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Players & Staff who departed Altrincham in season 2017-18
or in close-season 2017


Experienced sports therapist Alan Ainsley originally came to Moss Lane in 2003 as part of the then new Reserves' team set-up. He made a welcome return to Moss Lane for the 2012-13 season, after a spell away at Abbey Hey FC. In the intervening years he had nevertheless regularly helped out with physiotherapy and rehabilitation work at Moss Lane.

Following the appointment in summer 2017 of Alty's new manager Phil Parkinson, with his physio team from Nantwich Town, Alan left his role as first-team physio at Altrincham but he continued to run his Senior Exercise classes in the Community Sports Hall.

Joel BEMBO-LETA (d.o.b. 15 February 1992 in Congo)

Joel is the brother of twins Fabrice and Djenny who play for Abbey Hey (2017) and all three siblings began their English careers with Stalybridge Celtic (2008) but after 150 appearances for the Bower Fold club, he played for teams that include Colwyn Bay, Marine and Buxton. He is a versatile player who usually plays as a defender but he is also a useful striker.

Joel played two pre-season games for Alty in summer 2017 and then joined Shaw Lane before signing for Altrincham in early September 2017. He became a regular starter at right-back, where his strength on the ball was a major asset.

He was released over Christmas 2017 and joined Witton Albion. His departure arose as competition at the back from recent signings Connor Hampson and Andy White, as well as Shaun Densmore, Lewis Short and three centre backs (Ben Harrison, Tom Hannigan and James Jones), meant that his chances were likely to be reduced in the starting eleven.

Joel had an interesting record for Altrincham. He played two pre-season games for the club in summer 2017 and then briefly went to Shaw Lane before signing for Altrincham in early September 2017. He became a regular starter at right-back, where his strength on the ball was a major asset.

Joel went on to make 20 appearances this season for Altrincham, comprising 18 starts and two appearances from the bench. The only times he was involved in a game which Alty lost were in the league game at Workington, where the Robins played much of the game with ten men, and two games in which Alty only lost after the end of ninety minutes. Those games were the penalty shoot-out defeat in the Integro Cup at Mossley and the FA Trophy defeat against Warrington Town in which the visitors' winner only arrived well into added time.

Altrincham appearances: 18 (+2).

Kyle BROWNHILL (d.o.b. 29 March, 1995)

Altrincham signed Kyle Brownhill from Hyde United on 15 December 2016. Kyle is a local lad whose previous clubs include Stockport County, where he was in County's academy, Burnley, Workington and Telford United (2015/16). He had two periods at Hyde the first being in 2014/15. Though signed initially as a left-back, Kyle was later successfully deployed in central midfield in 2016-17. before reverting to left-back in pre-season 2017. However, he opted to leave in late July 2017 after discussions with manager Phil Parkinson had indicated that he might not be a regular starter during the coming season. Altrincham appearances: 17(+1), 0 goals.

Nicky CLEE (d.o.b. 30 August 1983, in Huddersfield)

Nicky originally joined from Hyde United on 17 July 2009 before being released by Neil Young at the end of 2015/16. He re-signed for the club, from Harrogate Town, on 16 December 2016. Nicky is primarily a left-winger but can also play at left-back, as well as being an accomplished cricketer.

It was a former Alty boss, Gerry Quinn, who took Nicky from Ossett Albion, whom he had joined in 2002-03 from local football, to join Ashton United in the 2003-04 season.

The following summer he moved to Hyde United, where he made his debut at the end of July 2005. Nicky made 147(+12) appearances and scored 21 goals in all for the Tameside club.

As well as his trickery on the ball, which unlocks defences, he has a very long-throw in his armoury. Nicky wass a fans' favourite at Moss Lane and has scored some memorable goals for Alty.

His non-football job is as a finance assistant in a Huddersfield company. His start to 2015-16 was affected by an injury picked up in pre-season but he started his first game in October. However, after a series of substitute appearance his season was curtailed by the need for an operation. He was released by new manager Neil Young in early May 2016 and joined Guiseley before moving on briefly to Harrogate Town, from where he rejoined Altrincham.

Having signed a contract till the end of 2017-18, he asked to be released from that in May 2017 and left the club. he then signed for Bradford PA. Curiously, he finished his last season at Alty in goal after Tim Deasy had been injured during the last match of the 2016-17 at Tamworth.

Altrincham appearances: 239(+53), 37 goals.

John CYRUS (d.o.b. 10 October, 1991)

A tough-tackling and commanding centre-back John Cyrus, signed for Alty in early June 2016 from Frickley Athletic. He had been Player of the Year at Frickley in 2015. John had joined Frickley in July 2014 from Barnsley club, Shaw Lane Aquaforce, having previously played for Emley. He made his Altrincham debut on 6 August 2016 at home to Darlington and became a regular starter with several impressive performances. John left the club in May 2017 and rejoined Frickley Athletic. Altrincham appearances: 37(+1), 4 goals.

John DISNEY (d.o.b. 15 May 1992 in Truro)

Cornish-born right-back John Disney signed for Altrincham on 26 May 2017. Back in 2008 he had joined Stockport County but moved to Northwich Victoria in summer 2010 and spent two seasons with the Vics before spending a similar period at Hednesford Town.

In June 2014 he joined Chester FC but was loaned for a month to Nantwich in November of that year. He left Chester in early 2015 and signed for AFC Telford United before returning to Keys Park, Hednesford.

John joined GAP Connah's Quay in January 2016. Sadly, at Altrincham, John picked up a bad injury in pre-season at Trafford which, apart from a couple of early season appearances, sidelined him until his departure to Bala Town was announced at New Year 2018.

Altrincham appearances: 1(+1), 0 goals.


After Jim Harvey's contract as manager had been terminated on 6 December 2016, his assistant, and former Alty defender, Matt Doughty was appointed, initially as Interim Manager, assisted by former Alty captain Robbie Lawton and by former Alty manager and player, Graham Heathcote. On 2 January 2017, after some encouraging team performances, Matt was appointed Manager until the end of the 2016-17 season. (Graham Heathcote resigned his position w.e.f. 1 April 2017). At the end of the season, Phil Parkinson was appointed manager and Matt and Robbie left the Club.

Matt was a left-back for Altrincham from June 2008, when he signed from Halifax Town, having been with the Shaymen since July 2004, a club he had joined from Rochdale. He had previously also played for Chester City, for whom he signed professionally when just 16. Matt was a regular for Chester for two seasons (1999-2001) making 53(+17) League/Conference appearances for them.

In 2001, he had moved to Rochdale and had a trial with Southampton but a broken leg halted the prospects of a move to Hampshire. At Rochdale he made 93(+12) appearances in the League. Another broken leg sadly hampered the 5ft 8inch defender's career at The Shay but he still managed 119(+12) league appearances for the club.

Matt made his Alty league debut on 9 August 2008 and he became one of the team's most consistent players, as well as its penalty taker, but he sadly suffered cruciate ligament damage against Salisbury City in February 2010. This injury effectively ended his initial spell at Moss Lane. After leaving Altrincham, Matt joined Witton Albion before moving on, in March 2011, to Hyde.

In 2012/13, Matt was back at the Club and played regularly at left-back, as well as making some appearances on the left side of midfield, where his crossing ability was beneficial to the side. In 2013-14 Matt figured in most of the first 17 league games but, thereafter, made only sporadic appearances. A knee injury curtailed his involvement and, for the same reason, he elected to leave the club at the end of the 2013-14 season. He later enjoyed an FA Cup run (2014-15) with Warrington Town. Altrincham appearances: 137 (+18), 6 goals.

Micah EVANS (d.o.b. 3 March 1993 in Manchester)

Signed from Worcester City on 10 February 2017, Micah Evans came through the youth ranks at his first club Blackburn Rovers, and made his first senior appearance in a pre-season game against Accrington, in July, 2011. Stanley boss, John Coleman, signed him on loan three months later and he scored the first of his two goals on his League debut, just five minutes into the match against Bristol Rovers.

Micah, originally a winger, has also had time at Chesterfield (2012/13), Macclesfield Town (2013), Burnley (2013/14), Hereford United (loan 2013/14), Southport (2014/15), Stockport County (2015/16) and AFC Telford United (2016).

Originally a winger, Micah's starts for Altrincham were as a striker. He later joined Witton Albion. Altrincham appearances: 9(+3), 1 goal.

Sefton GONZALES (d.o.b. 21 December 1991)

On 27 May 2017 Altrincham announced the signing of Sefton Gonzales, a six-feet four-inch striker, from Stockport County, where he was signed in summer 2015 by Neil Young, from Clitheroe FC. Prior to joining Clitheroe, he had played for both Kendal Town and Droylsden. He had also enjoyed brief spells with Chorley and Stalybridge Celtic. However, on 12 July 2017 it was announced by manager Phil Parkinson that sefton had left the club due to a change in his personal circumstances. He was then briefly back at Clitheroe.

Altrincham appearances: 0

Sam HEATHCOTE (d.o.b. 5 August 1997)

Sam was a junior striker at Manchester United and, following his release, he graduated through Altrincham's youth team and reserves to sign Conference forms, as a back-up for the first-team, in March 2015. Converted to a centre-back in the Alty Youth and Reserves' teams, he was first included in the first-team squad for 2015-16. The son of former Alty player and manager, Graham Heathcote, Sam has represented Cheshire County FA Youth.

He made a remarkable debut for the first team, coming on as an injury-time substitute against eventual champions Cheltenham Town on 5 September 2015. Within some ninety seconds he had scored the winning goal! With his opportunities in the first team limited, after making 5(+4) appearances in 2016-17, Sam went on loan to Hyde United. On his return he re-established himself as a regular member of the matchday squad.

Latterly, Sam had become a popular coach with the Altrincham FC community venture. On 26 July 2017 it was announced that Sam had opted to leave the club after manager Phil Parkinson had indicated that he could not be promised a regular place in the starting eleven. He then joined fellow ex-Altrincham team-mates Kyle Brownhill and Jerome Wright at Ramsbottom United where he reverted to a striker's role. Altrincham appearances: 32(+19), 1 goal.

Craig HOBSON (d.o.b. 25 February 1988)

In early June 2016, Altrincham signed 28-year old 6ft 2inch striker Craig Hobson from Chester, whom he had joined in March 2014 from Guiseley two years previously. Before that he had been with Lincoln City and then netted six times in 26 appearances for Stockport County in 2012-13. He made his Altrincham debut on 6 August 2016 at home to Darlington. He missed much of the latter part of the campaign season through a broken foot. After leaving Moss LAne, he joined Aberystwyth Town.

Altrincham appearances: 9(+8), 1 goal.

James JONES (d.o.b. 13 March 1997)

James, a 1.83m centre/right-back, who spent 2016-17 at Welsh Premier club The New Saints, played as a trialist for Alty in July 2017. He had spent three seasons with TNS, moving up from their Academy to first team. James opted to move on before the season started but returned to the club a few weeks later and rejoined the first-team squad. Appearances to June 2017: 0.

James LAWRIE (d.o.b. 18 December, 1990 in Dundonald, Co. Down)

Signed from AFC Telford United on 31 August 2011, initially on a one-month loan, (later extended to 93 days), James is a Northern Ireland-born forward, who was brought up in Middlewich, Cheshire. At the conclusion of his loan spell, Telford released him and he signed for Altrincham in early December, 2011. In February 2013 he signed a further contract, tying him to Moss Lane till the end of the 2013-14 season.

His footballing career began in Port Vale's youth system. Whilst at the Potteries' club, at which Alty boss Lee Sinnott was manager in 2007-08, he went on to make his first League appearances and recorded his first league goal for Port Vale in January 2009. He scored the team's Goal of the Season in 2008-09 and went on to make 27(+2) appearances for the club. A troubled Port Vale transfer-listed its entire squad in summer 2010 and, so, James left at that time.

Previously, he had had a trial at Everton (2009-10) and spent a period on loan at Kidderminster Harriers from February 2010 till the end of that season. For the Harriers, he made 12 appearances, one of which was against Altrincham at Moss Lane. After leaving Port Vale, James had trials at Exeter City, Stevenage and Morecambe before he signed a year's contract at AFC Telford United. There, his progress was hampered by an ankle injury.

Having played at various age-levels for Northern Ireland, the six-foot striker gained his first senior international cap against Italy in June 2009 and made two further international appearances. James's spell at Port Vale coincidentally overlapped with Altrincham player Simon Richman's time there.

James made his Alty debut as a sub, away to Gloucester City, on 3 September, 2011 and scored on his full debut a week later. James, who played on both flanks as well as in a central striking position, finished his first season as the club's second highest scorer and again reached double figures in 2012-13. After a spell in mid-season of 2013-14 when he started mainly from the bench, he re-established himself in the starting eleven in the second half of the season and scored vital goals in the play-offs.

2015/16 saw him operate in various midfield positions and in 2016-17 he was a virtual ever-present and concluded the season as the team's leading scorer in the league with eight goals. In summer 2017 James opted to move to Hednesford Town. Altrincham appearances: 231(+43), 51 goals.


Robbie Lawton, a former captain of Altrincham, (seen above in 2011), returned to the Club as assistant to Matt Doughty in December 2016 and his appointment till the end of the season was confirmed on 2 January 2017. But, despite some improved results, on the appointment of Phil Parkinson at the end of the campaign, Robbie and Matt left the Club.

As a player, Robbie was a powerful and hardworking midfielder who occasionally also featured at right-back. He was signed in June 2006 from Vauxhall Motors, where he was the captain, and was also previously with Marine and Caernarfon Town. On arrival at Moss Lane, he immediately became a regular first-team starter, operating mostly on the right flank, before moving to centre-midfield during that initial season. Robbie first played as captain from mid-September 2006, a role he held more or less continuously from then till his departure.

By profession, he is Head of PE and a psychology teacher on Merseyside and one of the physically fittest players in the squad as well as a great ambassador for the club. Robbie completed a full century of starts in under two seasons with Alty but a pelvic problem necessitated an operation in August 2009, which kept him out of the side. He returned in mid-October before suffering further injury, which disrupted his 2010-11 season. However, Robbie re-established himself as a regular starter well before the season ended.

In 2011 pre-season he also proved his ability in the back-line of the defence as he looked forward to adding to his more than 200 appearances for Altrincham which, after Stuart Coburn, made him the club's longest-serving player. But, after being limited by injury and selection to nine appearances in the first 18 games of the season, Robbie decided to leave on 21 November 2011 following discussions with manager Lee Sinnott regarding his future. Off the field, Robbie was a great ambassador for the club and his "Captain's Log" articles in the matchday programme were a model of articulate and humorous writing about the ups and downs of a football club.

After leaving Alty as a player, Robbie had joined Marine in late 2011. Altrincham appearances: 217(+14), 9 goals.

Chris LYNCH (d.o.b. 29 December 1984)

Chris rejoined Altrincham, from Salford City, on 9 February 2017 having previously been with the Robins from 3 June 2011 until July, 2012. His first move to Moss Lane came from Hyde Hyde FC, for whom he had been playing since 2004. He arrived at Altrincham after 249 starts and 38 sub appearances for The Tigers. He had started out with Wigan Athletic.

Chris ended the 2011-12 season at Alty playing at centre-back, a position he also occupied for the Ammies. In July 2012 he opted for a change of career and gave up his painting and decorating work to join Ashton United where he was offered both a playing role and a coaching job with Ashton's then manager Danny Johnson's community football coaching company. On his second spell with Altrincham club, Chris was deployed mainly at right-back in 2016-17. However, he opted to leave the club in the third week of August after continuuing to be troubled by injury.

Altrincham appearances: 44(+8), 3 goals.

Clayton McDONALD (d.o.b. 26 December 1988)

On 2 December 2016, manager Jim Harvey signed tall centre-back Clayton McDonald (27) from Redditch United of the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division. Clayton had started out at Manchester City and he went on to have a Football League careeer with his clubs including Walsall, Port Vale, Grimsby Town and Tranmere Rovers. He joined Southport in September 2014 before joining Redditch in February 2015 and then had a spell at Worcester City.

After two substitute appearances before Christmas, Clayton signed dual registration forms for Droylsden. He returned Altrincham in April 2017 and made his full debut on 14 April at Curzon Ashton. Despite appearing in pre-season 2017-18 for Altrincham, he was released and joined Nantwich who played him as a striker. Altrincham appearances: 1(+2), 0 goals.

Joseph MWASILE (d.o.b. 6 July 1993)

Altrincham FC announced the signing of Joe in May 2017 from Nantwich Town, a club he had joined in October 2016 from Marine. However by mid-June it was announced that he had moved on and, subsequently, he returned to Nantwich Town.

Joe had previously joined Alty on a one-month loan from Morecambe on 20 January 2014; this was then extended to 18 March 2014. However, he returned to his parent club after the game on 11 March .

Joe left Morecambe in 2014 and joined Workington, followed by time at Burscough and Salford City.

Altrincham appearances: 4(+2), 1 goal.

Andy OWENS (d.o.b. 18 October 1989)

After a brief spell at Moss Lane in 2009-10, as a centre-half, six-foot three-inch Andy rejoined Altrincham on 30 December 2016 as a striker, from Stalybridge Celtic.

The son of former Alty player John Owens, in his early career Andy had joined Stafford Rangers in August 2009 from the Glen Hoddle Soccer School in Spain. However, he had started out as a youngster at Liverpool, before moving to Stoke City.

In early 2008, a period of work experience was spent at Leek Town before he moved to Marston Road. After a period away from Moss Lane with the Hoddle School, Andy was released in late January, 2010 and joined Rhyl.

After Rhyl he had spells with Accrington Stanley (2010/11), Southport (2011/12), Mansfield Town and Southport (2012/13), Telford (2013/16 with a loan spell at Stockport 2014/15). After Altrincham, he played for Skelmersdale United.

Altrincham appearances: 10(+8), 4 goals.

Sam PATTERSON (d.o.b. 29 October 1993)

The Robins signed versatile former Barnsley and Shrewsbury Town defender Sam Patterson from Bradford Park Avenue. He is equally comfortable at right-back or as a holding midfielder.

From Barnsley, he spent a month on loan at F.C. Halifax Town in late 2013. He was released by Barnsley in the summer of 2014 and moved to Bradford Park Avenue. In August 2015 Sam signed for Shrewsbury Town but was released in January 2016 and returned to Bradford Park Avenue. Pre-season of 2016 showed him to be a very reliable right- or left-back. He made his Altrincham debut on 6 August 2016 at home to Darlington and was a regular starter in the first half of the campaign but lost his regular starting place later in the season. Altrincham appearances: 32(+5), 1 goal.

Damian REEVES (d.o.b. 18 December 1985, height 5ft 10ins)

Doncaster-based Damian was signed by Graham Heathcote on 26 June 2010.

Despite playing in a struggling and eventually relegated side at the highest level of non-league football, in his first season at Moss Lane Damian nevertheless netted 19 times in just 35(+11) games. He started his first game for Altrincham on the opening day of the 2010-11 season at Luton. Despite not starting more than three successive league games at a stretch in the first half of the season, Damian became a permanent starter for the second half of that campaign.

In 2011-12 a rich vein of form saw him hit 44 goals, all in the league, to become the country's highest scorer at the club's level or above. It looked as if that haul might earn him a move to a League club but, after a summer of rumour and speculation, he re-signed for Altrincham on 22 July 2012. His scoring continued in 2012-13 with another phenomenal haul of 41 goals in all competitions and in 2014-15 he was again the team's leading scorer by a considerable margin.

Damian is an Academy graduate of Leeds United, where he first played under Alty boss, Lee Sinnott. Subsequently, he played Conference football with Farsley Celtic, Histon and Northwich Victoria. A Liverpool supporter, Damian broke his leg badly whilst at Leeds, after which he moved to Farsley under Lee Sinnott. He spent two years from August 2006 to June 2008 at Farsley where, in his first season he scored 23 goals and, the following season, the Yorkshire club's one campaign in the Conference, he played 44(+2) games in all competitions, scoring 11 Conference and 3 cup goals in FA competitions.

At Histon he played 13(+9) games and netted 5 times, before leaving in January 2009 to move to Northwich Victoria, where he made 7(+2) appearances.

After Vics, Damian went to Alfreton Town in 2009-10, followed by a spell at AFC Telford United and a loan spell with Bradford PA. At Telford he scored four goals in 17 appearances. For Alty in 2014-15 season he scored 21 times in all competitions.

Outside football, Damian is a self-employed plasterer and, before establishing himself in football, he had a basketball trial with Sheffield Sharks. Damian lost his place in the starting eleven early in 2015-16 but regained it and scored several goals before the end of the calendar year.

However, his appearances continued to be intermittent until the run-in to the end of the 2015-16 campaign. In 2016-17 he started only 27 of the 46 league games and, on expiry of his contract, he opted to leave the club at the end of that season. Despite this disappointing end to his Altrincham career he had become the club's second-highest ever scorer with 166 goals accrued at a rate of one in every two appearances. He then joined Barnsley club, Shaw Lane Association for 2017-18.

Altrincham appearances: 278(+54), 166 goals.

Sam SHERIDAN (d.o.b. 30 November, 1989)

Midfielder Sam had a one-month loan at Moss Lane from Bolton Wanderers in 2009-10 but it was not until May 2017 that he actually joined Alty, from FC United of Manchester. Sam had joined FCUM in October 2015.

Prior to that, he had a brief spells at Chorley and Southport whilst on loan from Stockport County, where he was on the books from 2011 to 2015. An injury limited his appearances and just before Christmas 2017 he went on loan to Stalybridge Celtic. After returning he made one further appearance from the bench before his departure was announced on 8 February, 2018.

Altrincham appearances: 17(+9), 0 goals.

Lewis SHORT (d.o.b. 11 June, 1990)

Lewis is a left-back, signed by Altrincham on 26 May 2017 from Connah's Quay Nomads. His attributes include a long throw.

He started his career at Congleton Town (2009) before joining Crewe Alexandra (2010-11). Next, he spent two spells on loan with Nantwich (2011) and also had a loan period at Northwich Victoria, a club he joined for 2011-12 on his release from Gresty Road. The following season found Lewis at Nantwich Town but, in January 2013, a move to Welsh football followed when he joined Airbus Broughton for two years (2013-15).

A return to Nantwich under Phil Parkinson came next (2015-16) before he returned to Welsh football with Connah's Quay Nomads in May 2016. Injury limited his early season appearances and then he picked up another injury at Warrington Town in October which sidelined him once more. At New Year 2018 it was announced that he had joined Bala Town.

Altrincham appearances: 13(+3) 0 goals

Stuart TOMLINSON (d.o.b. 22 May 1985 in Chester)

Stuart's signing was announced on 3 March 2017, following injury to Tim Deasy, and he made his debut the following day away at AFC Telford United

Born in Chester, he graduated from the youth ranks at Gresty Road and, after signing his first professional contract in 2003, made a total of 20 appearances for Crewe's first team in a six-year stay that included loan spells at Stafford Rangers and Port Vale.

A season at Barrow in 2009-10 saw him sharing goalkeeping duties with, ironically enough, Tim Deasy before he embarked on a successful two-year stint with Port Vale, where he amassed a tally of 74 appearances. During his time at Vale, he was reportedly a £250,000 target for Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers.

A move to Burton Albion in September, 2012 preceded a venture into the world of professional wrestling (2014) before his return to the footballing world. Stuart made half a dozen appearances for Altrincham before the end of the 2016-17 season. Altrincham appearances: 6.

Jerome WRIGHT (d.o.b. 29 October, 1985)

In May 2017, Jerome joined Alty from FC United of Manchester, a club he had joined in 2010 and whose captain the left-winger had been for the last two seasons. He was also FCUM's record appearance-maker with more than 400 appearances and had more than 80 goals to his name for the club. But, before the season started, on 28 July 2017, Ramsbottom United announced that Wright had signed for them.

Appearances to June 2017: 0.