipeline, a job lined up, still within football... If we had more money, we would have kept him, but we don’t'. Asked what Barrow would now do as regards as a physio for next season, the co-boss added: 'We have something lined up'. [Alty's Sean Riley is the new Barrow physio].
According to the Eastwood Advertiser, "Craig Armstrong and Jamie Brough set up camp at Eastwood Town this week and guaranteed hard work aplenty to keep the club’s momentum going. The duo have signed deals to become joint managers as a new era dawns at Coronation Park, with large-scale changes having swept the club in recent weeks.
Armstrong, 36, has over 400 professional games under his belt and includes clubs such as Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town and Cheltenham Town on his CV, having grown up in the north-east. He was most recently player/assistant manager at Forest Green and the left-back intends to continue playing with the Badgers. Brough, 34, saw his playing career cut short by his early 20s, but has spent time coaching at clubs including Hucknall Town in recent seasons.
The pair have been friends for many years and say that will aid them in their new roles. They are set to travel to Ireland next week to complete their UEFA ‘A’ coaching badges. 'We’re starting with a blank canvas because the players from last season aren’t here, nor is the same sort of money, so it was an opportunity for Jamie and I to put our own stamp on something', said Armstrong...
Brough added: “We believe this can work because we trust and respect each other wholeheartedly, but also because I have a lot of knowledge of the game up to this kind of level, while Craig has good experience from having played above it, so we meet half way in that sense. Between us, having watched and played a lot of games we’ve got good knowledge of players not only in this league but also the ones directly above and below, and have already spoken a few targets'.
As the Advertiser went to press, details of the new owners at Coronation Park were unable to be released...
Armstrong added: 'The budget is only going to be about a quarter of what was available before. If we could have kept the squad together from last season then we would have done, but the bottom line is that it wasn’t financially possible, although we are speaking to one or two with a view to trying to re-sign them. A lot of players are financially driven and that can make things difficult, but we only want players here who want to play for the club and have that passion, and if that’s the case then you’ve already won half the battle...
The fact is that there’s never been any other real income here in recent years other than the previous chairman, and the days of people having lots of money to spend at football clubs like this are few and far between... It’s easy for someone to bankroll something but if the plug is pulled you run the risk of the club not surviving. So we need to make sure we are at least breaking even, and bringing the fans back through the gate',,,
Brough said: 'Having spoken to a few fans it seems the club hasn’t leant [sic] itself particularly well to the community in recent years, and there’s no youth structure in place whatsoever, so we’ll be looking to rectify those things by getting involved with businesses in the town and local junior clubs to try and forge some links. We’d also like to try and get the clubhouse operating more regularly'".
A report from This is Glos says that "On the day that one flame-haired former Manchester United trainee called time on his career, another has penned a new deal to carry on playing. The careers of Paul Scholes and Gloucester City player-coach Neil Mustoe may have taken different directions, but they both started in the same place. Both were FA Youth Cup winners with Manchester United and graduates of the world renowned Old Trafford Academy...
Mustoe has agreed to play-on for another season. The Gloucester-born defender or midfielder racked up his 350th appearance in yellow and black last term, his first as player-coach... Tigers' boss Dave Mehew said. 'He and (assistant manager) Adie Harris did a great job coaching the side last year... He can definitely still cut the mustard'.
Mustoe's decision to stay means that Mehew is still chasing only one signature from last year's squad, that of goalscoring midfielder Darren Mullings. The former Weston-super-Mare man is currently on holiday but Mehew expects an answer later in the week about his offer. If Mullings stays, the City boss will be in the market for two signings, a combative central midfielder and a right winger, with the former his most pressing target. 'I'm looking to add a bit of bite and experience in the centre of midfield', the City boss said. 'I have a target in mind'", he added.
"Carl Macauley is backing his successor to continue his good work following his shock departure as manager of Vauxhall Motors", states the Ellesmere Port Pioneer. "Macauley ended his five-and-a-half- year stint as boss last week... They have promoted Macauley’s assistant, experienced striker Anthony Wright, to the top job and the 33-year-old immediately recruited former Football League striker Gary Martindale as his number two.
Wright, who counts Barrow, Droylsden and TNS among his former clubs, knows he has some act to follow. But the popular Macauley, who quit Motors after being appointed manager of Liverpool FC’s under 16s, is certain the Ellesmere Port club is in safe hands. 'Appointing Anthony is definitely the right choice and I’m delighted that he has been given the opportunity. He is a great coach and I am sure that he will help Motors push on and continue to improve. I left Motors with a heavy heart and really enjoyed my five years there. It’s a lovely club with some great people and I will miss them'.
Macauley had combined his day-job as a coach at Liverpool’s Academy with managing Motors for several years, but his promotion to U16s' boss meant he had to walk away from Rivacre Park. 'The opportunity at Liverpool was something that I just couldn’t turn down', he added.
Motors chairman Bartlam believes 'Anthony deserves his chance to step up to the manager’s role and is champing at the bit to get started. We had a few interested calls as soon as the manager's position became vacant but, in my mind, we were always going to go with Anthony... I was devastated to lose Carl... He was a revelation while he was here and, for me, he was the best manager in our division by some distance... I am made up for him that he has been given such a golden opportunity at Liverpool'.
Bartlam also revealed that last season’s top-scorer, loan star Obi Anoruo, would be leaving Rivacre Park after being offered a new deal by his parent club Wrexham".
The Southport Visiter reports that "Southport are facing up to losing John Paul Kissock this summer - but would pocket a tidy sum from his sale. Conference champions Crawley Town and beaten play-off finalists Luton Town have shown interest in the 21-year-old who joined the Sandgrounders in December.
Although no firm offers have been tabled with Southport, interest in Kissock was inevitable... Port manager Liam Watson made it clear when the former Everton prospect arrived from Formby last year that the Haig Avenue club would provide a platform to relaunch his career into the Football League. Kissock, who penned an 18 month contract with Southport in January after his initial loan was made permanent, would command a five figure sum - one similar which took Mark Duffy up the coast to League Two Morecambe in 2009 - as well as various sell on clauses built into any deal.
It is believed Crawley's is the stronger of the interest in Kissock and those inside Southport believe a transfer to Luton would be a sideways move at this stage of Kissock's career, even though he would work under the excellent Gary Brabin".
Wrexham's Daily Post informs us that the club "can look forward to sharing some of the fruits of Swansea City’s promotion to the Premier League, thanks to the terms agreed when former Dragons' captain Neil Taylor moved to the Liberty Stadium 11 months ago. Although the 22-year old defender was a free agent when he quit the Racecourse last summer, Wrexham received around £150,000 compensation from the Swans because he had come through the club’s youth development programme.
Swansea also agreed to pay a further £50,000 should promotion be achieved, and the South Wales club clinched their place in domestic football’s top flight... after beating Reading 4-2 in Monday’s Championship play-off final at Wembley...
'I think we receive something as a result of contract add-ons, but I can’t remember exactly how much', said the Racecourse boss [Dean Saunders] last night. 'I am so pleased for Neil and for Swansea because they deserve to be promoted'... Saunders, who as a Swansea apprentice was just embarking on his football career the last time the South Wales club were in the top flight more than 30 years ago, added: 'It’s not so long ago that Swansea were very nearly where we are at the moment, so they are due a great deal of credit and they can serve as an example to us all at Wrexham of what can be achieved'.
Although the cash-strapped Dragons will see some of the £50,000 cash windfall eaten into by tax, fees and agent commissions, club secretary Geraint Parry said: 'Every little helps in ensuring that the club gets through the summer months, a period when we are dependent to a very large extent on the money received from advance season ticket sales'. Despite uncertainty at the Racecourse while Wrexham Supporters' Trust continues the due diligence that will determine the outcome of its bid to buy the club from current owners Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts, fans have flocked to take advantage of a discounted season ticket sale that ended last night.
At close of business 1,425 had been sold, just 25 fewer than last year’s total sales of 1,450, and Parry expects a upsurge in demand if and when the takeover is confirmed... 'We are hugely pleased with sales to date which are far ahead of the same time last year'", added Parry.
FA CUP & TROPHYDates for the FA Cup in 2011-12 have been announced:
And, Saturday 12th May is the date for the FA Trophy Final.
2 June 2011
SEAN LEAVESAltrincham FC chairman, Grahame Rowley announces, "It is with regret that we have to announce that Sean Riley, our physio for the last six years, has left to take up a similar post at Barrow. The club would like to thank Sean for all the hard work he has put in during his time at Moss Lane, treating all the players and arranging specialist treatment when required. We wish him all the very best in his new role. A replacement will be named shortly".
Sean originally joined as the club physio in mid-October 2004 and was formerly the physio at Accrington Stanley and Kendal Town. He has also been resident physio for the Blackburn Sunday League and for Gt Harwood Town and Bamber Bridge and was involved in the GB team for the World Student games in Beijing. He holds an FA diploma in the treatment and management of sports injuries. Off the field, Sean has a reputation as an accomplished "rapper" and has also played in goal for the AFC Staff XI versus the Supporters XI.
MONTHLY DRAWThe Altrincham FC Monthly Draw for April has now been made and the winners are:
THANKS TO DARRENThe thanks of everyone at Altrincham FC go to Darren Gregory who has announced that he is ending his role as Safety Officer at Moss Lane. Writing on the Altrincham Fans' Forum, Darren says>.
"Today after 17 years on the safety team, I have informed Grahame Rowley [Chairman of Altrincham FC] that, as from the 7 June, after the next stewards NVQ training session, I am stepping down as Safety Officer of the club. This has not been an easy decision to make but I feel it's the right one as I can no longer afford to commit the time. I would like thank all those that have that have worked with me and helped me over past 17 years and a special mention to Tony Dunkerley and Telford College for their continued training.
My last thank you is to all you supporters who have made the job easier with not having to worry about your behaviour. I hope that whoever is appointed the next Safety Officer of Altrincham FC, you would all give your continued support. I would still like to help out on match days where possible. Thank you. It has been an honour and a pleasure. All the best, Darren Gregory.
In addition to his matchday role at Moss Lane, over the years Darren and his wife Lousie have also been active in raising funds for the club. Darren's latest initiative is detailed on the Fans' Forum, where he writes: "The badge I had made last season I have had re-made by a different seller and the badges are better quality. I will donating 80 of these badges to the club so they can raise money by selling them. I have listed 21 on eBay
PREPARATIONS CONTINUEThe Sale & Altrincham Advertiser reports that "It was crunch time yesterday [Tuesday] as Altrincham FC players faced a deadline to decide their future. New manager Lee Sinnott spoke to the squad last week collectively and individually, making it clear who he intends to keep and who is surplus to requirements.
The players were given the Bank Holiday weekend to think over their decision and come back with an answer on Tuesday. Sinnott spent the day ringing round to found out how his squad is shaping up.
He told the Advertiser he wants a final group of around 16 or 17 players which can fire the Robins straight back up to the Blue Square Bet Premier Division. 'We want to assemble the strongest squad possible', he said. 'It’s a case of being fair to both parties – I need to know if they feel they are going to move on somewhere else. I spoke to them all last week and explained the club’s position. It really is a case of wait and see'.
Speculation has already begun on the Altrincham fans’ messageboard about possible departures – but Sinnott moved to reassure supporters that he has replacements lined up if needed. He revealed: 'We’ve been compiling a list of targets to go at if players decide to move on. The season is a long one and we want to be competitive. We set our sights high – you go into a league and you want to win it and we’re no different'.
Meanwhile chairman Grahame Rowley revealed that the club has already sold more than 100 season tickets for the coming campaign in the Blue Square Bet North league. 'In order to give the club the best possible budget in which to compete next season we have decided to maintain admission and season ticket prices', he said. 'Although this will make us one of the highest admission prices in the league we hope fans appreciate the reasoning behind it'. Fans are being offered a £10 discount for those purchased prior to June 30, which also entitle supporters to free admission to all the pre-season friendlies. Anyone interested can contact the club on 0161 9281 045 for further details.
The club has also signed up 82 patrons for the coming season and is aiming for at least 100. Mr Rowley said: '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 three people in the Sponsors’ Lounge'.
Anyone interested in becoming a patron for next season should forward a cheque for £50. It should be payable to Altrincham Football Club, Moss Lane, Altrincham WA15 8AP and for the attention of Grahame Rowley."
OLD BOYBulls News reports that "Morecambe have signed winger Kevin Ellison following his release from Rotherham", where his new bosses will include assistant manager Ken McKenna.
BSB LEAGUES' NEWS"Fleetwood Town have further strengthened their ranks with another exciting signing" reports the Football Conference. "Manager Micky Mellon has added prolific Wrexham marksman Andy Mangan to his Highbury line-up. The 24-year-old Liverpool-born striker was the Football Conference leading scorer in 2009/10 with twenty-six goals in thirty-eight games with Forest Green Rovers. He claimed sixteen goals last term for Wrexham.
Club chief executive Steve Curwood said: 'Andy will join the club when we return to training on the 1st July. Everyone knows what an exciting player he is, and it is a real statement of where the club is that we can attract players of his calibre. The paperwork will be finalised when the transfer window opens next week. This isn't the end of our transfer activity and we expect more movement over the next couple of weeks'.
Mangan said: 'It feels great to sign for Fleetwood Town. I have great memories of Wrexham but after speaking to the chairman and manager I could see Fleetwood are going in the right direction'".
Likewise, "Darlington boss Mark Cooper has secured his second signing of the summer, with midfielder Kris Taylor joining the club. The 27-year-old, released by Port Vale at the end of last season, has penned a one-year deal", while "York City have announced another new signing for the 2011/12 season. Twenty-one-year-old Matty Blair has agreed to join City on a two-year deal after spending last season with league rivals Kidderminster Harriers."
In BSB North, "Striker Luke Corbett has become Worcester City’s first new signing of the summer...The locally-based forward’s arrival will boost Worcester’s attacking options following the departure of the experienced Mark Danks. Manager Carl Heeley is also hoping last season’s leading scorer Danny Glover will commit his future to the club, but admits the twenty-goal marksman is in talks with an un-named club. Utility player Neil Cartwright and midfielder Gary Walker are still considering offers, while striker Marc McGregor will use pre-season to test his fitness".
News of an Alty "old boy" is also reported by the Conference which states, "Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law has made central defender Greg Young his first signing since the Reds clinched the Blue Square Bet North title. Law said: 'I am delighted with the signing of Greg. At 6'3'' he will give us plenty of power and he has loads of experience from the level we are now at to bring to the team. He was a young kid at Grimsby when I was manager there. I gave him his chance and he did really well. When we first came to Alfreton we brought him in on loan from Halifax Town but just as he got match fit, he was recalled. We have been interested in him for quite a while and fair play to him, while I know he didn't want to drop down a level to join us last season, he has chosen to come to us now when he could have had substantially more money with a club in the division we have just left".
According to Blue Square North "New Eastwood Town joint-managers, Craig Armstrong and Jamie Brough, know they have their work cut out for them as they prepare for their side's upcoming season in the Blue Square Bet North. Virtually the whole Eastwood side that finished in fourth but were then denied a place in the play-offs over an issue with their ground - if they were to be promoted, have left.
Armstrong told This is Nottingham: 'It is a big, tough task but it is one we are really looking forward to... We are going to have to work our socks off but it is a good opportunity'. The club have since been bought by Rob Yong with Armstrong admitting that the new owner has already thrown his weight behind reinvigorating the club. He added: 'I know Rob Yong put a lot of his own cash into the club, including shirt sponsorship, advertising boards and a lot of the cash injected came from him. Now, it is a clean slate and we have to bring in advertising income, sponsorship and hopefully we can generate a bit of money...
In terms of players, I know Jon D'Laryea and people like Andy Todd and Michael Simpson, who all played last season, and I am speaking to them. Then there is the centre half, Adie Hawes who I look at as a player I want to stay and I will speak to him. But we want people who want to be at Eastwood. I am not going to force anybody to play their football here'".
At Hinckley United, manager "Dean Thomas has just confirmed that Andy Gooding has now penned a new 1 year contract with the Knitters. Dean sees Gooding as Mr Consistent and will be looking for him to part of the spine of the team next season. Jacob Blackwell and Danny Newton have also agreed terms for next season after demonstrating their ability to compete in the Conference North throughout last season. Dean feels that the squad is shaping up nicely at the moment and is being very realistic about setting the right expectations for next season. Dean expects to complete is retained list over the next few days before looking to add the right type of quality in all departments to complement what is already looking like a well balanced squad".
The BSB North's most northerly club, Blyth Spartans tell us that they "can confirm that manager Steve Cuggy has secured the signature of attacking midfielder Chris Emms. The 26 year-old started his career at Middlesbrough and has since played for Billingham Town, Gateshead, Spennymoor Town, ECU Joondalup (Australia) and Harrogate Town. Last season he was a member of the Spennymoor Town side that swept to the STL Northern League title. Capable of playing on either wing or in the hole behind the frontline, it is hoped that Emms’s guile and creativity will provide ammunition for new striker Graeme Armstrong to feed from."
Also, "Blyth Spartans are delighted to announce that two of last season’s star performers have agreed to stay at the club for the upcoming campaign, with Dan Groves (20) and Neal Hooks (23) having met with new manager Steve Cuggy to discuss their futures and putting pen to paper on new deals with the club. Hooks has also penned a one year contract at Croft Park".
The BBC reports that "Premiership outfit Sale Sharks are considering a move away from Edgeley Park to rugby league side Salford City Reds' new stadium. The Reds' £26m City of Salford stadium, which has a capacity of 12,000, is due to officially open next February. Sale currently groundshare with Stockport County and have already committed to playing there next season.
'We are weighing up all the possibilities', revealed Sharks owner Brian Kennedy. 'There are clearly possibilities in Salford as well as with Edgeley Park and elsewhere. There's a lot of things to consider'. The Barton site, which is situated close to the M60, would be an enticing prospect for Sale, who have seen a decline in attendances in recent years...
Kennedy owns Edgeley Park through company Cheshire Sports and County, who were relegated from the Football League this season, currently pay rent. But he was keen to state that the Premiership side have not ruled out staying at the site and have spoken to council leaders about re-developing the ground, which holds 10,000 spectators. 'We're not yet ready to make a decision and we've also got to consider seriously what's right for Stockport County because that's important to us', added Kennedy. 'We are in the process of working on some initiatives that will help Stockport and hopefully give them the best chance of getting back up into League Two... Hopefully we'll come up with some initiatives over the next month or so'".
The BBC also reports that "Mansfield have signed 31-year-old midfielder Paul Bolland on a two-year deal after he turned down a new contract at Macclesfield Town. Bolland has made over 400 appearances for Bradford, Notts County, Grimsby and Macclesfield, and was voted players' player of the season at Moss Rose. He told the Stags' website: 'I've met [manager] Paul Cox a couple of times and you can tell he's a winner. That is what attracted me and what I want to be a part of'... Former Eastwood Town boss Cox took over at Field Mill last month, and Bolland is his third signing."
1 June 2011
CLUB APPOINTMENTSFollowing last week's arrival of Lee Sinnott as Altrincham FC's new manager, the Club is very pleased to announce the following appointments...
The new Assistant Manager is Neil Tolson (37), who was manager of Hyde United, (now Hyde FC), till April 2011. Neil had joined The Tigers as a player in 2003 before becoming assistant manager in 2007 and then player-manager in September, 2008.
Like Lee Sinnott, Neil was born in Walsall. As a player Neil was a striker, who topped York City's goalscoring chart for 1996–97. In non-League he has played for Leigh RMI, whom he left in January 2003 before signing for Kettering Town, but he moved on to Halifax Town shortly afterwards. He therefore brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge of the Blue Square Bet North division.
In almost 200 appearances for Football League clubs, Neil played for Walsall, Oldham Athletic, Bradford City and Chester City before his spell at York. After York, he also spent two years at Southend United (1999-2001) before he joined Leigh.
Altrincham FC is also pleased to announce that Ian Senior has been appointed as a coach, having been Alty's goalkeeping coach for several seasons.
John Skelhorn is confirmed as the Kit Manager though, as the successful manager of the Altrincham FC StTaff XI in their annual matches against the Supporters for the past two seasons, John will no doubt also offer his expertise to the coaching team!
A physiotherapist is expected to be announced shortly, with news of players being scheduled for Friday, so watch this space...
YOUTH TEAM PRESENTATION EVENINGThe annual Altrincham FC Youth Team presentation evening will take place in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 7.30pm. All supporters are welcome for the event which will be hosted by Youth team manager, George Heslop. No fewer than seven of the 2010-11 squad were involved in the first-team squad for matches during the season so this will be an opportunity for you to show your appreciation for their efforts.
LOCAL NEWSSad news comes from Leigh Genesis who, as Leigh RMI, were in the Conference national division as recently as 2006. Mary Croasdale "on behalf of the Leigh Genesis Committee" writes "We have been working hard to influence those we needed to in order to secure a move back to our home in Leigh, wherever that could be. The obvious choice for us and good enough for entry to the North West Counties League was the pitch adjacent to the main stadium at Leigh Sports Village, surrounded by the athletics track, but this option has been refused and, as no other suitable, floodlit ground is available we can no longer continue as a semi-pro club.
The deadline for applications into the league is today (31st May) so, without a miracle, we will not be playing in the North West Counties League next season. We are devastated as a Board that we have not been able to turn things around despite a huge amount of hard work behind the scenes. Since losing our promised home at Leigh Sports Village, life for the club has been an uphill struggle and we are grateful for those of you who have stuck with us to keep the club alive.
Football is an expensive hobby however and in addition to sponsorship the club needs a mechanism to earn money to support itself; this cannot be achieved without a 'home'. Fortunately the junior section of the club is stronger than ever and the youth programme affiliated to us has a full intake of students; this in itself makes it all the more sad that they will not have the standard of senior team that a club of this size deserves."
BLUE SQUARE BET LEAGUES' NEWSBlyth Spartans tell us that "New Spartans’ boss Steve Cuggy has moved quickly to secure his first signing in shape of striker Graeme Armstrong. A long time target of the Spartans, Armstrong has moved to Blyth following a hugely successful season at rivals Harrogate Town. The 27-year-old spent the formative years of his career in Scotland (with Queen of the South and Annan Athletic), before moving to the Northern League side Dunston Fed and then onto Gateshead.
Armstrong enjoyed a prolific spell at the International Stadium and was only released as his career as a teacher prevented him from going full time. He moved to Harrogate at the start of last season and went on to score 23 goals... A clearly delighted Steve Cuggy said 'I’m delighted to get a player of Graeme’s calibre on board, it sends out a positive message to the supporters of the club that Gavin and me are determined to bring the best players possible to Croft Park, but it also sends the right message to the players that we are looking to go in the right direction...
The player was also delighted to have signed 'It’s an excellent club and it is great to have finally got things sorted, so that I can become a Blyth Spartans player'...
And "Blyth Spartans can announce that, following the departure of manager Mick Tait, his assistant Chris Swailes has also decided to leave the club. Signed at the start of last season, the 40 year-old was a mainstay in the Spartans backline, featuring in virtually every match and his level of performance in a green and white shirt saw him pick up the Drager Player of the Season in the recent Presentation Night".
However, Blyth have also lost a couple of other players, too, as newly flush Harrogate Town announce "the double signing of striker Paul Brayson and midfielder Stephen Turnbull from Blyth Spartans".
Guiseley have a link to "Manager Steve Kittrick on Radio Leeds... as he discusses James Walshaw’s future, the week’s two new signings, how the squad is looking so far... Starts at around 44 minutes at the following link. In the interview is the news Guiseley fans had hoped not to hear, that James Walshaw will indeed be leaving the Lions in order to go professional at an as-yet unnamed club [Darlington]... Kittrick also confirmed the news that 18 year-old James Booker has signed from Leeds United. The manager describes him as a midfielder, though according to Leeds’ website he has previously played as a defender".
And Darlington confirm that they "made their first summer signing, with striker James Walshaw joining from Guiseley. The 27-year-old forward, who was Guiseley's top scorer in the Conference North last season, has penned a one-year deal... with an option for a second year. Formerly with Ossett Town, Wakefield and Farsley Celtic, Walshaw made a big impact with the Lions in his first season, winning the league player of the year award, before finishing top marksman in 2010-11...
Quakers' boss Mark Cooper said: 'It's a fantastic signing for us and we're delighted. James was a sought-after player this summer, there were a lot of top clubs after him, League Two clubs and a couple of big-spending Conference clubs... He's an ambitious lad who's come through the leagues and he's hungry to do well... He spoke to a few clubs, one over Blackpool way [?Fleetwood], but he's decided to sign for us and we've done well to get him. We're being patient with the players we're trying to sign. We don't want to pay over the odds for a player who'd be coming here for the wrong reasons... He's coming here for the right reasons'".
At Hinckley United manager "Dean Thomas is delighted to announce that Connor Gudger is looking to kick-start his football career after being released from Coventry City at the end of this season as a Knitter next season. As an 18 year old Connor equipped himself extremely well in the Conference North last season and will only get better."
According to the Football Conference, "Curtis McDonald has penned a one-year deal to remain with Forest Green Rovers and Cirencester Town keeper Matt Bulman is set to seal a two-year contract".
Elsewhere, "Eight players have been released by Paul Cox, the new manager of Mansfield Town, while Conor Higginson has been offered new terms. Defenders Steve Foster, Kevin Sandwith, Dan Spence and Ben Turner, along with Steven Istead, Ashley Cain, Luke Medley and Neil Collett have all been let go. The option of extending the contracts of goalkeeper Neil Collett and full-back Ben Turner had been explored before the end of last season. However, with the change in manager, it has been decided that the duo will now leave Field Mill. Meanwhile, 19-year-old forward Conor Higginson has been offered a new one-year deal. The club are still in negotiations with Gary Silk about the possibility of a new contract".
"Michael Wylde has signed a two-year contract with Cambridge United. The 24-year-old left-sided centre back joined Tamworth in 2008 from Cheltenham Town and has been a consistent performer for the Lambs". And the Conference also reports that "Gateshead have completed their second signing of the summer with the capture of Crawley Town left-back Sam Rents".
The Nuneaton News says that "Kevin Wilkin, manager of Nuneaton Town, says he is delighted with his early summer transfer business — although he admits it was a bitter blow to learn of top scorer Kyle Storer’s desire to leave. Boro signed experienced defenders Mark Albrighton and Graham Ward last week, but the news was followed by an announcement that central midfielder Storer wants out. A Blue Square Bet Premier club are believed to be poised to sign the 23-year-old but the club held an option to extend his contract into next season, something they have decided to exercise.
That means Boro are entitled to compensation for the 14-goal midfielder, which is yet to be agreed with anyone.
Wilkin said: 'We put together the best possible package for Kyle. He’s been a major player for two and a half years and played with great quality... He feels he wants to go full-time. I don’t have a problem with that. The only thing is that we want to be fairly compensated... We want Kyle to stay, he wants to leave. That’s the situation... We aren’t talking shed loads of money'...
On the positive side, goalkeeper Danny Alcock has agreed a new deal, while Wilkin has made the double defensive signing. Central defender Albrighton, 34, is vastly experienced. He arrives on a free transfer from Kidderminster Harriers. Wilkin feels the Nuneaton resident will be a major player despite his age.. 'He’s 34 going on 35 but that doesn’t bother me. If he was a striker it would be more of a concern but defenders can still do well at that age. I think he’s got a good few years left in him. He is a local boy who knows the club. He was here as a 17 or 18 year old so he is familiar with how the club is', he said.
Ward was Worcester City captain this season and was sent-off against Boro in September for kicking his former Tamworth team-mate Storer. He looks set to be Nuneaton’s first choice right-back next term after Rob Oddy was released last week... Albrighton’s arrival was made possible by the departure of vice-captain Stuart Pierpoint, who was also let go by Wilkin".
Bulls News reports on a former Alty loanee, as "Stockport are facing a cash blow with in-demand midfielder Greg Tansey claimed to be set to move to SPL side Inverness. The move would mean the Hatters would not be able to claim a fee for the out of contract 23 year old".
The Uxbridge Gazette says that "Nicky Forster has thrown his hat into the ring to become the new manager of Hayes and Yeading. The 37-year-old missed out on the vacant post at Brentford despite a successful spell as interim boss, and has hung up his boots to concentrate on his managerial career. It is understood Forster wants to succeed Garry Haylock at Hayes after he left the club by mutual consent this week... A statement on the official website said: 'No timescale has yet been placed on the process as the club wish to make sure that the correct candidate is appointed, but hope to progress matters swiftly in order to give the new manager the best possible chance to prepare fully for the new season ahead'".
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