an unofficial website

July, 2011

31 July 2011


Above: Courtesy of Grahame Rowley comes this image of the new Davidson's advertising board at Moss Lane in front of the Carole Nash stand. As supporters will know, Davidsons are now Alty's main sponsors.

The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) confirms that it will be running supporters' coach travel again for the coming season. The first four away trips have been booked and journeys after that will be looked at on the basis of passenger take-up.

For the opening-day trip to Harrogate Town (August 13th), the coach will leave The Vine, Sale, at 12 noon, with pick-ups also at The Hare & Hounds (12.10pm), Altrincham Leisure Centre (12.15pm) and Moss Lane (12.20pm). Details of fares and booking arrangements will be posted here when confirmed.


Alty Youth manager George Helsop writes that "AFC Bury have cancelled their fixture with us on Sunday, (31 July).

On Monday, 1st August, the following players have been invited to attend the Cheshire County F.A. Youth Team Squad training session. They are Jake Barnabas, Joseph Coombs, Matthew Fearon, Adam Reid, Duncan Watmore and Sam Grimshaw".


Altrincham entertain Barrow next Tuesday. According to the NW Evening Mail in the recent pre-season game for the Chas Kendall Trophy which ended Barrow AFC 1 Workington 1 (Barrow won 6-5 on penalties) in front of 392 (18 Workington fans), the Barrow line up was D Hurst, P Smith, G Skelton, S Pejic, M Pearson, R Hulbert, A Ferrell, R Baker, J Mackreth, A Parkinson, A Boyes. Subs used: A Cook, D Sheridan. Not used: S Pearson.

Right: Paul Jones is likely to line up against his former club when Barrow visit Moss Lane next Tuesday.

Their opponents, The Reds, who will play Alty in the League this season, lined up as A Taylor, P McLuckie, A Wright, K May, D Wordsworth, M Boyd, S Green, A Main, J Wright, G Arnison, J Simpson. Subs: S Tucker, A Murray-Jones, J Blake, M Swann, D McDermott, M McGeechin."

Before the game, The Mail said that "Barrow will take a second look at experienced winger Andy Parkinson in tonight’s derby against Workington... The 32-year-old trialist, whose former clubs include Tranmere Rovers, Notts County, Gateshead and Accrington Stanley, scored the winner on his Bluebirds debut when Barrow beat a Wigan Athletic XI 2-1 in a friendly on Tuesday night. Liverpudlian Parkinson didn’t join Barrow on their three-day training camp in the Lake District,...

Barrow joint-manager Dave Bayliss said, 'It was a bit late for Andy to join up with us in Coniston. He trained with us on Monday and then played on Tuesday'... The Bluebirds squad have been in Coniston since the Wigan game, spending three nights in youth hostel-style accommodation. They have been put through their paces in training sessions and enjoyed walks in the picturesque surroundings. The training camp was also seen as a team-bonding exercise".

For that game Barrow were "without injured trio James Owen, Andy Nicholas and Paul Rutherford. doctors yesterday told Owen he has a double hernia and possibly an abdominal problem. He is due back in hospital next week and looks set to miss the start of the season. Nicholas suffered a hairline fracture to his foot in midweek... The club hope winger Rutherford (thigh) will be back in time for the final pre-season friendly at Colwyn Bay. Trialist defender Kelvin Lomax has been nursing a dead leg this week."


Alty's first league opponents of 2011-12 were beaten by their neighbours as the Harrogate Advertiser reports: "Harrogate Railway reclaimed bragging rights and the John Smith's Cup on Saturday, beating Harrogate Town 4-2 on penalties after normal time ended 1-1 at Station View...

Harrogate Town chief Simon Weaver was philosophical in defeat, but conceded his side must show more aggression upfront if they are to produce goals... 'Defensively I was very pleased but I think we’re just lacking that third upfront... We’re laying foundations, but we need goals. I’m not too worried, our fitness was great today particularly in the last 10 minutes. I’d far rather have a win against Altrincham in a fortnight'... Harrogate Town: Elliott, Wright, Heckingbottom, Nowakowski, Pell, Bloomer, Hardy, Turnbull, Brayson, Wilson, Radcliffe. Subs: Allan, Tate, Heggarty, Wright, Robinson, Cook."

From the Times & Star we learn that "Workington Reds' director Alec Graham has written a scathing letter to the Football Conference regarding its decision to award Bishop’s Stortford £12,000 travelling expenses. The Herts club were given the cash windfall following their surprise promotion to the Blue Square Bet North after Rushden & Diamonds’ exclusion. In his letter, Graham highlights that Workington’s expenses are expected to top £24,000 this season with the added distance of going to Bishop’s Stortford and Histon.

That figure is up £6,000 on last year and Graham has asked the Football Conference to create a level playing field by also handing the same amount to Reds and Blyth Spartans. He said, 'When we joined the league seven years ago we did not expect to be travelling to places like Cirencester, Cheltenham, Histon and now Bishop’s Stortford. We do not believe this is fair as it could be argued that Bishop’s Stortford can now strengthen their playing budget in the knowledge that the Football Conference have taken care of their travel costs. This has created an uneven playing field'.

Workington travel 8,493 miles next term, more than any other team at tier six of the football pyramid with an average return journey of 404 miles. The Borough Park side will travel further than all but one Premier League side as they embark on the new campaign. Blyth will cover 7,954 miles while Bishop’s Stortford just 6,800 miles. Graham said, 'Last year it cost Workington almost £19,000 in travel costs. This season we will have to add two overnight stays for Bishop’s Stortford and Histon which will add another £5,000 to our bill. We would therefore like ourselves and Blyth to be paid £12,000 to ensure that those who travel the furthest are also compensated'.

Graham also suggested a 'travel equalisation scheme' with the teams travelling the smallest distances over a season pay into a pot, which is handed out to teams like Workington and Blyth to help cover costs. No reply has been sent by the Football Conference".

Talking of level playing fields, for the second year running the horse allocated to Altrincham in the Blue Square Bet annual race failed even to be a declared runner at Goodwood whereas Workington report that "'Hoof It', was a brilliant winner of the Blue Square Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood on Saturday... as he annihilated the field by two-and-a-half lengths. With thanks to Blue Square, the sponsors of the Stewards' Cup and the Football Conference leagues, the Reds will pick up a £2,700 prize".

News of a former Alty loanee comes from Boston United who "have agreed deals to sign midfield duo Ben Wilkinson and Ben Milnes. Former Hull City, Gretna, Chester City, York City and Tamworth midfielder Wilkinson (24) and ex-Leicester City trainee Milnes (19) have both agreed to join the Pilgrims’ squad following successful trial spells. Wilkinson is the son of former United great and ex-England manager Howard Wilkinson. The impending captures of Wilkinson and Milnes will swell squad numbers to 17 with two weeks still to go ahead of the big Blue Square Bet North kick-off".

This is confirmed by the Football Conference which adds that "Boston United have signed former Chester City and Tamworth midfielder Ben Wilkinson following a trial period. The 24-year-old... was expected to join up with the Pilgrims` league rivals Eastwood Town until joint bosses Jason Lee and Lee Canoville stepped in... He left Chester during the club's liquidation and signed for Tamworth in August 2010. He made twenty-eight appearances for the Lambs last season, scoring two goals."

Meanwhile, "Blue Square Bet North club Blyth Spartans have announced that striker Rob Dale has been released. Manager Steve Cuggy spoke about the release of the long-serving forward, 'I’ve had a few conversations with Robbie in the last few weeks. It has been a really hard decision to let him go but I wasn’t 100% sure I could offer him terms for the forthcoming season. I’d originally wanted to see him and Graeme Armstrong up front for us but I think, although he’s a smashing lad, he wasn’t firing on all cylinders. He needs to get his confidence back, he needs time to regroup, and Whitley Bay were keen on him. He played for them today but the door is wide open for him to get scoring regularly again and we’ll see what happens'.

Dale was with Blyth for seven seasons and a fans’ favourite – able to produce the unexpected. Cuggy added, 'I must get on to Robbie to apologise for having to ring him about my decision but I was inundated with calls, there is so much happening around the club at the moment, but I meant no disrespect to someone everyone at Blyth knows has been a loyal servant and a talismanic player'.

Speaking of a replacement for Dale, Cuggy commented, 'Lee Mason, who was with Whitley Bay last season, has come on leaps and bounds plus Graeme Armstrong is as good a replacement for Paul Brayson who'”.

The Conference also reports that "Chris Hall expects former club Gainsborough Trinity to be one of the teams to beat in Blue Square Bet North this season. The Boston United midfielder, who played for the Blues during the 2009/10 season, is expecting the heavy investment by chairman Peter Swann to finally pay off after years of underachievement at the Northolme. Former Pilgrims' players Jamie Yates and Rory Coleman are among those who have been lured to Trinity by former Premier League boss Brian Little this summer.

'Gainsborough, again, have spent a lot of money. They're going to look to be favourites', said Hall. 'That's happened every season for the past few seasons and they've fallen by the wayside but they have bought some good players and I would have thought they would be up there. As for the other teams, you would expect the sides who have come down from the premier (Altrincham and Histon) to be up there'...

'To be honest I don't look at the table or the other teams. I probably couldn't name seven teams in the league because it's all about us and how we prepare', added the Lincoln-based middleman... We've had a couple of shaky games in pre-season so far. But we are trying to work on our fitness and how to play together because we are a relatively new team'", the Boston man told This is Lincs.

30 July 2011


Altrincham FC has been running a successful Summer Soccer Fun Week at Moss Lane. The accompanying photograph, courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography, shows some of the happy participants with coach Chris Bullock and colleagues.


Blue Square Bet's Alan Alger writes...

"Workington from the Blue Square Bet North will be cheering on the likely favourite Hoof It in the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup on Saturday at Glorious Goodwood. The ‘Reds’ will be hoping the 4-year-old, owned by golfer Lee Westwood and his agent Chubby Chandler, can come home in front in the valuable sprint to land them a cash prize from the league sponsors Blue Square. The leading online bookmaker, who sponsor the three Football Conference divisions, allocate a horse from their prestigious race to every club in the Blue Square Bet Premier, North and South.

The horse that wins the six furlong contest – which takes place at the Sussex track at 3.45 on Saturday (live on Channel 4) – will earn one club a cash windfall on the eve of the new season. Blue Square will give the club that ‘owns’ the winner £2000 plus the equivalent of a £100 bet at the Blue Square SP on their runner. Last year Droylsden from the Blue Square Bet North scooped a huge £4200 when Evens And Odds scored by a narrow margin at 22/1 from AFC Wimbledon’s Johnny Mudball.

Blue Square Bet Premier joint-favourites Fleetwood Town have Nasri on their side – something their Lancashire football counterparts in Manchester have found far harder over the summer. The Dandy Nicholls trained 5-year-old is around 25/1 to land the trainer the race for what would be the third time in seven years.

A random draw was made at Goodwood on Wednesday morning and the top 68 entries in the race were allocated between the clubs. A maximum of 28 runners will go to post on Saturday, but there will be an extra chance to win for any clubs who miss out on the main event. This year, for the first time, a special consolation race will be run on the same day. The Stewards’ Sprint Stakes will go off at 2.05 (also live on Channel 4) and will contain horses which didn’t make the cut for the original race. Any club with a horse in the consolation race will win £1000 if their runner is successful, with the extra boost of the equivalent winnings from a £100 bet on that horse at the exclusive Blue Square SP. Seven horses in the consolation event will run on behalf of Blue Square’s nominated charity Marie Curie for the same prize, due to the withdrawal of horses above the first 68 in the handicap. 21 clubs and their horses were eliminated at the declaration stage".

Alty's horse 'Parisian Pyramid' appears not to be running!


Two players with Alty connections have joined Stockport County where manager "Dietmar Hamann is set to add three more signings to his squad. Ryan McCann, Euan Holden and Sam Sheridan have all agreed deals, and are set to sign subject to medicals and international clearance. In addition, the signing of Nick Chadwick has been completed...

Midfielder Sheridan is a product of Bolton's youth system, and though born in Trafford, he has represented Ireland at U19 level". He joined Altrincham as an emergency loan from Bolton Wanderers on 22 September 2009 and played 4(+1) games for Alty before his loan expired and he returned to the Reebok Stadium. Chadwick played for Alty in this pre-season.

Wrexham announce that "We can state that we are not planning on taking the club into Administration unless the University deal does not go through (unlikely) or the Wrexham Supporters' Trust pull out of their planned takeover. We have been trying to sell the Club since January and were not allowed to sell to people we felt had the best financial resources to take the Club forward.

The current sale has been on the go since May and the delay in completing has left us with a severe cash-flow situation, pending one of the above falling into place... Despite certain myths, the current owners do not have the available cash to cover this current shortfall, until a sale is complete. The University are conducting themselves in a very professional manner and progressing a quickly as is possible. This is likely to be a difficult couple of weeks. P.S. Heads of Terms between the Football Club and the Wrexham Supporters Trust are now in the process of being drawn up - which is another step forward".

Meanhwile the BBC says that "Wrexham FC's co-owner Geoff Moss has said the football club has run out of money. It is understood 115[!!] people ranging from catering staff to the coaches and players have not been paid. A supporters' group is appealing to fans to make donations to an emergency fund to pay the players.

Mr Moss also said he was considering leaving the country because of death threats which he said have been made against him. He said the club, which is up for sale, was desperately searching for cash to pay both the wages and a £45,000 tax bill...

The Wrexham Supporters' Federation, an umbrella organisation for all independent supporters' groups, has set up the fund to raise money for the players. The club shares the same owners and Racecourse home as the Crusaders, whose withdrawal from Super League was announced on Tuesday. Crusaders players have been paid.

In a statement issued to the Daily Post, Mr Moss said, 'We had mistakenly hoped a deal would have been concluded by now which would have resolved the situation... It is very regrettable - we have run out of money, it's not that we won't [pay the players], we just can't'. He said he had lost a lot of money and was in a difficult financial situation that would mean he would have to sell his house. 'I am afraid that for the sake of my family's safety, in view of the death threats I have received, I may have to leave the country', he added.

Wrexham Village, the holding company which owns Wrexham FC, also owns the Racecourse ground and the club's training facility. Glyndwr University is discussing plans which could see it buy into the Racecourse with the Supporters' Trust buying the football club. Trust spokesman Spencer Harris said... 'We have agreed a deal in principle on taking over the club. That deal involves third parties. As soon as the third parties are ready, the deal can go through...

Former Wrexham manager and player Dixie McNeil... told BBC Radio Wales, 'All I can see is the Conference or the Football League stepping in at some stage and saying "hang on a minute, are you able to get through next season?" At the moment, you look at the statement that's been made, and you say "I don't think so"'".

According to Pitchero Non-League, "Barrow AFC defender Andy Nicholas is set to miss the start of the season with a fractured foot. The 27-year-old centre half suffered the injury during the second half of Tuesday’s 2-1 friendly win over a Wigan Athletic XI at Holker Street... Doctors confirmed he had a hairline fracture of the foot.

Bluebirds joint-manager Dave Bayliss said, 'It could mean either four to six weeks or six to eight weeks out'... Nicholas is one of three players – along with skipper Phil Bolland and Mike Pearson – in the Barrow squad for next season who can play at centre half. Pearson, however, has been earmarked to fill the right-back berth left by Simon Spender's departure. The co-bosses are continuing to trial 28-year-old former Wrexham and York City centre half Shaun Pejic and realise they need to strengthen that department.

Another Barrow player set to visit hospital is James Owen. The central midfielder suffered a reoccurrence of a groin problem – a suspected hernia – earlier in pre-season. 'Our physio Sean Riley has got James in at Preston hospital for a scan. If he does need an operation, Sean will get him in within three or four days. After that, if he has the operation, hopefully James will be back soon after the season starts'”.

News of an ex-Alty loanee comes from the North Wales Weekly News which states that "Colwyn Bay captain Damien Allen is interesting Luton Town and could possibly be playing his final game for the Seagulls in Saturday's friendly against a Wigan Athletic XI... Allen, a product of Manchester United's academy and a contracted player at the Bay, had his full-time career at Stockport and Bury interrupted by injury, but has been invited for a week's trials by The Hatters...

Reported manager Dave Challinor, 'He wants to get back into full-time football and this is an excellent opportunity for him. Although he would have preferred it to be a League club, Luton are the next best thing... Obviously, we would love to keep him because he is our most talented player, but if he gets the chance to go full-time then we couldn't stand in his way'. Apparently Luton were interested in 24-year-old Damien last season and were further impressed by him in the recent friendly they played at Llanelian Road. I have also heard on the grapevine that another club will be watching Damien on Saturday...

Colwyn Bay have Danny Grannon and Fraser McLaughlan [i.e. McLachlan] unavailable for Saturday's game due to holidays and work... As Wigan's senior squad have only just returned from a successful pre-season tour to Austria, the Premiership club's first team coaches Graham Barrow and Dennis Lawrence are expected to bring a squad of young professionals and youth team players to Llanelian Road. This will be the Wigan reserve squad's third pre-season game, having lost the previous two 2-1 at Boston United and Barrow.

Meanwhile, the handover of Colwyn Bay FC by TBMT Ltd was finally completed late this afternoon (Friday) and new acting chairman Bob Paton says moves are already under way to secure the club's immediate future. First on the agenda is the completion of a deal with a new sponsor. 'We hope to get that done next week. It is quite a big thing and will be a first for a club in the British Isles', he commented".

The Herts and Essex Observer reports that "Bishop's Stortford FC have been given fresh financial hope after it was revealed they are in talks with potential backers. The news comes after the Woodside Park club suffered a blow when a kit sponsor, thought to be close to securing a five-figure deal, has dropped out because of the club's switch to Conference North.

The club's operation manager John Turner said, 'We are talking with a couple of people who have expressed an interest. One is for shirts'. Blues' last kit sponsor was Spellbrook-based car dealership Suzuki Hilton, which parked up its deal with the club just over a year ago, although the Stortford shirts continued to carry the company's name in Conference South last season. Stortford need new sponsors to help plug a financial black hole caused by the Football Conference's decision to move them into the Conference North...

Turner told the Observer, 'We had a potential sponsor based in the South. We have lost that shirt sponsor. The shirt sponsor dropped out because we were moved to the North. We're still frantically looking for [a kit sponsor] for the start of the season'. The club has axed its reserve team as it looks to cut costs.

Stressed Turner, 'We do have this deficit and we've got to find ways of filling it in. We're going to need an FA Cup run'. The club will receive £12,000 from the Football Conference as compensation for the late switch into Conference North. This payment will be staggered over the season".

According to This is Lincs, "A buoyant Brian Little believes an air of optimism is growing around the Gainsborough Trinity camp. The Trinity boss saw his new-look side earn a 2-1 pre-season victory over Lincoln City on Tuesday evening...

Said Little, 'To be honest, our performances have been as good as, if not better, than we had hoped... We are happy about things in every area of the pitch and I don't see any reason to change what we have been doing, so we will have a full squad again and have another look at everyone against Grimsby. The lads seem to more together and what has pleased us more than anything is that we are playing some good football. The energy levels are also very good and I have to say there is definitely a little optimism around the place, even among the fans'...

Trinity could be missing a few of their players for tomorrow's visit of Grimsby as Lewis McMahan, Craig Nelthorpe and Jonathan D'Laryea are all carrying knocks. Little has also to decide on the fate of trialists currently at the club. Former Lincoln players Owain Warlow, Jack Davies and Sam Turner are all hoping to earn deals with the Gainsborough outfit".

From the Worcester News we learn that "Manager Carl Heeley is hoping Worcester City’s weekend in Somerset will help unite the squad ahead of the new campaign. ..The friendlies at Hednesford Town on Tuesday and next Saturday’s clash against Tamworth at St George’s Lane will be used with Saturday, August 13, in mind.

With Tom Thorley missing the start of the season at the World University Games in China, it will allow the likes of Emeka Nwadike and Matt Birley to stake a claim to join Kevin O’Connor in midfield. 'Next week we will be looking to go with how we will start the season', the Worcester manager added.

Meanwhile, left-back Shabir Khan will continue to train with the squad although he is not yet ready to return to action following nearly a year out with anterior cruciate ligament damage. However, City will not be offering a deal to Gavin Hurren as the defensive midfielder has only just had surgery on a knee injury sustained in March and has not been involved in pre-season".

The Nuneaton News tells us that "Simon Forsdick looks set to miss the start of the season after injuring his troublesome knee in Nuneaton Town’s 5-1 win against Nuneaton Griff. The left-back hobbled off late in the second half and is now struggling to be fit for the first Blue Bet North game... Manager Kevin Wilkin said, 'He’s stretched the joint and we’ll have to wait and see how it settles. The early signs aren’t promising'".

"Workington Reds are set to pull off a major coup by signing former Carlisle United and Hull City midfielder Stuart Green" reports the Times & Star. "The 29-year-old Cumbrian has shaken hands on a two-year contract at Borough Park following his release from League Two side Wycombe Wanderers. He is expected to sign either over the weekend or early next week.

Green, who has cost more than £225,000 in transfer fees, is the signing boss Darren Edmondson has been chasing and comes after he was released following a trial at Carlisle. Edmondson said: 'Stuart is a player who I have been speaking with for more than a year... He will be the lynchpin from which we attack and I expect him to fit in well with the lads. The ethos and philosophy of the team is right for Stuart, who will thrive at Workington. He’s taken a gamble dropping down the leagues but it’s one that could reap great rewards if we do well this season. A lot of credit should also be given to the board of directors, who have made this possible. They have really pushed the boat out to sign Stuart and I’m confident he will repay that confidence with performances'...

He is expected to provide the link the between attack and defence that the Borough Park side has been missing... Edmondson said, 'Stuart is exactly the type of player we need to show Workington mean business this year. He’s proven at Championship level that he’s a good footballer and he will play a pivotal role in our push this year'".

29 July 2011


Right: Gavin Rathbone's camera catches Nicky Clee in action against Tranmere.

The Sale & Altrincham Advertiser reports that "Altrincham boss Lee Sinnott believes Nicky Clee could be the Robins’ go-to man this season. The left winger scored both goals in Saturday’s friendly at home to Tranmere, giving Alty an admirable 2-0 win... A brace was a rarity for Clee given he has scored just six goals in 86 games for the Robins since signing from Hyde in 2009...

'Everyone likes scoring goals, it’s getting him in a position where he can pull the trigger', Sinnott said. 'He had opportunities to do that on Saturday, especially during the second half, and he took them well. Nicky’s one of those people you want to get the ball to as often as possible because he sees what other people don’t. You don’t want him to drift out of the game because of what he’s capable of on the ball and it’s up to the rest of the team to get a good supply to him.

I thought we had both parts of that on Saturday – we got good possession to him, he scored a magnificent second goal and also despatched the first one away well'".

Sinnott continued, "I think the signings we’ve made so far are fitting in very well. We’ve got the likes of Paul Jones and Adam Flynn at centre-half, Mark Lees is also in defence and Chris Lynch can play in midfield or defence. We changed the formation on Saturday from a 4-4-2 to a diamond and both worked well. There’s been improvement in every game so we’re moving in the right direction", Sinnott added".


According to the Football Conference "Craig Mahon has become the latest player to re-sign for... Vauxhall Motors. Dublin-born Mahon first signed for the Motormen in September 2010 from Burscough. He is a former Everton reserve team player who had a spell on loan at Accrington Stanley... making his Football League against Bury in November 2008. Mahon also has two caps for the Republic of Ireland under-18 side and three caps for the under-19 side. In the summer of 2009 he was released by Wigan Athletic and before signing for Burscough had spells at Salford City as well as trials at Bury.

In addition, new Motors' player-manager Anthony Wright has signed 19-year-old midfielder John Bennett, who was with North West Counties League side Flixton last season. Bennett was also on Altrincham`s wanted list", it claims. Bennett was Altrincham Youth captain in 2009-10 and made his first-team debut in the FA Cup at Mansfield that season.

Blue Square North tells us that "Manager Graham Drury insists there is no pressure on Corby Town this season despite the club's limited budget. The Steelmen have been restricted to just 18 players as the club looks to bring their financial constraints under control ahead of the new campaign.

He told the Telegraph, 'There is no pressure here this year. We will give it our best shot at winning as many games as possible. I'm sure there will be no talk about the play-offs or winning the title. We'll have 16 players plus a couple out on loan who can stay involved. That means I still need to trim the squad and it's going to be very difficult. There is a lot of competition, especially in defence where the three lads who came on against Notts County on Monday are as good as those who went off. I need to analyse pre-season and look at who has put the effort in to stay here'".

There are worrying signs coming out of Wrexham following the demise of the Crusaders rugby team who played at The Racecourse. Now the football club yesterday sent " Our apologies to Colwyn Bay and all supporters, but tonight's friendly at Llanelian Road has had to be postponed due to internal issues at the Racecourse".

And Wales Online adds that "Wrexham FC's friendly at Colwyn Bay has been called off after the club failed to pay the players or manager... Manager Dean Saunders this afternoon revealed some players did not want to turn up because they have not been paid.

Saunders said, 'We're trying to create a team spirit and an environment to get promotion but when players don't get paid, all that goes out of the window. I haven't been paid but that is not the worst of my problems. My concern is about the players. Some are finding it hard to get petrol money together. One player came to me, who has his daughter's birthday tomorrow. He has bought a dog for her and has to pay for the party. But now he hasn't got the money. Some are relying on that money to pay for mortgages and car insurances and all those things you get in real life. I'm fortunate, I can get away with things like that.

It has to get resolved because this is such a good club. I've been fortunate to play for some of the great clubs in the world and this a great club. The longer I'm here, the more I like it. The great shame is we have hardly any debts - it's not as if we owe £40 million. This is about the outgoing owner and incoming owner trying to sort out a deal that has dragged on longer than we thought it would.

The Supporters' Trust are buying the club and the University (Owain Glyndwr) are buying the stadium and the training ground. We will be fine when they sign on the dotted line - that is what I have been told. Maybe this will bring it to a head because I have been trying to keep players focused on the football but it has got to a point now where I can't. I can't tell them off if they haven't been paid so I have lost that bit of control. I've told them the games are off because I don't want a split in the camp where some are turning up and some are not. We are better off not training and I just hope things can be sorted out next week'.

The development is the latest twist in the ongoing saga at the Racecourse, after Crusaders - who share the ground with Wrexham FC - withdrew their application earlier this week for next season's Super League. Crusaders' decision to withdraw their application has caused uncertainty over the rugby league club's future, and came amid claims from former players they are owed money.

Meanwhile, former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage says he would be prepared to put money into the right consortium seeking to buy Wrexham FC. Savage, who hails from Gwersyllt in Wrexham, said, 'I don't know how much Wrexham would cost to take over. I'd be willing to put money into it if there was 100 people who had £10,000, £20,000. I'd be one of them people who'd do it. But there's not many of them people out there. I couldn't afford to put a huge amount of money to run a football club but I'd be willing to form a syndicate with somebody to try and help them out'".

And the BBC adds that "Games at Colwyn Bay on Thursday night and at Vauxhall Motors on Saturday have fallen victim to the situation... Wrexham striker Gareth Taylor said, 'We've just been informed that there's going to be a problem with the players being paid tomorrow [Friday] when the players are due to be paid'".

The Football Conference says that it is "concerned about on-going events at Wrexham Football Club and has requested, as a matter of urgency, that the club furnish full details of their position immediately. The Football Conference awaits that response".

He scored twice for Altrincham in pre-season but the BBC claims that he might be playing against us next week as our visitors on August 6th, "Stockport County, are close to completing the signing of striker Nick Chadwick on a free transfer. The 28-year-old was released by Barrow at the end of last season after being restricted to just 15 appearances because of a knee injury... He has been training with the Hatters during pre-season and is set to complete the move following a medical".

Pitchero Non-League tells us that "Trialist Matt Walwyn has caught the attention of Liam Watson, manager of Southport, as another striker continues to fight for his place in next season's squad. The 20-year-old could find himself partnering Tony Gray in this weekend's friendly at home to Morecambe after the experienced non-League forward turned down the chance to rejoin Droylsden.

Gray endured mixed fortunes upon his return to Southport last season as injuries and a loss of form meant he bagged only six goals... And having rejected the advances of Dave Pace's side, Gray, who signed a two year deal last May, has committed himself to Port".

The same source also reports that "Guiseley manager, Steve Kittrick, has carried out his threatened pruning of the outfield squad... Gone are defender Anthony Lloyd and midfielder Luke Sharry, as well as trialist goalkeeper James Bennett. Kittrick said, 'Anthony Lloyd has gone to Stocksbridge Park Steels and I should have some news on our back-up goalkeeper to Steve Drench after the game at Farsley on Saturday".

Also, "Worcester City expect to make a decision on Marc McGregor’s future in the next few days. The 33-year-old striker was not offered a new deal at St George’s Lane but returned for pre-season in a bid to prove his fitness ahead of the new campaign. He scored five goals in the 7-4 warm-up victory at Bridgnorth Town on Monday and will now hold talks with manager Carl Heeley.

The City boss... said, 'We know he has got unbelievable quality and he’s technically a very good footballer. By his own admission he wanted to see how he felt in himself but I was pleased with him. He was very impressive'... City currently have seventeen players signed up for the new season and are giving an extended trial to former Birmingham City right-back Jared Wilson. However, they will not be pursuing their interest in ex-Rhyl full-back Martyn Naylor and have also decided against deals for midfielders Courtney Charles and Chris Parker and centre half Shane Prince".

Histon report that "Anglia Ruskin University has joined forces with Histon FC to provide sports science support to their players that would be the envy of any Premier League football club. The Histon squad will undergo physiological testing and monitoring throughout the season... Livermore’s team will be subjected to a battery of tests to examine body composition, body fat, sprint speeds, agility, reactive strength and lung function, as well as undergo haematology screening to test their blood.

Roy Luckhurst, Programme Leader for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Anglia Ruskin, said, 'Histon’s management approached us because they were very interested in the benefits of sports science. My department’s motto is ‘Performance through Science’, so naturally we wanted to provide the best support we could for a local club. A scientific approach to training and playing will benefit any player, no matter what league they play in. Small margins exist between success and failure, so every 1% improvement in performance that can be achieved is vital. We are delighted to be able to offer Histon the same quality and depth of sports science support available to Premier League clubs. Histon’s manager, David Livermore, is keen for his team to play the passing game so we said we would provide the same sports science support as we would have given to Barcelona had they come calling!'...

'Omer Riza immediately realised the benefit of the regime to the players', added Roy Luckhurst.... 'The information we provided after the first series of tests showed that Histon’s players were aerobically fitter than they expected at this point of the summer'...

Manager David Livermore said, 'I was really keen to utilise the latest thinking in sports science to help us progress our ideas on fitness and training... We are a Non League outfit but... the visionary, professional, wholehearted support we are getting from everyone at Anglia Ruskin is of Premier League quality'".

28 July 2011


Mark Maddox writes on the Alty Fans' Forum...

"Thank You.

In the bar on Saturday Gary asked me if I had seen the comments on the forum and I said I would go and have a look and thank everyone for the fantastic day that me, my family and friends had and I would like to thank everyone who attended for making it such a memorable day.

Firstly I would like to thank the chairman and his family for the all the hard work they put in to making the day a great success. I don't think I need to tell you how hard Grahame and Karen [Rowley] work for Alty; everyone knows the hours they put in for the club. They have been friends to me from day one, as has Andrew Shaw, and words can't explain how grateful I am to them.

Lee [Sinnott], Neil [Tolson], his backroom staff and all the current players were absolutely brilliant with me before the game and made me feel very comfortable in the changing room before we walked out and I am grateful to all of them for contributing to a special day for me. To walk out as captain again was very special and I was also made up that I walked out with John Welsh, the Tranmere skipper, who is a good mate of mine and he presented me with a plaque commemorating the game and again I would like to thank everyone connected to Tranmere for showing what a class club they are.

I honestly don't think the day could have gone any better and after shaking hands with all the Alty lads after kick off the reception I recieved was a memory that will live with me forever and made me feel proud to be an Alty player again and I have to admit after shaking hands with George [Heslop] and Derek [Wilshaw] in the tunnel, who I class as good friends, there was a tear in my eye walking back to the changing rooms.

To see all the lads again who I have played with was fantastic and I hope you all enjoyed seeing them in an Alty shirt as much as I did. Some of them still look in good nick, (some don't!!) And just seeing their faces smiling and laughing in the bar afterwards, talking about good times we had at the club, was enough for me and I am thankful to them all for attending.

Finally, I would like to thank the fans for all the kind words and support you have given me. The final attendance was unbelievable and for you to turn out in such numbers was incredible and, again, words can't explain what that meant to me. I think you all know how much I appreciated the fans when I played and, without you, this club would not be what it is today.

So, again ,thank you to everyone for making Saturday an incredible and unforgettable day for me and my family and I promise everybody that I will tackle this disease the same way I tackled every centre forward I played against, with everything I have...



Dave Johnson writes, "Altrincham Juniors U18 Ladies are looking for players to join the team for the forthcoming season which starts in September. Players need to be in school year 11 from September and under eighteen as of the 31 August. If interested, please contact Dave Johnson (manager) by e-mail or on 07717-884195".


After Tuesday's friendly at Shawe View, Trafford FC report that "After holding non-league aristocrats Altrincham to a goal-less first half, Trafford fell away disastrously in the second half and were soundly beaten 5-0. The visitors were in control from the start and in the 8th minute Damian Reeves fired a good chance across the face of the goal. Nicky Clee then chipped the ball straight at goalkeeper Greg Hall with the goal at his mercy and Brian Summerskill mishit a shot from 15 yards that bobbled wide. However, Altrincham weren't having things all their own way and after Ben Morris had fired inches over from 35 yards with Stuart Coburn stranded, Matt Landregan blasted in a thunderbolt that was well held by the Alty keeper.

The deadlock was finally broken in the first minute of the second half when Shaun Densmore ripped open the Trafford defence and Damian Reeves coolly placed his shot wide of Hall. Five minutes later, Reeves struck again when he headed home from point blank range and Brian Summerskill almost made it three with a thunderous low drive that was brilliantly tipped behind by Hall.

Altrincham substitute Ashley Mulholland was causing all sorts of problems for the home defence with his searing pace and he made it 3-0 in the 69th minute with a clinical finish from ten yards. At the other end, Ben Morris saw his goalbound shot blocked on the line before Mulholland struck again in the 81st minute with a low drive into the bottom corner from 15 yards. The scoring was completed in the dying seconds when Reeves broke clear of the shell-shocked Trafford defence and slotted the ball into the far corner from close range".

Right: Astley Mulholland was Altrincham FC Youth's 'Clubman of the Year' for 2005-6 and he is seen here receiving his award from Dalton Steele, then the Alty FC assistant manager. At the time the website reported "Alty assistant manager Dalton Steele suffered some barbed comments about his age from the Peter Pan of youth team football (George Heslop) but nevertheless good humouredly presented the new Clubman of the Year award to Astley Mulholland". The following season, Astley played for Alty Reserves, managed by Neil Brown.

In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger Brian Flynn writes that "Saturday was a memorable day for Altrincham Football Club, as players and management from the past 15 years turned up to honour Mark Maddox, in an emotional testimonial for the former Robins' captain.

The 38-year-old, affectionately known as ‘Mad Dog’ for his wholehearted approach as the cornerstone of Alty’s defence, is fighting against the muscle wasting motor neurone disease.

Almost 800 people turned out to see the hugely likeable and unassuming Liverpudlian kick off the match against Tranmere Rovers, before being substituted, ahead of what proved to be another accomplished display from Altrincham’s new look squad.

Two goals from the mercurial Nicky Clee, gave Lee Sinnott’s side a fully deserved victory over what was pretty well a full strength Tranmere side and most Altrincham fans are now really looking forward with renewed enthusiasm and confidence to the start of the new season.

On Tuesday night, following a goalless first half, a hat-trick from Damian Reeves and two goals by trialist, Astley Mulholland, produced a 5-0 victory at Trafford.

Sinnott hopes that Mulholland, who scored 42 goals for Flixton in the Vodkat League last season, might be the man that he needs to provide more options up front.

'Astley made some good runs that were difficult for defenders to track and looked lively after coming on at half time', said Sinnott, who coached Mulholland as a youngster at Leeds United’s Academy.

There is no game this weekend, but the new manager is looking forward to having the opportunity of getting his squad together at a local hotel for a training weekend. “This has been part of Altrincham’s pre-season routine for the past few years and its importance shouldn’t be underestimated in helping us prepare properly for the big kick off at Harrogate on August 13".


Alty's last pre-season game will be a week on Saturday (6th August) against Stockport County. From Blue Square Football we learn that "Stockport County director Tony Evans has assured fans the club is working round the clock to bring in the 'right' players. Midfielders Sean McConville, John Nolan and John Miles along with striker Ryan Fraughan have arrived at Edgeley Park while cash bids have been launched for Bury's Ryan Lowe and Halifax's Jaime Vardy.

With just 17 days to go before the start of the Blue Square Bet Premier season, the Hatters still only have 12 players at Dietmar Hamann's disposal. However, the Liverpool-based businessman is hoping to formally complete his takeover in the next seven days and refuses to be rushed into opening his chequebook.

Evans told Manchester Evening News, 'I want to stress to the fans that we know we haven't got enough players at the moment... We don't want to bring in just any one. I go into every deal as though our lives depend on it, whether that's buying toilet roll for the training ground or a new striker. We want to bring in the right player for the right position. It's something Didi and the management team are working vigorously on at the moment. I'm a hands-on kind of guy and I think I've found my arena. I'm enjoying every single day. It's not without its challenges but I'm yet to find something I can't overcome'".


News of an Alty trialist of last week comes from the Northants Evening Telegraph which says that "Nick Rogan is ready to make a big impact at Corby Town, according to boss Graham Drury. The former Fleetwood Town striker wrote his name into the record books by scoring the first-ever goal at Steel Park in Monday’s 2-0 win over Notts County.

Drury is already relishing the prospect of Rogan’s partnership with fellow summer signings Matt Rhead and Jordan Smith. He said, 'The paperwork is done and we’re just waiting for the deal to be finalised. Nick is based in Liverpool so he can travel with Andy Burgess [another ex-Alty trialist, last year] and they have done the journey a few times together.

'He got a fantastic goal which will go down in history as the first at our new ground. It looks like a good partnership with Matt and they seem to understand each other'...

Goalkeeper Chris Mackenzie is back for a third spell with the Steelmen after ending last season at Alfreton Town. Drury said, 'He never wanted to leave but circumstances made it happen. I call him Mr Safe Hands because he will get seven out of 10 most weeks... The opening of the ground was always about Peter Mallinger not being there to see it. He can rest in peace having helped to build the ground... We had around 1,000 people there and I hope they enjoyed the experience at a fantastic facility'”.

According to Blue Square Football, "It's been one of the on-off transfer sagas of the summer but it was far easier for Fleetwood Town to land 'Nasri' than their Lancashire football counterparts from Manchester.

The draw for the Blue Square Stewards' Cup has paired the Cod Army with the Dandy Nicholls-trained 5-year-old...

Blue Square, the bookmaker which sponsors the three Football Conference divisions, allocate a horse from their prestigious Glorious Goodwood race to every club in the Blue Square Bet Premier, North and South.

The horse which wins the valuable six-furlong sprint, which takes place at the Sussex track at 3.45 on Saturday (live on Channel 4), will earn one club a cash windfall on the eve of the new season. Blue Square will give the club that 'owns' the winner £2000 plus the equivalent of a £100 bet at the Blue Square SP on their runner. Last year Droylsden from the Blue Square Bet North scooped a huge £4,200 when Evens And Odds scored by a narrow margin at 22/1 from AFC Wimbledon's Johnny Mudball.

Fleetwood's Nasri is currently a 20/1 chance with the sponsors to score on the famous Downs. Hoof It and Mac's Power are the joint-favourites at 7/1. The former, owned by professional golfer Lee Westwood and his agent Chubby Chandler, has been paired with Workington from the Blue Square Bet North. Mac's Power will be running for Blue Square Bet South outfit Havant & Waterlooville who will no doubt have many supporters present at their local track.

A random draw was made at Goodwood on Wednesday morning and the top 68 entries in the race were allocated between the clubs. A maximum of 28 runners will go to post on Saturday, but there will be an extra chance to win for any clubs who miss out on the main event.

This year, for the first time, a special consolation race will be run on the same day. The Stewards' Sprint Stakes will go off at 2.05 (also live on Channel 4) and will contain 28 horses which didn't make the cut for the original race. Any club with a horse in the consolation race will win £1000 if their runner is successful, with the extra boost of the equivalent winnings from a £100 bet on that horse at the exclusive Blue Square SP".

Altrincham's horse is "Parisian Pyramid". The gelding's recent form is here.

"The official declarations for the race will be made at 11am on Thursday morning. At 12noon on the same day Stockport County manager Didi Hamann will make the draw for stall positions for the Blue Square Stewards' Cup in the parade ring at Goodwood. The former German international will be hoping to pull out a kind number for his club's horse Mymumsaysimthebest - an outsider trained by Gary Moore - in order to boost his transfer funds for the upcoming Blue Square Bet Premier campaign".

Alty open their season at Wetherby Road, where the Football Conference reports that "Simon Weaver, manager of Harrogate Town, has revealed that new defender Danny Stimpson will require a scan to ascertain the extent of an injury that forced his substitution during the first half of last Saturday's match at Spennymoor Town. Weaver said:, 'That's a real loss to us because he's such a good signing for us. If Danny is out for a considerable amount of time we may have to bolster the ranks there'.

, 'I'm still looking for another forward and we've got [ex-Alty man] Lee Elam to look at further. We've not finished it yet. That's why we left some money in the kitty because we wanted to make sure we didn't spend it all in the close season because of occasions such as this'".

Meanwhile, "Nuneaton Town have brought goalkeeper Neil Collett back to the club on loan. Collett has signed on a one month loan deal from Mansfield Town to provide cover for Danny Alcock, who will miss the start of the season as he will in China taking part in the World Universities' Games. Former Coventry City keeper Collett was with Boro at the start of the 2009/10 season before he decided to quit football altogether - a decision he eventually reversed".

News of last season's festive opponents, Wrexham comes from their Directors who collectively write "Despite pumping over a million pounds a year into the Club, now evidenced in the Wrexham Supporters' Trust (WST) due diligence, it was made very clear to us by various methods that we should 'get out of Wrexham Football Club' .

We took that on board and have been trying very hard to give away the Club ever since. At the same time we made it perfectly clear we had no more cash available to pump in. Some would like to point the blame at the current directors but we have simply run out of money in a very difficult time for all businesses. We have lost millions of pounds running Wrexham Football Club, our own fault, but fact.

It is three months since we agreed 'Heads of Terms' for a bid backed by millionaire businessman Colin Poole, a very likeable man and our preferred bidder because of the considerable finance available. Also appealing was the 25.1% on offer to the WST.

We feel it was a major blow to the future of the Club when irate fans confronted Mr Poole in the grounds of his estate and made it very clear he was not wanted in Wrexham, despite his considerable football experience helping Shrewsbury Town as a consultant. Since the WST stepped in during May, they have spent many hours at the Club obtaining their DD as well as learning about the operation of the Club, all conducted in the friendliest of atmospheres.

Many meetings have been held trying to find a financial route forward. The WST have been very keen negotiating but there is only so far we can go. We were unable to offer a completely debt free business but we have written off £2m and given a £500k donation from the sale of properties to cover season tickets, loans and HMRC, enabling the WST to have a strong start.

We also believe the team Dean Saunders has assembled will challenge very strongly this year, which would also help revenues. The latest dialogue with the WST suggests that with their 14 day EGM notice period, it could be 6/8 weeks before any takeover can take place.

This is not a period during which we are able to finance the Club, as we are already past our projected takeover date and the WST are not able to help us bridge our funding gap. We continue to search for a solution.

After our statement last Friday, advising that finances are critical, we have been approached by two parties offering to see if they can help. Both have previous associations with the club and we are meeting with them over the next few days. The WST have been kept fully informed and have already spoken with one of the parties. With the delay in the takeover, we must explore every avenue to keep the Club alive until the WST are able to complete".

A commentary on the Wrexham situation comes from 200%. "Is The Fate Of The Crusaders A Portent For Wrexham? The news came through like a bolt from the blue. Suddenly, and with a great deal of warning, the Rugby Football League announced that Crusaders RFLC had withdrawn their application to play in the Super League from 2012 to 2014... The club’s owner, meanwhile, claimed that the “economic downturn” had left it unsustainable...

What, you may wonder, does this have to do with football, though? The answer to this question is that Crusaders RFLC share (or shared) The Racecourse Ground with Wrexham FC, and that both clubs are owned by Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts. Moreover, a debt owed to the Rugby Football League by Moss and Roberts was secured against the The Racecourse Ground itself. As such, many Wrexham supporters will be wondering whether this is another chapter in some inevitable end-game that will also end in the end of their club as well...

The board of the Football Conference meets at AFC Telford United’s New Bucks Head on the fourth of August, and it seems far from implausible that they will be looking for answers from those that currently own Wrexham FC. With the ownership of the ground hanging by a thread, what assurances can be given that the club will be allowed to continue to play at The Racecourse Ground? Possibly even more urgently than this, what assurances can Moss and Roberts give that the club will be able to complete its fixtures and its financial obligations for next season?"

According to Pitchero Non-League "Burton Albion are believed to have launched a club-record bid to sign prolific striker Jamie Vardy from Blue Square Bet North newcomers FC Halifax Town. The 24-year-old is one of the hottest properties in non-League football, having bagged an astonishing twenty-three goals in just thirteen appearances as the Shaymen won the Evo-Stik Northern Premier by nineteen points last season, earning promotion to the Conference North. A host of League clubs have been linked with the former Stocksbridge Park Steels front man, while Halifax have reportedly turned down a bid of £50,000 from Stockport County".

Meanwhile, "Boston United`s interest in Curtis Shaw appears to have cooled. The former Mansfield Town midfielder played in last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Stamford, but was not involved against Wigan. 'We may have another look at him', said joint boss Jason Lee. 'Curtis is another midfielder we’ve had a look at, but there’s a long list of players who would like to come in. Curtis is not finished with us, but he wasn’t with us on Saturday and we had a look at some new people who they did well. They are the people in possession of the shirt at the moment'.

Boston have missed out on one target after Michael Leary opted to join Conference North rivals Gainsborough Trinity. The former Grimsby Town midfielder played for both Trinity and the Pilgrims in friendlies last week".

The Boston Standard reports that "Ryan Semple believes Boston United’s new 4-3-3 formation is the key for him grabbing more goals. The winger is relishing his new role, playing on the right-hand side of a three-pronged attack, scoring three times in two pre-season friendlies...

'We played 4-3-3 again', he added. 'I like the formation. I’m happy to be on the wing in a 4-4-2, but I like it playing up top. I try to get at players and create goals, but I also like to score goals and that position helps me'. Manager Lee reckons that starting with three up front can give Semple and Kevin Holsgrove greater freedom to get into attacking positions. He told The Standard, 'The new formation looks really goods. I definitely feel we can get more out of Semple. Personnel dictates how we play, but we’ve identified that Holsgrove can play in a three as well. They’re both attack minded and direct. This gets them in attacking areas and they’ll get past people. We believe Semple can get more goals given the opportunity. He’s sometimes wasted on the wing. He goes past people but we feel he can get more goals'".

The North Wales Weekly News says that "The long drawn-out saga of Colwyn Bay FC's handover should finally be completed this week. Acting chairman Bob Paton has spoken of his concern at the delay which has left the club's administration in limbo...

But in response TBMT Ltd, who have been running the club since 2007 prior to the Cartwright family's shock resignation from the board in early June, have issued a short statement which reads, 'The handover is expected to be completed this week'...

Former chairman Bob Paton, who was asked to take charge following the Cartwright's decision to quit the club, has been increasingly frustrated by the delay. 'I have been here five weeks and have not been able to do anything because TBMT have still not handed over financial control. I need to know what income the club has had since May 1st and what funds are available, but they haven't answered my calls or agreed to meet me. I need to set out a financial programme for the new season but I can't do that until I know what the situation is. We also have a major sponsor waiting to come on board (in addition to main sponsors Co-operative Food who have two years to run on their existing agreement) but, again, we can't progress with that until we have complete control.

'At the moment we have next to no income, no access to funds and don't even have a new kit with just over two weeks to the new season. I have a responsibility to the shareholders who have asked me to take charge and are relying on me. They are living a dream at the moment after back-to-back promotions to the Blue Square North and they want to know what is happening. At the moment I simply can't tell them anything - we are in limbo until the handover (which Mr Paton says should have been made nearly two weeks ago) is completed.

I have spoken to Dave Challinor and most of the players and they are fine with things at the moment, but clearly the present situation has to be resolved urgently'. However the statement from TBMT Ltd this week will hopefully finally draw matters to a close and allow the club to move forward".

27 July 2011


Right: Trafford try to get to grips with Astley Mulholland.

After a goalless first half in which Alty had started well but lacked a killer touch up front, the introduction of former Alty Youth striker, Astley Mulholland, at the interval sparked an improvement....

  • Match report here.


    The jackpot for Saturday's Altrincham FC Yankee is now £2,700, which can be won with a £1 stake. Last week six members won £3.33 each for "Trebles" with the winning code of 8115 being unissued. All proceeds go to Altrincham FC so why not sign up today?


    Crewe Alexandra confirm that "Our former defender Mat Bailey will not be offered a contract by the club after spending the summer on trial with us. The former Stockport County and Northwich Victoria defender has featured in pre-season but was used as an emergency striker against Rhyl and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

    Dario told the club's official web-site, 'We won't be taking Mat. He will feel slightly hard done by because we haven't been able to give him a chance at the back in a game, but I've seen enough in training to see that he won't push himself enough to get into the team'".


    Nick Rogan, who played for Altrincham during last Saturday's match with Tranmere Rovers, scored for Corby Town in a pre-season game on Monday night.

    According to Bullsnews, "Wrexham's takeover rumbles on with strong claims that the club may fail to meet July's wage bill. The Supporters' Trust has urged the current owners to continue to fund the club while the deal is finalised but manager Dean Saunders has already admitted to using his own money to buy some equipment. Meanwhile Crusaders, the co-tenants of the Racecourse, have pulled out of the rugby Super League next season".

    Non-League Daily confirms that "Graham Wood (chairman of Gateshead FC) and Wayne Allen (vice-chairman of Kidderminster Harriers) have been appointed to the main board of the Football Conference to replace Andrew Shaw {Altrincham] and Erik Samuelson. The new constituted board for the coming season will meet member clubs for the first time at the annual pre-season meeting of clubs, which this year will be held on Thursday, 4th August at the Buck's Head Stadium, Telford.

    The full board comprises:

  • Brian Lee (Independent Chairman)
  • Wayne Allen (Kidderminster Harriers)
  • Chris Blight (Newport County)
  • Charlie Clapham (Southport)
  • Nigel Collins (Solihull Moors)
  • David Martin (Dorchester Town)
  • Colin Peake (Forest Green Rovers)
  • Gary Sweet (Luton Town)
  • Graham Wood (Gateshead)

    The new nominated chair of the Football Conference Youth Alliance is Wayne Allen, who takes over from the departing Helen Thompson".

    26 July 2011


    Gavin Rathbone's excellent photo of the "Alty Legends" team which played on Saturday (as seen below) is available to order and all income from it will go to Mark Maddox's testimonial fund. Contact Gavin at GR Photography for details.


    For Tuesday night's game at Shawe View against Trafford, live Matchday Updates will be provided here on the website, wi-fi signals permitting.


    You can win a place in the Altrincham FC team for their annual photo-shoot which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 6th August, before the game against Stockport County. A raffle is being held for this unique prize of a professionally taken photo (by Gavin Rathbone), with all proceeds going to Mark Maddox's testimonial fund. Tickets, at just £1 each, will be available from tonight at the Trafford v Altrincham game and will also be sold at the Alty v Barrow match next Tuesday (9th). Please contact Dana or John Laidlar to purchase your tickets - if you cannot get to either game, please e-mail the website. You can buy as many tickets as you like to help boost the testimonial fund still further.

    Below, Gavin Rathbone photographed the past players who took part in the short game after the Tranmere Match, for Mark Maddox's testimonial. For more, see Gavin's GR Photography website.

    Above: Back row- Ged Kielty, Karl Munroe, George Melling, Richard Acton, Val Owen, Mark Maddox, Stephen Rose, Eddie Hussin, Danny Adams, Steve Lunt, Phil Power, Peter Band.

    Front row - Charles Heathcote, Pat McFadden, Jason Gallagher, Barry Shuttleworth, Colin Little, Sean Riley, Chris Adams, Steve Aspinall, Gary Scott.

    Right: Facing the camera as they share a joke are former Alty physio Sean Riley, Stephen Rose, Eddie Hussin and Stuart Coburn.


    Pete Foster of TASC has kindly supplied a list of unclaimed prizes from Saturday night's raffle. Please contact the club by e-mail or ring on 0161 928-1045 if you are a winner.

  • Gents Watch: Pink ticket, number 310, serial number AC788627
  • Sparkling Wine: Pink, 275, AC788627
  • Buck's Fizz: Yellow, 466, AC790791
  • Wine: Light Green/Blue, 226, AW105574
  • Wine: White, 153, AR135867
  • Zippo Lighter: White, 135, AR135867
  • Money Box: Light Green/Blue, 388, AW105574
  • Shoe Care Kit: Light Green/Blue, 216, AW105574
  • Gavin Rathbone GR Photography Voucher: Pink, 55, AC788627
  • Hip Flask: Light Green, 210, AC791289
  • Marriott Health Club Voucher (1 person 5 day): Light Green/Blue, 492, AW105574
  • Hair Lounge Gift Voucher: Yellow, 318, AC790791
  • Picture Frame: Yellow, 705, AC790791


    The Wirral News reports that "Managers seldom lose any sleep over pre-season results but they do have the potential to cause some temporary embarrassment, as Tranmere found out at Moss Lane on Saturday. Rovers could not argue about the margin of their defeat to an Altrincham side who will be playing three divisions below them in the Conference North in the forthcoming season.

    Left: Alty line up against a freekick by Tranmere Rovers last Saturday; left to right we see Anthony Danylyk, Robbie Lawton, Paul Jones, Adam Flynn, Damian Reeves, Simon Richman, Nicky Clee and Ryan Brown.

    The League One team were second best in most departments in spite of fielding a line-up that included at least eight players who will hope to be in contention for a place when the serious action begins with a home game against Chesterfield in just under two weeks time.

    Tranmere were not as sharp in their passing and movement as the home side, created few scoring opportunities and were opened up back too often for comfort. There were some mitigating circumstances as three players – Enoch Showunmi, Robbie Weir and Mark McChrystal – were easing their way back into action after injury layoffs.

    Even so, Altrincham deserved a lot of credit for producing a strong and positive performance to mark the benefit match for their former midfield player Mark Maddox.

    Altrincham had a spring in their step from the moment they took an 11th minute lead when Damian Reeves took advantage of a helpful bounce to burst between two defenders on the right and set up a chance for Nicky Clee, who took the time to pick his spot in the top corner from 10 yards out.

    Reeves and Clee continued to torment the visitors through most of the 90 minutes...

    But Rovers were grateful to be just a single goal down at the break as Michael Twiss’s header forced goalkeeper Andy Coughlin into a sharp save, Reeves, put clear by Clee’s through ball, saw his shot kicked off the line by Mark McChrystal and then had another effort blocked by Coughlin.

    A mistake by defender Ryan Brown opened a chance for Tranmere just before the hour mark and substitute goalkeeper John Ollerenshaw had to scramble to prevent Showunmi cashing in. Soon afterwards Coughlin was beaten by the flight of a cross shot from Simon Richman that struck the crossbar. Coughlin’s luck ran out on 73 minutes when Clee, making space just outside the box, fired a venomous left foot shot into the far corner".

    Afterwards, "Manager Les Parry admitted Tranmere’s 'lethargic' show in a 2-0 friendly defeat at Altrincham has provided his coaching staff with plenty of work for the next few days... '“You try not to get too hung up about pre-season games but one thing is for sure, this has given our coaching staff something to work on', Parry said.... 'We looked lethargic... I don’t want to get too carried away with criticisms because we had Enoch Showunmi coming back from a broken leg and he had another little crack in it from a kick. Neither Mark McChrystal nor Robbie Weir have played much football this summer because of injuries'...

    Parry reported that Zoumana Bakayogo, Adam McGurk and Andy Robinson missed the game because of minor injuries".


    News of a loan player who almost helped Alty avoid relegation last season comes from Cambridge United who have "terminated the contract of Steven Connors due to the fact that Steven has a pre-existing medical condition that he did not disclose at his medical. Club Physio, Greg Reid, undertakes a thorough medical with all players but which also relies on the honesty of the player in making full disclosure of all ongoing medical conditions. This particular pre-existing condition was impossible to detect as the player had not undertaken physical activity over the summer months. As Steven withheld vital information about his medical history and an ongoing condition, the Club was left with no alternative but to terminate his contract".


    With kind permission of Barry Pikesley, we reproduce his catalogue of Mark Maddox's goals, reproduced from Saturday's Robins' Review.


    Well, in truth, there haven’t been that many of them (a grand total of eleven, to be exact) during the ten seasons in which he has been involved as a player at Moss Lane and no doubt he can recollect every single one of them in precise detail (should you ever wish to quiz him on the subject) but for those Robins supporters not blessed with the gift of total recall on this particular topic, there follows a chronicle of the goals that Mark Maddox has scored for Altrincham FC.

  • (1) Tuesday, 24th September 1996, Unibond Cheshire Senior Cup First Round, CHEADLE TOWN 0 ALTRINCHAM 6

    Technically, you could argue that the first goal that Mark scored whilst wearing Alty’s colours actually occurred during the 1-1 GM Vauxhall Conference stalemate with Woking at Moss Lane on Saturday, 14th September 1996. However, that one comprised an unfortunate strike past his own goalkeeper, Matt Dickins. Apologies for dredging up that moment but Mark did contrive to chalk up the odd choice and clinical own goal during his Moss Lane career! Anyhow, the first goal that Mark scored for the Robins at the right end arrived in front of a sparse but select gathering (no attendance figure was ever given for this fixture but I suspect that there were around 300 of us there at most) smack under the Manchester Airport flight path. Mark claimed the opening goal of the contest in the 24th minute, lashing home a loose ball from eight yards after a defender’s header had rebounded back off his own post. This match is still probably best remembered as the scene of Paul Williams’ legendary air shot.

  • (2) Saturday, 1st November 1997, Unibond League Premier Division, ALTRINCHAM 1 HYDE UNITED 3

    Watched by 761 spectators, the Robins were already 3-0 down against a Hyde United side containing the future Altrincham players Jason Gallagher; Val Owen and Lutel James when Mad Dog managed to deflect Chris Sharratt’s 76th minute free kick into the net at the Golf Road End.

  • (3) Saturday, 21st March 1998, Unibond League Premier Division, LEIGH RMI 2 ALTRINCHAM 2

    Under the guidance of caretaker manager, Bernard Taylor, the Robins staged a late rally to recover from a two goal deficit at Hilton Park in front of a crowd of 449. After 84 minutes, Mark ignited the Alty resurrection by directing a deft looping header from a free kick beyond the considerable figure of Dave Felgate. An injury time equaliser from Keith Russell duly completed the comeback.

  • (4) Wednesday, 6th December 2000, FA Trophy Second Round Replay, BISHOP AUCKLAND 3 ALTRINCHAM 1

    Following a 2-2 draw at Moss Lane four days earlier, Mark Ward’s Alty side was eliminated from the competition by their bogey team in front of merely 235 hardy souls, 15 of whom had travelled from Moss Lane in a minibus driven by Alan Brotherton. Mark had entered the action after 25 minutes as a substitute for the injured Gary Talbot and the Robins were effectively dead and buried at 3-0 down when he recorded a rather bizarre goal in the 73rd minute. He collected a Steve Hawes free kick and steered the ball goalwards. The previously underemployed Bishop Auckland goalkeeper, Steve Jones, initially caught the ball but then dropped it and it proceeded to roll between his legs and into the back of his net. Acute embarrassment for him; pure elation for Mad Dog!

  • (5) Saturday, 8th December 2001, FA Cup Second Round, ALTRINCHAM 1 DARLINGTON 2

    3,302 spectators had congregated inside Moss Lane for this 1.00pm kick-off in front of the BBC’s Match Of The Day cameras. Having fallen behind to a 21st minute Dan Chillingworth goal, the Robins eventually levelled matters after 67 minutes. Substitute Carl Furlong was fouled by Ian Clark and Alty were awarded a free kick between the edge of the visitors’ penalty area and the right wing corner flag. Steve Hawes’ flighted delivery was met by the incoming Maddox, who promptly powered a thumping header past Andy Collett. Alas, merely four minutes later, Darlington restored their advantage via Neil Wainwright after Mad Dog had been unable to head a left wing cross away to safety. Mark later had the dubious distinction of becoming perhaps the only Altrincham FC player ever to be criticised on TV by that so-called pundit, Mark Lawrenson, when the highlights of the tie were broadcast on Match Of The Day that evening.

  • (6) Saturday, 8th February 2003, Unibond League Premier Division, ALTRINCHAM 3 BLYTH SPARTANS 2

    Tony Sullivan had put the Robins ahead after 19 minutes with his solitary goal for the club, only for Scott Emerson to equalise for the visitors just two minutes later. Following a foul on Ian Craney, Chris Adams’ 51st minute left-footed free kick found Gary Talbot lurking at the right hand post. His initial header was blocked but when the loose ball came back to him, he managed to direct it across the face of the Blyth goal to Mad Dog and the Alty captain calmly tapped the ball into the net from close range. John Hutton notched the Northumberland club’s second equaliser of the game in the 80th minute but Steve Lunt’s first goal for the Robins two minutes later sent the majority of the 548 onlookers home happy.

  • (7) Saturday, 4th October 2003, Unibond League Premier Division, ALTRINCHAM 1 BLYTH SPARTANS 2

    In front of an attendance of 614, the Robins had conceded two goals before their captain reduced the deficit in the 71st minute. A foul on Rod Thornley by the former Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers striker, Graham Fenton, was penalised and from the resulting Chris Adams free kick, Mark rose unchallenged to head the ball behind him and into the net from 12 yards out. This defeat condemned Alty to a lowly 18th position in the league table and left them still searching for their first home victory of the 2003/04 season.

  • (8) Saturday, 25th October 2003, Unibond League Premier Division, ALTRINCHAM 3 BURSCOUGH 0

    491 spectators witnessed the Robins register their first home league win of the season at the seventh attempt. The Alty skipper gave his side the lead after only five minutes of the match had elapsed. Steve Aspinall’s right wing corner was headed on by Gary Talbot, whereupon Mark controlled the awkwardly high ball with his back to goal, prior to swivelling and then adroitly executing an acrobatic right foot volley into the top right corner of the net at the Golf Road End (pictured right). Two second half strikes from Niell Hardy duly secured the three points.

  • (9) Tuesday, 17th February 2004, Unibond League Premier Division, ALTRINCHAM 3 VAUXHALL MOTORS 1

    On a cold evening, 570 hardy souls were enticed to Moss Lane to observe the Robins record their first ever victory over the Motormen, whose starting XI contained a certain Robbie Lawton. After a Terry Fearns effort for the visitors had been cancelled out by a Marcus Hallows strike in the first half, Mark was introduced to the fray as a 71st minute substitute and promptly scored with his first touch, merely circa 20 seconds after replacing Barry Shuttleworth. A Steve Aspinall free kick from 40 yards out on the right eluded the visitors’ rearguard and Mad Dog arrived on a diagonal run behind the static defenders to nod the ball beyond Tim Dittmar and into the net. Four minutes from time, an impressive 25-yard drive from right full back Aspinall sealed the Robins’ triumph.

  • (10) Saturday, 15th January 2005, FA Trophy Third Round, LEIGH RMI 1 ALTRINCHAM 2

    The hosts were struggling in the Nationwide Conference and their line-up included a couple of future Robins in the guise of Chris Lane and Warren Peyton. The crowd of 401 contained a sizeable and vociferous contingent from Alty and they had to wait until the 80th minute before the deadlock was finally broken. Chris Adams and Eddie Hussin combined well on the left and the ball subsequently reached Colin Little in a central position on the periphery of the penalty box. He proceeded to pass the ball to Mark Maddox on his right and the central defender duly exhibited great composure by gathering the ball and then unleashing a delightful right foot shot into the net. Colin Little doubled the Robins’ lead five minutes later and the home side mustered a token response in the 90th minute. A framed vivid photograph of this memorable strike by Mark has graced the walls of the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane in recent years.

  • (11) Saturday, 29th January 2005, Nationwide Conference North, ALTRINCHAM 4 LANCASTER CITY 0

    795 spectators saw the Robins concede a ninth minute penalty when Mark was adjudged to have fouled Jamie Hughes. However, the ensuing spot kick was missed by Peter Thomson (who would, of course, later have an abject spell with Alty during the 2006/07 season), thereby enabling the Robins to capitalise on this early reprieve and put erstwhile Alty midfielder Phil Wilson’s team to the sword. After strikes from Colin Little; Joz Mitten and Colin Potts respectively, Mark popped up with his second goal in a fortnight on 88 minutes, bundling home a low driven cross from Eddie Hussin at the far post.

    Finally, there’s one additional instance of Mark successfully finding the back of the opposition’s net whilst playing for the Robins which definitely merits an inclusion in this exposition on his goalscoring prowess.

  • Wednesday, 22nd January 2003, FA Trophy Third Round Replay, ALTRINCHAM 3 KETTERING TOWN 3 (after extra time), (Altrincham win 5-3 on penalties)

    Following the preceding week’s 1-1 impasse at Rockingham Road, only 436 diehards were present inside Moss Lane but they were to be treated to an enthralling tussle. At the conclusion of both normal and extra time, the two sides were still locked together at 3-3 with Alty’s goalscorers being Barry Shuttleworth (penalty); Sean Smith and Danny Murphy respectively. In the nerve-jangling penalty shoot-out enacted at the Golf Road End, Ian Craney; Barry Shuttleworth; Chris Adams and Jordan Burke all converted their respective spot kicks for the Robins, whereas Niall Inman drove the visitors’ second penalty wide of Richard Acton’s left hand post. So, forward from the halfway line strode Mark Maddox in order to take the Robins’ fifth and final penalty, knowing that if he were to accomplish this imminent task, Alty would advance to a home tie with Aylesbury United in the Fourth Round. Mark proceeded to despatch his spot kick into the net with nonchalant aplomb via a low shot to goalkeeper Ian Bowling’s left and then set off towards the terraces behind the goal to initiate a communal celebration between the jubilant Alty players and their euphoric supporters. Not the most glorious cup upset achieved in the club’s history, certainly, but a genuinely special moment to treasure nonetheless.


    Wirral News tells us that "Anthony Wright returned from what he described as the best experience of his life to find his Vauxhall Motors squad building fitness and momentum ahead of the new season. Fulfilling his day-job as a coach at Liverpool’s academy, Wright was aboard the club’s tour of the Far-East as he helped deliver coaching clinics to youngsters in China, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore...

    'A few of the first-team squad came along and joined in', said Wright. 'Andy Carroll, Conor Cody, Brad Jones, Daniel Ayala and others. So it was good for the kids and it was good for the club. It was the best experience of my life to be with the first-team. Watching them train in-front of 40,000 people. It was just unbelievable'.

    The recently installed boss admitted he managed to pick up on some new ideas from watching Liverpool’s elite in training and he is now eager to get back to duties at Rivacre Park. 'There was a few things I saw which were technical', he added".

    Meanwhile, Vauxhall Motors themselves report that "Leighton McGivern starred in Vauxhall Motors' 3-2 pre-season friendly victory at Cammell Laird. The prolific striker has returned to the Motormen having lined up for Stockport County against Motors at Rivacre Park just days before".

    "Worcester City boss Carl Heeley has handed deals to midfielder Matt Birley and goalkeeper Matt Sargeant after the duo impressed in pre-season" reports Blue Square North. "Birley started 32 games for the club last season but was told to prove his fitness...

    Heeley told Worcester News,'I asked Matt Birley to go away in the summer and get sharper, come back and show me how hungry he is to be a Worcester City player. In the three games he's taken part in he's been absolutely superb and we've given him a deal for the season'.

    Former Tipton Town stopper Sargeant will provide competition for Jimmy Dormand... 'We have now got our two keepers and I am pleased with that. They can fight it out for the number one shirt. I think it will be a good battle because they're both very competent keepers'. Trialist defender Martyn Naylor and striker Michael Taylor are both expected to play at Bridgnorth tonight. Defender Asa Charlton and forward Marc McGregor may also face Mark Clyde's Midland Alliance side after not being involved at the weekend".

    According to the Nuneaton News, "Nuneaton Town have missed out on bringing former keeper Chris Mackenzie back to the club as they look to sign cover for Danny Alcock. The veteran instead looks set to re-join Corby Town, the team he started last season with before going to Alfreton Town.

    Alcock will miss the start of Blue Square Bet North as he will be representing Great Britain in the World University Games but Boro boss Kevin Wilkin was confident he had secured a deal to bring 39-year-old Mackenzie back to the club he last played for in 2003. Wilkin said, 'Chris Mackenzie was due to come in but he rang on Saturday morning to say Corby have put a good offer to him. I think he’ll go there. I’m disappointed. They’ve put good money in front of him so it’s one of them'.

    MacKenzie would have featured in the side which went on to beat Walsall 3-0 on Saturday... In the end, former Tamworth goalkeeper Louis Connor featured on trial, while youth teamer Sam Slater, 16, came on for the last 10 minutes and saved a penalty. Wilkin said Slater did all he could to catch the eye, but says he must play regularly to progress as he was not first choice in the youth team last season and there is no guarantee that will be the case this term.

    'Louis has come in and done well. He’s been at Tamworth in and around their first team... The Walsall side was youthful and have a lot of energy. I think it’s the case that some of the trialists aren’t as good as what we have... I’m looking to finalise a squad of 18 or so and decisions need making', he said.

    Wilkin revealed he has been in talks about signing a striker, however, financial constraints have so far scuppered the deal. 'I’ve spoken to a couple of pro clubs about bringing a striker in. The money in certain areas is an issue. We don’t have the money they are asking in some cases. I would like another striker though', he said".

    We learn from the Times and Star that in the game that ended "Workington Reds 2 Hartlepool United 3 - Although they are still looking for their first win of the pre-season programme, Workington Reds have again offered encouragement for manager Darren Edmondson...

    Reds had gone into Saturday’s game without their two main strikers Jonny Wright and Gareth Arnison, as well as left back Anthony Wright, so it was a chance to look at a new pairing up-front of rookie Andy Murray-Jones and veteran David McNiven. Murray-Jones seems to be building well on the brief first-team experience he had at the end of last season and, although raw, does appear to have potential. It was Murray Jones who was tripped in the box, after turning his man, following a nicely flighted pass from trialist Jake Simpson. McNiven hammered in the opener from the penalty spot...

    What will have concerned Edmondson and his assistant Viv Busby, however, over the three friendlies is the poor quality of goals they have been given away. Saturday’s equaliser came from the penalty spot... Dave Hewson was done for pace by James Poole and as the Reds skipper tried desperately to get back and nick the ball with a desperately stretched foot he only succeeded in tripping his opponent in the box... The one change made at half-time, though, was for worrying reasons. Hewson went down with a rib injury shortly before Hartlepool’s second goal and was taken to hospital at half-time. Workington Reds: Taylor, Hewson (Sloan 45), Wordsworth, May, Andrews, Boyd (Blake 64), McLuckie, Dillon (Main 64), Murray-Jones (Tucker 68), McNiven, Simpson (Hopper 72)."

    25 July 2011


    In Saturday's programme for his testimonial match at Moss Lane, Mark Maddox wrote:

    "I would like to start by thanking everyone who has come today and also the fantastic support that me and my family have been given. I have been overwhelmed by the response especially of the Alty fans and, although I have been a little bit embarrassed and humbled by it, it is very much appreciated.

    I would also like to thank the Chairman [Grahame Rowley] and his wife, Karen, who have been fantastic with me and have finally talked me into this testimonial. Grahame and Karen are fantastic people, who have a genuine love for the club and want only what’s best for Altrincham FC, I'd also like to thank everyone who works at the club from George and Jenny to Derek and the rest of the staff they work tirelessly for Alty and have been genuine friends to me from the day I signed.

    Left: Mark in action at Hucknall Town.

    I will always be grateful to John King who signed me and gave me my chance to play and he also taught me a lot about the art of defending and I would have ran through a brick wall for Kingy he was that good a man manager to me. Bernard Taylor was another manager I had a lot of respect for Bernard was a very good man manager in that he was such a nice man you never wanted to let him down. He also had good staff around him like Vic [Green], who was our kit man. He was fantastic for the banter and made the dressing room tick and they are people who I will always remain in touch with.

    Right: Mark after playing Vauxhall Motors.

    But it was Kingy's assistant manager at the time I signed who had the biggest influence on me as a player and also as a person. 'Cote [Graham Heathcote] is the ultimate Legend to me at Altrincham and to even be on that list with him is an honour to me. 'Cote knew me inside out and what made me tick on the pitch. He never gave me much praise but he knew I didn’t need it; he never really gave me a bollocking because he knew I was my own worst critic. The only thing I think worried Cote was when I got booked and he thought I would lose it a bit and get sent off, (sometimes he was right to worry!!).

    He would always love to join in with banter in the changing rooms and, to be honest, the banter we had can never be beaten in all the teams I played in, especially the play-off team in 2005, where our togetherness as well as quality players got us promoted. And, also, when I came down to the club to finalise things for today 'Cote was fantastic in suggesting things to do for me.

    When the Chairman first suggested this game I was a bit unsure as I’m not really one for taking praise, It was always an honour for me to pull an Alty shirt on and that was always enough for me. I have played with some fantastic players and players who have gone on to make a very good career for themselves in the Football League. I have made great, lifelong friends - too many to mention by name and I’m sure most of them will be here today to tell me what the **** have you done to deserve a testimonial Mads!! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    The fans have always been a big part of Alty for me as, with any football club, the fans pay the money and love their club and I like to think I had a good relationship with most Alty fans and that I hope they realise I always tried my best for Alty, whether it was on or off the pitch and I would like to thank every fan of this great club for the fantastic support and kind words they have given me and my family.

    I hope Alty will get promotion this season and I’m sure with Lee [Sinnott] in charge we have a great chance for that. I am also very grateful to Lee and his team for being involved today.

    Finally I would like to thank my partner Jayne and my family, who have always supported me in my football, and I hope they enjoy today as much as I will.



    On the occasion of Mark Maddox's testimonial game last Saturday, the Robins' Review published tributes from three Alty managers under whom Mark has played at Moss Lane...

    Right: Three senior professionals - Stuart Coburn, who holds Alty's leading appearance record amongst current first-team players, embraces Mark Maddox, who lies second in the table of those players to have graced Moss Lane since 2000. The current team's second-place holder in the appearances stakes, Robbie Lawton, applauds in the background.

  • John King writes:

    Honest Footballer.

    "I don’t think you’ll ever find a more honest footballer than Mark Maddox. My only regret as far as Mark is concerned is that I believe that he could have progressed a lot further in the game if only he believed in himself and his ability.

    He did really well in his time at Altrincham – and I really mean that.

    I am truly devastated for the lad with the news of his illness – it came as an absolute shock to me. He was always such a fit and strong lad, a winner in all the senses of the word.

    I wish Mark, his wife Jayne and all his children all the very best during this trying time. Let’s show Mark and his family what a great 'family' Altrincham Football Club is!"

  • Bernard Taylor writes:

    "I would just like to thank Altrincham Football club for giving me the opportunity to say a few words about Mark,

    Mark was a great servant to Altrincham FC over the years and we must thank John King for fetching him to the club. Mark was very committed to the club and was always a joy to work with.

    Some of my best days in football were at Altrincham and Mark was alongside me in those days. He was everything you looked for in a centre-back and was every manager's dream player. He was always very professional and well mannered with people around the club and had a very special bond with the fans, who grew to love him over the years. Mark was also very popular with all the other players in the squad and became a key player in my team.

    I would like to wish Mark, Jayne, and the family all the best in coping with this terrible illness and he knows that myself and all my family with give him all the support we can".

  • Graham Heathcote writes:

    "Mark is the epitome of everything you want your players to be – honest, dedicated and bags of desire. He had that extra ingredient that I looked for and that was that he wanted to play for this Football Club. He wanted to win and he loved everything about the club and it shone through and rubbed off on everyone else and the fans loved him for it and always will.

    I will always remember telling the players before our last pre-season game at Marine one year, 'Don’t get involved with anyone – just play the game, it’s next Saturday that’s important' and, sure enough, 10 minutes from the end of the match Mark punched their centre forward and got sent off! I knew then that he never listened to me – wise man!!

    I had some terrific times with Mark and his team mates – they were a special bunch and most of them will be here today. When I rang around their respect for Mark was obvious and that’s the ultimate accolade when your team mates look up to you; you must have been special and Mark is. I hope today’s testimonial is a massive success and his family will see just how much he is loved by everyone connected to this club – past and present".


    Above: As part of the version of a Question of Sport played out in the Noel White Suite after Saturday's game for Mark Maddox's testimonial fund, blindfolded goalkeeper Stuart Coburn "feels the sportsman"- in this case Alty's cricketing wingman, Nicky Clee, whose bat-handle created quite a stir. Compere, Graham Heathcote, ribbed Stuart that, with his blindfold on he should feel at home as, for him, it would be just like when he comes off his line to try and collect an opposition cross! The other "victim" of the Feel the Sportsman round - though he seemed to quite enjoy it - was Gary Scott, who suffered at the hands of Mark Maddox.

    Right, Graham Heathcote was the target of vice-chairman Andrew Shaw's wet sponge as the Alty ex-manager was imprisoned in the stocks on Saturday at Moss Lane. Graham was gamely raising funds for Mark Maddox's testimonial fund.


    After Saturday's game against Tranmere Rovers, there was a short match between two sides comprising ex-Alty colleagues of Mark Maddox. All the players wore shirts bearing Mark's number "4" on their backs and also his name, "Maddox". Above, we see the players line up before kick off. Mark played a half of the game for each side, a match which was kindly reffed by Mr Gargani, who had been an assistant referee in the earlier game. The teams seen above were as follows, left to right:

  • Whites: Colin Little, Charles Heathcote, George Melling, Eddie Hussin, Ged Kielty, Sean Riley, Val Owen, Gary Scott, Chris Adams, Mark Maddox.
  • Reds: Jason Gallagher, Danny Adams, Peter Band, Phil Power, Barry Shuttleworth, Steve Lunt, Stephen Rose, Karl Munroe, Pat McFadden, Steve Aspinall, Richard Acton.

    Gary Scott opened the scoring and a Mark Maddox effort hit the crossbar. Barry Shuttleworth levelled the score before Colin Little netted again for the Whites. Gary Scott was then penalised and Mark Maddox, now playing for the Reds, fittingly converted the resulting penalty.

    Many other ex-players and Alty personalities were at the game including former managers John King (right), Bernard Taylor, Graham Heathcote and Ken McKenna, who came with Morecambe boss Jim Bentley. Ex-players who were present included John Rogers, Kevin Ellison, and Ian Craney, whilst former kit man Vic Green was another welcome attendee.

    Many thanks go to those who put so much work into organizing the testimonial events, including the Rowley family and Graham Heathcote who rallied many of the players and who volunteered to occupy the stocks whilst people threw wet sponges (£1 for 3!) or buckets of water (£5) over him, with all the proceeds going to Mark's testimonial fund. Mark's wife Jayne and children Sonny, Vinny and Bo were very welcome guests at the event. The Club is grateful to Tranmere Rovers and their manager Les Parry for bringing a strong team to Moss Lane and we wish them well for the coming season.


    Altrincham travel to Trafford FC on Tuesday evening (7.45pm) for our only away friendly of pre-season. In their most recent game, Trafford defeated St Helens Town 2-1 at Shawe View. "Garry Vaughan's side dominated possession throughout but lacked a cutting edge, particularly in the first half. They attacked from the kick off with midfield debutants Ben Morris and Rory Fallon looking impressive but were rocked in the 8th minute when Nia Bayunu bundled Graham Bolan to the ground and Ian Dyson blasted the resultant penalty past Tom Read.

    Trafford pushed forward in search of the equaliser... The introduction of Gareth Richards in the 52nd minute immediately gave the home side greater strength up front and within three minutes he paved the way for the equaliser when his brave challenge on Newbrook [a former Alty Youth keeper] ended with the ball falling to Paul Ashton who volleyed sweetly into the bottom corner....

    In the 80th minute Trafford were rewarded for their superiority when Gareth Richards struck a volley from 20 yards that flew into the bottom corner past the unsighted Newbrook".

    Altrincham have no match this Saturday (30th) but if you fancy some action, our neighbours Trafford take on AFC Blackpool (3pm) that afternoon at their ground adjacent to Squire's Gate airport - not to be confused with Squire's Gate FC's ground nearby!

    24 July 2011


    In last night's fun version of A Question of Sport, chaired by Graham Heathcote, Lee Sinnott's colourful team comprising (above left, left to right) himself, Robbie Lawton, Mark Maddox and supporter Mick Taylor, put Neil Tolson's team in the shade with a narrow victory. Neil was joined in his team by (above right, l. to r.) Graham Horton (Alty Juniors), Peter Band and Stuart Coburn. Whilst Lee's glass was half full, Neil's was half empty!


    Back in 2009 the BBC reported on yesterday's trialist striker at Moss Lane, Nick Rogan (right). It said "Striker Nick Rogan has turned down the offer of a new deal at Barrow to concentrate on his full-time studies. Rogan, 23, still has one year left on his current deal and has been placed on the transfer-list at Holker Street. Barrow joint boss Dave Bayliss told BBC Radio Cumbria, 'I think he's been a little bit too hasty in wanting to leave but there's no hard feelings. He's been brilliant for the club but I do think he will regret the decision in the long term'. He continued, 'Nick's studying for his PhD at university so it's not money-orientated. He's looking at his career outside of football'".

    Rogan began his career with Morecambe where he made four starts, scoring twice. A free transfer to Southport followed in October 2005 before joining Barrow in February 2006... 'We've put a lot of hard work into Nick and we will be commanding a fee for him', Bayliss said. 'We're not going to let him walk away for nothing. There are not many players out there who can score 20 goals in the Blue Square North like Nick can. That's the level Nick wants to go back to so he can train twice a week and continue his studies'".

    Nick is studying in Liverpool for a PhD in Marine Science.


    Following yesterday's defeat at Moss Lane, Tranmere Rovers reported that "A goal in each half from Nicky Clee earned Altrincham a 2-0 win over Tranmere... Rovers, who were without Owain Fon Williams, Zoumana Bakayogo, Andy Robinson, Ian Goodison and Adam McGurk, started with trialist Ziyad Boukakiou on the wing and had Nikolaj Misiuk and Mustafa Tirayki on the bench...

    After early shots from Joss Labadie and Lucas Akins missed the target, Clee gave Altrincham the lead with a well struck effort from inside the area... At the other end Andy Coughlin made a number of saves to keep the deficit at one but the young keeper could do nothing about Clee's second midway through the second half".


    This Tuesday, Alty travel to Shawe View for a friendly against our neighbours Trafford (7.45pm).

    Alty entertain Barrow later in the pre-season period and Pitchero Non-League says that before then "Barrow AFC will this week make decisions on the trialists currently trying to earn deals with the club. The Bluebirds gave a chance to eight free agents in last Saturday's 2-0 friendly defeat against npower Championship outfit Doncaster Rovers at Holker Street.

    Barrow's squad for next season now stands at fifteen players, after number-two goalkeeper Shaun Pearson signed new non-contract terms at the weekend. Joint-managers Dave Bayliss and Darren Sheridan are aiming to build a squad of eighteen or nineteen players ahead of the 2011/12 campaign...

    With a couple of long-term loan signings also likely, there may only be room in the squad for one or two of the trialists. Bayliss added, 'We have good ideas about who we need to bring in. We've been playing 4-3-3 and we like to get our wide men on the ball and attack teams. You can only do that with good players. We have Paul Rutherford on the right side and we've had a couple of trialists on the other. That is a position we need to strengthen, on that left-hand side'.

    Jamil Adam, a 20-year-old released by Barnsley, played on the left of Barrow's front three in the first half on Saturday, while Josh McAuley, another 20-year-old, whose previous clubs include Tranmere Rovers, occupied the same position in the second 45 minutes. At the back, imposing 28-year-old Shaun Pejic teamed up alongside 20-year-old Tom Smyth at centre half...

    The defeat was Barrow's first of pre-season, following a 2-0 home win over Oldham Athletic and a 1-0 victory at Lancaster City. Bayliss added, 'Pre-season is going really well'".


    Vauxhall Motors announce a "New signing for Motors, Sean Highdale. Sean is a highly rated midfielder who captained Liverpool Youth and Englad Under-16s. He has also previously been on loan from Liverpool to Oldham Athletic". Also ""Tom Grice signs new contract for 2011-12 season. Tom signed for the Motormen in October 2009 from local side Marine. Represented England Under-18s in February 2008 and boasts exceptional creative ability despite his tender years. He was with Everton from the age of seven to 14 and has also played at Burscough and Caernarfon Town as well as representing Merseyside Schools Under-18’ and Liverpool County FA Youth".

    According to the Daily Post "Colwyn Bay FC manager Dave Challinor says he is close to finalising his squad.. [after] his team’s strong showing in the 1-0 home defeat to Luton Town on Thursday night.

    'It was a game we didn’t deserve to lose,', said Challinor... 'We may possibly try to bring in one more midfielder, but otherwise we are close to knowing our squad... The aim is to have 16 or 17 strong players who can provide real competition for places'...

    Keeper Chris Sanna (knee) and forwards Jon Newby (calf) and Rob Hopley (back) are all carrying injuries and missed Thursday’s game, in which Colwyn Bay had the better chances in an entertaining first half and should have been in front at the interval". Luton's goal came from Mathew Barnes-Homer who "got in space to chip Bay’s trialist keeper Zak Jones. Jones, who was with Forest Green last season, impressed Challinor with three outstanding saves to prevent Luton increasing their lead during a 15-minute purple patch by the Hatters, but Colwyn Bay came back strongly at the end and Davey, Noon and Sean Doherty all forced good saves from the Town keeper".


    Boston United had a 2-1 win over a Wigan Athletic XI and Kevin Holsgrove scored one of the goals. In Wales, Droylsden won 2-0 at Buckley Town with Dale Johnson scoring one of the goals.
    23 July 2011


    This was another promising pre-season performance from Altrincham. Both goals were scored by Nicky Clee.

  • Match report here.

    Right: Mark Maddox lines up with his opposite number before kick off.

    There will be a report on the rest of the Mark Maddox Testimonial activities at Moss Lane on the website tomorrow...


    The LIverpool Daily Post reports that "[Manager Les] Parry plans to field his strongest possible line up in Saturday’s pre-season friendly at Altrincham, which is doubling as a benefit match for Mark Maddox.

    The 38-year-old from Liverpool, who played around 350 games for Altrincham, has been struck down by motor neurone disease. Parry said, 'I’m delighted we can do something for Mark. Someone who has played 350 games for Altrincham deserves all the support he can get. We will have every fit and available senior player in our side on Saturday. Hopefully our fans will come along and put bums on seats and raise money to go into the pot for Mark'.

    Altrincham chairman Grahame Rowley says the Blue Square Bet North club have been working to raise further funds to help Maddox and his young family cope with the muscle wasting illness".

    As well as Saturday's attractive game between a strong Tranmere Rovers squad and Altrincham at 3pm, Mark Maddox's testimonial day includes a host of other attractions which include the opportunity to throw wet sponges at former manager Graham Heathcote, who will be imprisoned in some stocks, a 5pm football match between former Alty players and a fun version of Questoion of Star between two teams captained respectively by manager Lee Sinnott and his assistant, Neil Tolson. Don't miss it! And ALL the proceeds could not go to a better cause- former Altrincham captain, Mark Maddox.

    As well as an auction of signed Wayne Rooney and John Terry shirts (kindly donated by Rod Thornley), there is also a raffle with a host of prizes including the unique chance to appear on an Altrincham team photo as part of the new squad's official photo shoot on 6th August, before the Stockport County match at Moss Lane.


    Altrincham FC joint Press Officer, John Edwards writes, "The story of Mark Maddox's illness, and the wave of sympathy and support it elicited from everyone connected with Altrincham Football Club, has captured the attention of the BBC. After being alerted to Mark's condition, and the response from the club, programme planners at their city centre studios on Oxford Road began working on ways of publicising tomorrow's (Saturday's) testimonial against Tranmere Rovers at Moss Lane.

    True to his unassuming personality, Mark shied away from being interviewed on camera, but producers for the North West Tonight programme are still planning to preview the game. They have been sent details of Mark's Alty career and supplied with a photo of him by chairman Grahame Rowley. While there can be no guarantees, given the way news schedules can change at a moment's notice, they have prepared an item on Mark that they hope to broadcast in advance of the game. It was intended to be shown on Friday evening, but the latest information we have is that it has now been earmarked for tomorrow (Saturday) lunchtime's sports round-up".


    Brian Flynn writes, "Altrincham fan, David MacBean and Tranmere Rovers supporter, Mike Elston, are not able to attend Mark Maddox's testimonial game between their favourite teams, due to the fact that they are both currently working in India. But the fact that they will be in New Delhi, as the former Alty captain kicks off proceedings at 3.00pm on Saturday, hasn't stopped them from being able to share in and contribute to this emotional event... even though they are over 4,000 miles away.

    David and Mike will be listening to the Radio Robins commentary from 2.50pm & have very generously sponsored the broadcast to help support Mark & his family. This is a lovely gesture, reflecting the effort that people will make to support Mark on his special day. The commentators for the game will be Simon Ellis & Paul Salt.

    As Radio Robins is covering this match, there will be no Live Updates here on the website. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.


    According to Blue Square North the spending continues at our first league opponents as "Harrogate Town have further strengthened their defence with the signing of veteran left-back Paul Heckingbottom. The 34-year-old put pen to paper on a deal with Town on Wednesday evening following his release by Gateshead in May. "

    Also, "Worcester City have bolstered their defensive options with the signing of Lee Ayres on a free transfer. The 28-year-old defender ended last season at Solihull Moors after spells with Halesowen Town and Redditch United. Ayres impressed in the Loyals' two recent pre-season friendlies and has now committed to the club for the 2011/2 campaign".

    A former Alty favourite is in the news as Droylsden announce "New signing, welcome to the Bloods Warren Peyton, midfield ex Guiseley". In a friendly on Thursday, the score was Witton Albion 2 Droylsden 3 - Dale Johnson got one for Droylsden.

    According to the BBC "Workington Reds' manager Darren Edmondson is hopeful that former Carlisle United trialist Stuart Green will sign for the club. The midfielder, 30, is a free agent after leaving Wycombe Wanderers at the end of last season. Green had a trial at Carlisle but was released last week.

    'We'll see if we can try and produce something for Stuart that he's happy with, and then who knows', Edmondson told BBC Cumbria. 'I've been speaking to Stuart for a couple of weeks now. He's got other options but he knows where I am'.

    Another potential signing for the club could be Jake Simpson, son of former Carlisle United boss Paul Simpson. The midfielder is on trial with the Reds after being released by Stockport County. Edmondson said, 'I got a call off Paul last week just to see if he could come to training and join in and that's what he's going to do and we'll have a look at him and give him a chance'.

    Meanwhile the Reds boss has been impressed with striker Andy Murray-Jones in pre-season... He said, 'At this level he'll be a handful and we know that, he's just got keep improving his game... We've enough in there now with the two lads in midfield - Dan Dillon and Mark Boyd - they were the main two we wanted to get. We'll rotate people around and then hopefully in the last two friendlies we can have what is hopefully going to be a squad of 18, 19 and then look to push from there'".

    The Eastwood Advertiser states that "Eastwood Town joint manager Jamie Brough says he’s been greatly encouraged by the Badgers’ performances so far in pre-season. A 2-1 win over Grantham Town on Saturday was followed up with a fine display against Wrexham in a 1-0 loss at Coronation Park on Wednesday night, with the management team still running the rule over several trialists...

    Brough is well aware Eastwood’s squad still needs more permanent numbers and he and Craig Armstrong are continuing to assess new faces in training and the pre-season matches. Striker Jervais Christie is expected to sign a two-year deal this week having impressed in his three games so far, while ex-Notts County defender Alex Troke has been offered terms but is understood to also be attracting interest from elsewhere.

    Brough added 'We’ve got one or two who have been using us to help get their fitness levels up, such as Kevin Sandwith, who has actually said he’d like to sign, and Spencer Weir-Daley who has been honest with us and made it clear he wants to play in the Conference Premier but who could be an option for us too'".

    22 July 2011


    On Wednesday, 7 August 1996, Mark Maddox made his first public appearance for Altrincham at Moss Lane in a pre-season friendly against a Manchester United XI. In the match programme, chairman Gerry Berman welcomed everyone back for a new season and remarked on the fitting of the new seats in the Main Stand over that summer. Elesewhere in the Robins' Review, Mark Harris listed the comings and goings of players over the close season. In the "Comings" section he welcomed to the club "centre-back Mark Maddocks (sic) [who] was spotted by John King playing in Liverpool Sunday football".

    Mark played at number five against the United XI, alongside Barry Butler. And proving what a small world it is, Mark and Barry were trying to stop United's number nine that day - one Michael Twiss, of whom the programme notes say "Michael Twiss is yet another local player. He only signed professional last month and had one appearance as sub last season".

    Mark's Testimonial against a strong Tranmere Rovers side kicks off at 3pm on Saturday at Moss Lane, with all proceeds going to the former Alty centre-half. As reported below, there will be plenty of activities on and off the pitch, with a brief match between former Alty players starting on the pitch just after the Tranmere match finishes. Then activities move to the bar where there will be lots going on, not least a fun version of a Question of Sport with two teams led by manager Lee Sinnott and assistant boss Neil Tolson. Make sure you don't miss it and help to ensure that Mark's testimonial raises as much as possible for a really fine former Altrincham player.


    There is a raffle on Saturday with the prize of having a photo taken as a member of the Altrincham FC team at its pre-season photo-shoot, currently scheduled to take place on Saturday, 6 August, before the game with Stockport County at Moss Lane. Raffle tickets (price £1 each) will go on sale this Saturday at the Mark Maddox Testimonial against Tranmere Rovers, with all proceeds going into Mark's fund. Further details to follow...


    The Ormskirk & Skelmersdale Advertiser says that "Chris Stammers views the return of Mark Beesley to Burscough as a 'big signing'. The Linnets’ boss last week declared he would make a signing which would bring the crowds in and after bringing the former Cambridge United and Chester City striker back to his home village, Stammers harbours hopes of a major contribution from the new man.

    Possessing over ten years of experience earned at a host of different clubs, Beesley showcased his goal scoring touch during spells with Chester City, Forest Green Rovers and Cambridge United. His new boss now hopes the 30-year-old can replicate such successful spells closer to home.

    'I think he still has the best years ahead of him', said Stammers. 'He’s had a few injuries but if he can get a run with us it could be good for him. I’m viewing it as a big signing for us. He’s played at a higher level at Cambridge United and has a background from two leagues up from us so he’s been around. He’s a local lad as well and well known in the village. I’m very pleased he’s decided to come and sign for us'. Beesley graduated from the Preston North End youth system in 1999 and finished he recent campaign at relegated Conference National outfit Altrincham before making the move home".

    Nearer to home news of a host of ex-Alty names comes from Pitchero Non-League, which says that "Danny Johnson, manager of Ashton United, continues to build his squad for the new season with three top quality signings. After an encouraging 4-0 victory at the home of neighbours Mossley, Johnson... added three new players to his squad for the forthcoming season.

    Former Curzon Ashton winger Wayne Cahill caught the eye with two well-taken goals and there were solid contributions from Peter Wright - once an FA Trophy winner with Burscough and well-known in non-League circles who has joined from Bamber Bridge - and George Melling, an experienced defender from Kendal Town, who has also featured at Morecambe, Altrincham and Lancaster City, amongst others...

    'Having signed Peter Wright and retained the services of Aaron Burns, Jon Bathurst, Liam Dawson and Sam Madeley I am really happy with the forward players we have at the club and I think we will get our fair share of goals... I have named Danny Caldecott as my new club captain with George Melling taking the role of vice-captain... Although George has never played for me before, he is a player I have tried to sign on more than one occasion. He is big, strong, has a real presence and has settled into the way we do things very nicely".


    The Football Conference tells us that "Four new players have joined Blue Square Bet North club Histon this week and a number of others have signed Conference forms for the coming season. Contracted players Daniel Sparkes, Jim Stevenson, Zak Mills, Lewis Taaffe and manager David Livermore himself are joined by scholars Joe Asensi, Charlie Day, Harri Hawkins, Sam Hearn, Eugene Libertucci, Lewis McDonald and Jack Sessions. The new arrivals are goalkeepers Jorg Stadelmann and Calum Kitscha, defender Ollie Cleaver and forward Dan Holman - all of whom have signed contracts.

    Austrian keeper Stadelmann joins from FC Hard having made over 400 appearances in his home country. He also brings sports science and coaching qualifications to the club and will assist with coaching all the clubs’ keepers. Cleaver started last season at Forest Green Rovers but joined Histon in March, making a handful of appearances in the reserves where he impressed enough to be asked back for pre-season. Signed primarily as a right-back but can also play centrally or in midfield.

    Young keeper Calum Kitscha joins from Bishop’s Stortford, where he has played youth and reserve games. Holman is a striker who joins from Hereward Teamwear United Counties League Premier Division side Long Buckby, whom he re-joined last season following a spell in the Southern League with Oxford City. Powerful, pacey and natural finisher, Holman has scored sixty times in seventy-seven appearances over the last two seasons at Buckby".

    Brian Little's Gainsborough Trinity report that "Following tonights loss to local rivals Scunthorpe United, where a decent Trinity side took on the leauge 1 opposition, just losing out 1-0, the Club can confirm that Michael Leary, ex-Grimsby town midfielder, has tonight agreed terms and will be joining Trinity, the Club hope to have him signed up by the weekend".

    At Corby Town "After two games in two nights, Steelman boss Graham Drury has advised six players that they will not form part of his plans for the new season. Lee Windrum, Glenn Walker, Aaron Daniels, Courtney Herbert, Ollie Thorne and Paul Caswell have all been told on Wednesday night that they are free to look for opportunities elsewhere.

    The departure of the six players takes the Corby squad down to 20 players ahead of Thursday night's trip to Grantham Town, from which Drury intends to trim the squad again so he can have a good look at everyone in the forthcoming series of three home pre-season games before finalising his squad for the forthcoming Blue Square North season.

    Drury explained to, 'It is always the hardest part of the job to tell players that you don't see them being part of your plans. It's tough but I've made it very clear to all of them from day one they had to come in and fight and show me what they were about, show me they wanted to be part of Corby Town's future. They knew that I'd be progressively trimming the squad as we neared the start of the season.

    'I'd love to have a big squad but we have to be realistic at this level and it is a horrible situation for them, I understand that. I don't expect them to agree with me. Whatever they feel about the decision right now, I hope they'll look back and appreciate the situation and that by telling them now, that they still have time to get them fixed up with a club'".

    21 July 2011


    Left: Gary Scott will be one of many former Alty stars attending Mark Maddox's testimonial this Saturday.

    Altrincham FC joint Press Officer, John Edwards, writes, "Mark Maddox will make a brief but emotion-charged comeback as an Altrincham player, in his own testimonial game at Moss Lane on Saturday. Alty bosses earmarked the pre-season friendly with Tranmere Rovers as a fund-raiser for their wholehearted and hugely-respected central defender after he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

    They have devised a wide-ranging programme of special events to maintain interest throughout the afternoon and into the evening, but nothing will match kick-off time for raw emotion.

    At 3pm, Maddox will stride towards the centre circle and set the game in motion, in the red and white stripes he once adorned, before being substituted and leaving the field, to what is certain to be a prolonged and heartfelt ovation.

    'We have arranged with the referee that one of our starting X1 will be kept off the pitch, while Mark takes his place and performs the kick-off', said chairman Grahame Rowley. 'Mark will then be substituted almost immediately, but, for a few seconds, he will be an Altrincham player again. He will be part of the team, and we are so pleased he has agreed to do it. It should be a memorable day all round, but that is going to be a particularly special moment.'

    In an afternoon awash with nostalgia, former Alty boss Bernard Taylor and two authentic Moss Lane legends, in John King and Graham Heathcote, will be present, while former players such as Colin Little, Colin Potts, Peter Band, Chris Adams and Gary Scott will take part in a 20-minute game in the middle of the pitch, immediately after the final whistle.

    Former Alty midfielder and manager Heathcote promises to be the centre of attention, prior to kick-off, after volunteering to go into the stocks, near the souvenir shop, and face a bombardment of wet sponges to boost takings for Maddox and his family.

    Several shirts are being auctioned in the build-up to the game, as well as on matchday, with details available on the club’s website, or at".

    Entry to the game is by a minimum donation of £5. All proceeds from the game will go to Mark.

    Tranmere faced Marine this week and won 2-1 at Rossett Park. "A strong Tranmere team gave Marine a stern test, the first half belonging to the visitors with the second having little to choose between the sides. Louis Barnes had the first real effort with a driven cross which Andy Coughlin stretched to push away, before [ex-Alty keeper] Ryan McMahon had to come off his line to smother at the feet of Lucas Akins...

    Tranmere Rovers: Andy Coughlin (John Courtenay 45), Michael Kay, Zoumana Bakayogo (Dave Buchanan 45), Joss Labadie (Will Vaulks 86), Ash Taylor, David Raven, Lucas Akins, John Welsh, Adam McGurk (Cole Stockton 83), Andy Robinson (Steve Wainwright 39), Max Power".

    And the strength of our visitors is underlined by the BBC which says that "Tranmere manager Les Parry believes his team should be within touching distance of the play-offs come Easter. Rovers finished last season in 17th position in League One.

    Parry told BBC Radio Merseyside, 'I'll be disappointed if by Easter we're not at least still in the running for a play-off place. With the players we've got and if we can stay clear of injuries, I think it's a realistic target. I'm really optimistic ahead of this season'.

    Tranmere sold forward Dale Jennings to German club Bayern Munich last week, with promising defender Aaron Creswell leaving for Ipswich Town after his contract expired, although Rovers will receive a fee for the full-back. Despite losing the two youngsters, Parry says his squad is much stronger and has the ingredients to challenge in a very competitive division".


    Blue Square North reports that "Grimsby Town joint boss Paul Hurst has admitted they are unable to compete for the signature of FC Halifax striker Jamie Vardy... Neil Aspin's Halifax have already turned down a £50,000 bid for the 24-year-old forward from the Mariners' Blue Bet Square Premier rivals Stockport, and Hurst... told This is Grimsby, 'Halifax received a considerable offer from Stockport and turned it down. We are not in a position to compete with that... Halifax are desperate to hold on to him as they look to move up the leagues'".

    Pitchero Non-League says that "Mark Boyd looks set to put pen-to-paper this weekend as Workington continue to strengthen their squad... After impressing in last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Whitehaven, Reds’ boss Darren Edmondson has acted quickly and is keen to get the 29-year-old ex- Carlisle and Newcastle player signed up for next season.

    He praised Boyd after Saturday's game, 'The two middle men, Boyd and Jonny Blake did well and the two youngsters, Sam Smith and Callum Killick, played well', said Edmondson. Three trialists, David McNiven, Dan Wordsworth and Simon Tucker also played some part in the game. 'We can’t judge any of the new lads on 45 minutes. They will feature in the next four fixtures and we’ll take it from there', added the Reds boss.

    Another boost to the Reds squad is the recovery of Dan Dillon, who will play his first game for Workington since his move from Alfreton. Meanwhile, Edmondson is keen to add more numbers to his squad, although it seems he has missed out on defender Tom Smyth. 'Tom has expressed his determination to play at a higher level than ours. He is on trial at Barrow at the moment and I expect him to sign. He is more than capable to play at that level', said Edmondson.

    'Another player we’ve spoken to is Stuart Green. I’ve known Stuart for a long time and he knows we’re interested. He’s at Carlisle and played in a friendly last week at Kendal Town. It’s unlikely and it’s in Carlisle’s hands'".

    Hinckley United say that manager "Dean Thomas is looking forward to testing a full Coventry City first team squad tonight. The following trialists could also feature at some stage:-

  • Ian Roper, a 34 year old centre half who joined Walsall as a trainee and played over 230 games for them. [Was at Kettering last season].
  • Andrew Turner, an 18 year old left back and former Doncaster Rovers trainee.
  • Ben Wilkinson, a 23 year old midfielder and former Hull City, Chester City and Tamworth player. [Was briefly at Alty and last week trialled for Southport]
  • Jay-Lee Hodgson, a 30 year old current Montserratian international who recently featured and scored against Belize in both legs of the CONACAF region World Cup 1st round Qualifier.

    Dean has also confirmed that has agreed terms with a new striker from a pro club and will be looking to complete the signing before tonight's game".

    20 July 2011


    Altrincham FC is again running a children's Summer Soccer Fun Week for children aged four and a half to thirteen years of age and there are just a few places left. The event will run from 25th to 29th July (9.15am to 3.15pm) and will give everyone who joins a chance to play on the Moss Lane pitch. The cost is £60 per person for the entire period but individual days can be booked by arrangement. Please contact Karen Rowley or Chris Bullock on 0161 928-1045 or by e-mail to book places.


    On Tuesday night Marine were playing Tranmere Rovers and the Crosby club says that "Rovers clearly respect the Evo-Stik League as they play their third match in a week against Premier Division opposition. Rovers lost to a single goal at Chester in midweek but secured a 3-3 draw at Colwyn Bay over the weekend. Rovers Manager Les Parry is likely to add first teamers Ash Taylor, Mark McChrystal and Robbie Weir to his squad after recovering from recent injuries".

    Pitchero Non-League says that "Blue Square Bet Premier new boys Ebbsfleet United have signed former Histon goalkeeper Joe Welch. Welch, 22, started his career with Southend United and made over fifty appearances for the Stutes before joining Stevenage towards the end of last season on loan. Fleet manager Liam Daish has recruited Welch as England `C` keeper Preston Edwards recovers from a shoulder injury."

    Underlining why part-time clubs who balance the books are at a disadvantage in the BSB Premier division, This is Grimsby reports that Grimsby Town chairman "Mr Fenty revealed the finances at the club remain in the red to the tune of almost £1-million while they remain outside the Football League. He told fans the year to May 2011 saw a club loss of £923,000 and that was forecast to rise to £938,000 for the coming 12 months. But he re-assured supporters those losses will continue to be under-pinned by himself and fellow shareholder Mike Parker, who has upped his shareholding by £500,000 to become the major shareholder."


    The Saturday Yankee jackpot has risen to £2,400 after no winning code was issued to match the winning 3647 combination last week. However, five subscribers did win £40 each with "Trebles".


    Just days after Australian 442 told us that "Matt Crowell (ex CCM) [is] joining Lawrie McKinna's Aussie backpacker gang at Chengdu Blades in the CSL [China]", we now learn from the Welsh Premier that "Port Talbot boss Mark Jones has signed former Swansea, Southampton and Wrexham midfielder Matt Crowell. The 27-year-old Bridgend-born player arrives after spending last season at both Altrincham and Farnborough in the Blue Square Premier. A product of the Swans' youth system, Crowell was persuaded to follow Swansea youth coach Malcolm Elias to Southampton at the age of 16 in 2000. City took the case to the Football League appeals committee seeking compensation of £1.5 million and the Saints were ordered to make an immediate payment of £100,000 as well as staged payments after certain numbers of appearances up to £500,000. However, Crowell never made a first team appearance at Southampton and was released in 2003 joining Wrexham, where he made his professional debut as a substitute against Chesterfield.

    During a five-year spell at the Racecourse plagued by injuries, he made 93 appearances and was released in January 2008. He made 56 appearances for Northwich Victoria and, after trialing with New South Wales Premier League outfit Sydney Olympic joined A-League team Central Coast Mariners on a one-year deal until the end of the 2009/10 season. He then signed for Altrincham, later making two appearances for Farnborough".


    The Boston Standard reports that "Adam Millson will want to show Boston United’s management he has what it takes for the Blue Square Bet North as he faces former club Stamford tonight... for their third pre-season friendly. Millson, who was the Pilgrims 2009 Player of the Year and 2008 Youth Team Player of the Year, is back at Boston on trial...

    The omens look good for a player who has been asked to return tonight, after fellow trialists Alex Thompson, Matt Hocking and Jamie Stevens have been told they don’t have a future with United... Liam Parker, who was also at Stamford last season, will turn out for Boston, having signed on last week. Simon Clark’s Evo-Stik South side will include ex-Pilgrims Nick Jackson, Stuart King, Dan Cotton, Lee Beeson, Dan Steadman and Gary King".

    Meanwhile, This is Lincs tells us that "Boston United joint-boss Jason Lee insists he is in no rush to fill the void left by Danny Sleath's call-up to the Great Britain World Student Games squad... He will miss Boston's first four games of the season... Following Anthony Church's departure to Grimsby Town, joint-bosses Lee and Lee Canoville are short of bodies in the centre of midfield...

    Summer signing Chris Hall can operate in the position while trialist Adam Millson will be given a chance to impress... Said a relaxed Lee, 'Danny is not away for a long time. I'm sure we'll cope with or without him. Whether we sign someone or not we'll be fine... It depends what system we play. We could play 4-3-3. We're looking at a few permutations at the moment'...

    Lee has been impressed by Millson, whose first spell at York Street ended after he suffered two broken legs in the space of 12 months in 2009 and 2010. 'We are still looking at Milly', said the joint-manager. 'He's a good kid. It's important to have a good squad with people that want to play for the club. Everyone we have got desperately wants to be part of the club. You have always got a chance when you are working with people like that'".

    19 July 2011


    Buxton have confirmed to Altrincham FC that today's pre-season game between the clubs at Silverlands has had to be cancelled because of a waterlogged pitch. Alty's next game is now the Mark Maddox testimonial at home to a strong Tranmere Rovers side this Saturday (23rd, 3pm). See below for more details of the game and associated events for Mark's benefit.


    Make sure you have Saturday 23 July in your diary to attend Moss Lane for Mark Maddox's Testimonial Match when Altrincham play against the Tranmere Rovers first-team squad at Moss Lane (3pm). Before and during the match you can enjoy matchday hospitality for just £20 - including a hot pre-match meal from club caterer Richie Bentley and half-time tea/coffee and refreshments. Your time in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge will also give you an opportunity to meet former Alty players before the game. All for just £20 - contact the club as soon as possible by e-mail or by phone (0161 928-1045) to book your place.

    After the game there is an evening of entertainment, starting almost immediately after the final whistle - so stay around after the final whistle blows. The fun starts with another game on the pitch at 5pm when two teams of former Altrincham stars will play against each other in a match of two halves of 10 or 15 minutes each.

    The focus then moves to the bar (Noel White Suite) where sausage and bacon barms will be available for purchase (all proceeds from the entire day - gate receipts, programme income, etc., will go to Mark). During the evening there will plenty more entertainment with one major attraction being a fun edition of "A Question of Sport?" in which two teams, chaired respectively by Lee Sinnott and Neil Tolson, and including Alty personalities from past and present, will compete - not too seriously - for victory.

    Indeed, a whole host of past Alty players and personalities will be attending including the legendary John King and many of Mark's team-mates whose attendance is being organised by Graham Heathcote, Jason Gallagher and others. Former manager Bernard Taylor will also make a welcome appearance. There will be raffles and, as previously reported, two fantastic prizes have been donated by Rod Thornley, who unfortunately cannot be present on the day, due to being in the USA with Manchester United. He has offered a Wayne Rooney shirt signed by all the team and a John Terry England shirt signed by all the national team. So that everyone has an opportunity to win a prize we are changing the format of the bidding from usual.

    If anyone is interested in winning one of the shirts you are asked to put a £10 note in an envelope and put your name on it. Every note will be entered into a draw at the end of the night when the winner will have the choice of which shirt he or she would like. The other shirt will be used at a Sportsman's Dinner planned for September 23rd again with all proceeds going to Mark.

    If you cannot be present on July 23rd for the Tranmere game but would like to be entered in the raffle/auction for the signed shirt please either send in or bring in your £10 note to the club (in an envelope with your name on, marked for the attention of Karen Rowley), and it will be entered into the draw on the night. Where else would you get the opportunity to own a signed Wayne Rooney shirt or a John Terry shirt for just a tenner?!!!! Or just bring your tenner and we will put it in an envelope and record your name.

    In addition, Sarah Rowley writes that "A Paypal page has been set up for online donations for the Mark Maddox testimonial game on 23 July. The email address needed is Thank you very much for all your support".

    That Mark Maddox is one of the most popular players ever to have donned the Robins' shirt is shown by the generosity of two Alty fans who are certainly doing their bit to show their respect for Mark, who is Alty's second highest appearance maker of all those who have played for us in the current millennium - only Stuart Coburn has played more games.

    Supporter Ian Rosendaal writes that he has "decided to auction an item which has a lot of sentimental value to me as it is an away shirt worn by the first team during our centenary season back in 2003/04 (pictured, right). I sincerely hope it will attract some generous bids in order to make a good contribution towards Mark Maddox's testimonial fund. If the winning bidder wishes, I will try to get it signed by as many past/present Alty players as possible on the day as well"

    This follows Gary Warrington's generous offer to auction of a framed Altrincham shirt, to be presented after the match on 23 July 2011. All money from both auctions will be going towards the Mark Maddox testimonial. Post your bids by Friday 22nd July 2011 @ 5pm for:

  • Gary's auction
  • Ian's auction

    Meanwhile, The Sunday Express reported last weekend that "Manchester United masseur Rod Thornley has donated a Wayne Rooney shirt, signed by all the Old Trafford stars, in a bid to raise funds for a former team-mate Mark Maddox, who has been diagnosed with the life threatening Motor Neurone Disease. Thornley and Maddox played alongside each other for Altrincham and the Blue Square North side are donating all proceeds from this Saturday’s friendly against League One Tranmere Rovers to father of three Maddox. Maddox, or Mad Dog as he was affectionately known to the Moss Rose faithful, will be at the game (kick-off 3pm) together with a number of Altrincham old boys.".

    Fuller details of the Testimonial events will be here during the coming week.


    In advance of their visit to Moss Lane, the Liverpool Daily Post reports that "Brazilian striker Vinny Dantas may soon become a Tranmere Rovers player if manager Les Parry has his way. The 20-year-old from São Paulo has agreed terms with Rovers officials after impressing in a short trial. However, the signing cannot go ahead until Dantas is granted a work permit.

    Parry said, 'We have made an offer to Vinny and he has agreed to accept. Hopefully with a bit of luck we will conclude this one – subject to the work permit'. Dantas found his way to Prenton Park via a soccer college in the USA and the Christian sports charity Ninety Plus Ministries, which has a base on the Wirral. The muscular front man is one of more than a dozen players from around the world on a full-time coaching course with Ninety Plus Ministries run at Vauxhall Motors FC in Ellesmere Port.

    Former Liverpool and Tranmere midfielder Jason McAteer alerted Parry to Dantas’s potential after playing against the youngster in a training game... Dantas made his first public appearance in a Rovers shirt in a friendly at Chester last Tuesday. Parry left the player out of the weekend friendlies against Colwyn Bay and Prestatyn Town after he complained of a tight hamstring".

    Meanwhile, Tranmere Rovers themselves tell us that "Les Parry says Ash Taylor, Mark McChrystal and Robbie Weir could all feature at Marine on Tuesday night after missing the weekend friendlies at Colwyn Bay and Prestatyn through injury. However, Owain Fon Williams and Enoch Showunmi are likely to be rested.

    The Manager told Tranmere Player, 'They're not a million miles away, we've just got to be careful... It was good to see Adam McGurk come through after he'd missed a week of training. They'll all be in the picture for Tuesday night [at Marine], the two we may not try are Owain Fon Williams and Enoch Showunmi. Kicking is a massive part of a goalkeeper's game and if it stays as windy and he's kicking against the wind there's a chance he could aggravate his injury so we may not go with him. "Enoch has not really trained yet, he may train today. But we'd be taking a chance so we may not go with him. But all the others should be involved'".


    Paul Salt writes, "TASC are pleased to announce that the TASC website has now been fully updated and revamped in readiness for the new season. The website will be updated regularly throughout the season to keep all supporters up to date with travel arrangements as well as fund raising and social events organised by both TASC and Altrincham Football Club.

    To celebrate the relaunch of the new look and fully updated TASC website, TASC have decided to run an easy to enter competition.

    As a special prize the TASC committee have scoured the country to come up with a very special prize that would be both original and priceless, a prize that is so unique that you couldn’t purchase it in the shops, a prize that would be coveted by every Altrincham fan in the country?

    To check out the unique prize that you can win to make you the envy of all your friends and colleagues, simply visit the new TASC website and answer three simple questions for the chance to win.

    Entries must be received by midnight on Friday 5th August. All correct entries will be entered into the winners' draw which will be announced at the Meet The Manager evening after the home game v Stockport County on Saturday 6th August".


    Brian Flynn reports that "Radio Robins is planning to cover two of the remaining pre-season games as follows:-
  • July 23rd: Altrincham v Tranmere Rovers
  • August 6th: Altrincham v Stockport County

    On Saturday, we tested out the new technology and it worked very well and seems to be a big improvement on what we have been using to date. Thanks to those people who helped with initial testing during the days leading up to Saturday's game and to Paul Burton for his excellent work behind the scenes in setting this up".

    If the Buxton match goes ahead, it is hoped to provide live text updates here on the website, wi-fi permitting.


    The half-time bucket collection last Saturday raised £52.12 for which the Football Club is very grateful.


    Above left: Robbie Lawton gives Craig Bellamy a run for his money in last Saturday's game. Above, right: Shaun Densmore battles with Burnley's Chris Eagles. Photos courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography, who has many more excellent Alty images on his website.

    Where's The Teahut has a report on the pre-season friendly, Altrincham v Manchester City XI, last Saturday. The author overcame his longstanding dislike of Wright's Pies at any ground to enjoy his afternoon... "I was surprised (if thats the right word) to find that Altrincham are charging £12 & £13 to watch them in the league. Thats far too much for the Conference North level. Altrincham's reasoning is that they want to maintain a viable budget to achieve success? A very heavy rain shower hit the ground before kick off and it sent people scarpering, the Alty squad stuck it out going through their pre match exercise routines, City were having none of it and kept dry under the stand.

    Moss Lane is a very nice ground, there is a tall and narrow Main Stand straddling the half way line with a smaller stand by its side at the 18 yard area. Down the opposite touchline is a good covered terrace running the full length of the pitch. The town end of the ground also has a fully covered terrace, the other end of the ground is an open terrace but it seemed a nice spot to stand when the sun popped out. I must say the pitch looked first class and the whole set up was very appealing, it has that proper football ground feel to it..

    Alty have some decent players and I would expect them to be there at the business end of the season battling for some success, as for City's development players, yes, some of them are good footballers but I have a nagging doubt only a very small percentage of them will see first team action in the future... I reckon Moss Lane is a great looking football ground. The Alty supporters are a keen and informed bunch and will be expecting a return to the higher division. They also have an excellent website (well worth a look for general non-league addicts)".


    From the Football Conference, we learn that "Centre half Danny Stimpson has become Harrogate Town’s latest signing... Stimpson, 21, started out as a youth player for Huddersfield Town before switching to York City... He turned down a professional contract with the Minstermen in order to move to Sweden and fulfill a dream of playing continental football with Ange IF. During his one season aboard, Stimpson won their young player of the season award. On returning to England, he has also had a trial at Luton Town before coming to the attention of Town manager Simon Weaver".

    From the Boston Standard we learn that "Both Boston managers have given their thoughts on Saturday’s town derby. Alex Beck struck twice as Town beat United 2-0 at Tattershall Road in this pre-season friendly... United boss Jason Lee was in a positive frame of mind at full time, despite the scoreline.

    He told The Standard, 'It was a derby, but the sort of game we needed to give the boys a tough 90 minutes... I’m not happy with the result but we played well in patches'. Lee also saved special praise for midfielder Danny Sleath. He added 'He has a good engine and there is more to come'".

    The Halifax Courier says that "Town have suffered their first major pre-season setback with news that Lee Gregory may need a knee operation... Manager Neil Aspin revealed... that the former Mansfield frontman could have to go under the knife. 'His knee locked in training on Thursday', said Aspin. 'It looks like he might possibly need a cartilage operation... He may only miss the start of the season'.

    The good news for Aspin is that Danny Holland returned to the Town side against Scunthorpe and James Dean could be ready to return when the Shaymen entertain Mansfield next weekend. 'On the bright side James Dean should be in a position to play some part next Saturday and I thought Danny Holland did well against Scunthorpe', said Aspin."

    From the COventry Telegraph, we learn that "Nuneaton Town boss Kevin Wilkin was satisfied with his side’s efforts after seeing them grab a late equaliser against their local rivals. He said, 'It was the sort of game you need at this stage of the season and we came out of it very well... We made them defend in numbers and put together some nice build-ups while looking threatening in their area. Our two goals were well worked and executed superbly by Lee Smith and Danny Glover, who have both settled in quickly and shown their assets.

    Defensively we were solid and in the end were beaten by a couple of good strikes but we need to take the positives out of this one and get ready for Walsall on Saturday'. Wilkin expects to sign Lee Moore and Robbie Burns in the coming week while Craig Hinton is another who the Boro chief is seriously considering to bring to the club for the 2011-2012 season".

    18 July 2011


    Because of the relentless rain of the last few days, Buxton have indicated that Tuesday evening's friendly against Altrincham is subject to a pitch inspection tomorrow. Originally announced for 11am the pitch inspection is now later as Buxton state that "There will be a pitch inspection at around 1pm on Tuesday to see if the match with Altrincham can go ahead. The Silverlands pitch is very wet with the continued rain of the last 2 days and there is some doubt over the pre-season match with Altrincham". Once the decision is known, it will be posted here.

    If the game goes ahead, admission will be £7 for adults, £4 for pensioners and £2 for under-16s.


    Shaun Densmore has been having an impressive pre-season for Altrincham and in the Non-League Paper he says of the club, "It is a great club. My dad (Peter) obviously played here and I want to try and get them promoted. Relegation was hard to take. We almost managed to stay up but it just wasn't meant to be. Some of the new players the new manager has brought in permanently and on trial look very good so, hopefully, we can have a good season. I was talking to a few of the lads the other day and we were saying it will be weird going from trying to avoid defeat to expecting to win most weeks".


    In an entertaining pre-season game played in awful conditions on Sunday, Altrincham FC Youth beat Congleton Town Youth 3-1, with two goals from Duncan Watmore and one from Ryan Barry. A report on this is in the Youth section.


    By kind permission of the author, here is Barry Pikesley's article from Saturday's Robins' Review in which he suggests a team made up of players who have played both for Altrincham and Manchester City.

    "Of all the various personalities whose careers have incorporated connections with both Altrincham FC and Manchester City FC, the towering character from this specific group surely remains the late Peter J Swales Esq.

    Together with his business partner, Noel White, he rescued the moribund Robins from financial oblivion back in 1961 and then occupied the role of Chairman at Moss Lane until January 1968. Having joined the Board of Directors of Manchester City in April 1971, he duly ascended to the position of Chairman in October 1972 and thereafter presided over more than two decades of a mixture of heady, turbulent, spendthrift and tragicomic seasons at Maine Road until finally being succeeded by Francis Lee in February 1994.

    Other individuals linking the two clubs include Freddie Pye, the Robins’ dynamic and successful manager from 1963 to 1969, who subsequently emulated Swales by becoming the Vice-Chairman at Maine Road, and the former City players Andy May and Paul Lake, who had spells at Moss Lane as the club’s assistant manager (June 2002 to October 2002) and physiotherapist (1999/2000 season) respectively. We’ve even witnessed erstwhile City manager Joe Royle’s son, Darren, sporting the red and white stripes of Alty although, in truth, it’s probably best to gloss over that particularly harrowing experience.

    What follows is a select XI comprising players who have recorded first team appearances both for the Robins and the Blues. Other eligible personnel, who were considered for this line-up but eventually omitted, include striker Bert Lister (City: 1958/9; Alty: 1967-69), together with goalkeepers Steve Fleet (City: 1957-61; Alty: 1968/69) and Ron Healey (City: 1969-74; Alty: a lone appearance in a 2-1 success in a North West Floodlit League fixture at Buxton on 15th October 1969, whilst on loan from the Blues). And let’s not forget midfielder Jamie Hoyland (City: 1983-85), who contrived a one-off appearance for the Robins as a substitute (replacing fellow fleeting debutant, Ray Wallace) in a 1-0 Nationwide Conference victory at Telford United on Saturday, 9th October 1999.



    A Welsh International who arrived at Maine Road via Luton Town in July 1988 for a transfer fee set at £240,00 by a tribunal, he went on to register 137 (+4 as sub) appearances for the Blues over the next eight seasons, during which he was frequently loaned out to other clubs. In the anticlimactic opening to Alty’s 1998/99 campaign, he made 12 somewhat erratic appearances (including that personal nightmare in a 2-1 home defeat against Lancaster City) and was only on the winning side on two occasions. Having been dropped in favour of Stuart Coburn, he subsequently returned to the Football League with the likes of Hartlepool; Carlisle United; Stockport County and Wrexham and is currently employed as the goalkeeping coach at Rotherham United.


    A Moss Side-born graduate of the Youth Team who made 9 (+16 as sub) appearances for the Blues’ senior side between 1987 and 1991, scoring a couple of goals in the process. Brief spells with Birmingham City; Bury; Stoke City; Millwall and Northampton Town ensued prior to his emergence at Moss Lane from Halifax Town in November 1996. After a trio of undistinguished appearances in GM Vauxhall Conference fixtures versus Southport ; Hednesford Town and Farnborough Town respectively (in which he was substituted on each occasion), he was released. Manager at Mossley from July 2003 to April 2007.


    This Australian International (33 caps) was recruited from Millwall on a free transfer by Frank Clark in August 1997. After 10 (+11 as sub) appearances for City, he was despatched to West Bromwich Albion for the sum of £250,000 in March 1998. Having surfaced at Moss Lane via Shrewsbury Town, his debut occurred at Southport on Tuesday, 23rd September 2003 (that 2-2 draw when the floodlights failed!) and on the following Saturday, he was a member of the Robins team which capitulated to an abject 2-0 defeat at Lancaster City in the FA Cup. After one additional appearance as a used substitute at home to Blyth Spartans, he was exiled to Colwyn Bay and later played for Macclesfield Town, Mossley and Runcorn FC Halton. Undoubtedly one of the slowest players I have ever had the misfortune to see wearing an Alty shirt, his ability to amass yellow cards during his days at WBA earned him the nickname “Jason Van Book”.

    Right: Jason van Blerk in his Alty days.


    Another Youth Team prospect who progressed to the Blues’ senior side, making 4 (+9 as sub) appearances between 1991 and 1993. In the wake of a three year tenure at Hull City, he made his Alty bow both as a trialist and a used substitute in a 3-1 reverse at Worksop Town on Saturday, 12th September 1998. After two starts on the right wing in the following month (including that abysmal FA Cup defeat at Ashton United) and a further appearance as a used substitute, he returned to Boothferry Park. He is presently engaged as the coach at Chorley FC, who are managed by his friend and fellow ex-City player, Garry Flitcroft.

  • 5. JOE FAGAN

    A solid and reliable centre half who was persuaded to join City from amateur side Earlestown Bohemians in October 1938, only for his career to be placed into abeyance by the onset of World War II. He eventually amassed 168 appearances for the Blues prior to assuming the role of player-manager at Nelson in 1951. During the 1954/55 Cheshire County League season, he registered a total of 30 appearances for Altrincham in all competitions and scored just the one goal. He enlisted as an assistant trainer at Liverpool FC in May 1958 and progressed to become a key figure in the Anfield club’s famous boot room hierarchy. As Liverpool manager from the Summer of 1983 until May 1985, he guided the club to its fourth European Cup success via a penalty shoot-out triumph over AS Roma on 30th May 1984. His son, Mike, scored seven goals in his 56 matches for the Robins during the 1984/85 and 1985/86 seasons.


    Mel Machin paid Ipswich Town £47,500 for the services of this midfielder in August 1988 and he accumulated 30 (+9 as sub) appearances and 11 goals for the Blues before being sold to Birmingham City for a fee of £175,000 in September 1989. Under the aegis of Alty boss Bernard Taylor, he was appointed alongside Brian Kilcline as one of the club’s two high profile player-coaches for the 1998/99 season. However, against a backdrop of the team’s woefully underachieving start to the campaign, he struggled to acclimatise to the culture shock of life in the Unibond League Premier Division. After only 3 (+3 as sub) appearances, he resigned his post on Friday, 11th September 1998. Nowadays, he can be found running Sports Studies courses at South Trafford College.

  • 7. MARK WARD

    The diminutive one-time Northwich Victoria midfielder joined Howard Kendall’s City squad from West Ham United for a fee of £1m in December 1989. 67 appearances and 16 goals later, and with Howard Kendall now restored as Everton‘s manager, he moved across to Goodison Park for £1.1m in August 1991. He arrived at Moss Lane via the Icelandic club Valur Reykjavik in October 1998 and proved to be the catalyst to Alty securing the Unibond League Premier Division title that season although, after 24 appearances, he departed in acrimonious circumstances in the aftermath of the FA Trophy loss at Boston United on 27th February 1999. In the summer of 2000, he was appointed as the Robins’ new player-manager but was sacked on 18th March 2001. In October 2005, he was imprisoned for eight years after admitting possessing cocaine with intent to supply but was released in May 2009, one of the many experiences recounted in his subsequent autobiography: From Right Wing To B-Wing.

    Right: Mark Ward tackles Dan Petrescu in a friendly with Bradford City at Moss Lane.


    Spotted playing locally for Heyes Albion and Old Altrinchamians, he made his Alty debut as a 20-year-old, coming on as a substitute ten minutes into the 3-0 Northern Premier League Cup Quarter-Final victory over Hyde United at Moss Lane on Friday, 17th October 1969. Noel White described his performance as: “The most promising debut by an unknown that I can recall in recent times.” After just three additional full appearances, Malcolm Allison swooped to capture him for City by virtue of a then record incoming transfer fee for the Robins of £3,000 in November 1969. His debut for the Blues transpired in a 1-1 Division One stalemate with Arsenal in front of 25,504 spectators at Maine Road on Wednesday, 18th February 1970 and he went on to clock up a tally of 37 (+11 as sub) appearances and score two goals for the club until his transfer to Aston Villa in August 1974. He returned to Moss Lane during the 1986/87 season and featured in Alty’s starting XI for the visit of Warrington Town in a Cheshire Senior Cup Second Round tie on Tuesday, 17th February 1987. Merely three further appearances as a used substitute ensued, including that 4-4 draw in the Cheshire Senior Cup Semi-Final Second Leg at Hyde United on Monday, 16th March 1987, in which he scored his only goal for the Robins. He is currently the Managing Director of Choice Events, a corporate hospitality firm based in Hale.


    Having been a member of Manchester United’s FA Youth Cup winning teams of 1955 and 1956 (in which he played alongside the likes of Duncan Edwards and Bobby Charlton), this left winger then signed amateur forms with Manchester City in 1956 and recorded five first team appearances and a solitary goal for the Blues between 1957 and 1959. Following periods with Port Vale; Grimsby Town; Halifax Town and Darlington, he enjoyed several successful seasons with Macclesfield Town and played in their 1970 FA Trophy Final triumph over Telford United at Wembley. At the advent of the 1971/72 season, he was part of the exodus from the Moss Rose to Moss Lane of such players as Dave Roberts, Merrick Corfield, Dick Young and Tony Broadhead under the managership of John Davis. After just a single season with the Robins, during which he accumulated 54 (+1 as sub) appearances and scored 13 goals, he returned to Macclesfield to captain the Silkmen. He reportedly emigrated to Italy in 1990.


    Fionan “Paddy” Fagan moved to Maine Road from Hull City on Christmas Eve 1953 for a fee of £15,000; played a reserve game on Christmas Day and then made his City first team debut in a 2-1 Division One home win against Sheffield United on Boxing Day. During his time with the Blues, he amassed 165 appearances and scored 35 goals. He was sold to Derby County for £8,000 in March 1960 and his career saw him awarded a total of eight Republic of Ireland Full International caps. The White & Swales revolution at Moss Lane was still in its infancy in July 1961 when Fagan was appointed as the club’s player-manager of a team containing ex-England Internationals Tommy Banks and Ernie Taylor. In April 1962, he opted to resign owing to increasing business commitments, having scored fifteen goals for the Robins. To this day (and possibly for eternity?), he remains the last Altrincham player to have scored a goal on Christmas Day (in a 1-1 draw at Winsford United on 25th December 1961).


    Struggling First Division City paid Fourth Division Crewe Alexandra £10,000 for this creative winger in May 1959 and he went on to score 12 goals in 65 first team appearances for the Blues. In February 1962, he was recruited by Wrexham, who were then managed by his former City team mate, Ken Barnes. The charismatic Freddie Pye then enticed him to Moss Lane for the commencement of the 1965/66 season and, during his two-year stint with the Robins, he became an integral member of a fondly-remembered team which won two consecutive Cheshire County League titles. After 77 appearances and 16 goals for Alty, he joined Rhyl in the close season of 1967. BARRY PIKESLEY


    At the weekend, Southport included several ex-Alty trialists in the shape of Adam Carden, Ben Wilkinson and Sam Hewson.
    17 July 2011


    Altrincham travel to Buxton on Tuesday night (7.45pm) for a pre-season friendly. For those travelling to the game, the ground is at The Silverlands, Buxton SK17 6QH. Buxton's players include a former Moss Lane favourite in Kieran Lugsden, who hit 22 goals last season in 50(+2) starts for the Derbyshire side last season. The sides have met on numerous occasions in the past. Shown right is the programme from the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round match at Silverlands on 16 September, 1972, (click on image to enlarge it). That match ended goalless but Alty won the replay 4-1 thanks to goals from Broadhead 2 (1 pen), Windsor and Owens. Alty reached the First Round Proper that season, going out narrowly to Notts County at Moss Lane (0-1).


    This site's report on Alty v Man City is here.

    Meanwhile, Manchester City report that "Andy Welsh paid tribute to his senior stars as City's youngsters opened their season by recovering from an early penalty to overcome Altrincham 2-1 at Moss Lane. Craig Bellamy, Nedum Onuoha and Michael Johnson were all in the starting line-up that shrugged off a second-minute spot kick to win with goals by Kieran Trippier and Joan Angel Roman.

    Left: Alty's Nicky Clee is tightly marked by City opponents.

    Coach Welsh said, 'The senior players were excellent. Craig and Nedum were first class, Michael's still a bit rusty but he worked hard up the right hand side in the first half. We decided to mix it up with senior professionals and some young boys - Devante Cole came on for Craig in the second half and he's 16. I was pleased with how it went. I was also pleased with the response to a sloppy penalty after one and a half minutes. We never stopped passing the ball, and I was delighted with the way the game went after that'.

    Skipper Trippier, who scored the winner just before half time, admitted, 'I hit it it well but I had to. Bellers was screaming at the other side, so I didn't dare miss or I'd have got a rollicking. I told him that after I'd scored, and he was laughing his head off. It was good to have him out there, not just for me but for the lads out of the Academy. He's been great with the youngsters'.

    Seniors Wayne Bridge and Jo, both named in Welsh's squad, missed out. He said, 'They trained double yesterday. They were a little bit stiff when they came in and we decided not to risk them'. Trippier aims to make an impact this season, 'My focus at the moment is on pre-season but, of course, I'd consider another loan spell. I want to play games, and last season I played 35 at Barnsley".

    The Manchester City Academy confirmed that the unnamed trialist on their team sheet was Francisco Santos Silva Júnior, a Benfica midfielder of Guiné-Bissau origin. It adds "City reserves and EDS squad returned to their first pre-season action with a game at Altrincham’s Moss Lane ground. The City squad included a few players that would normally just be involved with the first team and so expectation to see City dominate the game was raised. Goals from Joan Roman and captain Kieran Trippier sealed a win after City went a goal behind early on with a penalty from Damian Reeves.

    We had barely had chance to settle in our seats when Altrincham were given a chance to take the lead when a ball over the top down the left caught City’s defence a bit all over the place and Shaun Densmore was able to get a run on Courtney Meppen-Walter and his attempted challenge resulted in Densmore being brought to the ground. Although Ian Lawlor dived the right way he was unable to prevent Reeves from firing into the corner of the goal.

    Fortunately for City, ten minutes later, Meppen-Walter timed his challenge perfectly as he nipped the ball away from Reeves as he would have been clean through into the area. City were controlling possession quite well but Altrincham really had their tails up and Michael Twiss nearly curled a shot from the edge of the area into [?towards] the top corner of the goal in the twenty fifth minute.

    City’s trialist then made a very late lunge on Nicky Clee that caught him badly on his ankle that would have certainly been at least a yellow card had the game not been a friendly. City levelled with ten minutes of the first half remaining with some neat play down the right hand side that came to Craig Bellamy just outside the area and he worked his way past the defenders before slipping the ball into the feet of Joan Roman who fired his shot into the bottom left corner of the goal.

    As the first half was drawing to a close Abdul Razak played a cross field pass to Trippier in space and he pushed forward before seeing space from nearly thirty yards for him to strike a fine right footed effort that looped over the despairing dive of Josh Ollerenshaw and into the bottom corner of the goal.

    The second half saw City move the ball quicker and get forward with more purpose...

    Interesting observations from the game was Michael Johnson looked every bit the disappointing player that we saw last season. Nedum Onuoha was not the player that I enjoyed watching in his early years. Craig Bellamy was unable to use his good movement and positioning to deliver a final ball on many occasions. Sixteen year old Karim Rekik looks a real talent at centre half. Devante Cole looked really sharp up front and was helped by Jeremy Helan who looks to have continued from a good end to last season".


    In a friendly on Saturday, Alty old boy Dale Johnson scored as Droylsden came back from three-down to draw three each at Bradford Park Avenue.
    16 July 2011


    Following today's match with a Manchester City XI, Altrincham FC are pleased to announce the signing of centre-back Paul Jones (right), who was at Barrow last season. 33 year-old Paul's former clubs include Tranmere Rovers, Blackpool, Leigh RMI, Oldham Athletic, Hyde United and Droylsden.


    For the second successive Saturday Altrincham gave a good account of themselves against higher-status opposition with this 1-2 defeat to a City side, which included Craig Bellamy, Nedum Onuora and Michael Johnson... Match report here.

    Left: Alty finished the game with their side largely comprising trialists and Altrincham youth-team graduates. Here Jake Barnabas, James Smart, Astley Mulholland (who was prolific at Flixton last season) and Sam Langford make up the four-man wall against Manchester City.

    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white stripes, black shorts, red socks): 1. Josh OLLERENSHAW, 2. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 5. Adam FLYNN, 6. Paul JONES, 3. Mark LEES, 4. Chris LYNCH, 7. Shaun DENSMORE, 8. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS. Subs: 12. Ryan BROWN, 16. Kevin GALL, 18. Steve HALL, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Nick CHADWICK, 17. Astley MULHOLLAND, 19. Joe COOMBS, 20. Jake BARNABAS, 21. Steve DOWNES, 22. Sam LANGFORD, 23. James SMART

    MANCHESTER CITY : 1. Ian Lawlor, 2. Kieran Trippier, 5. Nedum Onuoha, 6. Karim Rekik, 3. Courtney Meppen Walter, 4. Trialist, 8. Adbul Razak, 7. Michael Johnson, 10. Gai Assulin, 20. Craig Bellamy, 11. Joan Angel Roman, Subs; 12. Ahmed Benali, 13.Ian Ormson, 14. Jeremy Helan, 17. Ellis Plummer, 15. Kieran Kennedy, 16. Paul Clowes, 18. Devante Cole, 9. Jordi Hilawola, 14. Jeremy Helan, Bradley Robinson, and Adam Drury


    Live matchday updates will appear on this website during the Altrincham v Manchester City XI game on Saturday afternoon.

    As previously announced Manchester City are bringing some well-known names to play Altrincham this afternoon... Full squad: Ian Lawlor, Ian Ormson, Kieran Trippier, Nedum Onuoha, Kasim Rekik, Courtney Meppen Walter, Francisco Santos, Silva Junior, Adbul Razak, Gai Assulin, Michael Johnson, Craig Bellamy, Joan Angel Roman, Jo, Wayne Bridge, Ahmed Benali, Ellis Plummer, Kieran Kennedy, Paul Clowes, Bradley Robinson, Devante Cole, Jordi Hilawola, Jeremy Helan and Adam Drury.

    As well as the big names, one Blues' player to watch is Paul Clowes, who reached City via soccer schools at Woodheys Primary School, Sale; Alty Juniors coaches Chris Bullock and Steve Pugh had significant hands in his early development.

    Meanwhile, Eurosport confirms that "Patrick Vieira has decided to hang up his boots in order to take a cushy upstairs role at Manchester City. Having recently turned 35, the Frenchman's 18-month contract at City had expired. Rather than try and negotiate one final pay day and continue to be trotted out from the bench for another season, the tough-tackling midfield general has instead called time on a glittering 18-year professional career...

    The man who made Vicks VapoRub an acceptable footballer's accessory may have played 727 games as a pro for six different clubs and his country, but he will always be inextricably linked with the Gunners... After working with him at Internazionale, Roberto Mancini made the canny move of bringing the man who helped him to four straight Scudettos at the Giuseppe Meazza. Vieira was enlisted to help instil a winning mentality into a club which had virtually forgotten what it felt like to lift silverware...

    Now he has been rewarded with the job of Football Development Executive at the club. ED thought the Director of Football Strategy role handed to Damien Comolli at Liverpool was the last word in pseudo-corporate job titles in the Premier League, but there you are.

    According to a City club statement, Vieira will help 'to deliver the club's social responsibility programme, both in the UK and abroad, as well as working closely with City's commercial partners'... Vieira 'will also take an active role in the development of youngsters at the Platt Lane complex, providing mentoring support as part of the academy's Multiskills Programme, which seeks to provide a well-rounded lifestyle education for the club's junior players'.

    It remains to be seen whether or not a man who was once handed a six-game ban for spitting at Neil Ruddock (who later said of the incident, 'Vieira missed but was near enough for me to smell the garlic on his breath') and was sent off a dozen times in his career is the right man to 'provide a well-rounded lifestyle education', but he has cooled his jets considerably in recent years".


    In Droylsden's 2-0 win against Irlam this week, the Bloods included several ex-Robins in Carlos Logan, Warren Peyton and Dale Johnson.


    Altrincham play Tranmere Rovers in a week's time. In a pre-season game this week the Birkenhead side drew with one of our rivals in BSB North, Colwyn Bay, 3-3.


    As it was last season, the emphasis is on former League clubs with Stockport County landing no fewer than four matches in the first 13 games in Premier TV's first schedules for 2011-12. "The opening televised fixture of the 2011/12 season will see Forest Green Rovers take on Blue Square Bet Premier newcomers Stockport County at the New Lawn in a Friday night kick-off on 12 August at 7.45pm. As previously reported by, Premier Sports are committing to a further season of Blue Square Premier action and will cover a minimum of 30 matches live.

  • Fri 19/08, 19:45, LINCOLN CITY v WREXHAM
  • Fri 26/08, 19:45, FLEETWOOD TOWN v YORK CITY
  • Fri 02/09, 19:45, STOCKPORT v LUTON TOWN
  • Sat 03/09, 19:45, BRAINTREE TOWN v LINCOLN CITY
  • Fri 14/10, 19:45, LINCOLN CITY v FLEETWOOD TOWN
  • Fri 21/10, 19:45, GRIMSBY TOWN v LUTON TOWN
  • Thurs 24/11, 19:45, KETTERING TOWN v GRIMSBY TOWN"


    NL Daily reports that "Liam Watson, manager of Southport, concluded the signing of left sided centre back Andy Owens after training on Thursday night. Owens signs from Accrington Stanley having had extensive experience at several clubs [including Altrincham]. Watson stated:, 'Andy can play at centre back and left back which gives me versatilty and competition in the squad'".

    From the Herts & Essex Observer we read that Bishop's Stortford boss Ian Walker "will cross swords with his former Bolton Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce when West Ham United visit Woodside Park in a friendly this Saturday. Allardyce signed Walker in 2005 from Leicester City... Walker made eight appearances for the Trotters in the Premiership across four seasons. He left in 2009 when he hung up his gloves and started coaching in the USA...

    Stortford have enjoyed a warm relationship with the Hammers who have been staging their reserve team matches at Woodside Park for the last three years. Stortford expect to play several new faces... But one player who will not be playing for Blues is club skipper Ben Bowditch. The midfielder has joined Conference South club Thurrock... He joins left-back Aiden Palmer and goalkeeper Ross Kitteridge out of the exit door at Stortford.

    One plus for Stortford is the news that keeper Nicky Eyre has agreed to come back to the club after quitting Chelmsford City last week... for a fourth spell... Midfielder Reece Prestedge and winger Mitch Hahn are also committed to staying at the club".

    The Eastwood Advertiser says that "Eastwood Town got their pre-season campaign underway on Tuesday night with joint boss Jamie Brough largely happy with what he saw. The 3-3 draw with Buxton saw 19 players used in total, with a mix of new signings and trialists making appearances...

    He said, 'Obviously it’s not about results at this stage but the players were actually quite disappointed we didn’t win, which in some ways bodes well for the future in terms of desire and competitiveness'... Those games will be at Grantham on Saturday and a home clash with Wrexham next Wednesday...

    Brough expects a similar Badgers squad to be available to that of the Buxton game, including ex-Tamworth striker Jervais Christie who scored twice at Silverlands on Tuesday, the other goal coming from new signing Michael Bradley. 'We’re having a good look at players like, among others, Jervais and Kevin Sandwith, who was at Mansfield last season, but I don’t expect many more trialists even though we’re receiving phone calls every day', added Brough.

    Meanwhile, a club statement issued this week outlined the structure of Eastwood Town’s new board. Chief executive Neil Vanderwalt has a wealth of senior management in the sports sector, while Clare Hanson comes in as commercial and facility director having spent the last 14 years working for companies such as Sports Leisure Management and David Lloyd. Joint managers Brough and Craig Armstrong will also take on roles as football directors, while Stephen Thornton becomes youth development director and stadium manager. All appointments, including those of Brough and Armstrong, are on a voluntary basis.

    Brough said: 'Craig picks up a wage only as a player but other than that we’re all currently working for free in an attempt get things going and we all need to work together to achieve that. We’re also aware of plans for a supporters trust and are very keen for that to happen, as we want to work closely with the fans and get people involved, which we feel hasn’t happened too much over the last few years. We also want to elect a member of the trust onto the board as a direct link between the fans and the club'".

    According to This Is Glos "Pre-season preparations will gather pace for Gloucester City tomorrow with boss Dave Mehew expecting a tough test at Oxford City, writes James Young. The Tigers opened their campaign with a 0-0 cobweb-shaker at Longwell Green Sports...

    Mehew was able to judge that youngsters Will Loughman and Dean Lee were works in progress and winger Matt Barnes was worth persevering with... Mehew was also pleased to see long-term injury absentee Tom Hamblin make his return to competitive action. Jack Harris is a little further away from a return, with the Bristol Rovers game at the end of the month his target after his horrific broken leg.

    The news on new signing Matt Lock is less favourable, the former Chelmsford man is still recovering from a broken metatarsal... Mehew said 'Matt could be back for the start of the season, but with four games so quickly after that he won't play in them all. I have some options of going into the loan market and I feel confident that we will be able to cover for a right midfielder or left back if need be'">

    At Boston United, "Strikers Julian Joachim and Mickey Stones and defender Liam Parker have become the latest players to put pen-to-paper on first team deals... Joachim (36) has completed a return to United — having left the club in August 2006 in a £100,000 move to Darlington. The former Aston Villa frontman has since played for King’s Lynn, Quorn, Hinckley United and Holbeach United...

    Stones (26) ended last season as the reserves’ top goalscorer with 27 strikes... Stones had previously spent a brief spell at the club in 2007 under Tommy Taylor’s management, but left without making a senior appearance... Parker (25) will begin his second spell with the Pilgrims — having been the club’s longest-serving player prior to his departure in September 2010 due to injury problems.

    The Skegness-based defender, who is now fully-fit after back problems, made 68 appearances in his first spell with the Pilgrims and has returned following a brief stint with Stamford at the end of last season".

    SQUAD LIST (to date)

  • GOALKEEPERS: Paul Bastock
  • DEFENDERS: Kevin Austin, Lee Canoville, Jordan Fairclough, Gareth Jelleyman, Liam Parker, Tom Ward
  • MIDFIELDERS: Chris Hall, Kevin Holsgrove, Ryan Semple, Danny Sleath
  • STRIKERS: Julian Joachim, Marc Newsham, Mickey Stones, Mikel Suarez

    According to Blue Square North, "Histon manager David Livermore's plans to bring in some new faces have been restricted after the proposed sale of goalkeeper David Knight fell through. Knight's expected transfer to Barrow was intended to provide Livermore with the funds necessary to strengthen the squad, but the move failed to materialise, along with the finances.

    'David will not be going to Barrow', Livermore told Cambridge News. 'So it's back to the drawing board. There aren't any other clubs interested at present, but his agent is looking around for him. It's a shame, because having that money back in the budget would really help us. Without it, it's going to be a bit difficult'.

    However, the Bridge Road boss, whose side take on Bedford Town in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, revealed that one of the eight players still on trial at the club, a promising striker, has been offered a deal and is considering his options".

    Workington AFC "start their pre-season campaign with a trip to Whitehaven AFC to compete in the four-team Shaun Hocking memorial tournament. The Reds will feature a full squad, including trialists, apart form striker Gareth Arnison who is away on holiday and long term injured Gari Rowntree. The game will give an opportunity for the Reds manager Darren Edmondson to evaluate the much travelled and vastly experienced David McNiven. McNiven, age 33, started his career at Oldham Athletic and has played for around 15 teams in England, Scotland and also in Sweden. Latterly he has played in the Blue Square Bet North for Stafford Rangers, Hyde FC and Droylsden".

    Hyde say that "To assist the first team development, Hyde FC have decided to launch a development squad for season 2011/12. The team will play several friendlies over the course of the season, and will be made up primarily of trialists applying to the club. The first 5 development squad friendlies have been organised as part of Hyde FC's pre-season programme. All fans are welcome to attend the games".

    15 July 2011


    Altrincham FC joint Press Officer, John Edwards, writes, "Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bridge will join the all-star cast of pre-season visitors to Moss Lane when they step out for Manchester City in Altrincham's latest high-profile friendly tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon. Alty launched their pre-season programme last Saturday against a Burnley side containing former Manchester United first-teamer Chris Eagles, Scotland striker Chris Iwelumo and two Northern Ireland internationals, in Martin Paterson and Michael Duff.

    It attracted a bumper 1,253 gate and was hailed by recently-appointed manager Lee Sinnott as the perfect start to his Alty reign.

    If anything, Sinnott's second game in charge promises to be even more memorable, after it was confirmed that fiery Wales frontrunner Bellamy and England left-back Bridge will be among a 23-strong City squad for the eagerly-awaited 3pm kick-off. Bellamy, a £14 million buy from West Ham in January, 2009, and Bridge, bought from Chelsea for £10million in the same month, were left behind, along with Emmanuel Adebayor and Shay Given, when City's senior squad left for a tour of America last weekend.

    Adebayor, who is currently on unauthorised leave in Ghana, and Given, who is expected to sign for Aston Villa in the next few days, will not be involved at Moss Lane. But, while Adebayor evidently took exception to being instructed to train with the Elite Development Squad and failed to turn up, Bellamy and Bridge have both knuckled down and been model professionals all week.

    City's coaching staff had no hesitation in naming them for Moss Lane, in a move that is sure to send a buzz of anticipation through the ranks of Altrincham supporters, as well as increase the likelihood of a sizeable away following. Brazilian striker Jo, former Sunderland loanee Nedum Onuoha and fit-again ex-England under-21 midfielder Michael Johnson are the other notable names in Andy Welsh's 23-man squad for a glamour fixture that offers admission of just £7 for adults and £2 for concessions.

    This is confirmed by Manchester City themselves who have announced that "Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bridge are the star names in the squad to face Altrincham in the friendly at Moss Lane tomorrow. Wales striker Bellamy and England left-back Bridge have been training all week with the Elite Development Squad with Roberto Mancini's squad on tour in North America. Bellamy spent last season on loan at Cardiff while Bridge battled relegation at West Ham, and the international duo's presence is sure to raise the interest level at the Blue Square North club. Brazilian Jo, Nedum Onuoha - back from loan at Sunderland - and fit-again Michael Johnson also figure in Andy Welsh's 23-strong City squad for the 3pm kick-off (Admission £7, concessions £2).

    Full squad: Ian Lawlor, Ian Ormson, Kieran Trippier, Nedum Onuoha, Kasim Rekik, Courtney Meppen Walter, Francisco Santos, Silva Junior, Adbul Razak, Gai Assulin, Michael Johnson, Craig Bellamy, Joan Angel Roman, Jo, Wayne Bridge, Ahmed Benali, Ellis Plummer, Kieran Kennedy, Paul Clowes, Bradley Robinson, Devante Cole, Jordi Hilawola, Jeremy Helan and Adam Drury."

    Matchday updates will appear on this website tomorrow afternoon.


    John Edwards, Altrincham FC joint Press Officer, writes: "Lee Sinnott will give a lengthy list of Altrincham trialists at least one more opportunity to secure a future at Moss Lane, following a highly-entertaining first pre-season friendly against a strong Burnley side last Saturday.

    Several hopefuls showed up well, not least Nick Chadwick, as Alty bounced back from 3-0 half-time arrears with a brace of headers from the former Everton striker before conceding a fourth to Scotland striker Chris Iwelumo.

    With a bumper crowd of 1,253 savouring the sunshine, and some enterprising play from both sides, and new signings Simon Richman and Brian Summerskill making a favourable early impression, Sinnott was understandably encouraged.

    ‘No one likes to lose any game, but when you consider the strength of the team Eddie Howe brought over, you’ve got to be reasonably pleased,’ said Alty’s new boss. ‘It was a chance to observe players, and see what they are capable of in a match situation, and quite a few questions were answered.

    ‘It is an ongoing process, though. Some of the lads only had 45 minutes, or less, so we’ll have another look at them against Manchester City on Saturday. It’s possible decisions will be made after that. We’ll see.

    ‘Certainly, Nick took his goals very well, and he was particularly brave for the first. With the keeper coming out like that, he could have had his head punched off, but it didn’t deter him. He stuck his head in and had only one thought, and I liked that.

    ‘There was a good feel about the place, and it was an entertaining game, played in a good atmosphere. We started the second half in great style and made it more competitive. That’s what I want to see more of.

    ‘I thought Brian and Anthony Danylyk (right) both did well as half-time substitutes, and Simon grew into the game as it wore on. There were plenty of positive signs.’

    Striker Michael Twiss missed the game, due to family reasons, but trained this week and will be involved against City, at Moss Lane on Saturday (3pm)".


    News of our first league opponents comes from Harrogate Town, who report that "There were some very encouraging signs for Harrogate Town on Wednesday evening as they ran out 3-1 winners against Gateshead... Only a couple minutes had been played when Paul Brayson was brought to ground in the area and he picked himself up to score the resulting penalty kick. Dan Hall equalised for the visitors on 29 minutes, but Town re-established their advantage when Stephen Turnbull found the net before half-time. Lawrie Wilson completed the scoring with the only goal of the second half.

    Next up for Town is the visit of a Middlesbrough XI to the CNG Stadium on Wednesday 20 July (7.00pm), but on this Saturday there is also an opportunity for all fans to attend an open training session at Wetherby Road from 12 noon. Harrogate Town: Mark Cook, Greg Wright, Paul Heckingbottom, Adam Nowakowski, Danny Stimpson, Jake Picton, Lawrie Wilson, Michael Tait, Paul Brayson, Ian Ross, Stephen Turnbull. Subs: Steven Gardner, Lee Elam, Jonny Allan, Danny Wright, Andrew Milne, Caldon Henson, Greg McGrory, Chris Elliott".

    Note the presence of Alty old boys Lee Elam and Andrew Milne in the subs' line-up.

    The Gainsborough Standard says that "Reports linking Brian Little to the vacant Macedonia job have come as a surprise to the former Aston Villa boss. The Gainsborough Trinity manager told the Standard, 'I don’t know where this story has come from. Over the years I’ve made a lot of contacts over there, and signed a couple of Yugoslavian players'...

    Little is on the verge of his third season in charge on the Northolme. After two disappointing campaigns he has put together a new-look squad for the 2011/12 Blue Square Bet North season, with an emphasis on younger players".

    The Manchester Evening News reports that "An FC United player punched his girlfriend in the face and smothered her cries with a duvet after being sent off in a crucial FA Cup tie. Scott McManus, 22, left his terrified 20-year-old partner fearing for her life during the vicious attack, a court heard. He had been on a boozy night out after his dismissal in FC United’s second round clash with Brighton. McManus, of Woodward Road, Prestwich, felt he had cost his side victory in the 1-1 draw after being shown a red card for violent conduct, magistrates in Salford heard...

    McManus pleaded guilty to common assault and was handed a 16-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years, a five-year restraining order, a two-year supervision order... McManus has since signed for FC Halifax Town."

    Welsh Premier says that "Colwyn Bay still want to play in the Welsh Cup next season after missing out on the FAW's invitation to the six exiles. The failure to join Wrexham, Newport County and Merthyr Town in the competition was due to an administration error following the sudden and unexpected departure of directors Geoff, Darren and Martin Cartwright from Llanelian Road.

    Manager Dave Challinor is disappointed and says, 'We have lodged an appeal to try and get ourselves included in the Welsh Cup but I am not sure what our chances are after missing the registration deadline due to the club’s administration upheaval. 'From what I understand, we did not receive any official notification from the FA of Wales'".

    14 July 2011


    The Sale & Altrincham Advertiser reports that "Altrincham boss Lee Sinnott lauded the loss to Championship side Burnley as the ‘perfect’ start to his side’s pre-season preparations. The pre-season opener saw more than 1,200 fans pack into Moss Lane, bringing a boost to the club’s coffers which it is thought will come close to covering the entire pre-season budget [for all of the friendly games].

    With a week to recuperate before facing a Manchester City XI on Saturday, Sinnott is now keen to get back onto the training ground with the experience of his first 90 minutes as Alty behind him. He said, 'It was the perfect game for us to start with really. Everything we do in pre-season is working towards August 13 and we’ve seen many areas to be worked on but also some real reasons for encouragement. With them playing all their best players, Burnley will probably be our toughest test during pre-season and to have those questions asked of you early on is ideal as it means you have time to work on them on the training ground.

    Left: Nick Chadwick, with Shaun Densmore, against Burnley.

    'We’ve had four training sessions so far and even with so many new faces in the squad, things have gone very well so far, but there are certain things you will only find out on matchdays. Nobody likes to lose but it was a very worthwhile exercise'.

    Two goals from trialist Nick Chadwick hauled Alty back into the game after trailing 3-0 at half-time. The former Everton striker was released by Barrow at the end of last season despite hitting 11 goals for the Blue Square Bet Premier strugglers last season. Sinnott was impressed by the 28-year-old striker’s performance, but having already made five signings since stepping into the Moss Lane hotseat in May, Sinnott is not expecting to do tie down any more players before the weekend.

    He said, 'We’re taking a look at Nick during pre-season and he’s certainly made a very positive start. He lead the line well and looked bright in the first-half and importantly took his chances when they came. He was very brave for the first goal in particular to put his head in there and get to the ball first. We’ve got nothing definite lined up in the transfer market and I wouldn’t have thought we’ll be adding any further to the squad ahead of Manchester City but you never know – things can move very fast in football'".


    Australian 442 tells us that "Matt Crowell (ex CCM) [is] joining Lawrie McKinna's Aussie backpacker gang at Chengdu Blades in the CSL". Chengdu Blades F.C. are actually Chengdu Sheffield United F.C., who are based in Chengdu, China and, according to Wikipedia, play in a 42,000 seater stadium in the Chinese Super league. Sheffield United took them over in 2005.

    Pitchero Non-League bring us news of an ex-Alty man, "Former Caernarfon Town, Connah's Quay Nomads and Welshpool Town midfielder Peter Doran has returned to the Principality Welsh Premier as the latest signing for Bala Town. A Liverpudlian and the twin brother of ex-Caernarfon and Nomads' defender Phil, Doran arrived at The Oval in January 2008 from Leigh RMI after previous experience at Walsall and Worcester City. He transferred to Gap Connah's Quay in August 2008 after starting the season with the Canaries but, after a season on Deeside he joined Welshpool in July 2009.

    After scoring ten goals from fifty-six league appearances he moved to Altrincham in January 2010 and, despite being sent-off in his second game for the Robins, made seventeen Blue Square Bet Premier appearances. Offered terms for last season, he declined and, despite being linked with a move to Fleetwood Town, had a spell in Australia".

    Wes Baynes scored for Chester v Wrexham on Tuesday night.


    According to Blue Square North "Cambridge United and Histon will both play host to several international matches next month. England Under-17s have recently returned form the World Cup in Mexico, where they reached the quarter-finals, and are currently preparing for a four-team international tournament involving Italy, Portugal and the Czech Republic.

    The North Wales Weekly News tells us that "Dave Challinor is set to complete the signings of two new players after Colwyn Bay twice came from behind to earn a 3-3 draw at Gap Connah's Quay (July 12). Centre back Rod McDonald, who was with Oldham Athletic last season before going out on loan to Nantwich Town, and wideman Sean Doherty, who was with Marine last season... both agreed deals after the game and their signings are expected to go through later this week...

    The manager rested the majority of his senior players ahead of Friday night's game against Tranmere Rovers (Luke Denson, Danny Meadowcroft, Fraser McLaughlan, Damien Allen, Jon Newby and Karl Noon did not take part)... Mike Lea, Joe McMahon, Danny Grannon and Anthony Sheehan were the only regular first choice players on the field and Challinor said it had been 'a wasted 45 minutes' for some of the five...

    'There are only one or two places up for grabs in the squad and the lads on trial do not have many opportunities to show what they can do. From that point of view it was a wasted 45 minutes', said the manager". One of those involved was former Alty man Tom Mc|Cready, whilst another was playing for the oposition, as "Connah's Quay player-manager Mark MacGregor was unlucky when his header from a McIntosh cross hit the underside of the bar and stayed out".

    As usual, 200% has some provocative analysis of the non-League scene in its latest piece. "It’s starting to become known as The Vaughan Effect, and it’s a very modern phenomenon. Whenever any mention is made of the slightest possibility the involvement of either of the Stephen Vaughans getting involved in a football club, there is a reflex reaction from the supporters of the club concerned and from various social media outlets, and this time the club with which this most dread of names has been associated with is Stockport County...

    The involvement with the club of twenty-seven year-old Tony Evans, who describes himself as a “friend” of Vaughan, may well have raised eyebrows amongst the supporters – or former supporters – of Barrow, Chester City and Widnes Rugby Football League Club, all three of which club suffered insolvency events under Vaughan’s ownership... Vaughan is currently serving at Her Majesty’s Pleasure over an assault on a police officer, and is also disqualified from acting as a company director over his involvement in carousel fraud during his time at Widnes...

    At Chester, Vaughan handed over the directorship to his son as early as April 2009 (several months before the club collapsed into administration)... This year, he was strongly rumoured to be interested in investing in Wrexham FC, before the deal to buy the club...foundered just days after it was announced...

    Yet Vaughan isn’t really the issue at hand here. There is nothing to suggest that he is to invest in Stockport County at the moment. What we should perhaps be most interested in in the involvement of Tony Evans with the club, and a most peculiar statement that he made on the subject of Vaughan. 'I know Stephen well. He is a good guy. Everyone needs a scapegoat to blame in football. He was that scapegoat at Chester rightly or wrongly', Evans has said, 'He invested millions in that football club. He’s got my number. If he wants to ring me and get involved I would definitely listen to him but at this moment in time he is not involved in this consortium'...

    At the end of last year, three of his [Evans's] own companies –, Accident Assistance and Clear Bike Insurance – entered into administration... In the meantime, Stockport County have become suddenly financially flush through the sale of Anthony Pilkington from Norwich City to Huddersfield Town for £2m, which will earn the club a 20% sell-on clause... Bids... believed to total more than £250,000 have set hearts a-flutter amongst the club’s support. Cynics might see a parallel between this sort of largesse and what happened when Vaughan took over at both Barrow and Chester (both clubs had serious money spent on their teams when he arrived) but, for now, there remains nothing concrete to indicate that he is putting money into the club. Intriguingly, though, at the time of writing Stockport have a pre-season friendly lined up against Chester FC and some Chester supporters are now wondering aloud whether this match should go ahead...

    Stockport County, then, might be next season’s Crawley Town, or they could conceivably be next season’s Notts County or, in a worst case scenario, Chester City".

    13 July 2011


    The Huddersfield Daily Examiner is the location for news that "Lee Sinnott is looking forward to the challenge of breathing new life into one of non-League football’s most famous names. The 45-year-old former Huddersfield Town skipper took over as Altrincham manager in the wake of the Cheshire club’s relegation from the Blue Square Premier in May.

    He will be aiming to repeat the success he enjoyed in his first job at Farsley, who won three promotions under his guidance. A shot at Football League management with Port Vale proved less successful but Sinnott, who then bossed Bradford Park Avenue, is confident about his latest mission. He has remodelled a Moss Lane squad which includes Huddersfield-based winger Nicky Clee and said, 'I wanted to get our business done early. 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.

    Right: Kevin Gall and Brian Summerskill were two new faces in action for Alty last Saturday. Kevin is an ex-Wrexham forward who is a trialist, whilst midfielder Brian has joined Alty from Northwich Vics.

    'We’ll be looking at the youth team as well and that’s important. There were a couple of the younger lads involved at the end of last season and it’s vital to keep giving them chances. 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'.

    Sinnott, whose side gave Burnley a test before going down 4-2 at Moss Lane on Saturday, has fixed up a string of testing friendlies for a club whose noted FA Cup runs have included a couple of clashes with Town (in 1982-83 and 1990-91). Manchester City’s second string and Town’s League I rivals Tranmere are among their opponents and Sinnott added, 'We’re looking forward to the matches. 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 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 that challenge'".


    Altrincham FC's Saturday Yankee jackpot now stands at £1,500; two winning Trebles last week netted their holders £100 each. The winning code was 1082.


    The latest TASC Committee minutes are now on the website, outlining the activities and plans of Altrincham's Supporters' Club.


    Boston United "have completed another swoop in the transfer market by adding former Altrincham and Hyde FC attacker Kevin Holsgrove to their squad. The 23-year-old — who excelled against the Pilgrims for Hyde in April — has agreed to become the club’s sixth signing of the summer.

    Holsgrove scored seven goals in 21 appearances for Hyde last season and has also represented Colwyn Bay and NEWI Cefn Druids during his career — after starting out as a trainee at Everton. Reflecting on the club’s latest signing, first team manager Lee Canoville told, 'Kevin is somebody who really impressed us last season. We have worked hard to secure his signature and it is a real boost to get him onboard at the start of the pre-season action'.

    The arrival of the highly-rated Holsgrove adds to the summer captures of Jordan Fairclough, Chris Hall and Mikel Suarez, plus the permanent acquisition of Kevin Austin and the signing of reserve teamer Tom Ward".

    News of some former Moss Laners comes from NL Daily as "Danny Johnson, manager of Ashton United, has declared himself extremely happy after his squad completed their fourth pre-season training session on Saturday morning. The gaffer said that he intends to announce his new signings along with his choice for captain prior to the first pre-season friendly against Mossley a week today.

    Johnson explained: 'I will be announcing my new signings and my new club captain in the very near future. I am very happy with the players I have brought in... It was a major blow losing Craig Robinson however, both Luca Havern and Ryan Crowther didn’t figure all that much last season, mainly due to injuries. Both are excellent players and I expect them to do really well at their new club. Jimmy Kelly has decided to move onto pastures new and after a conversation I had with Scott Metcalfe it was clear to see Scott wanted to give it a go in front of the thousands FC United have following them...

    He added, 'From last season’s squad Terry Smith, Alex Frost, Danny Caldecott, Lee Jackson, Josh Rose, Stephen Rose, Ian Bennett, Matty O’Neill, Jon Bathurst, Aaron Burns, Sam Madeley and Liam Dawson have all re-signed for the season therefore, we have plenty of continuity within the squad. Ged Murphy will be training with us again on Tuesday following his summer holiday and I see no reason why Ged won’t commit to the club for the new season either'".

    Meanwhile, "Greg Clowes, manager of Stafford Rangers, has confirmed that Kevin Street has agreed terms... It was announced last week that Street has been training with the side".


    There is bad news from a club whom we met in the Cheshire Senior Cup last season as, according to Pitchero Non-League, "Alsager Town are saddened to have to report that most of their club house, office and.part of the newly refurbished away team changing rooms were ravaged by fire late on Monday night (11th July)....

    Following a detailed search of the building no certain cause could be given, neither electrical fault nor arson could be ruled out. The building has been cordoned off due to asbestos worries".


    The BBC says that "Emeka Nwadike has rejoined Worcester City. The 32-year-old midfielder left St. George's Lane for Telford in March 2008, having started 37 games. Nwadike played for Shrewsbury, Grantham, Kings Lynn, Ilkeston, Hednesford and Alfreton before joining Worcester in 2007. After making 20 appearances for the Bucks, he joined Hinckley and then Eastwood Town, playing against City in a 1-1 draw last April".

    "After a playing career spanning four decades, Dave Mehew, manager of Gloucester City, has hung up his boots – and this time it's for good" reports Pitchero Non-League. "Mehew was a regular name on the substitutes` bench last term as an inexperienced and injury-ravaged City squad battled away in the Conference North. But as he approaches his 44th birthday in October and with a host of young development squad hopefuls pushing for a place in the Tigers squad, Mehew has called it quits...

    'It has got to the stage where I can't go on anymore', Mehew said. 'We are a Conference club now and to have the manager on the substitutes' bench is just plain stupid... I won't be needed any more'...

    City open their pre-season campaign in Bristol at Longwell Green Sports, with Mehew keen to see as many of his new faces in action as possible. 'There have been some really bright performances by some of the trialists and development squad lads in training', Mehew said. 'Kids like George Lloyd, Andy Varnham and Scott Claridge have all impressed and it will be interesting'...

    With his entire squad, aside from striker Will Morford, who is travelling in Australia, back in training, Mehew said he could afford to be careful in welcoming back two players from long-term injury. Defender Jack Harris has trained after recovering from his broken leg, sustained in City's first home game last term, but will be eased back into match action. The same goes for centre back Tom Hamblin, who missed the final two months of last season after undergoing surgery on a long-standing pelvic problem".

    12 July 2011


    Alty supporter Gary Warrington, the long-time administrator of the Alty Fans' Forum, informs us of a generous gesture for the Mark Maddox Testimonial when Alty entertain Tranmere Rovers on 23 July at Moss Lane (3pm).

    Gary writes, "As part of the Mark Maddox Testimonial I am putting up one of my signed and framed Altrincham shirts up for auction.

    It has been agreed with Brian Flynn and Grahame Rowley that this should be done via the internet and the winning bidder will be presented with the framed shirt after the match v Tranmere on 23 July 2011, the day of the testimonial.

    All money from the auction will be going towards the testimonial and that's why it been decided to do this via the forum / official site and not Ebay or other auction sites.

    Please visit the Fans' Forum with your bids. Bidding will end on Friday 22nd July 2011 @ 5pm

    If you have any questions or queries please email me.

    ** HAPPY BIDDING ** REMEMBER ALL MONEY WILL BE GOING TO MARK AND HIS FAMILY ** Please only post a bid if you are serious about your bid".


    Saturday's TASC bucket collection raised £35.52. The Club would like to thank both collectors and donors alike.


    In Saturday's matchday programme was Brian Flynn's latest "Flynnzine"...

    "Love is in the Air”... & hope & expectation!

    Just seventy one days after the traumatic events of the final game of last season against Eastbourne Borough, we are back at Moss Lane for the start of our pre-season schedule. For a club that had never been relegated until 1997, we seem to have been fighting to avoid the trap door on a regular basis ever since, yet the manner of the defeat, and consequent relegation, against Eastbourne on the final day of April, will certainly haunt many Alty fans for a long time to come.

    Our six-season stay in the Blue Square Bet Premier is now over and we have to prepare for life in Blue Square Bet North, yet the Moss Lane mood is generally very optimistic about the season ahead. The appointment of Lee Sinnott as manager has been met with the approval of the majority of Alty fans and it will be an interesting blend of last year’s players and new arrivals that take to the field this afternoon against Burnley. I can’t remember when an opening pre-season game had such a high level of anticipation and expectation or, indeed, when the last time was, that a team as high in the football pecking order as Burnley, brought its first team squad to Moss Lane.

    The fact that the Clarets are here this afternoon is due to the fact that their traditional opening friendly against Accrington Stanley, is not taking place due to the problems with the pitch at The Crown Ground; it looked like a fascinating combination of grass, sand and tarmac during their second leg play-off semi-final with Stevenage. The recently appointed Burnley manager, Eddie Howe, has visited Moss Lane on a few occasions to watch Manchester United reserves and we are all delighted that he sees our pitch as a suitable place for his team to kick off their 2011/12 journey, with their objective being to regain their Premier League place by next May.

    The clubs have met before, in an FA Cup 3rd Round tie in 1982. No doubt there will be plenty of information about this game elsewhere in today’s programme but it is probably a little-known fact that our Chairman and his good lady wife had been courting for just a few short weeks when the game took place in mid-January. There is little doubt that seduction techniques have come a long way in the last three decades but, in 1982, Turf Moor was about as romantic as you could get. Karen was from Burnley and a fan, therefore was probably the only person wearing a claret and blue scarf that evening in the Alty fans' section of the ground. I’m sure that the future Mrs. Rowley had no comprehension, that evening, just what a major part Altrincham Football Club was going to play in her life - neither did Grahame for that matter!

    In another part of the same stand that evening things were not going that well for me! I drove to the game with the future Mrs. Flynn, my Dad, my brother and lifelong friend, Andy Buckley. I can’t remember why we were late but we parked up in the vicinity of Turf Moor, around the time the teams were due to be coming out of the tunnel. I hate being late for matches now but, in those days, it just wasn’t done!! As soon as we got out of the car, all that was on my mind was 'I need to get in for the start'... promptly did one and left my four passengers stranded! I didn’t see them again until we met up at the car following the game - no mobile phones of course - and, as you can imagine, I was in dangerous territory for the rest of the evening!!

    Funnily enough, almost three decades on, Mrs. Flynn still mentions this event every now and again. Hopefully, not today though - it’s our 23rd wedding anniversary!!!!"


    Kendal Town have apparently signed former Alty defender Marc Joseph, where he joins Craig Dootson who was with him at Moss Lane last season.


    Barry Pikesley recalled the only previous meeting between Altrincham and Burnley in 1982 in last Saturday's "Robins' Review"...

    Barry writes, "Over 29 years have elapsed since the only previous meeting between Alty and Burnley occurred in a delayed FA Cup Third Round tie staged at a rainswept Turf Moor on the evening of Monday, 18th January 1982. In truth, that crushing 6-1 defeat is probably one that the majority of those of an Altrincham FC persuasion would be quite content to forget. Therefore, please allow me to apologise in advance if, indeed, this article serves to trigger any dormant post-traumatic stress disorder amongst my fellow Robins devotees of a certain vintage..."

    The full article is here.


    Blyth Spartans say that their club "are expected to be part of a permanent exhibition in the FA Cup section at the National Football Museum. The Supporters' Club were contacted by NFM ‘collector’ Peter Holme whose job it is to collect items to go on display with particular focus on the FA Cup.

    Spartans were chosen as they had recent giant killing experiences and Peter is currently bringing the displays up to date. Peter told the Supporters' Club, ‘It’s the fact that Spartans are famous for their giant killing and the fact that the name and club crest is unique in football in this country that makes the club interesting’...

    The NFM is currently in the process of moving from its original home of Deepdale the home of Preston North End where football archives are still to be stored, to a new home in the Urbis Building in central Manchester which will be opened early in 2012. Peter says entry to the museum will continue to be free although there may be some charge for some interactive exhibits. For further information you can visit

    Obviously it is great news that Spartans Cup exploits will get to be shown to visitors who love the beautiful game from all over the world."

    It is to be hoped that the Museum will also contact Altrincham, as the current non-League club with the most number of wins over League clubs in the FA Cup, the only non-League club to reach the Third Round in four successive seasons and, also, as the last non-League team to defeat an English top-division club on its own ground in the FA Cup - the win at St Andrew's over Birmingham City, (David Seaman and all), 25 years ago.

    Football Buster reports on our first league opponents this season as "Harrogate Town have welcomed goalkeeper Chris Elliott back to the CNG Stadium. Elliott, 18, enjoyed a loan spell at Harrogate Town last season which included a "Man of the Match" performance on his debut against Guiseley. Born in Newcastle, Elliott started his career with Bradford City and signed his first professional contract in the summer of 2010. He has also had a three month loan spell at neighbours Harrogate Railway Athletic early last season. Released by Bradford City at the end of the last campaign, manager Simon Weaver has wasted little time in persuading the talented shot-stopper back to Harrogate Town."

    More on Harrogate comes from the Yorkshire Evening Post which tells us that "Town boss Simon Weaver was satisfied, despite a 2-1 reverse at Tadcaster Albion in his team’s opening pre-season encounter, writes James Grayson. Terry Taylor’s second-half long range effort gave Tadcaster – who had played on Friday night when they were trounced 5-0 by York City – the win over Town...

    Weaver was unconcerned by the loss... 'It’s important to get the minutes under our belts and this game has come a few days too early for us because we have only had three training sessions', he said. 'We looked a bit leggy, but that will come right with all the games that we have got planned. Some people have only just got back from holiday like Adam Nowakowski and Paul Brayson [who has been playing for Bedlington Terriers in the USA]. Everyone looked physically able and we looked a leaner bunch than last year, so we have a lot to look forward to. Paul Brayson looked dangerous and scored straightaway and he is going to get some goals for us'.

    Harrogate are back in action on Wednesday when they host Gateshead...

    Elsewhere, Neil Aspin saw his FC Halifax Town begin their pre-season campaign in splendid fashion with a 5-1 thrashing of Mossley. Jamie Vardy and Lee Gregory both grabbed two a-piece, while Danny Lowe also wrote his name onto the scoresheet...

    Meanwhile, Guiseley have sealed a double swoop by completing the capture of Northern Irish midfielder Ciaran Toner and defender Jamie Clarke. Toner... is also a full Northern Ireland international, having played twice for his national team. He joins Guiseley from Harrogate Town, where he made 32 appearances last season. Clarke is versatile defender who can also be deployed in midfield and has joined the Lions from Gainsborough Trinity".

    We learn from Blue Square North that "Nuneaton Town have been dealt a blow with defender Graham Ward set to face a lengthy spell on the sidelines. The summer signing will undergo a minor knee operation this week and his recovery is expected to take between six to eight weeks. A statement on the club's official website read... 'Both the Club and Pplayer believe that operating now on the problem may see him out of action for six to eight weeks but should cure the problem. Meanwhile, Justin Marsden is continuing his rehabilitation from a long-standing groin problem and club are hoping he will not require surgery".

    According to the Express & Star "Kidderminster Harriers are prepared to shell out a fee to bring Nuneaton midfielder Kyle Storer to Aggborough. Harriers have already agreed an undisclosed figure with the Blue Square North club for the 24-year-old, which will remain a secret, for a player who is a hot commodity after 16 goals last season. Storer was also a target for other clubs but Harriers have stole a march by having a bid accepted, with a verbal agreement thought to have been reached over personal terms. With Harriers splashing the cash to get their man, the club will look to pin the player down to at least a two-year contract".

    The North Wales Weekly News says that "Colwyn Bay got their pre-season programme off to a good start with a 3-0 home win over Flint Town United. Manager Dave Challinor played virtually two different sides in each half...

    Steve Connor, who was at Everton as a junior and spent much of last season training with Tranmere Rovers, looked quite a livewire up front and got the opening goal after 14 minutes with a good finish after Jon Newby and [former Alty trialist] Fraser McLaughlan had combined to set up the chance... McLaughlan, Newby, Anthony Sheehan and Damien Allen played alongside six trailists in the opening half... including centre forward Steve Lewis, who had a spell with Bala Town last season after previously being at Cammell Lairds. He is a big, strong forward who looks good in the air and he scored Bay's second goal on 55 minutes...

    Other trialists who did well included left winger Danny Lloyd (wearing 20) who was with Southport last season, and fullback Liam Benson who was at Tranmere Rovers as a scholar. All will be given further opportunities to impress over the next few games. Still to come in is experienced fullback Chris King who was a member of Neil Young's promotion winning side in the 2009/10 season before moving down south. He has now returned to the north and is back training with the Bay... [Manager] Dave Challinor added [that] he hopes to be able to step back from a playing role in the new season to concentrate on managing the team".

    11 July 2011


    Altrincham FC is again running a children's Summer Fun Week for children aged four and a half to thirteen years of age. It will take place on from 25th to 29th July (9.15am to 3.15pm) and will give everyone a chance to play on the Moss Lane pitch. The cost is £60 per person for the entire period but individual days can be booked by arrangement. Please contact Karen Rowley or Chris Bullock on 0161 928-1045 or by e-mail to book places.


    Alty's next pre-season game is at home to a Manchester City XI on Saturday (16th, 3pm). Manchester City confirm that "The Blues second string will not feature in this season’s Barclays Premier League reserve division but will still have a comprehensive programme of friendly and competitive games. They kick off on Saturday 16 July at Altrincham (3pm) and then visit Stalybridge on 20 July (7.30pm). Then it is a dash into Europe with a match in Spain on 23 July against Espanyol (6pm) followed by a trip to Holland to meet Nijmegen on 29 July (6pm)."

    Right: Ryan Brown had a good game at left-back on Saturday; here he fights for possession in the first-half against Burnley.

    City describe their Elite Development Squad as " effectively the stepping stone for graduates from the club's Academy with a view to breaking through to the manager's first-team squad. As such, the EDS has replaced the traditional reserve team at the club...

    As the name suggests, the side usually comprises Under-21 players, although a senior player back in training following an injury might sometimes be given a run-out in an EDS match to aid his return to full match fitness... The value of City's EDS is clear with players such as Dedryck Boyata, Abdisalam Ibrahim and Alex Tchuimeni-Nimely among others stepping up... Andy Welsh, the club's Elite Development Manager, was appointed in January 2010 to oversee this exciting project after gaining considerable coaching experience at clubs such as Leeds United, Blackpool and Royal Antwerp... He emphasises development ahead of results on the pitch from his charges, who are based alongside the senior City squad at Carrington".

    A week on Tuesday, Alty visit Buxton, whom they have not played for many years. A familiar face at Buxton is Kieran Lugsden but Buxton's former Harrogate manager ""John Reed has made his first signing of the pre-season with the capture of Matt Parry, the former Burscough attacking midfielder. Parry, who will be 27 next month, has spent the last 8 seasons at Burscough". Meanwhile "Buxton all-time leading goalscorer Mark Reed has decided to seek pastures new and informed manager John Reed that he will be leaving the Silverlands... Also leaving the club is captain Gregg Anderson who too has found the travelling from his Harrogate home punishing. Gregg signed from Clitheroe in October 2007".


    Mark Eckersall & Brian Flynn report that "Leah Moran, who won the £25 voucher to be used in the Club Shop, for coming up with our new company name (442 Online Marketing Ltd), has kindly offered to donate it to be raffled on July 23rd at Mark Maddox's testimonial game. Thanks Leah!".


    Vauxhall Motors say that "There was good news and bad news for new Motors boss Anthony Wright this week as three of last season’s squad signed on for next season however star striker Leighton McGivern looks set to depart Rivacre Park. McGivern has been offered a contract by Stockport County, managed by ex-Liverpool player Dietmar Hamann, and looks set to join a host of new players at Edgeley Park following a cash injection due to the club’s recent takeover, headed by local businessman Tony Evans. McGivern scored 9 goals in just 15 games for the Motormen last season and formed a lethal partnership with on loan striker Obi Anoruo.

    On a positive note, defensive trio Lee Dames, Tom Hannigan and Andy Taylor have all put pen to paper for next season. Long serving defender Dames was supporters’ player of the year last season following a number of consistent performances at left-back. Dames is currently one of the longest serving players at Rivacre Park and has made 173 appearances for the Motormen to date, scoring just 1 goal.

    The signing of Tom Hannigan is a major boost for the Motormen as the young defender continues to improve season after season since breaking into the first team in 2007/08 season. With the exception of Chris Noone, fellow defender Andy Taylor made the most appearances for Vauxhall last season and has fitted in well since his arrival from Burscough last year".

    One Alty player keen to renew acquaintance with the Motormen is captain Robbie Lawton, who joined Alty from the Ellesmere Port club in 2006 and starts his sixth season at Moss Lane in 2011-12, having already made 209+13 first-team appearances.

    Barrow's Holker Street Newsletter confirms "the surprising news that two Barrow AFC directors have resigned: Neil McDonald, Vice-Chairman of Barrow AFC and David Ingham, Company Secretary citing, 'Their positions have become untenable, due to a lack of communication within the Board and no involvement in decision making. By being ostracised, they feel that they cannot adequately serve the membership and supporters'.

    This is interesting because there have long been mutterings of discontent about the way the Barrow AFC board had operated, with reports that there was an inner circle controlled by the Keens who held the real power, and those that disagreed with their opinions were left out in the cold, until now there had been nothing concrete to confirm it, but perhaps this announcement makes it look likely it is the case...

    The Evening Mail reported that it 'understands the two directors felt AFC joint-bosses Dave Bayliss and Darren Sheridan were not the right men for the job and had called for a change of management last season'...[Also] Barry Fitzgerald has left the employ of the club, Barry was employed back in as September 2010, and at the time he was described as 'Operations Manager... [with] day-to-day responsibility for the running of the club'".

    Droylsden chairman and manager, Dave Pace, is interviewed by Stuart Hammonds in the NL Paper. He has signed four new players, ex-Woking defender Richard Anane, ex-Rochdale centre-back, Chris Brown, Dale Johnson from Altrincham and Chris Robinson from Ashton United. Pace said, "I never rush into my summer signings. I'm just targeting certain players... There are two more I am in talks with and possibly one more that might happen next week. I think you'll like my next signing. I can't go all defensive at my age and he will hopefully be a striker with about 30-odd goals in him. If I get him, we'll be firing away.

    We'll be attacking, going all out to try and entertain as usual. I think a few are pointing to FC Halifax for the title... but I think they'll get found wanting a little".

    Pace added, "I've lost four players altogether, including loan signings.. but no one's gone that I didn't want to go. ... We need a little bit of an injection of fresh blood because too many people had been there for too long... I want to be keeping at the top again".

    10 July 2011


    This site's match report on Alty v Burnley is here and more photos are below...

    Meanwhile, Burnley report that "Four members of the Clarets' strikeforce got their collective eye in as Burnley eased into pre-season with victory in the Cheshire sunshine. Boss Eddie Howe used the opportunity to use all his senior professionals with the exception of Charlie Austin, whose first outing is likely to come at Bury next Tuesday night.

    And the obvious plus point from two contrasting halves were goals for Alex MacDonald, Chris Eagles, Martin Paterson and Chris Iwelumo. Goals from the first three came before the break as Burnley impressed on their first-ever visit to Moss Lane. And while a completely different line-up after the break was rocked by a quickfire double from Altrincham trialist Nick Chadwick, a trademark header from Iwelumo eased any potential blushes to cap a useful work-out.

    Right: Burnley brought strong and good humoured support to Moss Lane for Saturday's friendly, as is seen (right).

    Despite no new faces on show, the Clarets had the resources to field two strong sides with Howe mixing things up to examine his options with the start of the Championship campaign four weeks away... Burnley went 3-0 up...

    But Altrincham had given a glimpse of their potential when Chadwick headed again as post just before the break. And within five minutes of the start of the second half the former Everton youngster had scored twice as the Blue Square North side quickly made it 3-2. Chadwick first seized on hesitation between Brian Jensen and Leon Cort to nod in and was then left unmarked to head in a cross from Simon Richman as the Clarets' re-shaped line-up took time to settle".

    After the game "Boss Eddie Howe was... happy with what he saw on a highly beneficial first trip to Moss Lane. 'I am pleased with the work-out and not to pick up any injuries, which is the main thing at this stage', he said. 'We are still in the very early stages, where the players have only been back 10 days, so 45 minutes was just about the limit in terms of what they are capable of. We have to build the fitness levels up, but I am delighted with all 22 players and there's plenty more to come from us'".

    The Lancashire Evening Telegraph adds that "Burnley got their pre-season campaign off to a winning start, but only after surviving the scare of an Altrincham fightback. The Clarets dominated their non-league opponents in the first half and should have had more to show for it than the 3-0 lead they took into the break. But after ringing all 11 changes at half-time, they were pegged back by two goals in as many minutes at the start of the second half, before Chris Iwelumo increased Burnley's advantage with the final goal of the game".


    Guiseley "are pleased to announce the signing of Northern Irish midfielder Ciaran Toner and defender Jamie Clarke. Toner, who has previously played for Tottenham Hotspur, Lincoln City and Rochdale, is also a full Northern Ireland international having played twice for his national team. He joins Guiseley from Harrogate Town, where he made 32 appearances last season. Clarke is versatile defender who can also be deployed in midfield. He joins from Gainsborough Trinity. The Sunderland born 28 year old made 37 appearances for Trinity last season and has previously played for Mansfield Town, Rochdale and Boston United. In other squad news, Joey Spivack and Luke Sharry both signed up for another season at Nethermoor as pre-season training began on Thursday".

    Nuneaton Town report that "Nuneaton Town and Kidderminster Harriers have reached an agreement on an undisclosed fee for midfielder Kyle Storer. The two clubs will finalise the full details of the deal on Monday. Storer who has already agreed personal terms with Kiddy will be looking to join early next week. Nuneaton Town had firm offers on the table from several other clubs, but the player's intransigence prevented any deal going ahead soon and Nuneaton would have had to force the issue and required the player to continue with the club.

    Nuneaton Town required a fee for the player as there was still time left on his contract for the following seasons and had shown considerable investment whilst the player had many periods of suspension... Storer's departure has a silver lining for the manager as his budget has been boosted, Wilkin has his eyes on several strikers to finish his line up". From the Worcester News, we learn that "Worcester City have performed a dramatic U-turn and are now committed to taking the club debt-free to Nunnery Way. Last October, the St George’s Lane outfit stated they could not afford a move with property developer St Modwen and withdrew their support for the planning application to Worcester City Council. However, with no way out of the contract inherited from Dave Boddy’s regime, which ties them to such a move until 2017, the club’s board, under chairman Anthony Hampson, have been forced into a major re-think.

    They now believe they have found a way of bridging the £1.5million funding gap to build a stadium to Blue Square Bet North standard in time for when they leave the Lane in June 2013. The plan is still to construct a scaled-down 556-seat main stand, and a 1,600 covered terrace behind one goal, with a total capacity of 3,226.

    St Modwen have submitted those revisions to Guildhall officials but the cost will be greatly reduced from around £2million to £600,000. This will be achieved by using modular materials — prefabricated buildings — and City are hopeful of changing the materials if planning permission is granted... leaving the club with an overall bill of just over £1.8m — significantly reduced from the £3.26m quoted just nine months ago.

    It will be funded by money left from selling the Lane to Careys New Homes — around £1.5m — while City will also apply to the Football Foundation for a £150,000 grant. Notably, there will also be a £500,000 advance from St Modwen on enabling profits from offices and car showrooms the firm plan for the 20-acre site. Although effectively a loan, City would only have to pay the money back if their share of enabling profit went over £500,000, plus any interest accrued between 2013 and when St Modwen eventually build...

    A statement explained, 'A series of meetings have taken place between the club and St Modwen over the last few months... We now feel able to report, as a board, that we can deliver a vibrant economically viable, debt-free, football club for the city of Worcester".

    9 July 2011


    Above: New faces at Moss Lane this season; l. to r, Neil Tolson with Lee Sinnott; new signing Mark Lees, trialist Paul Jones, trialist Michael Jukes and new signing, Simon Richman.

    The Altrincham trialists today, against Burnley, were...

  • Paul Jones is an experienced 33 year-old ex-Barrow centre-back. His pedigree includes Tranmere Rovers, Blackpool, Leigh RMI, Oldham Athletic, Hyde Utd, Droylsden. He played the second half today.
  • James Coates - former Alty keeper who has returned for pre-season. Stuart Coburn played 90 minutes today but as he misses the next games when he is on holiday, James is likely to be involved then.
  • Michael Jukes (dob 11 July 1992) is a 6ft 2inch Bangor City striker who comes from Warrington and was at Wigan Athletic as a youngster. He played the second half today.
  • Kevin Gall is a winger who left-Wrexham in January 2011; his previous clubs include York City, Yeovil, Bristol Rovers, Lincoln, Carlisle, Darlington and Port Vale. A Welshman, he started as a trainee at Newcastle United. He made a second-half substitute appearance for 20 minutes.
  • Nick Chadwick is an ex-Barrow forward released in May, 2011. His previous clubs include Everton, Derby County, Millwall, Plymouth Argyle, Hereford Utd, Shrewsbury Town, Chester City. He made his first team debut for Everton in 2001-02 season and had a spell on loan at Millwall. He left Everton in 2004-05 season after 14 first team appearances, and then joined Plymouth Argyle where he made 77 appearances, leaving in 2008-09 season. He joined Hereford United then Shrewsbury Town. In 2009 he joined Chester City, then Barrow. Today he played for 70 minutes.
  • Steve Hall, a defender, was not used today. Neither were youth teamers Jake Barnabas, Matt Fearon and Sam Langford who were all also present.


    Both sides and the 1,253 spectators were probably happy at the outcome; Alty's experimental squad of new and old players was far from embarrassed by a club four rungs higher than them in the footballing world, whilst The Clarets, particularly in the first half, showed some slick build up play and gave almost all of their squad 45 minutes of football.

  • Match report here

    Right: Shaun Densmore, with new signing Brian Sumerskill, salutes Nick Chadwick (right) after one of his goals.


    Brian Flynn writes:

    Radio Robins Commentary: Altrincham v Burnley

    Full match commentary is planned for Altrincham's first pre-season game against Burnley. Commentary starts at 2.45pm and the commentators are Paul Salt & Brian Flynn. It is also hoped that we will be able to include a Burnley perspective on the game from one of their Press team. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.

    Consequently, this website will not carry its usual matchday updates, other than to confirm the teams and provide some information on the trialists involved. This will be on the Matchday Updates page.


    The Lancashire Evening Telegraph tells us that "The battle to win a place in Eddie Howe’s first team plans begins on Saturday, as Burnley play their first pre-season friendly of the summer. The slate has been wiped clean following the disappointment of missing out on the play-offs last term. Howe and his men are gearing up for a fresh Championship promotion challenge, starting with a trip to non-League Altrincham this weekend.

    And the Burnley boss intends to give each member of his squad a fair crack of the whip in the run-up to naming his starting 11 for the opening game against Watford, at Turf Moor, on August 6. Howe, who has six games lined up before the big kick-off... intends to rotate his squad, certainly in the early friendlies. And he revealed his intention for Saturday’s trip to face Blue Square North side Altrincham is to give as many players as possible 45 minutes each.

    'I’m looking forward to Saturday', said the Burnley boss. 'Training has gone very well and the lads have come back very fit. But I’ll look to ease them in very gently. It’s a good fixture for us. It’s the first step in pre-season, which will get harder and harder as it goes'.

    Howe will pay particular attention to fit-again strikers Martin Paterson and [former Crawley man] Charlie Austin, whose January arrival was soon marred by a dislocated shoulder which ruled him out for the last two months of last season. Paterson had two lengthy lay-offs with a thigh injury... Of Austin, Howe added,'The final piece of the jigsaw for Charlie is making sure he can take the rigours of contact'”.

    Clarets Mad adds that Alty "are currently trying to put a squad together and have, to date, made four signings. The first three new players to arrive were all defenders, Adam Flynn from Southport and Hyde pair Mark Lees and Chris Lynch... The fourth signing was that of 19-year-old midfielder Brian Summerskill who has made the move from Northwich Victoria". [Also new at Moss Lane is Simon Richman].

    Sinnott has currently got thirteen players signed up but will include three, as yet unnamed, trialists in his squad tomorrow... Things can change quickly and more players could be added to their squad between now and tomorrow afternoon...

    We too have a couple of trialists and it is possible they could be included and only one of our squad has been ruled out and that's striker Charlie Austin. Howe has been quick to point out there is no problem but he just wants to give him a bit more time following having surgery on his shoulder...

    Although the reserves played at Moss Lane in 2009/10 against Manchester United, this is our first meeting with Altrincham since we were paired in the FA Cup in the 1981/82 season. That was a third round tie at Turf Moor on a night when we found our best form . Billy Hamilton hit a hat trick, Steve Taylor bagged a brace and Trevor Steven also scored in front of a 10,174 crowd...

    So impressed with us was Altrincham manager Tony Sanders that after the game he predicted we'd go on to win promotion. We scoffed, but he was right and we ended the season as champions. Games against Altrincham are rare and I thought any links between the two clubs might be hard to find, but one Alty fan, Barry Pikesley, has managed to put a team together of players who have played first team football for both clubs. That line up is: Colin McDonald, Tony Chilton, Darren Heesom, Paul France, Mark McGregor, Steve Morgan, Jamie Hoyland, Ally Pickering, Wayne Entwistle, Nigel Gleghorn, Andy Kilner".

    As listed on the Burnley website, here is their current squad list...

  • 1 Lee Grant, Goalkeeper
  • 3 Daniel Fox, Defender
  • 4 Michael Duff, Defender
  • 5 Clarke Carlisle, Defender
  • 6 Jack Cork (on loan from Chelsea), Midfielder
  • 7 Kevin McDonald, Midfielder
  • 8 Dean Marney, Midfielder
  • 9 Chris Iwelumo, Striker
  • 10 Martin Paterson, Striker
  • 11 Wade Elliott, Midfielder
  • 12 Brian Jensen, Goalkeeper
  • 14 Tyrone Mears, Defender
  • 15 David Edgar, Defender
  • 16 Chris McCann, Midfielder
  • 17 Richard Eckersley (on loan to Bury), Defender
  • 18 Leon Cort, Defender
  • 19 Jay Rodriguez, Striker
  • 20 Marvin Bartley, Midfielder
  • 21 Andre Bikey, Defender
  • 22 Ross Wallace, Midfielder
  • 23 Charlie Austin, Striker
  • 24 Brian Easton, Defender
  • 27 Alex MacDonald, Midfielder
  • 28 Kevin Long (on loan to Accrington S.), Defender
  • 33 Chris Eagles, Midfielder
  • 38 Alex-Ray Harvey, Midfielder
  • 39 Wes Fletcher, Striker
  • 43 Dominic Knowles, Striker


    Two of last season's players have found new clubs. Fisrtly, Southport report that "Liam Watson signed James Smith after training tonight declaring 'James Smith [left] is a major signing in my eyes. He has massive experience in the Blue Square Bet Premier and the Football League. He is a very strong, determined defender and will add a lot of qualities to our squad'.

    Smith has experience in the play offs with Stockport County having commenced his career at Liverpool. Smith signs after being one of the outstanding players for Altrincham last season when attracting Liam Watson's attention".

    And, secondly, Pitchero Non-League says that "Garry Flitcroft, manager of Evo-Stik League Premier Division club Chorley, has clinched his second signing of the summer after swooping for pacey striker Chris Denham [right]. The Magpies' boss beat several clubs from higher up the non-League Pyramid to the signature of the highly-rated Denham, who played in the Blue Square Bet Premier for Altrincham last season.

    Delighted with his latest capture, Flitcroft said, 'Chris is a great signing for us. Several clubs from the Conference wanted to sign him but when I spoke about the potential here - he wanted to be part of it. He’s exactly the type of player we need to bring in to this club as we make the step up. He’s lightning quick, he’s got bags of ability and can play anywhere across the frontline. He’s also got plenty of experience, having spent the last three years playing at a higher level. I think he’ll fit in really well and he gives me another great attacking option to add to what we’ve already got'.

    Aged 28, Denham’s former clubs include Stalybridge Celtic and Droylsden. He joined Altrincham in 2008 and his pace and skill quickly made him a firm fans’ favourite. A groin injury restricted his appearances last season but he’s now fully fit again and ready to resume training after returning from a holiday in America".


    The draw for the early rounds of the FA Youth Cup have dealt Altrincham an away tie- and a second journey if they win that first game.

    Preliminary Round, w/c 5/9/11

  • Nantwich Town v Altrincham

    1st Round Qualifying, w/c 19/9/11

  • Runcorn Linnets v Nantwich Town or Altrincham

    2nd Round Qualifying, w/c 3/10/11

  • Runcorn Linnets or Nantwich Town or Altrincham v Vauxhall Motors or Lancaster City

    And in the N.W. Youth Alliance League "provisional fixtures" have been released for the first month of the season

    Sun. 14/8/11

  • Altrincham v Chester

    Sun. 21/8/11

  • Curzon Ashton v Altrincham

    Tue. 23/8/11

  • Altrincham v Woodley Sports

    Sun. 28/8/11

  • Altrincham v FC United of Manchester

    Wed. 1/9/11

  • Warrington T. v Altrincham


    Anyone who has yet to collect his or her season ticket from Altrincham FC can do so on Saturday, before the game, from the Noel White Suite bar. Alty season tickets confer free entry to all home pre-season friendlies.


    The Welsh Premier reports that "Welsh big-guns Swansea City and Cardiff City have shunned the FAW's invitation to enter the Welsh Cup for the first time in 16 years. Welsh Cup Colwyn Bay have also given the competition the thumbs-down, but Wrexham, Newport County and Merthyr Town are understood to have accepted.

    It will be the first time since 1995 that clubs from outside the domestic pyramid have competed for the cup. Newport and Wrexham, from the Blue Square Premier, will enter at the same third round stage as the Welsh Premier clubs, with Merthyr Town from Western League Division One joining at the second qualifying round stage.

    The return of the exiles has not been welcomed by several Welsh Premier clubs, although the league's FAW Council representative Andrew Edwards supported the proposal. But the refusal of the big two reflects the unavailability of a European place for the winners and surely defeats the object of the exercise."

    Pitchero Non-League reports that "Rushden & Diamonds FC may be gone, but AFC Rushden & Diamonds have begun to sow the seeds to give desperately disappointed and disillusioned fans a team to support. Fans held a well-attended meeting last Friday night and voted overwhelmingly on forming a new club should the 'old' one fail in its various appeals which, of course, it now has.

    The name 'AFC Rushden & Diamonds' was chosen and a route in which to begin a new club decided upon. The timing of the demise of Rushden & Diamonds FC left AFC with no chance of staking a case for a place in the non-League Pyramid for 2011/12. It was therefore decided overwhelmingly to begin next season with an under-18 team and set up committees and get the new club organised, bearing in mind the people undertaking this were ordinary fans with no expertise in running football clubs at any level...

    The new club will be a `one member – one vote` organization, with no one person having overall control of the football club. It is planned to apply for senior status in 2012/13".

    Stalybridge Celtic tell us that "Jim Harvey's squad has been bolstered with the addition of two more players from last year's squad. Assistant Manager [and ex-Alty player] Tim Ryan has again made himself available for selection on the playing front, and Joel Bembo-Leta will be back to apply his undoubted talent to whatever task Jim sets for him".

    The Gloucester City v Nuneaton Town game on August 16th is now to be played at Nuneaton, Gloucester City say that "Due to the Abbey Business Stadium [at Cheltenham Town], who host Gloucester's home games, being unavailable on Tuesday 16th August for the home game against Nuneaton Town, it has been agreed between the clubs and the Football Conference to switch the fixtures round, meaning that City will now play Nuneaton Town AWAY on 16th August, and HOME on 6th December. City’s first home game of the season will therefore be against Workington on 20th August."

    Still in Wales, the North Wales Weekly News say that "Dave Challinor expects to field different teams in each half of Saturday's opening pre-season friendly at home to Flint Town United (July 9th). 'e we will have 20 odd players reporting and all will get 45 minutes', said the player-boss. 'We will field a completely different side in the second half from the first so we can have a look at everybody in a match situation. raining has been good with over 20 players reporting for every session and now we will be using these pre-season games to assess everybody'...

    The majority of Colwyn Bay's promotion-winning squad from last season have been attending pre-season training in Chester, with the one notable absentee being James McCarthy who is set to join Leek Town in the Evostik South Division... 'The travelling was a concern and it is a shame, but we do have options to replace Jimmy which we are currently exploring', said Challinor.

    Another priority is to sign a new reserve keeper as Andy Metcalf, who has been attending pre-season training, leaves for America in August... Challinor admitted, 'I have a good idea of who 17 or 18 of the squad will be, but I can't guarantee regular football for all of them and it is a matter of whether some will still want to stay in those circumstances. We are looking at the possiblity of perhaps loaning some players out to the likes of Llandudno and Flint to give them regular games if they are agreeable'".

    Blyth Spartans state that "A busy day of transfer dealings at Croft Park has seen four new faces arrive, with one of last year’s players leaving and another made available for transfer. Manager Steve Cuggy commented 'We have decided to let John Alexander move on and he has signed for another club, he is a smashing lad and his attitude has been first class and he was really keen to stay. but I’ve had a chat with him and told him that I could make him no promises'...

    'We have also decided to make Jake Cunningham available to other clubs, as he needs to [be] playing games... We just felt that he wouldn’t get the games at Blyth and that will not help his career'. Incoming to Croft Park are striker Lee Mason and defenders Michael Pearson, Richie Slaughter and Dylan Purvis - all four featured in Saturday’s win over Partick Thistle.

  • Lee Mason is a 20-year-old, hard working striker, hailing from Seaton Sluice, who started his career at Hartlepool United and has since played in Sweden and for Whitley Bay.
  • Michael Pearson is a 19-year-old right back, who was released by Hartlepool United in the summer.
  • Richie Slaughter has previously been with Blyth featuring on the bench on a few occasions under Mick Tait, but never featuring in the first team. He is a former Consett and Tow Law Town player and has also played for Central Connecticut State University in the USA.
  • Dylan Purvis is a tough tackling right back who was also released by Hartlepool United in the summer.

    Cuggy commented 'I have made no promises to any of the lads, so it is up to them to fight for a place in the squad'".

    8 July 2022


    Altrincham FC chairman, Grahame Rowley announces on behalf of the Mark Maddox Testimonial Committee that "As part of Maddog's (Mark Maddox's) Testimonial game on July 23rd (against Tranmere Rovers) we have very kindly been offered two fantastic prizes by Rod Thornley, who unfortunately can't be present on the day due to being in the USA with Manchester United.

    He has offered a Wayne Rooney shirt signed by all the team and a John Terry England shirt signed by all the team. So that everyone has an opportunity to win a prize we are changing the format of the bidding.

    If anyone is interested in winning one of the shirts you are asked to put a£10 note in an envelope and put your name on it. Every note will be entered into a draw at the end of the night when the winner will have the choice of which shirt he would like. The other shirt will be used at a Sportsman's Dinner planned for September 23rd again with all proceeds going to Mark.

    If you can't be present on July 23rd for the Tranmere game but would like to be entered in the raffle/auction for the signed shirt please either send in or bring in your £10 note to the club (in an envelope with your name on, marked for the attention of Karen Rowley), and it will be entered into the draw on the night. Where else would you get the opportunity to own a signed Wayne Rooney shirt or a John Terry shirt for just a tenner?!!!! Or just bring your tenner and we will put it in an envelope and record your name.

    Many thanks to Rod Thornley for this very generous donation - very much appreciated."


    With Alty hosting Burnley this Saturday, author of "When Alty Were Kings", supporter Barry Pikesley, has kindly supplied the following to the website. It comprises an "Alty Theme Team" comprising players who have made first team appearances for both the Robins and the Clarets during their respective careers:

  • 1. Colin McDonald
  • 2. Tony Chilton
  • 3. Darren Heesom
  • 4. Paul France
  • 5. Marc McGregor
  • 6. Steve Morgan
  • 7. Jamie Hoyland
  • 8. Ally Pickering
  • 9. Wayne Entwistle
  • 10. Nigel Gleghorn
  • 11. Andy Kilner

    Pictured, right, is the back page of the "Claret", Burnley's programme, dated Monday,11 January 1982. Sadly for Alty, Burnley won the match in question, an FA Cup Third Round tie, 6-1. Nevertheless, for Alty it was the fourth successive time they had reached the Third Round of the FA Cup- which is still a record for a non-League club.

    The game this Saturday (3pm) is both sides' first pre-season game of 2011. Admission is £7 for adults and £2 for concessionaries; Alty season ticket holders go free.


    "Ryman League Premier Division new boys Lewes have made the experienced Matt Somner their ninth summer signing. The holding midfielder has joined the Rooks from Mansfield Town, having finished last season on loan at Forest Green [and previously, Altrincham]" reports The Argus.

    From Pitchero Non-League we see that "Aberystwyth Town and former Northern Ireland under-21 international Conall Murtagh is the latest signing for rivals Bala Town`s boss Colin Caton. The 26-year-old midfielder started his career with Ballymena United and Crusaders before being spotted by Hearts. He made his Scottish League debut while on loan at Raith Rovers in January 2005 and, following his release from Tynecastle, spent pre-season with Sligo Rovers and then played in the reserves at Altrincham after arriving in Manchester as a student".


    According to the Football Conference "Nuneaton Town have added another top striker to their squad, with Lee Smith joining from Forest Green Rovers and from under the noses of other Conference Premier sides. Smith had an unsettled season last year following Forest Green`s change in management and falling out of favour before being loaned around in a period that saw the winger come [cum] striker travel to several sides, notability [notably] scoring for all clubs. Nuneaton chairman Ian Neale met up with first-team manager Kevin Wilkin in the club's training camp at the University of Warwick to complete negotiations and secure the signature of the former Gloucester City favourite".

    Blue Square North tells us that "Alfreton Town have made their sixth signing of summer with the capture of 6'4'' central defender Adie Hawes for an undisclosed fee from Eastwood Town. Hawes, 24, joins the Reds on a full-time basis and has penned a two-year deal at the Impact Arena".

    From the Halifax Courier we learn that "Town boss Neil Aspin has branded Stockport County’s bid to prise Jamie Vardy to Edgeley Park as ‘unacceptable’. County, relegated from the Football League in May, appointed former Liverpool defender Dietmar Hamann as manager this week following a takeover. And reports coming out of Edgeley Park suggested they had offered £50,000 for Vardy who signed a new three year contract with the Shaymen towards the end of last season.

    'Stockport made an offer which we have rejected as unacceptable and that’s it', said Aspin, who appeared unconcerned by the unwanted attention one of his star players was attracting. 'I have told Jamie that, so everyone is in the picture. I do not like the fact that Stockport made the offer public. But it will take a bigger club than Stockport County to make an offer that unsettles Jamie'.

    There was much delight among the Town fans when Vardy signed his new deal as the Shaymen clinched a second successive promotion and a place in Blue Square Bet North - one division below Stockport... 'Jamie is happy here and has a three year contract', said Aspin. 'But Manchester United did not want to sell Ronaldo until Real Madrid bid £80 million. Everyone has a price but we are talking about an offer just about the same as we paid to get him from Stocksbridge... It would take a bigger club than Stockport County to pay a fee we found acceptable'".

    The Telegraph & Argus confirms that "Guiseley have signed experienced defender Jamie Clarke. The 28-year-old, who spent ten seasons in the Football League before dropping to the Conference with York City, played for the Lions’ rivals Gainsborough Trinity last season in Blue Square Bet North...

    Guiseley started pre-season training on Tuesday, and they are also training on Thursdays and Saturdays until pre-season matches start on Tuesday, July 19... Guiseley’s first league match is at home to Hinckley United at Nethermoor on Saturday, August 13. Normally it is a benefit to begin at Nethermoor but Kittrick said, 'We had a home game first up last season and lost 2-1 to Nuneaton Town. It is a voyage into the unknown next season. Every team in our division will have strengthened over the summer and every team will think that they can win the league. It is only when we get to October and clubs have finished jockeying for positions that we will know where everyone stands'. On Saturday, Guiseley’s players will be getting some special advice - from a nutritionist.

    Kittrick said, 'It won’t be a long talk that will bore the pants off everybody but it will tell the players what they should be eating and what they should be eating after games etc. We will find out after two or three training sessions which players have been looking after themselves'".

    Pitchero Non-League says that "David Livermore, manager of Histon, will begin the process of slimming down his squad at the end of this week. The manager welcomed a host of trialists in for pre-season training on Monday... Livermore said, 'I’ve said that I’ll give everyone a week to impress me and, after that, I’ll have a better idea of who I want to stay... Even after a couple of days I’ve already started to form opinions, but it’s a case of being fair to everyone who has come in'.

    Although midfielder Zac Attwood has left the Stutes to try and find a club nearer his Sussex home, Livermore hopes to complete his first signing soon after offering a contract to Austrian goalkeeper Jorg Stadelmann. The 31-year-old, who has played over 400 games in Austrian amateur football, recently moved to England, and Livermore is keen to get him on board... Histon’s players have undergone fitness testing by students at Anglia Ruskin University, who will also be helping the club during the season with statistical analysis. Livermore believes this will give his team the edge on their opponents. 'I don’t think anyone in the league will have access to this kind of information, and it’s great for the students too because they get to work with professional athletes', he said."

    "Former Kidderminster Harriers striker Lee Morris has signed to be player-coach for Blue Square North side Eastwood" reports Blue Square Football. "The free agent has opted to go semi-professional after being enticed to Coronation Park by joint manager Craig Armstrong, who played alongside Morris during a loan spell at Huddersfield ten years ago... He had an offer to get involved at Harriers' new academy, while carrying on as a player, the two parties have failed to strike a deal...

    Morris is hoping going part-time will prolong his playing career, which has been plagued by injuries since first suffering thigh and knee problems at Leicester in 2004. A joint stake in a hand tools business, Toolman, is bringing in additional funds and the 31-year-old is thinking about his future.

    The ex-Sheffield United, Derby County and Leicester forward told Express & Star, 'Craig has been on my case all summer about me coming to Eastwood to be a player-coach and, when someone is on your case like that, it's good to be wanted. I am pretty much set with them now, to be honest'".

    Stockport County's "pre-season friendlies against Stalybridge Celtic, Woodley Sports and Mossley have been cancelled. Given the changes to management & the current first team squad, we have unfortunately had to reduce the pre-season schedule by removing a number of mid-week matches. The club apologise to County fans & fans of all affected clubs for any inconvenience".

    The Manchester Evening News tells us that "New Hyde United boss Gary Lowe has spoken to ease fans’ fears about the Tigers’ link-up with the Glenn Hoddle Academy...

    While broadly welcoming the tie-up, some Hyde supporters have expressed fears that it could lead to the Blue Square Bet North outfit becoming little more than a 'shop window' for youngsters keen to get back into the Football League. Lowe admits he has yet to be given full details of how the project will work but he is keen to reassure fans that he’ll be firmly in charge of team selection and has no intention of fitting a revolving-door to Hyde’s dressing-room.

    He said, 'Anything which brings quality players to the club has to be a plus, but I’ll be picking the team and won’t be chopping and changing simply to accommodate the needs of certain individuals. I know from experience how important it is to have continuity and stability and I will not allow anything to get in the way of that... I’m told we've already registered around eight of its players, although, of course, two have immediately left us. It would be nice to think Glenn himself might come along to watch one or two of our games. I’d certainly love to meet him – and play him, if he likes!'

    Lowe has wasted no time imposing his authority at Ewen Fields, releasing all the players he inherited, barring young midfielder Callum Byrne – who ended last season on loan with Hyde from Rochdale but has now joined the Tigers on a permanent basis. The former Curzon chief has so far made eight other signings, among them four – goalkeeper Dave Carnell, Nathan Martin, Luke Mack and Joe Evans – who have followed him to Hyde from the Tameside Stadium. A fifth, ex-Bradford Park Avenue defender Brett Renshaw, also played for Curzon under Lowe, who has also landed Gianluca Havern and Ryan Crowther from neighbours Ashton United plus ex-Tranmere Rovers defender Joel Richardson.

    Lowe expects his trusty skipper at Curzon, full-back Dave Birch, to soon be putting pen to paper for Hyde as too, he says, will be one-time Stockport and Rochdale keeper Jamie Spencer. Lowe added, 'My assistant, Martyn Booty, and I thought long and hard before letting all the old players go. It was clearly a big decision, but, on balance, we felt it best to start with a clean slate'".

    7 July 2011


    Altrincham FC manager Lee Sinnott (and, its is hoped, assistant manager Neil Tolson) will be guests at a "Meet the manager" session, open to all in the Noel White Suite (bar) at 6pm after the Stockport County pre-season friendly on Saturday, August 6th. Please come along and ask any questions that you may have for the management - chairman Grahame Rowley will also be in attendance. Both men are pictured, right.


    Joint Press Officer at Moss Lane, John Edwards, writes;

    "Altrincham launch a new era on Saturday when their recently-appointed management team of Lee Sinnott and Neil Tolson take charge for the first time, for the opening pre-season friendly against Burnley at Moss Lane (3pm).

    Burnley boss Eddie Howe has promised to field a full-strength team, packed with proven npower Championship performers, but most eyes will be on a new-look Alty line-up that is still taking shape.

    With 13 senior players signed up for the new Blue Square Conference North campaign, Sinnott is looking to make at least three additions from a list of trialists who will be in action on Saturday.

    As he savoured the prospect of joining former Bradford defender Sinnott in the dug-out, Tolson described the pair’s eagerness to hit the ground running when the season begins in earnest at Harrogate next month.

    ‘We have been assessing where everyone is up to physically, and I would say fitness levels are good but need to improve,’ said Alty’s assistant-manager. ‘You get lads who are naturally fit and others you have to work with a bit more closely.

    ‘While you want your central midfielders to be able to run all day, it’s more a case of short, sharp bursts from a centre-forward. That’s what we will do with Michael Twiss, for instance, as we move on to more specific areas of fitness work.

    ‘Twissy’s attitude has been spot-on so far, and I’m sure the gaffer will get the best out of him. The gaffer and I are very clear about effort levels. It’s not a requirement, it’s a demand that players give their all. There will be no tolerance for anyone letting down the rest on that score.

    ‘That’s why we want to be sure about the remaining few signings. We want real competition for places, so those lads out in the middle know there is someone on the bench ready and able to take their place, if they let their standards drop'".

    In the Sale & Altrincham Advertiser, we read that for the opening game at Harrogate Town, chairman Grahame Rowley believes "The pressure will be on them. They've spent quite a bit of money in the close season, attracting some decent names. It'll be a good test for us, especially playing away. We'll see how we do but it's like the old saying, the season is a marathon not a sprint".

    Lee Sinnott told The Advertiser, "Pre-season is a process and the main thing is to be ready when the season starts on August 13. We're looking for a centre-back and a centre-forward in particular but, generally, we need a bit of everything. You never know, something could shake from the tree".

    As for the Burnley match on Saturday, Lee added, "I'm looking forward to it. We will have objectives but I'm realistic. Whatever the result, we move on and prepare for August 13".

    Our first opponents, Burnley confirm that they "get their pre-season up and running at Altrincham on Saturday, July 9 (KO 3pm). Clarets' boss Eddie Howe will be taking his first team squad to face the Blue Square North side at Altrincham's Moss Lane ground. Burnley fans are advised that there is payment available on the day, priced at £7 adults and £2 concessions".


    Season ticket holders can collect their tickets from the club during normal office hours this week.


    Paul Salt has kindly provided and update on the TASC Goal Rush Sponsorship Scheme for the forthcoming season...

    "With this week's announcement of the fixtures for the forthcoming 2011-12 season and the new season just under a month away, the response to the TASC Goal Rush Scheme to date has been fantastic.

    We are able to announce that we have now achieved pledges to the value of £24.00 per goal for each goal scored by Altrincham in all league and cup matches for the new season.

    We would like to thank all those supporters who have already made pledges with their season tickets renewals in our quest to reach our initial target of £30.00 per goal.


    The scheme is simple; anyone can sponsor the mighty Robins any amount they wish in multiples of 25p per goal for each goal they score throughout the 2011-12 season in all Blue Square Bet League, FA Cup, FA Trophy and Cheshire Senior Cup matches.

    For example – If Altrincham score a total of 75 goals in the 2011/12 season for each 25p sponsored goal you would be paying £18.75 for the whole season.

    For every 10th goal scored, each sponsor will be entered into a free draw based on one entry for each 25p sponsored, i.e If you agree to donate 50p per goal, you receive 2 entries, £2.00 per goal receives 8 entries etc.

    The club have kindly agreed to donate TWO FREE TICKETS for a forthcoming home game for every 10th goal scored to the winner of each draw. In addition, there will be an end of the season draw for TWO PRIZES of a signed shirt and matchball.

    Should Altrincham score 100 goals in the season, and we reach our £30 target per goal, then the Chairman has kindly agreed to provide a FREE SEASON TICKET for the 2012-13 season in addition for the end of season draw.

    Full details and entry forms will be available at the turnstiles on Saturday and at the other forthcoming pre-season friendlies and at the TASC desk.


    "442" IT IS

    Brian Flynn writes:

    £25 Voucher Winner!!

    Mark Eckersall and Brian Flynn recently sought the help of Altrincham fans to come up with a new name for their business (currently Perry Online Marketing) with an Altrincham FC/Football slant. There were lots of very good ideas and a shortlist was published a few days ago. Since then, a decision has been made and the new business has been incorporated today.

    The name of the new business is '442 Online Marketing Ltd' and the winner of the £25 voucher to be spent in the Club Shop is Leah Moran. There were a few names that went very close to winning, namely:

  • Red, White and Black Online Marketing....suggested by Paul Salt
  • Zigger Zagger Online Marketing....suggested by Chimp and Dan Cashin
  • Red Robins Online Marketing....suggested by Gary Powell's Disco Pants and Leah Moran

    Congratulations to Leah, who will receive her prize during the next few days".


    The Football Conference reports that "Corby Town have snapped up highly-rated front man Matt Rhead from under the noses of a number of clubs. The 6' 4” striker was attracting interest from clubs in npower League One and the Blue Square Bet Premier but has been persuaded to remain in the Conference North by Steelmen boss Graham Drury. The big striker has agreed terms after spending last season with Eastwood Town... He has also played for Congleton Town, Nantwich Town and Kidsgrove Athletic.

    A delighted Drury commented: 'He is one of the most awkward customers we've come across and I'm thrilled to bits that he's agreed to sign. He is a real handful at this level and it's a massive signing for us... He will give us the right balance up front and it means the core of the side are going to be over 6 foot, we're going to be a big strong side down the middle with a blend of experience and energetic youngsters complementing that'".

    Nearer to home "Stockport County's new manager Dietmar Hamann has begun his search for new recruits by making bids for three players... County have made bids for midfielder Sean McConville of Accrington Stanley and striker Jamie Vardy of Blue Square Bet North side FC Halifax Town and are awaiting replies from their respective clubs".

    Meanwhile "Steve Cuggy, manager of Blyth Spartans, has moved quickly to secure the futures of two his brightest young starlets with goalkeeper Matty Hunter and midfielder Adam Forster signing two-year contracts at Croft Park. The talented 18-year-olds, products of Monkseaton Academy and New Hartley Juniors, have greatly impressed the management team since the start of pre-season training and the club have moved quickly to tie the duo to the club on a more permanent deal. Meanwhile, Cuggy confirmed that Alan White, Michael Simm and Eoin Ridley have left Croft Park".

    Blue Square North states that "Striker Spencer Weir-Daley has rejected a contract renewal at Boston United. The 25-year-old has spent two seasons at York Street scoring 18 goals for the Pilgrims. However, he is hoping to move on to a bigger club and has consequently snubbed United's latest offer. Joint Boston manager Lee Canoville told the club's official website, 'We gave him a deadline to accept the offer and he wasn't sure so we have to move on. Good luck to Spencer; he wants to play higher at the moment but I don't think he has an offer'".

    According to NL Daily "Gareth McClelland, manager of Mossley, has signed experienced central defender Steve Halford from Hyde".

    Pitchero Non-League says that "Guiseley have signed experienced defender Jamie Clarke. The 28-year-old, who spent ten seasons in the Football League before dropping to the Conference with York City, played for Gainsborough Trinity last season. Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick said, 'Jamie can play in defence or in central midfield but we have signed him as a right back. He can also play at centre half'.

    Sunderland-born Clarke, who came through Mansfield Town’s youth system, played for three seasons at Field Mill... He suffered the chastening experience of being part of the Boston squad that were relegated from the Football League in 2006/07... One of his team-mates at Grimsby was Guiseley player Danny Boshell... Clarke then played eight times for York in 2009/10, including a quarter-final FA Trophy defeat to Barrow, and trials followed for him at Darlington, Gateshead and St Johnstone before Clarke found himself back in Lincolnshire with Gainsborough...

    Droylsden announce "Two more into the fold. Welcome to Ricky Anane, right back, last club Woking. Craig Robinson, centre half, last club Ashton Utd".

    At Hinckley United "Dean Thomas has confirmed that Connor Gudger has left the Knitters and signed a two year contract with Tamworth".


    The Daily Telegraph's Rory Smith reports somewhat disparagingly how "Dietmar Hamann hopes for a bright dawn after Stockport's dark decade... The Blue Square Premier is no place for a Champions' League winner. Edgeley Park, Stockport, is not a likely home for one of the heroes of Liverpool’s storming of the Ataturk. Dietmar Hamann spent his playing career among the gilded and the great. He will begin his adventure in management among the down-and-outs. Even Sven-Goran Eriksson, a man accustomed to turning a blind eye to his surrounds as long as the silver glints bright, cautioned against it. 'Deep down he thinks I should have started at a higher level', said Hamann yesterday. 'I have different views on this'.

    It is easy to think that Eriksson, in this at least, will be proved right... Hamann’s reputation stands at odds with his actions... So why should he choose a club with just nine senior players? Why take on a team which, thanks to a ruinous agreement with Brian Kennedy and his Sale Sharks, does not even have the right to that money earned through its own corporate suites? Why involve yourself with a club that has lurched from financial to existential crisis after crisis for the last decade? Why pin your colours to the mast of a side that, even amid football’s deluded mania and its rampant greed and its endless tales of great institutions humbled by man’s rapacity, stands out as a basket case?

    'You have got to start off somewhere', said the German, his sleek, tailored grey suit at odds with Stockport’s Insider Suite (2), its carpet slightly frayed at the edges. 'I had to make a decision and came to the conclusion it is a big club in its own right. It is the first time in 106 years they have dropped out of the Football League. It is a big challenge, but if you are not up for a challenge you will not reach the heights you will want'...

    He shares his ambition with Evans, his new boss... Questions over his [Evans's] previous life, his previous business, are dismissed with the assertion that it is not worth dwelling on the past... High-school dropout at 15, club owner at 27: Evans’s tale should be an inspiring one. It may be, should he ever go into it... Evans, as is compulsory these days, has mystery backers. They are not, he is adamant, either Robbie Fowler or Steve McManaman. More crucially to Stockport fans, he insists Stephen Vaughan, the former owner of Chester and held up by many as the factotem of all an owner should not be, is not involved either. He is a friend, though. 'If he wants to ring me and get involved, I will definitely listen to him', says Evans...

    Yet, just last year, a company set up by Evans – Anthony Donald Evans, a Knowsley-based insurance firm and call centre, was placed into administration... 'You tell me someone who has been successful who has not had a company go into administration. That is the past. This is my new venture'".

    6 July 2011


    Altrincham's first pre-season opponents are Burnley, who have indicated they will be bringing their first-team to Moss Lane this Saturday (3pm). Admission is just £7 (£2 for concessionaries), whilst Alty season ticket holders get free entry on production of their ticket book.

    Alty met Burnley in the third round of the FA Cup in 1982 and lost 1-6 at Turf Moor in front of more than 10,000 spectators. Alty's goal was scored by Barry Howard. The Clarets were to win Division Three (now League One) that season. In earlier rounds that season Alty had beaten Sheffield United (who were to win Division 4 that campaign) and York City. Alty's earlier contacts with Burnley include the progression of one John Clacher from Moss Lane to Burnley in 1934.


    TASC's Steve Foster writes:

    "TASC and Altrincham Football Club would like to thank all the people who enabled Altrincham Football Club to have a prominent presence at Altrincham Festival. We are pleased to announce that TASC raised about £350 at the Festival as well as giving out a large number of complimentary tickets for the friendly against a Manchester City XI.

    In particular, we would like to thank the following people who helped out at the event...

    Pete Foster, Grahame Rowley, Karen Rowley, Sarah Rowley, Dan Jones, Louise Bowyer, Jack Bowyer, Mike Antrobus, James Antrobus, Stacey Lee, Graham Jackett, Andrew Nash, Jake Lawley, Sam Hallett, George Aspden, Jonny Keen, Leighton Wright, Darren Gregory, Daniel Gregory, Steve Murray, Colin Mitchell, Dawn Abbott, Graham Houghton and the Altrincham FC Junior Club. A particularly big thanks should also go to Andy Milne and Ian Gallagher from Dunham Scaffolding and Gallagher Roofing for the loan of the floats and, in particular, to Ian Gallagher who drove one of the floats".

    Below, we see Altrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley in two of his additional roles, photographed by Peter Foster. Left, Grahame is seen driving the Altrincham FC float in the Altrincham Festival parade. Right, he is captured keeping goal during the penalty shoot-out competition at the Festival showground in Timperley. Grahame's multi-tasking continued on Tuesday as, assisted by Peter Foster, John Skelhorn and Peter Warburton he removed damaged ceiling panels from the mobile gents toilets at the away end at Moss Lane! Many thanks also go to decorator Steve Benyon and his colleague who completed the repair by applying mastic to waterproof the roof, in addition to the interior decorating they have been doing recently in the boardroom and adjacent areas of the ground at Moss Lane. Also pictured below are some of the Alty fans who walked with the parade, collecting funds.


    The next two instalments of Barry Pikesley's When Alty Were Kings are now on the website.


    The fixtures for 2011-12, released yesterday, send Altrincham to Wetherby Road, Harrogate for their opening game on August 13th. This is not the first time we have kicked off a season with a game against the Yorkshiremen. Back on 17 August 2002, Town were the visitors at Moss Lane and they soundly beat Alty 4-0 in a game which saw Danny Murphy suffer a bad injury and Ian Craney also limp off.

    Alty's gate that day was 552 and their line-up comprised: 1. Nick STEPHENS, 2. Stephen ROSE, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Andy McDONALD, 7. Danny MURPHY, 8. Ian CRANEY, 9. Chris YOUNG, 10. Rod THORNLEY (capt.), 11. Ryan HEVICON. Subs: 12. Simon WOODFORD, 14. Jason GALLAGHER, 15. Mike TURNER.

    When Alty last visited Harrogate Town, on Saturday, 11 December, 2004, the Yorkshiremen were top of the Conference North, but they faded before the end of the season and finished out of the play-offs in sixth place, a point behind Altrincham.

    619 fans watched as Alty, who had failed to score in their two previous visits to Wetherby Road, secured a 1-1 draw, with Town equalizing four minutes from time after Colin Potts's 25-yarder had fired Alty ahead. The previous year at Wetherby Road, Alty lost their goalkeeper (Richard Acton) under a robust challenge and left-back Adams had to keep goal for 50 minutes.

    Alty's line-up in 2004 was: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 3. Chris ADAMS. 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Eddie HUSSIN (capt.), 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Rod THORNLEY, 11. Gary SCOTT. Subs: 12. Adam BRINDLE, 14. Kieran LUGSDEN, 15. Sean SMITH, 16. Paul TILLEY, 17. George MELLING.

    Mike Garnett's statistics tell us that in our six previous league matches with Harrogate Town, Alty have won just once, drawn three and lost twice.

    Meanwhile, "The new board of Harrogate Town are pleased to announce the following admission and season ticket prices for the 2011-2012 season.

    Per Match: Adults £10, Concessions (OAPs) £5, Students and unemployed (photo ID proof must be shown to qualify) £5, Under 16s £2.00.

    The full opening day fixtures on 13 August are:

  • Bishop`s Stortford v Colwyn Bay
  • Eastwood Town v Droylsden
  • FC Halifax Town v Corby Town
  • Gainsborough Trinity v Solihull Moors
  • Guiseley v Hinckley United
  • Harrogate Town v Altrincham
  • Histon v Blyth Spartans
  • Hyde FC v Worcester City
  • Nuneaton Town v Stalybridge Celtic
  • Vauxhall Motors v Gloucester City
  • Workington v Boston United


    Gloucester City's review of their fixtures states "The festive period sees Gloucester again play neighbours Worcester, with the Tigers travelling up to St George’s Lane on Boxing Day and hosting the match on New Year's Day. Other stand-out ties include Altrincham at home on 3rd September (Non League Day),"

    Droylsden "have pleasure to inform you of two new signings, with more to follow. Joining us this season are Dale Johnson a striker, last club Altrincham, and Chris Brown a centre half, last club Rochdale. Welcome to the Bloods". Dale had a previous spell at the Butcher's Arms when they spent a season in the Conference National division.

    The BBC confirms that "Dietmar Hamann is to take over as the new manager of Stockport County. The ex-Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester City and Germany midfielder replaces Ray Mathias, who is considering whether to remain at the club. The appointment of Hamann, 37, on a one-year deal comes following the takeover of the club by a Liverpool-based consortium, headed by Tony Evans.

    Hamann spent last season working on the coaching staff at Leicester City under Sven Goran Eriksson. Evans, who has the option of talking a majority share in the club, heads a new consortium of business people set to invest at Edgeley Park. Hamann...will start his managerial career in the Conference".

    Meanwhile the BBC adds that "Rushden & Diamonds will move a step closer to being wound up by entering into receivership. In a statement, club CEO Steve Beasant said without new investment the club was insolvent and could not continue...

    Beasant said, 'The club will be placed into receivership via Nene Park owners, based upon their powers under historic legal charges over the club'. Negotiations with a Japanese property management company, who had expressed an interest in investing in the club, broke down on Sunday night. Rushden are still facing a winding-up petition, with the initial hearing adjourned until 11 July.

    'A Receiver is appointed over the charged assets to realise them for the benefit of the chargeholder', said Julie Palmer of restructuring experts Begbies Traynor. 'Unlike administration, it can run alongside a winding up process, and if there are no assets, the creditors will not recoup their losses if the club is wound up'. Other than [through] the emergence of a new investor, Palmer says that Diamonds will only [be] reprieved under the current circumstances if all the petitioning creditors withdraw at the hearing on Monday or if the Judge decides to adjourn or set aside the petition...

    Rushden's decision to end their appeal means relegated Southport will stay in the Blue Square Bet Premier, while Thurrock remain in the Blue Square Bet South and Bishop's Stortford are moved to the Blue Square Bet North."

    According to the Coventry Telegraph, "Nuneaton Town are just eight days away from their opening friendly of the season at home to Mansfield Town next Tuesday but the future of influential midfielder Kyle Storer still remains unclear. Storer – last season’s top marksman with 14 goals – has told the club he wants full-time football.

    But despite several offers – of which Boro have accepted at least two – the 24-year-old’s transfer requirements have yet to be fulfilled. Manager Kevin Wilkin welcomed Storer, who returned from holiday last Friday, to training over the weekend but is working on the assumption that the ex-Atherstone and Hinckley ace will have parted company come the opening day of the season on Saturday, August 13.

    The signing of Hinckley’s highly regarded youngster Sam Belcher, believed to be his successor, plus Mark Noon’s and Richard Lavery’s extensions to their contracts gives the Triton Arena outfit solid cover although there’s no doubt that Storer’s goals, creativity and flair are ingredients Boro could well miss".

    On the same theme, the Nuneaton News says that "Nuneaton Town have stepped up their search for a new striker by offering a deal to a player — just as Kyle Storer’s protracted transfer wrangle was on the brink of another twist. Boro boss Kevin Wilkin told News Sport... 'I’ve put an offer to a front man. I’m waiting to hear back from him. I couldn’t put an exact timescale on it'...

    Wilkin has made it clear he [has been] looking for another striker since Danny Glover joined from Worcester City last month. As it stands, he only has Glover and Justin Marsden to choose from, although Marsden missed Saturday’s first pre-season training session with a groin problem which will be assessed by physio Paul Egan. Forward Lee Moore did train with the squad, although he is yet to commit to the offer he has been made. Other players to train include attacking midfielder Robbie Burns, also yet to sign, and last season’s top scorer Storer.

    The central midfielder is keen to leave the club to move into full-time football, but he is under contract to Nuneaton for another season. A move to Alfreton Town has fallen through, but Wilkin has revealed other teams are still keen to sign the 24-year-old if a deal can be brokered... Central defender Guy Hadland also missed the session with injury, while left sided players Simon Forsdick and Eddie Nisevic are away, as is experienced central midfielder Richard Lavery".

    5 July 2011


    The fixtures released today show that Altrincham start their season with an away trip to Harrogate Town and end it at home to Gainsborough Trinity. Our Christmas and New Year local derby matches are against Droylsden, whilst for the August Bank Holiday and Easter matches we play Hyde and Guiseley.

    Blue Square Bet North 2011-12: Altrincham FC Fixtures:

  • Saturday, 13.8.11 Harrogate T. A
  • Tuesday, 16.8.11 Workington H
  • Saturday, 20.8.11 Histon H
  • Tuesday, 23.8.11 Vauxhall M. A
  • Saturday, 27.8.11 Hyde A
  • Monday, 29.8.11 Guiseley H
  • Saturday, 3.9.11 Gloucester C. A
  • Saturday, 10.9.11 Worcester C. H
  • Saturday, 17.9.11 Solihull M. A
  • Tuesday, 20.9.11 Colwyn Bay A
  • Saturday, 24.9.11 Nuneaton T. H
  • Saturday, 8.10.11 Boston U. H
  • Saturday, 22.10.11 Stalybridge C. A
  • Tuesday, 25.10.11 Vauxhall M. H
  • Saturday, 29.10.11 Hinckley U. A
  • Saturday, 5.11.11 Eastwood T. H
  • Saturday, 12.11.11 Worcester C. A
  • Saturday, 19.11.11 Gloucester C. H
  • Saturday, 3.12.11 FC Halifax T. A
  • Tuesday, 6.12.11 Corby T. H
  • Saturday, 17.12.11 Blyth S. A
  • Monday, 26.12.11 Droylsden H
  • Sunday, 1.1.12 Droylsden A
  • Saturday, 7.1.12 Colwyn Bay H
  • Saturday, 14.1.12 Workington A
  • Saturday, 21.1.12 Harrogate T. H
  • Saturday, 28.1.12 Gainsborough T. A
  • Saturday, 4.2.12 Stalybridge C. H
  • Saturday, 11.2.12 Corby T. A
  • Saturday, 18.2.12 Blyth S. H
  • Tuesday, 21.2.12 Hinckley U. H
  • Saturday, 25.2.12 Bishops Stortford A
  • Saturday, 3.3.12 Histon A
  • Saturday, 10.3.12 Bishops Stortford H
  • Saturday, 17.3.12 Boston U. A
  • Saturday, 24.3.12 Solihull M. H
  • Saturday, 31.3.12 Nuneaton T. A
  • Saturday, 7.4.12 Hyde H
  • Monday, 9.4.12 Guiseley A
  • Saturday, 14.4.12 FC Halifax T. H
  • Saturday, 21.4.12 Eastwood T. A
  • Saturday, 28.4.12 Gainsborough T. H


    Altrincham's first opponents in pre-season, this Saturday, 9th July, will be Burnley's first team and the Burnley Express tells us that "Chris McCann is Eddie Howe’s first – and potentially most important – signing of the summer. The Clarets returned for pre-season training at Gawthorpe yesterday, and the news Burnley fans have been desperate to hear was confirmed as the 23-year-old Dubliner committed his future to the club by signing a new two-year deal.

    The saga has run all summer, with Howe eager to tie down McCann, who he gave the captain’s armband for the final game of the season against Cardiff City. McCann played the last four games of the campaign, having played only 100 minutes since September 2009 after serious knee problems and a subsequent setback after a head operation to relieve excess fluid following complaints of repeated migraines...

    Bolton Wanderers were linked with the player – with former boss Owen Coyle a huge fan, once describing him as the 'photo-fit modern-day midfielder'... Howe can now look to bolster the squad, as he looks to pair McCann with Jack Cork. Burnley remain very much in the hunt for Cork, who spent the last season and a half with the Clarets on loan from Chelsea. Southampton are the only club so far to have made an acceptable offer to Chelsea, and the Saints are believed to be offering Cork in excess of what the Clarets can stretch to in terms of wages.

    Cork, however, is not thought to be keen on a move to St Mary’s, preferring to return to Turf Moor. Meanwhile, young forward Alex MacDonald has also agreed new terms with the club, joining Dominic Knowles and Alex-Ray Harvey in signing new deals. MacDonald, who had a spell on loan with SPL side Inverness Caledonian Thistle last season, has signed a one-year contract.

    Championship rivals Hull City look to have ended their interest in Clarets striker Chris Iwelumo after snapping up Nottingham Forest’s former Burnley loan man Dele Adebola on Wednesday".

    From the Liverpool Daily Post comes news of our opponents in Mark Maddox's testimonial game on 23 July. "Tranmere paved the way for the club's most lucrative transfer in six years when they accepted an offer from German giants Bayern Munich for Dale Jennings that could be worth up to £1.8 million. Rovers have now given permission for the 18-year-old prospect to discuss personal terms with Bayern.

    Manager Les Parry said, 'Bayern have made us a very good offer for Dale and we don’t want to stand in his way of making this incredible move. When a club with the size and history of Bayern come in for you, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and I wish Dale all the best should the transfer happen. It also says a lot about the club’s youth system that one of the giants of European football is interested in signing one of our players'.

    'I understand the deal is likely to involve an upfront payment of £500,000, a further £350,000 once Jennings signs German professional forms and another £500,000 when he makes five first-team appearances. A final payment may be made if and when Jennings wins full international caps for England. Bayern have been tracking Jennings throughout the summer after being alerted by the Liverpool born youngster's exciting performances in Tranmere's first-team last season'".

    Also "Tranmere hope to avoid the goalkeeping problems that beset them last season after signing Welshman Owain Fon Williams over the weekend. The 24-year-old from Caernarfon, who boasts the experience of more than 100 games for Stockport, Bury and Rochdale, has agreed a two-year contract. Manager Les Parry was keen to secure a first choice keeper on the permanent staff. Rovers went into the 2010/11 campaign with a keeper, Gunnar Nielsen, on a six-month loan from Manchester City. Nielsen, a Faroe Islands International, played only three senior games for Rovers after suffering a succession of injury setbacks. Tranmere fell back on number two goalkeeper Joe Collister and another loan goalkeeper, Liverpool’s Peter Gulacsi, before signing the vastly experienced Tony Warner on a short-term contract in January. Rovers were unable to offer the kind of terms that could tempt Warner to remain Prenton Park for the coming season. Parry revealed Fon Williams was his number one target".

    4 July 2011


    The FA announces that it "can confirm that Rushden & Diamonds have withdrawn their appeal against expulsion from the Football Conference. The club’s hearing, scheduled for Tuesday 5 July, has now been cancelled and the Football Conference decision to expel Rushden & Diamonds remains in force."

    Consequently, the Football Conference says that "The Football Conference has this afternoon been informed by the Football Association that the appeal lodged by Rushden & Diamonds FC against expulsion from membership of the Football Conference has been withdrawn by those representing the club. The hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, 5th July, has now been cancelled and the Football Conference decision to expel Rushden & Diamonds is ratified.

    A full statement by Brian Lee, Chairman of the Conference Board of Directors, will be released via this web-site at 11am tomorrow (5 July) concerning issues relating to this matter. At the same time the official fixture list for 2011/12 for all three divisions of the competition will be formally released to clubs and the media".

    Earlier it had been announced that the fixtures would be delayed by the appeal, till Wednesday.


    Unfortunately, Sunday's Altrincham FC youth team trial match between two teams of prospective squad members for 2011-12 was truncated by an injury to one of the players. Midfielder, Jamie McLellan, who had only joined the game at the start of the second of three planned periods of thirty minutes' play, suffered a dislocated knee 18 minutes into the second period. Play was halted whilst an ambulance was called and with twenty minutes or so passing before this arrived, the game was abandoned. All at Altrincham FC wish Janie a speedy recovery from his injury. A brief match report and some photos are on the Youth page.

    Above is shown some action from the game.


    Altrincham FC Safety Officer, Allison Lewis, writes on the Alty Fans' Forum, "In my new role as Safety Officer I wonder if there is anyone out there who has a secret yearning to be a steward. If you have, then don't hesitate any longer, please have a word with either myself, the chief steward, or any of the other stewards who will pass on the message. We will be happy to talk it through with anyone interested. It is a really good way to give something back to our football club, without having to put your hand in your pocket. Please have a think about it"


    TASC's Peter Foster has provided the accompanying photo of the Moss Lane Boardroom after its recent refurbishment. There will be more, from Steve Foster, on the summer work done at the ground in Monday's website update. This work has included painting the Away Dressing Rooms, the Referee's room, the inside Main Entrance, the Tunnel, as well as the Boardroom. Former player Colin Potts has also laid new carpet where needed. As Peter says, "The Boardroom was particularly needing a refresh and a picture of the room, with new Trophy shelf (with spaces!) is adjacent".


    As previously announced, admission prices for the Altrincham v Burnley match on Saturday, for which the Clarets are sending their first-team squad, will be £7 for adults and £2 for concessionaries for all parts of the ground. Altrincham FC season ticket holders can gain free entry on production of their ticket book.

    Those travelling to Moss Lane by public transport are advised that Metrolink has been subject to weekend closures recently, some of which have not been clearly announced before the preceding day. Although a replacement bus is provided for such closures, it is slow as it calls at all stations. So, please check the Metrolink website before travelling. Alternatively, use the bus, Arriva 263 or the slower 41 service, both from Manchester Piccadilly. The GMPTE bus timetable library will give you the times of both services.


    The Football Conference "confirm a delay in the release of the 2011/12 season fixture list. Due to the impending appeal by Rushden & Diamonds FC to the Football Association in respect of their explusion from membership, scheduled for hearing on Tuesday (5th July), it is sensible and practical under these circumstances, to delay the release of the 2011/12 fixture list for all three Blue Square Bet divisions, until at least 10am on Wednesday 6th July".

    The NL Paper reported on Sunday that "Bishop's Stortford will be given £12,000 compensation by the Conference to soften the blow of being forced to play in Blue Square Bet North next season". The club's mileage will increase from 3,936 in BSB South to 6,872 in BSB North. Conference chairman Brian Lee "says the one-off compensation payment covers the difference in travel costs and necessary overnight stays. He stressed the offer was made due to the timing of the switch [following Rushden's demotion] and would not have happened had Stortford been geographically destined for the BSB North when last season ended. 'IT is not a precedent for any other club', said Lee".

    Bishop’s Stortford's projected mileage is still significantly lower than that of clubs such as Workington and Blyth Spartans who will have to travel about 1,000 miles more.

    Vauxhall Motors report that "Scott Tynan and Kevin Grocott have signed a contact for next season. Brian Moogan departs Rivacre Park. Neil Prince retires".

    Another ex-Alty player will be facing us next season as FC Halifax Town tell us that "At the end of a gruelling training session, the first of FC Halifax Town's pre-season campaign, a familiar face beams, 'It's good to be back'. Those were Ryan Toulson's first words after it was announced the popular full-back had returned to the Shay following a lengthy absence. Having signed a professional contract under Chris Wilder nearing his 18th birthday, Toulson spent some happy seasons at the club before he was loaned out to Altrincham in the season which the old Halifax Town AFC eventually became extinct.

    He then had a spell at Gainsborough Trinity before more recently signing for Guiseley, who came ten minutes away from gaining promotion to the Blue Square Bet Premier. This is still Toulson's ambition. Only it is now with FC Halifax Town."

    In fact, "FC Halifax Town held their first pre-season training session... with eight fresh faces in attendance. Scott McManus (FC United), Simon Eastwood (Oxford United), David Haggerty (Eastwood Town) and Liam Needham (Guiseley), who have been previously announced by the Club, were joined at Spring Hall by former Shayman Ryan Toulson, ex Buxton captain Gregg Anderson, central midfielder Anton Foster (Eastwood Town) and Chorley's top goalscorer from last season Jack Dorney.

    Manager Neil Aspin... told the Official Website, 'For every player that left last season we have replaced them with another player so we have got a similar sized squad. We haven't got any trialists. We have only got players that really want to be here, but as pre-season goes on you will see different players. At the moment we have got eight players that have come in and time will tell if they will be able to do the job or not...

    Last season we had a strong defence. We had James Riley as well in there who played a really big part. I didn't want him to leave but he did. We then finished the season with Steve Woods, Mark Bower, Andy Milne and Liam Hogan. The first three players there have now left, but they have been replaced by three more centre-halves... We have covered those areas so it is up to those lads to now do better than what the others did in the previous season'...

    The goalkeeping position has been resolved with former Huddersfield Town youngster Simon Eastwood being presented with the number one shirt and Jonathan Hedge leaving the Shay...'I think Phil [Senior] got a kick up the backside by the fact that I was letting him go but due to Jonathan leaving it was a chance for Phil to come back. He's done nothing wrong. I just feel that he's been happy to be second choice and now I want him to push to be first choice goalkeeper more'...

    On the injury front, Nicky Gray, Harry Winter and James Dean all missed the majority of last season but Aspin insists they can all play a big part in the Club's future. He said... 'I was delighted with the way everybody, both old and new players, have come back. In terms of their weight and definition there is no one that has put on weight'".

    Pitchero Non-League reports that "Danny Johnson, manager of Evo-Stik League Northern Premier Division club Ashton United, declared himself 'delighted' following his team’s first pre-season training session. Johnson said that there were five or six new faces present with the only absentees being [an ex-Alty trio of] Stephen Rose, Ged Murphy and Aaron Burns, who are all still away on holiday. However, he revealed he is unsure whether Burns will return for the new season as he is being chased by Blue Square Bet North neighbours Hyde FC.

    Johnson said, 'Aaron called me on Thursday evening and confirmed that he is being chased by Hyde. Losing Aaron would be another blow but I will never try to stand in a players way should they be offered the opportunity to move up the leagues. Hyde have offered a number of players unbelievable financial deals and should they do so with Aaron we will find it difficult to keep him at Hurst Cross'".

    3 July 2011


    Saturday witnessed the annual Altrincham Festival in which Altrincham FC participated. The Club is grateful to all who helped to stage the event and to collect funds on the way and at the show ground in Timperley, as well as to Dunham Scaffolding who lent two vehicles for the parade for use by the Football Club and the Junior section.

    The photos show (top, left) the supporters who accompanied the Altrincham FC float to the showground at Timperley, and top right, the Alty Juniors' float. Both vehicles were kindly provided by Dunham Scaffolding. None other than Alty chairman, Grahame Rowley, drove the Club's float, which is seen below.


    If you are missing watching an Altrincham team in action, you can see the youth team playing a trial match today (Sunday, 2.30pm) at BTH. Two sides of potential Alty Youth players will play each other as manager George Heslop and his coaching team face the unenviable task of reducing the numbers down to a suitable size for the coming season.


    Sarah Rowley writes: "A Paypal page has been set up for online donations for the Mark Maddox testimonial game on 23 July. The email address needed is Thank you very much for all your support. We hope we can get as many spectators as possible at the game to make it a memorable day for Mark and his family".

    The support for Mark's testimonial continues to pour in. Former Altrincham midfielder Lewis Chalmers is the latest. He writes on the Fans' Forum, "I'm absolutely gutted to hear this awful news! Mark Maddox is a great guy and I am honoured to be a friend of his! Mark is a big character and when I first met him in 2004 he was a towering figure! Not forgetting I was only 18!

    I remember thinking about him then, I don't want to get on the wrong side of him! But once I got to know him he was 'sound', as he and the other Scousers would say! I soon started to looked up to him because he was a true professional on and off the pitch! A leaf out of his book would not do me any harm!! I know that at Alty he is a true legend and rightly so! He wore his heart on his sleeve and he would give everything on the pitch come 3 o'clock Saturday! He was a great captain to play for, always encouraging, but also telling you when you needed to be told!!

    I can not say enough about him and I will be there with my missus after the game against Tranmere! I would love to be there for the match but I have a pre-season game my self. See you all there and please make it a really good turn out 'cause we all know he is Mr Altrincham!! Lewis Chalmers".


    The Worcester News says that "Worcester City’s fixtures for next season have been delayed because of an appeal by Rushden and Diamonds against their expulsion from the Conference. The 2011/12 Blue Square Bet North schedule had been set for Tuesday but has been put back at least 24 hours while Rushden’s case is heard.

    Diamonds were kicked out of non-league’s top-flight for financial reasons at the league’s annual general meeting last month. However, they have appealed against the decision and the Football Association hearing at Wembley is also on Tuesday. If Rushden fail, the fixtures for the Conference, together with the north and south divisions, will be released on Wednesday.

    The Northamptonshire club being reinstated, though, could cause havoc as the fixtures would need to be revised to reverse the shake-up triggered by Rushden being thrown out. Southport, reprieved following Diamonds’ expulsion, would be relegated to City’s league, while Bishop’s Stortford, angered at being moved laterally from Blue Square Bet South, would return and Thurrock go down.

    Meanwhile, the newly-seeded St George’s Lane pitch is making good progress and expected to be in fine condition for the new season. Following heavy criticism of the surface in recent campaigns, directors sought the advice of the Institute of Groundsmanship and have since planted new grass with deeper roots for durability and installed a £3,000 irrigation system for regular watering.

    It is also hoped to use the pitch less with City seeking an alternative training venue and Evesham United only expected to play a handful of games there while the finishing touches are made to their new home".

    According to the Daily Mail, "Dietmar Hamann is in line to become the new manager of relegated Stockport County as businessman Anthony Evans prepares to take over the Blue Square Bet Premier club."

    2 July 2011


    Altrincham FC has a float for the Altrincham Festival, today, Saturday 2 July. Please come along and support the event and, if possible, help out the Alty volunteers. The timetable is below...

    The organisers report that the "Altrincham Festival Grand Parade leaves St Margaret's road in Altrincham prompt at 11.00am. The parade travels through Altrincham Town Centre and into Barrington Road where it turns right at the traffic lights onto Woodlands Parkway. This year, the judging point will be at the junction of Stockport Road and Wellington Road. We are asking ALL participants in the parade to ensure that they are at their best when passing this point. Remember that this is where YOUR entry could be chosen as a winner in several groups.

    It continues along Stockport Road past the Altrincham Golf Club and at the Hare and Hounds it bears left still on Stockport Road into Timperley Village. At the centre of the village the parade turns left into Park Road and travels approx 800 yards and turns into Grange Road and the into Grange Avenue. At the end of Grange Avenue the parade enters the Festival Showground where the Parade presentations are made by the Mayor and Mayoress of Trafford to the winning entries and the Family Fun Day on the Showground swings fully into action".


    Cheshire-based company Mornflake Oats have signed up as the Altrincham FC shorts sponsors for the coming season. The long-established millers' logo is shown, right. The Club is very grateful to Mornflake Oats for their support.


    A lot of former Altrincham players and staff are expected to support Mark Maddox's testimonial game against the Tranmere Rovers first-team at Moss Lane on July 23. Amongst those already confirming their attendance are former managers John King, Graham Heathcote and Dalton Steele.


    Altrincham fans Mark Eckersall and Brian Flynn recently asked for the views of Altrincham supporters in helping them to decide a new business name, with an Altrincham F.C. slant for their online marketing business - currently Perry Online Marketing.

    The response was excellent both in terms of quantity and quality of ideas and the following suggestions have been shortlisted:

  • Robins Online Marketing
  • Red and White Online Marketing
  • Red Robins Online Marketing
  • 442 Online Marketing
  • Zigger Zagger Online Marketing
  • Red, White and Black Online Marketing
  • 1903 Online Marketing
  • Net Online Marketing
  • Future Online Marketing
  • Fanfare Online Marketing
  • Mad Dog Online Marketing

    Mark and Brian believe that there is a very high chance that their new business name will come from the ideas put forward and a final decision is expected within the next seven days.There is a prize of a £25 voucher to be spent in the club shop for the person who has put forward the suggestion that is chosen.


    The FA says that for "The FA Cup, Trophy, Vase and Youth Cup Season 2011-2012, the following details will be available on on Friday 8 July 2011.

    The FA Cup with Budweiser

    List of clubs accepted, List of exemptions, Extra Preliminary Round draw, Preliminary Round draw, First Round Qualifying draw

    The FA Carlsberg Trophy

    List of clubs accepted, List of exemptions, Preliminary Round draw, First Round Qualifying draw

    The FA Carlsberg Vase

    List of clubs accepted, List of exemptions, First Round Qualifying draw, Second Round Qualifying draw, First Round Proper draw

    The FA Youth Cup

    List of clubs accepted, List of exemptions, Preliminary Round draw, First Round Qualifying draw, Second Round Qualifying draw".


    Football Finder reports that "It might have escaped many people’s notice this month, but one of the most intriguing lower-league stories of the week involves the return to England of one Glenn Hoddle, former national team boss and psychic-consulter extraordinaire. Hoddle and his eponymous football academy have linked up with Conference North side Hyde FC, a team which now looks set for a remarkable transformation.

    To understand why this is, you have to look back a year or two to see what the Glenn Hoddle Academy (GHA) has already done. Hoddle, coaching along with former legends Nigel Spackman, Graham Rix and Dave Beasant, established the organisation in Spain in May 2008 in order to give a second chance to young English footballers prematurely released by sides over here, nurturing their talent in the hope that someday they might succeed...

    Events then took a new turn with a hook-up with local fourth division side Jerez Industrial, whereby the Academy would provide the entire playing squad and coaching staff. The club desperately needed investment, which the GHA was able to provide in return for the opportunity to give professional football to its students. However, the relationship did not last, and so now Hoddle is bringing the enterprise back home.

    A tie-up with fellow Conference side Rushden and Diamonds was put on hiatus following their extreme financial troubles (which I’ve covered in previous articles) and so Hyde were chosen as the Academy’s new partner, with the academy now based at Bisham Abbey. However, this partnership will be different to that seen in Jerez, as Hyde will still retain their own players and have complete control over coaching and team selection. The team have also taken over the registration of the GHA players, using this to their own advantage by transferring two players to Port Vale this week. Yet the GHA have stated that the link-up with Hyde is designed to generate interest in their players, all of whom were released by their parent English clubs early on and are now desperate for a second chance.

    It promises to be an interesting season for Hyde, providing they can retain some of the obviously talented youngsters the GHA will bring. Hoddle chose the Academy’s first location in southern Spain because the area enjoys 300 days of sunshine each year, and he believes that gifted players develop better in sunny climates, saying, 'You only have to look at the sunshine countries like Spain, Portugal, Brazil and the African sides to see that'. It could be intriguing to see how this plays out next season".

    Footnote: Greater Manchester's sunshine hours are here, whilst Jérez's put them in the shade, here.

    Gloucester City currently play their home games at Cheltenham, but This is Glos says that "Gloucester City have sought to allay fears of supporters over an apparent lack of activity over the submission of plans for a new community stadium. As revealed in The Citizen in February, City had drawn-up ambitious plans for a new ground on the site of their old Meadow Park home. The plans, including extensive flood alleviation work to prevent a repeat of the scenes from July 2007 when the club were forced out of their home, were put on display...

    Following the consultation, the plans were submitted to Gloucester City Council, but is then that the trail goes quiet... The club has decided to release a statement [which]... confirms that plans have been submitted and that the delay is due to the club needing to supply 'additional supporting information'. It also stresses that the plans have not been rejected and that the club remain 'committed to ensuring that planning permission is secured'....

    Matt Phillips, acting chairman of the Gloucester City Supporters' Trust, said: 'We just have to make do with what we've got. The fact that we were in a position to submit the plans in the first place indicates that we are by no means back to square one. From what I understand we are very close and hopefully it's just a case of a few minor issues to be ironed out in order to put a tick in the right box'...

    City are currently preparing for the second season of two-year a groundshare agreement with neighbours Cheltenham Town. They were forced to move to the Robins' Abbey Business Stadium after spending two-years sharing with Cirencester Town as the Centurions' Corinium Stadium home did not meet Conference North grading. Prior to their two year stint with Cirencester, the Tigers shared for one season at Forest Green Rovers in the immediate aftermath of the floods in July 2007".

    Girder your loins as the Football Conference jokes that "Rivett Joins Steelmen Board. Corby Town have appointed a fifth director to their board ahead of new season. Corby have announced the appointment of Chris Rivett to the board of directors. Rivett, 32, is the managing director of Northampton-based Final Third Sports Media and previously worked for Northampton Town and Luton Town before setting up his own media company in 2005.

    On his appointment, acting chairman David Mallinger explained: 'Graham and I have known Chris for over a decade and his experience and contacts will be of great benefit to the club. Through his business and the work they do for the Football League and the Professional Game Match Officials he is in daily contact with the offices of the Football League and the Premier League and their member clubs. We aspire to have as professional set-up at Corby as we can within our budget and the knowledge he has is essential to us achieving that."

    Meanwhile, "Nuneaton Town’s long-serving captain Mark Noon has put pen-to-paper on another contract with the club committing him to at least 2013. Noon said, 'The club is getting better and better every season. The ground is taking shape nicely and the gaffer is building a better squad this season than we have had before', he said. Noon put pen-to-paper at a supporters' forum on Wednesday evening shortly before two youth team players, Alex Gudger and Luke Taylor, signed contracts with the club".

    Also, the Nuneaton News reports that "Ian Neale has revealed that Nuneaton Town are on course to buck the trend and break even this year... Boro chairman Neale admits times are hard in the lower echelons of football. However, Neale says that is not the case at the Triton Showers Community Arena.

    He said, 'Our finances are very stable. We are one of the few clubs that will be running at a break even level. If we do happen to make any money it’s always reinvested in the club. None of the directors get paid. We do everything to get the lads on the field prepared... “We want to be professional on the field and in the boardroom to make sure this club never goes into the position of 2007/08 again'...

    Boro rapidly erected a 500 seat stand last season in order to allow the team to play in Blue Square Bet Premier had they been promoted. The long-term plan remains to extend that stand and build facilities behind that can be used on a day-to-day basis. But Neale admits... 'We can’t currently fund a build programme so we are looking for a partner. That could be with the NHS so they put a surgery here. It could be with a college so they put some courses on. We’ve got a consultant that has been working with us for over a year on this and the (Nuneaton Town) Community Foundation'...

    Neale admitted there had been a problem with the floodlights last season due to complaints they were creating problems for drivers at night. But he insists they have been approved for next season and work to improve them is in the pipeline".

    Also, "Neale says promotion to the Football League is not realistic as he targets establishing the club in the Blue Square Bet Premier... Neale told supporters he thinks the amount of cash needed to transform Boro into a League Two outfit makes that dream 'very difficult'. However, he believes the Conference is effectively Football League standard and reaching that level with promotion this season is possible. He said: 'We want to establish ourselves as a Conference Premier team. For all intents and purposes it’s the fifth tier of the Football League. How would we sustain that? We are setting out our business plan at the moment...

    The foundation is part of a much more long term aim to change how the town is perceived in the community. We want it to reach more than the 800 to 1,000 regulars here. We also want to develop the ground and we are looking at sponsors for that... Unless we had a major investor it would be very difficult to get out of Conference Premier into the Football League. Last season Crawley had a million pound plus budget. That is four or five times what some clubs are paying. Conference Premier is an ambition that is achievable and it’s where we want to go this year'".

    According to the Cambridge News, "Jorg Stadelmann is Histon’s new No 1. The 31-year-old Austrian goalkeeper has arrived from regional league side FC Hard in his home country, where he has played more than 400 games. And the shot-stopper will be putting his array of qualifications to good use by also taking on a coaching role following James Alger’s departure.

    Stadelmann, who has come to England to live with his fiancée, sent his CV to the club and impressed David Livermore when the Stutes' manager went to watch him play earlier in the summer. 'Jorg’s an experienced goalkeeper', said Livermore. 'He’s also got a sports science and psychology degree, so for me he was someone I wanted on my backroom staff. We’ve offered him a contract and we still need to sign those contracts. He wants to look through it and make sure everything’s correct, but he wants to be here'...

    Livermore assembled the majority of his squad for the start of pre-season training at Anglia Ruskin University’s sports science department yesterday. But one player not taking part was Zac Attwood after the Sussex-based forward decided to leave the club for financial reasons... Said Livermore, 'He’d have been struggling, financially, to live in Cambridge. He had somewhere to live last year that was affordable on his contract, but the living arrangement’s not there for this season... The better fit for him is to play his football on the south coast'".

    1 July 2011


    The Herts & Essex Observer reports that "It looks increasingly likely that Blues WILL be playing in the Conference North next season. Bishop’s Stortford FC opted not to lodge an appeal with either the Football Association or Football Conference over the decision to move the club into the northern division, where they will face gruelling trips of up to 600 miles to the likes of Workington, Colwyn Bay and Blyth Spartans. This was taken after legal advice. The only hope for Blues now is that the FA upholds an appeal from Rushden & Diamonds.

    If cash-strapped Rushden are reinstated into the Conference, Stortford have to hope Southport drop back down to the North section and the East Herts club retain their place in Conference South, with Thurrock going to the Ryman Premier. Rushden were thrown out of the Conference amid alleged debts of over £750,000, but a winding-up order has been delayed and it is thought a takeover deal will emerge to save the club...

    One supporter said an appeal was never an option after heavy pressure from the Football Conference. “It was gun to the head time from the Conference,” he said. If Stortford resign from the league now they will be hit with a £5,000 penalty under Conference rules. Rushden’s appeal will be heard by the FA on Tuesday, ironically the day that the Football Conference publishes its fixtures for the 2011-12 campaign.

    BSFC released this statement, 'Bishop’s Stortford Football Club have advised the Football Conference that they do not wish to "self relegate" and are preparing for competing in Blue Square Bet North for the coming season. The situation regarding the appeal lodged by Rushden & Diamonds is constantly being monitored and should they be successful in their appeal and reinstated into the Blue Square Bet Premier Division then we would naturally expect to revert to a place in Blue Square Bet South'...

    Blues suffered another blow this week with the news that left-back Aiden Palmer has joined Conference South side Chelmsford City. The player won the Players’ Player of the Year award last season."

    The Cambridge News says that "Cambridge University Press are all set to groundshare with Histon from next season. Subject to final agreement, the Ridgeons League, First Division club will play their home games at the Glass World Stadium, while the Stutes will use CUP’s Cass Centre facilities as their new training base as part of the deal.

    CUP finished fourth in their first Ridgeons League campaign, but would have been ineligible for promotion to the Premier Division due to their ground not having floodlights. Histon chairman Russell Hands has had several meetings with his opposite number Nigel Atkinson and is looking forward to the partnership, which will initially be for two years.

    'It’s a mutual thing as we get to use some of their facilities during the week and they get to use some of ours', said Hands, who revealed other clubs had approached him with regards to a groundshare... The move could result in Histon manager David Livermore offering some of his younger players to CUP boss Nigel Dixon on loan. The Stutes have withdrawn their reserve side from the Ridgeons League and had their application to join the Football Combination turned down".

    Meanwhile, "Omer Riza will commit to a second season at Histon if he can agree personal terms. The striker, who was the Stutes’ leading scorer last term with 12 goals, put himself on the Professional Footballers’ Association’s transfer list in May. But the forward, who came through the youth ranks at Arsenal with Histon manager David Livermore, is keen to turn out for the club in the Blue Square Bet North.

    'Omer wants to stay', said Livermore. 'We just need to financially get a package together that everybody’s happy with. He’s a key player for me and the team, and it might take one or two more meetings to finalise things, but we’ll get there. The budget I’ve got is very, very tight, so we need to be clever with it. I’ve got to make sure I maximise it 100 per cent#.

    Livermore told the News last week he was chasing the signatures of an experienced player with European experience and a youngster who has played in the Blue Square Bet Premier. And, despite those budget restraints, he is hopeful he can secure the services of those players in the coming weeks. 'The two players I’m after have agreed to sign, but agreeing to sign and actually sitting down and signing are very different things', said Livermore".

    According to This is Lincs, "Boston United have ruled out making any more new signings before the start of pre-season training on Saturday. But the current members of the squad will be joined by several trialists – including Julian Joachim – and five members of the Pilgrims' all-conquering reserve team which swept to the Lincolnshire League title last season.

    Goalkeeper Ricky Drury, defender Tom Ward, wingers Liam Ogden and Jason Field and striker Mickey Stones have been invited to train with the squad during pre-season. The five were recommended to Jason Lee and Lee Canoville by reserve team boss Glen Maddison last season...

    'Hopefully they'll all have their involvement during pre-season and take their chance', said Maddison. 'They've been invited to go down as squad members of the first team. If the squad is a bit low on numbers, I'm hoping they are going to be the boys to make it up'. Boston fans will be particularly interested by the progress of Stones, the reserve team's leading scorer, who scored just four minutes into his Blue Square Bet North debut against Vauxhall Motors in April...

    Revealed Maddison, 'There is a big gulf between the Lincs League, the UCL (where Stones played with Sleaford Town) and Conference North and South. But if you never get your chance, you'll never know'. Maddison says he is pleased with the new, closer link between the first and reserve teams since Lee and Canoville's arrival... Jason (Lee) came in and, probably from a forward's point of view, he liked the little winger (Ogden) who got crosses in and the big man (Stones) up front. He had some faith in them and chucked them in towards the end of the season...

    Meanwhile, the future of Spencer of Weir-Daley remained shrouded in uncertainty last night (Tuesday). The out-of-contract striker, who was the Pilgrims' top scorer last season, was due for talks with Canoville and Lee last week. However, it was said earlier this week that there had been no update on the player's York Street future."

    The Worcester News states that "Worcester City have targeted the addition of at least one more defender to their squad before the new season. With the attacking element of the team largely in place following the acquisitions of Danny Carey-Bertram, Mike Symons, Luke Corbett, Danny Edwards and Simon Brown, the focus has switched to the back-line.

    Centre-half Jacob Rowe has already been recruited to play alongside captain Ryan Clarke, Rob Elvins and Asa Charlton, while left-back Shabir Khan is expected to earn a new deal in pre-season following knee surgery. One position for strengthening is at right-back, following the departure of Graham Ward to Nuneaton...

    Meanwhile, City are confident they will beat last campaign’s season ticket figure of 145. The St George’s Lane club have already sold more than 120 for the next season... Vice-chairman Andrew Watson is pleased with the interest, something he puts down to the new signings. 'We have got over 120 now and if we are hoping to average 650 to 700 gates then that’s quite a percentage and, in the circumstances, it’s pretty good'".

    At Stalybridge Celtic, "Mercurial striker Connor Jennings has put pen to paper for the 2011/12 campaign, bringing Jim Harvey's current squad list up to fifteen players. There has been a lot of speculation about his future... Also signing on for a further season is Dennis Sheriff who was absolutely prolific in his time in the reserves".

    From Corby Town we learn that "Three more players have committed to Corby following a successful first pre-season session on Wednesday night. Glenn Walker has returned to further strengthen Graham Drury's squad and youngsters Sam Ives and Courtney Herbert, who both finished last season with Cambridge United have also agreed to sign. Corby Town can confirm that striker Steve Diggin has left the club".