an unofficial website

July, 2009

31 July 2009


Altrincham FC send out 16 players each week to compete for the club in the top flight of non-League football. As supporters, there are at least 16 ways that you, too, can help the club through the current nationwide economic crisis. And all of the ways suggested below can be both enjoyable and profitable for you. Throughout the year there will be social events to attend and schemes to join, through which you can win cash or other benefits - all of which also benefit your football club. Please support as many of these initiatives as you can. Listed below, with the time-limited ones first, are just some of the ways that YOU can help...

  • 1. Enjoy a Cricket Dinner in the company of the touring Australian cricketers at the Cresta Court Hotel in Altrincham on August 31st - tickets £45
  • 2. Book a holiday through Going Places or Thomas Cook. Mention the Alty Holiday Club and you will get a discount
  • 3. Join the Altrincham FC Patrons' Scheme
  • 4. Join the Friends of Altrincham Football Club
  • 5. Take out an Alty player's shirt sponsorship
  • 6. Sponsor a match at Moss Lane or a match ball - ring the club for details (0161 928-1045)
  • 7. Join the Altrincham FC Pontoon scheme
  • 8. Join The Altrincham Supporters' Club - TASC. TASC run initiatives which include the goal sponsorship and recycling old mobile phones schemes
  • 9. Join the Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee - just £1 a week can net you thousands of pounds. Or, become a Yankee collector and earn commission.
  • 10. Get an Altrincham FC season ticket or otherwise attend all the Altrincham FC matches at Moss Lane - and don't forget to buy a programme and Golden Goal ticket.
  • 11. Please patronise the Club's refreshment facilities and use the bar (Noel White Suite) on matchdays. You can also book an event to be held in the bar - tel.928-1045
  • 12. Buy Alty merchandise and football programmes at the Robins' Shop or via the Ebay shop or Online shop
  • 13. Support Alty on the road by using the TASC away-travel supporters' coaches - you miss some of Alty's best performances if you only watch the home games!
  • 14. Enrol your children in the Altrincham FC Juniors or in the Junior Robins. They could also spend 20p on a bag of sweets in the shop.
  • 15. Volunteer! There are plenty of jobs to do at Moss Lane including stewarding, ground upkeep, ballboy/girl duties etc. Ring the club on 928-1045 or e-mail to offer your services
  • 16. Spread the word; tell your friends and work colleagues about the joys of watching Alty and bring them to a match!


    Altrincham FC will admit holders of other clubs' valid season tickets for just £5 for the opening league fixture of the season on Saturday, 8th August, against Ebbsfleet United. For details, see right...


    An Alty trialist last year is in the news as The BBC confirms that "Bury have signed midfielder Damien Allen on a one-year deal. The 22-year-old ex-Stockport man left Morecambe in the summer after making 24 appearances in two years and had a successful trial at Gigg Lane".


    Thursday's play in the Umbro International Tournament, in which Altrincham FC Youth are participating, was rained off. As a result, the whole competition has been revamped. All previous results have been expunged and Altrincham have been put in a new group, E, which comprises Alty and three other teams. The matches are as follows, all on pitch 9 at the University Playing Fields at Northenden:
  • Friday 31st July, 11.30am v Stretford Vics
  • Friday 31st July, 2.30pm v Downers Grove (USA)
  • Saturday 1st August, 11.30am v Salinas Soccer (California, USA)
  • Saturday 1st August, 1.30pm v Isle of Man FA


    News of our first league opponents this season comes from the Gravesend Reporter which tells us that "Liam Daish took his tally of contracted players up to nine on Tuesday evening after the long-drawn-out £55,000 sale of Michael Gash to York raised much-needed funds. Gash's move to the Minstermen - which netted Ebbsfleet £48,000 once a payment of £7,000 was handed to his former club, Cambridge City - made a 'considerable difference' to the playing budget, according to the Fleet boss. He wasted little time in beginning to spend the timely cash injection either, agreeing deals with left-back Jordan Collins, right winger-cum-striker Jamie Forshaw, forward James Lindie and left winger Ishmael Welsh in midweek. An extra £12,000, raised by MyFootballClub members, helped the 40-year-old land Ricky Shakes as well and he remains hopeful of announcing further signings this week.

    'It's coming together as best it can at the moment', Daish told the Reporter. 'I'm getting inundated with advisors and agents trying to place players, so it's about keeping your nerve and waiting for the right ones to come around. We're currently in ongoing talks with some players that possibly people will know and who are maybe a little bit more accustomed to the Blue Square Premier. There are still a lot of players out there that are unattached and the window is open for another month'. The new recruits join captain Darius Charles, Lance Cronin, Steven Springett and Michael West at the club".

    According to the Oxford Mail "Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas says he is still waiting to find out the terms of Dean Whitehead's transfer from Sunderland to Stoke City to discover how much Oxford could be entitled to from their sell-on clause. The initial £3m fee for the transfer could rise to £5m, it's reported, and this is believed to depend partly on appearances. United are due 25 per cent of the fee, minus the £325,000 they sold him for in 2004".

    Stephen Vaughan yesterday issued a statement to the Chester Chronicle: “On May 26, 2009, Chester City Football Club 2004 Ltd completed the purchase of Chester City Football Club Ltd via a CVA for £290,000 which gave creditors 15p in the pound. Each creditor then had 28 days to appeal the decision and the HM Revenue and Customs appealed. On Tuesday of this week, through a judge’s discretion, the CVA was revoked because of the connected creditor.

    This doesn’t affect the sale and purchase agreement between Chester City Football Club Ltd in administration and Chester City Football Club 2004 Ltd, the new owners. It is a setback because it has resulted in the FA membership not being transferred from old company to new, so we’re working together with our administrators to have our membership accepted.

    That has had an adverse effect on the pre-season games, losing the income streams that we forecasted in our cash-flow projections, and we’ve had to arrange a number of training sessions and 11-a-side games behind closed doors. So we are now waiting to get acceptance of our FA membership and we are still looking forward to the first game of the season at Grays Athletic on August 8, but unfortunately that will be the first time the fans will see the new team in action.

    Chester City Football Club 2004 Ltd purchased the club on May 26, 2009 and are the owners of Chester City. The FA may find it fitting to penalise us further but we await the outcome of their decision. The following questions from the FA need answering satisfactorily to enable us to get our membership:

  • They require a copy of the Chester City Football Club 2004 Ltd annual accounts.
  • They need supporting evidence of forecast income streams and wage salary figures.
  • They need to know if the £225,000 parachute payment provided by the Football League is going to satisfy all footballing creditors.
  • They want confirmation from Cheshire West and Chester Council that they are happy to transfer the lease of the Deva Stadium.

    We have to convene a board meeting with professional advisers to amend the articles of association to satisfy the criteria of FA rule 12, and we’ve had to give them assurances that Chester City Football Club 2004 Ltd fully agree to comply with whatever is necessary for FA membership to be transferred".

    The Chronicle adds that "Soho Square officials must now decide whether to grant the new company behind the Blues the required affiliation that would allow them to resume playing and take their place in the Blue Square Premier – despite not having a CVA in place. If they do not, the club faces the very real threat of closure. Last night there were no clues as to whether City would be given a last-minute reprieve...

    Meanwhile, Conference chiefs meet on Monday for a board meeting in which Chester’s plight will be high on the agenda. Dennis Strudwick, general manager of the Conference, told The Chronicle last night: 'The matter is being dealt with in tandem by the Conference and the FA. We haven’t set a deadline but an outcome is a matter of urgency as there are only 10 days before the start of the season. We are seeking information and once we’ve received that information we hope it will enable us to facilitate Chester City in the league next season'... City must therefore hope that, like Leeds United two years ago, they are granted an FA Licence even though they do not have a CVA in place. Leeds, however, were hit with a 15-point deduction and Chester, who will already start the season on minus 10, would be likely to receive a similar punishment or worse. As an unaffiliated club, the Blues have not been able to play pre-season friendlies... The visit to Blue Square North club Droylsden on Saturday (3pm) could yet go ahead though. The fixture is in memory of Neil ‘Tony’ Downes from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, who was killed in Afghanistan. As an exceptional circumstance, the FA may allow the friendly to take place. Chester boss Mick Wadsworth, meanwhile, has agreed a deal for experienced striker Glynn Hurst".

    And the Liverpool Daily Post adds that "Stephen Vaughan was upbeat last night about the Conference club’s chances of obtaining the vital affiliation to the Football Association.... 'We have had a number of discussions with officials from the FA who have been extremely helpful... We will provide all this information in the next 48 hours and hopefully we will then be granted our affiliation' said Vaughan. He continued: 'We have also received a letter from the chief executive of the Conference, who requires various assurances by August 3. Naturally we will send the details that are requested, and give the assurances that are needed'"."

    200% explains why HM Revenue & Customs objected to the CVA. "What, then, were HMRC objecting to? Insolvency laws relating to Company Voluntary Arrangements are pretty specific, and HMRC lost their legal status as a preferred creditor several years ago. The amount believed to be owed by Chester City to HMRC was in the region of £1m. It’s a sizeable amount of money, and under normal circumstances it might have given HMRC a blocking vote against any proposed CVA (any creditor owed more than 25% of the total amount of money to be included in the CVA can block the approval of the arrangement). In the case of Chester City, however, there were £4m of other debts to be taken into account. The HMRC could vote, but they didn’t have a blocking vote in the case of the Chester City CVA. The arrangement was agreed at a creditors’ meeting on June 11th... The 1986 Insolvency Act only allows two specific grounds for the revoking of a CVA - either the CVA unfairly prejudices the interests of a creditor or shareholder, or there has been some material irregularity at the shareholders’ or creditors’ meeting. The judge’s verdict, therefore, was a damning indictment of whatever has been going on at Chester over the last few months or so".

    NL Daily says that "Ian Roper insists it was manager Mark Cooper's ambition that convinced him to join Kettering Town. The 32-year-old central defender completed his move to the Elgood's Arena from new league rivals Luton Town... Roper, who made over 300 appearances for Walsall, and last season performed for new league rivals Luton Town, was Cooper's preferred choice to replace Guy Branston at the heart of the Poppies' backline. And Roper revealed 'I had another year's option at Luton but I spoke to the manager here last week and he sold the club to me and I am glad to have signed now', he said".

    "Tamworth assistant manager Darron Gee is hopeful the club's injury crisis will clear up in time for the Conference Premier curtain-raiser at Stevenage Borough" reports This is Tamworth. "The Lambs' 16-man squad has been ravaged by a series of injuries in the past week – which forced the club to postpone their pre-season friendly at Chasetown on Tuesday night... He believes some injuries should clear up... [but] Dominic Langdon (broken foot) and Gavin Hurren (knee) appear to be long term injuries. Others in the walking wounded – Richard Tait and Jake Sheridan – are hoping to resume training shortly... 'It's just something that we have to cope with. The board made it clear to us, given the current climate, what our budget would be at the start of the close season... What we have had to do is spend our budget as wisely as we can and have gone for quality rather than quantity. In an ideal world you would have a 20 man squad but we are not in a position to do that'", said the assistant manager.

    Meanwhile "Tamworth's home clash with Wrexham on August 11 has been postponed due to international call-ups. The move comes after Wrexham's Neil Taylor, Chris Maxwell and Marc Williams were called into the Wales under-21 squad for their clash with Hungary on August 12. Wrexham would also have been without Silvio Spann, who has been called into the Trinidad squad. The match will now be played on Tuesday, August 25".


    Tim Fuell, Press Officer at Hayes & Yeading United FC has contacted one of his counterparts at Altrincham, Brian Flynn, to say that "As well as my role with Hayes & Yeading, I am a journalist specialising in Non-League stories and am involved in the BBC Radio Non-League Show hosted by Caroline Barker on a Monday evening. In addition, I am part of a team aiming to serve the Non-League audience with a new source of information and entertainment. A number of projects will be officially announced very soon the first of which will be a new website in time for the new league season... This is a serious competitor in the Non-League market, backed by some big names, but it's success is of course dependent on the content so any stories or ideas you have would be very well received".
    30 July 2009


    Altrincham Youth's FA Youth Cup match against Daisy Hill will take place on Wednesday, September 9th at 7.45pm at Moss Lane. Admission will be £3 for adults and £1 for concessionaries.


    Pre-season trialist Aaron Chalmers has opted not to join Altrincham FC.


    The Stroud News & Journal reports that "A club insider alleged Forest Green manager Jim Harvey had been involved in a breach of contract, but insisted he had not been sacked. The club said the 51-year-old went home after feeling ill, but Harvey insisted he was fine. Harvey is believed to have applied for the manager's job at Cambridge United. As one of the most experienced bosses in the non league elite, he has also been linked with jobs at Aldershot, Oxford United and Stevenage Borough in his time with Forest Green. An announcement on Harvey's future is expected at 4pm today".


    The Welsh Premier site confirms that "With 423 Football League appearances under his belt, experienced defender Mark McGregor is joining Gap Connah's Quay from Altrincham as player/manager... Chester-born MacGregor, 32, started his career as a trainee at Wrexham... In six years with the Welsh club he racked up over 250 appearances before moving to Burnley... [and] Blackpool in July 2004 before moving on to Port Vale... but was released by manager Lee Sinnott in April 2008... and, after an unsuccessful trial with Mansfield Town, arrived at Altrincham, where he made 41 appearances, occasionally as captain.

    'Mark’s appointment comes after the club were made aware of his desire to move into coaching and management and he was taking the crucial decision of his future in the game', says a statement from the Nomads. 'Altrincham FC were extremely positive in supporting Mark’s move and we are extremely grateful for their co-operation'...

    Meanwhile, moving in the opposite direction is former TNS defender Rob Williams, who has completed his move to the Robins".


    Altrincham joint press officer Brian Flynn writes:

    It's a big night on Tuesday for Altrincham Football Club with V.I.P guests on and off the pitch. Members of the Australian cricket squad, currently involved in a titanic struggle with England for the Ashes, will be attending the Robins' final pre-season fixture against Manchester United.

    Above: Australian cricketers Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting are seen here with Geoff Goodwin in August 2005 during the epic 2005 Ashes Tour when the Australians visited Altrincham. The picture was taken by Gavin Rathbone in the Altrincham boardroom and the trophy shown is the Cheshire Senior Cup.

    Altrincham Chairman, Geoff Goodwin, is currently driving the Australian cricket team throughout their tour as his Go Goodwins coach company has a long-term contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board. Goodwin said 'We've been very fortunate as the game against Manchester United falls between the two Test matches at Edgbaston and Headingley. I'll be driving our brand new Van Hool Astron luxury coach over from Leeds on Tuesday afternoon and we're hoping that most of the squad will be on board'.

    Two people who will definitely be attending are captain Ricky Ponting and team manager Steve Bernard. 'I've been friends with Ricky and Steve for a number of years now and they have always taken a keen interest in Altrincham's fortunes. They have recently become shareholders as well, as I have donated 500 of my shares to each of them', said the Robins' Chairman who is going into his eighth season at the Moss Lane helm.

    On the pitch, Manchester United have promised to send a strong team to Moss Lane. Vice-Chairman, Grahame Rowley, explained that 'Manchester United Reserves have been playing their home games at Moss Lane since last November and they requested that we improve our dressing-room facilities during the close season, in return for which they would send a strong team for this game. There is a match at Old Trafford against Valencia on Wednesday and we won't know the United squad until Monday but, with the array of talent that they have at their disposal, we are confident that there will be some high profile names included'. The game kicks off at 7.45 p.m. on Tuesday August 4th".

    Altrincham FC season ticket holders are admitted free. Otherwise admission prices are £7 (£2 concessionaries).


    There is no under-18 category in the Umbro International football tournament taking place in Manchester this week. So Alty's team, many of whom are actually well under 18, have to play against under-19s. It is not surprising, therefore, that they found the going tough on the opening day of the tournament on Wednesday:
  • Altrincham FC Youth 0 FC United of Manchester 3
  • Allerton FC 0 Altrincham FC Youth 0


    TASC's Steve Foster writes,

    TASC invite all supporters to join the goal sponsorship scheme. We are happy to have any arrangement, whether to sponsor for every goal the team score, every clean sheet the team have, every goal an individual player scores, or even every penalty that Stuart Coburn (or any other keeper!) makes.

    As previously, we will be updating you during the season of how much your sponsorship has cost you and we propose that the money should, as before be paid in a couple of instalments.

    As last season, the names of the goal sponsors and the amount that they have sponsored will be published in the programme, and, at the end of the season, a framed photograph of an image of your choice will be sent out to you.

    For sponsors of last season, Jon Stack informs me that he will have the framed photos ready to send out, or collect shortly. If anyone is interested in renewing their sponsorship for this season. Please send me an e-mail and I will add you to the list.

    Thanks, Steve.


    Steve Foster writes:

    For the new season, TASC are relaunching the mobile phone recycling scheme. Our target for this year is to raise the same amount as last year. We raised over £804.87 from 131 phones last year. As last year, please hand your old mobiles in to any member of the TASC committee, or to the boxes in the bar or shop, or to the club's offices during normal office hours on any working day.


    Altrincham host Burton Albion this Saturday (3pm) at Moss LAne. The Burton Mail says that "Long-serving defender Aaron Webster seems certain to miss the start of Burton Albion’s first campaign in the Football League. The 28-year-old full-back has been plagued by a calf problem... Other players who have so far had limited pitch time during Albion’s pre-season games are likely to be given a full outing against the Rams [in a friendly], including Darren Stride. The 33-year-old club skipper is being eased back after a week’s lay-off because of an ankle injury... Defender Ryan Austin, winger Jimmy Phillips and strikers Shaun Harrad and Richard Walker can also expect to start the game".


    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot stands at £1500. This week there were three winning "trebles", each of whose code holders won £66.67. To join the Yankee follow the link.


    At Chester City a club press release states:

    "On the 26th May 2009, Chester City Football Club 2004 Ltd completed the purchase of Chester City Football Club for £290,000 via the exit from a CVA. On the 28th July 2009 the High Court judge ruled in favour of HMRC by the way of the judges' discretion to revoke the CVA. Although acknowledged that this is a major setback for Chester City Football Club 2004 Ltd and has cost the football club valued revenue by not allowing our pre-season fixtures to be played, it has no effect on the purchase of Chester City Football Club by Chester City Football Club 2004. Chester City Football Club 2004 Ltd are now working with Refresh Recovery Limited to have the membership transferred from 'old co' to 'new co' by the football Association. On this basis, Chester City Football Club 2004 Ltd have arranged behind closed doors training sessions games with other football clubs.

    We can only apologise to our fans on the fact that there will be no home fixtures for them to attend until the 11th August 2009, Chester City v Gateshead. Further penalties may be imposed by the Football Conference who, unlike the Football League, do not have a policy rule of exceptional circumstances, but do tend to mirror-image the FA. The forthcoming fixture against Droylsden FC may still take place. This fixture is in the memory of Neil 'Tony' Downes from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards who was sadly killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on saturday 9th June 2007. As exceptional circumstances the FA is considering the fixture to take place".

    More news comes from the Liverpool Daily Post which reports that "Chester City have been thrown into further turmoil, after a high court judge ruled in favour of HM Revenue & Customs' objection to the club’s recent CVA. The judgement effectively means that Chester are in limbo, and must now go cap in hand to the Football Association to try and get them to affiliate a new controlling company of the Deva Stadium outfit.

    The FA had previously refused to accept City’s application for affiliation, stating that they were awaiting outstanding paperwork and the outcome of yesterday’s court ruling... The state that City find themselves in, is similar to that of Leeds United a few seasons ago. The Yorkshire club, after much haggling, were eventually granted affiliation, however they started that season on minus 15 points.

    Chester’s new boss Mick Wadsworth has had to prepare his players for the new campaign without the luxury of playing friendly matches... This latest set back in a Manchester Court could well mean the end of the club in its current form, Chester’s fate now lies firmly in the hands of the Football Association".

    News of our opening-day of the season opponents comes from the Football Conference says that "Liam Daish, manager of Ebbsfleet United, has confirmed the signing of five players ahead of the new season. Following members raising over £12,000, forward Ricky Shakes rejoins Ebbsfleet and in addition, Daish has signed four players who have all been on trial at the club - Jordan Collins (left-back), James Lindie (centre forward), Ishmael Welsh (left-wing) and Jamie Forshaw (right midfield/forward). The five players have each been given contracts for the 2009/10 season. Daish continues to negotiate with several other well as with Dean Pooley, who was with the Fleet last season, and is hopeful of news of more signings within the next seven days".

    In a friendly at Vauxhall Motors "On a night when manager Dean Saunders said he more interested in the defence getting 45 minutes together, he was certainly given plenty of food for thought" report Wrexham. There was a shock in store for the visitors as early as the very first minute, when Chris Noone chased as long ball and was obstructed by Chris Maxwell on the edge of his box, with the keeper conceding his second penalty in as many games. [Ex-Alty] midfielder Chris Lane stepped forward to send Maxi the wrong way, sending the local youths jumping for joy behind that goal". Wrexham eventually won 5-3.

    The Football Conference announces that:

    "The new version of the Football Conference website came on line on 1st July... The following are the three key points we wish to stress in its operation:

  • It is the only official source of data in respect of all Conference football with regards to fixtures, results and tables
  • It is updated at regular intervals on a daily basis, with all that is current and relevant, with regards to news items from member clubs and matters affecting those clubs
  • It has reviews of matches within hours of the final whistle, whenever and wherever Conference football is taking place".

    "Kidderminster Harriers have completed a deal to sign former Cheltenham Town captain John Finnigan on a two-year contract, as of August 1st. The experienced campaigner, 33, has made more than 400 career appearances... Wakefield-born Finnigan started his professional career with Lincoln City in 1997 where he featured regularly for more than four seasons... Since 2002 he's been one of Cheltenham's most influential and popular players with a hustle and bustle, all-action approach from central midfield".

    The Conference also says that "Chesterfield have signed striker Drew Talbot on a two-year deal after he negotiated his release from Luton Town".

    Meanwhile "Rotherham United came from behind to beat York City 3-2 at the KitKat Crescent. New signings Tom Pope and [ex-Alty man] Kevin Ellison both found the net for the Millers, cancelling out Andy Ferrell's opener in the second half, which was followed by an Andy McWilliams own goal and a close range effort by Ellison to secure a comfortable win".

    The BBC confirms previous reports that "Salisbury coach Tommy Widdrington will take control of the first team this season with manager Nick Holmes becoming general manager... whilst Holmes works on a takeover of the club. Widdrington, who joined the club in 2005 as a player, told BBC Wiltshire... 'I will have the decision on picking [the players], that's the only difference from last season. It's a natural progression for myself. Nick's probably been forced into it because of the situation at the football club, but I class me and Nick as a team', he added. Widdrington also revealed that six of the players on trial at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium have signed on to start the season at Salisbury. Sean Clohessy, Jamie Turley, Danny Spence, Stuart Andersen, Ryan O'Hara and Bradley Grey have all agreed short-term deals, with a view to extended contracts when the protracted takeover of the club is finally completed".

    "Courtney Pitt has been offered a fresh chance by new manager Martin Ling as he made his debut at the Cambridge United helm in last night’s 1-0 home defeat to a Liverpool XI" reports the Cambridge News. "The winger was put on the transfer list by former boss Gary Brabin... But Pitt was thrown on for the second half by Ling... and the new manager said he felt the U’s longest-serving player could remain an important part of the squad. Ling said: 'To me, in central areas of midfield we’re okay, but in wide areas we’re one short... There’s a talent there. It’s my job to get the talent out'".

    On Wednesday on Tyneside, The Chronicle told us that "Gateshead will clinch the signing of former Ireland under-19 striker Darren Forsyth ahead of tonight’s pre-season friendly against Hartlepool United at the International Stadium... The 21-year-old, who has League of Ireland experience at Shelbourne and Bray Wanderers, will sign a one-year deal with an extra year’s option. Gateshead boss Ian Bogie is delighted to capture Forsyth, whose two Ireland caps were against Portugal and Ukraine. Bogie said: 'Forsyth paid his own flight over from Dublin in an attempt to secure a contract at Gateshead, and after what we’ve seen we’re delighted to give him one... He is 6ft 2in, has a good touch for a big man and knows where the goal is'.

    Gateshead now have a three-pronged attack, with Graeme Armstrong and summer signing Steven Richardson already at the club – but Bogie is keen to make it four... Gateshead have also signed former Magpie Neale McDermott, the son of former Newcastle, Liverpool and England midfielder, and United backroom boy, Terry McDermott. McDermott junior, 24, has been playing in Belgium after spells at Fulham and Carlisle United... 'McDermott is a central midfielder who will give us something different', added Bogie. 'He gained Football League experience on loan at both Swindon Town and Darlington and has a good engine'. Gateshead will complete a hat-trick of signings, with left-back Phil Cave returning to the club on a permanent basis following a spell at Scottish outfit Livingston".

    According to The Comet Stevenage "Boro boss Graham Westley admitted losing Mitchell Cole to an ankle injury is a 'body blow'... It is not yet known how long Cole will be out for but he was taken to hospital after being stretchered off during Boro's 2-0 defeat against Peterborough United at The Lamex Stadium on Tuesday evening. With Andy Drury also still sidelined, Westley said his creative resources are being severely tested ahead of the big kick-off against Tamworth on August 8 although it is up to the rest of the Boro squad to find a way to cope without them".

    Yesterday AFC Wimbledon boss "Terry Brown announced that Calum Willock will not be joining the club. 'I went through our position with Erik Samuelson this morning to look at the finances of the deal. Understandably, Calum is keen to sort out a club for the entire season and at this stage we were unable to offer him the security and commitment he was looking for'".

    29 July 2009


    Robbie Williams has been allocated squad number twelve for next season, whilst Russell Saunders will wear number thirteen. With yesterday's departure of Mark McGregor, (who was no.4), Tom Kearney has now been given number four, having previously been assigned number twelve.


    Altrincham FC manager Graham Heathcote has confirmed that central defender Robbie Williams has now signed for the club. Six-foot five-inch Robbie was at Welsh Premier club TNS last season. For his career details, please see the Players Page.


    Members of the Australian cricket squad are expected to be at Moss Lane next Tuesday for the visit of a Manchester United XI (k.o.7.45pm, 4th August). They will attend as guests of Altrincham FC chairman Geoff Goodwin. On their tour in 2005 Altrincham FC were honoured to receive the full Australian squad to a pre-season match at Moss Lane, the visitors including the likes of Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting and Jason Gillespie. Next Tuesday's match is free to Alty season ticket holders and costs £7 for those paying at the turnstile, (£2 for concessionaries).

    Geoff has also announced that he has donated 500 shares in the Altrincham Football Club to Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting and manager Steve Barnard. Geoff, who is currently driving the luxury coach carrying the touring Australian cricketers to their matches on England, has long been a close friend of the two Aussies, as well as forging strong links with the rest of their squad.

    In addition, a Cricket Dinner has also been arranged at the Cresta Court Hotel in Altrincham on August 31st at which Steve Barnard and guests from the touring party are expected to be in attendance. Tickets are £45 and can be purchased via Altrincham FC (928-1045) or by e-mailing Alty vice-chairman Grahame Rowley.

    As Tuesday's Manchester Evening News reports Geoff's firm "has secured funding for a new luxury coach to transport the Australian squad during this summer's tour... Go Goodwins secured funding from Yorkshire Bank to buy the Van Hool Astron, which has 38 leather seats, satellite TV, a kitchen and tables. Geoff said, 'We have been working with the England and Wales Cricket Board for almost 10 years now and this vehicle will enable us to continue offering the very best levels of quality and service that our customers expect'. After the Ashes, the coach will be used by other international cricket teams touring the UK.

    Ian Walkden of Yorkshire Bank's Manchester Centre said, ' We have enjoyed a longstanding business relationship with Go Goodwins and the company continues to be a successful and highly professional transport operator'. Geoff has been at the helm of Go Goodwins for 30 years. It is family-owned and its roots go back five generations".


    Altrincham FC photographer Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography was back at Moss Lane for last Saturday's game against Bolton and, as ever, took some excellent action photos. Here (right), we see Russell Saunders making one of a number of cracking saves.

    Gavin, in conjunction with TASC's Peter Foster, is currently working on a new Altrincham FC calendar, details of which will appear here shortly.


    Altrincham host League Two club Burton Albion this Saturday at Moss Lane (3pm). The Burton Mail tells us that "Albion boss Paul Peschisolido believes midfield recruit Jacques Maghoma could emerge as a major signing... The 21-year-old free transfer capture from Tottenham Hotspur has consistently caught the eye during Albion’s build-up to the new campaign... In the weekend friendly against Birmingham City’s Academy side... Maghoma earned the plaudits with a superb winning goal in added time... Alongside the capture of Russell Penn from Kidderminster Harriers for a club record deal of around £20,000, Albion’s boss has assembled a strong midfield department. John McGrath and Michael Simpson continue to occupy the central positions, but Maghoma and Penn give the Brewers boss the options he has been looking for...

    Meanwhile, the Brewers boss is running the rule over former Derby County full-back Richard Jackson. The 29-year-old defender, who was released by Hereford United at the end of last season, is currently trying to work his way back to fitness by training with Albion... Marc Edworthy, another former Derby player, is also training with Albion and has featured in most of their pre-season games. Both players are comfortable at right-back, where Peschisolido might be looking to provide competition for Andy Corbett".


    Nantwich Town Football Club "are pleased to announce that Peter Hall is the successful applicant for the vacant head coach position. The club would like to thank all the unsuccessful candidates and wish them well in the future. Peter has named Kev Street as his assistant".

    "In the Arthur Clancy Memorial game at the Tameside Stadium, hosts Curzon Ashton edged out neighbours Ashton United 2-1. Curzon's goalscorers were James Ogoo and Chris Curley [ex-Alty youth], while Pat McFadden [ex-Alty first-team] replied for the visitors" reports NL Daily.


    TASC chairman Brian Flynn writes:

    The first TASC Golf Day took place on Friday at Mobberley Golf Club and, despite a couple of short sharp showers, we were generally fortunate with the weather. An individual competition using the Stableford Points System produced the following top three, each of whom received a shield & Golf related gift.

  • 1st Nick Singleton
  • 2nd Alan Marks
  • 3rd Brian Flynn

    Nick Singleton also won the prizes for the longest drive on the thirteenth hole and nearest the pin on the eighteenth hole.

    The event raised £110 for Altrincham Football Club and TASC would like to thank Eric Robinson (Mobberley Golf Club Captain and Altrincham F.C. Vice President) and Gary Donnison (Mobberley Golf Club Professional) for their help in organising the event and providing the prizes.


    The Northwich Guardian rpeorts that "The tax man wants Northwich Victoria to pay back a larger fraction of their six-figures debt. HM Revenue and Customs – owed around £450,000 by the Blue Square North club – asked for more time to negotiate with Jim Rushe at a creditors’ meeting yesterday, Monday. He has since made an improved offer. 'I’ve gone back to them with a revised figure', he said this morning. 'It’s up to them now'. He could expect a reply as soon as today, Tuesday.

    Rushe’s original proposal for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with creditors, to repay part of the club’s debt, offered a dividend of 25p in the pound over five years. Three quarters in value of those owed cash must support the plan for Vics to survive in their present form. The company – Northwich Victoria Football Club (2004) Ltd – has been in administration since the beginning of May.

    The Guardian has asked for an update from finance experts Refresh Recovery Ltd – currently the legal owners of the club – but so far nobody from the Skelmersdale-based firm has replied. Every creditor will be entitled to vote on Rushe’s higher dividend offer, although the Guardian understands that none were against his original proposal. That means a deal with the tax man is pivotal... If the improved terms of his CVA are accepted, Rushe will buy the club back using a new company. That in turn will free him to complete a £1.3m deal, agreed earlier this year, to become the next owner of the club’s Victoria Stadium home".


    Chester City have issued a press release;

    On the 8th July 2009 in the High court of Justice, Chancellery Division in Manchester, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) filed an application challenging the approval of the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) which was originally approved at a meeting of creditors held on the 11th June, 2009. At a hearing held in the Manchester High Court and concluded today His Honour Judge Pelling QC ruled in favour of the application by HMRC in respect of a debt owed by Chester City Football Club Ltd to a connected creditor and revoked the approval of the CVA. Martin Shaw of Refresh Recovery Ltd, and the administrator in this matter stated that the decision by the Court, on the application of HMRC, is a setback to the new owners of the club. However, we are actively talking with the Football Association in relation to the impact that this decision will have upon the transfer of the membership to the FA. The new owners and I are working with the Football Association to ensure that the club can commence playing matches when the new season starts on the 8th August, 2009. Further communications will follow when appropriate. For further information please contact Refresh Recovery Ltd, Martin Shaw/Bill Brandon on 01695711200 or Turner Parkinson Solicitors’ Will Jones on 016 1833 1212.

    A Chester supporter on the Football Forum explains that the above, "Translated into English means that the result of the court hearing is that the CVA has been overturned. The club will therefore re-enter administration. By the rules that means we should be relegated from the BSP as per Appendix E, however it remains to be seen whether, if the club even survives the administration, with the season now only days away we may be given a huge additional points deduction and allowed to play out the season on the basis that they can't arrange for us to be entered into another league at this late stage. Whatever happens this is a truly dark day in the history of our club".

    "Prospect Estates Holdings have recently agreed to reduce their shareholding in Crawley Town Football Club in exchange for an investment into the club. This has resulted in helping secure the future of the club in these difficult times. We would like to emphasise Prospect Estates Holdings have not received any of these extra funds and Tom Scott, despite ill health, continues to support the club and we thank him for his generosity. It is no secret the current owners inherited significant bad debts and problems from the previous owners and it has been a constant struggle to overcome these. We realise we still face difficult times ahead like all businesses and individuals. However, we continue to work hard to put Crawley Town Football Club on a secure financial footing going forward.

    The shareholders now are: B. Winfield, Prospect Estates Holdings Limited, J. Duly, WTS Limited with no one party holding a controlling interest".

    According to the Daily Post "Gareth Taylor is set to lead the line for Wrexham this evening [Tuesday] when they continue their pre-season build up at neighbours Vauxhall Motors. The veteran striker has fully recovered from the virus that kept him away from training last week, as have midfielders Steve Abbott and Simon Brown... Only Marc Williams, who was 21 yesterday, and captain Ashley Westwood are a cause for concern with foot and shin problems respectively, but the Dragons' boss said yesterday: 'Marc seems to be recovering, while Ashley is seeing a specialist today'...

    Former Senegal striker Lamine Sakho, who was signed last Thursday subject to a successful medical, was in for training for the first time yesterday, and Saunders [added]'We’ve got a Portuguese goalkeeper on trial and I’ve got a couple in the pipeline with just one or two places in the squad that need to be filled'".

    from the Cambridge News we learn that "Histon have received a five-figure financial boost ahead of the new Blue Square Premier campaign. Suffolk-based company Omar Homes will sponsor the backs of the Stutes' home and away shirts for the next two years. The deal will earn Histon £60,000 and chairman Gareth Baldwin thinks the cash injection can help them maintain their ambition of pushing for promotion to the Football League.

    Omar Homes is headed by Histon director Paul Pleszko, while Tony Roach, who joined the club's board recently, is also part of the business. Baldwin said: 'For a club of our size to attract a company of the size of Omar Homes - albeit through one of our directors - is very, very exciting... Getting this revenue gives us the confidence to go and compete with the bigger clubs in this league'. Plans are already in place to install toilets at the away end of the Glass World Stadium, while other stadium improvements are in the pipeline".

    Luton Today says that "Energetic striker Drew Talbot could yet play a part in Luton Town's Blue Square Premier campaign according to boss Mick Harford. A contractual clause, meaning the Hatters would have to pay Talbot a sizeable amount more a week if he played one more senior game for the club, limited his chances at Kenilworth Road last season and eventually saw him farmed out on loan to League Two rivals Chesterfield.

    With the Spireites failing to follow up their initial interest over a permanent move, the flame-haired forward has impressed for the Hatters during their pre-season preparations. And Harford was full of praise for the hard-working 23-year-old frontman, saying: 'In my opinion he has never been out of the picture. He has looked sharp and looks very bright'... Talbot has struggled in front of goal for the Hatters, hitting just five goals in 63 appearances, but his tireless industry and non-stop running have created plenty of chances for his team-mates and endeared him to the Kenilworth Road faithful".

    28 July 2009

    SQUAD PHOTO 2009-10

    The Altrincham FC squad photo was taken tonight in pouring rain at Moss Lane. Mark McGregor is not on the photo as he is expected to sign for a Welsh Premier club tomorrow. Goalkeeper Russell Saunders signed for Altrincham FC tonight; the former Wigan Athletic youngster has impressed greatly in pre-season.

    Back row: Robbie Williams, Aaron Chalmers, James Smith, Matty Crowell, Russell Saunders, Stuart Coburn, Richard Acton, Greg Young, Dale Johnson, Danny Heffernan, Michael Welch. Middle row: Danny Heathcote and Charles Heathcote (kitmen), Nicky Clee, Shaun Densmore, Chris Denham, Tom Kearney, Matt Doughty, Anthony Danylyk, Ian Senior (goalkeeping coach), Sean Riley (physio). Front row: Derek Wilshaw (club secretary), Colin Little, Geoff Goodwin (chairman), Graham Heathcote (manager), Robbie Lawton (captain), Ken McKenna (assistant manager), Grahame Rowley (vice-chairman), Chris Senior, George Heslop (company secretary & youth team manager).


    Alty Youth players (l. to. r.) Stelvio Rocha and Alfred Kunabie are seen, right, in action against Congleton Town on Sunday.

    NL Daily reports that "Veteran Bury Town and former Cambridge United, Northwich Victoria, Altrincham, Stevenage Borough and AFC Sudbury goalkeeper Dean Greygoose has decided to hang up his gloves after twenty-seven years in the game. The 44-year-old shot-stopper who joined the Zamaretto League Division One Midlands club in 2006, will remain at Ram Meadow as goalkeeping coach and will combine this with a joint-manager role for Ridgeons League side Team Bury alongside Neil Reader.

    Greygoose said: 'I just felt that enough was enough. I have loved my time as a player at Bury, but after suffering from a long knee injury last season I just felt the time was right to start my management career'. Greygoose added that he had been offered deals from other clubs but that he had always been keen to stay at Ram Meadow... Born in Thetford, Greygoose enjoyed an impressive football league career. After making his break at Cambridge, Greygoose went on to have spells at Leyton Orient, Crystal Palace and Crewe Alexandra as a professional. The custodian made eighty-seven appearances for arch rivals AFC Sudbury, before joining Bury from Soham Town Rangers three years ago" adds the Bury Free Press.

    NL Daily also says that "The lack of pre-season goals may be of some concern to Buxton’s management team but every player is looking fit with re-signed Kieran Lugsden once again catching the eye".

    "A goalkeeper, who was jailed for blackmailing a Premier League footballer over sexual images, has been signed by a Lancashire team. Ashley Timms, who used to play for Manchester City's youth team, made his debut for Bacup Borough FC on Saturday. The 23-year-old was jailed in August last year for making unwarranted demands with menaces on his victim. He threatened to publish a video of his victim having sex with a 19-year-old woman if he was not paid £15,000. Mr Timms has now secured a place with the North West Counties Premier Division club... Bacup FC manager Brent Peters said: 'I am highly delighted to have secured the services of Ashley Timms, who is a top quality goalkeeper. Unfortunately he did make a mistake in his life and for that mistake he did pay the price. His past is his past, it is important now that we all look to the future, I am confident the lad will become a top quality Football League keeper'.

    Timms played with Manchester City's under-19 side and had spells at Shrewsbury Town and Accrington Stanley". He also played for all three Altrincham teams (youth, reserves and first-team), in the space of ten days in 2003.


    The Northwich Guardian says that "Jim Rushe will ask Northwich Victoria’s creditors – owed collectively more than half a million pounds – to accept around a quarter of that sum. The proposal is to be put to a vote later today (Monday). 'I’ve done as much as I can', he said... 'Now we’ll have to wait and see what happens'. Finance experts from Refresh Recovery Ltd have been in talks with the tax man – thought to be owed around £450,000... Rushe’s proposal for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with creditors to repay a fraction of the debt, includes an offer of a dividend of 25p in the pound over five years.

    Three quarters in value of those owed cash must support the plan for Vics to survive in their present form. It is not known which way HM Revenue and Customs will vote. Rushe claims to have ploughed £325,000 of his own money into the club since taking control in December 2007. Former backer Nick Bone has done the same... The company – Northwich Victoria Football Club (2004) Ltd – has been in administration since the beginning of May. As a result the Football Conference has imposed a 10-points penalty... If the terms of his CVA are accepted, Rushe will buy the football club back using a new company. He will then be free to complete a £1.3m deal, agreed earlier this year, to become the next owner of the Victoria Stadium".


    Cambridge United confirm that "Martin Ling is Cambridge United's new manager. The 43-year-old has signed a three-year-contract and returns to management six months after leaving Leyton Orient. Ling was in charge of the O's for five and a half years, making making him the sixth longest-serving boss in English football as he led Orient from the brink of dropping out of the League to League One following promotion in 2006... An exhaustive interview process saw over 100 applicants reduced to a four-man shortlist...

    Born in East London, his playing career began with Exeter City as an apprentice and he made 109 league starts between 1984 and 1986 before a £25,000 move to Swindon, which was quickly followed by a £15,000 to Southend United where he spent five seasons, making 126 league starts and twice winning promotion from Division Four in 1987 and 1990... In 1991 a two-month spell at Mansfield was followed by a £15,000 return to Swindon, where he stayed for over five years and made 132 league starts, winning promotion to the Premier League via the Division One play-offs in 1993.

    Another long stay followed at his next club, this time Leyton Orient, where he recorded another 152 league starts over four years. After a brief spell at Brighton in 2000, where he made eight appearances, he rejoined Orient later that year as a coach and worked with their youth and reserve teams until he was appointed manager in December 2003... Taking over a side second from bottom of the league on 27th September 2003, he turned around their fortunes... Ling successfully kept the club in League One... With limited funds, last season was tough and when the O's dropped into the relegation zone... and Ling and his assistant Dean Smith left the club by mutual consent. Since then Ling has been scouting for Hibernian and setting up a network of scouts for the Scottish Premier League side".

    "Peterborough United have signed a second Crawley youngster in the space of a week with midfielder Romone McCrae agreeing a two-year deal. The 18-year-old - who never made a competitive start for Crawley - joins striker Danny Mills at London Road. Crawley boss Steve Evans told the club website: 'I can confirm that terms have been agreed for the transfer of young Romone McCrae. He is a fantastic talent and it is nothing less than I expected'" reports tha BBC.

    "Luton have signed Portsmouth striker Callum Reynolds on loan until January. The Luton-born 19-year-old started his career with Rushden and Diamonds before Paul Hart took him to the Premier League South Coast side. Meanwhile, Harford is set to meet with striker Drew Talbot to see if he can persuade him to stay at Kenilworth Road" says the BBC.

    Your Local Guardian says that "Allan McLeod admits his head is still spinning after the defender completed an amazing u-turn and returned to Tooting & Mitcham less than a month after quitting the club to join Grays Athletic... He said: 'To be perfectly honest I still don’t know exactly what happened. I went there, I had my discussions with them and I signed a contract and then nothing happened. The whole thing has been a bit of a shambles. I need people to be straight with me and Grays were anything but. I gave them time but then I just had enough of it. When I do not know what is going on behind the scenes then that is time for me to leave. They really mucked me about so I just went to see the bosses, shook them by the hand and said that is me out of here'...

    From the Oxford Mail we learn that "Former chairman Nick Merry has stepped down as a director of Oxford United... for 'personal reasons'. It...leaves chairman Kelvin Thomas as the sole director. Thomas, though, has been stating for some time that he is looking at restructuring the board. It was Merry who, as part of the consortium Woodstock Partners Limited, and headed up by Ian Lenagan, which bought Oxford United for £1 from former chairman Firoz Kassam in March 2006... He played youth football for the club in the 1970s... Woodstock-born Merry made his money in the United States, running a now defunct Florida-based dental biotechnology company called MicroDenteX, as well as investing in gemstones in Guinea...

    Merry, who is in Africa, stressed that he wasn't cutting his ties with Oxford United. 'I'm still very much connected because I own 50 per cent of the football club!' he said. 'I've just resigned as a director for personal reasons. My travels are becoming more excessive'".

    27 July 2009


    The Altrincham FC stewards are pictured here, courtesy of Darren Gregory. They do a great job in ensuring everyone's safety at Moss Lane. If you would be interested in joining the team, please contact Darren via the club (928-1045).


    Alty Youth drew 2-2 with Congleton Town Youth on Sunday afternoon at BTH. Alty were without six of their players, who had been selected for the Cheshire County FA trials. Report in the Youth section.

    The draw for the Umbro International Tournament in which Altrincham FC Youth take part has been made. Altrincham are in Youth B League B and their group stage fixtures are:

  • Altrincham AFC v FC United of Manchester on 29/07/2009 at 09.30
  • Allerton FC v Altrincham AFC on 29/07/2009 at 14.30
  • Salinas Soccer (California) v Altrincham AFC on 30/07/2009 at 12.00
  • Altrincham AFC v Stalybridge Celtic on 30/07/2009 at 17.00
  • Bossmo & Ytteren (Norway) v Altrincham AFC on 31/07/2009 at 12.00
  • Altrincham AFC v Manchester Gregorians on 31/07/2009 at 15.45

    The NW Youth Alliance, in which Altrincham FC Youth play, announces that there are now three league divisions. Altrincham remain in the Premier Division, whose other members in 2009-10 will be:

  • Curzon Ashton FC
  • FC United of Manchester
  • Marine FC A
  • Morecambe FC
  • Nantwich Town FC
  • Prescot Cables FC
  • Salford City FC
  • Stalybridge Celtic FC A
  • Woodley Sports FC


    Nicky Clee has yet to appear in pre-season for Altrincham owing both to his cricket commitments - he plays for Marsden CC in west Yorkshire - and a slight injury. Yesterday he took part in the warm-up for Alty and was named on the teamsheet as a substitute but did not take to the field during the match. He is one of five Clees playing for Marsden, and his cricket statistics are here. Nick is seen, right, at Moss Lane on Saturday.

    Another Alty man with West Yorkshire cricket credentials is Chris Senior, whilst manager Graham Heathcote also has cricketing skills, being involved with Urmston CC.

    Also at Moss Lane on Saturday was Michael Welch, who is recovering from his ankle operation. Michael is still on crutches and it is hoped he will be fit to play again in the autumn.


    Bolton Wanderers has a good report on Saturday's game at Moss Lane. "A youthful Wanderers side were held to a 3 - 3 draw by Altrincham in an entertaining encounter at Moss Lane... The Bolton side, comprising reserve and youth team players, were given a thorough workout by the Conference National side... It looked as though the young Wanderers side would hold on for victory, but with five minutes remaining, Altrincham grabbed their second equaliser of the afternoon. Altrincham substitute Robbie Williams headed a Tom Kearney free kick onto the crossbar, but the rebound was stabbed home by Greg Young, ending the scoring in this compelling contest".


    The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) "has teamed up with a supplier called Cult Zeros to offer supporters a range of made to order Altrincham FC T-shirts (seen left). The T-shirts are available in all men's, women's and children's sizes, a wide range of colours and will feature an image of any player that you choose, along with whatever text that you require.

    The T-shirts are priced at £13.99 each and be can be purchased here. All T-shirts ordered through this link will earn the club a 20% commission. This is also the case if you order non-Altrincham shirts using this link.

    We are currently in the process of providing Cult Zeros with pictures of the 2009/10 squad and management team, although Colin Little and Dale Johnson T-shirts are already available to order. Samples of these T-shirts can be viewed in the TASC section of the Club Shop on matchdays, starting this weekend.

    If you wish for any other past Altrincham player to be made available, please contact TASC Chairman Brian Flynn or Membership Secretary Anthony Wright and we will do our best to find a suitable image to use.

    Remember you must type in or copy & paste the affiliate link - - into your web browser for Altrincham Football Club to benefit from the 20% commission.

    * Please note that TASC does not condone the use of abusive comments regarding players or the management.


    In Saturday's friendlies, Paul Ellender turned out for Retford United.


    The Non-League Paper says that Oxford United will "cash in to the tune of £670,000 immediately" from their sell-on clause for Dean Whitehead who has been transferred from Sunderland to Stoke City.

    Meanwhile, Eric Whalley, the new director of football at Chester City says of his club's current inability to play games because of an FA ban, "I promise it will be totally resolved this week".

    At Salisbury City "Tommy Widdrington has taken control of team affairs...a move that has resulted in assistant manager Barry Blankley leaving the club. Blankley told the NL Paper that the reason was that "Tom and I don't get on... We don't like each other".

    Hayes and Yeading United have signed Team Bath defender Sami el-Abd and Adam Green, a former Fulham youngster.

    26 July 2009


    Right: Bolton keeper Lainton saves as, (l. to r.), Robbie Williams, Chris Senior (9) and Tom Kearney (6) are in attendance.

  • Match report here


    The Welsh Premier site reports that an Alty trialist this summer was playing in Wales yesterday. "Trialist Paul McManus struck the winner as Airbus UK Broughton beat Unibond League outfit Kidsgrove Athletic 2-1 at The Airfield... The second-half introduction of lively former Chester City youth McManus, who spent time at Bangor City last season, added some impetus to the Wingmakers' attack and he grabbed the winner with a well-taken strike from another Cook delivery".


    The Press confirms that "York City finally got their man as the £55,000 signing of Michael Gash was confirmed after last night’s 2-0 friendly win at home to Hartlepool United. The 22-year-old Gash travelled to York for a medical and to agree personal terms. He was at Bootham Crescent for the game, settled by second-half strikes from Levi Mackin and Jimmy Jackson, but the move was not sealed until after kick-off because a vote of Ebbsfleet’s cyberspace owners, MyFootball Club, was not concluded until late on. And in a further boost rugged defender Djoumin Sangare has also agreed the contract offered by the Minstermen.

    However, the capture of Gash, favoured by a 94 per cent vote by the Ebbsfleet electronic following, brought to an end one of the longest pursuits of a player in the Minstermen’s recent history... Said a relieved manager, Martin Foyle: 'It’s been a saga, a real saga. It’s been one of the longest transfers I have ever been involved in and likely to be... I am so pleased because I really rate the lad. His hold-up play is excellent, he’s the right age and the most important thing is he wants to play for York City'...

    It was back in June that it was first revealed City had tabled an £80,000 bid for Gash, defender Darius Charles and midfielder Neil Barrett. Only Barrett arrived after the joint cash offer for Gash and Charles stalled when centre-back Charles announced at the 11th hour he did not want to move north... An offer of £55,000 [for Gash alone] – some £30,000 up front followed by a second payment of £25,000 due on New Year’s Day, 2010 – was resubmitted to Ebbsfleet...

    While money has not changed hands for defender Sangare, City boss Foyle was also delighted at getting the defender to sign terms. 'He’s another one for the future. He’s got a lot of strength and that’s going to be important once we get the new season underway'”.

    25 July 2009


    This is Staffs says that "Former Rocester front man Tony Hemmings has joined the old boys network at Hillsfield with the ambition of becoming a manager. Boss Alan Beaman was ideally looking to bring in a player-coach, but is delighted to welcome the return of Hemmings, who he handled during the early days of his playing career. Hemmings has taken on the role of first-team coach, and Beaman said: 'Tony is up for it. He is as keen as mustard and is a taskmaster, so he will be a big asset to the club and me. He wants to be a manager, which will enable me to take a step back. He will be a big bonus'. Hemmings, who lives in Burton-on-Trent, was assistant-manager at troubled Gresley Rovers last season and at the age of 41 also turned out in a handful of games. But Gresley's financial problems led to them quitting UniBond Division One and going into liquidation, although a new club Gresley FC has now been formed and admitted to the East Midlands Counties League. Hemmings had a colourful career that also took in Chesterfield, Macclesfield, Hednesford, Gloucester City, Altrincham, Ilkeston, Chester City, Carlisle and Tamworth, but has now returned to where it all started".


    Above: it may not look like it from his relaxed look but Dale Johnson (10) has just put the ball in the net for Alty's second goal at Trafford.

    Trafford FC have a report on the Alty game on Thursday. It says "Trafford were brought back down to earth with a bump on Thursday night when they were demolished 7-1 by Blue Square Conference aristocrats Altrincham at Shawe View. The gulf in class was evident from the outset as the Robins repeatedly tore holes in the home defence". This site's match report is here.


    "Despite the uncertainty over their immediate future, Chester City’s new director of football Eric Whalley is savouring the challenge of restoring some of City’s former glories" claims the Liverpool Daily Post. "City are still awaiting acceptance of their 'new company' application for membership of the FA and it is understood that the matter will reach another stage on Monday, when the club’s administrators, Refresh Recovery, will address one of the stumbling blocks in the courts, with representatives of HM Revenue and Customs. However, Whalley, who sold his majority shareholding in Accrington Stanley last month, is upbeat about the future. He said: 'Hopefully I can help to get Chester back into the Football League'... Meanwhile, Chester City’s chief executive, Bob Gray, has taken a tough stance against Jay Harris and David Mannix, who were this week found guilty of breaching FA betting rules while at Accrington Stanley. He said: 'The club are unhappy with the two players because we have suffered as a result of their actions. Chester City have been penalised by their faults and the matter is now in the hands of our solicitors. If players can’t fulfil their duties for a club, then they will have to face the consequences'”.

    Confirmation comes from Ebbsfleet United that they "have received an offer of £55,000 for striker Michael Gash. The club who has made the offer wishes to remain anonymous until the vote is completed. The terms of the offer are as follows:

  • £30,000 on signing
  • £25,000 on 1 January 2010 and a sell-on of 20% of money received should Michael Gash be transferred from the unnamed club in the future

    In addition, the sell on fee to Gash's previous club Cambridge City has been re-negotiated to 15%. This means that should the transfer be approved by members, £7,000 would go to Cambridge City, meaning the Fleet would gross £48,000. If in future Michael Gash is transferred by by the unnamed club, Cambridge City would receive 30% of the 20% that EUFC would receive from the sale.

    Liam Daish commented, 'Weighing everything up, I think this is the right deal for Ebbsfleet United and Michael Gash. It will make a considerable difference to our playing budget and enable me to bring in a number of the players we've been looking at over the last few week. I have spoken to Michael and he has expressed a wish to move on'.

    Club accountant Graeme Swift commented, 'Financially, this looks like a sound move for Ebbsfleet United. It will increase our net playing budget by £890 per week as well as free up the current wages of Michael Gash. It will certainly give Liam Daish more options'. Members will have until 18.00 on Friday July 24 to vote on the offer'". The Ebbsfleet Forum later confirmed the "Vote result on sale of Michael Gash to unnamed club:

  • Accept £55,000 offer for Michael Gash (2215 votes) 94.2%
  • Reject £55,000 offer for Michael Gash (136 votes) 5.8%
  • Abstain (7 votes)".

    "Dean Saunders, manager of Wrexham, has agreed a deal to sign former Oldham Athletic striker Matthew Wolfenden" reports NL Daily. "Wolfenden, who was 22 earlier this week, was told by Oldham on Tuesday that he was free to find a new club... Saunders was happy to hand him a one-year deal... Explained Saunders 'He works hard, has an eye for goal and will be a big asset... We have brought another forward in, but I am still looking for another. We still have five or six in mind despite the news about Andrew Mangan'" who was poised to become a target for the Dragons, reports the Evening Leader.

    The BBC adds that "Wrexham are poised to strengthen their striking options... Ex-Leeds United frontman Lamine Sakho, 31, has agreed a one-year deal and the Senegal international is expected to sign on his return from France. Also expected to sign up for 12 months is Oldham Athletic striker Matty Wolfenden".

    The BBC says that "Grays Athletic have signed experienced midfielder Richard Graham. The club have been forced to completely revamp their squad as manager Craig Edwards works with a vastly reduced budget. The 29-year-old was released by Dagenham and Redbridge at the end of last season after a loan spell with Kettering Town. Grays have also signed striker Charlie Taylor from Dulwich Hamlet and former AFC Wimbledon defender Shayne Mangodza".

    "Oxford chairman Kelvin Thomas has said he is delighted after United landed at least £500,000 from Dean Whitehead's move from Sunderland to Stoke. United should land 25% of the £3m fee, which could rise to £5m, minus the fee which Sunderland paid the U's for the midfielder in 2004. Thomas said: 'No two ways about it, it will definitely be a windfall. It will help offset some of the losses we have planned on for this year and pay down some debt'. He added: 'We have made a big commitment to Chris [Wilder, manager] in regards to the players. I think it's not something we would throw into the playing budget because we think we have a big enough squad to compete for promotion'. United could be line for over £1m if Whitehead plays a sufficient amount of games and if Stoke achieve success in his spell there".

    The Press says that "Trialists Luke Waterfall [an Alty loan player last season] and Andy Taylor have been jettisoned by York City manager Martin Foyle... Foyle has decided not to pursue his interest in either former Tranmere Rovers defender Waterfall or Grimsby striker Taylor...But trialist Jimmy Jackson will be remaining with the Minstermen for the time being. Foyle said: 'Two years ago, he had massive potential at Chesterfield'. The City boss said he was also edging towards an agreement with Djoumin Sangare, who was offered a contract earlier this week. 'It’s very close', Foyle declared".

    Rushden & Diamonds "have signed Barnet striker Cliff Akurang on a season-long loan. The 28 year old striker started his career with Chesham United, later playing for Thurrock, Heybridge Swifts, Dagenham & Redbridge (in the season they won the Conference), Histon, Weymouth (on loan) and Barnet. Justin Edinburgh commented 'I tried to sign him when I first came to the club, he's been top of my list for a while now'".

    24 July 2009


    To date, Altrincham FC has allocated eighteen squad numbers for 2009-10 season, as follows:

    1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Mark McGREGOR, 5. Greg YOUNG, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 8. Matty CROWELL, 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Chris DENHAM, 11. Nicky CLEE, 12. Tom KEARNEY, 14. Dale JOHNSON, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 18. Michael WELCH, 19. Chris SENIOR, 20. Danny HEFFERNAN, 23. Richard ACTON.


    Colin Little nets the game's opening goal at Shawe View.

    A first-half hat-trick by Dale Johnson set Altrincham on the way to a comfortable win at Shawe View against their UniBond First Division neighbours, Trafford FC.

  • Match report here


    Brian Flynn writes that "Robbie Lawton's reflections on the Northwich game, Osteitis Pubis & his thoughts on the 2009/10 season! Call 09066 555902.

    Brian adds that what Robbie has been suffering from is "a medical condition that is now apparently quite prevalent amongst footballers and particularly Aussie Rules Football players!". In Saturday's programme for the Bolton game, Robbie writes, "I was glad to be back in action on Tuesday night at Northwich after missing Saturday's trip to Colwyn Bay because of an injection. I have been suffering with a condition called Osteitis Pubis which is inflammation of the pubic symphysis, the joint at the front of the pelvis between the two ends of the pubic bone". Buy your programme for more details!


    The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) "has teamed up with a supplier called Cult Zeros to offer supporters a range of made to order Altrincham FC T-shirts. The T-shirts are available in all men's, women's and children's sizes, a wide range of colours and will feature an image of any player that you choose, along with whatever text that you require*

    The T-shirts are priced at £13.99 each and be can be purchased here. All T-shirts ordered through this link will earn the club a 20% commission. This is also the case if you order non-Altrincham shirts using this link.

    We are currently in the process of providing Cult Zeros with pictures of the 2009/10 squad and management team, although Colin Little and Dale Johnson T-shirts are already available to order. Samples of these T-shirts can be viewed in the TASC section of the Club Shop on matchdays, starting this weekend.

    If you wish for any other past Altrincham player to be made available, please contact TASC Chairman Brian Flynn or Membership Secretary Anthony Wright and we will do our best to find a suitable image to use.

    Remember you must type in or copy & paste the affiliate link - - into your web browser for Altrincham Football Club to benefit from the 20% commission.

    * Please note that TASC does not condone the use of abusive comments regarding players or the management team".


    The Altrincham FC Holiday Club now has the following offers (see Terms and Conditions below). To take advantage, book with Going Places or Thomas Cook and mention the Altrincham FC Holiday Club.

    Holidays from Belfast:

  • Costa Dorada - 05 Sep 09 - 7 nights - Half Board - Aquamarina Hotel - £399pp based on 2 sharing
  • Algarve - 06 Aug 09 - 14 nights - Self Catering - Allocated on Arrival - £575pp based on 2 sharing

    Holidays from Birmingham

  • Turkey - 28 Jul 09 - 5 nights - B&B - Ilhan Hotel - £249pp based on 2 sharing
  • Costa Blanca - 08 Aug 09 - 14 nights - All Inclusive - Allocated on Arrival - £429pp based on 2 sharing
  • Fuerteventura - 22 Aug 09 - 7 nights - Self Catering - Villa Florida Apts - £379pp based on 3 sharing

    Holidays from Bristol

  • Algarve - 30 Jul 09 - 7 nights - Self Catering - Allocated On Arrival - £289pp based on 2 sharing
  • Bulgaria - 24 Aug 09 - 14 nights - Half Board - Belleville Hotel - £549pp based on 2 sharing

    Holidays from Cardiff

  • Menorca - 31 Jul 09 - 7 nights - Self Catering - Los Lentiscos Apts - £385pp based on 4 sharing
  • Lanzarote - 30 Jul 09 - 7 nights - All Inclusive - El Trebol Apts - £519pp based on 3 sharing

    Holidays from Doncaster

  • Tunisia - 23 Aug 09 - 14 nights - B&B - Les Citronniers Hotel - £349pp based on 2 sharing

    Holidays from East Midlands

  • Majorca - 31 Jul 09 - 7 nights - Half Board - Don Bigote Hotel - £385pp based on 2 sharing
  • Gran Canaria - 27 Jul 09 - 14 nights - Half Board - £479pp based on 4 sharing
  • Lanzarote - 10 Sep 09 - 7 nights - All Inclusive - Occidental Allgro Oasis - £499pp based on 2 sharing

    Holidays from Glasgow

  • Lanzarote - 13 Aug 09 - 7 nights - Self Catering - Lanzarote Paradise Club - £289pp based on 2 sharing
  • Tenerife - 11 Aug 09 - 7 nights - All Inclusive - Tamaino Tropical - £439pp based on 2 sharing

    Holidays from Humberside

  • Majorca - 05 Sep 09 - 7 nights - Self Catering - Bellevue Apts - £355pp based on 4 sharing

    Holidays from Leeds/Bradford

  • Ibiza - 14 Aug 09 - 7 nights - Half Board - Riomar - £389pp based on 2 sharing Gran Canaria - 27 Jul 09 - 14 nights - Half Board - Altamar Apts - £469pp based on 4 sharing

    Holidays from London Gatwick

  • Majorca - 01 Sep 09 - 7 nights - Self Catering - Villa Concha Apts - £289pp based on 3 sharing
  • Menorca - 18 Sep 09 - 7 nights - Half Board - Sa Mirada - £315pp based on 5 sharing
  • Corfu - 31 Jul 09 - 14 nights - B&B - Lefkimi Hotel - £339pp based on 2 sharing
  • Fuerteventura - 15 Sep 09 - 7 nights - All Inclusive - Oasis Village - £469pp based on 2 sharing
  • Cuba - 25 Aug 09 - 14 nights - All Inclusive - Sol Club Rio D Luna - £759pp based on 2 sharing

    Holidays from Manchester

  • Kos - 20 Aug 09 - 7 nights - Self Catering - Artemis Apts - £279pp based on 2 sharing
  • Tenerife - 31 Jul 09 - 7 nights - Self Catering - Self Catering - Sunwing Resort Fanabe - £299pp based on 4 sharing
  • Costa Almeria - 10 Sep 09 - 7 nights - Half Board - indalo Hotel - £359pp based on 2 sharing
  • Lanzarote - 04 Aug 09 - 7 nights - All Inclusive - Ficus Apts - £499pp based on 3 sharing
  • Cuba - 27 Aug 09 - 14 nights - All Inclusive - Tryp Cayo Coco - £799pp based on 2 sharing

    Holidays from Newcastle

  • Santorini - 28 Jul 09 - 7 nights - Self Catering - Mandilaria Apts - £239pp based on 2 sharing
  • Rhodes - 29 Jul 09 - 7 nights - Half Board - Belair Beach - £369pp based on 3 sharing
  • Costa Del Sol - 26 Jul 09 - 14 nights - All Inclusive - Cortijo Blanco - £569pp based on 2 sharing

    Holidays from Stansted

  • Menorca - 27 Sep 09 - 7 nights - Self Catering - Los Lentiscos Apts - £239pp based on 4 sharing
  • Tunisia - 30 Aug 09 - 14 nights - Half Board - Bel Air Hotel - £389pp based on 2 sharing

    (Prices inclusive of all extras apart from optional extras such as in-flight meals and extra luggage allowance. Prices are 'prices from' and are subject to availability and change. Prices are based on maximum occupancies. Holiday Club terms and conditions can be found in any Thomas Cook or Going Places store or at


    The Football Conference says that "New Chester City director of football Eric Whalley is set to inject cash into the club as he aims to lead them back to the Football League. Whalley parted company with League Two side Accrington Stanley after fifteen years with the club, just two weeks ago and he is now ready to concentrate his efforts on helping the Blues clinch the Blue Square Premier title. He told the Chester Chronicle: 'At the end of the day, football has been my life and I don't think I could stand seven days at home with my missus. I've got to find something else to do and, knowing Stephen Vaughan like I do, I think it's the ideal place to come. Hopefully I can help to get Chester back into the Football League. That is the idea and certainly I'll put some cash in. I think they've got absolutely brilliant facilities for a club of Chester's size and that is one advantage they have over someone like Accrington, who have certainly got the worst facilities in the League and the lowest gates. Hopefully, with the relationship I have with the chairman we can hopefully push it forward'".

    The Chester Chronicle tells us that "Jay Harris and David Mannix are facing the sack after the disgraced Chester City duo were yesterday found guilty of breaching betting rules by the FA. Harris has been banned for a year and fined £5,000 while Mannix has been handed a £4,000 fine and a 10-month ban for betting on Accrington Stanley to lose their League Two match with Bury on May 3, 2008. The midfielders, who signed two-year deals with the Blues last June, were registered with Accrington at the time...

    Chester’s managing director Bob Gray said: 'They have to go and it is as simple as that as we cannot condone players betting on their own team to get beat[en]. We’re taking the right steps through our solicitors and they will get what they deserve. If it’s a sackable offence, we will sack them'. Former Accrington owner Eric Whalley, who this week joined Chester’s board, said: 'I am disgusted with the players. If you were a fan who had paid £15 to watch your team regularly and you found one of the players had bet on the team to lose, what would you think? It is disgusting'”

    From NL Daily we read that "Paul Carden has committed his future to Cambridge United by agreeing a new three-year-contract as player-assistant manager. The 30-year-old has ended uncertainty over his future by extending his stay to June 2012, delighting chairman George Rolls. 'I think he will go on to be a great manager one day', said Rolls. 'I know it must have been a hard decision for him to stay once Gary Brabin had gone, but it shows the sort of person Paul is that he's a true professional and he's committed to the club and wants to do well here. This is a fantastic signing for us to tie him up for an extra two years. I think we've shown our commitment to Paul in giving him a three-year contract... We're over the moon tonight to have this wrapped up'...

    Rolls added, 'All the players and the young pros learn from him and he's always set an example... I hope this is first of many long-term contracts that he signs with us'". Meanwhile United remain managerless.

    "Oxford United have signed former Aldershot Town defender Rhys Day on a two-year deal. Day... was released at the end of the season and has been on trial with the U` s in Scotland... The 26-year-old said: 'Oxford United are a team that should be in League One at least... U's manager Chris Wilder was impressed by the former Mansfield Town player's attitude when he was offered a trial by United in Scotland. He said: 'For me to ring the boy up last Thursday afternoon, and for him to be up in Edinburgh 15 minutes after we were, says a lot about the lad'... Day joins James Constable, Adam Chapman, Dannie Bulman, Mark Creighton, Jack Midson, Marcus Kelly, Alfie Potter, Alex Rhodes, Ryan Clarke and Matt Green in joining the U's this summer".

    NL Daily adds that "Kettering Town recorded another pre-season win as they beat a Peterborough United XI 2-1. A penalty by Jean-Paul Marna and a second from [ex-Alty loanee] James Jennings after Gareth Seddon had missed another spot-kick were enough to give the Poppies victory".

    Crawley Town "can confirm that young prolific striker Danny Mills (18) has signed for Coca-Cola Championship Club Peterborough United. Posh have beaten off two further Championship clubs and Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers to land the young striker".

    And from the Northants Evening Telegraph comes news that "Mark Cooper believes Patrick Noubissie is the sort of player who could make a difference for Kettering Town. The former Livingston and Hibernian midfielder completed 90 minutes for the Poppies in a 2-1 victory over a Peterborough United XI... Cooper, meanwhile, revealed midfielder Jamie Yates will join the club on an initial one-month deal".

    The BBC confirms that "Histon have completed the signing of ex-Boston United striker Kieran Leabon. The former Ipswich Town apprentice, 20, has signed a one-year deal".

    According to The Press "Foyle said he is hoping the on-off transfer saga with Ebbsfleet United striker Michael Gash will soon be resolved in the Minstermen’s favour... The City boss is still negotiating on the same terms which saw the club bid £50,000 for the front-man following the collapse of the twin deal involving defender Darius Charles... He said, 'It’s the same bid as two weeks ago. Ebbsfleet are taking their time and they have had to deal with Cambridge City over the percentage of the sell-on. I think it has been agreed. I haven’t heard anything else and hopefully it might go through'”.

    This is Tamworth says that "Tamworth are running the rule over for Derby County youth player Tyrone Emery and ex-West Bromwich Albion striker Seb Lake-Gaskin".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "Justin Edinburgh was left delighted with the second-half performance as Rushden & Diamonds fought out a draw with Nottingham Forest... Aaron O'Connor celebrated his home debut by scoring the equaliser just before half-time following a cross by on-loan Forest winger James Reid... Diamonds' boss Edinburgh said: "It was a real work-out... We've got options in certain areas which gives us a little bit of flexibility'... However, there was another issue for the Diamonds boss to deal with after Lee Tomlin was taken off seconds before the break. Edinburgh said: 'That will be dealt with in-house. But I wasn't happy with something which was said. That's as far as I will go. He certainly wasn't injured'. Trevor Benjamin and Nicky Nicolau were handed further trials while Forest midfielder Mark Byrne made his debut. Edinburgh also revealed a deal to sign a League Two striker is 'quite close' to a conclusion".

    The Cherry Red Non-League Newsdesk Annual has merged with The Puma Non-League Club Directory. James Wright says, "I would like to stress to all our customers that this is certainly not the end of the road for my [Cherry Red] Annual – far from it! The Annual will be incorporated within the Directory almost in its entirety. I will be compiling all the statistical details for Steps 5-6, and for Step 7, minor leagues, Welsh leagues and miscellaneous cup competitions. The very popular format of the Newsdesk Annual will be largely retained. The new book will be available in mid-September".

    23 July 2009


    Altrincham FC's 'Summer Fun Week' takes place from 27-31 July, and will be run by Chris Bullock. Individual rates are available for children who cannot attend all of the days. Those enrolling qualify for free tickets to the Alty pre-season games at Moss Lane. Please ring the clun (0161 928-1045) for further details.


    Altrincham travel to Shawe View, Flixton for their sixth successive pre-season game against the UniBond First Division side. The previous five games ended as follows, (Alty score first):
  • 17.7.08 4-0 Alty scorers Little 15,41,69 Senior 59
  • 19.7.07 2-1 Berkeley 27, Moore 64
  • 20.7.06 2-1 Hendley 49,80
  • 21.7.05 1-0 Owens 89
  • 20.7.04 3-2 Little 70, Lugsden 72, Hallows 88

    Meanwhile, Trafford announced this week that "Trafford Football Club is delighted to announce that Old Trafford solicitors, ClearLaw, has become its main sponsor for the UniBond League season 2009/10. Founded in 1990 - originally as North Trafford - the Club will celebrate its 20th anniversary this season. In the past two years Trafford F.C. has gone from strength to strength to become the Vodkat League Division One Champions in 2008, and finished last season in style winning the UniBond League President's Cup for the second time, beating First Division South team, Quorn FC, 0-2 away. The UniBond League kicks-off on Saturday 15th August when Trafford are drawn to play Salford City at home under newly appointed manager, Garry Vaughan. A former player at the club, Vaughan made an impressive 305 appearances, scoring a record 89 goals for them during his seven year stint there in the 1990s".


    Following Tuesday's draw with Altrincham, the Northwich Guardian reports that "Andy Preece praised his players’ progress after an improved performance against neighbours Altrincham... 'I’m really pleased', said the Vics manager afterwards. 'That was a good performance after a slow start, I felt we got stronger as the game went on and were the only team likely to score another goal'. He handed a second half trial to former Nantwich Town captain Phil Parkinson... Preece added: '“I can see a steady improvement, particularly in the final third'... Jonny Allan (ill), Ryan Brown (knee) and Lee Elam (groin) are still to kick a ball, while Nat Kerr (groin) limped off inside a quarter hour".

    The Guardian also confirms that "Mike Aspin has returned to Northwich Victoria. The teenage defender rejoined... after finishing the previous season at Farsley Celtic. 'The door was never closed for Michael', said Vics' boss Andy Preece. 'I’ve had to be patient about it because he was understandably wary after what had gone on at the end of last season'... Aspin, 19, tore up his Northwich contract in March after waiting too long to be paid... before jumping ship to the Throstle Nest... A brief spell in Thailand with Nahon Pathom followed".

    Right, Alty warm up under a rainbow at Northwich on Tuesday evening.


    Morecambe have "announced two major new signings with Ian Craney and Phil Jevons joining on season-long loans from Huddersfield Town. Craney, 28, a creative attacking midfielder, has been tracked by The Shrimps since before his time at Accrington Stanley and was the subject of a substantial bid last year before he was cherry-picked by the Terriers.As well as being a driving force in the middle of the park he has chipped in with his fair share of goals during his career to date and has a fierce shot".


    Three BSP players face lengthy bans as the BBC confirms that "Four professional footballers have been banned from playing for up to a year and fined for breaching betting rules. The Football Association investigation centred on Accrington Stanley's League Two game against Bury in May 2008. Chester's Jay Harris, who was then at Accrington, has been banned for a year and fined £5,000 over that FA charge. His then team-mates Robert Williams and David Mannix have been banned for eight months and 10 months and ex-Bury player Andrew Mangan banned for five months.

    The case against another Accrington player, Peter Cavanagh, will be heard at a later date. Williams, who remains at Accrington, was fined £3,500 with Mannix, who is now at Chester, given a £4,000 fine and Mangan, who is now at Forest Green Rovers, £2,000. The five players were all charged with betting on a victory for Bury in the game, which was Accrington's last game of the 2007/2008 season... In addition, Harris was fined £500 for betting on at least one other match after he had moved to Chester.

    Nicholas Stewart QC, chairman of the independent FA regulatory commission, which carried out the investigation, said in a statement: 'The regulatory commission have serious concerns that the outcome of the match may have been fixed, although none of the players were charged with these offences'... Under FA rules, players, managers or coaching staff are prohibited from betting on the result or progress of any match or competition in which they are participating or have any direct or indirect influence over".

    In response, NL Daily reports that "Forest Green Rovers have issued the following official statement in response to the press release from the Football Association concerning the outcome of their enquiries into allegations in connection with betting, attributed to the Accrington Stanley v Bury, League Two fixture played on 3rd May 2008. Whilst Forest Green Rovers FC currently hold the player registration for Andrew Mangan, the club were not aware of any such enquiries by the Football Association into this matter until some six months after the player originally signed for the club... Andrew Mangan is registered with the club and any matters between him and this club are private as in the case of any employee/employer relationship. Consequently all sections of the press and media are strongly advised that the name of Forest Green Rovers is not and never has been aligned to this enquiry, other than through his current player registration. Accordingly neither the player, any member of management or officials of the club will be making any further statement with regard to this matter".

    From Luton Town we learn that "Hatters' fans will get a unique opportunity to help fund Mick Harford's sixth summer signing on Saturday when Peterborough United send a team to Kenilworth Road for a pre-season friendly. In a first for the club, the Town can confirm that all proceeds from the game with Posh will go towards the signing of centre-back Shane Blackett from the London Road outfit".

    Meanwhile, "Martin Ling could have moved to the top of the list for the manager’s job at Cambridge United. The former Leyton Orient boss looks set to be shortlisted for the post... Chairman George Rolls admitted 'Martin Ling is an intelligent and highly thought-of manager. He’d be a front-runner. However, he has been a manager at a League One club which comes with different pitfalls to managing in the Conference in terms of budgets, wages and other factors. We need to look at the whole package, but he has been interviewed and did very well'. Rolls confirmed the board had interviewed Hampton & Richmond Borough boss Alan Devonshire on Monday, but said they would not be considering him further" reports NL Daily .

    Rolls "also said talks had taken place with Alan Lewer, despite the former United assistant-manager stating that he had not been contacted by the club following his application. John Yems, who left his role as Exeter City number two last week, and Billy McEwan, whose managerial CV includes spells with Sheffield United, Rotherham, Darlington, York City and Mansfield Town, are also understood to have been interviewed. Rolls refused to comment on whether either man had been spoken to, but said the board still had three or four un-named candidates to meet over the next few days. He said: '"It’s also vital the board is unanimous on this one rather than a split vote'", reports Cambridge News

    Alty's first opponents of the season won their latest friendly according to Kent Online which reports on "Ebbsfleet 3 Leyton Orient 2. Jamie Forshaw took the plaudits after his double strike saw Ebbsfleet spring a surprise against League 1 Leyton Orient... Forshaw’s second-half winner sealed a heart-warming display from Liam Daish’s side. Daish used 18 players in total but it was Forshaw who stole the show with an excellent performance down the right wing. Orient dominated early on against the Fleet’s 4-5-1 formation... Ebbsfleet’s team of rookies, which also included Cronin, Darius Charles and Dean Pooley, gained in confidence. Fleet boss Liam Daish said: 'The lads have all got a good appreciation of the game. They have decent backgrounds and their hunger and athleticism will hopefully be key factors for us. You can see that we can break very quickly and have a turn of pace'".

    22 July 2009


    Above: The teams introduce themselves as the Vics' former Alty man Lee Elam chats in the foreground.

    Match report here.


    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot now stands at £1,200 after the top prize was not won last week. However, four competitors did win £50 each for having winning "trebles". For just £1 a week you can help the club and at the same time win cash prizes by joining the Yankee.


    News of Altrincham's new signing, Tom Kearney comes from his former club Wrexham who confirmed yesterday that "Midfielder Tom Kearney is the latest player to cancel his contract by mutual consent, after coming to an agreement this afternoon. The former Everton player scored on his debut back in August 2008, but is another not to feature heavily since the appointment of Dean Saunders. Of his 15 BSP appearances, 11 were made before the end of last September, although he did start in the final two fixtures of last season. Tom joined the club from Halifax Town a year ago and looks likely to stay close to his Liverpool home by joining another BSP club in the north-west of England shortly. 'I've been coaching with the Everton FC Academy and I'm working towards my football qualifications', said Tom. 'So I'll continue with that in the short term and see what opens up for me. I do have one particular club that has offered me a deal, so now I'll try and get that sorted out. I'm just sorry it didn't work out better for me and the club, but I have enjoyed my time at Wrexham'". Tom is seen, right, at Northwich last night, behind trialist Ben Muirhead.


    Altrincham entertain Burton Albion in pre-season (1st August). The Burton Mail reports that "Winger Keith Gilroy will miss the start of Burton Albion’s first Football League campaign because of a persistent ankle problem. The 26-year-old Irishman, who has already missed three weeks of pre-season training because of tendonitis, could be out of action for up to six weeks".


    It was good to see Val Owen at the Northwich game last night. He is seen (left), looking into the sun in the first half.

    Colwyn Bay report that "Manager Neil Young is set to sign former Rotherham and Altrincham player Gary Scott. Last season Gary, 30 years-old, appeared for Witton Albion where he was voted “Players Player of the Season”. A versatile player, who is equally adept in either full-back or wide midfield positions, Gary began his career at Tranmere Rovers before joining Rotherham United for whom he made 23 first team appearances. Released in 1999 he had a season playing for Leigh RMI before finally settling down with Altrincham. He made almost 300 appearances for the Robins a figure that would have been significantly bettered but for a few spells out of match action due to various injuries.

    Gary featured for Colwyn Bay in the recent friendly against Wrexham and impressed at left-back. Manager Neil Young commented 'Gary has a great deal of experience having played at Blue Square Premier level for a number of years'".


    The BBC says that "Cambridge United player-assistant boss Paul Carden says he would have to consider his future at the club if he were asked to quit his coaching role. The 30-year-old has been in temporary charge of the U's since the sacking of manager Gary Brabin but he has ruled himself out of applying for the job. He told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'To suddenly go back to a sole playing role would be quite hard. Certainly at this club it would be hard to stay on in a playing capacity'. The midfielder was appointed player/assistant manager when Brabin took over as boss in the summer of 2008. The pair, who are good friends, led the U's to a second place finish in the Blue Square Premier and a play-off final defeat. He said: 'I feel I'm too young [to apply for the manager's job]. I had a good season in terms of management combined with the playing last season. I couldn't take my eye off one job to do another and that's what that entails. In two or three years' time it might have been different'. Cambridge are continuing the recruitment process for a new manager with Hampton and Richmond boss Alan Devonshire, former U's assistant manager Alan Lewer, ex-Leyton Orient chief Martin Ling and former Ebbsfleet assistant manager Alan Kimble all being linked to the position".

    The recruitment continues at Kit Kat Crescent as the Football Conference reports that "York City have added defender Djoumin Sangare to their squad for the new season. The 25-year-old ex-Salisbury City centre back impressed manager Martin Foyle in the pre-season 2-0 defeat to Bradford City and has been offered a contract. The Frenchman will play in Tuesday's pre-season friendly at North Ferriby United with trialist striker Andrew Taylor. Foyle is still searching for a striker but is unsure whether Taylor will be his man".

    "Ebbsfleet manager Liam Daish says the club's owners are close to raising the £10,000 needed to re-sign midfielder Ricky Shakes and defender Dean Pooley" reports the BBC. "Daish appealed to members of website MyFootballClub to help re-build his squad, after budget cuts left him with three only full-time professionals. 'We've got a good fan base and that's something that you can work with', Daish told BBC Radio Kent... 'They're all owners, if you like directors, and being a director is part of keeping the club afloat and keeping us a budget that is not only sustainable but can compete as well'. Fleet accountant Graeme Swift estimated that a £10,000 injection would be needed (£230 a week) to give Daish boss a chance of re-signing the two players. Daish told the club's website: 'My concern is it's going to be hard to sign Ricky and Dean within our current weekly budget because it will leave us little to build the rest of the squad with'".

    According to the Liverpool Daily Post "Chester City's impasse with the Football Association rumbled on last night, with the club’s chief executive Bob Gray still trying to find a resolution to the problems. City still haven’t had their “new company” status ratified by the FA and, as such, they have had to cancel tonight’s scheduled friendly match against a Liverpool XI and Saturday’s game at Telford United... Said Gray, 'All the relevant paperwork that was requested has been forwarded to the FA. Technically, we could play friendly matches and I am still hopeful that we will receive our affiliation very soon'. FA spokesman Mark Hooper said last night: 'My understanding is that we are still awaiting certain information'. Next week’s home match against Premier League newcomers Burnley is now under threat, and unless acceptance to the FA is forthcoming by the end of the week that game is also likely to be scrapped. Meanwhile, former Accrington Stanley owner Eric Whalley has been appointed as a director of City".

    More comes from the Evening Leader which quotes also Chester director, Bob Gray. "He said: 'We would like to reassure fans that we’re working hard to rectify the administrative issue with the Football Association and will rearrange our pre-season friendlies as soon as possible. I worked late last night to ensure the FA received everything they had requested and the club has solicitors and the administrators working hard to try and resolve the situation. Postponing tonight’s scheduled home friendly with Liverpool has hit us in our pockets because that game would have helped provide funds for the club ahead of the start of the season. If we can save next week’s home friendly match against Burnley we will do, but the most important thing is to ensure everything is sorted out before we start our league season. I’ve been in constant contact with the FA and I’m confident we can clear up the situation before our game at Grays next month'...

    The situation has frustrated Blues' boss, Mick Wadsworth, who was hoping to watch striker Glynn Hurst, and goalkeeper Andrew Murphy in pre-season action.He said: 'We’ve put a very good team together and our training has been going very well. We’ve all been enthused about the start of the season, but the fact that we’ve been unable to play any of our pre-season friendlies has cast a cloud on our preparations'... Wadsworth confirmed that trialist and centre back Mark Bower had yesterday agreed to join Darlington. He said: 'I sensed he felt guilty about leaving us but I told him that he had to think about himself and his family'".

    "Mansfield Town are to cut parking at their Field Mill ground on match days by about 60 per cent" reports This is Nottingham. "They have opted not to pay landlord Keith Haslam to lease extra land this season to increase parking capacity, as they did last year. The decision has been taken because the club were losing money on the arrangement and there were safety concerns... It means that come the first game of the season, only pre-booked season ticket holders will be accommodated outside the ground. Other supporters must park elsewhere".

    21 July 2009


    Press release from Brian Flynn:

    "Altrincham have signed Tom Kearney within 24 hours of the Liverpudlian agreeing a deal to terminate his contract with Wrexham. The 27 year-old midfielder joined the Welsh side a year ago from Halifax Town but, whilst he was a regular under Brian Little, he hardly featured once Dean Saunders took over at The Racecourse Ground.

    'I'm just sorry that it didn't work out better for me and the club, but I have enjoyed my time at Wrexham. Altrincham offered me a deal but I needed to sort out my Wrexham contract before signing. I've been coaching with the Everton F.C. Academy and I'm working towards my football qualifications, therefore playing part-time for Altrincham in the Blue Square Premier is a great move for me', said Kearney, who started his career at Goodison Park before moving to Bradford City for whom he made 54 appearances between 2002-6.

    Kearney is the Robins' second signing within the last few days after winger Nicky Clee moved to Moss Lane from Blue Square North side Hyde United on Friday".

    Tom is seen, in the adjacent photo, signing for the club with Altrincham FC Secretary, Derek Wilshaw.


    In the Northwich Guardian, Vics' boss says "he will be asking his players to perform better than they have so far [in pre-season] against Graham Heathcote’s men. 'I want us to step it up', he said... However he is unlikely to have main marksman Jonny Allan once more as the forward is now suffering with illness after missing the first two friendlies with a calf complaint. 'It’s been a struggle in the final third', admitted Preece. 'Jon Newby has probably been our brightest attacker but Mark Danks has only trained a couple of times so far and we’ve been forced to play Aaron Burns out wide to cover absences in midfield... If Alty were in the Blue Square North they’d be the best team in the competition', he said. 'I would expect to be able to use the game as a gauge to see how far off the Blue Square Premier we are at this early stage. I’ll certainly be looking more at the result aspect of it'".

    The Northwich Guardian also has a match preview with the expected squads:

  • Northwich (from) Clancy (GK), Coates (GK), Kerr, Bailey, Grand, Meadowcroft, Cadwallader, Farran, Herring, Connor, Richards, Riley, Winter, Horrocks, Berkley, Burns, Danks, Hanley, Newby. Doubtful: Allan (ill), Brown (knee). Injured: Elam (groin)
  • Alty (from) Saunders (GK), Heffernan, Smith, McGregor, Young, Williams, Doughty, Muirhead, Denham, Chalmers, Crowell, Densmore, Little, Johnson, McManus, Owens, Senior. Doubtful: Lawton (groin), Injured: Coburn (knee), Welch (ankle).

    Ryan Brown (knee) and Lee Elam (groin) are more likely to figure at Curzon Ashton at the weekend. Opponents Alty are likely to be much-changed from the team that hammered Colwyn Bay 5-1 at the weekend. Captain Robbie Lawton is expected to shake off a groin injury to face Vics while Chris Denham, Shaun Densmore, Dale Johnson and Mark McGregor – all missing on Saturday – should play a part too. Matty Crowell will be a familiar face in the Robins’ midfield after leaving the Victoria Stadium at the end of last season, but former skipper Michael Welch is still recovering from ankle surgery.


    Tonight, (Tuesday), Altrincham are away at Northwich Victoria in a pre-season friendly. Kick off is at 7.45pm.

    On Thursday night (23rd), Altrincham are away at Trafford FC (Shawe View, Flixton) in another friendly which kicks off at 7.45pm.

    The first home friendly is this Saturday (25th, 3pm), when a Bolton Wanderers' XI are the visitors to Moss Lane. Admission is free to Altrincham FC season ticket holders and £7 for those paying at the turnstile (£2 for concessionaries).


    From Colwyn Bay we have a report on Saturday's game against Altrincham, which was watched by 369 spectators, "Altrincham pressured Colwyn Bay as the Bay's new starters bedded in so it was no surprise as the Altrincham had the first chance of the game as Muirhead forced Astbury into a good save early on before Stamford nearly got Altrincham an early goal as he fired just wide into the side netting.

    The Bay then settled and had a strong purple patch. Hopley went close on two occasions. His first effort saw his goal bound header cleared out for a corner and his second effort only kept out by a fantastic one handed save from Altrincham’s Russell Saunders... With Colwyn Bay just about shading the first half, they were dealt a cruel blow on the stroke of half time, Colin Little's flicked a looping header into the far corner of the net... The game remained a close affair until the game approached the hour mark when Young started to introduce the trialists to the game... but just as it looked like Altrincham were starting to score for fun; Tom McGill was to get the home side on the score sheet as he headed home from a Colwyn Bay corner".


    Sarah Rowley has kindly provided an updated list of available shirt sponsorships for 2009-10. (Apologies for a couple of errors when this list first appeared; they were the website's not Sarah's fault!)
  • Stuart Coburn - away
  • Matt Doughty - home
  • Shaun Densmore - away
  • Robbie Lawton - away
  • Matty Crowell - away
  • Nicky Clee - away
  • Dale Johnson - away
  • Anthony Danylyk - home
  • Chris Senior - away

    The cost of sponsoring a player of your choice is £150. For this, your name will appear in every match day programme against your chosen player and on the wall in the Sponsors' Lounge under the photograph of the player. At the end of the season you will receive the player's match-worn shirt, signed. A discount is applied if you would like more than one player. If you are interested please send a cheque to the club marked for Karen Rowley's attention. The club will update this list so that you are aware of which players have been taken – if you would like to check before choosing please give me a ring at the club (0161 928-1045) or send an e-mail.


    An experimental Altrincham FC Youth side lost 0-4 to Alsager Town on Sunday. However, George Heslop's team, whose average age was under 17, were surprised to find themselves facing the Alsager Town NW Counties (Vodkat League) first-team squad! Alsager had been unable to finalize their youth squad so, to honour the fixture, brought along their first-team players. Alty's plight was all the harder for the absence of three important members of their own squad, who were on holiday. The visitors took a two-goal lead by the interval but Altrincham acquitted themselves well against a physically much bigger side and will have learnt a lot by competing against a team whose average age was around 22.

    Alty Youth's next match is on Sunday (2pm at Blessed Thomas Holford, Altrincham) when they take on Congleton Town's youth team.


    Bullsnews says that "Chester have failed to get their paperwork straight in time to save a money-spinning friendly with a Liverpool XI tomorrow night, and have also cancelled Saturday's match with AFC Telford. The club named former Accrington owner Eric Whalley as a new board member hours before the latest crisis with the local press suggesting the club may have to re-enter Administration to untangle the mess".

    The Liverpool Daily Post adds that "Chester City owner Stephen Vaughan last night set out to reassure supporters over the chaos that the club find themselves in, after the Football Association failed to sanction their membership. Fears have surfaced that City face the prospect of not being allowed to start the forthcoming Blue Square Premier League campaign.

    The club, who came out of financial administration last month, have yet to receive ratification that the transfer of the old company to the new company has been accepted by the FA. However, Vaughan is confident that the procedural issues can be overcome... Vaughan said: 'The matter is now in the hands of our solicitors and the administrators and we are hopeful that things will be sorted out this week. If ratification of our FA membership drags on, then we will have to grin and bear it and play our friendly matches behind closed doors'.

    City could not only lose revenue from tomorrow’s game against Liverpool, but also from next week’s home match against Premier League newcomers Burnley. An FA spokesman said: 'Any club that comes out of administration has to meet certain requirements. Chester have not been able to meet those requirements, so they are not in a position to play games'. If the impasse continues and Chester are forced to return to financial administration, they may have their 10-point penalty that has already been imposed, increased even further".

    Rushden and Diamonds have "completed the signing of Nottingham Forest player Mark Byrne, on loan, initially until January. Mark Byrne is a 20-year-old midfielder; he has featured prominently for Nottingham Forest's reserves after graduating from their academy, earning his first team debut under manager Billy Davies. Mark had a loan spell at Burton Albion towards the end of last season".

    "Strong striker Jason Bradley has today signed a one-year deal with Mansfield Town, making him David Holdsworth's 12th signing of the close season. The 20 year old has been on trial with us for a month... Bradley began his career at Sheffield Wednesday and was loaned out to Buxton during season 2007/08... He was quickly snapped up by Darlington... He told 'I am a big, quick, strong and direct forward. I like to make it a torrid 90 minutes for opposing defenders and most importantly -get on the scoresheet'".

    Kidderminster Harriers "announce that livewire winger Kyle Hadley has signed a one-year deal after impressing on trial. The 22 year-old has... impressed throughout the local non-league circuit since turning out for Oldhill Town... He was spotted by a scout for Stourbridge who wasted no time in signing him up... Beginning last season full of promise, he was rocked by injury after breaking his leg in one of the very first games of the campaign".

    And "Mark Yates secured his second signing of the day with defender Duane Courtney penning a deal for next term at Aggborough Stadium. The highly-rated 24 year-old, who can play anywhere along the back-line, began his career at Youth level with Derby and Birmingham - but after failing to secure professional terms with the latter he joined up with AFC Telford to kick-start his career".

    Barrow's "striker, Jason Walker, impressed Championship visitors, Doncaster Rovers, so much during Saturday's friendly that they have offered him a trial in a game on Tuesday night. Walker, who has just signed a two year contract at Holker Street, fashioned a couple of chances during the game and will be eager to impress to try and land a move three rungs up the pyramid. Barrow joint boss, Dave Bayliss, said 'We obviously would not want to stand in Jason's way if he wants to move to such an excellent club'. Any move would be subject to the clubs agreeing a fee for the Flookburgh-based popular striker".

    The Guardian has an article by David Conn which says that "Wrexham fans have launched a petition for the Racecourse Ground to be protected by the local authority from being sold off without a replacement stadium being in place... In 2005, Wrexham's administrator, David Acland of Begbies Traynor, won a crucial battle to have the ground saved from the bulldozers and returned to the club. It had been transferred to the ownership of a property developer, Alex Hamilton, who had bought the club for £50,000 and was threatening very seriously to throw the club off the site and sell it for retail. Hamilton, and his then partner, Mark Guterman, bought into Wrexham to make money out of the land the ground stood on - and they even signed an agreement to that effect... Wrexham supporters campaigned passionately over three torrid years then and have not forgotten how close their club, formed in 1872, came to being put out of existence and its ground flattened. The petition, organised by the Red Passion website is part of their ongoing campaign to make sure proper protection is in place to prevent the same kind of scheme being tried again".

    20 July 2009


    Altrincham FC vice-chairman Grahame Rowley writes:

    Many thanks to everyone who has joined the Patrons Scheme for this season - we already have in excess of 100 Patrons. The draw for hospitality at the Histon game on Tuesday 18th August will take place at our game against Burton Albion on August 1st. If you would like to be part of this draw and if you would like to become a Patron for the forthcoming season then please contact Grahame Rowley on 07720-606897 or by e-mail or send a cheque made payable to "Altrincham Football Club" and marked for the attention of Grahame Rowley to the club.

    All proceeds from the Patrons scheme go towards the running of the Football Club over the close season - a time when money is tight.

    Many Thanks

    Grahame Rowley, Vice Chairman

  • For details of the Altrincham FC Patrons' Scheme, follow the link.


    Right: Danny Heffernan has proved his versatility in pre-season, playing on the left-wing against Abbey Hey and at right-back against Colwyn Bay.

    All holders of Altrincham FC season tickets for 2009-10 gain free admission to the pre-season friendlies at Moss Lane. Prices for those paying at the turnstiles will be

  • Adults £7
  • Concessionaries £2

    For Tuesday's match away at Northwich Victoria, the gate prices are £7 for adults, concessionaries pay £5, and under-16s will be admitted for £1 - and there could be quite a few familiar faces in the Northwich squad facing us. Northwich Vics announce that after their recent 0-3 defeat at home to a Manchester City XI, "Next up on Tuesday evening will be Cheshire rivals Altrincham, which is expected to a much closer encounter as the Vics squad starts to take shape". The website adds that manager "Andy Preece will feel the scoreline did not fairly reflect the performance when the Vics hosted a Man City reserve team. The Vics were never out played in the match, despite being 2-0 down at half time. Preece's young squad enjoyed plenty of possession and created a number of chances. The closest opportunity came when Jon Newby hit the cross bar from a 20-yard shot. But the young stars of Man City made the most of their chances and late-on made it 3-0".

    The Vics' Supporters Trust says that "Northwich fell behind to two goals from set pieces against a youthful City side... [which] scored with headers from set pieces. Vics only response of note was from Wayne Riley, who again showed up well wide on the right, but his angled shot defeated both keeper and the post. For the second half Preece immediately introduced [Kyle] Clancy, Meadowcroft, Cadwallader and Connor for [James] Coates [ex-Alty trialist keeper], [Matt] Bailey [ex-Alty loanee], Herring and Winter respectively. And there was a marked improvement. Wayne Riley had a free kick turned over the bar and Jon Newby hit the post but they were unable to grab a goal that would have brought them back into the game. As it was Ball skilfully turned Horrocks [an Alty trialist last summer] to score a late but stylish third goal.

    Team: 4-4-2: Coates (Clancy h/t) / Kerr, Bailey (Meadowcroft h/t), Grand, Horrocks / Riley (Bryan 60), Herring (Cadwallader h/t), Winter (Connor h/t), Burns (Farran 60) / Danks (Hanley 60), Newby /. Sub not used: [Rico] Richards [ex-Alty Youth]. Attend: abt. 270."

    Prior to that Vics lost 0-1 at home to Shrewsbury Town. In that game another ex-Alty trialist appeared; former Burnley man Kayne Handley was a used substitute for Northwich.

    On Thursday (25th), Altrincham have a friendly away at Trafford FC. Last Saturday, Trafford won a friendly 8-2 at Flixton. Ashton (2), Eames, Williamson (2), Landregan, Butorins and former Alty reserve Scott Metcalfe scored the visitors' goals. Since our last visit to Shawe View, former Alty midfielder Ged Kielty has resigned the managership. The new boss is Garry Vaughan, who was one of the club's leading appearance-makers as a player. A former Altrincham player still at Shawe View at the end of last season was Simon Woodford, who now operates as a right-back, having been a winger whilst at Moss Lane.


    Altrincham FC counts heavily on attracting sponsors for all of its home games. For the 2009-10 season, matchday sponsorship categories at Moss Lane will be as follows:

  • Match Sponsorship: This entitles the sponsor to a total of ten places in the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge. In addition to free match admission, the sponsors and guests enjoy a pre-match drink, a hot meal, a pre-match word from Graham Heathcote about the match, half-time tea and coffee. The sponsors also choose the Man of the Match (home and away) and make the awards on the pitch, where they also receive a certificate of thanks. The cost of match sponsorship is £550.
  • Match-ball Sponsorship: This entitles the sponsor to two places in the Gill Oates Sponsors' Lounge. In addition to free match admission, the sponsors and guests enjoy a pre-match drink, a hot meal, a pre-match word about the match from Graham Heathcote, half-time tea and coffee. The cost is £110 and the sponsor receives a matchball which is presented on the pitch by an Altrincham player.
  • A new departure for 09-10 is that if anyone wishes to enjoy matchday hospitality to celebrate an event such as a birthday or anniversary - or indeed any other reason - they can enjoy matchday hospitality for £35 per head. This confers free entry to the game, a seat in the Family Stand (or elsewhere in the ground), a pre-match drink, a hot meal, a pre-match word about the match from Graham Heathcote, half-time tea and coffee.

    Please contact the club by e-mail or phone (928-1045) to arrange your sponsorship or place in the Sponsors' Lounge.

    Courtesy of Sarah Rowley, the list of matchday sponsors booked in so far for 2009-10 is here.


    In Sunday's charity match at Moss Lane between a Celebrity Team and an all-stars Football Team, which included former Manchester United players Denis Irwin, David May, Lee Sharpe, Clayton Blackmore and Ben Thornley, the footballers won 2-1 and approximately £1,300 was raised. Unfortunately, the game was played in heavy rain.

    The two beneficiary charities are the Sea Shell Trust and Leukaemia Research.


    All Altrincham fans will know Moss Lane regular Peter Hennerley and he is to be congratulated on securing permanent recognition of the role of Altrincham's Chapel Street in World War One. The Sale & Altrincham Messebger's Chris Griffin writes, "An Altrincham street that provided a record number of volunteers for the British Army in the First World War is to receive a commemorative blue plaque. George V, who is said to have dubbed Chapel Street ‘the bravest little street in England’, sent a message of thanks to the town in 1919... after hearing that an incredible 161 men from 60 houses had volunteered to join the Army when war broke out in 1914. Twenty-nine volunteers died...

    Now Peter Hennerley, the grandson of one of the Chapel Street volunteers, has got the go-ahead from Trafford Council for a blue plaque to be erected. Peter says it will be a fitting tribute to men such as his grandfather Hugh, who served in the Boer War from 1899 to 1902, before signing up again with the Cheshire Regiment for the Great War. Peter, who is a member of the Bowdon branch of the British Legion and the Cheshire Regiment Association, said he could hardly wait for the plaque to be unveiled on September 13.

    'I will be so chuffed - this is something I have wanted to do for a long time'... A roll of honour to the men was unveiled by the Earl of Stamford in 1919. That roll of honour was moved to Altrincham Town Hall when the street’s old chapel was demolished in 1960, 21 years after the street of tiny two-up and two-down houses was knocked down. Eight years ago, another plaque was sited on the side of the Grapes pub, now the Portofino restaurant, on Regent Road, and the blue plaque will be positioned above this... Peter has produced a booklet detailing the history of Chapel Street. He will be selling it at Sainsbury’s in Altrincham on Friday, July 24, 12 to 3pm; and Tesco in Altrincham on July 25, 12 to 3pm".


    The NL Paper says that Oxford United could receive more than £1 million from a sell-on clause should Dean Whitehead complete a move to Stoke City from Sunderland. Meanwhile, Ebbsfleet have confirmed that York City have now bid £55,000 for striker Michael Gash.

    Blue Square betting expert Alan Alger has placed Altrincham 17th in his forecast of the BSP final standings for 2009-10. His tip for the title is Mansfield Town with his four relegation teams being Chester, Barrow, Grays and Gateshead.


    Former Alty reserve, Kieran Killackey, got some European experience last week when he played in Finland for Bangor City against FC Honka in UEFA's Europa League.
    19 July 2009


    Altrincham have a further three friendlies this week, two away and one at home:
  • Tuesday 21st, 7.45pm, away at Northwich Victoria.
  • Thursday 23rd, 7.45pm, away at Trafford FC, Shawe View, Flixton
  • Saturday 25th, 3pm, home to a Bolton Wanderers XI

    The pre-season then concludes with two more home matches:

  • Saturday 1st August, home to Burton Albion
  • Tuesday 4th August, home to a Manchester United XI

    Don't forget that 2009-10 Altrincham FC season ticket holders gain free admission to the Moss Lane friendlies. For details of prices and how to get yours, click here


    Right: On Saturday, even the perimeter hoardings at Colwyn Bay matched the colours of the Altrincham supporters who brought their flags to Llanelian Road on Saturday and the hoardings displayed an appropriate motto for them, too.

    In addition to buying a season ticket or paying at the turnstiles, there are many ways you can support the club through these difficult economic times. These include:

  • The Alty Holiday Club - get a discount on your holiday and earn commission for Altrincham FC at the same time.
  • Supporters' Golf Day - details on the Social Events and Fundraising Page.
  • Join the Saturday Yankee; for just £1 a week, you can win up to a significant four-figure sum.

    And there are numerous other ways to help, including...

  • Altrincham FC Patrons' Scheme
  • Friends of Altrincham Football Club
  • Phone-recycling: you can recycle your old mobile for the benefit of Altrincham FC... TASC are looking for fans to help them raise money for the Football Club by collecting and recycling old mobile phones. Phones can be handed in to the club office during normal week days or in to the boxes in the shop or the bar on any match day.

    If anyone has any queries about this scheme please e-mail Steve Foster or telephone Brian Flynn on 07860 561011.

  • Football Pontoon:

    Each of the Clubs from the Premiership, Championship, League One, League Two and Blue Square Premier will be given a random number from 1 to 116. For a £10 stake, you can chose or you will be allocated one of these numbers and this will determine your team in the competition.

    The idea of the competition is for your team to accumulate exactly 21 goals by the END of any particular sequence of games. The winner will receive a £100 cash prize, the holder for the number of the second team to reach exactly 21 goals will receive £50 and the third-place prize will be £10.

    If more than one team attains 21 goals on the same day, the team that scored their 21st goal earliest in their game will be awarded 1st prize. Goals are tallied up at the end of each match and the totals adjusted accordingly. If by the end of any particular game, your team's goals total exceeds 21, then you will "go bust" and be out of the Competition. Only league goals will count towards your total.

    You are not restricted to one number, so increase your chance of winning by buying a second team!

    If you are interested in participating, please contact the club by phone (928-1045) or e-mail, indicating your contact details and your chosen number for the attention of Sarah Rowley. Weekly updates will be posted here on the Club's website and forum

    18 July 2009


    Above: Chris Senior (no.10) tries a volley, as David Owens, left, and Greg Young look on. Below, right: Ben Muirhead.

    A strong second-half performance, during which Altrincham made several substitutions, saw the Robins eventually run out comfortable winners at Llanelian Road.

    Match report here.


    Colwyn Bay announce that "Manager Neil Young has drafted in ex-Stockport goalkeeper James Astbury in time for today’s game against Altrincham. The 18 year-old featured for their reserve team last season and comes in to replace the injured Fariah Jackson.

    Also included in the squad today is 30 year-old ex-Liverpool, Doncaster and Forest Green striker Adriano Rigolioso who played in the same youth team as Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher. Kick-off for today’s game at Llanelian Road is 3pm".


    Colwyn Bay have confirmed that admission prices for the match against Altrincham today (Saturday) will be £6 for adults and £4 for concessionaries.


    A number of ex-Alty players have been in action so far in pre-season. The Crewe Guardian reports that the Nantwich Town side which beat a Stoke City XI 2-0 this week included Jake Sedgemore. The paper described the match as "a surprising, yet deserved, win in their first ever match against a Premiership side... that contained eight players with first team experience. The Dabbers had been forced to make changes to their line-up less than half an hour before kick off after [another ex-Alty man] central defender Darren Tinson was pulled out with a back injury."


    For those travelling to Moss Lane in August, the following from SAM may be helpful."Metrolink passengers will still be able to get to their destinations during the Altrincham and Eccles line closures in August... The Metrolink lines to Altrincham and Eccles will close from August 1 and reopen on September 1 so that connections to the new tram lines can be built as part of the multi-million pound Metrolink expansion. Information about all bus replacement services will be available at every affected Metrolink stop before the closures in August... Replacement buses will run between Altrincham and Manchester, and Eccles and Manchester every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday until 7pm and every 15 minutes at all other times. There will also be an additional supplementary service from Brooklands to Manchester. All services will run during normal tram operating times. For more information go to the Metrolink website or call Metrolink Customer Services on 0161 205 2000. "


    There is shock news from the BBC that "Chester City face the prospect of not being allowed to start the new season after having their licence application refused by the Football Association. City went into administration in May, following their second demotion from the Football League in nine years. The club were then bought back by their former chairman Stephen Vaughan. But BBC Sport understands that the FA has concerns over the set-up of Vaughan's new company.

    The FA's governance department has been in touch with the club to advise that they they are not currently an affiliated club, which means means they are unable to fulfil their arranged friendlies for this summer. But City managing director Rob Gray said the club are hopeful they can resume with their pre-season plans soon, 'Hopefully sooner rather than later we can rearrange our friendlies and carry on with the football we need to play. All the relevant paperwork today has been sent across to the rightful people so hopefully by Monday we'll have a clearer picture of how it stands and we'll move forward accordingly'".

    More on this comes from the Chester Chronicle which says that "Chester City have been plunged into crisis once again after the FA refused to grant them a licence – forcing the last-minute cancellation of tomorrow’s friendly at Marine... But owner Stephen Vaughan is confident the matter will be settled before the start of the new season next month.... The Chester owner said: 'As far as we’re concerned, we’ve complied with every rule that’s been thrown at us. We feel that the FA are being very unfair on it'. The crisis means there is a major doubt over whether next Tuesday’s friendly with a Liverpool XI at the Deva Stadium will go ahead. In the worst-case scenario, the whole future of the club would be in jeopardy if the matter is not resolved by the start of the Blue Square Premier season on August 8. Mark Hooper, communications manager at the FA, explained: 'When clubs go into administration and transfer to a new owner, there are certain regulations every club has to meet to safeguard the financial integrity of the game. These regulations are outlined to the club and, to date, they (Chester City) haven’t met our rules. Some of the information we need has been supplied but not all of it. It is not us that’s the issue'".

    Meanwhile, "Wrexham centre-half Ashley Westwood has signed for another season, but defender Darran Kempson is to leave" reports the BBC.

    "Jim Harvey, manager of Blue Square Premier club Forest Green Rovers, has completed the transfer of Mike Fowler from league rivals Salisbury City" reports NL Daily.

    Blue Square Football says that "Wrexham manager Dean Saunders has continued his summer rebuilding process with the signing of 26-year-old midfielder Hedi Taboubi. The Frenchman has joined the Dragons on a one-year deal... He spent last season with French outfit AC Arles and helped them top earn promotion to Ligue Two".

    "York City have handed a trial to centre-back Luke Waterfall following his release by Tranmere Rovers. The 18-year-old defender will line up alongside fellow trialists Jimmy Jackson and Djoumin Sangare on Saturday for York's pre-season match against Bradford City at Kit Kat Crescent. Waterfall has some experience in the Blue Square Premier after spending some time in loan at Altrincham last season and also spent a week on trial at Oxford United recently. Meanwhile, Minstermen boss Martin Foyle has revealed that he is still looking to bring another striker after missing out on Ebbsfleet's Michael Gash. Foyle told The Press: 'I think the door was closed on Michael Gash the last time we spoke to Ebbsfleet, but discussions concerning Scott Rendell are not dead in the water just yet'".

    "Barrow have today [Friday] finally been able to lodge the contract papers of England C International Left Back, Sean Newton. Newton, 20, made his International debut last season and is expected to be a regular in the side this campaign according to Barrow joint boss, Dave Bayliss. Barrow thought they had landed the young defender in May, but it has taken until today for the player to tie up his contractual loose ends with Droylsden, with whom he impressed last season. Meanwhile two more signings, in the shape of Adam Dugdale & Paul Rutherford, will take place tomorrow".

    "Gateshead are unlikely to follow up their interest in former Premier League striker Trevor Benjamin due to concerns over the ex-Leicester City star's fitness. Benjamin, 30, played the first half of Gateshead's 1-0 pre-season friendly win at Dunston this week but was below par". Manager Ian Bogie said: "If Benjamin was 100% fit and free from injury there is no doubt he would be an asset, but unfortunately he is carrying a calf injury... and we are not currently in a position to offer him anything. However if he regains his fitness and we have not brought in a couple of strikers then we could revisit the situation".

    Meanwhile, "Gateshead, who have pulled out of a bid to sign young Whitley Bay striker Lee Kerr after the coast club demanded a £5,000 fee, are now hoping to land long-term target Paul Connor. The experienced 30 year old, with Cheltenham Town last season, is still on trial at Lincoln City and will play for the Imps again on Monday against an Arsenal XI. The Tynesiders however are to re-sign their former left back Phil Cave after the Newcastle-born player achieved his release from troubled Scottish outfit Livingston. German midfielder Christoph Ascherl meanwhile will finally begin his trial period at Gateshead against Sunderland if his international clearance comes through".

    17 July 2009


    The draw for the First Round of the Cheshire Senior Cup is as follows:-

    Ties to be played midweek w/c 9th November.


    Altrincham FC have signed winger Nicky Clee, who was at Hyde United last season.

    Nicky is a Yorkshire-based player, who is also an accomplished cricketer for Marsden CC near Huddersfield. He has played against Altrincham on a couple of occasions, including a game on October 2004 when his then club, Ashton United, hammered the Robins 6-2 in their one appearance in the Nationwide Conference Carthium Cup competition. Nicky had joined Ashton the previous close season, following the appointment at Hurst Cross of former Alty manager, Gerry Quinn who was, himself, Yorkshire-based. Prior to that, Nicky had played for Ossett Albion from the middle of the 2002/03 season, after joining from from local football in Huddersfield and he was also briefly at Wakefield & Emley.

    In August 2004, the Altrincham FC website quoted a newspaper report that "Clee turned out for Wakefield and Emley, who remain in the UniBond Premier... But Quinn came in with an offer which was too good to refuse, and now Clee, who lives in Upperthong and works in the accounts department at Reliance Gears, is hoping to be in the starting side when Ashton open their campaign".

    The following summer he moved to Hyde United, where he made his debut at the end of July 2005 and made 147(+12) appearances and scored 21 goals in all. His manager at Hyde last season, Neil Tolson, told the Manchester Evening News in June that Nicky is a "Good lad. Never misses training. A pleasure to work with. Need I say any more about Nicky? We've always known about his ability and flair, what what has really pleased me about him since I took over as manager is how much he has stepped up his work-rate... Nicky played a big part in our fight against relegation and his willingness to do a job wherever he's asked to play is a real plus. He also possesses one of the longest throws in non-League football - something we need to exploit more because it's probably more dangerous than a corner-kick".


    Alty meet Colwyn Bay this Saturday where "It is with great sadness that Colwyn Bay Football Club has to announce that club President Glynne Owens passed away this morning after a battle against illness. Glynne was a lifelong supporter and his enthusiasm for the club never diminished. He was a great servant and presided as Chairman for a significant period of the club’s history making a huge contribution to the clubs survival during some very difficult years". All at Moss Lane send their condolences to Glynne's son Andy and thee rest of the family.

    The Welsh Premier says that "Former TNS defender Rob Williams (left) has received international clearance from the FAW to play for Altrincham in the Blue Square Premier. But Williams, a product of the TNS scholarship scheme, says he has not signed, although he did feature in a pre-season game at the weekend. Blackpool-born Williams was not offered terms for next season at Park Hall and was set for a return to Newtown, where he spent part of season 2006/7 on-loan, making 11 Welsh Premier appearances for the Robins and impressing manager Darren Ryan.Instead, the 22-year-old was offered a pre-season trial by the Cheshire-based Robins, on the recommendation of ex-TNS manager and Alty legend Ken McKenna, who has just been appointed assistant to manager Graham Heathcote. Williams, who also spent time on-loan at Caersws last season, made a total of 34 (+10) league appearances, but only nine of them for the Saints."

    The N. Wales Weekly News reports that "A hamstring injury that is likely to keep goalkeeper Farai Jackson out of action for a month has left Colwyn Bay manager Neil Young with a major headache after his side's 3-0 defeat to Wrexham on Wednesday night. The Seagulls were holding the Conference side to 0-0 after a good first half performance when the injury happened and with no reserve keeper on the bench, Wrexham took full advantage to hit three goals past stand-ins Danny Jarrett [ex-Alty Youth] and Dave Challinor [ex-Alty trialist]. With Chris Sanna not due back from America until July 28, the Bay must now try and find another keeper ahead of Saturday's friendly against Altrincham.

    The manager commented: 'I thought we did quite well in the first half and got behind them a few times to create some chances, but after the injury to Jacko we were always going to be up against it'... On the plus side the game attracted a good crowd of over 500."

    Before the game it was announced that "Bay will have a near full strength squad available for Wednesday's friendly against Wrexham... Rob Hopley and Tim Brandreth are both back and summer signings Anthony Sheehan and James Dunne are also set to make their debuts. Manager Neil Young also expects to include ex-Witton Albion full-back Gary Scott [ex-Alty] on trial".

    Wrexham add that "The Dragons took advantage of an injury to starting keeper Farai Jackson... A tough night and a good work out for Dean Saunders's men on a lovely surface at Llanelian Road.

    Wrexham: Chris Maxwell (Brad Fogler 46), Silvio Spann (Wes Baynes 55), Mansour Assoumani (Chris Maxwell 78), Mike Williams (Chris Smith 47), Sam Williamson (Jamie McCluskey 60), Adrian Cieslewicz (Rhys Kelleher 58), Nathan Fairhurst, Mark Jones (Andy Fleming 46), Neil Taylor (Kai Edwards 60), Gareth Taylor (Simon Brown 55), Marc Williams (Marek Lendzins 68).

    Colwyn Bay: Farai Jackson, Anthony Sheen, Gary Scott, Tim Brandreth, Matt Holt, Carl Clampitt, Eddie Jebb, James Kelly, Rob Hopley, James Dunn, Lee Davey. Subs: Robbie Williams, Steve Aspinall, Luke Denson, Alex Hay, Lee Hammond, Daniel Jarrett, Thomas McGill, Ian Sheridan, Kieron Delany".


    Altrincham Youth have arranged another pre-season game. It will be against A.F.C. Liverpool at Blessed Thomas Holford, Altrincham, on Sunday 23rd August 2009, kick off is at 2.30pm.


    Altrincham play away at Northwich next Tuesday. In their first friendly Vics lost 1-0 to Shrewsbury Town. Their team, which included several ex-Alty trialists and youth players, was James Coates, Nat Kerr, Luke Horrocks, Matt Bailey, Simon Grand (c), Wayne Riley, Aaron Burns, Mario Bryan, Jon Newby, Mike Connor, Ian Herring. Subs: Kyle Clancy, Kane Berkley, Ross Farran, Harry Winter, Phil Parkinson, Mark Cadwallader, Kwame Barnet, Mark Danks. Lee Elam did not take part.


    Altrincham entertain Burton Albion at Moss Lane in pre-season and the Burton Mail reports that "Albion boss Paul Peschisolido pulled off the transfer coup with the former Leicester City and Sheffield Wednesday defender [Guy Branston] on the brink of joining League Two rivals Torquay United. Torquay had negotiated a deal of around £10,000 to take Branston to Plainmoor, but Albion have not had to pay a fee after it was discovered 30-year-old Branston’s contract at Kettering had not been properly registered with the Football Association, making the player a free agent. Peschisolido also announced that Jacques Maghoma, the exciting young midfield player released by Tottenham Hotspur, will sign for the Brewers".

    But "Burton Albion skipper Darren Stride faces a lay-off after suffering an ankle injury. Stride was hurt in a training session that preceded Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat against Blue Square North newcomers Ilkeston Town in a friendly behind closed doors... Albion boss Paul Peschisolido said: 'We had quite a tough session before the game and unfortunately Stridey twisted his ankle'. A lengthy spell on the sidelines would come as a huge blow to Stride, who has set his heart on leading Albion into the Football League after a career spanning 16 years and more than 630 appearances...

    Peschisolido said: 'We are not sure how serious the injury is at this stage'... Stride joins defender Aaron Webster and winger Keith Gilroy on Albion’s casualty list. Webster has not yet trained fully because of a calf strain and Gilroy is sidelined by tendonitis. Albion’s boss said: 'We weren’t very good, which was a disappointment after the way we played against Derby... We put the boys through a hard 90-minute (training) session before the game and they only had an hour’s break, so we were a little bit on the weary side'... Albion’s goals were scored by trialists Jimmy Phillips and Matt Richards, while Peschisolido also had his first look at Crystal Palace pair Simon Thomas and Kieran Djilali. Meanwhile, the Brewers boss said fans should not read too much into a 45-minute appearance by former Derby County defender Marc Edworthy. Albion have agreed to allow the full-back to train with them — just as they did last summer".


    The Runcorn Linnets announce that their "Sports Therapist, Peter Gordon, has resigned from the medical staff, and so the club has a vacancy for one or more physiotherapists. Candidates should have, or be working towards, a Physiotherapy Degree, and will be expected to attend all matches, possibly on rotation should the role be shared. Successful applicants would be welcome to attend training sessions too. This is an ideal opportunity for a newly, or soon to be, qualified Physiotherapist to gain experience of working on the job within a sports environment. The position is voluntary, but there could be some level of reimbursement of expenses. Anybody wishing to apply for the role should contact the club via the clubline on 07050 801733, or via the "Contact Us" facility on the website.


    Kettering Town "are delighted to confirm that Guy Branston has finally left the club and joined Burton Albion. Following several incidents last season, the club was forced to agree that Branston could leave this summer, providing 50% of a £40,000 release fee in a lucrative contract extension Branston signed midway through last season was met. We eventually agreed a deal worth £18,000 with Torquay United.

    Unfortunately, it transpires that a former employee did not use the correct paperwork for the contract extension or check the FA had accepted the amendment. As a result, Branston’s previous contract remained registered with the FA and expired at the end of last season. The FA did not notify Kettering Town that they had not accepted the extension, although Branston has been remunerated under the new terms.

    Chairman Imraan Ladak met with the player on Monday and was assured by Branston that as the club had been good to him he would sign an identical contract on the correct paperwork (commencing this week) in order for the club to be entitled to receive the fee from Torquay under FA regulations. This changed after Branston spoke to his agent (Lee Philpott) who insisted Kettering pay them an additional £5,000. This demand was rejected.

    Branston has chosen to not honour the terms of the contract extension, which included a signing on fee, increased wages and bonuses, along with pay through the close season. As a result the club expect full repayment of the difference between the contract extension and the original contract which Branston has chosen to enforce - a sum close to the transfer fee agreed with Torquay.

    Whilst the club is of course disappointed with how matters have transpired, we look forward to appointing a captain that respects the players, management and supporters of Kettering Town.

    Crawley Town announce that "Chairman Vic Marley has confirmed he has been made aware by the press of speculation linking Manager Steve Evans with the managerial vacancy at Cambridge United but quickly added that... Evans is under contract at Crawley Town Football Club... Marley said: 'I would like to make it very clear that we would not welcome any approach from Cambridge United or indeed any other club. Last season we refused permission to two high profile clubs to speak with our manager and we may have to do that again... Some outsiders may believe that a move to Cambridge United would allow Steve the opportunity to take his family back home but I do believe they are very settled in the area. Considering the resources available to our manager, he does a remarkable job. This season we are again excited by the squad he has put together with such a limited team budget. Our home pre - season schedule is outstanding and must be the envy of most... We have a brilliant match to look forward to on Saturday when Chelsea Football Club come to The Broadfield Stadium...The team had two great wins in Scotland'".

    Wrexham confirm that "after discussions with the club, striker Michael Proctor will be leaving the Racecourse by mutual consent. Signed initially on loan from Hartlepool United in March 2007, he played in nine games at the end of the season".

    "Gary Brabin has agreed compensation with Cambridge United to bring to an end his reign as U's manager. Brabin was relieved of his duties as manager on Monday... 'There have been reports of Gary calling in his lawyers but I can say that after a very amicable telephone conversation today we have sorted out the matter of compensation' Rolls told 'We both agreed that we just can't work together, but we've thanked each other and wished each other well. He thanked me for giving him his chance and I thanked him for what he's done here'".

    From Chester City we learn that "City have completed the signing of 26-year-old Uruguayan midfielder Fabian Yantorno on a one year deal. The South American player played under manager Mick Wadsworth at Gretna. He is expected to be included in the City squad that play at Marine on Saturday. As he holds a joint Italian/Uruguyan citizenship there should be no problems with a work permit. Blues owner Steve Vaughan said: “Mick Wadsworth has worked with this player before, and he knows only too well the flair and pace he possesses. We are sure that he will be one of the stars of this season."

    At Ebbsfleet United, Alty's first league opponents this season, "Liam Daish has hinted at the possibility of recapturing two of last season's squad - defender Dean Pooley and midfielder Ricky Shakes - but only if he can secure a budget boost to do so. In a message to MyFC members, EUFC club accountant Graeme Swift estimated that a £10,000 injection would be needed (£230 a week) to give the Fleet boss a chance of re-signing the two players and a fundraising strategy is already in place (see below). Funds to the tune of £2,500 were already in place in just over 12 hours of the news going live on MyFC on Tuesday night.

    Daish this week spoke of his desire to reinforce his squad's experience, saying, 'It's been a very challenging time with only a handful of players under contract and around 45 trialists to look at so far. It's fair to say we've had some interesting characters, strange haircuts, funny coloured boots – but hopefully we'll find some gems. We had our first pre-season game against Aveley. We won 1-0 but more importantly, it was to get a decent look at 20 or so trialists in a match situation. You learn much more than just watching them at the training ground... Two lads I'm very keen to add are Ricky Shakes and Dean Pooley, who were with us last season. They've also said they'd like to play for Ebbsfleet United again this season. Ricky has great pace which we all saw trouble opposition defences, especially at the back-end of last season. And Dean is a versatile defender, with Football League experience. Both will add a great deal to what is going to be a very inexperienced Fleet squad this season. My concern is, it's going to be hard to sign Ricky and Dean within our current weekly budget because it will leave us little to build the rest of the squad with. I'm very conscious of continually asking owners for money, and I know that several hundred of you have already given generously. But if you're able to, please help us build our weekly playing budget'... Club accountant Graeme Swift revealed 'We need to sell 560 £20 'tickets' to raise £11,200. Everyone who gives at least £20 will have their name printed in a special eight-page section in one edition of the match day programme. In addition, two names will be drawn at random and they will receive the players' home and away shirts and tracksuits at the end of the season".

    Histon "Manager Steve Fallon is set to take his interest in exciting young prospect Kieran Leabon one step further after the ex-Boston United player impressed in his two substitute appearances against West Bromwich Albion and Northampton Town. Fallon commented 'We like the look of Kieran so I will sit down with him and the Chairman on Saturday and see if we can agree something with him, that will then leave us with just one player to find from our trialists. We are not just looking for good players but good people. I have been very impressed with Kieran not only his play but also the way he conducts himsel'... Shane Tudor won't be joining Histon for the coming season after the management team decided to let Shane explore other avenues... [But] Histon Football Club is delighted to announce that Adam Tann has signed a one year contract for the Stutes, following the departure of Patrick Ada to Crewe Alexandra. Steve Fallon and John Beck have been looking for a player able to fill such a void".

    16 July 2009


    Altrincham FC announce that:

    We are offering fans a special photo opportunity at a reduced price of £30. On the day of the official team photograph, Tuesday 28th July at 6.30pm, Graham Heathcote has agreed that for a period of half an hour a space will be made available on one of the rows for fans who wish to wear their Alty shirts and pose for a photograph as "One of the Team".

    You will receive a framed copy of your photograph included in the price. Additional copies can be bought unframed and these can be ordered on the day".

    You will need to book so that we know how many people will be taking up this offer as places will be limited. You will need to be punctual in your arrival as the players are training straight afterwards.

    If you are interested, please contact Sarah or Karen at the club on 928-1045 or by e-mail.


    Altrincham FC is again offering season tickets for students on the same basis as last year, i.e. £99 for the season. Students can also gain entry at the turnstiles at concessionary prices on production of valid student identity.


    Altrincham FC Youth's pre-season game at Burscough has been transferred from Wednesday 22nd July 2009 to Wednesday 5th August 2009.


    Northwich Victoria's creditors are meeting to hear Vics' proposals for dealing with their debts on Monday 27th July.


    NL Daily says that "Imraan Ladak, chairman of Kettering Town, says he would not welcome an approach from rivals Cambridge United for manager Mark Cooper. Cooper was immediately linked with the job at the Abbey Stadium following the shock sacking of last season's Blue Square Premier manager of the year Gary Brabin. Cooper, who has a year to run on his contract at the Elgood's Arena, distanced himself from the speculation and chairman Ladak believes if there was genuine interest from Cambridge they would have already contacted him.

    'Of course we wouldn't welcome an approach for Mark', Ladak said. 'We are really pleased with the team he is building for this year and that is all we are concentrating on. To be honest it all seems to be paper talk at the moment... I certainly haven't heard from anyone'.

    Cambridge's vice-chairman Terry Baker said: 'Anyone who's got twelve months left on their contract won't be of interest to us as we'd have to pay their club money... We won't be stampeding in and will take our time'....

    Ladak confirmed Guy Branston's move to last season's play-off winners Torquay United is imminent after the two clubs finally agreed a fee... Ladak said: 'You never want to lose your captain but obviously we're not a club that restricts a player if they get the opportunity to play in the Football League. There was a compensation figure, which Guy was aware of, and that has now been met. It is now a case of agreeing personal terms'".

    According to the Welsh Premier website, "Wrexham boss Dean Saunders says he would like to see his reserves playing in the Welsh Premier. Speaking after his side had been held to a 0-0 draw at Prestatyn's Bastion Road on Monday night, the Dragons' boss said: 'It was a tough game for us and it would be good if our reserve team was allowed to play in the Welsh Premier'... Saunders fielded a side composed mainly of trialists and youth teamers, which included former Gap Connah's Quay loan keeper Chris Maxwell and ex-Prestatyn loanee Matty Hurdman... Saunders used the Welsh Premier as a testbed for several players last season, including Chris Marriott (Cefn Druids) who is now full-time at The New Saints and Airbus duo George Stewart and Mark Head".

    The BBC advises that "Salisbury manager Nick Holmes says news the club are in talks with a potential new owner is 'a breath of fresh air'. Holmes believes the would-be investor has the right ideas and potential to move the Whites on. 'I feel there may be something that will come of it. We've had two or three false dawns. All we want to do is play football', he told BBC Wiltshire... 'We will start the season, I'm absolutely certain of that', he said. 'If this club was on death's door there would [be] people out there who would come and save it'... Salisbury were put up for sale by departing chairman Neville Beal in April for £1...

    Earlier this week captain Mike Fowler left after the Blue Square Premier club failed to pay his latest wages... Added Holmes. 'It's the same in any walk of life if you don't pick up your money when you're expected to... We just hope that within a few weeks everything gets sorted out'... Salisbury beat Bournemouth 3-1 at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium in their latest friendly. Rob Sinclair, Robbie Matthews and trialist Chris Flood were all on target".

    "FC Wimbledon have released midfielder Dwane Lee" states South London Today. "The 29-year-old...will not be offered a contract extension... Lee, who played 18 times for the Dons after joining last December, made an important contribution to the team's Blue Square South title success. But the signing of holding midfielder Steven Gregory from Hayes & Yeading meant there was no space for Lee in Terry Brown's new-look squad, with Kennedy Adjei also vying for the same position".

    The Gravesend Messenger says that "Ebbsfleet manager Liam Daish hopes to make further signings this week - including retaining two more players from last season's squad. The Fleet boss is aiming to tie down Ricky Shakes and Dean Pooley for a further season... Defender Pooley made 23 appearances for the Fleet while Shakes started in 28 games and was used as a substitute a further 19 occasions. Daish said: 'We're not far away with Dean. I'd like to think we can get something sorted this week and we're going to try to do something with Ricky as well'. It will increase Daish's core of experienced players to six with keeper Lance Cronin, defenders Darius Charles and Paul McCarthy and striker Michael Gash already signed.

    Daish is also keen to complete the signings of some of the trialists who impressed in Monday night's 1-0 win at Aveley... Among those that could be on Daish's list are left-back Jordan Collins, who has previously played for Weymouth and Cambridge, along with former Gillingham trainee Charlie Howard. Former Nottingham Forest midfielder Liam Hook also impressed while former Woking, Welling and Fisher defender Michael Kamara caught the eye in defence for 75 minutes. The Fleet boss has played down a move for former defender Leon Crooks, who watched the game at Aveley, as he would be unable to afford his wages".

    15 July 2009


    Brian Flynn has recorded an interview with Ken McKenna, Alty's new assistant manager, on ClubCall - details right...


    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot has risen to £900 after the winning code, 3574, remained unclaimed last week. Eight "treble" winners shared a £200 prize. For details of the Yankee, where you can win big money for a £1 stake, follow the Yankee link at the top of the page.


    There is a charity match at Moss Lane on Sunday, 19th July 2009, kick Off is at 1pm. Admission prices are: adults £5, Children £2, family of four £12.

    The game is between a Celebrity Team (drawn from Hollyoaks, Coronation Street, Phoenix Nights, Emmerdale and the Dream Team) and an all-stars Football Team including former Manchester United players Denis Irwin, David May, Lee Martin, Clayton Blackmore, Andy Ritchie and more famous names to be announced later.

    The two beneficiary charities are the Sea Shell Trust and Leukaemia Research. Please come along and support these good causes.


    Visitors to Moss Lane in pre-season are Burton Albion whose "boss, Paul Peschisolido, was preparing for the next stage in Burton Albion’s preparations for the new season in the shape of a behind closed doors friendly against Blue Square North newcomers Ilkeston Town... The Brewers team impressed the new manager on Saturday against Championship opposition Derby County... The Albion supremo is hoping to see more goalmouth action for his strikers against the Robins... The name on most supporters lips on Saturday afternoon was former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jacques Maghoma, who impressed in a 77 minute performance in the middle of the park and Paul is keen to have another look at the former White Hart Lane talent but warned... 'There is a chance that Jacques could be with us for next season however we are on a tight budget. You have got to remember that the boy has come from Spurs last year and has been a part of the first team squad when Martin Jol was in charge. The wages he was on there are obviously a lot bigger than anything we would be able to afford so he would have to be sensible with his wage demands and then we can maybe sit down and see where we go but it is not going to be an easy one... Ideally I would like to have two quality players in each position and Jacques can play anywhere across the middle of the field, as can Russell Penn'.

    Ryan Austin, Darren Stride and Tony James all did well on Saturday in the centre half slot but Paul still admitted that he was still looking for a new centre half to join the squad... 'I am quite confident that we will have a quality defender in before the start of the season' he said, before confirming that he was hoping to bring in a couple of trialists in to have a look at in the central defensive role before the weekend although both players are currently on trial at the same League One club'".


    Ebbsfleet United's first game of the season is at Moss Lane but Kent Online reports that "Only two recognised players featured for the Fleet as they won their first pre-season match, 1-0 at Aveley on Monday. Keeper Lance Cronin and PASE product Steven Springett were joined by 20 trialists as the Fleet used all 11 substitutes... The only goal of the game came in the 22 minute when Pascal Ebigbo scored from 20 yards. The 22-year-old has previously been playing in Sweden with Bodens...

    Fleet boss Liam Daish was delighted with his team of rookies... He said 'They've all come from half-decent backgrounds, supposedly bigger clubs where they've been coach[ed] and should know what the game is about'". Ishmael welch is reported to have been one of the trialists.

    But "Daish is refusing to rule out further transfer activity for striker Michael Gash. The Fleet forward has been the subject of summer transfer bids from York, Luton and Morecambe. An ankle injury, together with the collapse of a double £80,000 move to York with defender Darius Charles, has put transfer talk to one side. Daish, who recommended that myfootballclub members agreed to sell the duo to York, is now planning on keeping his current squad together but warned: 'You don’t know. It’s still very early in the transfer window. We might get another bid for them, we might not. I have to plan with them being here'".

    Two players leaving BSP clubs are noted by NL Daily. "After allowing last season's captain and midfield dynamo, Ross Draper, to pursue a career in the Football League with Macclesfield Town, Hednesford Town manager Dean Edwards has moved quickly... Sam Aiston and Gavin Ward have been recruited from Wrexham and Tony Dinning from Chester City". Dinning spent some of last season at Grays Athletic.

    NL Daily adds that "Kettering Town boss Mark Cooper has emerged as the front-runner to become the new manager at rivals Cambridge United after the shock sacking of Gary Brabin... When asked if he had spoken to United officials regarding the job, Cooper said: 'No comment. The job will be attractive to a lot of managers due to the size of the club and the resources they have. A lot of managers who are in work and out of work would be attracted to it... I’m under contract at Kettering and have got another year left on that. I’m building a good squad and I’m committed to the job'" he told Cambridge News.

    According to Blue Square Football "York City manager Martin Foyle has revealed that the Minstermen have had a loan bid for Peterborough striker Scott Rendell rejected... He told The Press: 'We enquired about taking him on loan for the season because I think they are looking to get the player out... We are also waiting to hear back from other players as well'. Foyle has now missed out on Ebbsfleet's Michael Gash and Kettering's new signing Damian Spencer but is quick to point out... 'We have got the midfield that can play and create now, and we just need the icing on the cake'".

    "Torquay United utility-man Michael Brough has revealed that he would not be interested in a transfer to Kettering Town. The Poppies were keen on making a move for Brough, but the 27-year-old is keen to stick it out with the Gulls in League Two. Brough told the Northampton Evening Telegraph: 'The manager (Paul Buckle) showed me the courtesy of telling me about the interest and let me talk to Kettering. I did speak to Mark Cooper but I told Paul from minute one that I wanted to stay'".

    Meanwhile, Wrexham "manager Dean Saunders cleared up another piece of business today when central defender Mike Williams agreed his new contract with the club. The longest serving player at the Racecourse said, 'We've had a taste of the Conference now, we know what it's all about and want to be up at the top of the table challenging for a return to the Football League'".

    The Wrexham Chronicle says that "French midfielder Hedi Taboubi improved his chances of earning a contract at Wrexham after impressing boss Dean Saunders... The trialist played 90 minutes at Welsh Premier Prestatyn Town, who were well worth the goalless draw, but Saunders was more interested in performances than results. 'Taboubi was head and shoulders above everyone on the pitch',” said Saunders. 'He deserves another chance against Colwyn Bay on Wednesday'".

    A "club statement" has been issued by Salisbury City who say the club "is still in talks with third parties to ensure the continuation of Blue Square Premier League football at the Raymond McEnHill Stadium in the coming season... Salisbury City has suffered financial pressures due to the current economic downturn. We made this clear at an early stage and although many gave generously at the time, the sum raised was insufficient to solve all the problems. We are fortunate to have an extremely loyal group of supporters, and we would urge you to... bring as many people as you can to the pre-season friendlies in particular, and also to future home games. We would stress that we continue to be optimistic about the future for Salisbury City FC, but we need everyone to get behind the Club at this time. We fight on".

    "Chester City are expected to make another signing in the next few days, with central defender Mark Bower poised to join the Deva Stadium outfit" claims the Liverpool Daily Post. "The 29-year-old Yorkshireman, who played 231 Football League appearances for Bradford City, is seen as a direct replacement for former skipper Paul Linwood, who signed for Grimsby Town earlier this month. Another player who is being linked with a move to the Deva Stadium is the much travelled non-League [ex-Altrincham] striker Matt McNeil, who numbers Burscough and Southport among his previous clubs. Meanwhile, midfield player Paul Rutherford, who was released by Chester at the end of last season, is having trials with Barrow".

    Also, "Chester City are giving trials to the much-travelled striker Glynn Hurst. The 33-year-old is spending a week at the Deva Stadium, with a view to earning a contract".

    14 July 2009


    Altrincham FC's 'Summer Fun Week' takes place from 27-31 July, and will be run by Chris Bullock. Individual rates are available for children who cannot attend all of the days. Those enrolling qualify for free tickets to the Alty pre-season games at Moss Lane.


    A new Football Pontoon competition has been launched at Moss Lane:

    Each of the Clubs from the Premiership, Championship, League One, League Two and Blue Square Premier will be given a random number from 1 to 116. For a £10 stake, you can chose or you will be allocated one of these numbers and this will determine your team in the competition.

    The idea of the competition is for your team to accumulate exactly 21 goals by the END of any particular sequence of games. The winner will receive a £100 cash prize, the holder for the number of the second team to reach exactly 21 goals will receive £50 and the third-place prize will be £10.

    If more than one team attains 21 goals on the same day, the team that scored their 21st goal earliest in their game will be awarded 1st prize. Goals are tallied up at the end of each match and the totals adjusted accordingly. If by the end of any particular game, your team's goals total exceeds 21, then you will "go bust" and be out of the Competition. Only league goals will count towards your total.

    You are not restricted to one number, so increase your chance of winning by buying a second team!

    If you are interested in participating, please forward your name, contact number and payment along with your chosen number to the Club for the attention of Sarah Rowley. Weekly updates will be posted here on the Club's website and forum.

    Thank you for your support.

    Sarah Rowley.

    You can join any time at the Altrincham FC offices or by approaching Sarah Rowley at Saturday's match at Colwyn Bay.


    Altrincham Supporters' Golf Day

    There are still places available for next week's Golf Day, details of which are as follows:-

    Friday July 24th, at Mobberley Golf Club (, from 1.00-2.30pm.

    The cost is £30 per person and for this you get the following:

  • Tea/Coffee & Bacon Roll beforehand (from 12 Noon)
  • 20 Minutes golf coaching from Gary Donnison, the Mobberley Golf Club Professional, prior to teeing off
  • 18 Holes (4 Ball, Stableford Points System)
  • A pint in the bar afterwards
  • Prizes (Top 3 Highest Points Scorers/Longest Drive/Nearest The Pin/Booby Prize for worst score)

    Please contact Brian Flynn on 07860 561011 or by e-mail to book your place or for further information.


    Right: Robbie Lawton was again Altrincham's captain as they kicked off the 2009-10 pre-season at Abbey Hey.

    Alty play Northwich on Tuesday 21st July from where the Vics' website reports that there will be some familiar faces playing against us. "Following the lifting of the transfer embargo just a few days ago, Andy Preece has gone to work putting the 09/10 squad together. Following the signings of Ian Herring and Mike O'Connor, the experienced striker Jon Newby will also be joining the club. Andy has previously worked with Jon during their time at Bury, and more recently he was top scorer for Morecambe in the 07/08 season.

    Andy has also confirmed that the promising young defender, Mark Cadwallader, will be with the Vics for the start of the season. Mark graduated through Chester City's youth system and made several appearances for the reserves. He spent last season with Airbus in the Welsh Premier league making 23 appearances. In a further addition to the defence, right back Nat Kerr will return to Northwich. 21 year-old Nat spent some with Barrow last season [after being an Alty trialist], and made 13 appearances in the 07/08 season for the Vics. Following the departure of Clarke and Tynan, two keepers will be joining the squad. James Coates [former Alty trialist], who Andy worked with during his Worcester City days, will come in. James has won underage caps for Wales, and played every game for Vauxhall Motors last term earning a player of the year award with the club. Joining Coates will be Kyle Clancy; a young goalkeeper who comes in from Droylsden. It has also been confirmed that Ross Farran and [ex-Alty man] Lee Elam have resigned with the club."


    There was surprise news on Monday from Cambridge United who announced that "Manager Gary Brabin has been relieved of his duties as first team manager with immediate effect... following a meeting between Brabin and Chairman George Rolls. Assistant manager Paul Carden has been asked to take charge of training and first team affairs for the immediate future. There have been a number of issues between the board and the manager in recent months, culminating in a position where it has become untenable for the Board and manager to work together. The Board will now discuss the best way forward for the club and begin the process of recruiting a new manager".

    Mansfield Town "are very disappointed to learn that our kit suppliers Canterbury have fallen into administration. Canterbury Europe, based in Stockport, also supplies the kit of Portsmouth. Administrators KPMG have stated that contracts with all of their clubs have now been cancelled... Chairman Andrew Perry told 'This is devastating news for us as we have tried to get ahead of the game which, in past years, the previous regime has failed to do. To be dealt this hammer blow puts us in a most unfortunate position'... Our new away kit would have been previewed to the travelling fans at Newport this Saturday... We were also planning to launch the away kit at our forthcoming Open Day on Sunday 26th July".

    Forest Green Rovers "have completed the signing of right-sided defender Andy Taylor. The 23 yr-old who originates from Liverpool spent the last two seasons in Texas, USA with Austin Aztex, where he was a fans' favourite with their nickname of 'Snacks'... Due to his signing one of the bonuses is that the club have now attracted more fans across 'the pond'".


    The BBC reports that "Masked raiders have targeted the home of Manchester United footballer Federico Macheda. Greater Manchester Police were called to the property on Washway Road in Sale in the early hours of Sunday following reports of a robbery. Two men stole cash and jewellery before running out of the house, police said. A friend of the 17-year-old Italian striker suffered a minor cut to his head during the robbery, the spokesman added. Inquiries are ongoing. The Italian, who signed for Manchester United as a 16-year-old from Lazio, was at home when the raid took place. A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police was unable to confirm reports that the attack was linked to a row earlier in the evening outside a Manchester city centre nightclub".

    Some signs of the times come from NL Daily. It reports that "Brent Peters, manager of Vodkat North West Counties League Premier Division club Bacup Borough, has fired a broadside at the spending culture in the lower levels of non-League football after his talismanic striker Tommy Turner doubled his money by quitting West View... He stormed: 'Tommy has been offered double his wages by New Mills. It is scary. With what they are paying him and with what he gets from his job, he is probably earning more than a lot of players in League Two... There should be a limit on what players can be paid in the Vodkat League because this is a ridiculous situation'... However, he could be set to pull off a major coup by snatching ex-Liverpool striker Jon Newby from under the noses of Accrington Stanley, who are believed to be monitoring the hot-shot" but as seen above, Newby went to Northwich Vics instead.

    13 July 2009


    Colin Mitchell has kindly provided some more photos from the Altrincham FC involvement in last week's Altrincham festival. Above we see a line-up of Alty volunteers comprising Anthony Wright, Mike Ford, Colin Mitchell, Mike Ainsworth, Steve Foster and Andrew Nash. The club is very grateful to all of the above and to everyone else who assisted in raising the Alty profile at the event.


    Altrincham made use of a large number of trialists on Saturday at Abbey Hey. Here are details of at least some of them... In yesterday's news (below) you will find some of them pictured.

    The most familar face was goalkeeper Russell Saunders. Born in Bury on 3rd January 1989 the 6ft 2ins goalkeeper was an emergency loan signing for Altrincham from Wigan Athletic on 21 September 2007 following injuries to Stuart Coburn and Richard Acton. His debut on 22 September against Droylsden was eventful; his first action was to face a penalty after 9 minutes and then he was stretchered off after 60 minutes after pulling a muscle. As a result of his only being on a month's loan, that was the end of his Altrincham career.

    One of the second half subs at Abbey Hey was Steve Connor (right), who played up front, though he can also play on the wing. In August 2005, Steve playing for Everton Reserves in the FA Premier Academy League. In the same Everton Reserves' side was Alty's Shaun Densmore. Born on the Wirral on January 27, 1989, Steve had a loan spell from the Toffees at Partick Thistle from August 2007 but his stay there was affected by injury. His contract at Goodison Park was terminated in May 2008 and in 2009 he was at TNS in Wales, whom he left at the end of last season. The Everton website has more on Steve.

    Robbie Williams, who also played at Abbey Hey, is a 6 foot 4 inch centre-back, who was also at TNS last season but was released for cost-cutting reasons at the end of last season.

    Playing up front with Steve Connor was David Owens. Born on October 10, 1988, he was a midfielder with Wigan Athletic for whom he played for the Reserves. He had a spell for Southport on loan from the Latics in 2006/07, and last season spent some time at Hyde United.

    Another trialist on Saturday was Aaron Chalmers (d.o.b. 2 February 1991), the younger brother of Altrincham's former midfielder Lewis. Aaron started out at Bolton Wanderers and then Oldham Athletic where he made a couple of appearances in League One in 2007-08. However, the club announced in December 2008 that his contract had been terminated "following a breach of discipline". In March 2009 he joined Macclesfield Town as a non-contract player.

    On the right wing in the second half at Abbey Hey was Eddie Stamford, who was at Chorley and Curzon Ashton in 2007-08 and last season was with Burscough in Conference North.

    Two goals were scored at Abbey Hey by Paul McManus. He came through the Chester City youth system before moving to Bangor City in February 2009. For Chester he played in the Football League, making his debut in October 2007 and became a regular that season before Mark Wright allowed him to move on.


    Stevenage Borough manager Graham Westley singles out five non-league players whom he tips to be able to make the grade in League football. "My number three is Dale Johnson at Altrincham. He hasn't been a prolific goalscorer yet but he is a fantastic hold-up player and he has much to offer. He makes a big contribution" he told the NL Paper.


    The NL Paper has a piece on the re-election process to the old Division Four and recounts how in 1980 Altrincham "missed out by just one vote, 26-25 in replacing near neighbours Rochdale. Even worse, two promised votes, from Grimsby and Luton, failed to materialise as they were in the wrong part of the building when the vote took place". Incongruously the picture accompanying the article shows Ken McKenna and Paul Rowlands from the 1990/1 Altrincham side which almost gained automatic promotion to the League that season.


    NL Daily reports that "Welsh Premier club GAP Connah's Quay have signed Stuart Scheuber, who scored one of Nantwich Town's goals in their 2006 FA Vase Final victory over Hillingdon Borough at Birmingham City's St Andrew's. Scheuber, who has previous experience at Stafford Rangers [and Alty in 2000/01], joins the Nomads from Vodkat North West Counties League side Stone Dominoes".


    Altrincham play Colwyn Bay next Saturday and NL Daily reports that last Friday our opponents met Rhyl in a friendly "With Rhyl using this match as final preparation before Tuesday’s Champions League tie with Partizan Belgrade; it was a full strength team that took the field... After 17 minutes. Luke Holden crossed into the box where Mark Connelly rose highest to head the ball past Fariah Jackson only to see Danny Jarrett [ex-Alty] clear the ball off the line. Colwyn Bay took the lead on 22 minutes when Lee Davey beat Rhyl defender Martyn Naylor and goalkeeper Lee Kendall to the ball. Davey chipped the ball over the out coming Kendall and neatly skipped past him... During the second half, Neil Young [Bay's manager] made several changes as he gave all of the available squad a run out, including a few of the young trialists. Rhyl capitalised on the Bay’s changes as they scored three headed goals throughout the half... Young went on to say 'Considering this was their fourth game and we have only had the ball out for one session in training, I was very pleased. We also had some key players missing in Rob Hopley, Tim Brandreth and Chris Sanna, so the performance was very encouraging and gives us something to work on. I thought our midfield three of Carl Clampitt, Jimmy Kelly and [ex-Alty man] Steve Aspinall did very well and I was pleased with how Matthew Holt played at the back, while Lee Davey put in some good work down the left".


    Altrincham FC Youth will once again participate in this summer's Umbro International Tournament at the University playing fields at Northenden. The draw has not yet been made for the competition.


    The former Salisbury City captain has explained to the NL Paper why he is leaving the club. Mike Fowler said, "Joining Salisbury in 2007 from Gloucester City was a bit of a culture shock because you walk into what was then a Conference South club and you've got a jacuzzi, a sauna and a fully equipped gym at the ground. You've go your own peg with your name on it and all your kit's washed for you... I appreciate everything I had at Salisbury... The club put me up in a house as part of my deal.. But when you are not getting paid your wage and you are paying out of your own pocket, it's hitting you hard. I have been paid through the summer, but sporadically. I'm owed 20% of my wages since November. I've not been paid all my money from last month and we were supposed to be paid this month's last Thursday but it hasn't arrived... Even if my money was going to be late, [the chairman]'s always been able to say when it was going to be ready. This month he hasn't been able to, so I've got to think of my family".

    "Two new directors have invested a six-figure sum in Histon, one of them an Indian businessman developing football links to aid his country's 2022 world Cup bid. Raj Chodankar and Tony Roach ... were voted onto the board... [Chairman Gareth] Baldwin told The NLP, 'It's £50,000 for directors to join the board. You don't get shares for that but you are allocated a role... Raj's will be international liaison and dealing with overseas players. Indian football is about to see massive investment... so I think it's not stupid of us to get involved with a businessman who is prepared to invest money now and form links with a country that is certainly going to invest a lot of money in football in the next 10-15 years. We've now got a board of nine and are moving towards our target of twelve'". Meanwhile, ex-Histon man Antonio Murray is turning out for Cambridge City in pre-season in the hope of eventually landing a move to a bigger club.

    12 July 2009


    Below are some images of new and old faces from Saturday's game at Abbey Hey. There is a match report here.

    Above left to right: Aaron Chalmers; Ken McKenna debriefs five of the players who came off at half time, (Denham, Heffernan, Crowell, Young and Little); trialists David Owens and Paul McManus; goalkeeper Russell Saunders.


    Altrincham travel to Colwyn Bay next Saturday. NL Daily says that "Experienced former Wrexham and Wolves midfielder Jimmy Kelly has agreed to sign for UniBond League Division One North club Colwyn Bay. Kelly joined Rhyl in June 2007 from Droylsden...Kelly started his career with Wrexham and Wolves, making sixty-one Conference appearances for Doncaster Rovers. A further twenty-nine starts at Chester City saw him move to Scarborough, Morecambe and Lancaster City. He then signed for Fleetwood Town at the end of 2008 before being released at his own request this summer. Manager Neil Young commented 'I believe that we now have the right balance in the squad with a mixture of a great deal of experience and youth which has always been my aim... I still hope to add one or two more before the start of the season'" he told the Colwyn Bay website.


    Altrincham FC Press Release:

    Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote has wasted no time in appointing a successor to Assistant Manager Graham Barrow, who joined Wigan Athletic as Reserve Team Manager earlier this week. Ken McKenna, whose 33 goals in 1990/91 Season almost took Altrincham into the Football League, is back at Moss Lane to try to help the Blue Square Premier side consolidate and improve on last season's finish of fifteenth. McKenna, 49, won three League of Wales titles with The New Saints and managed the Welsh side in numerous European campaigns and was Chief Scout for Cambridge United last year.

    'Graham contacted me a few weeks ago when it became likely that Graham Barrow was going to move to Wigan and I'm really looking forward to coaching in the highest level of non-league Football in England. When I was at TNS, we were a full-time team in a part-time league, so I'm sure that there will be a few wry smiles on some Welsh managers' faces as I'm now helping Graham with a part-time team in what is essentially now a full-time league".


    Val Owen is reported to be trialing with FC United of Manchester. Meanwhile, "FC United of Manchester’s new striker Ben Deegan scored a second half hat trick as the UniBond League Premier Division side beat Vodkat North West Counties hosts Leek CSOB 4-1" recently reports NL Daily.

    FC United also provide some information on other ex-Altrincham players. "Manager, Karl Marginson, has been assembling his squad of ex-players for our All Star team... Today Margy was able to confirm the full list of ex-players who will be at Leek: Joz Mitten, Steven Spencer, Dave Brown, Craig Fleury, Ryan Gilligan, Tony Coyne, Phil Priestly, Adie Orr. A few couldn’t make it, but wished us well, including... Barrie George, who’s now living in China".

    Former Alty left-back Sean Clancy is starting the season at Fleetwood Town.


    The Football Confernce confirms that "Wrexham have secured a deal to sign former Leeds United defender Mansour Assoumani on a twelve-month contract. Mali international Assoumani - known as Mani - was a non-contract signing at Wrexham late last season... Saunders is also hoping to secure the loan signing of young Liverpool goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis... The Australian shot-stopper arrived at Liverpool from the New South Wales Institute of Sport, though he was initially loaned to Sydney FC until his 17th birthday".

    Thee Wrexham Chronicle adds that "Bouzanis, 18, was a member of the Liverpool side that reached the FA Youth Cup final last season and will compete with Chris Maxwell for a place between the posts this season".

    11 July 2009


    Altrincham's pre-season games started today with a comfortable 6-2 win against Vodkat (NW Counties) Premier club Abbey Hey at Gorton. For the first half, Altrincham started with eight of last season's first-team squad (Doughty, Densmore, McGregor, Young, Denham, Lawton, Little and Johnson). Joining them were trialist goalkeeper Russell Saunders, who played once for Alty in 2007-08 on loan from Wigan Athletic, new signing Matty Crowell and left-flanker Danny Heffernan, who was in the first-team squad a couple of times last season.

    By the interval Alty led 2-0 thanks to goals by Colin Little (6 mins) and Dale Johnson (13 mins). There were wholesale changes in the second half when six trialists came on and, during the remainder of the game, several other new faces appeared. The trialists generally acquitted themselves well with all four second-half goals coming from their ranks. Firstly, Eddie Stamford (from Chorley) made it 3-0 (49 mins) before Stevie Connors added a fourth (58 mins). Paul McManus came on as a substitute midway through the second half and he made it 5-0 with a fine shot from left of goal (73 mins). But a mix-up between an Alty defender and goalkeeper Saunders saw the keeper's clearance cannon back into the net off an Abbey Hey player (75 mins). McManus made it 6-1 a minute later before a fine goal from Abbey Hey's Dicks left the score 6-2 to the visitors.

    Match report here.


    Altrincham FC physio Sean Riley writes:

    Through the close season both Stuart Coburn and Michael Welch (pictured right) have been under the surgeon's knife. Stuart sustained a small tear to his cartilage in his left knee towards the end of last season. This was removed on the 23rd June and he is making very good progress with his rehabilitation and should be back in training following the Colwyn Bay game. Welchy had his right lateral ankle ligaments reconstructed yesterday and the operation went really well. He has been fitted with a lightweight cast that will remain in place for the next four weeks. Once removed, his rehabilitation will begin and hopefully he will be fit by the end of the first week in October.


    Droylsden have signed former Alty man Alex Meechan, who spent part of last season at Stalybridge celtic. Ged Murphy is reportedly with Salford City this season, where he will be joined by Jody Banim.


    "The Football Conference has ended a ban on Northwich Victoria signing new players. League bosses are satisfied that the Blue Square North outfit has not[??] paid its football-related debts – that is money owed in transfer fees to other clubs or for players’ wages" claims the Northwich Guardian. "The embargo had been in place since March... Said general manager Dave Thomas, 'Now Andy Preece can really get on with building his team for the new season'... Preece will be relieved, as the ban has prevented him registering new recruits both with the Football Association and the league. 'We probably owe football creditors less than any other club from the top of the Football League downwards, yet still we are made to wait. It’s been ridiculous'. He will now hope to make a flurry of signings ahead of Vics’ first friendly".


    The Cheshire Senior Cup 1st Round draw is expected to be drawn next Monday. Altrincham are the holders and could land a bye depending on the number of clubs entered.


    Kettering Town are "delighted to announce the signing of Damian Spencer. The striker, formerly with Cheltenham Town, was one of manager Mark Cooper's top summer targets. 'We're still looking to finalise the squad and this is unlikely to be the last movement before the opening day', he said. Spencer spent six seasons with The Robins where he made 120 appearances, scoring 35 goals. He has also had spells with Bristol City, Exeter City and most recently on loan at Brentford".

    Stalybridge Celtic "have announced the signing of England C International Michael Carr. Midfielder Carr (25) has recently been plying his trade in the Blue Square Premier with Kidderminster, and his other clubs include Morecambe, Northwich Victoria and Macclesfield.".

    One of Altrincham's pre-season opponents, Burton Albion, "have announced the signing of Kidderminster Harriers midfielder Russell Penn for an undisclosed club record fee" reports Blue Square Football. The Brewers had been locked in negotiations with the Harriers for quite some time and Penn... told Burton Albion's official website: 'As soon as I heard about it quite a few weeks ago I was just eager to come. Nothing against Kidderminster, I have had four great years there but I have always had good games when I have come here to Burton, the stadium is great and I know a few players, so as soon as I heard that there was interest I was desperate to come'".

    Confirmation comes from the Burton Mail that "Albion have smashed their transfer record to sign Kidderminster Harriers' midfielder Russell Penn... Albion’s former Blue Square Premier rivals had valued Penn at £50,000, but finally accepted Peschisolido’s best offer. The fee has not been disclosed, but Albion have confirmed it exceeds the £17,500 they paid Ilkeston Town for Christian Moore during the Nigel Clough era".

    Gateshead "take on Huddersfield Town at the International Stadium on Saturday hoping to have two 30 year old strikers with almost 800 appearances in the professional game between them, in their squad. Tynesiders' manager Ian Bogie has tracked former Stoke City, Rochdale, Swansea City, Leyton Orient and Cheltenham Town striker Paul Connor for some time. The Bishop Auckland-born player turned out as a trialist for League Two side Lincoln City on Wednesday and played 85 minutes of the Imps goalless draw against Ferencvaros. Bogie hopes the free agent will now travel up to the North East to play against Hudddersfield... A surprise development has seen Bogie abandon his attempts to sign young Whitley Bay striker Lee Kerr and switch his attention to much travelled front man Trevor Benjamin... Benjamin briefly turned out for Gainsborough Trinity and Kidsgrove Athletic last season and has recently been on trial at Rushden & Diamonds.

    'I'm keen to add an experienced striker to the squad and both Connor and Benjamin fit that criterion', said Bogie...'Connor is a free agent who we have put an attractive offer to... Benjamin will play if he overcomes a calf injury... He is a former £1 million pound player whose career has gone off track over the past couple of years, but will hopefully be able to resurrect his career at Gateshead. He is married to a Newcastle girl and is keen to relocate to the North East'

    Gateshead's five summer signings will all be involved [against Huddersfield]. Goalkeeper Paul Farman, defenders Mark Robinson and Chris Swailes, midfielder Martin Brittain and striker Steven Richardson will all be keen to impress. Bogie also expects left back Phil Cave to be available with the 22 year old ending his stay at troubled Scottish club Livingston halfway through his two year contract. Trialists Mark Convery, the ex. Darlington, York City and Cambridge United schemer, and left sided midfielder Michael Brown are expected to feature on Saturday. Brown was with Airdrie United last season, and German midfielder Christoph Ascherel, who has impressed in training, could also be involved. Young striker Steve Baptist however will be sidelined for two months after he suffered a broken ankle in training, and French defender Stephane Pelonde is injured...'I'm confident that we at least hold our own in the Blue Square Premier'" added Bogie.

    Rushden & Diamonds "can confirm that negotiations have taken place between Rushden & Diamonds FC and HM Revenue & Customs, which have resulted in the petition for a winding up order being withdrawn... Managing Director Helen Thompson said 'We now look forward to a sunny and successful week down in Devon for the Errea South West Challenge Cup'".

    Despite their money troubles the Northants Evening Telegraph reports that Rushden boss "Justin Edinburgh still has money available to make more signings this summer... Four trialists will be handed another chance to impress in tomorrow's friendly against St Johnstone behind closed doors at Warwick University. Rob Elvins, Gavin Hoyte, Tom Sharpe and Nicky Nicolau all featured in the midweek win at Rothwell Town... Edinburgh said: 'There is a possibility of more players to come in within the budget... There's a chance of signing two or three players, maybe even four... Money is available to us if we feel it's necessary and the right player comes along'...

    Another player looking to earn a deal with Diamonds is striker Trevor Benjamin who has been training with the squad [also trialing at Gateshead, see above!]. But he won't be involved in tomorrow's game and will also stay behind next week to work on his fitness with the youth-team players".

    The Football Conference says that "Forest Green Rovers have announced that they have completed the signing of a quintet of players for the coming season. Jonathan Else, a 20-year-old right-sided defender or midfielder, James Baldwin, 20, a central defender, two more 20-year-olds in left-sided defender or midfielder Ben Pugh and right-sided winger/striker Steve Davies, and Curtis McDonald, a 21-year-old left-sided defender who can also play in midfield.

    All with the exception of McDonald have come through the Hartpury College set up with the club and apart from Davies, who played most of last season in the reserves and with Cirencester Town, the other three have made a limited number of appearances in the Blue Square Premier... It is hoped that the club will be completing a further three signings in the next seven days, including one requiring international clearance and another with Football League experience. The club are also interested in two other players who regularly played in the Blue Square Premier last season".

    "Grays Athletic striker Jamie Taylor has terminated his contract by mutual consent and has joined rivals Eastbourne Borough. Taylor joined Grays from neighbours Dagenham & Redbridge on a two-year contract in May 2008".

    "Guy Branston's future is set to be decided within the next 24 hours, according to Kettering Town chairman Imraan Ladak. Speculation has been growing that Poppies skipper Branston could be about to move back into the Football League... Ladak confirmed: 'Several clubs have expressed an interest in Guy, including Torquay United and we are in talks with them. We have told Torquay the terms that we can do business under and if they meet those terms before the weekend then Guy will be going there. If not, then he will be a Kettering Town player next season'... Mark Cooper, meanwhile, believes 'anything can happen' to Kettering next season if they maintain one of the best defensive records in the Blue Square Premier".

    "Being handed the number two shirt for next season is a dream come true for fast-improving right-back Ed Asafu-Adjaye" claims Luton Today. "Having agreed a two-year contract extension with the Hatters last week... he said: 'Right-back will be where I feature this year'.... Having been awarded Frenchman Claude Gnakpa's number, it must leave question marks over Luton's Wembley winner's future at the club".

    At Wrexham "Manager Dean Saunders has had to be patient over the summer months in his pursuit of French central defender Mansour Assoumani, but it looks like paying off... It is hoped that he will finally put pen to paper on a deal for next season... A non-contract signing late last season, he played three games before being unlucky enough to receive a straight red card against Altrincham on Easter Monday... It was a big shame for Mani" and also for Chris Denham who was on the receiving end!

    The Daily Post adds that "Dean Saunders is looking to strengthen his defensive options with a bid for a Premier League right-back. And the Dragons are also closing in on striker Andy Mangan, last season’s top scorer in the Blue Square Premier. Saunders said: 'We have made an offer for a youngish right back at a Premier League club and are waiting for a response'... Out-of-contract Mangan’s future is complicated by an on-going FA inquiry into betting irregularities, the outcome of which is expected this month".

    Brian Flynn advises that "The Blue Square "Square Up Challenge" competition was won by Jack Miller, a Basingstoke fan. The final took place at Wembley at the Play-Off Final & he won £10,000! Unfortunately, our representative, Gary Stuart, wasn't able to attend the semi-final at Gateshead".

    10 July 2009


    Altrincham have made their first signing of the close season in the shape of Matty Crowell from Northwich Victoria. The midfielder, who turned 25 last week, was Northwich's 'Player Of The Season' and previously played for Wrexham, Southampton & Swansea City. He also made seven appearances for the Wales Under 21 team scoring one goal against Azerbaijan in 2004. Crowell is pictured with manager Graham Heathcote and his newly appointed assistant, Ken McKenna, as he signed for the Robins at the Cresta Court Hotel this afternoon.

    You can here an interview with the Robins new signing by ringing Altrincham ClubCall on 09066 555902.

    For more on Matty see the Squad page


    Altrincham FC last night announced that former Moss Lane striker, Ken McKenna, is the new assistant manager of the Club. He succeeds Graham Barrow, who left this week to become Reserve Team Manager at Premiership club, Wigan Athletic.

    Birkenhead-born Ken, (49), scored 56 times in exactly 100 appearances for Altrincham. In 1990-91 his 22 Conference goals almost got Altrincham into the Football League. Importantly, for his current role, Ken also has significant managerial experience at Welsh Premier club TNS, with whom he won the league title three times (in 2004/5, 2005/6 and 2006/7) as manager and subequently tasted European competition. In all he spent ten years at TNS as player and manager. In 2008, he had a brief spell as manager of Cammell Laird. More recently he had been the chief scout of Cambridge United. Ken will be involved with the Altrincham game at Abbey Hey this Saturday (tomorrow).

    For fuller details of Ken's career, see Terry Rowley's Legends profile. Ken is pictured left (in blue shirt, foreground) playing in a "Veterans v Supporters" match at Moss Lane in 2001.


    Altrincham FC Youth team have arranged another pre-season friendly. It will be on Wednesday 22nd July 2009, away at Burscough's Victoria Park stadium on Bobby Langton Way, Mart Lane, Burscough, Lancashire L40 0SD. Kick Off is at 7.45 p.m. A list of the Alty Youth pre-season games (trials and friendlies) as well as the FA Youth Cup and Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup fixtures is here.


    Mark Eckersall writes: For those amongst you who use Twitter, please add the new Altrincham FC page to your account. Due to my inability to help the club financially this year, I have decided to use some of my online knowledge to try and raise the profile of the club, which could indirectly raise some funds. Of course, your first port of call will always be the club's official website but this is just another way of connecting with people.

    The page is here.

    The club will use it as another way of communicating with fans, there may even be some special offers for Twitter followers so if you haven't got a Twitter account sign-up today. It's free and quick.

    If we want to be a progressive club, we have to keep pace with off the field channels to complement our superb website run by John. We've got Ebay working well, Facebook groups and now Twitter.

    So follow the Robins today....."


    "Former Crewe Alexandra, Northwich Victoria and Bristol Rovers midfielder Kevin Street has emerged as a leading contender for the hot-seat at UniBond League Premier Division club Nantwich Town. The 31-year-old, who played for Dabbers' neighbours Alex between 1997-2002, is helping caretaker Peter Hall with pre-season training. Now he is a serious rival to the likes of Dave Brammer and Julien Dicks to replace Steve Davis. Chairman Clive Jackson said: 'Pete has asked Kevin to assist him with training so he is working with us at the moment. We have received a number of interesting applications for the job and will give them all careful consideration after the closing date'. Davis left to become assistant-manager at Gresty Road after five excellent seasons at the helm... Still registered with Altrincham, Crewe-born Street is recovering from a cruciate ligament injury. He has experience of management when he stood in as caretaker at Stafford Rangers for several months" reports tha Crewe Chronicle.


    Altrincham travel to Colwyn Bay for a friendly next week (Saturday 18th July) where manager Neil Young "has completed two more new signings. Former Tranmere Rovers' reserve defender Luke Denson has signed after joining the squad for pre-season.Denson, 18, is a right back and can also play at centre half and was recently released by Tranmere... Young has also added to the attacking options by signing former pacey Wigan Athletic youth striker James Dunn. Dunn, who is 20, currently represents the British Universities' side and has also appeared briefly for Burscough and Leigh RMI in the Blue Square North. He stands at over 6` 2” and can also play out on the left-wing".


    Once an Alty loan player, who scored a memorable goal at Salisbury, "James Dean is the latest player to be unveiled by FC Halifax Town boss Neil Aspin as he prepares his squad for the new UniBond League Division One North season" reports the Halifax Courier.


    ] The late Jackie Swindells's daughter, Jill Gray, has posted a mesage on the Alty Fans' forum. She writes, "To all the ex-teammates, fans, officials and friends of Altrincham who have posted their condolences and memories of Jackie Swindells on this site and in the local press may I say a heartfelt thank you from myself and my two brothers, Neil and Martin, and my sister Lynne. My Dad was thrilled with the reception he received on his recent visit to the Kidderminster match for his birthday.

    We had a wonderful weekend with him; the last time we all saw him. Altrincham was a huge part of his life and he told many many tales about his time at the club and the lifelong friends he made. As a child I remember many occasions when we would be out as a family and he would stop to chat to someone who had stopped to say hello and it was invariably an Alty fan sharing memories.

    I have so many memories of my own childhood linked with watching him in the red and white shirt; him being abused by the Macclesfield fans; him scoring many a goal and running over to the main stand to blow us a kiss as we sat at the back; taking the team kit home and my mum washing it in the bath; [chairman] Peter Swailes lending us his car to go on holiday to Cornwall; Dad coming home with 3/4/5 "new" suits courtesy of [manager] Freddie Pye; being in the tea room under the stand whilst the team were photographed in new club suits for a big match; going to The Bowdon Hotel for the pre-match meal before home matches; playing on the pitch after a match; [director] Len Pollitt always teasing me in a friendly way; Noel White always a perfect gentleman; Dad working in the scrap metal yards and me being able to go to work with him across the road from what is now Eastlands. I could go on for pages.

    The lasting memories are all of an extremely happy time in all our lives and I would venture to say the happiest time of my Dad's life. So thank you all very very much; and I am happy to report that he got the send off he deserved. Altrincham Football Club was well represented at his final appearance and I know he would have been very proud.

    With my sincerest thanks, Jill Gray (nee Swindells)".


    There is a charity match at Moss Lane on Sunday, 19th July 2009, kick Off is at 1pm. Admission prices are: adults £5, Children £2, family of four £12.

    The game is between a Celebrity Team (drawn from Hollyoaks, Coronation Street, Phoenix Nights, Emmerdale and the Dream Team) and an all-stars Football Team including former Manchester United players Dennis Irwin, David May, Lee Martin, Clayton Blackmore, Andy Ritchie and more famous names to be announced later.

    The two beneficiary charities are the Sea Shell Trust and Leukaemia Research. Please come along and support these good causes.


    The BBC reports that "Ebbsfleet chairman John Moules has decided to step down from his position at the club. Moules joined Fleet in 2008 and has also been acting chief executive since April on a voluntary basis. 'I agreed to take both positions on because the club have been going through a difficult summer',he told BBC Radio Kent. 'Now we are almost at the start of the season it's time to move on and find some gainful employment somewhere'. And he was keen to stress his departure had nothing to do with the club's financial problems following a dramatic fall in MyFootballClub membership, and a reduction to manager Liam Daish's playing budget. The former Conference chief executive added: 'I am not leaving for any other reason than I need to be employed somewhere'".

    Tamworth report that "After consulation with Staffordshire Police the following homes matches have all been moved as detailed below. Staffordshire Police's regular four big football teams... are Stoke, Port Vale, Burton Albion now ourselves... As we are the smallest of the bunch, and despite a request to the league to try and set our home games opposite to Burton's these changes to our schedule are necessary and inevitable. The league have apologised for the disruption it has caused but there is nothing that can be done...

  • York: from Tues Sep 29 to Tues Oct 06
  • Mansfield: from Sat Feb 13 to Sun Feb 14
  • Oxford: from Sat March 20 to Sun March 21
  • Luton: from Sat Apr 10 to Sun Apr 11

    There is also the possibility that Stevenage on Sat Feb 06 may move to Fri Feb 05 but talks are still on going with all concerned".

    "Goalkeeper Lee Harper has agreed a deal to stay at Kettering Town" reports the Football Conference. "The experienced Harper met for talks with chairman Imraan Ladak earlier this week and a new contract was agreed... There was speculation that the 37-year-old had played his last game for the Poppies and it was thought he was mulling over a new offer. However, Harper has revealed no offer as such had been forthcoming until this week and he was 'extremely happy' to agree a new deal to stay with Mark Cooper's side. Harper was voted as the supporters' player of the year for last season".

    From Blue Square Football comes news that "Kidderminster Harriers are set to complete the acquisition of midfielder Chris McPhee, who is expected to sign on a two-year-deal on Thursday. The former Brighton & Hove Albion player moved to Aggborough from Weymouth for the second part of last season's campaign. The 26-year was reported to be Harriers boss Mark Yates' number one summer target... Ever-popular midfielder Dean Bennett remains a Kidderminster Harriers player for another season after penning a new one-year deal".

    Barrow "are proud to announce the signing of one of the finest central defenders in the Blue Square Premier, Phil Bolland [once at Alty], on a two-year contract. Bolland, 32, joins The Bluebirds after leaving Cambridge United, having been a regular at The Abbey Stadium... Bolland has turned down a new recent offer from Cambridge, mainly due to the distance from his Merseyside home, to come to Holker Street... At the age of 32, Bolland wanted to make sure he was joining a club that was going places and not going to settle for fighting relegation. Having set a deadline of Tuesday afternoon, [manager Dave] Bayliss was delighted when Bolland gave him the thumbs up... Bayliss said 'He is the perfect replacement for Steve McNulty, who left to join Fleetwood earlier in the summer, but Bolland will miss the first game of the season at Cambridge as he serves a one match ban for two yellow cards received at Wembley".


    The Football Conference has issued an official statement:

    The Directors of the Football Conference have considered the position of Farsley Celtic FC. As a consequence of these considerations the Football Conference issues the following official statement.

    In the specific and unique circumstances of Farsley Celtic FC, where the club has entered into administration after the AGM and prior to the start of the new season, the Directors have taken a decision which they feel will benefit all parties. Farsley Celtic FC will be permitted to complete its fixtures for this coming season in the Blue Square North, albeit the Club will commence the 2009/10 season on minus 10 points.

    The situation regarding the impact of Appendix E, in respect of the past AGM/pre-season time frame, will be reviewed and fully discussed at the Clubs' pre-season meeting in August and again at the EGM in January to ascertain the member clubs' views on this particular point. Appendix E will though continue to apply in all other circumstances"

    Chairman Brian Lee stated 'The Directors have acted very swiftly with fairness in this matter and the announcement of our decision was only delayed until this morning, whilst the legal position was clarified and to enable us to inform Farsley Celtic FC before our official statement was issued. As I stated at the AGM we will offer all assistance possible to any member club. In saying that, we strongly remind all clubs, we expect them to honour their debts and that under Conference Rule 11 clubs are specifically required to settle all debts with football creditors'".

    9 July 2009


    Altrincham FC joint press officer Brian Flynn writes:

    Altrincham F.C. Director elected to F.A. Council

    Altrincham Football Club Director, Andrew Shaw, has been elected to the Football Association Council as one of two members representing the Football Conference. Shaw was one of the three people who stepped in, along with Chairman, Geoff Goodwin and Vice Chairman, Grahame Rowley, to form a new Board at Moss Lane in 2002 when the previous Board resigned.

    The F.A. opportunity arose due to Ben Robinson, Chairman of Burton Albion, needing to relinquish his position on the Council, with the Brewers winning the Blue Square Premier League in April and, with it, promotion to The Football League. As a member of The Football Conference Board, Shaw was proposed as their preferred candidate and was duly elected on Saturday at a meeting of The F.A.

    Shaw, 53, becomes only the second Altrincham director to sit on this council, the other being Noel White, who was elected in 1976 and went on to become Chairman of The Football Association International Committee for 14 years and is an F.A. Life Vice-President.

    White, who along with Peter Swales, dramatically turned the fortunes of the club around in the early 1960s, and who was the Chairman during the Robins' halcyon days of the mid- to late-sixties, seventies and eighties said "Andrew is a hard working chap who will represent Conference Clubs very well at the F.A. and his election is very good for the profile of Altrincham Football Club".

    Andrew is seen, right, applauding the players at the on-pitch presentations after the last home game of 2008-09.

    S.O.S. FUND

    TASC (The Altrincham Supporters' Club) are aiming to play their part in helping Altrincham manager Graham Heathcote build a squad capable of consolidating and improving on last season's achievement of fifteenth position in The Blue Square Premier. The recent demise of Setanta has reduced the Club's projected revenue for the next twelve months by around £80,000 which is over 20% of the wage budget for the coming season. TASC are setting up an S.O.S.(Strengthen Our Squad) Fund with an objective of raising £10,000 during the season. TASC Chairman Brian Flynn said "As a Supporters' Group we want to play our part in helping the manager put the best possible squad together and we hope that Altrincham supporters will help out financially either by making a single donation or by a regular standing order. £10,000 is a tough, but achievable, objective but we are appealing to all Altrincham supporters to help by donating whatever they can afford".

    TASC will be setting up a separate bank account for this fund and, if you would like to make a donation, then please contact Mike Ainsworth by e-mail.


    Altrincham FC announce that:

    We are offering fans a special photo opportunity at a reduced price of £30. On the day of the official team photograph, Tuesday 28th July at 6.30pm, Graham Heathcote has agreed that for a period of half an hour a space will be made available on one of the rows for fans who wish to wear their Alty shirts and pose for a photograph as "One of the Team".

    You will receive a framed copy of your photograph included in the price. Additional copies can be bought unframed and these can be ordered on the day".

    You will need to book so that we know how many people will be taking up this offer as places will be limited. You will need to be punctual in your arrival as the players are training straight afterwards.

    If you are interested, please contact Sarah or Karen at the club on 928-1045 or by e-mail.


    The winning code (4890) on this week's Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee was unclaimed and so the jackpot increases to £600 for next week. Why not join the competition for just £1 a week? Details are here. There were four winning trebles last week, each winning £50.


    Altrincham have a pre-season game away at Northwich and the local Guardian reveals that "Adults will pay £7 to watch Northwich Victoria’s friendly matches at the Marston’s Arena this summer... Concessions pay £5, while U16s enter for £1. Altrincham, Manchester City and Macclesfield Town visit before the Blue Square North campaign kicks off next month".


    "The Board of the Football Conference, after they met on 6th July, extend this message to all member clubs...

    “We remain upbeat in our efforts to secure a new broadcast partner. Though realistically no one should need reminding how difficult it is in the financial world at this time, the Football Conference continues to explore all possible avenues through its contacts”.


    A loan player at Altrincham last season, Jody Banim has joined Salford City. Simon Yeo, the former Hyde United striker, has reportedly joined Droylsden.


    Vital Wigan confirms that "Wigan Athletic have got another new member to their coaching staff but once again it is a familiar old face to the Latics fans as ex-player and manager Graham Barrow makes a return to the club to work alongside his close friend Roberto Martinez.

    The 56 year old has recently been first team coach at another of his clubs where he plied his trade as a player, Blue Square Conference club Altrincham, but he was desperate to get back into the full-time scene. In a recent exclusive interview on Vital Wigan Barrow said: 'I want the full-time involvement back and being involved on a daily basis'...

    Speaking exclusively with Vital Wigan this morning Barrow said: 'I am delighted to be back, it was only sorted out yesterday, I am really excited and looking forward to the challenges ahead'... Barrow will take up the role of reserve team manager but also be part of the coaching staff for the whole squad of Latics' players. He was clearly very excited and pleased with the prospect of returning to the club that gave him his start in the professional game as a player and with men like Graham Barrow at the club, who have the club at heart, then the future of the Latics looks very rosy indeed".


    Acording to the Football Conference, "Nathan Arnold has been told he has no future at Mansfield Town, manager David Holdsworth confirmed. The 21-year-old right-winger was put on the transfer list in the second half of last season after rejecting a new contract... Holdsworth invited Arnold to return to pre-season training if he wanted to fight for the opportunity to stay at Field Mill but that arrangement has clearly not worked out. Meanwhile, midfielder Curtis Shaw has also left Mansfield by mutual consent... 'When a club progresses, some players fall down the pecking order', said Holdsworth. 'For different reasons, which have to remain private, we felt it best that Curtis moves on. I only want players at this club who are 100 per cent focussed on Mansfield Town. If they are not, then they will not remain here – and that applies to everyone'".

    Eastbourne Borough "have completed a budget review following the demise of Setanta TV and the loss of £78K income for the 2009/10 season and today the Committee, who met for nearly 4 hours on Monday evening, issued the following statement:

    'We run a tight ship at Eastbourne Borough but £78k is a significant drop in revenue which we are unable to absorb without taking measures to reflect the loss. We offer some of the lowest admission prices in the Blue Square Premier and have in the past not charged extra for transferring to the seated main stand. This is in itself was unique in the BSP. This season we have introduced a reserved seating season ticket AND because of the Setanta demise we have reluctantly, but necessarily as part of a series of measures to balance the books, had to extend this policy by making a levy of a £2 per match unreserved seating transfer charge to the main stand. This will bring us in line with virtually all other BSP clubs who already charge at least £2 extra for seats. Season tickets for reserved seats are still available at £285 adult; £195 concession and £95 Under 16. We will be honouring the ground admission prices - announced before Setanta went into administration - of £13 adult; £9. concession and £4 for under 16. Transfer to the stand at £2 is obviously optional. Despite the Setanta blow and the timing of it, we are confident of the future and feel sure supporters will understand our need to adopt measures that will protect the stability of the club and its long term viability. We are a young club constantly working to improve and grow our fan base and we will be exploring new fund raising initiatives to help us continue the expansion and success of Eastbourne Borough".

    Hayes & Yeading United announce that manager "Garry Haylock has confirmed that another four of last year's promotion squad have signed contracts for the new campaign. They are centre-back Matt Ruby, midfielders Ram Marwa and Esmond James plus striker Scott Fitzgerald".

    Mansfield Town add that "We have decided to cut back on stewarding costs next season as they [?we] try to throw all available funds into their promotion dream. It will mean certain section of the stands will be closed off unless the potential size of crowd demands we re-open them. A small number of season ticket holders will be forced to move seats but we are hoping they will back the decision and see the bigger picture as boss David Holdsworth this week signed his 11th new player in Kyle Nix.

    Chairman Andrew Perry explained: 'It was well known last season we were concerned about our stewarding costs - we even discussed it on Sky. And we said we would have to tighten up our budget. This is not just about season ticket sales. We were very pleased with season ticket sales or we would not have gone for the £195 offer. But we don't want to cut the gaffer's budget and we feel stewarding is one area [in which] we can make big savings... Tightening people in may also help the atmosphere here...

    "Promotion is the top of our agenda, with a good Cup run as well. Cutting the playing budget would not be conducive to wanting to move forward."

    Wrexham announce that "The first of the changes to our BSP fixture list was made this afternoon following a meeting with the police... Our home Blue Square game with Chester City will be moved to Sunday, 27 September - with a noon kick-off. It will also be an all-ticket match. The rest of our home games will stay as scheduled".

    "Rushden and Diamonds have confirmed there is a notice of petition for a winding-up order of the club" states the BBC. "The petition was presented on 13 May. It came from the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs, and will be heard on 15 July. Helen Thompson, strategic director at the club, said chairman Keith Cousins had assured her the matter would be dealt with by the due date.

    The statement said: 'Nene Park is not an easy place to run compared to other clubs due to the massive overheads involved in such a stadium'. The club pointed to the present financial climate as causing difficulties with sponsors not meeting their commitments, and little interest accruing out of capital invested'".

    The BBC also says that "Ryan Flynn will be confirmed on Thursday as Falkirk's latest signing on a season-long loan from Liverpool. The 20-year-old winger moved to Anfield from the Bairns in 2005 and has been a regular in the Reds' reserve side. Flynn joined Wrexham on loan in November... Flynn was wanted on loan by Wrexham again but appears to prefer a return to Scotland".

    According to the Chester Evening Leader "Blues' boss Mick Wadsworth is lining up Uruguayan-born striker Fabián Yantorno as his next signing. The 26-year-old forward is due to fly into Britain tonight with his representative and is keen to play for Chester City after talks with Wadsworth. Yantorno, who played for Wadsworth when he was caretaker boss at Scottish club Gretna last year, is described by Wadsworth as 'a fantastic talent'.

    Wadsworth said: 'Fabián is a former Uruguayan under 21 international... and attracted interest from Rangers and Celtic who were both chasing his signature. Unfortunately, Fabian picked up a bad knee injury at Christmas time... It took him a year to get over the injury, but he played for Scottish League club Hibernian last season... I'm excited about the prospect of him forging a goalscoring partnership with Gregg Blundell, but we've also got young striker Lloyd Ellams who I have been impressed with in training, and another striker signing is a possibility... I know I can't keep adding players ad infinitum, but we're getting there'... Montevideo-born Yantorno started his career at Uruguayan Division One club, Miramar Misiones, before moving to Gretna... Hibernian signed him on a two-year contract in August 2008... but he struggled to secure a place in their first team, and was loaned to Hamilton Academical...

    Chester are aiming to add Yantorno to their list of new signings which already comprises of Neil Ashton, Rhys Meynell, Ben Wilkinson, Gregg Blundell, Tim Ryan, and ex-Manchester United, Scunthorpe, and Antwerp centre back Michael Lee. John Danby, Glenn Rule, Lloyd Ellams, and Shaun Kelly have all accepted new deals, while Stephen Vaughan, Kevin Roberts, David Mannix, Anthony Barry, and Jay Harris remain contracted to the club".

    "Gateshead could miss out on both of their striker targets" claims the Chronicle. "The Tynesiders have made Cheltenham Town striker Paul Connor an attractive offer, but the 30-year-old is stalling over a return to his native North East. Attempts to snare another target, 22-year-old Whitley Bay front man Lee Kerr, has also hit the buffers, though both deals are not dead. Gateshead need to replace goalscoring sensation Lee Novak, who...scored 28 goals in 38 games for Gateshead to clinch the Conference North Golden Boot, but the only striker brought in so far this summer is Durham City’s Steven Richardson... Left-back Phil Cave is expected to become Gateshead’s sixth signing of the summer with the 22-year-old looking to get his release from cash-strapped Livingston. Trialist Michael Brown and Mark Convery, who has also trained with former club Darlington, will be in the squad to face the Terriers".

    8 July 2009


    21 year-old James Jennings, the Macclesfield Town left-back who spent a loan spell at Altrincham in early 2008, has now joined Kettering Town, as is reported below, following his release by Macclesfield. Only recently, James had verbally agreed to join Altrincham so his decision to opt for full-time terms at Rockingham Road is a disappointment to Alty boss Graham Heathcote. However, Graham says that "I only want players who want to be here but I am very disappointed in James's turnaround".

    A number of trialists will feature in this Saturday's pre-season game between Altrincham and Abbey Hey as Graham builds his squad for the opening of the league season on August 8th.


    After some weeks of speculation it can now be confirmed that Altrincham FC assistant manager Graham Barrow (right) has left Moss Lane to take up a position at Wigan Athletic, a club he formerly managed. The new boss at the Premiership club, Roberto Martinez, has offered Graham a post with the Latics which he has accepted. Altrincham FC are very sorry to lose Graham but fully understand his decision and wish him well for the future. Graham Barrow, a former player himself at Altrincham, became the assistant to Graham Heathcote at Moss Lane in January 2008 and his input was an important part of the club's performance in 2008-09.

    Graham Heathcote hopes to have a new assistant in place by this weekend.


    Altrincham's first pre-season game is this Saturday (11th, 3pm) at Abbey Hey FC, who are managed by Neil Brown, who is also the Altrincham FC groundsman. Abbey Hey are based in Goredale Avenue, Gorton, Manchester M18 7HD. From Altrincham the easiest route is to take the M60 to junction 24. Turn left onto the A57 (Hyde Rd) and then after about a mile, just before the railway bridge, turn left onto Woodland Avenue. Then turn right into Ryderbrow Avenue and first left in Goredale Avenue. The ground, which has an excellent clubhouse is at the end of the road. Admission prices for Saturday are £5 for adults and £2 for concessionaries.

    Alty won the corresponding game last season, 5-1, thanks to five first-half goals from Chris Senior. The Alty side that day was: 13. James COATES; 2. Richard BATTERSBY, 4. Natt KERR, 5. Greg YOUNG, 11. Warren PEYTON; 17. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 6. Danny BROWNE, 14. Luke HORROCKS; 8. Chris SENIOR, 10. Dale JOHNSON. Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 3. Ben McHUGH, 7. António dos SANTOS, 9. Jake MOULT, 12. Tom BAILEY, 18. Charlie WEIR.


    NL Daily states that "First-team assistant-manager Tony Hemmings has stepped down from his role with East Midlands County League newcomers Gresley FC for personal reasons. Former England semi-professional international Hemmings, who has been with the club since 2005, stepped up to the role of assistant-manager from first-team coach last season".

    "Marine have announced the signing of attacking midfielder Neil Prince. Prince, 26, has joined the Mariners from Droylsden were he played a key part in their progress to the Third Round of the FA Cup last season...Prince said: 'I am pleased to be joining my local club Marine and playing for Kevin Lynch... I have my own coaching business with Marine player James Olsen [ex-Alty] called `Community Soccer Coaching` so I want to enjoy my football and play locally".


    The FA has confirmed reduced prize money for the FA Cup in 2009-10 from the First Round Proper onwards....
  • Extra Preliminary Round winners (203 clubs) £750
  • Preliminary Round winners (167) £1,500
  • First Round Qualifying winners (116) £3,000
  • Second Round Qualifying winners (80) £4,500
  • Third Round Qualifying winners (40) £7,500
  • Fourth Round Qualifying winners (32) £12,500
  • First Round Proper winners (40) £18,000 - [last year's figure was £20,000]
  • Second Round Proper winners (20) £27,000 - [last year's figure was £30,000]
  • Third Round Proper winners (32) £67,500 - [last year's figure was £75,000]
  • Fourth Round Proper winners (16) £90,000
  • Fifth Round Proper winners (8) £180,000
  • Sixth Round Proper winners (4) £360,000
  • Semi Final winners (2) £900,000
  • Semi Final runners-up (2) £450,000
  • Final winners (1) £1,800,000
  • Final runners-up (1) £900,000"


    A former Altrincham loan player has signed for one of our rivals as the Northants Evening Telegraph tells us that "Mark Cooper believes Kettering Town have pulled off a coup by clinching the signing of James Jennings. The 21-year-old defender completed his move to the Elgood's Arena yesterday. Jennings turned down the opportunity to stay at Macclesfield Town for the new Coca-Cola League Two campaign and has instead opted to become Cooper's fifth summer signing. Jennings has played in the Blue Square Premier before during a loan spell with Altrincham in the 2007-08 campaign. But more recently he forced his way into the first-team with Keith Alexander's side and made 14 starts for them last season...

    The Poppies boss said: 'He is predominantly a left-back but we are keen to have versatile players in our squad and James is certainly that. I do see it as a bit of a coup for us because he has played a few games in the Football League and was offered a new deal with Macclesfield. He can be a good player for us to have around'".

    "Mark Cooper has made a second swoop in as many days after clinching the signing of striker Francis Green. The frontman completed his move to Kettering Town earlier today, having been released by Macclesfield Town at the end of last season. The 29-year-old has a wealth of Football League experience with Peterborough United and Lincoln City among his former clubs".

    From the Football Conference comes news that "Rushden & Diamonds have signed left-winger James Reid on loan from Nottingham Forest. The 19-year-old, who has initially joined until January, has played one game for Forest's first-team".

    The Daily Post reports that "Wrexham manager Dean Saunders welcomed striker Gareth Taylor to the on Monday and said more firepower would be added to the Dragons’ arsenal before the start of the new season. Veteran ex-Wales international Taylor, now 36, is an obvious replacement for the released Jefferson Louis, and will be expected to bring the best out of younger players like Marc Williams and Obi Anoruo... Said Saunders, 'He will be an extension of me out on the pitch, he has a great attitude and is the type of player we need at the club'. Asked if one or two new faces might also be on the way, the Dragons boss added: 'More than one or two... I’m speaking to a lot of people. We have to get the goalkeeping situation sorted out and we also need to bring in the right sort of front player because teams are only as good as their strikers'".

    The Burton Mail reports that "Danny Holmes has agreed to a new role with the Brewers [who visit Alty for a pre-season friendly on 1st August] after being released by Peschisolido in May. The 23-year-old midfielder hopes to stay in part-time football with Blue Square North newcomers Ilkeston Town, while working for Albion on their community coaching scheme. Burton-based Holmes was linked with a move to Forest Green Rovers earlier in the summer, but believes the dual role will suit him better. He explained: 'Forest Green is still a possibility, but they’re full-time, so it will either mean me staying down there a few days each week or doing a lot of travelling'”.

    From the Cambridge News we learn that "Histon have received an unexpected cash injection to fund new players... The Stutes' boss has been given a transfer kitty to fund three new players thanks to club sponsor Tony Roach. And after preparing the trawl the lower leagues for bargains and trialists, Fallon can now set his sights on bringing proven talent to the Glass World Stadium... with former League players and Shane Tudor and Adam Tann – who both had spells at Cambridge United – currently on trial... 'It’s great news and a massive boost for us', said the manager Steve Fallon... Winger Tudor began his career at Wolves before moving on to United, Leyton Orient and Port Vale. He suffered a serious knee injury last year... Tann, a defender, began his career at United and his since plied his trade at Leyton Orient, Gravesend & Northfleet and Notts County".

    "Midfielder Curtis Shaw has left Mansfield Town by mutual consent" reports This is Nottingham. "The 22-year-old former Ilkeston player was drafted in when boss David Holdsworth first took over in January".

    The BBC reports that "Hayes & Yeading United have made midfielder Marc Canham their first summer signing... Canham spent the last five seasons with former rivals Team Bath, who have withdrawn from the Blue Square South. The 26-year-old, who was born in Germany, began his career as a Colchester trainee before joining Bournemouth in August 2003. Canham joined the Students in 2004".

    7 July 2009


    Sarah Rowley has kindly provided an updated list of available shirt sponsorships for 2009-10
  • Stuart Coburn - away
  • Matt Doughty - home and away
  • Mark McGregor - home
  • Shaun Densmore - home and away
  • Robbie Lawton - away
  • Colin Little - away
  • Richard Acton - home and away
  • Dale Johnson - away
  • Anthony Danylyk - home and away
  • Chris Senior - away
  • Danny Heffernan - home and away

    The cost of sponsoring a player of your choice is £150. For this, your name will appear in every match day programme against your chosen player and on the wall in the Sponsors' Lounge under the photograph of the player. At the end of the season you will receive the player's match-worn shirt, signed. A discount is applied if you would like more than one player. If you are interested please send a cheque to the club marked for Karen Rowley's attention. The club will update this list so that you are aware of which players have been taken – if you would like to check before choosing please give me a ring at the club (0161 928-1045) or send an e-mail.


    Altrincham FC's 'Summer Fun Week' takes place from 27-31 July, which will be run by Chris Bullock.


    Steve Foster confirms the winners of the monthly Friends of Altrincham FC draw.

  • 1st- No 64 Ian Rosendaal £100
  • 2nd- No 55 Phil Jones £35
  • 3rd- No 78 Pete Hughes £15


    More news of TASC and Altrincham FC's participation in last weekend's Altrincham Festival comes from Steve Foster:

    A big thank you to everyone for their superb efforts for the TASC/Altrincham Football Club parade and stall at Altrincham Festival on Saturday. I am delighted to say that TASC raised £320 in total, which has been received by the Football Club with thanks.

    In addition, the increased awareness of the club and its community projects from the event should see additional benefits to the club in the future both for the junior teams and the senior team in attendances at matches, particularly for the upcoming friendlies but, hopefully, also on an ongoing basis.


    Twenty-two people have now signed up for the Altrincham FC Pontoon competition. Each of the Clubs from the Premiership, Championship, League One, League Two and Blue Square Premier is assigned a random number from 1 to 116. For a £10 stake, you can choose or you will be allocated one of these numbers and this will determine your team in the competition.

    The idea of the competition is for your team to accumulate exactly 21 goals by the END of any particular sequence of games. The winner will receive a £100 cash prize, the holder for the number of the second team to reach exactly 21 goals will receive £50 and the third-place prize will be £10.

    If more than one team attains 21 goals on the same day, the team that scored their 21st goal earliest in their game will be awarded 1st prize. Goals are tallied up at the end of each match and the totals adjusted accordingly. If by the end of any particular game, your team's goals total exceeds 21, then you will "go bust" and be out of the Competition. Only league goals will count towards your total.

    You are not restricted to one number, so increase your chance of winning by buying a second team!

    If you are interested in participating, please forward your name, contact number and payment along with your chosen number to the Club for the attention of Sarah Rowley. Weekly updates will be posted here on the Club's website and forum.

    Thank you for your support.


    Some volunteers are needed, ideally on Tuesdays and Wednesdays - or other days by arrangement - to complete the external painting work at Moss Lane before the start of the season. Please contact the club if you can help on 928-1045 or by e-mail.


    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot of £9,300 was won last week with code 8514. Three other contestants won a share of £200 for three winning trebles. Follow the above link to join in and to give yourself a chance of a big win for a £1 weekly stake.


    Former Altrincham winger from 2003-04, Rob Matthews, is now managing an Alty Juniors team.

    After yesterday's reports that Ilkeston were unable to meet his wage demands, NL Daily reports that "Micky Mellon, manager of Blue Square North club Fleetwood Town, has handed former Rotherham striker Tom Cahill the chance to impress on the pre-season trip to Scotland. Cahill, 22, enjoyed a successful loan period at Ilkeston Town" last season.

    The BBC tells us that "Oxford United have given a week's trial to former Tranmere Rovers centre-back Luke Waterfall (right). The teenager, who spent time on loan with Blue Square Premier rivals Altrincham last season, was released by the Merseyside club in June. 'We have had a recommendation about him and I have seen him a couple of times in reserve team football', United boss Chris Wilder told BBC Oxford. 'We will have a look at him for a week and take it from there'".


    Altrincham entertain a Manchester United XI on Tuesday, August 4th (7.45pm). The MAnchester United website reports that "United's Reserves will undergo another gruelling pre-season schedule in preparation for the new campaign. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, who were unbeaten in nine matches last summer, will contest eight friendlies and the Lancashire Senior Cup final ahead of the 2009/10 Barclays Premier Reserve League season. The Reds travel to Fylde, Rochdale, Norwich City, Luton Town and Altrincham in England, before international trips to go up against Katwijk and Royal Antwerp. Those warm-up matches precede the Lancashire Senior Cup Final against Bolton".


    According to the London Gazette "In the Matter of Rushden & Diamonds F.C. Ltd and in the Matter of the Insolvency Act, 1986, a Petition to wind up the above-named Company of Nene Park, Diamond Way, Irthlingborough, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire NN9 5QF, presented on 13 May 2009, by the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs, of Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4RD, claiming to be Creditors of the Company, will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL, on 15 July 2009".

    Following Stevenage Borough's differential pricing system for 2009-10, Kettering Town are introducing a three-band system as follows:

  • Category A: Oxford United, Wimbledon, Luton Town, Wrexham, Stevenage Borough, Kidderminster Harriers, Tamworth, Rushden & Diamonds, Cambridge United, York City, Chester City, Mansfield Town
  • Category B: Altrincham, Ebbsfleet United, Salisbury City, Crawley Town, Forest Green Rovers, Histon
  • Category C: Gateshead, Barrow, Hayes & Yeading, Grays Athletic, Eastbourne Borough

    The price differentials are quite large - £8 for spectators in the main stand.

  • Main stand (adult) categories A,B,C are respectively £18,£16,£10
  • Main stand (senior citizen) £14,£12,£8
  • Main stand (junior) £7,£6,£4
  • Terrace (adult) £16,£14,£9
  • Terrace (senior citizen) £12,£10,£6
  • Terrace (junior) £6,£5,£3

    The Cambridge News confirms that "Cambridge United are still waiting for cash from crisis club Halesowen. The Zamoretto Southern League side face being suspended by the FA if they fail to pay off a former player and another club as well as United by midnight on Friday... They owed United more than £8,000 for former player Gavin Hoyte's wages following his loan move to the Grove last November... Despite the relatively small figures, it is still cash United could do with as they bid to fill the hole left by the guaranteed £75,000 they would have received from Setanta had the television station not gone under two weeks ago... United chairman George Rolls said 'We haven't gone to the FA saying "we haven't been paid", so if they're suspended, that will be down to the FA... but, to be honest, there are other football clubs that owe us as well'. Rolls added talks were continuing with Phil Bolland over a return to the R Costings Abbey Stadium".

    The Liverpool Daily Post reports that "Chester City begin their preparations for life in the Blue Square Premier League today [Monday], when their players report back for pre-season training... Former Tranmere Rovers and Shrewsbury Town wing-back Neil Ashton has agreed terms... while ex-York City midfielder Brett [i.e. Ben] Wilkinson [who was loaned to Alty last season], the son of former England manager Howard, is also expected to put pen to paper. Striker Gregg Blundell is also set to return to the club, after agreeing a deal following his release from Darlington, while ex-Southport and Doncaster Rovers defender Tim Ryan has also agreed a package... Former Gretna defender Rhys Meynell is also due to be added to the payroll... Two of last season’s relegated squad are poised to leave the club. Central defender Paul Linwood is due to sign a three-year contract with Grimsby Town this week, while midfielder David Mannix has been allowed to spend a fortnight on trial with a Greek league club. City are running the rule over a number of trialists in the next week, with an experienced central defender and a commanding striker appearing to be their main priorities".

    6 July 2009


    In Sunday's NL paper, the former producer of Setanta Sports' Blue Square coverage apologises for the financial turmoil caused by the company's demise. "I know there's nothing I could have done [as a producer] but to think of some of the fantastic people we have met along the way being out of pocket is hard. We counted most of these clubs as friends." The NLP's Chris Dunlavy confirms that Curtis and the rest of the team, including the commentators Steve Bower, Rebecca Lowe and Paul Parker have received no redundancy payments. Curtis said, "In ten years of broadcasting which includes World Cups, Grand Nationals and world title fights, last season [with non-League] was the one I most enjoyed. All the clubs were hospitable and let us try out our ideas... In this day and age nobody really knows what Cristiano Ronaldo is like. But everybody knew what Gary Brabin and Paul Buckle were like as people... our viewing figures showed it was popular. By the latter third of this season, they were constantly 80-90,000. On the final day when we showed Torquay v Burton with a live feed from Cambridge v Altrincham, we were only a couple of thousand short of 200,000 and that was against a Premier league game. To take 200,000 people away from watching a Chelsea game on Sky is fantastic and something the Conference should be showing to prospective broadcasters... I'd like to think we won the trust of a lot of managers. Nigel Clough was fantastic... I've never met a nicer, more polite man... It wasn't just him. We loved doing stuff with Graham Heathcote, he was great. I always thought Mark Cooper was brilliant on TV too. Then there's Gary Brabin, who was the first to ring me up after Setanta collapsed. He didn't have to do that but realised it was our livelihoods at stake".


    Colin Mitchell of TASC reports that on Saturday at the Altrincham Festival he and his family had a great day helping to raise over £300 for the club with the Penalty Shootout and Tombola stall alone. Colin has kindly sent some pictures, reproduced right. They show Colin's son George taking a penalty and also Rocky Robin with Frank Sidebottom.


    The funeral of Jackie Swindells will take place on today (Monday) at 10.30am at St George's Church in Mossley. There will then be a private family service at the crematorium but everyone is welcome to attend the church service and the reception afterwards at Mossley Football Club.


    A new Football Pontoon competition is being launched at Moss Lane:

    Each of the Clubs from the Premiership, Championship, League One, League Two and Blue Square Premier will be given a random number from 1 to 116. For a £10 stake, you can choose or you will be allocated one of these numbers and this will determine your team in the competition.

    The idea of the competition is for your team to accumulate exactly 21 goals by the END of any particular sequence of games. The winner will receive a £100 cash prize, the holder for the number of the second team to reach exactly 21 goals will receive £50 and the third-place prize will be £10.

    If more than one team attains 21 goals on the same day, the team that scored their 21st goal earliest in their game will be awarded 1st prize. Goals are tallied up at the end of each match and the totals adjusted accordingly. If by the end of any particular game, your team's goals total exceeds 21, then you will "go bust" and be out of the Competition. Only league goals will count towards your total.

    You are not restricted to one number, so increase your chance of winning by buying a second team!

    If you are interested in participating, please forward your name, contact number and payment along with your chosen number to the Club for the attention of Sarah Rowley. Weekly updates will be posted here on the Club's website and forum.

    Thank you for your support.

    Sarah Rowley.


    Bullsnews informs us that "Accrington have failed to sign Stockport striker Matty McNeil due to wage demands". Matty was at Alty in the late 1990s.


    Kidderminster Harriers' "manager Mark Yates has accepted that Russell Penn may leave Kidderminster Harriers but has warned simply - it will only be on the right terms for the club... Yates said that the club had some time ago rejected out of hand an unsatisfactory offer from Burton Albion for Russ. He went on to admit that Penn could start next season at the Pirelli Stadium - but was at pains to stress that nothing would be done unless Harriers were to benefit... 'I've spoken to Paul [Peschisolido, Burton manager] and told him exactly what the club requires to make the deal go through. Russ wants the chance to play League football and we won't stand in his way - if his heart is set and the deal is right for the club then unfortunately he might go but we won't be letting that happen for nothing... Last January he signed a new two and a half year deal at the football club and, as much as I like him and get on with him, there wasn't a shot-gun at his head to sign that'...

    Mark also commented on the futures of two other players - Martin Riley and Sam Foley. Both were offered new contracts at the end of last season, and the boss revealed that talks are ongoing between Harriers and Newport County, believed to be Foley's preferred destination. Riley... is set to meet with Yates in the next few days to discuss the possibility of him remaining at Aggborough'... Harriers are strongly linked with a move for Chris McPhee who starred in a red and white shirt in the final two months of last season. Typically coy and giving little away, Yates simply said: 'Watch this space'".

    From Luton Today comes confirmation that "Fans attending Luton Town's game at Stevenage Borough next season will have to pay £1 extra for the privilege. The Hatters' visit to Broadhall Way is one of eight games to have been given the premium price, along with AFC Wimbledon, Oxford United, Cambridge United, Rushden & Diamonds, Wrexham, Mansfield and Kidderminster. Boro chairman Phil Wallace said: 'All the teams selected [for the extra charge] have been Football League clubs in the not too distant past, with AFC Wimbledon of course being reborn from the old Wimbledon FC'".


    Supporter Accommodation is a "dedicated website purely for accommodation near the Football grounds across the UK, Europe and Worldwide. Football fans can save up to 75% on hotels in 15,000 destinations UK & Worldwide. We have a comprehensive listing of several thousand Hotels with many offering generous discounts on room bookings".
    5 July 2009


    Karen Rowley announces that:

    We are looking for people to sponsor the players again this season. We have frozen the price from last season. The cost of sponsoring a player of your choice is £150. For this your name will appear in every match day programme against your chosen player and on the wall in the Sponsors Lounge under the photograph of the player. At the end of the season you will receive the player's match-worn shirt, signed. A discount is applied if you would like more than one player. If you are interested please send a cheque to the club marked for my attention. We will update this list so that you are aware of which players have been taken – if you would like to check before choosing please give me a ring at the club (0161 928-1045) or send an e-mail.

    Players available for sponsorship are:

  • Stuart Coburn - Away Shirt
  • Matt Doughty - Home & Away Shirt
  • Mark McGregor – Home & Away Shirt
  • Greg Young - Away Shirt
  • Shaun Densmore - Home & Away Shirt
  • Colin Little - Home & Away Shirt
  • Chris Denham - Away Shirt
  • Anthony Danylyk - Home & Away Shirt
  • Chris Senior - Home & Away Shirt

    Thanks for your support Karen Rowley.

    Adjacent is the new Altrincham FC home shirt for 2009-10. Order yours now at the Shop or by phoning the club on 928-1045. The shirts are made by Prostar and supplied by Ian Senior's Sensport Kits. Photos courtesy of Karen Rowley.

    Ian adds that the available sizes, in either long or short sleeve, are:

  • JUNIOR: 24/26, 26/28, 28/30, 30/32, 32/34
  • SENIOR: 34/36, 38/40, 42/44, 46/48, 50/52

    Any sizes not listed above may be available subject to a small alteration fee.


    A list of the Alty Youth pre-season games (trials and friendlies) as well as the FA Youth Cup and Cheshire County FA District Youth Cup fixtures is here.


    The opening fixtures of the BSP on August 8th will be:
  • AFC Wimbledon v Luton Town
  • Altrincham v Ebbsfleet United
  • Cambridge United v Barrow
  • Forest Green Rovers v Kettering Town
  • Gateshead v Histon
  • Grays Athletic v Chester City
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Hayes & Yeading United
  • Mansfield Town v Crawley Town
  • Oxford United v York City
  • Rushden & Diamonds v Salisbury City
  • Stevenage Borough v Tamworth
  • Wrexham v Eastbourne Borough


    The Football Conference announces that:

    We are pleased to confirm that the re-vamped web site is now in operation at e-mail.

    Following justified comments last season, the Board have acted swiftly to rectify those concerns, though we still welcome constructive observations if we can improve the site further. However, we can only do this if you tell us what you think we can do better. Having said that, you [the clubs] have your part to play in ensuring that the Football Conference stays at the forefront of the sport by promoting our image with those outside as well as inside. We need to be user friendly for the fans, sponsors and all who support football at our level but, to do so, we need to be open, honest and transparent and the web-site is one of the ways we can convey our message to all.

    The aspirations of the Board, with regards to the web-site, will be given at the pre-season meeting of clubs on 3rd August and we look forward to receiving any feedback from implementations made to date. We also seek any advertisers for the site and details of pricing can be downloaded direct from it, from the banner at the top of the Home Page.


    Blue Square announce that:

    After the success of last year’s Season Review DVD, we have produced a similar FREE DVD for the 2008/09 season. The DVD includes the story of the season in the Blue Square Premier, culminating in the Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium. There is more footage this year from across the season, as well as again featuring the Blue Square Premier Fan Awards.

    The DVD is completely FREE and the process is very simple to apply for one. Simply click the adjacent image.


    Forest Green Rovers have signed "three more players, with another six players in the pipe line to sign in the next week. The club is pleased to re-sign outstanding defender and Player of the Year last season Paul Stonehouse... Another 21 yr old prospect is striker Marcus Palmer who made a few brief substitute appearances for the 1st team last season and scored on his debut away at Altrincham having only been on the field of play for three minutes... Finally and putting paid to any rumours circulating, 18 yr old keeper Tom Pass is certainly not 'surplus to requirements' as put about by another Blue Square club in an attempt to unsettle one of the best goalkeeping prospects in non league circles. Pass though living in Wales qualifies to play for England and recently played for them at Under 18 level".

    "Ebbsfleet manager Liam Daish thinks wantaway striker Michael Gash will start the new season with his side", claims the BBC. "Gash, who was Fleet's top scorer last term, agreed to move to York City this week in a joint-deal with defender Darius Charles. But Charles rejected the move so both players returned to Stonebridge Road. 'I'm sure York do want to take them but at this moment in time that deal is no longer on', Daish told BBC Radio Kent. 'We are not being rushed into anything. They are both Ebbsfleet players and that's the way it stands at the moment. I see them as part of our squad at the start of the season', he added".

    "The Football Conference reached a new low yesterday when they released the fixtures for next season – by giving ten different clubs a blank Saturday" claims the Oxford Mail. "One of those clubs is Oxford United, who have no fixture on Saturday, March 6. United’s general manager and secretary Mick Brown admitted to being 'speechless' at the news, while chairman Kelvin Thomas revealed his dismay at the potential loss of revenue. As well as Oxford and Grays twiddling their thumbs on Saturday, March 6, York and Histon are without a game on Saturday, February 20, Stevenage and AFC Wimbledon miss out on Saturday, February 27, and four clubs – Chester, Kidderminster, Salisbury and Hayes & Yeading – are idle on Saturday, March 20. It is believed to be the first time since United turned professional in 1949 that a league has left them without a match in an otherwise full Saturday programme.

    Brown said: 'I’m staggered. I was speechless when I heard, but it’s indefensible. We did not even receive a courtesy call to inform us, we just discovered it by default. It’s just illogical and will disadvantage us because we’ve got an additional midweek match', he added. The Conference... seem to have got in a mess after agreeing to requests to avoid certain dates or too much travelling on a Tuesday. Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick says the blank Saturday problem has come about because they do the fixtures manually. Conference chairman Brian Lee agreed 'it’s just worked out this way and it’s not ideal... it’s the first time I’ve known it. It’s not ideal, but we do the best we can. We’ve been trying to avoid clubs having too much midweek away travel, but I take on board people’s complaints about this and they’re noted'".

    Luton Today states that "Luton Town's search for a new home is ongoing... but the changing nature of available sites means their search is taking some time. Director Stephen Browne said: 'For us the independent feasibility study starts with identifying the possible locations. We did that quite a long while ago but then you have got quite a lot of work to do to see if they will hold water sufficiently to go forward as one of the final sites to be considered... Some locations that were on our radar are no longer feasible and ones that weren't now are'".

    According to the Wrexham Chronicle "Dean Saunders is targeting promotion back to the Football League for Wrexham and will stop at nothing to ensure it. Yesterday, Saunders took his players down the North Wales coast for an endurance fitness session around the Great Orme... 'We want to get out of the league, I want to get out of the league, and all the players have come in for one thing only and that is to get out of this league', he said... 'We know it is going to be difficult this season with Luton spending as much as they have and our budget is not what it was last year, but the aim is to get out of the league, simple as that', Saunders added. 'We are working all the time on trying to get players in, my phone is ringing all the time... We are looking for a goalkeeper obviously, and trying to sign another striker. Chris (Maxwell) is still learning the game and has got a really good future ahead of him. We’ve got to get out of the league and sometimes you’ve got young lads and they’re learning at your expense. Last season we had a lot of young lads and a lot of them played and hopefully they’ll come back this summer now and be better for it. Hopefully now when they line up we’ll see the difference'". As for pre-season, he stated, 'For footballers it’s a difficult time, there’s a lot of work to slug your way through... No pain no gain, simple as that. During your career you do 20-odd pre-seasons and they’re never easy, it’s a means to an end... If you’re getting paid to be a professional footballer then the least you can do is make sure you are fit'".

    4 July 2009


    NL Daily reports how "The New Saints took the lead for the first-time ever in the away leg of a European tie, but it wasn't enough to secure victory against FRAM Reykjavik... The hosts won 2-1... TNS dominated the opening quarter and should have taken the lead after just 4 minutes, but [ex-Alty man] Matthew Berkeley spooned his shot over the bar from eight yards with only the keeper to beat. The striker had the ball in the net 3 minutes later, but his header from a Craig Jones cross was ruled-out for a foul...The hosts were back on level terms after 36 minutes when Conall Murtagh [a former Alty trialist] fouled Sam Tillen, who converted the spot kick".

    According to the UniBond League "Retford United have signed two players as they build for the Premier Division this season. Paul Ellender joins from Alfreton Town after a very successful spell at Boston United where he played more than 228 games for the Pilgrims in a seven year stay at York Street. The 34 year old captained Boston at four different levels of football, and was so popular he also enjoyed a testimonial match. Starting his career at Scunthorpe United Youth, he moved onto Gainsborough Trinity, Altrincham and Scarborough before making Boston his second home".


    Oxford United confirm that they "have completed the signing of winger Alfie Potter on a season long loan from Peterborough United. Potter, 20, first came to fame with a goal for Havant and Waterlooville against Liverpool... and was followed by a brief loan at AFC Wimbledon and then a season long loan at Kettering last season.".

    From Mansfield Town we read that "A fierce bolt of lightning may have wiped out our playing squad this morning during a routine training session, can reveal. Our first team squad, along with manager David Holdsworth, first team coach Gareth Holmes and physio Jason Truscott, were stood just 30 yards away when the bolt struck a nearby fence. 'I nearly dropped my tea', manager David Holdsworth told 'It struck so close that the players had to rush for cover'".

    The Cambridge News says that "Danny Wright is staying at Histon after the club rejected a £50,000 bid for the striker from an unnamed Blue Square Premier side. Stutes' boss Steve Fallon said it was an easy decision to make after already losing the services of Mat Mitchel-King, Jack Midson, Patrick Ada and Antonio Murray. And, although he would consider offers from Football League teams for his players, the manager is determined to hang on to the rest of his squad. Fallon said: 'We've lost four players who were out of contract that we didn't want to lose, so there's no way that we're now going to sell anyone... It was always going to be a no to an offer from another Conference side'".

    "Chester City boss Mick Wadsworth today revealed he has secured two more pre-season signings" states the Chester Evening Leader. "Wadsworth confirmed he had agreed deals to bring both Neil Ashton and Tim Ryan to Chester City as part of his new-look 20-man Blues squad... He said: 'I've signed Neil Ashton... He is a left-sided player who can play in two or three different positions. He can play left centre back, and in the middle of midfield, and he's terrific in the air... he played his part in helping Shrewsbury reach the play-offs last season... I've also signed Tim Ryan who has played for Darlington and Doncaster Rovers'... Ryan, who started his career at Doncaster in 1996, spent three seasons at Southport before returning to the Yorkshire club and then having spells at Peterborough, Boston United and Darlington... One of my priorities is to sign a striker and I will be talking to former Chester player Gregg Blundell within the next 24 hours... I'm planning to speak to six or seven more players in the next few days and I may have more news on new signings on Monday... As far as my right hand man is concerned I'm inheriting the staff that was here last season. I'm going to stand by the present staff and I'll be working on the training pitch and in the dug-out on match days with Simon Davies'".

    From the Daily Post we hear that "Wrexham manager Dean Saunders yesterday made two further signings... with midfielders Nathan Fairhurst and Jamie McCluskey joining the Dragons. Fairhurst, who spent time on at loan at the Racecourse last season, joined from Bolton Wanderers on a two-year deal. McCluskey, who also spent time with the Dragons last season when he was a free agent, signed a one-year contract".

    The Press states that "Adam Boyes is on the verge of leaving York City to join Championship club Scunthorpe United. City boss Martin Foyle has confirmed to The Press that he expects 18-year-old striker Boyes to be moving... Foyle confirmed his departure would have funded the failed £80,000 bid for Ebbsfleet pair Michael Gash and Darius Charles. Foyle also added that City were still waiting to hear back from the Kent club after making their revised offer for Gash, believed to be in the region of £50,000... Ben Wilkinson [on loan at Alty last season], meanwhile, is poised to join Chester City... About his departure, Foyle added: 'It was only right for him to move on as his chances of getting a game here were slim'".


    Farsl;ey Celtic state that "A brief 145 word email has thrown the future of Farsley Celtic F.C back into doubt today after the club was saved from liquidation by the appointment of Administrators this week. The Football Conference Limited wrote to the club informing them that in accordance with the controversial Appendix E of the Rules of the Football Conference 'Farsley Celtic is not eligible for membership of the Competition for the forthcoming season'. Appendix E states: “ In the event of the club of a club suffering an Insolvency Event after the Annual General Meeting of the Company and prior to the start of the new season then the club will cease to be eligible for membership of the Competition for the new season and the club will be relegated from the Competition to a level within the National League system as may be decided upon by the Football Association “

    It was controversially applied to fellow Blue Square North members Northwich Victoria who entered administration at the end of last season, only to be overturned upon appeal by the Football Association. Northwich, as a result, are permitted to play in the Conference North albeit start with a 10 point deduction, in accordance with the main body of the Football Conference rules.

    Official club spokesman, Philip Morris, states: 'It is of concern to us that the Football Conference have taken this decision, despite the recent decision of the Football Association in the case of Northwich, and with no apparent change in the rules. They seem to be completely disregarding the precedent that has been set. We shall be immediately launching an appeal, and beginning a fund to raise sufficient money to pay the fees to do so. If the FA uphold the Conference’s decision, with the fixtures arranged for the next season throughout the non league pyramid Farsley Celtic basically will have no league in which to play'".

    3 July 2009


    Altrincham start their 2009-10 season with a home game against Ebbsfleet, followed by away matches at Barrow and Hayes & Yeading. The Christmas and New Year games are against Wrexham, whilst we host Chester City on August Bank Holiday.

    Altrincham FC League Fixtures 2009-10


    "The Football Conference have not dismissed the chances of a cup competition for non-League teams this season" according to the Oxford Mail. "With broadcaster Setanta going into administration, the Setanta Shield will no longer take place – much to the relief of many Blue Square Premier clubs who viewed the tournament as extra unwanted fixtures... The Oxford Mail understands that when the fixtures are released, the Football Conference will leave certain dates free for the possibility of a league cup, although these will not be indicated. This is in case a company takes over Setanta, and wants to run their own non-League [cup]. Dennis Strudwick, general manager of the Conference, confirmed that the matter would be on the agenda when the board meets on Monday".


    NL Daily tells us that "Vauxhall Motors have signed full back Chris Lane (right) from Altrincham. The 30-year-old... has previous played over 150 games for Southport in two spells at the club and has also played for Leigh RMI, Morecambe and Hereford".

    But "Blue Square North new boys Ilkeston Town Town will not be signing sharpshooter Tom Cahill following his release by Rotherham United. He enjoyed a productive loan spell at the New Manor Ground last season where he was a real crowd favourite. The Robins have made the 22-year-old a 'good offer' for him to join their 2009/10 campaign in the Conference North after promotion last season. But Cahill has relocated to the north-west and that, together with his wage demands, have scuppered any chance of an agreement. 'It looks like Ilkeston is not really where Tom wants to be with the money we have offered him and where he will be living', said boss Kevin Wilson. 'And we have also got a wage structure that we are not going to break for any player'" he told This is Nottingham.

    The Northwich Guardian reports that for Nantwich Town, "Jake Sedgemore signed last month".

    The Press tells us that "York City midfielder Ben Wilkinson has left the club by mutual consent. Wilkinson, who had a year left to run on his contract, spent the end of last season on loan at Altrincham".


    "Experienced defender Ashley Westwood has agreed the offer of a new contract at Wrexham" reports the Football Conference. "Following a successful trial, Westwood became Dean Saunders's second signing when he took charge last October with the experienced centre-half extending his stay until the end of the season... Saunders is hopeful that another centre half who has been offered a new deal, Mike Williams, the club's current longest-serving player, will also accept. One of Saunders' summer signings, Adrian Cielslewicz, is also due to complete his move from Manchester City where he has spent the last two-and-a-half years. Cielslewicz is a Poland under-19 international who can play as an attacking midfielder, on the right flank or in attack".

    "AFC Telford United have granted permission for Rhys Meynell to sign for Chester City. The defender had originally agreed to sign for the Bucks and attended his first training session last Saturday. The player did not appear at training on Tuesday and Chester approached Telford expressing an interest in the defender. After a discussion with Meynell it soon transpired that he wanted to sign for City, who are looking to remain full-time next season" reports the Football Conference. The BBC adds that "Chester City have lined up young Stalybridge Celtic defender Rhys Meynell as their first summer signing... After attending his first Telford training session on Saturday, he was alerted by the appointment of his old Gretna boss Mick Wadsworth at the Deva... Meynell had signed initial forms with Telford, but had not been registered and had not agreed terms... A statement on Telford's club website said: 'After a discussion with Meynell it soon transpired that he wanted to sign for City who are looking to remain full-time'... Meynell, who started with Wadsworth's hometown club Barnsley, spent the final half of the 2007/08 season at Gretna... He then returned to parent club Barnsley, but was released in May 2008. And, after trials at Barnet and Oxford United, made a summer move to Steve Burr's Stalybridge, for whom he was a regular, making 47 appearances".

    "Salisbury midfielders Brian Dutton and Ian Herring are unlikely to be at City next season, reports BBC Wiltshire. Manager Nick Holmes confirmed that the pair, who are both out of contract, are looking to sign for clubs in the north of England for personal reasons. Herring joined Salisbury from Chippenham in 2007 and was a regular in the first team last season. Dutton moved to City from Weymouth in the summer of 2008".

    The Cambridge News reports that "Paul Carden still hopes an agreement can be done to bring Phil Bolland back to Cambridge United. The club has been unable to offer acceptable terms to the centre-half and is unlikely to be in a position to do so until the likes of Jon Challinor and Courtney Pitt, who are both on the transfer list, are removed from the wage bill. But notably in the list of squad numbers announced by United, the No 5 shirt worn by Bolland last season remains vacant... Carden said: 'To get him back would be a massive bonus for us because he was part of the foundations... We were fortunate that Bolly had worked with Wayne Hatswell before and we knew what they were all about. They complement each other really well'".

    "It was the dawn of a new era at Ebbsfleet United yesterday (Wednesday) as a new group of players arrived at Stonebridge Road eager to stake their claim for a place in the squad" claims the Gravesend Reporter. "Head coach Liam Daish was forced to let the majority of last year's playing staff go... Meanwhile, the double transfer of Michael Gash and Darius Charles to York fell through earlier in the week, which means the weekly playing budget still stands at just £4,500 a week... And Acting CEO John Moules... believes Daish is the right man to undertake the hugely difficult task... 'I think his record of turning players into genuine quality speaks for itself', he said. 'He unearthed John Akinde and over the last three years he found players who have been included in the England C team'".

    The Kidderminster Shuttle tells us that "Chairman Barry Norgrove has placed a valuation of £50,000 on midfielder Russ Penn's head, after Burton Albion made him a transfer target. It is believed that the Blue Square Premier champions are eager to signed the 23-year-old... 'We've heard on the grapevine that Burton are interested but we have not had an approach from them', said Norgrove... 'If Burton made a big enough offer we would have to consider it. Walsall and Peterborough were talking about spending between £50,000 and £70,000 on him last summer and I would expect his worth is about £50,000'... The chairman also confirmed that Harriers would be interested in signing Lee Hughes. The 33-year-old's contract at Oldham Athletic has ended, after scoring 25 goals for them last season. Norgrove believes a deal to secure the forward, who scored 73 goals for Harriers between 1995 and 1997 before earning a £350,000 move to West Bromwich Albion, is a long way off".

    However, "Midfielder Brian Smikle signed a one-year deal to increase Harriers' squad to seven players today. The former West Bromwich man scored ten goals last season... He was released by Harriers in May but was still being paid by the club under the Bosman Ruling. He became the fourth member of last season's squad to return and joins Russ Penn, Matthew Barnes-Homer, Lee Baker, Dean Coleman, David McDermott and Darryl Knights on contract".

    2 July 2009


    Altrincham FC Youth team have got their FA Youth Cup draw details. Home matches are played at Moss Lane.

  • Preliminary Round, Monday 7 September 2009: Altrincham v Daisy Hill
  • First Round Qualifying, Monday 21 September 2009: Altrincham/Daisy Hill v Cammell Laird/Northwich Victoria
  • Second Round Qualifying, Monday 5 October 2009: Ashton Town/Vauxhall Motors v Altrincham/Daisy Hill/Cammell Laird/Northwich Victoria
  • Third Round Qualifying - not yet drawn - Monday 19 October 2009


    "The two potential buyers for Salisbury are no longer interested in the club" reports the BBC. "Chairman Neville Beal put the Whites up for sale for £1 in April, but with just over a month until the new season, they are no closer to a new owner... Manager Nick Holmes told BBC Wiltshire... 'The people who had initially said they were interested don't seem so now', he said. 'It's quite frustrating really'. Salisbury returned for pre-season training on Monday with the majority of their out-of-contract players left in limbo. Only four squad members are under contract for the 2009-10 Blue Square Premier campaign and Holmes cannot complete any more deals until a takeover is completed. 'We started training, we've got a good group and a lot of the boys that were here last season have turned up in the hope that there will be something on the table in a couple of weeks', added Holmes... 'Hopefully there will be an announcement soon'".

    NL Daily advises that "Graham Drury, manager of Blue Square North new boys Corby Town, has completed his summer transfer activity with the capture of winger Jamie McGhee from Mansfield Town. McGhee, 20, played for the Stags in the Football League when he was just 17 but fell out of favour under the new management at Field Mill last year".

    Meanwhile, "Mick Wadsworth, the newly-appointed manager of Chester City, confirmed he had made his first pre-season signing. Wadsworth revealed he had persuaded goalkeeper John Danby to re-sign for the Blues... Wadsworth, who also hopes to include Shrewsbury defender Neil Ashton in his squad, has acknowledged that he faces a race against time in his bid to assemble a twenty-man squad for the start of the new campaign... He said: 'John has solved a big problem for me and I'm really pleased he has decided to rejoin us as our goalkeeper'. Wadsworth admitted that he had discovered the new season is starting a week earlier than he envisaged: 'I had a little shock because I'd got it in my head that the Conference started on August 15th or 16th, but then I was told that we actually start on August 8th... We've got five and a half weeks for pre-season which is far from ideal, but we shall recruit players as quickly and as wisely as we can, and as economically as we can... I see this season as the club's re-birth because it's been through administration and it's still got the commitment of the chairman and his colleagues and together we're going to get out of the problems we face by working very hard. I watched Rotherham United very closely last year and the way that they went about ridding themselves of being on minus-seventeen points at the start of the season... Rotherham have shown in that sense that it can be done... The club has got into negative equity financially and football-wise, and everybody is ready to work hard to address both of those balances... I took Scarborough to their highest position in the Football League by earning a play-off place and I have to say that I had two fantastic years there. But Scarborough were another club that got into financial trouble and it happens to clubs too often, but that's the nature of this silly game that we're all in. I hope I can be at Chester for another thirty years...

    We don't have a goalkeeper for example, so that's quite a priority, and we haven't got an out and out centre forward with experience, so that's a priority... I haven't set myself a target for the new season, but I'm sure the chairman has set a target in his mind'... Club owner, Stephen Vaughan, insisted that Wadsworth would be given a opportunity to compete for an end of season play-off place. He said: 'In the Football League we were over-paying as a club at that level. We've now dropped into the Conference and we're a big fish in a small pond and we feel that outside of Luton Town we can match anybody's wage bill, and that is a dramatic cut-back on our Football League wages. But the wages we feel we can commit to will hopefully give Mick every opportunity to pull the ten point deficit back. It would be silly to think we can win the Conference title, but we've got to have a dream, and we've got to chase fifth spot'".

    "Kidderminster are pleased to confirm that winger David McDermott has signed up for the new season at Aggborough by penning a new one-year contract" reports Blue Square Football. "Lively local-lad McDermott first joined Harriers last summer after leaving Walsall and made 29 appearances for the club in 2008/09, scoring once. Blessed with great pace and an ability to beat defenders, McDermott was largely used as an impact sub by boss Mark Yates".

    Things are upbeat at Wrexham... "When Geoff Moss took on the running of the Club three years ago, his principle aim was to leave the Club debt free - this has now been achieved. The Club owns its own stadium and training ground. It owns all the land, buildings and equipment, while only having normal trade creditors and trade debtors that are required by any Club or business. It has NO bank overdraft and NO long term loans. Geoff yesterday sold his stake in Wrexham FC to Wrexham Village Ltd (a company in which he is a major investor).

    Wrexham Village has sourced and obtained private equity finance, sufficient to acquire the club development land; the Dickens land; plus sufficient finance to build the first 156 student flats; and to support the Football Club with working capital... Wrexham Village will allow the Club to stand on its own two feet, whilst at the same time offering the opportunity for the development to generate sufficient profits to make a major contribution to a new Kop stand, in due course...

    The Football Club Accounts for the year ended June 2008 have now been filed... Drastic cuts have been made in the Club's running costs, which we believe will bring the Club to around breakeven for the 2009/10 season and into profit thereafter. Whilst we are sorry that staff redundancies had to take place, we hope that it will be appreciated that such actions were necessary to safeguard the Club's financial security... Effectively the losses incurred during the period since Administration have been borne by Mr Moss... He has taken the risk on being able to recoup his original investment via the development, whilst leaving the Club in a healthier position - the envy of many football clubs across the UK".

    "Tricky left-footed winger Kyle Nix has today become David Holdsworth's 11th signing of the close season" at Mansfield Town... Nix is a former Manchester United trainee and his talents were spotted by Aston Villa at the early age of when the West Midlands club paid a six figure sum for his services. After a three year stint at Villa Park the 5 ft 6 winger left to join Sheffield United aged just 20, before linking up with Bradford City - where he has spent the past two years... Manager David Holdsworth has again overcome competition from League Two clubs to capture his signature. With the ink barely dry on his two year contract, Nix told 'Everyone here seems to share the same ambition and drive. I am determined to get back into the Football League with Mansfield'. Manager David Holdsworth said: 'We are delighted to be able to attract another League player to our club. He is an attacking-minded midfield player who has a wonderful ability on the ball. He and Ryan Williams are two very good assets'".

    "Histon manager Steve Fallon has said his side will be scaling down their transfer plans following the collapse of pay TV-broadcaster Setanta" reports the BBC. "Fallon told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'A lot of people at the Conference are confident Setanta will be replaced, but we can't gamble on doing things now... Things are on hold as they are at a lot of clubs... Histon lost four of their players over the summer, Patrick Ada, Jack Midson, Antonio Murray and Mat Mitchel-King... Cambridge City striker Michael Frew and Hemel defender Bowden-Haase have come in, but Fallon says a replacement for Mitchel-King is the only likely arrival at the current time. 'There are a lot of players looking for clubs, but they're asking for too much money in this climate', he said... 'We can't afford to pay full-time wages to part-time players'".


    In the FA Cup Preliminary Round draw, to be played Saturday 29th August our local neighbour's draw is:
  • Trafford v Rossendale United

    The Preliminary Round of The FA Trophy sponsored by Carlsberg involves the following ties involving local UniBond League clubs:-

  • Colwyn Bay v Witton Albion
  • Woodley Sports v Harrogate Railway
  • Trafford v FC Halifax Town

    Ties to be played Saturday 3rd October.


    Farsley Celtic announce that "Further to the statement issued by the board of Farsley Celtic 1908 Ltd on Saturday, a further statement has today been released:

    The board of Farsley Celtic 1908 Ltd are today able to confirm the appointment of Robert Adamson and Philip Lyon of Mazars LLP as Administrators. By entering Administration, the petition to wind the club up is unable to proceed and enables the club to continue to trade. John Palmer, the club President explains: 'Whilst it is a relief that the effect of Administration avoids, in the short term, the threat of winding up, there is a lot of work still to do'. Bullsnews adds that "Farsley Celtic have avoided today's winding up hearing by rushing through their application to enter Administration by the backdoor. With no time for the club itself to enter Administration brewers Coors, who are owed for supplies to the club bar, forced the club into Administration rather than allow the taxman to fold the Leeds-based side".

    1 July 2009


    Blue Square Football reports that "The Football Association has released details today of 20 current Blue Square clubs who will each receive just under £10k for their share of the FA Cup Pool after reaching the FA Cup 1st Round last season. The figure paid, is calculated from monies generated and paid into the FA Pool by clubs involved in replays from the 3rd Round onwards.

    This year the pay-out is higher than it has been for a number of years and brought forth the following comment from Brian Lee the Chairman of the Football Conference. 'I am really pleased for the high number of our clubs benefitting. The number amounts to just under a third of our total membership and after the last few days it is welcome news for those clubs involved. This season the figure is sizeable and can only be a major boost at this time for those who battled through the competition last October/November. Out of our 20 clubs, almost half played their football last season in the Blue Square North/South and it proves that those efforts in reaching the 1st Round pays dividends over which they ultimately have no control.

    Therefore, when three of the top four clubs in the Premier League, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal all draw away and then stage home replays, the minnows who have long departed the competition have also beneffited. Myself and our FA delegates from the Football Conference Board will ensure we continue to support vigourously the FA Pool system and on behalf of our clubs I express a big thank you to the Football Association and the FA Challenge Cup Committee'".

    Altrincham were one of the clubs to reach Round One last season.


    "Forget about Europe, FC United are hoping to go one better with a pre-season tour to the Far East", reports the Manchester Evening News. "They've been invited to South Korea next month... The ultra-ambitious club realises that some supporters may want to travel but officials are urging them not to make arrangements until exact fixture dates are released... The Rebels will be joined on their Far East adventure by [former Altrincham youth and reserve] striker Ben Deegan, from Ashton United. He's been brought in to replace hotshot [and former Alty player] Kyle Wilson, now at Macclesfield".


    According to NL Daily, "Rushden & Diamonds have completed the signing of defender Jamie Stuart from rivals Grays Athletic. The experienced 32-year old began his career with Charlton and then played for Millwall, Bury, Southend and Hornchurch. He had been with Grays since 2004, spending a couple of years as club captain and also having a spell as joint/assistant-manager early in 2009... Stuart said upon his departure: 'It is with some sadness that I am now moving on from Grays Athletic Football Club'".

    from the BBC we learn that "Luton Town manager Mick Harford has ruled out a return to the club for defender Chris Willmott. The 31-year-old was released by rivals Oxford in April. He told BBC Three Counties Radio: 'We are looking at the defence. I have spoken to Chris's agent but we're not going to take it any further'. Harford has signed keeper Mark Tyler, defender Alan White and striker Liam Hatch and is hoping to bring in new faces before the season begins. On the capture of former Peterborough keeper Tyler, he said: 'I always see the goalkeeper as one of the major positions in a football team'".

    York City say that "City Manager Martin Foyle has completed another signing on the penultimate day before pre-season training commences by securing the signature of Alan O'Hare. The 6'2" defender is a left footed centre-half who was with Mansfield Town last season. Drogheda-born O'Hare made over 100 appearances for Chesterfield whilst they were in League One and is 26 years old. The Club can also confirm that former Ebbsfleet United midfielder Neil Barrett has signed for City today and will also be joining up with his new team mates tomorrow. Neil began his career with Chelsea and made 26 appearances for Portsmouth before a move to Scotland and subsequently back to England with Woking and then Ebbsfleet...

    Martin Foyle stated that he was delighted to secure their signatures especially after yesterday's set back following the news that the £80,000 deal for Darius Charles and Michael Gash from Ebbsfleet had hit problems. The City boss is still hopeful that the deal for Gash will go through and a new offer has been submitted to the Ebbsfleet Board of Directors and members".

    A nice letter to all BSP clubs has been sent by Matt Curtis of the defunct Setanta Sports channel:

    Dear All,

    I wanted to write to each of the clubs in the Blue Square to say how sorry I am that Setanta's coverage of Conference football is over. I am also deeply sorry of any financial repercussions this may have for the Conference and the clubs. It is such a tremendous competition I’m sure it will go on to get bigger and better.

    In ten years of broadcasting with Setanta, last season was the most enjoyable of my career, and that includes World Cups, European Championships, World Title fights and Grand Nationals. I have made so many friends along the way, and I cannot thank everyone involved enough. I will treasure for ever the warm welcomes we received at every ground. Football matters as much (if not more) to people at this level, when compared to the Premier League, but the Conference has retained its charm and realism. We were at the start of something really special and I am so upset we won’t have the chance to carry it on.

    The awards evening was a fitting finale, and I must thank all those people who came up to wish me well. Not one person had an angry word, it was all supportive and I will remember that for ever – as I will the phone calls from Brian Lee and Dennis Strudwick when things got really sticky. I hope our paths cross again soon, Matt Curtis".

    "New Blues manager Mick Wadsworth has spoken of the challenge that lies ahead of him at Chester City. "City return for training tomorrow and his first task will be to add to the squad that currently stands at a meagre nine players, building that up to a total of about 20 required as City start the new season in the Football Conference on minus ten points. Wadsworth told the Daily Post: 'I'm used to challenges and tough situations and this job excites me', said former Newcastle United and Southampton assistant-manager Wadsworth, who was part of the England coaching team under Bobby Robson and Graham Taylor... 'I'm a workaholic. We will recruit as quickly and as wisely as we can and in the most economical way that way we can'", said the new manager.

    The Chester Evening Leader adds that Chester "Club owner, Stephen Vaughan said: 'We've gone for Mick Wadsworth on the understanding that we needed a change. Mark Wright never walked out of this club, we mutually agreed for Mark to vacate the position. We were looking at somebody with experience and we found that man with experience... Importantly he has experience at every level of footbal... and hopefully he'll get us a 20-man squad together over the next couple of weeks. 'The target is to get the 20 men. If Mick doesn't feel he needs any of the current nine senior pros it will be a case of one in and one out... We know the problems we've had in the past, we know we were over-paying in the past'".

    This is Tamworth tells us that "Tamworth have completed the signing of former defender Michael Briscoe. But the Lambs' have failed in a bid to sign ex-Port Vale striker Kyle Perry – who has chosen to sign for Mansfield Town".