DEPARTED PLAYERS 2016-17

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

Alan AINSLEY

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.

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 the season in goal after Tim Deasy was injured during the last match of the 2016-17 season 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.

Matt DOUGHTY

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. Altrincham appearances: 9(+3), 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.

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

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

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.

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).

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.

Altrincham appearances: 278(+54), 166 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 appearances for Altrincham before the end of the 2016-17 season. Altrincham appearances: 6.