08:55 01/08/2006epend Altrincham FC Official Web Site Open Meeting, 31 July 2006

Open Meeting for Supporters, Monday 31 July 2006
at Moss Lane

The foillowing is a brief summary and does not constitute an official record of the meeting.

There was only a modest attendance at Tuesday night's Open Meeting for supporters which may have owed something to the holiday season. However, the Club Board and management had plenty of interesting ideas and news to share with those present.


Graham Heathcote (GH) revealed that he had just released left-back Chris Adams, a decision which had been very difficult to make. GH also explained the thinking behind his earlier release of Mark Maddox. The main motive for that had been a desire to improve the pace in the back four and given Gary Talbot's aerial prowess, it was Mark who had been the one to be released. GH was now expecting Karl Munroe to step up his game to compete with Peter Band and Gary for the centre-back spots. GH also outlined his views of the new signings. Of these, sadly, Peter Thomson has torn a groin muscle so will miss the start of the season. Joe O'Neill has impressed with his good movement, his pace and aerial abilities. Alty had apparently tried to sign Robbie Lawton a year ago but Vauxhall had exercised their option on his contract. Like Warren Peyton, Robbie has a good "engine" and will add to the fitness of the side. Steve Bushell was obviously a good signing but the challenge for Justin Bowler was to prove himself as a 90-minute player. GH expects to operate with a squad of between 18 and 21 players. More of the current squad are to be released but one player may be added in the next week. On the goalkeeping front, Andy Cummins had come in from local football with Wythenshawe Town and Alty were having a good look at him.

GH picked out Steve Aspinall for his hard work in close season which meant that now, in the training sprints, he only came second last! Seriously, GH had been impressed with Asa's hard work in close season. However, a number of players have fitness "niggles"; these include Gary Scott, Steve Aspinall and Val Owen. Also, after his operation, Eddie Hussin was not yet fit enough for Conference football and it might be that a loan spell would help him at this stage.

The Ground

Golf Road is being dug up by the Council shortly and the club is hoping to get some pipework laid as part of this so that the planned toilet/refreshment block can be built. Work started on the toilet/refreshment block this summer but excavations found that there were no existing drains to the old toilets - it was drained by a cesspit emptying into a local stream - and that to connect drains to the Moss Lane sewer would cost 20,000. So, that ground improvement project had been put on hold till next season. As for the car park development, things were moving slowly but the club hoped to see the fruits of the sale of the car park within the next 12 months. The club hoped to operate its car parking arrangement with BTH School again this season.

Keith Davey was praised for the successful launch of the new club-owned refreshment bar at the Away End. It was hoped to expand develop catering facilties further over the coming years to maximize income for the club.


GH expressed concern that there was a sense of "apathy" at the club reflected in the lack of volunteers to help with ground works over the summer and of volunteers for such vacancies as the Front Door Steward and the Car Park Steward. He and the Board stressed that, although financial stability had been achieved, there was still a long way to go. Because the club had reached Conference National there was a potential loss of the impetus that had got us there. Also so much in the way of sponsorship was dependant on staying in the National level that it was crucial that we did remain there. Barry Pond confirmed that sponsorship of matchdays was going very well for 2006-07.


The Club needed to engage the community more and former Trafford MBC Chief Executive, Carole Hassan, attended the meeting and was giving the Club great assistance in this area as well as with her links to sporting fundholders. GH and GG outlined plans for developing a junior football structure which were being seriously considered in conjunction with existing organisations. However, it was vital that if the club went down that path, that it fully honoured any commitments it might make to the junior players and their families.


The Board welcomed the new STAR board. Relations between the Club and STAR were on a good footing. Paul Daine outlined a number of initiatives, including a monthly quiz night, whilst Alty Board member Graham Rowley confirmed the continuation of the successful Monthly Draw. If you have not (re-)joined STAR, please do so; details are on the STAR website

In Conclusion...

So, please, if you can help the club in any way please do come forward and also please do support the forthcoming social and commercial ventures of the Football Club and STAR. And last but not least, please get behind the team to ensure that it stays in the Conference National for years to come! You can contact the club by phone (0161 928-1045), e-mail or by post (Altrincham FC, Moss Lane, Altrincham WA15 8AP)

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Compiled by John Laidlar