- 26 August 2016: SUPPORTERS' TRAVEL TO KIDDERMINSTER... More
- 26 August 2016: NEXT OPPONENTS: CURZON ASHTON... More
- 25 August 2016: CENTRAL DEFENDER ARRIVES ON LOAN... More
- 26 August 2016: SPORTSMAN'S DINNER WITH ALAN GREEN... More
- 26 August 2016: BANK HOLIDAY OPPONENTS.. More
- 26 August 2016: WATCH UNITED IN STYLE: BID NOW!.. More
26 August 2016
Chairman Grahame Rowley announces that "Radio 5 Live Commentator Alan Green has agreed to be our guest at a Sportsman's Dinner on Friday 21st October in the Community Sports Hall at Altrincham Football Club. Alan has had a long career in radio commentary and has ruffled a few feathers in his time, including Sir Alex Ferguson and Sam Allardyce. His forthright commentary style has often divided opinion among radio listeners.
So why not come along, bring your friends, and ask those probing questions... What happened with Sir Alex, Why aren't you going to Russia for the World Cup in 2018, What are your memories of Hillsborough, and What are your thoughts on the Premier League? Ask these and many more questions to a man who has been involved in football for over 35 years.
Tickets are priced at £25 per head or £200 for a table of 8 (first drink free of charge) and include a three-course dinner, comedian and raffle. Dress code is smart casual".
Please us the attached booking form to reserve your place.
Right: Shaun Densmore, James Smith and Robbie Williams in action at Curzon Ashton in December 2010.
Mike Garnett provides the statistical summary of encounters between the two clubs...
- At Altrincham: P1-W1-D0-L0-F3-A0
- Away: P1-W1-D0-L0-F2-A0
- All: P2-W2-D0-L0-F5-A0
The previous encounters were as follows...
- In the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round in 1992/93 Altrincham beat Curzon Ashton 3-0 at Moss Lane in front of a crowd of 594. The scorers were Freeman, Hayde and Harris.
- The other meeting of the clubs was in the FA Trophy, when the sides actually met twice, the first match on 11 December 2010 being abandoned at the Tameside Stadium owing to a half-time floodlight failure with The Nash leading 2-1. In the replayed game, on 14 December 2010, Alty won 2-0 as Robbie Williams volleyed home from close range in the 84th minute before a Chris Denham penalty, in injury time, saw the home keeper dismissed and Denham blasted the penalty home.
So, Curzon Ashton visit the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday for their first league match against Altrincham. In addition to Danny Hall, and substitutes Liam Tomsett and Ryan Brooke, who featured in Curzon's last game (see below), their website also includes two other players on the club's books who have worn the Alty shirt; they are Simon Woodford and Matthew Flynn.
In their last match, against AFC Telford United, Curzon Ashton report that "The Nash could not take advantage of numerous opportunities. Telford arrived at the Tameside with an identical start to the season as their hosts Curzon. Had this game been decided on chances created then it would have been a high scoring draw!
For the first 20 minutes both sides cancelled each other out in the midfield areas with no real efforts on target... Curzon started to take control of the game around the 30 minutes mark creating three headed opportunities in as many minutes but all failing to hit the target... But on 35 minutes, Curzon in their best move of the half broke the deadlock. Breaking well, the ball finally found Ryan Hall on the right and he found Cummins at the near post with a low cross with Cummins side footing home from 5 yards out...
Telford were getting a lot of joy down their right hand side through Evans... On 60 minutes, Evans, again attacking down the right produced the cross for Reynolds to strike home into Burton's bottom right hand corner to pull Telford level... In the last 10 minutes Curzon were presented with two golden opportunities, on 80 minutes Cummins headed down a Howard cross to the feet of Hazeldine who from 10 yards out blasted his effort well over the crossbar then 3 minutes later Cummins, again free in the Telford’s box, side footed wide!...
Curzon: Burton (C), Rowney, Guest, Hunt, D Hall, R Watson (Gorman), R Hall (Wright), Howard, Cummins, Hazeldine, Ennis. Subs: Tomsett, Mason (GK), Brooke, Wright, Gorman".Stalybridge Celtic who report that "Celtic went with a game plan, and it nearly worked, limiting Kidderminster’s chances to the bare minimum, though their class showed through with a decent goal and a gift... Celtic more than held their own against the Harriers... However, the hosts went ahead when last ditch defending blocked Keith Lowe’s initial drive from the edge of the box, the ball falling nicely for Mani Diesruvwe, who needed no first touch as he drove it back in with a powerful drive...
A needlessly conceded corner led to Kidderminster’s vital second, former Celt, Arthur Gnahoua took a penalty spot bound corner, and nobody picked up Tyrone Williams who raced into the box to plant his header past Tony McMillan.
Celtic came out in the second half, and looked the more determined team. With good link up play, it wasn’t long before Celtic were only a goal behind. Danny Pilkington’s deep free kick from the half way line was met by a crush of bodies at the back post, with Nick Ryan getting the telling touch to halve the deficit...
After an altercation in the centre circle, in which Ashley Carter did something serious enough for Celtic to sub Danny Pilkington, the Harriers' player was dismissed with a straight red. If anything, the sending off did Celtic few favours, as Kidderminster dug in, and pulled the game back into their favour".
Harriers' team was 1. Hornby, Sam, 2. Williams, Tyrone 3. Francis-Angol, Zaine 4. Carter, Ashley 5. Lowe, Keith, 6. Tunnicliffe, Jordan, 7. Waite, Tyrell, 8. McQuilkin, James, 9. Diesruvwe, Mani, 10. Ngwatala, Elton 11.Gnahoua, Arthur 12. Austin, Sam 14. Truslove, Liam, 15. Croasdale, Ryan, 16.Brown, Andre, 17. Thomas, Wayne
And Kidderminster Harriers report that "The FA have confirmed that Ashley Carter is to serve a three-match suspension for his sending off at the weekend... against Stalybridge. His suspension begins with this weekend’s trip to Boston United, meaning he’ll next be available to boss John Eustace for the journey to AFC Telford United on Tuesday, 6 September 2016.
The gaffer commented after Saturday’s game, 'I was disappointed with the manner in which he was sent off and we’ll be having a word with him about it. Both players were at it and Carts got caught by the referee. He’ll be dealt with; I was disappointed he reacted in the first place'".
Also "Harriers' midfielder George Forsyth has joined Yate Town on loan. George joins fellow Harrier, Jono Brown, at Yate, the shot-stopper is currently on loan there until January. Forsyth will spend an initial month with Yate".Away Travel page. Bookings can be made by ringing the club on (0161)928-1045 during weekday office hours.
There's nothing quite like being there, though, is there? Nothing to match witnessing first-hand the drama and excitement of a Manchester derby given extra spice by two of world football's most decorated coaches renewing their rivalry, not to mention Zlatan Ibrahimovic trying to outdo Sérgio Aguero in the scoring stakes and Paul Pogba mixing it with City's midfield.
The only guarantee is it will be a sell-out, and two lucky Altrincham followers could be among the 75,000-plus packed in to Old Trafford after chairman Grahame Rowley announced he has two hospitality tickets for the game and is putting them up for auction.
The winners will have a day to remember, with the package including a meal at the Hilton Hotel at Manchester Airport, transport to the match and good seats in the home section at Old Trafford.
All proceeds will go to the AFC Community Trust, to help expansion of the Club's community activities, and bids can be emailed to Grahame or texted to 07720 606897. Bidding is open now, and there will be regular updates on how it is progressing on the club's website, the Fans' Forum and social media outlets".
Bidding has now reached £250. Further bids can be placed up to 31 August, so place yours now!
- AFC Fylde v FC Halifax Town
- AFC Telford Utd v Stockport County
- Altrincham v Curzon Ashton
- Boston United v Kidderminster Harriers
- Brackley Town v FC United Of Manchester
- Darlington 1883 v Alfreton Town
- Harrogate Town v Nuneaton Town
- Salford City v Gainsborough Trinity
- Stalybridge Celtic v Gloucester City
- Tamworth v Bradford Park Avenue
- Worcester City v Chorley
25 August 2016 Airbus UK Broughton announce that their manager "Andrew Thomas has swooped for the signature of winger Jamie Menagh (right) from National League North outfit Altrincham. The Liverpool-born 22-year-old is a midfielder who can play centrally or out wide and is also a dead ball specialist...
[He was]re-united with manager Neil Young, who had brought him to Chester, by signing for Stockport County last December and then following Young to Altrincham in May."
Jamie made one appearance, from the bench, for Altrincham, at Gainsborough last Saturday.
A Crewe Academy product who shone for Nantwich, Cheshire-based Moran became Rovers manager Mark Cooper's first signing of the summer after accepting a two-year deal with the Vanarama National League club at the beginning of June. Sensing the chance for the versatile 19-year old (d.o.b. 20 June 1997) to gain valuable experience at The J.Davidson Stadium, while Hannigan recovers from a knee ligament injury, Cooper consented to a request from Alty opposite number Young for the loan deal to go through.
Moran can operate at right-back, as well as centre-half, and he arrives at Alty with a growing reputation as a strong, reliable defender with a bright future. He was a member of the Crewe under-18 side that took the eye a couple of years ago, when they included Arsenal's renowned youngsters on their list of scalps en route top the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.
It is a timely breakthrough for Young, in his quest to bolster an injury-hit squad, with two games in quick succession this Bank Holiday weekend. A trip to Kidderminster on Monday follows Saturday's home game with Curzon Ashton, and Moran will be availavble for both".
Wed 24 Aug:
- Darlington 1883 2-0 Chorley (att. 1,543)
In images courtesy of Keith Edleston, we see above (left) Megan hurdling the keeper and other action from the game. Below, we see Anna breaking forward from midfield.
"A lovely, sunny day dawned on Sunday down at Mersey Valley Sports Club, where our visitors for our third pre-season game were Leigh RMI Ladies. The pitch was looking well after a morning "Vets'" game on it and was a very lush green colour so it all bode well for a cracking game. I organized four tough games for the girls this pre-season, as I like to test them and pick stuff out to work on rather than just turn up and beat a team 6-0. I really think you don't learn anything about yourselves from doing that.
Well, after a chat on how we wanted to play, we witnessed some superb passing football, from the first whistle, all over the pitch (especially building up from the back). This was appreciated by a decent sized crowd.
A shot from the edge of the box from a corner saw Laura Dodds put us 1-0 up and set the tone for a high intensity game. Leigh played their part in it, as well, and an equalizer from them saw us go in 1-1 at the break. Second-half goals. one a fine debut goal for our young striker Megan Wright, a Laura Dodds penalty and a fine finish from Brogan Walsh eased us to a 4-1 win.
Both teams played their part in an entertaining game and I wish Leigh RMI Ladies the best for the new season. Plus-points for me were the way we asked the girls to play, which was taken on board and applied, Megan scoring her first goal and everyone in the squad that day got some quality game-time in preparation for the new season. Onward to our last pre-season game this coming Sunday, when we face a trip up the Wirral to face a stern final test against Tranmere Rovers LFC, with 2pm kick-off.
We're looking forward to the 2016/17 season and hope to see you down at Mersey Valley Sports Club to watch a game or two this season. I'm sure you won't be disappointed".Stockport County says that the club "has received 1,500 terrace tickets and a very limited number of seated tickets for our all-ticket away match against Altrincham on Saturday 3rd September. As the allocation is limited we will be selling them strictly according to the process below. Once again, we have made the purchase of a ticket for this match as fair as we can whilst allowing us to control the sale of tickets to County fans only.
Wheelchair and Carer applications are explained further down this article.
FIRST DAY OF SALE - SEASON TICKET HOLDERS ONLY. Thursday 25th August at Edgeley Park Ticket Office from 7-8pm. Season Ticket holders must hand over voucher 'B' from their Season Ticket book. A maximum of two match tickets can be redeemed per voucher.
SECOND DAY OF SALE - SEASON TICKET HOLDERS ONLY. Friday 26th August at Edgeley Park Club Shop from noon-4pm. Season Ticket holders must hand over voucher 'B' from their Season Ticket book. A maximum of two match tickets can be redeemed per voucher.
THIRD DAY OF SALE (AND ONWARDS) - OPEN TO ALL SUPPORTERS. Saturday 27th August at Edgeley Park Club Shop from 9am to 11am. No limitations on the number of tickets purchased.
WHEELCHAIR DISABLED AND CARERS. There are two places for wheelchair disabled fans (plus one carer each) at Moss Lane. Wheelchair disabled fans are asked to phone the Club Shop to acknowledge their interest in match tickets between noon and 4pm on Thursday 25th August... A ballot will be drawn with Season Ticket holders given preference, and the two successful fans being notified on Tuesday 30th August.
SEATING IS VERY LIMITED AND AVAILABLE FOR CONCESSIONS AND FAMILIES ONLY... Be advised that any concessionary ticket purchasers are likely to be challenged for proof of age or appropriate supporting evidence for their concession at the turnstile. You may be denied access and have your ticket confiscated if you are unable to do so."Boston Target tells us that "Boston United boss Dennis Greene shuffles pack again as injury crisis deepens. Dennis Greene says he has never experienced such a severe injury crisis than the one currently derailing his side's start to the season.
The Boston United boss has welcomed a fixture-free midweek to give some of his players a chance of recovery...
'I have never come across anything like this as a player or as a manager,' said the frustrated Boston boss. I currently have eight players unavailable for selection. Six of those would be very probable starters, so it is really hurting us at the moment. What is also baffling is that a lot of them seem to be struggling with hamstring problems and we just can't understand why there are so many'...
Greene has ruled out going cap in hand to the United board... 'There are so many out with injuries that if I did that I would be knocking on the chairman's door every day,' said Greene. 'We are going through a tough time at the moment. The only thing we can do is hope that we can find pro clubs who will let their academy players come on loan for nothing. But, even then, you are asking a lot of an 18 or 19 year-old player to come into this environment and play at this level for the first time without making mistakes.'
Greene says there is some positive news. Defender Nat Brown was due to have a scan on his thigh this week, while striker Waide Fairhurst is thought to be two weeks away from a return... Two players injured in training, Callum Chippendale and Lewis Hilliard, are close to returning to action, while Herve Pepe-Ngoma and Jay Rollins could be back as soon as this Saturday when Kidderminster visit the Jakemans Stadium.
'If we could get those two back it would help the group enormously, especially in midfield,' said Greene. 'We have two very tough fixtures this weekend so, with so many out, it is going to be tough,' said Greene. 'But, looking on the bright side, there were no fresh injuries on Saturday, so that's a bonus'".
Darlington 1883 report that "The Vanarama National League have been in touch with the club to advise that they have received several tweets recently from Quakers fans about the usage of Darlington 1883 as the club’s name on the Vanarama National League’s website. The League advises us that, as far as it is concerned, it doesn’t have the authority from the Football Association to change the Darlington 1883 name and it is duty bound to continue using the Darlington 1883 name as long as it is the club’s legal identity that is registered with the Football Association, HMRC and other authorities. There will therefore be no change to the National League website."
The Chorley Citizen confirms that "Chorley FC manager Matt Jansen has been impressed by the Magpies work-ethic after an impressive start to the season. Back-to-back wins against Bradford Park Avenue (3-0) and then over Boston (2-0) have put the Chorley Group Victory Park outfit just outside the top five of the Vanarama Conference North by just two points.
Jansen has been pleased how the side had tightened up at the back in recent games. He said, 'We conceded three goals against FC United of Manchester on the opening game and they came from mistakes... In the matches since then [we have had] three clean sheets. We have made ourselves very difficult to break down... It is not just about ability, we have got a great team but you don't win titles or get success with players of the best ability'.
On Saturday, Dale Whitham opened the scoring... against Boston United. Josh O’Keefe converted from the penalty spot five minutes later following a handball in the box... Jansen insists he was delighted that his midfielders Whitham and O'Keefe were on target.
He said, 'That was Dale's second goal of the season and we want our midfielders to join in. With a midfielder sitting deep it means that that other one either Josh or Dale can get forward. Josh also scored a penalty so it was good to get that off our backs (where Chorley had missed efforts against Kidderminster and FC United of Manchester).... Ihave got two or three players missing out from the squad because we are so strong. But I have told the players that it is not about being in starting 11 now but they will be involved during the season'...
He said, 'It is a really strong league you have the likes of FC Halifax town, Kidderminster Harriers, Harrogate, Stockport and Salford City who will be up there'".
24 August 2016
- AFC Fylde 3-3 Salford City (gate 1,832)
The Altrincham starting eleven comprised: Andrew Jones, Harry Cain, Callum Charlton, Tom Clarke, William Foster, Sam Heathcote, Charlie Joyce, Billy Hasler-Cregg, Jamie Menagh, Danny Hattersley, Boris Melingui. The substitutes were Ryan Barry, Josef Faux and Joel Swift.NL Pitchero reports that "Midfielder Michael Monaghan has left AFC Telford United, citing a lack of game time. A young attacking midfielder, Monaghan had only joined the Bucks in June 2016 after an excellent season with Burscough. The 20-year-old scored 22 goals for the Linnets having previously played for Skelmersdale United."
23 August 2016
Q: You would have been looking for a positive reaction to the Fylde game, Neil, but the conditions didn't do you any favours, did they, with a swirling wind ruining it as a spectacle?
A: It wasn't ideal, but I don't want to make excuses, because it was the same for both sides. I thought we played the better football in the first half but they changed their system to match us up. Basically, there are three things going on at the moment. There's a rather large lack of confidence as a consequence of what happened against Fylde, we are struggling defensively in terms of experience at the heart of the back line and we are not creating a great deal at the other end. That's not a good recipe, and I fully accept the last two performances have not been good enough.
A lot can be made of that but the fact is we are missing some big players, such as Tom Hannigan, Shaun Densmore and Craig Hobson. Tom's injury has left us without a recognised centre-back who's got experience of playing at this level. We can't afford the luxury of having three or four proven centre-backs on contract, so injuries have really hit us.
Q: It was such a weather-disrupted game, with chances few and far between, it looked like ending 0-0 until we conceded goals you can't have been happy about?
A: They both came from mistakes by us. We had the ball for the first but gave it away, then let a cross come over from the left when it should have been stopped. Even when the cross came in, we didn't defend it well at all. The second came from a long throw down the line, and we just switched off. That was really disappointing. We still did enough to have got something out of the game. We had a great chance in the first half, when Damian Reeves headed Sam Patterson's cross wide from close in and, in the second half, Reevesy created his own opportunity for a left-foot shot that went wide and Sam Heathcote had a chance from a corner just before he came off.
But I'm not papering over the cracks; the second half wasn't good enough. We are not creating enough and we know it. We had three good performances and results to begin with but we've lost our way a bit since. We are assessing that and trying to put it right. In some areas, we are not quite right.
Q: How do you put it right, exactly?
A: We are desperately in need of at least one centre-back. Apart from Tom's injury, John Cyrus has been playing with a knock. It's nothing serious but he's not 100 per cent. Alan Goodall (left) had been playing really well in midfield alongside Jake Moult but I've had to move him back to provide that know-how and experience in defence. He's done that, but we've missed his input in midfield.
The schedule hasn't helped. I've said before it's ridiculous the amount of games we play at the start of the season. Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, and this weekend Saturday and Monday. The other managers say the same. Billy Heath at Halifax was saying he's short of numbers, even with the size of his squad.
Q: So what's the latest on injuries and possible comings and goings?
A: Well, Callum Preston has left the club. We had a chat about things and reached the decision it would be best for him to try and find another club, because he's travelling a fair way to be with us and isn't going to be number one. We will look for another keeper to challenge Andrew Dawber, particularly with a double-header this weekend but there aren't a lot out there who are prepared maybe to sit on the bench. That was one factor with Callum. Apart from the travelling, he wanted to be playing games. I have got great confidence in Andrew. He is going to be a top keeper. All it needs is a bit of patience.
Khuis Metz should be available for Saturday, though we will know more after an update from Burnley on Wednesday. Same with Craig Hobson, though we'll be better placed to judge on Thursday, and I would expect Sean Miller to be fit for the weekend as well. I'm still hoping we'll have a couple of new faces in shortly, at least one centre-back and some pace out wide. We are working on bringing in an injection of pace in at least one of the wide areas.
Q: Adam Sumner's debut at left-back was one of the bright spots at Gainsborough, didn't you think?
A: Considering he hadn't trained with us and was only introduced to the rest of the lads on the bus, I thought he did extremely well. We had him playing wing-back in the first half, when he's actually an out-and-out left-back, but he slotted in seamlessly. Just like Sam Patterson (right) on the right, he looked neat and tidy. It's easy to be negative, and rightly so in terms of our last two results, but we will work with the lads we've got and, at the same time, do our utmost to strengthen in absolutely key areas, up front and central defence. Those are the ones causing us the biggest problems".here. here.
Other results in the NWYA Premier Division were
- Chester 3 Chorley 0
- Morecambe 4 Warrington Town 5
- Skelmersdale United 2 Curzon Ashton 3
The Blues were defensively sound and finally got that rub of the green in front of goal that Trinity boss Roma said ‘would even itself out over the season’... Both sides started rather shakily after the defeats in midweek with misplaced passes being the common theme for the opening 20 minutes. The visitors arguably should have been ahead by then though as Damian Reeves glanced a header wide when unmarked in the area...
Trinity could not take advantage of all the positive work they were putting in and were almost caught out by the outrageous when James Lawrie tried to beat Jonathan Hedge from the halfway line, with the result too close for comfort... Thewlis controlled a deep cross to set up Wiles who’s shot ended up being the perfect pass for Rothery. Rothery managed to turn the ball goalwards and it squirmed out of the reach of Dawber and Worsfold prodded home...
The Robins did threaten the Gainsborough goal passed [past?] the hour mark. Firstly a cross fell at the feet of Heathcote and he could not rearrange them quick enough before poking over. Four minutes later, Reeves managed to turn Quinn in the box with the finish floating well wide... The game was won though with six minutes to go when substitute Jacob Hazel pounced on a defensive error, marauded into the box and squared Rothery to seal the three points."Worcester News reports that "Worcester City boss Carl Heeley admits he is still searching for his strongest 11 after a winless start to their season. City secured only the second point of their Vanarama National League North campaign on Saturday with a 1-1 draw at FC United of Manchester.
Returning full-back Tyler Weir and midfielder Danny Jackman made their first appearances of the season at the weekend. Defender Andy Gallinagh, forward Jordan Murphy and winger Chekaine Steele were recalled to the starting line-up after City lost 3-2 to Gloucester last Tuesday. City are expected to make further changes for Saturday’s clash against Chorley at the Victoria Ground (3pm) with attacking midfielder Ebby Nelson-Addy suspended and full-back Cieron Keane likely to return.
Heeley believes his side have looked 'a little bit rusty' in the opening five games but he feels their inability to sign players earlier in the summer had not helped their cause. 'When we get all of our players available to us, I think we will be stronger,' said Heeley, who has been without Connor Gater (toe), Richard Batchelor (thigh) and Kieron Morris (hand) through injury. 'We are still looking around for our strongest 11 and formation. That comes as a result of not having the players in place early enough in pre-season... whereas when you get your players in early you work on those things in pre-season so you can hit the ground running'".
In the Shrospshire News we learn that "Boss Rob Smith is ready to dip into the transfer market again as he aims to make AFC Telford United a force in National League North. The manager has vowed he 'will not rest'” until the Bucks are challenging at the top end of the table and is eager to fill the space left by Friday’s exit of midfielder Lee Fowler.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Curzon Ashton left Telford 14th, with five points from as many games. Smith believes... 'We are probably one or two or three away from being a very good team. I want to get up the right end of the table soon. I think Saturday was a game we should have won'...
Summer signing Fowler left by mutual consent less than a fortnight into the campaign... The manager was left fuming at what he described as a 'disgraceful' first-half performance on Saturday, which left the Bucks needing a resurgence in the second 45 minutes to salvage a point. It was not an afternoon without positives, however, with striker James Hurst seeing his first action in a Telford shirt. The 24-year-old appeared as a second-half substitute, less than three weeks after undergoing surgery on a groin injury...
Added Smith, 'He was miles off match fitness and you could see that. But it is half-an-hour into him and he has a full week of training ahead'".
Meanwhiles, "Captain Gianluca Havern has promised AFC Telford will get better... Danny Reynolds salvaged a 1-1 draw... But Havern accepted the first half was simply not good enough.
'We didn’t start the game right in my opinion,in everyone’s opinion,' he said. 'At half-time we changed things up, stuck together and got a point. That said, I can’t defend that first 45 minutes. The lads were a bit down about that. Something is not quite clicking at the moment, but we look solid at times and I think we will be OK', he said...
A fuming Smith had branded Saturday’s performance “'unacceptable' and apologised to fans who travelled to watch the team. 'The commitment level in the first half was disgraceful and I apologise to the supporters on behalf of the players,' said the manager".