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HELPING YOUR FOOTBALL CLUB: There are numerous ways that supporters can help Altrincham FC during the close season, visit the Fundraising Page for details. Your help will be much appreciated!
29 July 2014


A combination of factors means that Altrincham FC is short of people to staff the turnstiles at the J. Davidson Stasium on Tuesday evening for the visit of Accrington Stanley. If you can help your Football Club by staffing one of the entry points, it would be greatly appreciated.

As Matchday Secretary George Heslop points out, so much at Altrincham FC relies on supporters' going the extra mile for the Club and staffing the turnstiles is just one instance of that commitment. If you can help, please contact George, as soon as possible, either by e-mail or by ringing him on 07939 890503. Thank you.


This website will be providing minute by minute Matchday Updates fom Tuesday's match against Accrington Stanley. They are available as follows:
  • For PC users: here. This page auto-updates every two minutes but can be updated at will by pressing the F5 function key or the "refresh" button on your browser.
  • For mobile phone and handheld devices: via the Matchday Updates link here. Reload/refresh to get the updates.

Right: Gavin Rathbone's image shows Manchester United getting to grips with Alty's Greg Wilkinson in last week's friendly. More of Gavin's images are on his GR photography website.

Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, will be broadcasting full live coverage of Tuesday night's pre-season friendly against Accrington Stanley at The J.Davidson Stadium.

The commentators are Paul Salt and Ian Wilkinson with match summaries from Ryan Daly. Coverage starts at 7.40pm with the game kicking off at 7.45pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.

Leah & Simon Brotherton will be providing regular updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfc) as well as half-time & full time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC)".


TASC's Mark Eckersall writes about the supporters' coach transport to away matches in the coming season.

"Thanks to all who supported the coaches last season. We achieved our aim of breaking even and even managed to make an unintended profit thanks to some really good support on some of the later fixtures.

This figure is carried forward in the the accounts and will be used as a float as we again attempt to provide coach travel to all league and major cup games.

Naturally, with the promotion to the Conference national comes much increased coach hire prices and even some trips needing two drivers, so fares will rise in accordance but our policy of getting as many people there as cheaply as possible will continue.

A word of warning comes from Woking on this matter and, hopefully, we can avoid a similar scenario but can only so with your support.

We hope that we can maintain similar levels of support to last season and always look to welcome new travellers with us. Our coachs contain a wide range of ages and are family friendly. We aim to get to afternoon matches around 1:30pm to allow time for a few drinks and to relax before the game. We leave as soon as possible after the match to get people back to families/nights out or whatever people do on Saturday nights.

We pick up in Sale, Timperley, Altrincham and the ground to try and make it as easy as possible for people. All coaches this season will be of an executive standard with on-board toilet facilities and we make service stops along the way as needed.

The times and fares for the opening trip to Aldershot will be at the club on Tuesday evening at the Accrington game ready to take bookings.

If you have an questions at all then email me directly here".

The thanks of all supporters go to Mark for the hard work involved in ensuring the smooth operation of the supporters' transport.


Alty's joint Press Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Lee Sinnott saluted the early impact of Altrincham's new signings after striker Steven Gillespie further underlined his worth with a brilliant assist and a goal of his own at Hyde on Saturday.

Gillespie, snapped up from Bristol Rovers, is already developing a fruitful understanding with Damian Reeves, and the pair were on the same wavelength again in the latest build-up game, ahead of the new campaign.

Pictured, right, by James Lobley, is Adam Griffin in action, watched by Ryan Crowther, at Hyde. More of James's images are on his Flickr site here.

After weaving his way through the Hyde defence on the left, Gillespie set up a simple finish for his strike partner before taking the scoring honours himself with an unerring finish.

Alty are continuing to speak to another potential acquisition but, with Gillespie, Sean Williams, Ryan Crowther and keeper Dave Parton all making a favourable early impression, Sinnott is content with his sumnmer transfer business so far.

'It is still ongoing with a particular individual, and there should be clarification on that in the next few days,' said the Alty manager. 'These pre-season games are a means to an end. Everything is geared to August 9, and our first game in the Conference Premier, but I have been pleased with the way the new signings have settled in.

'There have been no problems whatsoever on that score, and they all bring different attributes that will benefit us. Steven comes with plenty of League experience and has already fitted in really well.

'You can tell straightaway he likes to be fed the ball and has a style of play that suits a team like ours. In his eagerness to be involved, he sometimes comes a bit too deep, but we've had a word about that every now and then. It just shows how keen he is, and he is already linking up with the rest of the team really well.'

The Hyde game came on the back of a 5-0 home defeat by a Manchester United X1, but Sinnott insisted, 'That was a fantastic experience. No one likes being on the end of a scoreline like that, but we learned more and benefitted more than from 10 training sessions. The way they moved the ball and their energy levels was a credit to them and their coach Warren Joyce'".


Altrincham FC Youth player James Farrington has kindly provided a report on the Altrincham FC's participation in the Foyle Cup in Derry, Northern Ireland.

"After an intense pre-season training period, Altrincham FC Youth travelled to Derry, Northern Ireland, to compete in the Foyle Cup which is a five day tournament with matches every day.

Altrincham Youth were led by Manager Paul Fay, Coaches Graham Houghton and Adam Nuttall. The team was put in a group with Inishshowen Youth League, Oldpark Reds, and hosts Derry City. The young Robins finished third in the group, finishing on four points, but had a weaker goal difference than Inishowen, who came second.

Altrincham drew their first game 1-1 with Inishowen Youth League, followed by a comfortable win over Oldpark Reds 4-1 the next day. The final day of the group stages saw Altrincham have a chance of finishing first with a win over Derry city. However, the lads lost to a strong Derry side that went on to win every game in the group stage.

Alty finished third in the group, which led them to enter the Foyle Rose Bowl. The Foyle Rose Bowl consisted of the four teams which finished third out of the four groups. Altrincham drew Mountjoy United, a match which they won 2-0 leading them to the final against Newtowne FC the following day.

Altrincham lost 2-1 after a close game but failure to make the most of their chances meant Alty, sadly, couldn’t get the result they desired.

However, the overall experience of getting to play full-time football for the week was a valuable and thoroughly enjoyable experience for each member of the team! Throughout the week it was evident the lads became much closer and it was a great team building exercise, standing them in good stead for the coming season.

Although the results didn’t go Altrincham’s way, they will hope to capitalise on this experience this season due to the intensity of the competition".

James Farrington".


At Grimsby Town, "The Mariners have completed the signings of striker Jon-Paul Pittman (27) and midfielder Craig Clay (22) on one-year deals. Both players have been on trial with the club.

Jon-Paul Pittman was born born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, His career began with Aston Villa's youth academy... before he moved to Nottingham Forest... He was loaned out to Hartlepool United. The following season he went to Bury...

Pittman's eight-year spell at Forest ended in December 2006. January 2007 saw him sign for Doncaster Rovers on a short-term deal. As a free agent Pittman was signed by Steve Evans at Crawley Town... [where] he scored 43 goals in 78 appearances...

Craig Clay was born in Nottingham, and started his career with Chesterfield's youth system... He signed for FC Halifax Town on a one-month contract in January this year".

From the BBC we learn that "The consortium attempting to take over Salisbury City are set to take their case to the High Court. The group of five business people claimed earlier this month that they had overturned the ownership of chairman Outail Touzar.

But the takeover has not yet been ratified by the authorities and the consortium are now taking legal action in a bid to assume control of the club... Touzar and supporter Mark Winter took over the ailing club for £1 in May, with the pair becoming responsible for £150,000 worth of debt.

The latter paid around £75,000 of his own money to try to save the Whites, but Touzar, who owned a 98% stake, had not provided any investment. Winter attempted to overthrow Touzar, but eventually quit as co-owner because of the Moroccan's reluctance to hand over his stake in the club...

A spokesperson for the interested consortium has said they are confident of the club regaining their place in Conference South if the takeover goes through. Meanwhile, Touzar released a statement on Saturday saying his appeal to the Football Association against their demotion from the Conference Premier was in the 'final stages of review'.

He also claimed he was in advanced negotiations with former Barcelona youth team coach Sergio Lobera about becoming the Salisbury manager."

The BBC also reports on another ex-Conference national club, as "Troubled Hereford United will start the new Southern League season after their long-standing winding-up order was again adjourned until 1 September. It is the fourth time the petition, brought by former boss Martin Foyle and Revenue & Customs, has been postponed.

With some debts settled, the Bulls will meet creditors on 15 August to finalise a Companies Voluntary Agreement to sort out the rest of the outstanding bills.

Hereford begin the new season in 12 days' time against St Neots. However, it is not yet clear where that game, scheduled for Edgar Street, will be played as the Bulls' home is still closed on safety grounds.

That has led to a number of pre-season friendlies being cancelled with other matches, including one against Turkish giants Besiktas, being played in West Yorkshire.... The Bulls were accepted into the Southern Premier League for 2014-15...

Monday's decision by the Royal Courts of Justice in London has satisfied the league, for now, that Hereford are worthy of their place in the division... The club still face the threat of potential liquidation when they return to court in 35 days if the structure of the CVA cannot be agreed. "

Again from the BBC, we learn that "Tranmere have signed versatile defender Danny Woodards on a six-month contract... Woodards, 30, was released by Bristol Rovers after their relegation from League Two".

In the Torquay Herald Express we read that "Torquay United are poised to complete manager Chris Hargreaves's eighth summer signing, tall centre-forward Duane O'achie, 21.

Trialist O'achie, formerly with Southend United, has agreed terms for a one-year contract at Plainmoor, and his arrival follows the two-year deal which was confirmed at the weekend for ex-Brighton midfielder Courtney Richards, 20.

It means that four of the players whom Hargreaves had invited to join United's pre-season campaign, defender Angus MacDonald, winger Toby Ajala and now Richards and O'achie, have all turned their trials into permanent signings. P> The Gulls have also recruited former Mansfield winger Louis Briscoe, ex-Plymouth midfielder Luke Young, striker Ryan Bowman from York and goalkeeper Jordan Seabright from Dagenham & Redbridge this summer".

According to the Shropshire Star, "AFC Telford United manager Liam Watson has agreed a one-year contract with trialist Godfrey Poku...

When he puts pen to paper, it will end Watson’s year-long chase for the tough-tackling midfielder, reuniting him with the player he borrowed from Southport in 2012-13.

The 24-year-old has switched from Luton Town to Mansfield since then and spent the second of last season on loan at Alfreton, before becoming a free agent with his release from the Stags.

Watson said, 'We have made Godfrey an offer and he’s accepted it so, hopefully, it’s just a case of him signing now'...

Watson needs Rod McDonald back soon from an ankle injury, if the defender is to figure in their Skrill Conference Premier opener at Welling United...

Watson said, 'I keep on changing my mind and there’s things I still want to see, like Andy Owens playing up front with Sam Smith. I want to see more of Adam Farrell, too. It’s about getting the balance right and, back-four wise, I think we are looking strong and that’s a bonus. Going forward, we are waiting for them to kick in.

I don’t think Rod is a million miles away but if he’s not involved in any of the games, it’s hard to think that he will play on the first day of the season. He would have to work on his fitness levels'...

The Telford chief said, 'The lads are looking extremely fit... We looked a threat in the last 20 minutes, especially when the set plays started going into their box. That’s something we haven’t really used in pre-season. Over the next 12 days, we will be starting to do that more and more as we get ourselves ready'".

28 July 2014


Altrincham's next opponents are Accrington Stanley, who report that "Stanley lost out narrowly to Premier League Burnley at the Store First Stadium... Jason Gilchrist’s 73rd minute goal separated the sides but both managers had made multiple changes by that stage as they looked at their squads.

James Beattie has given those already signed up for next season a thorough run out in their friendly matches so far and once again he fielded a strong line-up,,, The only player not signed up who started was former Everton and Preston goalkeeper Iain Turner who is looking to win a contract with the Reds...

The Clarets made 10 changes at the break while Beattie gave his starting XI a longer run out... Stanley made a flurry of substitutions on 70 minutes with Tom Aldred, Brett Ormerod, Lee Wort, Michael Clunan, Charlie Beverley and Connor Martin all entering the fray...

ASFC: Turner, Buxton, Liddle, Hunt, Atkinson, Naismith, Windass, Gray, Bowerman, Mingoia. Subs: Wort, Aldred, Goulding, Jenkins, Ormerod, Martin, Clunan, Beverley, Simpson".

Also, "manager James Beattie was happy with his side’s performance despite the 1-0 defeat to Burnley.... after decent shows in the 2-2 draw with Blackburn and the narrow loss to the Clarets.

'It’s been a great week for the club having Blackburn and Burnley down here', said Beattie. 'Against Burnley, it was hot and a bit of game management had to come in. We had to hold onto the ball better as we were working so hard to win the ball back and then giving it away cheaply... We are not the finished article by any stretch of the imagination... but we have the core of a very good side'.

Details of the Stanley squad are here.

Next Friday Alty entertain Shrewsbury Town. Before that, the Shrews play Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday.


Trialist midfielder, Wade Joyce has been released after featuring in three of Altrincham's pre-season games. The Club thanks him for his services and wishes him well in his career.


Altrincham FC Ladies' manager Keith Edleston announces that "We have another friendly organised, v Winsford United Ladies on the 31 August, 2pm k.o., at The Barton Stadium, Kingsway, Winsford CW7 3AE.

Also, last Thursday, we made two more signings to bolster our squad, Georgia Plant (17) an attacking winger (above, left) who has come from Richmond Rovers and Elina Parker (above, right) who twice in the 80s played for England. Elina is a versatile player who now can operate in a number of positions and whoses ability, attributes and cleverness will help the younger players come on".


Wrexham report that "speaking about the two trialists players who started at Hednesford, the manager Kevin Wilkin was very positive about their displays. He also confirmed that something was in the offing with the goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov, an Under 21 International player with Bulgaria. 'We will look to get a loan deal tied up with Nottingham Forest, as they have agreed to it', he said... 'It’s obviously one area we need to shore up with Andy being out injured at the moment. I have worked with him before at Nuneaton, when he came on loan at the start of last season'...

The boss then moved onto central defender Manny Smith, a former Walsall and Notts County player with over 180 appearances to his credit. 'He’s strong, quite quick and with respect, he has added something to us there', said Kevin... 'He brings that bit of experience that we have been lacking, but he’s still only 25 years-old. Whether we can get the deal thrashed out, we should know in the next few days'.

Appearing as a late substitute in the second half was striker Dan Nti, the former Great Britain Universities' international, who was with Worcester City last season. 'I will speak to his agent but, on the back of what we do with the other two, we'll determine where we go with that one'".

Wrexham's line-up last Saturday was "Dimitar Evtimov, Ross White, Manny Smith, Blaine Hudson, Neil Ashton; Jay Harris, Dean Keates (Joe Clarke, 76), Elliott Durrell, Wes York (Theo Bailey-Jones, 76); Connor Jennings, Andy Bishop (Dan Nt'i 76). Subs: Louis Gray, Anthony Stephens, Steve Tomassen, Jon Royle, Ross Weaver, Rob Evans, Nick Rushton."

According to NL Pitchero, "Torquay United have completed the deal to bring midfielder Courtney Richards to Plainmoor on a two-year contract. The 20-year-old has impressed on trial through the pre-season period... Richards was originally part of the Academy system at Coventry City before moving to Brighton & Hove Albion and he had a spell on loan with Whitehawk in the Conference South last season."

At Dover Athletic, "Immediately after the 2-2 draw with Colchester United, defender Sean Francis signed a deal with the club... the seventh summer signing for Dover Athletic, following on from the earlier announcement that Jake Reid has agreed terms with Whites.

Francis, a tall central defender, joins the club having spent three seasons with Bishop's Stortford, having previously spent time with Braintree Town, Aveley and Billericay Town.

Sean has taken part in five of the club's seven pre-season fixtures thus far and competes with Tyrone Sterling, Richard Orlu and Sean Raggett for a position in the heart of Whites' defence."

Also, Dartford "are pleased to announce that Luke Daley has signed for next season. Tony Burman has said, 'I have been impressed with Luke throughout the pre-season... Luke, at 24, is at a good age, has experience in playing Conference football...

On the other trialists, Tony has said 'I would like to thank both Tom Derry and Jordan Adekunle for their efforts during pre-season, however, at this moment in time, [I am] unable to offer them a deal for next season'".

Reports from the BBC say that "Bristol Rovers have signed ex-Hereford United defender Daniel Leadbitter. Rovers have not confirmed the length of the 23-year-old's deal but he becomes the seventh new arrival since their relegation... Leadbitter made 39 appearances for Hereford last season but was released following their demotion to the Southern Premier for financial reasons. The former Newcastle trainee previously had a spell with Torquay United, where he played 17 first-team games".

27 July 2014


Saturday's friendly at Ewen Fields was played for the Ray Stanley Memorial Trophy. With just eight minutes remaining, and disappointingly trailing two-nil to a Hyde squad comprising just six named players and 12 unnamed trialists, Altrincham secured a draw with late goals from Reeves and Gillespie. It took 18 spot kicks to resolve the contest as Altrincham missed five of their nine attempts and Hyde missed four.

Match report here.

Right: Ryan Crowther was one of five ex-Hyde players in Alty's squad on Saturday.

Next up for Alty is the visit of Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night (7.45pm).


Sunderland report on how their "development squad resumed their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw at Boston United... Coach Robbie Stockdale named a largely inexperienced starting XI [including Duncan Watmore who played the full match]...

It was Duncan Watmore who was first to test the Boston backline, driving past a host of players before being denied by Rene Steer who made a superb last-ditch tackle... The majority of the side who faced Boston featured for Gus Poyet’s first team during two midweek wins but, in the latter stages of the match, they showed no signs of weakness...

Agnew was particularly impressive, making a superb block to stop Carl Piergianni from converting Dayle Southwell’s cross before clearing the ball off the line from the resulting corner".

Bulls' News reports that "The trialist Hereford United side played virtually the entirety of their game with lower tier team Droylsden against 10 men, and struggled defensively in a 5-5 draw.

With two weeks to go to the start of the new season, and no further pre-season games announced, the trialist XI took to the field in last season's home kit, still bearing the Conference logos, rather than a new kit that had been claimed to be ready.

While the club's official Twitter posted pictures of the team eating a pre-match 'traditional Islamic' meal, a tweet that caused a storm due to Ramadan taking place currently, having not bothered to travel to the game, it was left to Droylsden sources to report on the actual scoreline.

The Bloods endured a 47 game winless run lasting nearly a year to this March, and had suffered two straight relegations. They fielded over 100 players last season, and ended up with a zero playing budget due to attendances collapsing at the Butcher's Arms ground...

Despite having a man sent off in the opening minutes, the Bloods raced into a 2-0 lead through a Ciaran Kilheeney double before the trialist side pulled one back through "Obi". The hosts scored a third through captain Ben Deegan before "Bilal" pulled one back and, after a series of changes for the Evo-Stik Division 1 side, "Deqin" netted a third for the trialists. Sub Sefton Gonzalez then netted a rebound from the spot, the second penalty of the game for Droylsden, to make it 4-3 before, in the final few minutes, a controversial goal saw "Deqin" net again for 4-4 before the trialist side took the lead for the first time with "Deqin" netting for 5-4.

In the dying moments a diving header saw the hosts claim a 5-5 draw through sub Chris Ahmadi."


Macclesfield Town "have signed winger Adriano Moke after his release from Stockport County in the summer. The player, who began his career at Nottingham Forest spent time with the Glenn Hoddle Academy before joining York City in 2011.

He made 28 appearances in all competitions that season as The Minstermen won promotion back to the Football League... That summer the winger joined Cambridge United as well as a short spell with Tamworth before leaving to join up with Halifax... Moving on to Stockport County last season he featured 25 times for the Hatters".

26 July 2014


By way of an experiment the Matchday Updates on this website for Saturday's friendly at Hyde will be produced in a different format, suitable for mobile and other devices as well as from a PC. To get the Updates:
  • For PC users: click as usual on the Matchday Updates page. You will now find that the page automatically updates itself during matches; currently it is set to do so every two minutes but you can "refresh" sooner if you wish using the F5 key or your browser's refresh button.
  • For mobiles and handhelds, click here where you will find a menu which includes "Matchday Updates". Click on that and the Updates will be available from the link. Currently the mobile version does not refresh automatically.

As ever, Matchday Updates depend on the signal available at the ground.

Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is collaborating with Hyde F.C.'s internet radio service, 26 Nil, to provide a simulcast of Saturday afternoon' s Ray Stanley Memorial Shield game at Ewen Fields. The commentators are Ian Burke, Brian Flynn and Luke Edwards with match summaries from John Edwards. Coverage starts at 2.55pm with the game kicking off at 3.00pm. You can listen to the simulcast on Radio Robins or

Leah and Simon Brotherton will be providing regular updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfc) as well as half-time & full time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC)


Speaking on Radio Manchester on Friday evening, Altrincham FC assistant manager Neil Tolson said that "We are looking to bring in another player. We spoke to a lad today, with a bit of experience... It would be a major coup if we can pull off his signing. Hopefully, it will happen in the next 24 hours".

Neil also spoke about the effects of the heatwave on training, a situation which neither he nor manager Lee Sinnitt had faced in their own careers to this extent. Drinks breaks are being used but as Neil said "The work has got to be done". Neil added that "All of the new lads have settled in quite well. We didn't want to make wholesale changes" to the squad which won promotion last season.


According to the BBC "Kidderminster have signed free agents Reece Hales and Jake Green on one-year deals following successful trials... Forward Hales, 19, was released by Birmingham City at the end of last season, having played just one senior game as a substitute in 2013.

Green, 20, is a versatile addition to Gary Whild's side as a full-back capable of also playing on the flanks. He was formerly with Bristol Rovers, but failed to make a senior appearance".

Elsewhere, "Dartford have signed winger Luke Daley on a free transfer following a successful trial... The 24-year-old, a product of Norwich's academy, spent the last two campaigns with Braintree Town, scoring eight goals in 60 league appearances.

'I have been impressed with Luke throughout the pre-season', said Darts' boss Tony Burman. 'Luke has experience in Conference football and will be a good addition'.

Daley made his first-team debut for Norwich in February 2009 and featured 10 times for the Canaries in 2009-10. He has subsequently had spells at Plymouth Argyle and Lincoln City"

Also from the BBC we learn that "Peterborough have signed defender Michael Smith from Bristol Rovers for an undisclosed fee... on a three-year deal. Smith made 50 appearances last season as the Pirates were relegated from the Football League...

The Northern Irishman told BBC Radio Bristol, 'Football is a career, and I need to play as high as I possibly can... I've not had one bad message from the fans. I know last year was a disaster for the team, so for people to give me their blessing is fantastic for me. The club gave me my first chance in professional football and I will be forever grateful'".

Meanwhile, "Nuneaton Town have signed goalkeeper James Wren from Tamworth on a free transfer. The 21-year-old, who has agreed a one-year deal, failed to make a senior appearance for the Lambs after joining them from Burton Albion in 2012.

Nuneaton boss Brian Reid signed Wren after a successful trial, despite the player losing 10 days of pre-season after cutting his knee in training. Wren left Tamworth after their relegation from Conference Premier."

Get Surrey tells us that "Crocked Woking star Kevin Betsy has revealed this week’s injury blow is the worst of his long career. The 36-year-old midfielder has been ruled out for three months and will undergo a knee operation in a Harley Street clinic next week.

A surgeon will repair a torn meniscal ligament, which Betsy believes he first weakened in training before the problem increased during last Saturday’s goalless draw against Fulham, ironically his daytime employers. 'This is the worst injury I’ve had', conceded the talismanic wideman, who has sparkled for the Cards since returning to the club in 2012 following a successful league career.

'I’ve been really lucky, I’ve never been out for more than a couple of months... I couldn’t walk on Monday so went for a scan and it turned out to be a grade two tear, so it will be a few months out'.

With optimism among fans possibly at its highest for years, ahead of the new Conference Premier campaign... Betsy’s injury is the first negative of the summer...

Meanwhile, Cards new boy James Clarke hopes to be fit in time to play himself into contention for a place... The 24-year-old has yet to pull on a Woking shirt after making a summer switch from Salisbury City... Clarke, who damaged a groin muscle when he slipped on the ball two weeks into pre-season training, said , 'It’s come at a costly time for me because you want to show your value in the team and, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to play a part yet... I like the way Woking play and the gaffer’s winning mentality. He has brought in hungry players like myself and Theo Lewis'...

Matt Steer, a regular for Combined Counties neighbours Westfield last season, featured as a Woking XI, made up almost completely of trialists, drew 1-1 at Frome Town on Tuesday".

From Get Hampshire comes news that "Andy Scott says he is close to finalising his Aldershot Town squad for the forthcoming season but has warned some of his trialists are entering the last chance saloon in order to earn a new deal. The Shots boss was delighted with a number of young hopefuls during Friday night’s 3-2 defeat by an exciting Chelsea Under 21 side before running the rule over a selected few in a behind-closed-doors friendly against a full-strength Millwall on Tuesday afternoon.

Midield dynamo Naby Diallo became the first of his trialists to be handed a permanent deal after agreeing terms to a one-year contract on Monday. And Scott reckons that opportunities will arise for several others, including youth-teamers Rob Gerrard and Matt Rudolph... One of the positions up for grabs is a goalkeeper to compete with new signing Phil Smith for the No.1 shirt with ex-Barnet stopper Nick Jupp leading the way and not far off agreeing terms.

And Scott is also looking at another striker/winger as cover after new arrival Dan Fitchett suffered a hamstring pull against Chelsea which may rule him out of the start of the season.

'Other than that, we’re shaping up quite nicely,' Scott told the News & Mail. 'We’re almost there but we need another first-team goalkeeper to compete with Phil Smith and, yes, Nick is someone who has done very well for us in the time he has been here. Losing Dan [Fitchett] is a blow. We didn't really need that in that area of the field so we’re looking at another striker/winger too now'...

Scott drew plenty more positives from their friendly with a full-strength Millwall side... Scott said, 'Everyone looked fit, got good minutes in the legs and thankfully we came through unscathed too'. Of those to impress was Diallo, 23, said... 'I prefer to play in central midfield, but I can do a job in a few other positions. I bring a lot of energy, strength and attacking play'... And he took his place in midfield alongside Scott’s other new recruit last week, Kieron Forbes, who joined the club on loan from Forest Green Rovers until the end of January.

The 23 year-old playmaker has made 107 Conference Premier appearances in four seasons at The New Lawn, and earned four caps for the England C team... Scott added, 'He had a calf injury last year so just wants to play and show what we can do. We are delighted to have him'".

According to the News Post Leader, "The producer of Blyth Spartans’ TV channel has decided to leave the club for Gateshead. Stephen Hurst said he had an offer of a paid post and one with broader links to local television companies.

'I am extremely sad to leave the Spartans', he said. 'I’ve loved every minute of it but the chance to join Gateshead was simply too good an opportunity to turn down. I will be running their YouTube channel and feeding coverage in to the north east TV stations on a regular basis, so it’s a foot in the door into broadcasting'".

In the Chester Chronicle we learn that "George Thomson remains a target for Chester FC despite returning to King's Lynn Town after an impressive trial. Attacking midfielder Thomson joined up with Steve Burr's squad for the start of pre-season after the Blues activated a clause in his contract with the Evo-Stik League Premier Division club.

Thomson, who started his career with Nottingham Forest, scored twice in the 4-2 win over Marine and featured in the 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra. Burr and first team coach Jon McCarthy were keen on signing the 22-year-old but were unable to offer him a deal owing to budget constraints...

King's Lynn boss Gary Setchell admitted he had expected the Blues to sign Thomson but was pleased to welcome him back into his squad... McCarthy said it was very possible the club would rekindle its interest in him. Burr wants to bring in an additional midfielder but his plans are on hold until the future of transfer-listed goalkeeper John Danby has been resolved...

Danby signed a two-year part-time contract last summer but his work commitments clash with the new daytime training model, meaning the 30-year-old cannot train with the rest of the squad..

In the meantime, Thomson remains a Kings Lynn player but has attracted interest from other clubs. Setchell revealed the midfielder had trained with Wrexham after leaving the Blues".

The Shropshire Star reports that "AFC Telford United boss Liam Watson today hinted there's a deal on the table for Godfrey Poku as the trialist returns for the Middlesbrough friendly. Poku joined up with the Bucks this week and played 71 minutes of Tuesday night's 1-1 draw against Wolves at the New Bucks Head.

The tough-tackling midfielder, along with a number of first-team players, was not involved as pre-season continued at Shawbury United last night, but he is coming back... The Telford manager pursued the player all last summer, only for him to end up seeing out the final year of his contract at Mansfield Town before his release.

Watson said, 'He’s got to make up his mind where he wants to be and, if he decides that’s here, we will look to try and do something... I know he will give us that bit of bite and strength in the middle of the park and he’s an infectious character to have on the pitch'.

The Bucks' chief would take the size of his squad to 20 if Poku comes on board... He said, 'No one knows what the starting line-up is going to be, because I genuinely don’t know myself... I can’t imagine starting the season and then picking the same team on the Tuesday at home to Macclesfield. We have a variety of options and there’s not an area where he don’t have genuine competition. I am happy with the strength of the squad we managed to put together'".

25 July 2014


Although Alty won at Mossley last week and our next opponents, Hyde, lost there, it is likely to be a close match when Altrincham travel to Ewen Fields this Saturday - even though we could be facing some mystery men. Mossley report that they "continued their pre season progress with a convincing 4-2 win over Conference North neighbours Hyde FC at Seel Park on Tuesday evening.

The Lilywhites got off to a great start inside 3 minutes when Tom Dean's long clearance found Steve Foster bearing down on goal. Foster used all his experience to lose his marker, former Mossley man [amd ex-Alty trialist] Aaron Chalmers named as a Hyde trialist, before placing a delicate chip over Hyde's ex Mossley keeper Christian Thewlis for a classy finish.

Mossley made all the early running... Hyde had created very little in the way of a goal threat but found themslves on the scoresheet a minute before the break. Arron Hevingham mis-timed a challenge in the box and Josh Brizell fired home from the spot.

Hyde made eight changes at the break and for the first time in the game looked a real threat going forward, finally equalising in the 56th minute when a long raking through ball caught the Mossley defence flat footed and Hyde's trialist number 10 raced through to slot the ball past Mossley keeper Liam Higginbotham.

After making several substitutions themselves Mossley recovered their poise and laid siege to the Hyde goal... There was no way back for Hyde when Mossley added a fourth goal in the 81st minute".

As in previous games the Hyde side remained something of a mystery as Mossley confirmed their visitors' line-up, "Hyde FC: 1. Christian Thewlis, 2. Josh Brizell, 3. Darren Thornton, 4. Trialist, 5. Trialist, 6. Adam Thurston, 7. Conor Hughes, 8. Trialist, 9. Steve Tames, 10. Trialist, 11. Trialist. Subs: 12. Trialist, 14. Trialist, 15. Trialist, 16. Trialist, 17. Trialist, 18. Trialist, 19. Trialist, 20. Trialist".


Altrincham FC Ladies' Assistant Manager, John McManus (right) won Gold and Silver Medals in the European Kick Boxing Championships last weekend. The Ladies' administrator and coach, Phil Taylor adds, "Clearly all at AFC Ladies are incredibly proud of John", who is pictured right.


Match report here

Manchester United report on Wednesday's game...

"Manchester United’s Reserves claimed their first win of the pre-season and embroidered the victory with five goals at the J. Davidson Stadium. Altrincham... celebrated the opening of their new away dressing room before the kick-off with United’s Nicky Butt cutting the ribbon.

Both teams took a little while to get into their stride but then, in a matter of minutes, there were attempts on goal at either end. Saidy Janko fired wide for United before, shortly afterwards, James Lawrie had the home fans on their feet with a long-range effort that skimmed Joel Pereira’s crossbar.

United, without a goal in two previous pre-season outings against Bray Wanderers in Ireland and at Southport, finally ended that shortcoming in the 28th minute when James Wilson employed all his predatory instincts to force the ball home from close range after meeting Andreas Pereira’s cross.

The Reds were beginning to express themselves and it came as no surprise when Italian midfielder David Petrucci’s 25-yard thunderbolt increased the lead.

After the break, United moved up a gear after and three further goals completed an excellent evening’s work for Warren Joyce’s lads. Petrucci claimed his second with a cheeky chip over David Parton after the ball squirmed out of the keeper's grasp.

Paddy McNair added a fourth with a glancing header from an Andreas Pereira assist and Callum Evans, on for the injured Angelo Henriquez, scored in similar circumstances by nodding in a late fifth."


Altrincham FC's former English Schools' captain, Rob Gilroy, has not figured in pre-season. Rob ended last season on loan at Prescot Cables and in their final training session he damaged his back in a fall.

Midfielder Rob is expected to be sidelined for a further eight weeks. He has, however, been assigned a squad number for 2014-15 so, hopefully, he will be back in action by late summer.


Above, Ian Senior, Altrincham FC goalkeeping coach and owner of SKkits, sportswear suppliers, poses in front of his new advertising board at the J. Davidson Stadium.

If you or your company wishes to advertise at Altrincham FC, please contact Barry Pond or ring the club on 0161 928-1045.


The Lincolnshire Echo reports that "Bob Dorrian has told Lincoln City's players they must remain in the top 10 next season if the club is to stay financially stable. It comes after the board was forced to invest another £150,000 in the club over the last seven months to make ends meet.

Dorrian has now laid down the gauntlet to Gary Simpson and his squad, telling them they must get the results that bring the fans back to Sincil Bank...

He said: "We need to be in the top half all season. We need the fans back in the ground. We need to be in a position in the league where we can be in with a good chance of the play-offs. We need to offer something positive after so many years of disappointment. It is vital we don't spend what we don't have but we have cash for two to three players of the right calibre... we are going to get players that can get us in the play-offs'...

However, if the club were to average a gate of 2,900 this coming season, further loans could be avoided. 'At present the situation is unsustainable and it cannot carry on if we want to move the club forward,' said Dorrian... Financially we are very weak. There are three ways for us to raise cash. Firstly, a good cup run. Secondly, to be in the top 10 of the division and thirdly to bring extra investment in...

There are two places on the board and we know there are people out there with the cash and, better still, the ideas that can take Lincoln forward. We want them to come and join us... There are many positive points from last season. The playing side of the club is stable and the strong end to the last season gives us a lot of hope going forward. We have put the building blocks in place for this coming season. It is now down to the management team and the players...

We have to be successful this year. If not then we are not going to be in the position to be able to look to keep the players on the final year of their two-year deals. They will not be wanting to play bottom-half football. This year is a big year. If we end up in the bottom half, the whole plan goes out the window'".

In contrast, finance is not the main issue at Eastleigh who are "Delighted to announce that phase 2 of our planning permission application has been granted. The north and east terracing has now been completed and we have now been granted permission to erect our 2,300 seated stand at south end of the ground. Groundworks are due to begin in the next few weeks".

The BBC reports that "A proposed friendly between Blackpool and Alfreton Town has been called off after the Conference Premier side said their opponents did not confirm the fixture. Blackpool have just eight players under contract and no senior goalkeeper.

In a statement, Alfreton said they believed the fixture was scheduled for Saturday. However, Blackpool insist the match was not part of their pre-season.. A dispute over transfer targets between former Charlton boss Riga, who was appointed in June, and chairman Karl Oyston is yet to be resolved.

Blackpool have made just one summer signing - Estonia international striker Sergei Zenjov. Five trialists, including former Tottenham goalkeeper Ben Alnwick and ex-Aston Villa striker Nathan Delfouneso, appeared in their 4-0 friendly win at Penrith on Saturday. The club's only other confirmed pre-season fixture is against newly-promoted Premier League local rivals Burnley, on Saturday, 2 August".

"Torquay United have received a financial boost after selling 15-year-old goalkeeper Neal Osborn to Southampton for a 'significant fee'" reports the BBC. "The Gulls have suffered cash problems following relegation to the Conference Premier last season. 'This deal represents a five-figure sum for the club, and with add-ons for the future', said youth boss Geoff Harrop".

According to the Stroud News, "Former Forest Green captain Jamie Turley is interesting rivals Bristol Rovers. Turley, 24, turned down a contract offer at Forest Green at the end of the season and was on the verge of penning a deal with Swindon Town. However, the England C captain and former Wycombe and Salisbury City centre-back, broke his arm in June, and his unfortunate injury has put his future on ice.

Gas boss Darrell Clarke, who worked with Turley when the pair were together for a spell at Salisbury City, said, 'Jamie Turley is a very, very good centre-half at Conference Prem level. He is a player that interests me, but as it stands at the moment, he is injured... and we are waiting on a physio report... As a football club we are making sure the injury is recovered, or recovering... Nothing in concrete, as there is a lot of interest elsewhere as well. “I am not making a concrete offer to a player that is injured until I get our medical advice'".

Also from the BBC we learn that "Shrewsbury Town have signed striker Andy Mangan from Forest Green Rovers on a one-year deal". The Shrews visit Altrincham on Friday, 1 August (7.45pm). "The 27-year-old leaves Rovers by mutual consent, with Shrewsbury contributing to the settlement agreement. Mangan's move brings and end to a second spell at the New Lawn, which saw his contract terminated in February before he successfully appealed to have it reinstated in June.

Rovers are now appealing against that decision to the Football Association".


NL Daily says that "Witton Albion will be running out in new home and away kits that are being sponsored by their chairman's company when the new season kicks off.

The logo of Travel Intelligence Network, founded by Albs and Evo-Stik Northern Premier League chairman Mark Harris in 2005 to support providers of travel and event services, will adorn the Premier Division club's 2014-15 strip after agreeing a one-year main sponsorship deal on Wednesday.

While Brian Pritchard's team will still be playing at Wincham Park in the club's traditional white and red striped top with blue shorts, they've switched from a blue and yellow away strip to an all orange kit... provided by a new supplier, Joma.

TIN specialise in helping hotels, airlines and others in the travel and leisure industries market themselves by providing unique written, verbal and visual content. The industry experts create and run conferences, write and publish client magazines, white papers and blogs as well as co-delivering one of the business travel industry's annual awards events.

With the field his company works in, Harris isn't expecting to get any direct business from the deal just yet. Instead, he wants to lead the way and, by taking the club's main sponsorship for the first time, is hoping to encourage other companies and organisations to come on board in the future.

He said, 'The company is sponsoring the shirts because if the chairman can't do it we can't expect others to follow suit. The business is 10 years old and this is the first time we've done any brand-building... As I'm known in the corporate travel world for my football activities as well as my day job, the last line of my official bio is 'After lunch he is chairman of Witton Albion and the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League', it seemed right that we did this...

If another local company wants to become shirt sponsor I will stand aside and sponsor the club in another area'".

24 July 2014


As previously reported, Altrincham FC Youth recently appointed former player Dan Millen as Assistant Manager and Team Coach. However, unforeseen family commitments have meant that, although Dan's involvement with the team will continue, the role of Assistant Manager and Team Coach will now be assumed by former Alty left-back, Chris Adams. Most recently Chris has been assistant to Graham Heathcote at Stafford Rangers.


The Manchester Evening News reports that "One of Stockport County’s new signings has been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs. Russell Benjamin, 22, signed for the Hatters last month but was arrested following a series of dawn raids by police... and appeared at Chester Crown Court on July 17.

He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody. Liverpool-born Mr Benjamin will next appear in court on September 29 for a plea and case management hearing. Mr Benjamin, of Derby Place, Chester, missed County’s pre-season friendly at Nantwich Town last Wednesday with the club saying it was because of ‘personal circumstances’. He had signed from [AFC] Telford United, who were promoted from the Conference North last season...

Mr Benjamin has also played for Rochdale and Southport and arrived at Edgeley Park for no fee even though he had a year left on his Telford contract".

According to Bulls' News, "Macclesfield manager John Askey says he will have to build a squad with the lowest budget in the Conference this season.

The Silkmen continue to have money troubles after a season of struggle last term, with Askey describing their budget last season as 'bottom 2 or 3' but now seeing it cut further. He says he still needs eight new signings this summer and will speak with club owner Amar Alkhadi over finances this week.

He told the Manchester Evening News that his set budget was 'unrealistic' and 'way below anybody else' and hoped that Thursday's talks would get the club somewhere near to last year's comparative 'fortune' of a budget.

The Silkmen stayed in the Conference only after Alkhadi put money in at the last minute to settle debts at the AGM, with Director Andy Scott having set up a takeover deal following the collapse of moves to turn the club into a Community Interest Company.

Meanwhile, Worcester City have announced a loss of £43,175 for the 2012/13 season. They say that it is 50% cheaper for them to stage matches at Kidderminster, where it costs around £2,000 a game, compared to St George's Lane due to the ageing state of their former ground. They have already sold 250 season tickets for the coming season, and also operate a successful lottery scheme that generates £50,000 a season".

23 July 2014


Altrincham kick off their first home friendly of the summer at the J. Davidson Stadium on Wednesday evening (7.45pm).

Altrincham FC confirm that admission prices for all of the pre-season friendlies at the J. Davidson Stadium are as follows:

  • Adults £7
  • Concessions £4..
  • Under 5s are free of charge.
  • Altrincham FC 2014-15 season ticket holders are also admitted free of charge.

Please note that entry is by cash-only and that away-teams' season tickets are not valid for friendlies at the J. Davidson Stadium.

Regulars will notice the changes at the J. Davidson Stadium caused by the construction of the new Community Sports Hall, which is fenced off. However, the bar will be open as normal and access to it will be possible between the Golf Road End and the bar as well as from the main stand. A club programme shop has been installed in the corner between the Golf Road and and the Popular Side.

Manchester United report that "United's Reserves continue their preparation for the Under-21 season with a friendly against Altrincham on Wednesday night.

Nicky Butt will officially open the new away dressing room at the J. Davidson Stadium ahead of the clash as Warren Joyce's Reds seek to get on the scoresheet for the first time in the pre-season. Following a 1-0 defeat at Bray Wanderers and a goalless draw with Southport on Tuesday, the second-string squad will aim to get off the mark at their former home.

Joyce has used 22 players in the two games and is ensuring everybody is getting important minutes under their belt."

Warren Joyce is father of Alty trialist Wade Joyce.

Manchester United also reported on the goalless draw at Southport. "Warren Joyce again utilised a large squad, as he did at Bray Wanderers on Sunday, with James Wilson starting in attack against the Conference Premier outfit. The crowd of 675 at the Merseyrail Community Stadium may not have seen any goals but there was no doubting the commitment in a feisty encounter.

Wilson, Davide Petrucci and Tom Thorpe all mustered efforts in the first period before Joyce rang the changes with nine substitutions. Although there was only booking, for Luke George, there could have been more as the midfield area became increasingly combative. Chile international Henriquez, who was joined by Ashley Fletcher in attack, could have stolen victory on 80 minutes but was thwarted by Dean Porter in the home goal.

United: O'Hara (J.Pereira 46); Janko (A.Fletcher 76), Thorpe (Love 46), McNair, Varela (C.Evans 46); Bebe (Vermijl 46), Rothwell (Willock 46), Petrucci (Pearson 46), A.Pereira (Harrop 46), Lawrence (Goss 46); Wilson (Henriquez 46)".


John Edwards, Alty's joint Press & Media Officer, writes that "Altrincham make a welcome return to the J.Davidson Stadium tonight, as the build-up continues to an eagerly-awaited Conference Premier campaign, and so too, naturally enough, does The Robins Review.

Though in black and white and with fewer pages than normal, in keeping with programmes for friendlies, there is still plenty worth reading. In 'Captain's Chat', Shaun Densmore relives the unforgettable drama of our promotion play-off final win over Guiseley, while there is also an update on fund-raising and how the community sports hall is progressing.

The reduced size is reflected in a reduced price - it's on sale inside the ground at a bargain £1".


Brian Flynn writes that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, returns to the internet airwaves for Wednesday evening's pre-season friendly at the J.Davidson Stadium against Manchester United Under-21s. The commentators are Ian Wilkinson and Niall Finnegan with match summaries from Jack Jolly.

Coverage starts at 7.40pm with the game kicking off at 7.45pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.

Leah & Simon Brotherton will be providing regular updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfc) as well as half-time and full-time updates on facebook (Altrincham FC)".


John Edwards, joint Press Officer at Altrincham FC, writes that "Former England and Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt will officially open the first phase of an exciting new development at Altrincham's J.Davidson Stadium tomorrow night (Weds). Butt, who is expected to be confirmed as part of Louis van Gaal's coaching staff at Old Trafford, will cut a ribbon across the entrance to a brand new away dressing room, prior to a United X1 taking on Alty in a 7.45pm kick-off.

Newly promoted to the Conference Premier, Alty have also created new changing facilities for match officials and improved the home dressing room as part of a two-phase project that will see a community sports hall built next to the Carole and Fred Nash main stand over the next few months.

'The work so far has been funded by grants from the Football Stadium Improvement Funds, as well as the club itself, and we are delighted our neighbours from Old Trafford will be first to use the new away facilities,' said Alty chairman Grahame Rowley. 'Nicky has kindly agreed to do the honours, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony when the United players arrive, and we are grateful to him.'"


John Edwards, joint Press Officer at Altrincham FC, writes that "Altrincham bosses are urging local businesses to join forces with them and help put the finishing touches to the new community sports hall at the J. Davidson Stadium.

Phase One reached fruition last night, Wednesday, when a Manchester United XI played Alty to mark the completion of a new away dressing room and improved facilities for home players and match officials.

With Phase Two now gathering momentum, Alty chairman Grahame Rowley has taken the opportunity to outline the role local companies can play in providing a venue to be proud of.

'The next phase is basically the building', he said. 'The foundations are already in place, and the appearance of it will become visible very quickly. It is due to be finished by the end of October, and it is an exciting development for everyone in the Altrincham area.

'That much is clear from the number of people who have enquired about using it. There is tremendous interest, but first we have to try and ensure it is finished to the standard required. We have major grants coming in, but there is still some fundraising to be done. We are in the region of £80,000 to £90,000 short of our target, and it would be great if local businesses could rally round and help with a venture that is for the good of the community.

'I think people are fearful we are only looking for large amounts, but that's not the case. All contributions, no matter how small, will make a difference and will be acknowledged with a significant showing in the hall. We are very flexible in what we can offer in return for sponsorship, and it would be a case of sitting down with individuals and tailoring an acknowledgement to their needs.

'It is very much a community initiative, and it is worth stressing that people will be contributing to the community, rather than the football club. I think there are sometimes misgivings about donating to a football club, but money for this will be ring-fenced and used for its intended purpose only.'

Anyone interested in donating or finding out more can contact Grahame Rowley at the club 0161 928 1045 or by email".


This week's winning code in the Saturday Yankee was 3381, which was an unissued sequence. Consequently, the jackpot rises to £3,000. However, six scheme members won £25 each for winning "trebles".


The Football Conference says that "Jamie Day, manager of Welling United, has added to his strike force by signing forward Kieron St Aimie. The former Queen`s Park Rangers striker has impressed during pre-season and Day has now made him a permanent addition to the playing staff at Park View Road.

The well-travelled 25-year-old was on the books at Chelmsford City last and, after leaving Loftus Road in 2009, has had spells with the likes of Thurrock, Hitchin Town, Maidenhead United.... Lewes, AFC Hornchurch, Kettering Town, Tamworth, AFC Telford United and Whitehawk.

Day said, 'We are hoping that he can provide that hold-up play that we have lost with Ross Lafayette leaving in the close season. Kieron has good pace and a good ratio of goals per game. He himself has a point to prove stepping back up to this level'".

According to NL Daily, "Martin Foyle, boss of Southport, has announced two more exciting captures. Arriving are midfielder Andrew Mitchell and defender Johnny Lynch.

22-year-old Mitchell, who has had previous spells at Manchester City and Rangers, has made an immediate impact in his first week with the Sandgrounders. Belfast-based Mitchell is looking to get his highly-promising career back on track... Former Wigan Athletic left sided defender Johnny Lynch is Foyle's second signing, with the manager describing the young players as 'tenacious and willing to learn'."

At Gateshead, "manager Gary Mills has completed his ninth signing of the summer with the acquisition of left-back Ryan Wilson. The son of former Chelsea and Derby County striker Kevin Wilson, Ryan was previously with Gateshead assistant-manager Darren Caskey at Ilkeston.

Before that the 21-year-old was an apprentice at Stockport County...

'Ryan has done well on trial, and has settled in well', said Mills. 'Good left-backs are a rare breed and the way he plays will suit my team. I've been quietly impressed with what he has shown so far, and at 21 he will only get better... Left-back has been a problem position for some time and he has the chance to make the position his own'...

Wilson will be in the Heed line-up to face Leyton Orient at the International Stadium on Wednesday night."


The NL Paper tells us that "Former Hyde secretary Anthony Beard has been jailed for three years after stealing almost £50,000 from three sporting organisations including the Tigers and local cricket club Flowery Field.

The 59-year-old served as treasurer of the cricket club as well as secretary for Conference North Hyde and Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court heard how he had fleeced the football club out of £11,775.

He also stole £7,286 from the cricket club as he fell into debt following the collapse of his job as a self-employed financial advisor.

Beard also took £28,078 from the accounts of the Ashton Trust, a sports trust based in Tameside, who he served as a trustee, which later became insolvent. The offences took place between January 2007 and January 2012 with Beard writing cheques to himself.

A Hyde statement read, 'Hyde Football Club are pleased with the sentence handed to former secretary, Anthony Beard, this morning (Monday) at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester. The impact of Mr Beard’s dealings has been felt by Hyde Football Club both financially and operationally. Mr Beard had full knowledge of the difficult financial situation at the club yet still chose to steal funds.

This is particularly distressing to many directors and ex-directors who trusted him and who put in their own monies over time, together with supporters’ contributions, in order to keep the club afloat'.

Beard’s barrister Gareth Roberts added, 'His life has been turned upside down. The matter was clearly aggravated by a massive breach of trust and the amounts involved. He became involved in all three organisations due to interest in the community. He worked tirelessly, and all three benefited at some point from his expertise. He began to take money from the trust and the cricket club. Initially, he did so with the intention to pay the money back. As he became more indebted the criminality continued. He became involved in a spiral'".

22 July 2014


Altrincham FC is looking to appoint more stewards for the coming season when the Club is back in the Conference National division. If you are over 16 years of age and would like to help the club in a really practical way then why not become a steward at the J. Davidson Stadium? As well as doing a vital job, you can train for an NVQ and, on match days, you will get a free hot drink and a pie or sandwich!

If you can help the club in this way, please ring the club, (during normal weekday office hours), on (0161) 928-1045 or e-mail Grahame Rowley as soon as possible. Thank you, in advance, for your assistance.


The Altrincham FC first-team squad list has an addition in the shape of goalkeeper Josh Samberg, who will wear number 24. As Alty fans will know, Josh was the Altrincham FC youth team goalkeeper last season and also featured several times in the first-team squad.


As reported yesterday, Trafford MBC hosted a reception for Altrincham FC recently. The Council has now issued the following press release...

"Trafford Council host Mayoral reception to mark Altrincham FC’s promotion.

A mayoral reception was held at Trafford Town Hall on 16 July to congratulate Altrincham Football on their successful promotion to the Conference Premier League.

Left: Courtesy of Gavin Rathbone, we see Cllr Anstee and the Mayor of Trafford with Alty chairman Grahame Rowley.

This promotion means that they will now play football at a national level, visiting and welcoming fans from places such as Bristol, Dartford, Dover and Gateshead.

Altrincham Football Club has been at the centre of life in Altrincham town since 1910. The team play an important role in the life of the community, they are sponsored by local business and they engage with the local community and have a thriving ladies team and strong junior teams.

The Leader of Trafford council, Councillor Sean Anstee said, 'Congratulations to Altrincham FC on their success. It is a fantastic achievement for the club and the town and strengthens Trafford’s strong history with football. Altrincham’s huge regeneration works, including the new market development, the improved transport interchange and the fantastic new leisure facilities will also offer improved and more welcoming facilities for visitors on match days'.

Chairman of Altrincham FC Grahame Rowley said, 'It was fantastic that Trafford Council recognised the superb achievements of Altrincham Football Club last season in attaining Conference Premier status. The reception was enjoyed by everyone who attended and gave us a chance to strengthen our links with the many councillors who work so hard for the local residents'".


Carole Nash, OBE, will be known to many supporters. Carole set up, ran, and sold a large locally-based but national motor cycle insurance brokerage business. Carole has in the past been a Club Director and is still a great supporter and has been a sponsor of the Club for many years. She and her husband Fred are now Directors of the Altrincham Football Club Community Charity.

Carole is also the owner of 4,700 shares in the Football Club and she has suggested to the Club that these shares are made available for sale, with the proceeds to be donated to the Community Sports Hall appeal fund. If you are interested in purchasing these shares (in any amounts) please contact Club Chairman Grahame Rowley either by e-mail or by phone on 07720 606897.


Trafford report that their "young side were no match for Conference Premier outfit Altrincham in their pre-season friendly at Shawe View on Saturday.The visitors took just three minutes to take the lead with Shaun Densmore converting a back post header after Tom Read misjudged a deep cross from the left.

And two goals in two minutes by Alty goal machine Damian Reeves virtually finished the game as a contest... To their credit, Trafford fought back with great spirit and Mark Derbyshire reduced the arrears in the 23rd minute when he headed past Dave Parton following a fine run and cross down the left by Rory Fallon.

Parton then produced a superb fingertip save to push a Clevon Beadle drive around the post but in the 42nd minute Steven Gillespie restored Alty’s three goal advantage when he headed home following yet another penetrative cross from the flanks...

The effervescent Lawrie broke clear on the hour mark but screwed his shot wide of the far post and then he seemed certain to score but was thwarted by a magnificent block by Trafford centre back Tyler Shaw. The scoring was completed in the 69th minute when Nia Bayunu tripped Lawrie and Greg Wilkinson coolly placed the resultant penalty into the bottom corner".


The Football Conference tells us that "Oldham Athletic have agreed a one-year-deal with Kidderminster Harriers' striker Amari Morgan-Smith. Morgan-Smith first signed for Harriers on loan from Macclesfield Town in January 2013.

The 25-year-old former England C international began his career as a youngster with Wolves before joining Stockport County prior to a switch to non-League football with Ilkeston Town. Powerful and 6ft plus, he was a real menace there... before becoming a hot-property free agent as result of Ilkeston’s demise for financial reasons in 2010.

Luton Town snapped up his signature... He then left to join the Silkmen during the summer of 2013 and, following his loan spell, re-joined Harriers on a short-term deal".

Altrincham' first opponents this season, "Aldershot Town have signed former Weston-super-Mare midfielder Naby Diallo on a one-year contract. The 23-year-old impressed in Friday’s opening pre-season friendly against Chelsea under-21s, having joined the Shots on trial...

A dynamic and skillful central midfielder known for his versatility, the Moscow-born Guinean began his career in the Bristol City youth academy before continuing his scholarship with Bristol Rovers... Brief spells at Gloucester City and Oldland Abbotonians preceded his move to Weston in Conference South in July 2010...

In January 2013, Diallo also reached the final eleven in the Samsung 'Win A Pro Contract' competition which attracted over 5000 applications to earn deals with Leyton Orient and Swindon Town... Said Diallo, 'I prefer to play in central midfield, but I can do a job in a few other positions. I bring a lot of energy, strength and attacking play...The squad is looking good and I think we’ll do really well this year'.

Shots' boss Andy Scott said, 'He was confident enough to come in for pre-season and say "I’ll show you what I can do". He’s a very talented player, he can play several positions and his versatility will help, but I think he can hold down a position in his own right. He’s quick, he’s strong, he can tackle, he can use both feet, he’s a good passer and he understands the game. Plus he’s a really nice young man, and he’s fitted in really well'”.

The Conference also confirms that "Experienced striker Jon Parkin has signed for Forest Green Rovers on a one-year contract... Parkin has been training with Rovers' league rivals Lincoln City during pre-season while weighing up his playing options...

Forest Green manager Ady Pennock knows the 6'4" target man from his time at Stoke City... Beginning his career at Barnsley, Parkin moved to York City in League Two for two years, before making his mark at Macclesfield Town... He then moved to Championship side Hull City in January 2006 where he continued to score, before going on loan and then permanently to Stoke.

Parkin signed for Preston North End at the start of the 2008/09 season... before moving to Cardiff City in January 2011. Loans spells at Doncaster, Huddersfield and Scunthorpe [followed]... before his transfer to Fleetwood and a further 22 goals over the past two years for the Cod Army. "

At Bristol Rovers, "Former Hartlepool midfielder Andy Monkhouse has become Darrell Clarke's sixth summer signing. The 33 year old, who was released by Hartlepool at the end of last season, can play anywhere in midfield and can also be used up front. He made over 300 appearances for Hartlepool after signing from Swindon Town in January 2007, he scored 52 goals during his time with Hartlepool and last season played in over 40 games for them.

As well as Swindon Town, Monkhouse had a spell with Rotherham United making 80 appearances and scoring 10 times."

Reports in the Western Daily Press tell us that "Forest Green midfielder Kieron Forbes has joined Aldershot Town on a six-month loan deal after falling down the pecking order at the New Lawn.

Signed from Wealdstone by Dave Hockaday in December 2010, the former Watford man was an integral player at the club prior to Ady Pennock's arrival as manager. But the 23-year-old spent the final two months of last season on loan at Conference South outfit Whitehawk, and the arrivals of Sam Wedgbury, Clovis Kamdjo and Rob Sinclair in Nailsworth this summer effectively signalled the end of his Rovers' career.

Forbes is likely to be followed through the exit door in the coming days by striker Andy Mangan, with Shrewsbury boss Micky Mellon confirming a deal is close to being done for the exiled Scouser. Mangan is set for a move to Shropshire despite having two years remaining on his current contract.

Mellon, who managed the 27-year-old at Fleetwood Town, said, 'There's no secret that Andy is the lad we're trying to bring in. I know him very well and I know what he'll bring to the group. He can play anywhere across the front and has got good instincts to get you a few goals... The deal hasn't been 100 percent concluded yet'.

Meanwhile, the pre-season Nailsworth derby between Shortwood United and Forest Green, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, had to be cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch at Meadowbank. Overnight storms and persistent heavy rain in the morning left the surface unplayable and nearby roads very nearly impassable.

Rovers will be in pre-season action again tomorrow, with two squads sent to play at Gloucester and Slimbridge on the same evening. Boss Ady Pennock and a large majority of the first-team squad will be at Wilsoe Road to face Slimbridge, with the rest of the squad facing Conference North club Gloucester at Whaddon Road.

The friendly at Gloucester was hastily-arranged after the Tigers pulled out of a game against crisis club Hereford, due to be played that day."


According to NL Daily, ambitious Celtic Nation, the "Northern League Division One club can confirm that official ownership of the club has passed to co-founder Stephen Skinner. A statement read... 'Changes at the club will see manager Willie McStay, assistant manager Davie Farrell and their backroom team depart... The club asks for patience but can assure supporters that Celtic Nation, both on and off the pitch, will continue to move forwards and aim for promotion'".
21 July 2014


Altrincham kick off their first home friendly of the summer at the J. Davidson Stadium on Wednesday evening (7.45pm).

Altrincham FC confirm that admission prices for all of the pre-season friendlies at the J. Davidson Stadium are as follows:

  • Adults £7
  • Concessions £4..
  • Under 5s are free of charge.
  • Altrincham FC 2014-15 season ticket holders are also admitted free of charge.

Please note that entry is by cash-only and that away-teams' season tickets are not valid for friendlies at the J. Davidson Stadium.

Manchester United report that "Manchester United's Reserves started the pre-season campaign with a 1-0 friendly defeat at Bray Wanderers. Warren Joyce took a large squad to Ireland for the fixture and made 10 changes to the team at half time but saw Jake Kelly score the only goal of the game on 42 minutes...

Only captain Tom Thorpe kept his place for the second half and Joe Rothwell, Saidy Janko and Angelo Henriquez all mustered attempts as the Reds sought an equaliser... United: J.Pereira (O'Hara 46); Love (Varela 46), McConnell (McNair 46), Thorpe, C.Evans (Janko 46); Harrop (Rothwell 46), Goss (Petrucci 46), Pearson (A.Pereira 46), Willock (Lawrence 46), Bebe (Henriquez 46); A.Fletcher (Wilson 46)."


Darren Gregory informs us that on Sunday "Two Altrincham girls' teams, the Skylarks under 11s and Wrens under 10s took part in the excellently organised Unicorn Athletic tournament in Timperley. The Skylarks, pictured above in the new kit, lost in the semi final on penalties but there was better news for the Wrens, who won their age group without losing a single game. They are pictured in their changed kit".


Alty TV's Mark Bennett has produced some excellent DVDs which cover Altrincham's promotion season in 2013-14. They include the Season Highlights DVD and Promotion Semi-Final & Final (full match) DVD. Information about the DVDs is on the adjacent screen shots.

You can order your copies from Mark's website, or on eBay via the links below, or from the club, on 0161 928-1045.


Altrincham FC were treated to a mayoral reception last week. The above picture of the event is courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.

Grahame Rowley adds, "The club were very honoured to be invited to the Town Hall last Thursday for a Civic Reception hosted by the Mayor Mr Ejaz Malik and the Leader of the Council, Mr Sean Anstee.

All the players, management and Board attended the prestigious event and an enjoyable time was had by all. Altrincham FC hopes that this close link with members of the local Council can now flourish and be a mutually beneficial relationship".


In the Western Morning News, we learn that "Torquay United manager Chris Hargreaves has added Toby Ajala to his growing list of new signings this week after the former Bristol City winger gave another highly promising performance in Saturday’s 2-1 friendly win over Walsall.

Ajala, 22, has been a target for Hargreaves ever since he played in an end-of-season trial game at Plainmoor in May and penned a one-year deal at Plainmoor yesterday... Hargreaves, who has already agreed terms with other trialists Courtney Richards and Angus MacDonald, said... 'I’m delighted to get Toby nailed down for the new season'. On MacDonald, he added, 'We want him to try and be a future captain'...

As well as ex-Brighton midfielder Richards, former Reading and Salisbury defender MacDonald and now Ajala, Hargreaves is also believed to be talking still to a fourth trialist, ex-Southend United striker Duane O’Achie, 21... Hargreaves revealed later that Krystian Pearce (ankle) could be out for another fortnight; he was hurt in last midweek’s 2-2 draw with Yeovil...

Hargreaves's’ squad strengthening still has some way to run. 'We are a couple of players off the sort of squad I’m looking for', he said. 'Courtney Richards is a no-nonsense midfield player... We certainly need to sign a couple more. And it may be a case of two in and two out, but we’ll see. Last season I didn’t have the time to get the players in that I wanted. We were punting most of the time on young players for a couple of hundred quid a week. This summer I’ve had a bit more time to do my due diligence on players... In a year’s time it will be my team'".

At Wrexham, "After a summer of uncertainty, the future of young defender Anthony Stephens has been settled with the 20-year-old signing a new one-year contract with the club... Based in Liverpool, Anthony has enjoyed loan spells to expand his experience, spending most of last season with Colwyn Bay...

While with the Seagulls he played a large number of games at left back rather than his more accustomed role of central defender... He has yet to make his senior debut for the Reds... He will hoping to figure in the squad this time around."

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