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28 May 2024

MATTY GOULD, THE LATEST TO EXTEND HIS STAY

Goalkeeper Matty Gould (right) is the latest player to his extend his contract with Altrincham FC. John Edwards reports that "One of the Vanarama National League's best goalkeeping partnerships [remains] safely intact after Matt Gould signed a new contract at The J.Davidson Stadium.

A more than capable stand-in for Ethan Ross, as was demonstrated last season, Matt's input at Alty extends way beyond simply providing competition for the number one spot.

In his other role as specialist goalkeeping coach, he was instrumental in helping Ethan not only hit the ground running on his arrival from Stockport County but quickly establish himself as a vital cog in a campaign that so nearly delivered promotion to the Football League...

'This will be year number five at the club for me, and it was a no-brainer,' he said. 'I love it here, and I love being a full-time footballer-coach. The gaffer and Sorvs have put a lot of belief and trust in me, and it’s an honour to work and play for them. We are going places as a club and the whole community can feel it, so let’s have another great year'...

Manager Phil Parkinson added, 'He has shown myself and the football club ultimate loyalty to stay with us when he could certainly have gone and played elsewhere in his dual role as coach and player'".

Footnote: Matty arrived at Altrincham from Spennymoor Town in August 2020, having spent two seasons in County Durham. He made his debut for Altrincham in the CSC at Barnton on 4 November 2020 but, despite being a regular at Spennymoor, at Altrincham he did not make his league debut until 3 May 2021 at Solihull and, indeed, over the whole season was only named on the bench for four other league games. In cup matches he played once, in the Cheshire Senior Cup, and was an unused sub for two other ties.

Injury in a pre-season match in summer 2021 was a factor in his exclusion from the first four matchday squads of 2021-22 before, on 24 September 2021, it was announced that he was going to Nantwich Town, on dual registration, to regain match fitness. Owing to injury to Tony Thompson, Matt was recalled from Nantwich on 13 October 2021 before he returned to The Dabbers On his return to Altrincham in May 2022, it was announced that he would be remaining at Alty for 2022-23.

He started the 2022-23 season in goal for the first-team, but suffered a bad facial injury in the second fixture, at Bromley. Having not played any National League game after that, it was announced on Boxing Day 2022 that he would go on loan for a month to Ashton United but by 10 January he had been recalled.

On 7 February 2023 it was announced that Matt was going on loan to Chorley. However, he returned before the end of the campaign to cover for the injured Byrne. So by the start of last season he had made just 18 appearances. Injury to Ethan Ross in 2023-24 meant that he added twelve more starts in that season , bringing his total to thirty appearances.

ANOTHER LOCAL FRIENDLY

Altrincham FC announce, in the words of Joe Edgar, "yet another friendly date to add to our busy 2024/25 pre-season schedule in the shape of North West Counties Division One South side Cheadle Heath Nomads.

Nomads, managed by our very own Academy Manager Paul Fay (right), will host the Robins on Tuesday, July 16 (7:45pm) at the Ideal Building Systems Stadium (SK8 2ET).

Paul took on the role of first team manager last summer, before steering Nomads to a club-high sixth-place finish in the NWCFL Division One South last season, narrowly missing out on a place in the play-offs in what was their sixth season at the level."

PRESSBOX REVIEW

Altrincham FC press and media officer John Edwards has penned a review of the past season.

"It has been a tale of onwards and upwards for Altrincham ever since Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel walked through the door seven years ago, progress all the way, but it's fair to say the Robins surpassed themselves during the course of the 2023-24 Vanarama National League campaign" writes John before recounting the ups and downs of the campaign..

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

AFC Fylde "announce the signing of full back Bryce Hosannah on a permanent deal.

Returning to the club following a strong spell last season, Hosannah joins the Coasters as a free agent following the expiry of his contract at Wrexham..

Bryce played regularly for Leeds’ Under-23’s team and spent time out on loan at Bradford City before his move to Wrexham... during the summer of 2021. The club has worked incredibly hard to get this deal over the line...

Hosannah commented... 'We were on an upward trajectory at the end of last season and I want nothing more than to continue that'

Chris Beech commented 'Bryce has been brilliant for us, he’s a great lad, with personality, who’s a really good football player too... He adds great strength to our defensive capabilities... One thing I want our side to improve on is transitions and game management, Bryce definitely makes us stronger in that'".

And, following the announcement that Chris Beech had extended his contract, AFC Fylde "announce Chris Beech and Nick Anderton as the club’s new management team for the upcoming Vanarama National League Season.

The Coasters had a strong end to the campaign under Chris and Nick, so we are delighted to share the extension of their current contracts with the club.

In 2019, Chris was appointed Head Coach of Carlisle United and... he successfully transformed them into a top-of-the-table side before departing in late 2021.

Following the unfortunate end to his career in April 2023, Nick now takes on his first full season as assistant...

Due to early retirement having been diagnosed with a rare form of Bone Cancer in the summer of 2022, Nick has since embarked on a career as a football coach... During his time with Carlisle, Beech made Anderton his club captain...

Chris first took control on a game-by-game basis in October... Nick was first seen on the sidelines of Mill Farm in mid-January... The duo then put together a five-game unbeaten run to assist the Coasters in their turnaround in form and help them move up the National League table".

FC Halifax Town believe their squad is "Looking good. The squad-list so far.

Barnet A lot’s been going on at the Hive... Firstly, we’re putting in a new tunnel. This will be located in the East Stand on the halfway line next to the dugout, so player walkouts will be nice and central to the pitch.

Within the stand itself and leading out to the tunnel will be all new changing rooms for our First Team and visiting clubs.

We are also installing a brand new state-of-the-art stitched stadium pitch and lengthening it at the same time. This hybrid system will create an impeccable playing surface for the stadium. These works will take place across this summer...

Finally, we are creating a safe-standing area in the East Stand next to the new tunnel... All of these stadium improvements... will not impact the playing budget for the season.

There is a small increase in our adult and concession pricing this coming season... These small price increases will help bolster the increased playing budget for the 2024/25 season".

At Tamworth "New signing 23 years old Miracle Okafor has become a scoring sensation over the past 2 seasons, netting 27 goals for Sporting Khalsa in the Northern Premier League, and then 21 for Halesowen Town in the Southern League Premier Central. So why choose Tamworth for his next move?

'I have had a lot of offers from clubs in National League and the National League North, but knowing what Tamworth have done over the past 2 seasons, together with the quality of the Manger Andy Peaks, to be honest it was a no brainer. I know some of the lads at Tamworth and they have told me what a great team spirit there is in the camp...

'I was offered a trial at Scunthopre United and went on to have a 2 years spell in their U21 Academy set up. When I was released I came back to Birmingham and had spells at Alvechurch, Guiseley, Stourbridge and then Khalsa, where the manager was really supportive and I had a great season scoring 27 goals. This helped me get a move to Halesowen where I ended up being top scorer again...

'It’s definitely a big step up, but I have been watching a lot of National League Football over the past season and the quality of the level makes it like a league 3.'...

Manager Andy Peaks [said]... 'We have known about Miracle for a couple of seasons and have tried to sign him before but it didn’t happen. I am delighted to get him now and he is a real jewel to be honest. We are fortunate to get him and he has turned down bigger clubs and better offers to come to us'".

Wealdstone Football Club "announce that Brunel University have become our new front-of-shirt sponsor, and made history as the club’s biggest-ever commercial sponsor. The local partnership was made official during a formal contract signing on Brunel’s campus, with the university’s Vice-Chancellor signing on the dotted line.

Wealdstone Chairman, Rory Fitzgerald witnessed the signing...

The deal will see Brunel University feature on the front of the club’s home and away kits for the next 3 seasons...

A substantial number of Brunel volunteers have helped out on match days, and Brunel student interns have worked with Wealdstone over the summer months...

Wealdstone’s Chairman Rory Fitzgerald said... 'There have been a number of areas where the club and University have already been collaborating, most noticeably at our growing academy based at the University’s Sports Park along with our Under-23s'".

News of a playerleaving Wealdstone comes from Sutton United who "confirm the signing of former Wealdstone player Dillon De Silva.

The exciting young forward joins with plenty of pedigree at fifth tier level and will bolster the U’s frontline with his exceptional speed and technical skills, as well as his agility and sharpness on the ball.

Born in Camden Town, London, De Silva had an unsuccessful trial at Arsenal, later beginning his career with rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the age of 11, where he spent three years. After departing White Hart Lane, a brief stint at Barking preceded a move to Queens Park Rangers...

De Silva aided his development with a successful loan move to the National League in 2022/23, with Torquay United signing him... The winger appeared 26 times in all competitions during his debut season in Devon, scoring four times as the Gulls were relegated to the National League South...

[He] returned to the fifth tier when he joined Wealdstone... starting seven of the eight games he was involved in to help the Stones avoid relegation, contributing two goals in the process.

Away from club football, De Silva also represents Sri Lanka on the international stage...

Manager Steve Morison said... 'Our new recruitment process flagged Dillon towards the end of the season and we monitored him and saw exactly what the data had given us. “He is exciting on the ball in 1 v 1 situations and likes to go forward when he gets the ball, but also has excellent defensive qualities being diligent in his work tactically'".


27 May 2024

CCC'S NATIONAL AWARD

The NL Paper reports on the National Game Awards at which Chris Conn-Clarke (right) won the trophy as "Sportsbeat Young Player of the Year".

In an interview, Chris alluded to rumours of a move from Altrincham saying, "When you have good numbers, you are always going to get interest. I am just focussing on getting back into shape for the new season...

"I had been on loan at Altrincham before under the gaffer (Phil Parkinson) and he gets the best out of me, so it was a no-brainer going back and I am glad I did...

"It's everything about the club, from the top right down to the bottom. It is run brilliantly, the gaffer (Phil Parkinson) and Sorvs (Neil Sorvel), they are good at man-management. They know when to put an arm around you and when to give you a kick up the backside. They just know how to get the best out of me...

"I set myself a goal and an assist target and, if I don't hit it, I need to work harder in the off-season. But I've hit it this year so maybe I can chill out for a little bit".

AND JORDAN WINS AN AWARD TOO

As well as CCC, his predecessor as an Altrincham top scorer, JORDAN HULME was awarded the Step 3 & 4 Player of the Year accolade at The National Game Awards. Now plying his trade at Radcliffe FC, Jordan (33) won the same award in 2018 whilst at Altrincham.

Jordan joked, "I'm six years older, a bit fatter, but luckily I had a good team behind me to set me up!"

SIXTH FRIENDLY ANNOUNCED

Altrincham FC have confirmed their sixth pre-season friendly of the summer with a trip to the Tameside Stadium to face Curzon Ashton scheduled for Tuesday, 30th July.

Managed by former Alty player Craig Mahon, The Nash reached last season's promotion play-offs in the National North.

So far, the pre-season programme comprises:

  1. Sat. 6 July: Colne (A) 3pm
  2. Sat. 20 July: Warrington Town (A) 3pm
  3. Tue. 23 July: Salford City (H) 7:45pm
  4. Sat. 27 July: Chester FC (A) 3pm
  5. Tue. 30 July: Curzon Ashton (A) 7.45pm
  6. Sat. 3 Aug: Bradford City (H) 3pm

NEW CONTRACT FOR KOSYLO

Altrincham FC announce hrough press and media officer, John Edwards, that "Matty Kosylo has significantly bolstered Altrincham's attacking options for next season after signing a new contract at The J.Davidson Stadium...

Fit again at the start of last season, after recovering from a knee ligament injury, he again provided a telling contribution to a campaign that so nearly delivered a place in the Football League...

He will turn 32 when the new season gets underway in August, but it was clear his energy levels and enthusiasm for the game, and Alty in particular, remain undiminished, as he said... 'I feel good and strong, and I'll be leaving no stone unturned in the off-season to make sure I come back and help push all the other younger boys and help the group towards achieving what we all want as a club, which is ultimately promotion after not quite making it this year'"

Manager Phil Parkinson added, "Kossy has been a super servant to myself and the football club. He pushes us forward on and off the pitch, and when fully fit, he's still a force at this level and can contribute goals and assists. He knows his role in the team but has a steely determination to nail down a starting place in the Xl.

'His superb attitude acts as a standard for other players to follow. He is certainly a role model for younger players coming through, and he epitomises everything that this football club and I stand for'".

Footnote: Matty has made 79(+24) appearances for Altrincham, and has scored 19 goals since joining in August, 2020, after leaving AFC Fylde, which had followed a three-year spell at FC Halifax Town.

Earlier in his career, wingman Kosylo had played previously under Alty manager Phil Parkinson. That was back in 2014-16 at Nantwich Town. He left Nantwich for FC Halifax Town, for an undisclosed fee, in July 2016.

At Alty, a pre-season ACL injury meant that he was out of action for the entire 2022-23 season but he returned to action in 2023 pre-season and played 17(+16) times in 2023-24, scoring on six occasions.

ALTY OLD BOYS

Phil Jordan reports that in Australia in the VNPL Victoria "It was 3rd versus 4th as Oakleigh Cannons entertained Heidelberg.

CONNOR HAMPSON rounded off the scoring in a 3-0 victory - a "classic header" according to their Facebook page - before the visitors had to play the last quarter of the match with ten men".

Closer to home Colwyn Bay "announce DANNY McGOONA has joined the club’s board of directors.

Danny is a former player with the club and also played for Bangor City... Connah’s Quay Nomads, Altrincham and Caernarfon Town.

He has also managed Conwy Borough, has a vast knowledge of local football and in recent years has been involved with Colwyn Bay FC Juniors.

Brian Madden, director of Colwyn Bay FC said, 'Danny’s made a valued contribution to the club during the last few seasons especially on matchdays.

'His knowledge of the north Wales football scene will be invaluable'".

Dannt is pictured below in the Altrincham side of 1997/98.

BACK: Chris Adams, Michael Moore, Jamie Taylor, Ian Horrigan, George Shepherd, Steve Carroll. MIDDLE: Chris Waring, Andy Brown, Mark Maddox, Matt Dickins, Steve O'Connor, Paul France, Ricky Harris, Mick Carmody. FRONT: Kevin Lampkin, John Toner, Peter Glick, Gerry Berman (Chairman), Danny Adams, Danny McGoona, Niell Hardy.

OLD FOES WITHDRAW FROM LEAGUE

Back in 2017-18 when Altrincham were in the NPL, they faced Coalville Town.

Above: Jake Moult in action for Altrincham at Coalville on 30 December 2017.

Just a few days ago Coalville Town were announcing their recruitment plans for 2024-25 only for the following announcement to be made on Friday...

"Coalville Town Chairman Glyn Rennocks would like to issue the following statement regarding the Senior Men’s team who currently play in the Southern League Central Premier Division.

“I first got involved with the club in the early 1980s when we were in the nearby village of Ravenstone. At the time the club were in all reality a pub team. Over the next 40 years the club has progressed without ever suffering a relegation. Along the way we have enjoyed Promotions, FA & FA Trophy Cup Runs, became the first club from Leicestershire to appear at the new Wembley Stadium but, more than all of that on field success ,we have become a real focal point for the town and local community.

Over the last 2-3 years the costs of running a football club at this level have spiraled and the income has not matched the rise in costs.

Also in recent years the once fantastic support we received from North West Leicestershire District Council has diminished, especially since a certain councilor came to prominence...

As I approach my 70th birthday I can no longer continue to subsidise the club. I have always ran [sic] it in a sustainable way, never cut budgets and the club has no debts, However, after much thought and discussions I have taken the difficult decision to step away. The club will withdraw its men’s senior team and resign from the Southern League with immediate effect.

I have no doubt that this will disappoint a lot of people, no one more so than me, but there is no other alternative... Over my tenure I have registered over £140,000 of director loans into the football club to help with its infrastructure, this I will never get back nor do I want back but I also dread to think of what this total would look like if I included every time I have had put money in to the day to day running. As mentioned I am not getting any younger and right now I am at a point where I would rather spend my time and effort on my family, particularly my two and three year old granddaughters – retirement from work also beckons!...

Current management have been informed earlier today and we wish them all the best moving forward.

The Girls, Juniors, Inclusive, Ladies and Youth teams will all continue as normal and will benefit from the fantastic facilities at the Owen St Sports Ground that have been created over the last few years...

Whilst I appreciate the news will come as a huge shock, I hope one day you will all understand and respect the decision taken. Thank you” .


26 May 2024

ELLIOT OSBORNE EXTENDS CONTRACT

Altrincham FC announces that "midfielder Elliot Osborne has signed a new contract to extend his stay at the J.Davidson Stadium.

Since joining the Robins from Stevenage in January 2022 the 28-year-old has gone on to make 119 appearances...

The former Stockport and Southport man's expansive range of passing, ball retention ability and unrelenting hard work made him a pivotal part of the Alty team that finished fourth in the Vanarama National League last season".

The midfielder (pictured, right) said, 'I'm really happy to have extended my stay at Altrincham, it's a fantastic place to play and I enjoy every single day. After a much-improved season last year I feel we're a club on the up and I want to continue to be part of that.

'I truly believe loyalty is a massive part of football and the gaffer and club have given me this over the last couple of years and therefore it was an easy decision for me to accept the contract extension'"

INTO A FOURTH SEASON FOR ELLIOT

28 year-old Elliot's arrival at Altrincham was announced on 6 January 2022, following his release by Stevenage of EFL2.

He is one of Phil Parkinson's many Altrincham signings who had formerly played under him at Nantwich Town. Elliot started out in the youth system at Port Vale but, after the Valiants released him, he joined Staffordshire club Newcastle Town as an 18 year-old in 2014.

In February 2015 he moved across the county border to Cheshire to sign for Nantwich Town where he netted 22 times from midfield. In summer 2016 he signed for Fleetwood Town of League One but in September 2016 he went out on loan to Tranmere Rovers.

In January 2017 he went on another loan, to Stockport County and then Morecambe in League Two at the start of the 2017-18 campaign. However, in early 2018 he was transferred from Fleetwood to Southport for an undisclosed fee.

In late September 2018 he again went on loan to Stockport County and in November he signed for the Hatters, where he went on to record 79 appearances and 11 goals.

In summer 2020 he was signed by League Two Stevenage and played 30 games there in 2020–21 season.

He played every minute of all but two of his 23 league appearances for Altrincham in 2021-22 and was an ever-present starter in 2022-23 by October 2022 but, in the latter part of the season, he was often a used substitute. However, 2023-24 saw him playing well as a regular starter once again.

His appearances to the end of 2023/24 season comprise 106 starts and 13 more appearances from the bench. He has scored twice in those appearances.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

There are four new faces at York City. All are from the south of England and three have manager Hinshelwood's former club, Worthing, in their CVs. First in is "goalkeeper Harrison Male [who] has agreed to join the Minstermen upon the expiry of his contract... at Dorking Wanderers...

A product of the Leeds United academy... the 23-year-old played out every competitive minute bar Dorking’s penultimate fixture away to Rochdale last season.

Male scooped up Young Player of The Year, Supporters Player of The Year, and Players’ Player of The Year accolades at the end of the 2023/24 season... An England C appearance was also picked up in 2023 by Male...

Male’s two-year spell at Worthing between 2021-23 concluded with 105 appearances at the Rebels, and the Players’ Player of the Year award".

In addition, York City "confirm that Joe Felix has agreed to join the Minstermen upon the expiry of his contract. Joe Felix joins the Minstermen from Worthing after a highly successful year-long spell.

Felix started his career as a Fulham scholar before moving across to QPR and heading on loan to Burgess Hill, Woking and Farnborough.

Other spells also saw him land at Hampton and Richmond Borough, Hendon, Maidstone United, Billericay Town and Torquay United in the National League.

Felix is a versatile player who can play across the right-hand flank and at the back... The 24-year-old went from Dulwich Hamlet to Worthing last summer, going on to feature 52 times for the Rebels initially under Hinsh.

Felix setup 15 goals last season, scoring three of his own too".

Next to be announced by York City is "winger Ashley Nathaniel-George... following the expiry of his contract...after a two-year stay at York Road, [Maidenhead United].

The winger spent his youth career at Arsenal, Watford, Wycombe, and Wealdstone, before moving to Potters Bar Town.

After an impressive season at Hendon, he joined League 2 side Crawley Town between 2018-20.

Nathaniel-George joined Maidenhead in September 2022 after spells at Southend in League Two and Torquay".

And finally, York City "are thrilled to unveil that Ollie Pearce has agreed to join the Minstermen upon the expiry of his contract.

Ollie Pearce joins the Minstermen from Worthing following an incredibly successful six-year stint on England’s South Coast.

After several years at Bognor Regis Town, Pearce made the move along the coast in 2018 to join The Rebels.

Six years later, with 245 appearances under his belt, Pearce departs The Rebels with 155 goals to his name...

The 2023/24 campaign was yet another remarkable one for the striker as he scored 46 goals in 51 appearances across all competitions, winning the golden boot in the National League South by a distance".


25 May 2024

TWO MORE FRIENDLIES REVEALED

Altrincham FC has revealed its fourth and fifth pre-season friendlies.

On Saturday, July 20th at 3pm Alty will play against Warrington Town at Cantilever Park.

And a week later, on July 27th also at 3pm, Alty will face Chester FC at the Deva Stadium.

So far, the pre-season programme comprises:

The club says that "Tickets for our home pre-season games will go on sale in due course, with prices announced at the same time".

Alty's last league game at Cantilever Park was an Evo-Stik Premier Division match, played on Saturday, 21 October 2017. The sides also played out another goalless draw at the same venue in December of that year in the FA Trophy.

Above: Warrington crowded Alty keeper Tony Thompson at every corner-kick when the sides met in the NPL in 2017. Tony later had a spell at Warrington before moving on.

On that occasion, the squally wind and heavy rain were the only winners as Altrincham were unable to convert their general superiority into a goal at Cantilever Park and the match ended goalless.

MID-TABLE FINISH FOR ACADEMY

Altrincham FC's Academy side finished the 24-match 2023-24 season in seventh place in the thirteen-club National League's "NLFA North Division" aka "Alliance U-19 North".

The champions were Guiseley, who earned 57 points, with Farsley Celtic, Blyth Spartans, York City, Chester FC and Boston United also finishing above the Robins.

Altrincham amassed 30 points, winning nine times and losing twelve times in addition to three draws. They scored forty goals but conceded 61 times, leaving a negative goal difference of 21.

Their final four fixtures ended as follows...

SEASON 2024-25

The Vanarama National League 2024-25 season starts on Saturday, 10th August, 2024, one week later than last season.

The date on which fixtures will be released has not been announced yet.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

According to the Chronicle Live, "Council leader Martin Gannon claimed that making a guarantee on the Heed's future[into] a contractual obligation for a future Gateshead International Stadium operator would risk a legal challenge

Gateshead’s Liberal Democrats urged the Labour-run council on Thursday to commit that it would compel any external operator who might take over the stadium from the local authority to keep the football club as a tenant...

Gateshead Council is in the process of seeking an outside operator to take over the venue, which Coun Gannon told colleagues is running at an £860,000-a–year deficit...

Lib Dem leader Ron Beadle moved a motion... that any contract that hands over control of the stadium to a new operator must 'compel them to make the commitments required by the EFL for membership of the Football League, namely security of tenure for ten years'...

Coun Gannon hit back by saying the Lib Dems 'clearly haven’t spoken to the football club and certainly haven’t taken any legal advice'. He claimed that inserting a clause into a contract that requires Gateshead FC to remain a tenant of the stadium, would be contrary to the procurement exercise that is already under way and 'would open us up to legal action'...

The council leader said that it would be 'unsustainable' for the local authority itself to continue running the stadium".

Barnet have been busy this summer and now "Joe Kizzi becomes Dean Brennan’s seventh signing of the summer after joining the Club from Sutton United.

Kizzi spent the last 3 seasons at the U’s in League 2... Kizzi hardly missed a minute of play last season and was voted Players’ Player of the Year in each of his first two seasons with Sutton.

The experienced centre back joins Barnet on a 3 year contract for an undisclosed fee...

Kizzi said... 'I needed a fresh start and at a Club that’s only going in one direction and that’s up!...

Barnet FC Manager, Dean Brennan, said 'Joe is player I have worked with earlier on in both our careers. I have tracked him for many years now and know he’ll be a real leader within our team. His attributes suit our philosophy; he wants to defend, he’s very athletic, brilliant leadership skills and reads the game superbly. He is excellent in both boxes'".

Kizzi was formerly at Bromley before he joined Sutton.

Cheltenham Town lost manager Darrell Clarke to Barnsley yesterday and have now appointed former Torquay boss Gary Johnson as Director of Football. In that context, two senior players have quit Cheltenham and headed to The New Lawn as, firstly, Forest Green Rovers "announce that Liam Sercombe has agreed to join the club on July 1. Sercombe has made 579 EFL appearances for Exeter City, Oxford United, Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham Town.

Sercombe scored 11 goals and assisted twice during the 2023/24 campaign making 45 appearances in League One. The 34-year-old joins the club... following the expiry of his contract with Cheltenham Town...

'I had a really good four years at Cheltenham, but I feel like it’s the right time to turn down the contract offered and find a new challenge... I feel this is the perfect fit for me'".

Also at Forest Green Rovers "Sean Long will... be joining the club on July 1.

Experienced defender Long has made 226 EFL appearances and will be signing following the expiry of his contract at Cheltenham Town. Long made over 200 appearances for the Robins and captained the side for the last two League One campaigns.

29-year-old Long bolsters the defence and... [he] said 'I’ve had six unbelievable years at Cheltenham... It was a privilege to captain the club... but I’m at the stage where it’s time for a new challenge'".


24 May 2024

TWO MORE FRIENDLIES REVEALED

Altrincham FC has revealed its fourth and fifth pre-season friendlies.

On Saturday, July 20th at 3pm Alty will play against Warrington Town at Cantilever Park.

And a week later, on July 27th also at 3pm, Alty will face Chester FC at the Deva Stadium.

So far, the pre-season programme comprises:

CIVIC RECOGNITION FOR ALTY

Altrincham FC report that the club is "delighted to have been presented with an 'In Recognition' award at Altrincham Court Leet's recent Trinity Assize.

The Barony of Dunham Massey & Altrincham Court Leet honoured the football club with... the following words, [stating that they]:

'Do hereby congratulate all involved in Altrincham Football Club on their achievements particularly in the past few months leading up to the National League Play Offs, inspiring the community of their greatness and creating lasting memories through football - one pass, one experience, and one fan at a time'.

The Altrincham Court Leet dates back to 1290, with this month's third ceremony being held at Altrincham Town Hall".

WOMEN'S END OF SEASON AWARDS

Altrincham FC Women report that last Friday evening "saw the Altrincham FC Women's squad head for the J.Davidson Stadium for their End of Season Awards presentation.

Five awards were handed out in total following the conclusion of the 2023/24 North West Women's Regional League season.

If you're interested in playing or coaching with Altrincham FC Women next season please contact Women's Development OfficerTom Dore for more information".

BEER FESTIVAL AT JDS

Altrincham FC reports that "With our Community Beer Festival coming up this weekend our second in-depth look concentrates on Sunday's schedule at the J.Davidson Stadium.

Join us across the Bank Holiday weekend, with fun for all the family. We're open from midday and FREE tickets can be found here.

Our Headliners:

Headlining day one of the festival, in the Community Sports Hall from 8pm on Saturday (16+), are one of the UK's most popular ABBA tribute acts, Abberettes.

The Emirates FA Cup Final... We'll have live coverage across seven screens in our Fan Zone and the CSH - kick-off at 3pm...

Appearing at 1pm and 3:30pm on Saturday, the vocal talents of Andrew Alty.

Appearing on the Saturday afternoon (2:30pm | 4:30pm) of this year's festival are local favourites The Flying Squad.

On the bill early doors Saturday from 1-2pm are Michael and the Weltones.

Joining us on Saturday afternoon between 5-6pm are Thea Kate & The Mob".

ALTY SEASON TICKETS

Altrincham FC has an Early Bird offer for purchasing 2024/25 season tickets at a reduced price.

"Early Bird season tickets, available until May 31st, cost £308 for adults, £253 concessions (65-and-over, NHS, students), £108 juniors (12-18) and £54 children (5-11)."

The club has also announced on its mobile site that there will be "categorised fixtures with a small surcharge to Category A pricing to cover the additional costs of GM Police and stewarding. Currently the only Category A fixtures are [those against] Oldham Athletic, Rochdale and FC Halifax Town".

Also, for this coming season, season tickets will NOT be valid "for FA Trophy, FA Cup, Cheshire Senior Cup or pre-season friendlies". Presumably they are also invalid for the new cup competition involving Premier League under-21 teams.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

According to The Real EFL "Southend United look set for another summer of misery as the takeover to own the club rumbles on. Despite contracts being exchanged before Christmas last year the consortium led by Justin Rees are still to wrestle control from Ron Martin".

Last season, they endured "a transfer embargo which boss Kevin Maher worked under for almost half of the campaign.

The embargo has now been in force once again since May 17th due to ‘non-compliance with National League regulations’...

The conclusion of the deal is being held up between Southend City Council and Martin over the Fossetts Farm Development. Originally the destination for a new stadium, the 70-year-old owns the land and wants approval to build housing... The council have since assured supporters they had agreed with the building element to the site. Due diligence on the side of those in elected power appears to be no closer to a resolution...

A winding-up order brought by Stewarts Law was adjourned for six weeks just recently based on unpaid invoices ironically from Martin for the previous defence of the club. Creditors have been very patient in waiting for monies to be forthcoming whilst waiting for the sale to be completed, with Rees’s consortium releasing a statement a week ago hinting at the frustration of the time taken so far.

Having invested somewhere in the region of £3 million plus to keep the club trading and staff paid, patience is beginning to wear thin on the side of those paying the bills leaving a worry for supporters that the longer time drags on the more chance there is of Martin holding onto the club...

The club are due back in court at the end of June by which time Rees will need to be in control of the club permanently or the fear is real that the Shrimpers could see in the new season under administration or much worse, not at all".

Barnet "announce the signing of 25-year-old goalkeeper Nick Hayes. The 6’4” shot-stopper spent the second half of last season on loan at Solihull Moors...

Hayes made 28 National League appearances last season, keeping 9 clean sheets and conceding just 33 goals. Hayes... said 'As soon as I spoke to the gaffer (Dean Brennan) and heard the interest from my agent, I knew straight away I wanted to come (to Barnet FC)'.

Barnet FC Manager Dean Brennan said 'Nick has the right type of character that we have been searching for. His attributes suit our philosophy and he has the correct mentality that we need to bring success to our football club. Nick signs a long term contract with us which is brilliant'".

The East Anglian Daily Times adds that "Hayes was out of contract with Town this summer after he re-joined the Blues in January 2022 from Hemel Hempstead, having previously been in the academy at Portman Road, [Ipswich].

He departs without making a senior appearance for the Blues, fulfilling the role as the third/fourth-choice keeper over the last two seasons".


23 May 2024

ALTY RESERVES UPDATE

Altrincham FC completed the 2023-24 season in seventh place in the Cheshire Football League Premier Division. They finished 28 points adrift of the champions, Poynton FC.

The runners-up were fellow Altrinchamians, Broadheath Central, 23 points ahead of Alty.

Since our last Reserves' results update the team has played six of its final nine fixtures at home...

Above, right: Tom Jones

61 players appeared for the Reserves in the Cheshire League in 2023-24.

Several appeared in Cheshire Senior Cup fixtures but none made into the first team although Tom Jones (above, right) did get named in three National League matchday squads but he remained an unused substitute on each occasion.

The 61 players were: 1. Adeniyi, Yusuf, 2. Aldcroft, Lucas, 3. Atkinson, Benjamin, 4. Aziamale, Marcel 5. Bailey, Joel, 6. Barrett, Elliott, 7. Bonney-Phillips, Samuel, 8. Bopda, Ryan Junior Djoam, 9. Brown, Henry, 10. Byron, Dane , 11. Bywater, Blyth, 12. Camara, Sekouba, 13. Cata, Edson 14. Causer, Euan Rhys, 15. Chandler, Jack, 16. Cleary, Matthew, 17. Clulow, Adam, 18. Cooper, Oscar, 19. Cosgrove, Ethan, 20. Denise, Afernee, 21. Dobbie, Benjamin D., 22. Edwards, Lucas William, 23. Fallon, Louie, 24. Fola Taiwo, Richard, 25. Frew, Arlo, 26. Gonzalez-Moghaddam, Kian, 27. Hall, Thomas, 28. Heyes, Tyler Anthony, 29. Howells, Harrison (left), 30. Hussain, Amaar Yousaf, 31. Iacovou, Ruaridh, 32. Igbinake, Alfred, 33. Igeze, Edward, 34. Jarrald, Charley, 35. Jones, Thomas Edward, 36. Killen-Talbot, Thomas, 37. Livingstone-High, Joshua, 38. Lynch, Adam, 39. McGeady, Ewan Charles, 40. Murphy, Henry, 41. Njie, Sheriff, 42. Oluleye, John, 43. Oshodin, Ajani, 44. Osifo, John, 45. Osifo, Joseph. 46. Osifo, Joshua, 47. Partington, Oliver Benjamin, 48. Powell, Kaiden, 49. Raftery, George, 50. Raymond, Remi, 51. Ryan, Finley, 52. Shtyhlian, Vladislav. 53. Smith, Michael, 54. Taylor, Ben, 55. Taylor, Sam, 56. Tek, Tayo, 57. Webster, Kyran, 58. Whittle, Max, 59. Whyte, Thomas, 60. Williams, Loui Jack, 61. Wright, Olly Kai.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Aldershot Town "confirm that Keane Anderson has signed a new contract with the Shots to keep him at the club for the 24/25 season!

Anderson made his professional debut for the Shots last season in our 4-1 FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round win over Lewes.

The midfielder then joined Sholing on loan where he would stay until the end of the season...

Anderson said, 'I’m delighted to be offered another year at my hometown club!... The loans have been great for my development and now I feel ready to push on. I’ve listened to what Tommy (Widdrington) wants from me and what I need to do and I’ll be doing everything I can to make an impact.”

Tommy Widdrington added...'It was felt collectively a loan last season was the best route for his progression at that time. I’ve told him he’s on the starting line with the rest of the group so he will have an opportunity to stake his claim for a place in our matchday plans from the off at pre-season. Another local lad who’d bleed red and blue for the badge'".

Boston United "announce that promotion-winning goalkeeper Cameron Gregory has signed a new contract at the Jakemans Community Stadium. The 24-year-old, who saved three penalties in United's play-off shootout victories over Alfreton Town and Scunthorpe United in April, will be wearing the number one jersey for the club when the National League campaign kicks off on Saturday August 10.

Gregory, a January 2023 signing from Kettering Town, has been a revelation for the Pilgrims".

Southend United report that "Awarded by the National League’s title sponsors, Blues Head Coach Maher has been selected as their standout boss as we defied the odds to finish ninth.

The gaffer had to work with his hands tied behind his back for much of the season, with the Shrimpers only able to name a couple of substitutes for much of the autumn and winter.

Maher also worked against the 10-point deduction we were given, but helped ensure a quick escape from the relegation zone.

When the transfer embargo was finally lifted and Maher was able to reinforce his squad in late December and January, Blues reached another gear and went on the longest unbeaten run of any National League team in 2023/24.

The 15-game sequence ended on the final day, but the way the Head Coach and his staff achieved such an impressive final position shows why Maher has received this award.

Maher said 'Individual awards are really nice, but I think it’s a reflection on everyone, the players, the staff and everyone connected with the club, that had to dig in and work so tirelessly across the season... To be playing the last game of the season still in with a chance of making the play-offs was unbelievable. We should have been fighting against relegation, so to get into the position we did was a credit to everyone at the football club'".


22 May 2024

THIRD FRIENDLY ANNOUNCED

Altrincham FC report that "Salford City are the latest opponent to be added to our pre-season schedule ahead of the summer restart.

The EFL League Two Ammies will visit the J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday, July 23rd for a 7:45pm kick-off.

Pre-season schedule so far:

Tickets for our home pre-season games will go on sale in due course".

Footnote: After meeting competitively in 2016-17 in the National League North, when the Ammies did the double over them, Altrincham hosted Salford City in a friendly in July 2018. The visitors again emerged with a win.

Above: When Salford City visited Moss Lane for a National League North match in November 2016, the above three debutants wore Alty's special "poppy shirts". The players are (l. to r.) Luis Morrison-Derbyshire, Simon Lenighan and Curtis Obeng.

However in September 2020, a Salford City under-23 side was beaten 5-1 by Altrincham in another pre-season game at the J. Davidson Stadium.

ALTY OLD BOYS

Phil Jordan reports that in Scotland, "Livingston have issued their retained list in the wake of their relegation from the Scottish Premiership. MILES WELCH-HAYES is shown as 'under contract, but available for transfer'.

Right: Billy Sass-Davies

In League One, Morecambe have released no less than sixteen players, including their Player of the Season JOEL SENIOR, one of four senior professionals to reject a new contract".

For details of the sad state of Morecambe FC, see The Guardian.

Closer to home, Crewe Alexandra "confirm the 2024 Retained List following the conclusion of the season.

Five players have been released, while five have been offered new contracts". The five released include former Altrincham loanee, BILLY SASS-DAVIES (above right).

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Promoted Yeovil Town "confirm the departure of Rhys Murphy to National League South side Dorking Wanderers following the expiration of his contract.

Having returned to Huish Park for a second spell at the start of the 2023/24 season, Rhys Murphy managed to net an impressive 15 goals in 30 appearances...

In his first spell, Rhys netted 34 goals in the 65 appearances he featured for the Glovers... This leaves Rhys Murphy with a tally of 49 goals in 95 games for the Glovers".

Relegated Sutton United "confirm the departures of Harry Smith and Omari Patrick after just a season at the VBS Community Stadium.

They have both decided not to take up the offer of a contract extension following the club’s relegation to the National League.

Smith joined the club ahead of the 2023/24 campaign from Leyton Orient... The number nine would go on to feature 42 times in all competitions, scoring a total of 14 goals including 11 in League Two, to become the first Sutton United player to hit double figures in an EFL season.

Patrick meanwhile joined in July 2023 from Carlisle United, scoring five times in 35 appearances for the U’s".

Dagenham & Redbridge announce that "Season Tickets for the 2024/25 season are now on sale, with ALL PRICES FROZEN and a range of NEW benefits added into the season ticket package!

An Adult Terrace ticket purchased during the Early Bird window equates to just £11.95 per game, with seats from just £13.75 per game...

Anyone with a season ticket for this season just needs to log into their account and click the ‘Convert Reservation’ option where your season tickets have been reserved".

Early Bird prices for an adult season ticket range from £275 On the terraces to £355 in the best stand; these prices rise to £365 and £420 after the offer period.

Meanwhile at relegated Forest Green Rovers we also find that "Season Tickets are now available to purchase for the 2024-25 season.

We're excited to tell supporters that season ticket prices have dropped and hospitality prices have been frozen for the upcoming campaign... We've decided to lower our tickets after reviewing the average price in the National League"..

The club announces that "Existing season ticket holders will have their ticket reserved until June 30 before being put on general sale.

Prices have been dropped for the 2024-25 season - allowing for an average saving of £20 for each supporter across the season.

By purchasing a season ticket, you will receive priority access to buy tickets for cup matches we appear in next season - the FA Cup and FA Trophy.

We will also be hosting two open evenings on Thursday, June 13, and Thursday July 11 5-8pm, in a 'try-before-you-buy' offer.

These dates give supporters the opportunity to ask any questions to our ticketing and hospitality teams, get a feel for a particular view or seat and enjoy free tasters in our hospitality section".

Turnstile prices include:


21 May 2024

THE ALTY SQUAD, SO FAR

Altrincham FC released its retained list a few days ago.

In addition to the names listed below it indicated that five players had not been granted new contracts but had been invited back for pre-season. These players are Justin Donawa, James Jones, Max Haygarth, Amaar Hussain and Sean Lawton.

THose who have been re-engaged or were already contracted for next season are:

GOALKEEPERS:

DEFENDERS:

MIDFIELDERS:

FORWARDS:

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Doncaster Rovers report the "arrival of midfielder Joe Sbarra as the first new signing of the summer.

The 25-year-old has agreed a two-year deal with the option of a further year and arrives... fresh from featuring in both this season’s National League play-off and FA Trophy finals at Wembley.

Energetic playmaker Sbarra was in high demand following his departure from Solihull Moors, where he grew his reputation during a four-year spell...

'It’s a quick turnaround and I’m just delighted to get it over the line,' he said. 'Everything he [mnager Grant McCAnn] had to say appealed to me loads. The way he plays suits me and the way he sees me fitting in'...

West Midlands-born Sbarra scored 36 goals in 149 appearances for Solihull, including in both the semi-final and final of the National League play-offs...

He came through the ranks at Burton Albion and made 70 appearances, including 18 in the Championship, prior to his permanent switch to Solihull in 2020.

Rovers manager McCann said... 'We’ve been chasing him for a bit, keeping an eye on him and watching his games and we’re really pleased to get it done'".

AFC Fylde "is delighted to announce that Chris Beech has extended his Mill Farm stay for the 2024/25 Vanarama National League campaign.

The Coasters had an incredibly strong end to the season under the leadership of Chris, so we are over the moon to share the extension of his current deal.

Chris continues the full-time role of Head Coach after taking control on a game-by-game basis in October... Before arriving at Mill Farm, Chris made over 315 appearances as a professional before taking on a coaching role at Bury and then being headhunted by Rochdale AFC, establishing a 12-year association with the club...

Chris was appointed as Head Coach of Carlisle United in 2019... before departing in late 2021.

Then came Fylde, and after transitioning from Director of Football to Interim Head Coach, Chris guided the Coasters to seven points in his first three games... and more points gained secured AFC Fylde’s National League safety as we finished 18th in the table".

Aldershot Town "are very happy to announce that young defender George Milner-Smith has signed a new contract for the 24/25 season!

Milner-Smith signed his first professional contract with the Shots at the beginning of last season, having graduated from our Academy system. A successful loan spell with Northwood in step 4, saw the 20-year-old move on loan to Sholing in step 3 where he finished the campaign and helped the Boatmen to survive relegation...

George said... 'I gained some good experience out on loan last season and I’ll try and prove myself in pre-season'...

Tommy Widdrington said 'George is a lad we all feel has the raw qualities needed in a central defender... He was monitored closely and had a very good run of games for Sholing which we hope has brought him closer to affecting my thinking.'”


20 May 2024

STATISTICAL REVIEW OF 2023-24 SEASON: PART 5

The final part of the annual review of Altrincham's season looks at...

LEAGUE ATTENDANCES

2023-24:

2022-23:

2021-22:

2020-21:

Only four league matches in 2020-21 had spectators, one was at Dagenham where only the hosts' supporters, (numbering 773), were admitted and three were at the J. Davidson Stadium.

The largest gate at Moss Lane was 1,032 home-only supporters versus Torquay United on 29 May, 2021.

LEAGUE ATTENDANCE AVERAGES AND TOTALS

2023-24:

2022-23:

2021-22:

2020-21:

Home avge: 844 NB most games were behind closed doors due to Covid

Away avge: 773 - only one game had spectators and they were home fans only.

CUP ATTENDANCE TOTALS

2023-24:

Only six cup ties were played, with gates totalling 7,301.

2022-23:

Altrincham played eleven cup ties in 2022-23 and reached the semi-finals of both the FA Trophy and the Cheshire senior Cup. However, they exited the FA Cup at the first hurdle, albeit after a replay.

2021-22

Altrincham played only five cup ties, winning only once.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Southend United report that club "legend John White has today announced his retirement. Long-serving captain White made more than 250 appearances for Blues and scored eight league goals between 2013 and 2022...

the 37-year-old became a Blue in the summer of 2013. White had previously been at Roots Hall on loan in 2009, but this second spell saw him blossom into one of our finest defenders of the modern era...

Not many players can say they’ve represented both Colchester and Southend with such pride and loyalty. Thank you, John and the very best of luck for your retirement."

Wealdstone "announce that influential midfielder Max Kretzschmar has signed a new one-year contract, securing his place at the club ahead of the 2024/25 season.

Kretzschmar, who joined Wealdstone in the summer of 2022, has been a crucial part of the squad over the past two seasons, making 68 National League appearances and scoring 14 National League goals. His impressive performances in the 23/24 season saw him finish as joint top goalscorer for The Stones, netting 10 goals across all competitions...

Said Kretzschmar... 'I'm really looking forward to a new era under our new manager and believe we can achieve great things together.'"


19 May 2024

ALTY OLD BOYS

Phil Jordan reports on that in the Australian NPL Victoria, CONNOR HAMPSON netted the third Oakleigh Cannons goal as they won 1-4 at Manningham United Blues. Their fifth successive victory, it puts them third, four points behind leaders South Melbourne.

Cannons have played 14 games this season, and have won nine, drawn four games and lost just once in the league.

Closer to home in the League One Playoff Final, "including his initial loan spell at Bloomfield Road, OWEN DALE (right) featured in 38 Championship games for Blackpool, scoring 4 goals before being allowed to leave, and join Oxford United....but he'll be back in the Championship next season after his new club defeated a very disappointing Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at Wembley, with the former Robins loanee playing the whole game".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

At Wealdstone "New First-Team Manager Matt Taylor has vowed to give the fans a team to be proud of, build on the fine work of his predecessors and create a fun and collaborative environment.

Taylor, 42, was announced as the club's new gaffer last week after signing a 2 year contract...

The former Luton, West Ham, Portsmouth and Burnley left-sided player held more discussions with Chairman Rory Fitzgerald about the plans for next season – and said it was an initial three-and-a-half hour meeting with the Chairman that convinced him to resume his coaching career and step outside the EFL for the first time...

'It's been well documented that we will still be a part-time club but we'll be running more of a hybrid model... This football club is stable, they have a specific way they play and they enjoy keeping the football...

'We are on a massive recruitment drive here to complement the very good core we already have'".

Daniel Hall, Chairman of Dagenham & Redbridge has issued a statement saying that "As we await final approvals to formalise our group’s entrance in the Daggers family, we are already hard at work to prepare for an exciting season and, most importantly, to build a bright future for the Daggers.

Peter Freund and his team have been extremely supportive and helpful in the transition and have given us effective operating control of the Daggers immediately...

We will have lots to announce in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, I wanted to provide you with a few exciting updates:

Eastleigh confirm that "Concerts are coming to the Silverlake Stadium, the home of Eastleigh Football Club...

The music from two global household names, Queen and ABBA, will be performed live on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May 2024.

Stars from London’s West End, including former cast from the smash hit musicals ‘Mamma Mia’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ will take to the stage set up on the Silverlake Stadium pitch...

Eastleigh Events will kick-off with An Evening of Queen on Friday 17th May 2024. Backed by a phenomenal West End band and featuring dozens of hits from an astonishing back catalogue, this is a unique and stunning concert...

On Saturday 18th May, more former stars from London’s West End led by Mamma Mia’s former touring musical director will present a one-night concert spectacular celebrating the music of ABBA.

These two concerts are the start of many more concerts and events to come to the Silverlake Stadium".

At Forest Green Rovers "The Club is excited to announce that work has begun on a full pitch reconstruction this summer.

This includes replacing the current playing surface with a 'SISgrass Hybrid Pitch' that will be important for the durability of the surface moving forward. The work will also see improved drainage and pitch quality as well as a brand new irrigation system that will keep the pitch fresh.

The renovation will bring the pitch in line with our new training facilities located at junction 13 of the M5 ready for the 2024-25 season.

Director of Projects Dane Vince said... 'This work will help protect our pitch from heavy downpours and extreme weather events that will only become more frequent'".


18 May 2024

CONN-CLARKE STORY WAS FICTION

After the recent report in the Daily Mail and elsewhere about the future of Chris Conn-Clarke, Peterborough Today says that "Peterborough United have denied reports that they have bid for Altrincham Town [sic] hotshot Chris Conn-Clarke.

The Daily Mail claimed this week that the club had bid for the 22-year-old forward... The report claimed that Posh’s bid had been rejected although [club chairman] Darragh MacAnthony took to his Hard Truth podcast to deny any interest in the player.

He said... 'We have an Ephron replacement in mind but not some of the rubbish that has been put out about for us bidding for players, that is not true.... We will be looking to add in the forward area depending on some business of players going out.

'We have had no bids rejected for players. We are at the point where we are assessing players and whether they want to come to us and we’re not going to get into auctions'".

BANTAMS RETURN TO MOSS LANE

Altrincham FC "announce Bradford City will be visiting the J.Davidson Stadium for a pre-season friendly on Saturday, August 3rd (3pm kick-off).

Right: Bradford City's new signing Dan Petrescu, a Romanian international, contests possession with Alty player-manager Mark Ward during the game in August 2000. The Bantams won 1-0.

The League Two side are our second friendly opponents to be confirmed ahead of pre-season, with our opening summer bout scheduled for North West Counties side Colne on Saturday, July 6 (3pm). [That is an away game].

A reminder - season tickets do not include entry to pre-season home games in 2024/25 - admission details for the Bradford City game will be announced in due course."

Footnote: This will not be the first pre-season game against Bradford City. The clubs met in August 2000 and 2003 when Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin arranged the matches, via his provision of team-coaches to the Bantams who, at the time were a First Division (Premiership) club.

ALTY OLD BOYS

At Kidderminster Harriers, "ASHLEY HEMMINGS is setting his sights on an immediate return to the National League after re-signing with Harriers...

It extends his stay in DY10 by another season, with the former Wolves youngster first settling here five years ago.

He bagged 15 goals in all competitions in our 2023-24 term...

'It’s amazing,' he said of his new deal. 'I think everybody knows how much Kidderminster means to me, joining in 2019. It’s been a great ride and I want to continue that...

'For me, being a local lad as well, I want the best for the club. I know last season we got relegated but I can see we’ve got another opportunity to get promoted and I want to be involved in that... The fans will stick with us,' he added."

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

The Shrimpers' debacle continues as the Southend Echo reports that "Southend United have another transfer embargo... The Shrimpers had been in an embargo for 15 months before having it removed just before Christmas...

The league today confirmed Blues have again been banned from making signings due to ‘non-compliance with league financial regulations'...

Blues also had a winding up petition, issued by Stewarts Law, adjourned by the High Court for six weeks on Wednesday.

The consortium headed up by Justin Rees agreed exchanged contracts with current club chairman Ron Martin just before Christmas but the deal has yet to be officially completed".

The National League reports that "The FA have confirmed the National League System club allocations for the 2024/25 season.

In Step 1, Forest Green Rovers and Sutton United join following their relegation from the EFL last season.

They will be joined by Tamworth, Boston United, Yeovil Town and Braintree Town following their promotions from the National League North and South respectively.

Relegated Kidderminster Harriers and Oxford City drop into the National League North while Boreham Wood and Dorking Wanderers are allocated into the National League South.

Eight new sides join the competition this season from Step 3.

Marine, Leamington, Needham Market and Radcliffe will compete in the National League North.

Chesham United, Hornchurch, Enfield Town and Salisbury will compete in the National League South.

All allocations will take effect following the National League AGM on June 8."

Footnote: Oxford City find themselves once more in National North, where they competed from 2012 to 2015, a spell during which they met Altrincham. Last summer they were promoted to the National League from National South.

And geography also dictates that Suffolk side Needham Market make their Step Two debut in the National North.

Aldershot Town "confirm the signing of talented young goalkeeper Pat Nash on a permanent transfer from Farnham Town!

The 19-year-old has signed a deal until the end the 24/25 season... For Farnham Town his 31 clean sheets helped the side to win the Combined Counties Premier Division South with an unbeaten record.

With his Farnham side part-time, Nash spent most of the 23/24 season training with the Shots...

First-Team Manager Tommy Widdrington said... 'Pat, whilst young, is a goalkeeper who managed to play every game in a very successful season at Farnham and we monitored him right through the 50 odd games he played!

'He’s got all the tools required in the modern game to push on and compete for the Number 1 jersey here at Aldershot and being a local lad I’m sure he’ll be giving it a right good go.'”

Across the border in Surrey, Woking "announce that Dion Kelly-Evans has signed a new contract.

The versatile 27-year-old defender made 13 appearances for the club following his arrival in January and has become a fan favourite for his tough tackling and work rate.

A Coventry City academy graduate, Kelly-Evans made 40 appearances for the Sky Blues across three seasons, making the bulk of those appearances in 2017/18. He then joined Kettering Town... before joining Notts County in August 2019, where he made 97 appearances...

After a short spell at Boreham Wood, Kelly-Evans unfortunately broke his collarbone in October 2022, leaving the club in August 2023 and joining National League North side Banbury in November 2023... until Michael Doyle made an approach to bring him to the Cards...

Said Woking Manager Michael Doyle 'Our form as a team picked up when Dion joined the club, and for me, he was one of our most important players during the 2nd half of the season'".

Global News 24 reports that "Avon and Somerset Police based in Portishead have issued a warrant to arrest Martin Hellier, the current Yeovil Town Football Club owner and Chairman...

Hellier who has just celebrated one year of football ownership at the Non League Somerset Club, was arrested by Avon & Somerset police force after threatening to kill a Ukrainian Refugee and her children, as well as harassment and malicious communications.

It's understood Hellier has been released on bail, whilst the police send their investigations to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Recently Hellier took to ITV to deny the accusations, claiming it could be Artificial Intelligence".

There has been a trio of sgnings in the past 24 hours at Barnet starting with the news that "Defender Nik Tavares becomes Dean Brennan’s third signing of the summer.

Tavares spent the last 2 seasons at fellow National League side Dagenham & Redbridge and joins the Club on a 2 year contract.

The centre-back who hails from South Africa, spent his youth career at Brentford and Crystal Palace followed by a season at Wealdstone and then the Daggers...

Tavares said... 'The ambition and the style of play; that’s big for me. It felt like a bit of a no-brainer! I’m a defender that likes to play out from the back. I’ve always looked for clubs that can help bring that out in my game'...

Barnet FC Manager, Dean Brennan, said... 'His stats are immense; second best defensive duals last season in the league and [he] will bring a calmness to our defence. His distribution is brilliant and he reads the game really well.;”

Also joining the Bees is "Defender Joe Grimwood... Grimwood spent last season at newly promoted National League side Braintree Town and joins the Club on a 2 year contract.

The 22 year old centre-back previously spent 6 seasons at AFC Sudbury before making a move to The Iron, where he played 90 minutes in 45 out of 46 league games last season...

Grimwood said, 'I run through brick walls for my players, gaffer and the Club. I enjoy the art of defending; that’s what I do best'...

Dean Brennan, said 'Joe is a really good one-on-one defender. He had a fantastic season at Braintree, reads danger really well and wants to defend. He’s strong and aggressive; he’s a beast!'"

And, finally, Barnet reveal that "Attacking midfielder Finley Wilkinson becomes Dean Brennan’s fifth signing of the summer.

Hailing from Cambridge, 22 year old Wilkinson spent the majority of his youth career at Ipswich and scored 16 goals for Hitchin Town last season. He joins Barnet on a 2 year contract...

Wilkinson said 'I like to get around the pitch and ultimately I love to score goals'...

Dean Brennan, said 'I was tracking Fin for the whole of last season. He’s got a good frame and running style and is very powerful on and off the ball. He’s also got a great eye for goal and really good vision'".


17 May 2024

HEAD OF FOOTBALL ADMINISTRATION

Altrincham FC has issued an advert for a new post of "Head of Football Administration".

It is a part-time (18hr/week) role, which is described as "a pivotal role at the club, managing all player contractual obligations and administration, always ensuring the club’s adherence to football rules and regulations, managing fixture scheduling and being a key person within the club’s football operations and matchday processes across our First Team, Reserves, Academy and Women’s teams.

Duties will include "the registration and re-engagement of all players in accordance with the regulations by which the club is bound. This will include all player contracts, registrations, loan agreements and transfer documents".

The appointee will also "Ensure that the Financial Department is provided with all the necessary contractual details of payments due to and from players, other clubs, agents and governing bodies" as well as "Co-ordination and maintenance of player disciplinary matters and records, including the preparation of FA appeals and highlighting when a player is approaching a suspension".

The postholder will also "Manage the scheduling of all First Team fixtures including the arrangement of match officials for all First Team home fixtures... [and] Maintain live player records including player appearances, contractual obligations, disciplinary and financial costs across all players registered with the club".

ALTY SEASON TICKETS

Altrincham FC recently launched its Early Bird offer for purchasing 2024/25 season tickets at a reduced price.

"Early Bird season tickets, available until May 31st, cost £308 for adults, £253 concessions (65-and-over, NHS, students), £108 juniors (12-18) and £54 children (5-11)."

The club has also announced on its mobile site that there will be "categorised fixtures with a small surcharge to Category A pricing to cover the additional costs of GM Police and stewarding. Currently the only Category A fixtures are [those against] Oldham Athletic, Rochdale and FC Halifax Town".

Also, for this coming season, season tickets will NOT be valid "for FA Trophy, FA Cup, Cheshire Senior Cup or pre-season friendlies". Presumably they are also invalid for the new cup competition involving Premier League under-21 teams.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

At Solihull Moors "the club have confirmed its released and retained list ahead of the 2024/25 season...

The following players remain under contract for the 2024/25 season: James Clarke, Alex Whitmore, Kyle Morrison, Joe Newton, Kade Craig, Matt Warburton, Jon Benton, Tahvon Campbell, Jack Stevens

The following players remain under contract but are available for transfer: Mark Beck, Gus Mafuta, Connor Hall

The following players have been offered new terms and talks are ongoing: Callum Maycock, Joss Labadie, Jamey Osborne, Finn Howell, Max Martin, Kian Ryley, Joel Shambrook, Aaron Flahavan, Morgan Owen, Tyler Bruck

The following players will not be offered a new contract when their current deal expires. The club wishes to thank those players for all their efforts and wishes them well for the future: Joe Sbarra, Richard Stearman, Max Brogan, Jack Myatt, Harry Chesterton, Luke Carsley, Finn Barker, Leo Wood, Taylor Eades, Ashton DeMulder...

In particular we would like to place on record a special thanks to Joe Sbarra for his service to the club over the past 5 years".

Barnet report that "Jermaine Francis becomes Dean Brennan’s second signing of the summer after joining the Club on a 2 year contract.

Francis spent last year at Chelmsford City in the National League South, who finished their campaign in second place... [He scored] 11 goals in all competitions with 12 assists.

The tricky winger joins Barnet having previously played for Hashtag United in the 2022/23 season where he scored 18 goals in 43 league games...

Francis said 'I know what to expect now and I know what the Manager expects from me'...

Barnet FC Manager, Dean Brennan, said... 'Another exciting player with power, pace and an eye for a goal. His work rate is infectious and he can play in several positions. His versatility is imperative to us.'"

And Barnet also "announce that both Jerome Okimo and Ben Coker have each penned a new 1 year contract...

Jerome said... 'Let’s improve on the last 2 seasons and make it a memorable one!'

Ben Coker added... 'Just fell short last season so this time we get it done; let’s get promoted!'” <> Barnet FC Manager Dean Brennan said of both players, 'These lads are stalwarts in the squad and bring so much on and off the pitch. They’ve both got so much energy, passion and determination and set the bar very high as senior players'".

From promoted Boston United we learn that "manager Ian Culverhouse has issued an update in relation to his playing squad...

Offers have been made to the majority of United's promotion-winning squad, although Michael Gyasi, Keziah Martin, Ethan Sephton and Sam Smart have all been released at the end of their contracts – and depart with the club's thanks and best wishes for the future.

NB: Updates on the club's U23 players will follow in due course".


16 May 2024

THE CONN-CLARKE SITUATION

As today (Thursday) dawned, the situation regarding Altrincham's Player of the Season, Chris Conn-Clarke remained unclear.

A previously reliable source reported on Wednesday on "X" that the Northern Irishman had agreed a three-year deal at Peterborough United. The Posh have just missed out on promotion from League One, losing the play-off semi-final to Oxford United.

However. no confirmation of any deal has come from either Altrincham or from Peterborough United. Further confusion arose when Peterborough United owner, Darragh MacAnthony posted on "X" the following one-liner, albeit without specific reference to CCC, "Don't believe all the nonsense you read at this time of year".

ALTY OLD BOYS

Relegated Kidderminster Harriersreport that manager "Phil Brown couldn’t be happier at extending the Aggborough stays of two big players in Christian Dibble [son of former Alty keeper ANDY DIBBLE] and ASHLEY HEMMINGS.

Right: Ashley Hemmings

Talisman Hemmings and shot-stopper Dibble have recently put pen to a paper on new contracts with the club...

On securing Hemmings, who re-signs having first arrived at Aggborough in 2019, the boss added 'Hemmo, at this level, and the next level in the National League, is a massive asset to us with his creativity.

'He’s exciting when he gets on the ball and is a fans' favourite, he knows how to get people off their seats.

'I wouldn’t say he’s a great goal scorer, but I would say he’s a scorer of great goals.

'So long as he can bring that to the party next season, and I’m undoubtedly sure he will, we’ve got a fantastic acquisition.'”

And with apologies for the delay in relaying the news from Phil Jordan, in Australia's NPL Victoria, CONNOR HAMPSON returned to the Oakleigh Cannons team last Friday as they won 0-2 at Hume City, leap-frogging their opponents into 4th place.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

They did not do what several oftheir relegation rivals did last season and sack their manager during the campaign, but now Oxford City "can confirm the departure of Manager Ross Jenkins.

Ross stepped up to manage the Men’s First Team in January 2022 and subsequently guided the club to the National League for the first time in our history. The club would like to thank Ross for his hard work and commitment, and we wish him well for the future.

Owner Justin Merrit said 'Ross will always be remembered fondly here as the Manager who helped us reach the highest level we have ever played at. To keep us in contention for much of last season, despite the obvious challenges in the higher league, was commendable and it is no surprise that he attracted interest from other clubs: he is a very good coach and I am sure he will go onto have an outstanding career.

'He leaves on very good terms and we have already begun the process of finding his successor'...

Ross... said farewell to the club.. 'I can’t thank Justin enough for giving me the opportunity to lead this club and the support of the fans has been incredible'".

It then emerged from fellow relegated club Boreham Wood that they had apppinted "Ross Jenkins as our new Head Coach, Following the expiration of his contract with Oxford City. We are also delighted to announce the return of club legend Mark Ricketts as our first-team Assistant Manager following his decision to hang up his boots at the end of last season.

Lloyd Doyley will complete the management team as our First Team Coach, continuing to bring his wealth of experience to the table, having made over 400 appearances for Watford FC. He also played alongside Jenkins during that time."

At Solihull Moors, "chairman, Darryl Eales, has penned the following message to the supporters...

'After a challenging couple of days, I wanted to write to all supporters to thank each and everyone for their fantastic support, both at Wembley and throughout the season.

To come so close is heartbreaking but this should not detract from a wonderful season which has created so many memories and new friendships...

Hopefully, there will be a halo effect from the Wembley appearances and more families will come and support the team next season'".

At Barnet "Rhys Browne becomes Dean Brennan’s first signing of the summer after putting pen to paper on a 2 year contract.

Browne arrives at the Hive having spent the last 2 seasons at Woking FC, to further bolster Dean Brennan’s attack...

Rhys has previously played for clubs such as Port Vale, Sutton United and Grimsby Town to name a few...

Browne said 'I have come here to get goals, assists and to contribute to a winning team; that’s what I’m about, winning.'

Barnet FC Manager, Dean Brennan, said...'He’s the type of player that will get our supporters off their seats..

'He joins us at a great time and his previous experience is perfect for us.'”

Meanwhile, Woking "announce the signing of Ben Wynter as Michael Doyle's first signing of the close season.

The 26-year-old right sided defender joins the club following his departure from Barnet... Doyle [sid] 'He’s a winner, and he’s always been involved with teams in the top end of the table. Ben is a leader on and off the pitch, and – at 26 – we feel like we’re getting him as he heads into his best years'...

Wynter joined National League side Bromley in summer 2017, making 14 appearances before being loaned to National League South side Hampton & Richmond in December 2017. A successful loan was made permanent in March 2018, but Wynter opted to leave the club to join Torquay United in July 2018..

Wynter left Torquay in summer 2022 to move closer to home, joining Barnet, where he would make 50 appearances across two seasons".

Having narrowly missed out on the play-offs, Aldershot Town "confirm the signing of exciting prospect Haydon Vaughan on a permanent transfer from Bracknell Town!

The attacking midfielder has only just turned 18... and has signed a two year deal with the Shots.

After a successful loan at Combined Counties League side Sandhurst Town during the first half of the 23/24 season, in which Vaughan scored 17 goals and got eight assists, he was recalled and impressed with nine goals and nine assists as Bracknell reached the playoffs.

First-Team Manager Tommy Widdrington said... 'It again shows we are looking at all levels of the game, near and far, to add to what we feel is a really good core group... I’m sure we’ve beaten quite a few clubs who felt they’d entice him but we’ve tracked him for some time and felt doing this early was important'...

Head of Recruitment Jamie Hedges added... 'He’s quick and direct, a great 1v1 dribbler, and has technical ability well above the level'">


15 May 2024

STOP PRESS: CCC AND THE POSH

Earlier today we reported the assertion by the Daily Mail that Peterborough United had had an offer rebutted to buy Altrincham's Chris Conn-Clarke.

Following that report, comes a tweet on "X" by a source "TC9", (who had pre-empted the Daily Mail in reporting Peterborough's interest in the Northern ireland forward), which claims that "Peterborough United have agreed a deal to sign Altrincham star man Chris Conn-Clarke on a three-year deal... for an undisclosed fee".

As of late afternoon, neither club has announced a deal.

ALTY'S FIRST SUMMER SIGNING

Altrincham FC announce that "Phil Parkinson has launched Altrincham's summer recruitment process by snapping up a forward with one of the most remarkable scoring records in non-League football.

Lucas Weaver underlined his unerring eye for the back of the net last season by racking up no fewer than 42 goals in all competitions in 43 appearances for Colne".

Press and media officerJohn Edwards goes on to say that "It made him one of the most sought-after prospects around, and no wonder - he's not even a striker!

That exceptional tally of goals... was delivered from the flanks, where Lucas's lightning pace has also troubled opposing defences on a regular basis...

In welcoming him to The J.Davidson Stadium, we can also announce that our first pre-season friendly will be away to his old club Colne at their Holt House Stadium on Saturday July 6th, kicking off at 3pm.

Lucas, who is 22, has always had goals in his locker and earned a move to Colne in July 2022 after a season in which he scored 20 times for Fulwood Amateurs in the West Lancs League Premier Division".

NEW HEAD GROUNDSMAN INTERVIEWED

Following yesterday's announcement of the appointment of David Jones as Altrincham's new Head Groundsperson, press and media officer Brian Flynn inteviewed him for Alty FC.

POSH BID FOR CHRIS CONN-CLARKE

According to the Daily Mail EFL Division One club "Peterborough United have seen an initial bid for Altrincham top scorer Chris Conn-Clarke [right] rejected.

Conn-Clarke is a man in demand this summer after finishing the season with 23 goals and 12 assists, as well as being selected in the National League Team of the Year...

Mail Sport understands they are pushing to bring Conn-Clarke to London Road this summer. The 22-year-old is not short of offers this summer, though, with interest from across Europe as well as in Scotland.

Conn-Clarke only joined Altrincham permanently last summer when Phil Parkinson picked him up for a club record deal from Fleetwood Town".

NEW GROUNDSMAN AT ALTY

Altrincham FC have appointed a new groundsman following the departure to Shrewsbury Town of the previous incumbent, Adam Lawrence.

After conducting an interview with Alty's press and media officer John Edwards tells us that "David Jones [is]... our newly-appointed head groundsperson... He began work at Moss Lane on Monday, with an extensive programme of improvement and renovation to the pitch already well underway.

As a sign of the thoroughness that has marked his time with other clubs and, most recently, the Welsh FA, David is well aware of the drainage-related problems we encountered last season and is well versed on the exact nature of the work currently taking place...

'I felt ready for a new challenge after enjoying my time at the Welsh FA, and I'm relishing the opportunity to take this pitch forward and help prepare the best possible playing surface for Phil and the squad,' Jones said. 'I know there were difficulties with the pitch last season. I did my research on that and the work being done at the moment, and I just thought it added up to an opportunity I really wanted to take.

'The drains are actually working fine, and I don't think it was all down to that, as such. I think the problem stemmed from the top layer of the pitch. If that gets too much organic material in it, then water can't easily pass through it...

Above: The pitch at the J. Davison Stadium needed plenty of sand on its surface by mid-March when Alty entertained Woking.

'So we have addressed that by taking off the top 20-22ml and getting rid of all the old organic material, and everything seems to be working really well'...

It was when David's dream of making it as a player was thwarted as a youngster at Wigan Athletic that he began to turn his sights towards tending pitches rather than starring on them...

He said 'I ended up stumbling across a part-time job at AFC Fylde. It was three days a week, and it really developed my interest in looking after pitches. I then had two-and-a-half years at Blackpool, much of it at their Squires Gate training ground... Those experiences at Fylde and Blackpool stood me in good stead...

'I then had three years as head groundsman at Bootle, with their hybrid pitch... Everything at the FA of Wales was spot-on, absolutely immaculate, but I'm delighted to have been granted this opportunity at Altrincham'".

Footnote: More on David Jones's football background will appear in due course.

STATISTICAL REVIEW OF 2023-24 SEASON: PART 4

APPEARANCES IN ALL COMPETITIONS

Compared with 2022-23, which was the club's first full-time season, 2023-24 saw more squad stability but there were fewer matches played as poor cup results meant just six cup ties were played compared with eleven during the previous season.

During 2023-24 only 30 players were named in a league squad and 45 players were named in either a league or cup squad.

That compared with 42 players named in a league squad in 2022-23 and 53 in all competitions in that season.

Before that, across the two seasons of 2021/22 and 2022/23, in all competitions, Altrincham used 82 different players! In the league alone that total was 72. In short those two years were tumultuous as the team moved from part-time to a full-time model of operations.

Only Matt Gould, Ben Pringle, Matty Kosylo and Brad Jackson remained at the club at the end of 2022-23 season who had also been at the club at the start of 2021-22. And none of those four made more than five league starts for Altrincham in 2022-23. Today, just Gould and Kosylo remain.

APPEARANCES IN ALL COMPETITIONS

In 2023-24, 54 competitive games were played (47 in the league, inclusive of the play-offs, plus 6 in cups)

Right: Lewis Banks

The leading appearance numbers were:

In terms of game time, Elliot Osborne, Eddy Jones and Lewis Banks all had more time on the pitch than Chris Conn-Clarke, as he was substituted more often than them.

In 2022-23 more matches were played both because the Vanarama National League ran with 24 clubs compared with 23 in 2021-22 and also because Altrincham reached the semi-finals of two cup competitions so played eleven cup ties in all.

2021-22:

2020-21:

PLAYERS USED IN LEAGUE

2023-24

Not only were fewer players used in 2023-24 but markedly less use was made of the loan market.

Named in a league squad incl. play-offs: 30 players, the lowest number since Alty returned to the National League in 2020 (see below). Just 27 of those players got onto the pitch in National League games.

Loanees named in league squad: 2; this was the first time that fewer than 10 loanees had been used in a season since Alty returned to the National League in 2020. The two loanees were Marcus Dackers and Gerald Sithole (right). Sonny Aljofree was also signed on a loan arrangement but was never named in a matchday squad.

Named in a squad but never got on pitch in a league game: 3 players, (Ollie Byrne, Owen German, Tom Jones)

2022-23

Named in a league squad: 42 players Loanees named in league squad: 16 (Bennett, Burgess, Cashman, Conn-Clarke, Ferguson, Gyasi, Hugill, Jennings, E. Jones, Malone, Mee, Newby, Oyedele, Quitirna, Sinclair, Welch-Hayes ) Named in a squad but never got on pitch in league game: 5 (Forde, Hussain, Quitirna, Rodgers-Morris, Roxburgh)

Used as a sub but did not start a league game: 3 (Burgess, Harrison, Sami)

In 2021-22:

Named in a league squad: 46 players Loanees named in league squad: 10 (Campbell, Conn-Clarke, Cooper, Ferguson, E. Jones, Kirby, Peritt, Porter, Walker, Whitehead)

Named in a squad but never got on pitch in league game: 3 (Butchart, Higgins, Osigwe) Used as a sub but did not start a league game: 2 (Campbell, Morton)

In 2020-21 heavy use was made of loan players...

Named in a league squad: 39 players Loanees named in league squad: 10 (Bell, Dales, Gibson, Holgate, Kirby, Ogle, Robbins, Sass-Davies, Smith, Zouma)

Named in a squad but never got on pitch in league game: 2 (Will Hall, Rowan Roache) Used as a sub but did not start a league game: 2 (Jamie McDonald 0+3, Curtis Miller 0+6)

PLAYERS USED IN ALL COMPETITIONS

Players named in any matchday squad, league or cup:

2023-24

Right: Loui Williams

45 players were named, of whom 18 did not make a league appearance and 15 were not named in a league squad (Aldcroft, Andrade. Bailey, Chandler, Douglas, Howells, Hussain, Lawton, Lindley, Partington, Powell, Raymond, Shtyhlian Williams [right], Wright) .

2022-23

52 of whom 14 (Aljofree, J. Bailey, Billingsley, Cooney, Forde, German, Hussain, Jordan, McGeady, Matthew, Morton, Quitirna, Rodgers-Morris, Roxburgh did not make a league appearance and nine of whom (Aljofree, J. Bailey, Billingsley, Cooney, German, Jordan, McGeady, Matthew, Morton) were not named in a league squad.

2021-22

46 of whom 3 (Higgins, Miller, Osigwe) did not make a league appearance and one of whom (Miller) was not named in a league squad.

2020-21

46 of whom 10 (Gavanagh, Graham, Hall, Howarth, Mercurius, Potter, Roache, Salmon, Taylor, Torrance [pictured, right]) did not make a league appearance and seven of whom (Gavanagh, Graham, Howarth, Mercurius, Potter, Taylor, Torrance) were not named in a league squad.

DISCIPLINE: YELLOW AND RED CARDS

2023-24 was Altrincham's worst year for cards and dismissals since returning to the National League in 2020.

The following totals of red and yellow cards were issued in 2023-24:

The following totals of red and yellow cards were issued in 2022-23:

The following totals of red and yellow cards were issued in 2021-22:

The following totals of red and yellow cards were issued in 2020-21:

RED CARDS

In 2023-24 individuals receiving red cards were:

In 2022-23 individuals receiving red cards were:

In 2021-22 individuals receiving red cards were:

In 2020-21 individuals receiving red cards were:

YELLOW CARDS IN ALL COMPETITIONS

Right: Elliot Osborne

In 2023-24

In 2022-23

In 2021-22

In 2020-21:

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

The Hartlepool Mail reports that "Darren Sarll insists he didn't need any guarantees from the board despite becoming the 10th Hartlepool United manager in just six years...

None of the last five permanent appointments lasted more than 12 months but Sarll, who has led both Yeovil and Woking to the National League play-offs, insisted he didn't need to be given any guarantees...

'No, I never need that,' he said. 'We're in a results business, especially at this place...

'I do believe, and we have to believe, that self-confidence in management is so important; that I'm going to be the one that can get it right, like Dave (Challinor) did. You have to believe that you're going to be the next guy, and that's what I believe.. It's got such an unbelievable history and status...

'This is one of the biggest jobs in the National League'".


14 May 2024

ROB ESTEVA TO LEAVE ALTY

Altrincham FC announce, via press and media officer John Edwards, that "Rob Esteva has informed Altrincham's board that he has reluctantly taken the decision to step down from his position this summer... 'with a heavy heart'.

Right: Rob Esteva (far right) with management duo of Neil Sorvel and Phil Parkinson.

A growing workload away from Alty was one of the main considerations behind the decision.

Founder and managing director of TSZ Data Services, Rob has been responsible for football operations at the club since initially joining the board in 2017, barring a brief period away in 2019-20 when his second daughter was born.

During his time at The J.Davidson Stadium, which kicked off with the appointment of Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel back in 2017, Rob's remit has been working on football matters on a daily basis to ensure every aspect of the playing side is functioning to maximum efficiency...

Rob said 'This was never going to be an easy decision to arrive at. I've been mulling it over and giving it plenty of thought in recent weeks and months, essentially since my detached retina in January last year.

'On top of that, I have a young family that I want to spend more time with, and work away from the club is getting busier and more demanding than ever.. There really was only one course of action open to me... but I'm going to be around for a little while yet. It is now time for somebody else to take things forward, but I'm happy to assist with a transition period while the board look for the right candidate to step in and join us'".

STATISTICAL REVIEW OF 2023-24 SEASON: PART 3

Part Three of the season's review looks at Draws, Cup Results and Highest Aggregates in league matches during 2023-24.

DRAWS IN LEAGUE

Eleven league matches ended in draws for Altrincham in 2023-24, three fewer than in the previous season which had been the joint highest total since 2009-10. Of the eleven draws in 2023-24, three were goalless, three ended 1-1, four games finished 2-2 and there was a single 3-3 draw, at Fylde.

Right: The 2023-24 season started with a draw, 1-1, at home to Dagenham & redbridge. Here, Chris Conn-Clarke is concealed beneath his bedraggled team-mates after his goal at a sodden J. Davidson Stadium.

All three goalless matches were away from home; at Wealdstone, Halifax and Dorking.

In 2022-23, as in the previous season, only one game ended goalless. The highest scoring draw was the 4-4 encounter at Torquay United. Seven of the draws ended two apiece. Nine of the draws were away from home.

2021-22 brought ten league draws, with just one being goalless (away at Maidenhead United). The highest scoring draws were 2-2 at Chesterfield, at Aldershot Town and at home to Woking.

Goalless draws in league: 1

In 2020-21, for the first time in three seasons, Altrincham played a goalless draw in the league; in fact they played two, one in the opening match versus Weymouth and the other in the final fixture against Torquay United. Both were games at Moss Lane.

Goalless draws in league: 2

As for other scoring draws in 2020-21: 9 in league (4 home, 5 away). Seven of the draws were 1-1, the other two were 2-2.

CUP RESULTS

2023-24 It was a poor season for cup progress. Six cup games were played, three in the Cheshire Senior Cup, two in the FA Trophy and one in the FA Cup.

Three cup wins were recorded. Curiously, however, just one cup tie was won in normal time, a 4-0 win over Stalybridge, though two other ties were won on penalties, one in the CSC and one in the FA Trophy.

The FA Trophy was exited without Alty scoring a goal other than in shoot-outs and the FA Cup was exited at the first hurdle.

2022-23 was a much better year for cup-tie results with five rounds played in the FA Trophy as well as the Cheshire Senior Cup, albeit one CSC round was a walkover. Only two FA Cup ties were played, however.

The biggest cup wins were two 4-0 successes in the Cheshire Senior Cup against Sandbach United and Runcorn Linnets.

The three cup defeats were all after ties which had finished level after ninety minutes. In the FA Cup that led to a replay defeat at Gateshead, whilst both the FA Trophy and the CSC exits were the result of penalty shootouts after ninety minutes.

In 2021-22 the only cup win was 3-2 at Southport in the FA Cup.

In 2020-21 the biggest cup win was 3-0 v Barnton in the Cheshire Senior Cup.

HIGHEST AGGREGATES IN LEAGUE GAMES

Seven goals in a league game were recorded in 2023-24 on three occasions, all of them being 6-1 home wins!


Above: In the first 6-1 game of the season, at home to Ebbsfleet United, Lewis Baines (no.4, far right) netted Altrincham's second goal with a fine glancing header which found the far corner of the net.

In 2022-23 Alty were involved in no fewer than ten league games in which five or more goals were netted. Eight of those games were away from home:

In 2021-22 Alty were involved in eight league games in which five or more goals were netted:

In 2020-21:

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Southend United "has a proud history of producing young talented footballers through its academy and youth system...

Last season Oli Coker starred in midfield for Kevin Maher’s side having joined the Club’s youth system in 2011... Collin Andeng Ndi, another academy product, recently won the Young Player of the Season award...

On relegation from the EFL in 2021, the Centre of Excellence ran for two years as a Category 3 Academy, albeit with reduced EFL funding. On the second anniversary of our relegation, we lost our Category 3 status and could therefore no longer operate as an Academy and, as such, all funding came to an end. That meant that we were no longer able to run an elite programme or employ scholars, and our infrastructure had to be cut significantly.

Given this backdrop, and the rules forbidding us from paying scholars, we chose to run a non-elite U19s programme only in the 2023/24 season... From July onwards it will be run exclusively by our Community Foundation. When we return to the League, we will resurrect the elite programme with a view to regaining our Category 3 status.

CEO Tom Lawrence said, 'Moving the Youth programme to our Community Foundation will enable us to concentrate our efforts and resource on exiting the National League... I hope we make a return to the EFL soon so we can resurrect our elite programme and continue to develop local talent'".

Eastleigh "announce the signing of Luis Fernandez for an undisclosed fee, on a permanent deal from Hampton & Richmond FC... where he won the Players’ Player of the Season award for the 2023/24 season...

Last season, the central-defender found the back of the net three times and kept ten clean sheets in his 42 league appearances.

He began his career with Stevenage... making ten appearances for them, with five of those coming in League Two".

At Braintree Town report that "Manager Angelo Harrop and Chairman Lee Harding met up at the Rare Breed Meat Co Stadium on Thursday evening to discuss the forthcoming National League season.

A positive discussion followed with the Club offering Angelo a new improved contract and support for his recommendation to switching from part-time to full time training.

'With the important support of our sponsors, we are able to reward Angelo with the job security he deserves and to support his suggestion about switching to full time training'[said Harding]...

Matchday and season ticket prices were agreed at a board meeting and it was decided to increase prices to give the squad the resources necessary to be competitive at the higher level.

Harding said... 'We have kept our admission prices unchanged for six years, despite inflation. But we want to help Angelo build a squad that can be competitive and I do believe that we will once again be one of the best priced at our level, with season tickets offering even better deals!..

'We continue to negotiate with Braintree Council about relocating to a new stadium to match the Club's long term ambitions'...

As in previous seasons, season ticket holders who purchase on or before 1 June 2024 will be rewarded with five games free of charge".

Tamworth reveal that "Jas Singh has committed to the Lambs for a 7th successive season. The former Shrewsbury Town, Kidderminster Harriers, Solihull Moors, Gloucester City and Telford United keeper joined the club in the summer of 2018...

Last season Jas set a new club record of going 910 minutes without conceding a goal, and only let in 27 goals in the 45 league games he played. He was selected as the Vanarama National League North Goalkeeper of the Season and he was Andy Peaks’s choice as Manager's Player of the Season too".

News of an interesting scheme comes from York City where "Based on the success of initial sessions, York City FC is proud to announce additional stadium familiarisation sessions that welcome and support individuals of all abilities and conditions, with a focus on making everyone feel included in our community.

These free sessions are designed for supporters who, for various reasons, may have hesitated to visit the LNER Community Stadium in the past. We are committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the excitement of sports in a welcoming and supportive environment.

The familiarisation sessions are open events that invite you to explore the stadium with the guidance of our club staff and volunteers. You will be led along a designated quiet route into the stadium, and we will show you the locations of key facilities such as toilets and concession stands. Additionally, we will take you to various areas of the stadium, allowing you to experience different entry and exit points as well as different viewing spots. Our goal is to help you find the best areas that suit your specific needs and preferences...

We hope that these familiarisation sessions will provide a positive and comfortable experience for those who attend, ultimately encouraging them to return for a match in the future.

The familiarisation sessions are designed for families and individuals who may benefit from this offering, including but not limited to:


13 May 2024

WOMEN'S TEAM SCRAP PLAYER FEES

Altrincham FC "have taken a decisive step towards reviving the fortunes of the women's team by scrapping the system of players having to pay fees.

The move comes after a thorough review of how the team struggled last season and whether players having to pay a £40 signing-on fee and £25 per month for the duration of the campaign might have had a detrimental effect.

As a consequence, the club can announce that fees will no longer apply to any player representing the women's team, with any costs being absorbed by Altrincham FC and Altrincham FC Community Sports...

The players [are] continuing to train twice a week at Broadoak Academy’s fantastic new 3G facility and Cheadle Hulme School".

Last season the Women's team was relegated from the Northwest Women’s Regional League South. "A series of issues and disruptions affecting the playing and coaching side of the women's team did not help... As we await confirmation of which league we will be in next season, meetings have taken place to discuss the future of the women’s team and how the club can ensure it has the best chance of turning round their fortunes and emulating the success of the men's team".

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Promoted Tamworth tell us that "Some supporters have been asking if the club is announcing a retained and released list of players. The simple answer is no as all players in the squad came to the end of their contracts at the end of the season.

Andy Peaks has expressed his desire to keep many of the current squad for next season, however, this depends on budget, negotiations and the players' own plans for next season.

Speaking this week Andy said 'I have had some really good chats so far and some of the key players have already committed for next season. We are in negotiations with some of the others and also new faces I want to bring into the club. I want to the majority over the line as soon as possible and hopefully we will have news for supporters next week on some of the names committing for next season'.

Meanwhile some important news for the club is that the pitch and the ground have passed their inspections for the National League which enables us to compete at step 1 next season.

Work is going on at the ground and you may have seen on social media that Eddie Hughes (MP) arranged for H.D Ricketts to deliver a truck load of stone to help repair the potholes in the car park...

Training for the first team will start w/c 24 June with the first friendly booked for Saturday 6 July... Fixtures will be played against a League 2 outfit and clubs that play at steps 2,3 and 4 of the pyramid".

At Dagenham & Redbridge "Club Underdog, a subsidiary of North Sixth Group, today announced it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire historic East London-based football club Dagenham & Redbridge (“Daggers”). The club was previously owned by a group led by New York Yankees minority owner Peter Freund.

At York City "Scottish winger Kai Kennedy’s contract has been mutually terminated.

The 22-year-old signed in August 2023 following his departure from Rangers, going on to feature 19 times for the Minstermen across all competitions.

Kennedy setup Quevin Castro’s equaliser against Boreham Wood back in September 2023, a game which ended in a two-all draw.

We wish Kai well in his future endeavours and thank him for his efforts whilst with the Minstermen".

Relegated Forest Green Rovers have announced that "The Club will begin next year with the following players under contract: Harvey Bunker, Charlie McCann, Tyrese Omotoye, Fiachra Pagel, Amadou Bakayoko, Kyle McAllister, Jamie Robson, Marcel Lavinier, Ryan Inniss, Christian Doidge, Alfie Bendle, Jordan Moore-Taylor, Jamie Searle, Emmanuel Osadebe, Jacob Maddox and Teddy Jenks".

Hartlepool United "announce Academy player Max Storey has signed his first professional contract with the Club.

The young attacker, who turned 18 in January, scored 22 goals in 31 appearances for our Academy side in the 2023/24 season.

He was rewarded with his first team debut, coming off the bench at home to Dagenham & Redbridge, and has now signed a professional deal ahead of the 2024/25 campaign...

Academy Manager, Ian McGuckin, added, 'We're really pleased for Max... He follows Louis Stephenson and Campbell Darcy who signed contracts in December, which shows the strength and potential in our Academy set-up'".

Rochdale "announce that the following individuals have purchased Ordinary Class A shares at a subscription price of £0.29p per share.

Ordinary A Shares Purchased:

Cameron Ogden will join the Board of Directors as Co-Chairman, alongside current Chairman Simon Gauge, with Jamie Willoughby and Adam Saul also joining the Board as Directors. Jamie and Adam both work for the Ogden Family business. The FA Licensing and Sanctions department has permitted all of the above to act as an Officer of the Club in accordance with 3.1.2 of the ODT (Owners and Directors Test) Regulations.

Jan Wormald has stepped down from the Board...

Cameron, Edward and Tiffany are the children of Sir Peter and Lady Ogden and have jointly committed that if any profit is ever made from the shares, such profit would be held for the sole benefit of the Rochdale AFC Community Trust.

As indicated in their offer to the Club, the Ogden Family intend to introduce a Golden Share which will be held by the Dale Trust. The introduction of this share will require changes to the Club’s Articles of Association and these changes will be presented to shareholders for approval in due course.

Cameron Ogden stated 'I am delighted to join the Board of Directors as Co-Chairman of this great Club. Our family has a deep connection to Rochdale, and we envisage the Club becoming an integral part of the local community'...

The new Board has already met and established its key aspirations, which are:

  1. To make the club sustainable within five years, with or without sporting success.
  2. To achieve promotion to the EFL within three years.
  3. To significantly increase the social value we bring to the local community, via the Club and Community Trust...

We have reluctantly increased prices this year after several seasons of price freezes but are confident they will still be amongst the most competitive in the league".


12 May 2024

FA TROPHY WIN FOR GATESHEAD

It was "Non-League Finals Day" at Wembley on Saturday, with the following outcomes...

The FA reports that "Gateshead defeated Solihull Moors in a dramatic penalty shootout to lift the Isuzu FA Trophy title after a four-goal thriller at Wembley...

A fantastic run down the line from Dajaune Brown led to a superb low driven cross to the right foot of Regan Booty, who made no mistake from a yard out, putting Rob Elliot’s team ahead before the break.

The second half began with the Moors dominating possession, and all their work on the ball eventually paid off as in the 69th minute, a superb cross from Joe Newton found the head of target man Mark Beck, who equalised for Solihull, making things all square...

Solihull continued to pile on the pressure, aiming to grab a winner but Gateshead held their own, and 90 minutes proved not long enough for the National League outfit...

The beginning of extra time once again saw Evans’ effort saved from close range, but just five minutes later and the Moors took a 2-1 lead through a Beck penalty...

Brown poked the ball over the bar with an early chance after the extra time interval, although just three minutes after, he made up for his error, tapping the ball home thanks to a Tom Allan square pass, to make the score 2-2...

It was time for penalties, which was settled with a winning penalty from Brown to seal the FA Trophy title for Gateshead, reversing their loss here last year".

ALTY OLD BOYS

MARCUS DINANGA did not get onto the pitch for the FA Trophy final between his club Gateshead and Solihull Moors until the 106th minute.

The game ended 2-2 and went to a penalty shoot-out which required 16 spot-kicks before The Heed prevailed 5-4.ss. Dinanga impressively netted his penalty during this process.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Wealdstone "announce the appointment of Matt Taylor as our new First Team Manager.

Taylor, 42, arrives at Wealdstone with rich experience in the game having managed Swindon Town, Walsall and Shrewsbury Town on the back of a stellar playing career that saw him amass more than 300 Premier League appearances for Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United, and Burnley...

Said Wealdstone FC Chairman Rory Fitzgerald... 'Matt's vision for the team, his clear principles for how he wants us to play and his track record of developing young talent are exactly what we need'...

Joining Taylor in this new chapter will be Paul Hughes, who has been appointed as Assistant Manager... A former professional footballer with more than 100 appearances for clubs including Chelsea and Luton Town, Hughes transitioned to management with significant impact.

Most notably, he led Kings Langley to three consecutive promotions and achieved impressive feats with Hayes & Yeading, including a standout Isthmian League South Central Title in 2019 and a memorable run in the FA Cup...

First Team Coach Sam Cox has left the club... Under his guidance in the last five games of last season, the club successfully maintained its position in the National League for a fifth consecutive year, and we are deeply grateful for his contributions."

Also at Wealdstone comes "our retained list for our First Team squad.

Sean Adarkwa and Brandon Mason are confirmed to be under contract for the 2024/25 season.

Furthermore, we have successfully secured new contracts with Jack Cook, Mason Barrett, Kallum Cesay, Luke Dreher, Trae Cook-Appiah and Deon Woodman, who have all signed on for the new season.

The club has also exercised the option to extend the contracts of Charlie Barker and Micah Obiero for another year.

Discussions are currently ongoing with Max Kretzschmar, Dillon De Silva, Jaydn Mundle-Smith, Tarryn Allarakhia, Alex Dyer, Dominic Hutchinson and Declan Phillips regarding new deals...

We have been unable to agree new terms with or released Jaiden Bartolo, Manny Duku, Corie Andrews, Marcus Dewhurst and Nathan Ferguson".

Barnet report that "Following recent media speculation, Barnet FC would like to update supporters regarding Dean Brennan and the managerial position at Swindon Town FC.

Earlier this week, Barnet FC made Dean Brennan aware that they had received an approach from Swindon Town requesting permission to speak with him.

Dean would like to assure supporters that he remains fully committed to achieving Barnet FC’s goal of promotion to the EFL, and a significant amount of work has already taken place to enhance the squad for the new campaign.

Dean and the Club continue to look forward to the Season ahead".


11 May 2024

ALTY TO GO THE EXTRA MILE, OR 170!

The annual changes in the Vanarama National League see six clubs exit, at one end of the table or the other, and six "new" teams join the division for 2024-25.

All six "new" entrants have previously played at national level and all have also met Altrincham previously.

So, trips to Chesterfield, Bromley, Boreham Wood, Dorking Wanderers, Kidderminster Harriers and Oxford City are replaced next season by jaunts to Forest Green Rovers, Sutton United, Tamworth, Boston United, Yeovil Town and Braintree Town.

Right: One of the "new" clubs in the National League next season is Tamworth. Altrincham's last visit there came in April 2017 in their final match in the NPL, watched by manager-elect Phil Parkinson. Here we see James Lawrie being congratulated on Alty's goal in a 2-1 defeat.

The net result is that 85 miles, (or 170 return) are added to the distance to travel to all of the away venues. The average journey to an away fixture is now 149 miles (297 return) against 145 miles (290 return) last season.

Last season Bromley (229 miles each way) was the most distant trip but, with the Ravens' promotion, the furthest trip is now to Southend-on-Sea (222 miles each way).

In all, Altrincham will travel 3,421 miles to away league matches or, rather, 6,842 miles including their return trips.

ALTY'S PRE-SEASON MATCHES

Altrincham FC press and media officer John Edwards writes that "Plans for a series of pre-season friendlies [are] taking shape and close to completion...

The list is almost complete, with some exciting opponents pencilled in for home and away friendlies, and full details will be released as soon as we have them...

The club would like to make it clear that admission prices will apply to all spectators for these games, including season ticket holders.

It was a decision that was not taken lightly and only arrived at after some discussion and consideration, but the feeling was that the club had little choice in the matter. Rising costs of hosting friendlies, for stewarding in particular, have been such that the club would incur losses if free entry was extended to season ticket holders [as has been the case for many years].

Additionally, in many cases involving Premier League or EFL teams, the proceeds are split between the two clubs, thereby further reducing takings for Alty for friendlies at The J.Davidson Stadium and increasing the need for as big a turnout of paying spectators as possible...

The Early Bird offer naturally remains the most affordable and appealing way of securing your place at every home league game, as well as benefitting from the many other advantages that come with it. But anyone buying a season ticket after the Early Bird expiry date of May 31st will find that prices have been pegged at the same rate as last year as a gesture of appreciation from the board for this crucial income stream...

Said Co-Chairman Lawrence Looney... 'Our position on pre-season friendlies is dictated by practicalities. If we don't charge admission for everyone, we make a loss, and having to factor that into our summer calculations would only have a harmful effect on how much we could spend on the squad.

'I hope supporters will understand and see where we are coming from with this'".

ALTY OLD BOYS

National League champions Chesterfield have issued their retained players list and it includes former Alty man, JEFF KING

The rumour mill in the shape of Transfer Centre 9 reports that "Rochdale have appeared [as] early front runners to sign former Altrincham and Southend United winger DAN MOONEY.

Mooney had already spoken to Rochdale initially hence his release from Altrincham. Looks to sign a two year deal with an option of a third. Good signing for the Dale".

FA TROPHY AND VASE FINALS

Today (Saturday) sees the finals of the FA Trophy and FA Vase at Wembley. Both matches will be broadcast live on TNT Sports.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

The Hartlepool Mail has assessed all of the Pools' opponents in the coming season at Vanarama National League level.

Regarding Altrincham it says "The Robins have been on an upwards trajectory in recent years and have gone from strength-to-strength since becoming a full time, professional outfit in 2022. Just missed out on a place at Wembley after losing 3-1 to Bromley in the play-off semi-finals but gained a host of admirers for their fearless football under impressive manager Phil Parkinson.

The Greater Manchester side have retained the core of last season's successful squad but will have a job on their hands to keep hold of 22 year-old attacking-midfielder Chris Conn-Clarke, who top-scored with 23 goals in all competitions and is said to have attracted the attention of the likes of Ipswich, Portsmouth and Mansfield."


10 May 2024

FIVE IN THE ALTY "WAITING ROOM"

Yesterday's announcement of Altrincham's retained list included the names of five players whose deals with the club expire this summer but who have neither been released nor offered a new contract. All have been invited back for the summer pre-season to try and earn a new contract.

Perhaps the most surprising of these names is that of the club captain in 2023-24, centre-back James Jones. 27 year-old James is the senior professional at the club.

However, it is an understandable move in the context of James's being sidelined by injury for the last half of last season.

James (left) played the full 90 minutes of the first seven league fixtures but only started three of the next 14 league games. He then missed the remaining 26 league games including the play-off semi-final through an injury which necessitated a shoulder operation late in 2023.

He first played as a trialist for Alty in July 2017 and signed in time to make his competitive debut on 23 August 2017. He took the decision to leave Altrincham for Barrow in the Football League, a decision announced on 19 July 2020.

However, in late July 2022 he returned to Altrincham after he had rejected a contract renewal at Barrow. To date he has made 166(+10) appearances for Altrincham in which he has scored17 times.

Another player hoping to prove himself in the summer is Justin Donawa (right) who, like James Jones, had an injury-affected season. His absences were exacerbated by international duties for his native Bermuda.

Justin, who will be 29 this June, turned down a contract renewal at Solihull Moors to join Altrincham last June. Injury and international absences with Bermuda limited his appearances in the early part of 2023-24 and on 17 February it was announced that he had gone on loan for a month to Chorley.

He duly returned to Altrincham in March 2024 but, sadly, he suffered a bad ankle injury at Ebbsfleet in the penultimate fixture of the season. So his limited appearances totalled 10(+11) but he weighed in with three goals in the process, being deployed variously as a right-back and right-midfielder.

The other three players in limbo over the summer are all young and made no league starts at all in 2023-24 and none of them featured in more than two matches in that campaign,

Max Haygarth, aged 22, joined on a short-term contract in March 2024. He is a midfielder/winger who started out at Manchester United and Brentford, before joining Northern Irish club Linfield, where he spent just over a year making nine appearances.

He left the club by mutual consent in January 2024 and made his Alty debut as a substitute on 12 March 2024 at home to York City. His only other inclusion in a squad was as an unused sub in the final match of the league season.

Academy-product Amaar Hussain had his progression halted by an ACL injury. He was the leading scorer as the Altrincham FC Academy team won the National League U19 Alliance Division H title in the team's first competitive season, 2021-22. He had also played for Altrincham Reserves before being named as one of six Academy players to join the first-team squad in July 2022.

After impressing in pre-season, Amaar went on loan to Hyde United at the start of September 2022. But on 19 October 2022 it was announced that Amaar had signed dual registration forms with Alsager Town.

Unfortunately, Amaar suffered an ACL injury and was sidelined in December 2022. He reappeared in November 2023, being a used sub in the Cheshire Senior Cup against Stalybridge Celtic.

Amaar then went on loan to Clitheroe, a move announced on 3 January 2024.

The fifth player playing a waiting game is 20 year-old defender Sean Lawton (right). He is a product of Crewe Alexandra's youth system who was released by The Railywaymen at the end of 2022-23 season.

He had spent the start of 2022-23 on loan from Crewe at Nantwich Town but was recalled in the spring. He then experienced another loan, this time at Hereford FC.

As a trialist, Sean played at left-back for Alty on 11 October 2023 in the Cheshire Senior Cup. He was reported as on loan, again at Nantwich, this time from Altrincham, in late October 2023 but appeared again for the Robuins in the CSC in late January 2024.

ALTY'S SEASON IN STATISTICS, 2023-24: PART TWO

Part Two of the annual review starts with a look at Altrincham's defence before addressing Sequences, Points Accrued, Biggest Wins, Heaviest Losses, and Drawn Games.

CLEAN SHEETS

There were 13 clean sheets in the league in 2023-24, a total which included three goalless draws. This contrasted with 2022-23 when there was just a single goalless draw and a major decline in clean-sheets with only four recorded in 46 matches in 2022-23 compared with ten from two fewer games in 2021-22.

There was just one goalless draw in the League in 2021-22, away at Maidenhead United.

During 2021-22 Altrincham kept ten clean sheets, the same as in the previous campaign. Eight of those clean sheets arrived in the last sixteen fixtures of the season.

In 2020-21 Alty has two goalless draws in the league; coincidentally, these were in their first and their last fixtures. Over the whole season they recorded ten shut-outs (23.8%) excluding the Dover game which would have made it eleven.

LEAGUE SEQUENCES

Above we see the league results in 2023-24 which are colour-coded, with red for a defeat, amber for a draw and green for a win.

For the fourth season in succession results were far from consistent with significant sequences of unbeaten games and equally unsuccessful runs without a victory.

In complete contrast to the previous campaign, which did not produce a win till the tenth fixture, there were just two defeats in the first 18 league fixtures of 2023-24 before ten defeats followed in the next 19 games.

League placings of the opposition did not explain a partuclarly bad run of five straight defeats in games 31 to 35. This dip was similar to a poor run at the same stage of the previous season when six defeats came in ten games from match 27 to 36.

In fact it was the fourth season in succession when a season's worst runs occurred in roughly the same part of the season, approximately between the halfway and three-quarters points of the season...

After that poor run in 23-24, the final eleven fixtures included just two defeats as the season ended with six unbeaten fixtures. The previous campaign had been the opposite, terminating in seven matches without a win!

Above we see the league results in 2022-23.

The longest sequences in 2023-24 were...

2022-23 was particularly odd as it started with nine winless games and ended with seven more winless fixtures.

Yet in the intervening 26 fixtures of the season, the points per game would have given Alty 74 points over the whole season and a play-off place (fifth).

But even in that mid-table sequence of good results there was a sequence of eight unbeaten games bracketed by three straight defeats beforehand and four successive losses afterwards!

The longest sequences in 2022-23 were...

Above we see the league results in 2021-22 .

2021-22 was also a season of contrasting sequences. Alty made their best ever start in the national division of non-League, winning six of their first nine games. They promptly won just one of their next seventeen fixtures in the league.

The next 15 matches then saw just three defeats and eight wins, before the season ended with four games without a win.

In the first half of the season, Alty won 7 times, drew 5 and lost 10 matches; in the second half of the campaign they won 8 times, drew on 5 occasions and lost 9 fixtures.

Their longest sequences in 2021-22 were...

Above we see the league results in 2020-21.

2020-21 was a curious season insofar as the first seven games (excluding the expunged win at Dover) witnessed no wins, whilst the next 13 matches saw eight wins, three draws and only two defeats! Well over half of the season's points' total (27 out of 46) was gained in just those 13 fixtures.

In the first half of 2020-21 Alty won nine, drew six and lost six. In the second half they lost twice as many games (12) and won just four times, drawing the other five fixtures.

Their longest league sequences in 2020-21 were...

Next, we look at...

LEAGUE POINTS ACCRUED

For the past three seasons, points have been won fairly evenly in each half of the campaign.

In the 46 fixtures of 2023-24 points were accrued as follows:

In 2022-23, unlike in 2021-22, slightly more points were earned in the first half of the season than the last. Two more fixtures (46) were played in 2022-23.

2021-22 witnessed Altrincham garner more points in the second half of the season than the first, the first time that had happened since 2018-19.

In 2020-21 Altrincham performed far better in the first half of the season than in the second half.

LEAGUE HAT-TRICKS

For the fifth season running there were no league hat-tricks scored by any Altrincham player in 2023-24.

The last hat-trick in the league came in 2018-19 from loanee Joe Piggott at Curzon Ashton.

BIGGEST WINS IN LEAGUE

2023-24 was quite remarkable as Altrincham's biggest winning margin occurred three times in 6-1 wins at home against Ebbsfleet United, Solihull Moors and York City.

In 2022-23: 4-1 at home to Dorking Wanderers and Solihull Moors

In 2021-22: 5-0 at home to Weymouth

In 2020-21: 3-0 at home to King's Lynn Town

HEAVIEST LOSSES IN LEAGUE

A sign of defensive improvement was that no team put more than three league goals past Altrincham in 2023-24. The heaviest defeat was 3-0, recorded at Barnet and Rochdale

Having thrashed Solihull Moors in 2023-24, curiously the biggest defeat in 2022-23 was, for the second season running, against... Solihull Moors, who oddly were also the same team that Alty beat by the greatest margin that season too!

In 2022-23:

In 2021-22

In 2020-21

ALTY OLD BOYS

Our Cheshire neighbours Macclesfield FC have announced their retained list, following their defeat in the play-offs.

Whilst SAM HEATHCOTE is on the retained list, both OLLIE BYRNE and SAM GRIMSHAW have been released.

The Halifax Courier lists "10 players that FC Halifax Town could target as potential new signings this summer". The list includes ex-Altrincham players JEFF KING, MARCUS DINANGA and DANNY WHITEHEAD.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Hartlepool United are pleased to confirm our complete first-team staff under new manager Darren Sarll ahead of the 2024/25 season.

Sarll has named Carl Dickinson as his assistant manager, having managed the former defender during his time at Yeovil Town where they made the 2020 National League play-offs... Pools midfielder Nicky Featherstone has also signed a new dual contract at the Suit Direct Stadium to become a player-coach for the upcoming campaign...

Former Pools manager Ronnie Moore, who most notably masterminded the Club's survival in the Football League in 2015, will hold the position of Chief Scout... Finally, Lennie Lawrence will remain in a supporting role and as mentor to the football staff".

Hartlepool United also "confirm that Antony Sweeney’s first-team coaching contract will come to an end this month... Sweeney has been involved with Pools for over 20 years...

Sweeney, who was later named club captain by Colin Cooper, departed Pools at the end of the 2013/14 season having made a total of 444 appearances... He returned to the Suit Direct Stadium in 2016 as an Academy coach before taking the step up to the first team staff under Craig Hignett in 2019".

My London News tells us that "Bromley FC's first ever promotion into the English Football League (EFL) is being celebrated this weekend with an open-top bus parade... through Bromley town centre on Saturday, May 11 before celebrating back at Hayes Lane with fans...

The open-top bus is expected to leave from outside the ground by 11.50am on Saturday...

A spokesperson at Bromley FC said... 'We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received throughout the whole season, including Sunday’s win at Wembley. It is so great to have this opportunity to bring these celebrations back to Bromley and we thank everyone all those who have supported us over the years leading to this remarkable time in the club’s history'".


9 May 2024

PARKY "WON'T BE AMAZED" IF CCC LEAVES

In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, John Edwards writes that "Altrincham have included Chris Conn-Clarke on their retained list for next season, but are growing increasingly fearful they may lose him to a Football League club before the campaign gets under way...

But, predictably, his exceptional form in an outstanding campaign for the team as a whole has attracted mounting interest from clubs who have closely monitored his ability...

His 23 goals gave him the best attacking stats in the league, which should at least ensure a substantial fee for Alty if he does move on 12 months after arriving on a 'free'.

Manager Phil Parkinson [said]... 'I would love to reassure everyone that Chris will still be with us next season but, in all honesty, I can’t.

'When a player does what he has done, in terms of goals and assists, the bigger clubs are going to come calling, and it’s very difficult to stop that natural next step happening.

'If he is still with us at the start of next season, I will have the biggest smile on my face you have ever seen. If not, I won’t exactly be amazed.'"

CCC'S REPORTED SUITORS

Whilst Alty fret over the possible departure of Chris Conn-Clarke, Football Transfers identifies his potential suitors.

"Ipswich Town, Mansfield Town, Peterborough and Portsmouth are all monitoring the development of Altrincham attacker Chris Conn-Clarke...

The Robins’ star, who joined in a club-record [sic] move from Fleetwood Town last summer, has drawn the attention of several clubs ...

We are told that newly-promoted Ipswich are keen on the Altrincham man, while Mansfield and Portsmouth believe that he can slot into their first-team ahead of next season.

Conn-Clarke is contracted to Altrincham until 2026 but is expected to depart Moss Lane in the forthcoming window."

ALTY OLD BOYS

From Phil Jordan we learn that in Wednesay's League One Playoff Semi Final, Oxford United substituted OWEN DALE after 79 minutes at Peterborough, but he can look forward to playing at Wembley. There was no further scoring - the game ended 1-1, and Oxford go through to Wembley 2-1 on aggregate to meet Bolton Wanderers.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NEWS

Southend's Echo News claims that "Southend United’s takeover deal is no closer to be completed...

Current Shrimpers chairman Ron Martin had been confident the consortium headed up by Justin Rees would officially be in control of the National League club by mid-May.

But the transaction will not be completed within that time-frame due to two outstanding conditions.

The [new] consortium continue to fund the club and paid April’s wages and VAT to take their outlay to £3.5million since agreeing terms with Martin for the sale of the Shrimpers back in October.

The club are due back in the High Court on Wednesday May 15 to face another winding up petition".



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Alty Files Website Index

The following pages, which initially replicate those pages with the same web addresses which formed part of the official Club website, will be re-branded from 2018 as part of this new unofficial Alty Files site.

A/Z Site Index to The Alty Files at www.altrinchamfc.co.uk