an unofficial website

June, 2013

25 June 2013


The website will not be updated for the next few days; apologies for any inconvenience caused.

The next action at Moss Lane is the friendly against Accrington Stanley. Details of all of the pre-season games are below...

  • Sat. 13.7.13, 3pm, Home v ACCRINGTON STANLEY
  • Tue. 16.7.13, NB7.30pm, Home v TRANMERE ROVERS XI
  • Tue. 23.7.13, 7.45pm, Away v Trafford
  • Sat. 27.7.13, 3pm, Home v FC HALIFAX TOWN
  • Tue. 30.7.13, 7.45pm, Away v Mossley
  • Fri. 2.8.13, 7.30pm, Home v WREXHAM
  • Sat. 10.8.13, 3pm, Home v BURNLEY XI


According to the Football Conference, "Striker Ashley Worsfold has become the latest recruit for Harrogate Town when Simon [Grayson] swooped to claim the highly-rated player’s signature from Alfreton Town. Worsfold, 22, was highly regarded by the management at Alfreton and they were hoping that he would sign on for another season. However, Harrogate were able to prise him away.

Described as a player with great movement and a natural touch, Worsfold has been likened to recent Town favourite Dominic Knowles. Worsfold started at Sheffield Wednesday as a youth player before joining Goole AFC".

"Dennis Greene, manager of Boston United, has confirmed that the Pilgrims are poised to part company with defender Tom Ward. The 22-year-old, who scored six goals in seventy-one appearances for the Pilgrims, has delayed signing the new deal offered to him... Greene told 'We wanted to keep Tom but we cannot wait forever. We now switch our attentions to other targets. I am disappointed because I had agreed terms with him but he has now decided he wishes to speak to other clubs'".

Meanwhile the Boston Standard tells us that "Tom Ward says 'security' is the reason he will not sign a further deal with Boston United. The defender originally agreed to accept boss Dennis Greene’s offer... However, today it was revealed that he had decided not to sign the non-contract offer on the table.

Rivals Gainsborough Trinity appear to be the side who turned Ward’s head. 'I needed the security of a contract as I’m at university with no other income', said Ward, who also has a young daughter to support. With Nathan Stainfield opting to join Spalding United last week, Carl Piergianni is currently the club’s only recognised centre-back. The Pilgrims report back for pre-season training on Saturday, with Greene hoping to bring in two central defenders as soon as possible".

According to NL Daily, "Brackley Town have announced the signing of Charlie Griffin for the 2013/14 season. The former Wycombe and Stevenage striker joins after recently leaving Bath City. Griffin has also played for Forest Green Rovers in recent years, and has previously had spells at Salisbury City and Newport County. He started his senior career way back in 1998 with Chippenham Town">

Leamington announce that the club "regrettably will not be entering a team in the Midland Youth Football League (MYFL) next season following the departure of of last year's manager Darren Bradley and his management team and a significant proportion of the players. We understand that a key driver for their decision was the belief that their players needed reserve ream football this coming season.

In setting up the Youth Team last season the vast majority of players were under 17 and there was an acceptance by all parties that the team would have two years in the youth league and decisions were to be made this coming season on the best development path for those players.

Brakes' Chairman Jim Scott said, 'We have fully considered all our options but believe there is insufficient time to find a suitable replacement management team and players at such short notice and, very sadly, will have to take a year out from youth team football... and will be entering a Youth Team in the MYFL in Season 2014-15".


If you want some pre-season action, as usual the Welsh clubs start their Europa League odysseys early in July. WElsh Premier tells us that "The trio of Welsh Premier European debutant clubs enjoyed reasonably good fortunes in the draw for the first qualifying round of the Europa League as all there were drawn against clubs from the Baltic states.

They avoided potentially difficult trips to places such as Azerbeijan or the Faroe Islands, with Airbus UK Broughton and Prestatyn Town both drawn against Latvian opposition. The Wingmakers will face Ventspils...

Prestatyn's first venture into Europe will be against Latvians, Metalurgs. Bala Town will face Levadia Tallinn from Estonia... Both Bala and Prestatyn intend to use Rhyl's Belle Vue for their home legs, both of which are scheduled for July 4, so a change of date will be required for one of the clubs".

And "The New Saints missed out on an all-British glamour tie with SPL giants Celtic as they were drawn to face Polish outfit Legia Warsaw in the second qualifying round of the Champions League... TNS will play the home leg on July 16 or 17 with the away leg a week later".

24 June 2013


Season tickets to watch Altrincham FC are great value. But 30 June is the deadline for the £10 discount on season tickets for league matches at Moss Lane in 2013-14, so you need to act quickly to take advantage of the discount.

Prices (excluding discount of £10) for 2013-14 are:

  • Standing - Adults £225; Concessionaries £115
  • Seating - Adults £265; Concessionaries £125
  • Aged 12 to 16 seated or standing - £50
  • Under 12s seated or standing - £25

Either visit Moss Lane with your cheque or cash (during normal office hours) or post a cheque to the club with details of the type(s) of ticket required. The address is Altrincham FC, Moss Lane, Altrincham WA15 8AP. Season tickets confer free entry to the pre-season friendlies at Moss Lane as well as to the league fixtures (excluding any play-offs).


You can help the club in the close season by joining the Patrons' Club. Details of this close-season fundraising scheme, which gives you the chance to win group sponsorship privileges at Moss Lane are here.


"Stephan Morley has become the latest member of Leamington's title winning squad to agree terms to remain at the club for the 2013/14 season...

The popular defender, who has played in the Conference previously with Kettering Town and Hinckley United, joined Leamington in October 2010 after spending the previous season at Halesowen Town, and has since made over 120 appearances in the Gold and Black".


As this website was only recently restructured, here is a reminder of how to get to your preferred starting point every time you visit

EITHER: To go straight to the FULL NEWS for each day, please bookmark News. A smaller format version of the news page (only) is also available.

OR: To go straight to the HEADLINES (with links to the fuller news) for each day, please bookmark Headlines.

OR: To go straight to the HOME PAGE (which primarily displays the club's main sponsors), please bookmark News.

With iPads and iPhones not able to handle drop down menus in the same way as PCs, this issue will be addressed in the near future.

23 June 2013


In a curious match played in four periods on the 3G surface at The New Saints' Oswestry base, the British Universities and Colleges' side beat the hosts 1-0 but lost the post-match penalty shoot out 3-5!

This pre-season friendly was a workout for the BUC side who are about to travel to the World Student Games in Russia - hence a penalty shoot-out was held, irrespective of the result after ninety minutes. Altrincham's Simon Richman was in the BUC squad. He came on, out of position on the left flank, at the start of the second period, thirty minutes having been played in the preceding period.

Barely five minutes into the scheduled fifteen minutes of the second period, Simon mistimed a tackle and was asked to leave the game by the referee. However, he came back on for the third period, another fifteen-minute stretch before giving way for the final half-hour as the student side gave all twenty members of the squad game time.

Right: Simon is seen before kick-off.

A former Altrincham player was also in the BUC side in the shape of Tom McCready, a former Everton reserve who joined Altrincham in August, 2010. He was released at the start of October 2010 and joined AFC Chester soon afterwards. He made just two sub appearances for Alty.

FC United's Nicky Platt scored the game's only goal before his side had one of its penalties saved in the shoot out.

The Universities' side, coached by Kidderminster Harriers' Steve Guinan, included Simon's fellow Conference North player, Marc Newsham of Boston United who played for a third of the ninety minutes of game time.

The BUC squad heads to Moscow on June 29 and then moves on to Kazan, where the tournament is being held.


The Telegraph & Argus reports that "Avenue finance director Kevin Hainsworth is doing everything possible to provide manager John Deacey with a decent playing budget to help give the club the best possible chance of booking a play-off place in the Conference North...

Hainsworth said, 'I think we will have a fighting chance next season and we want to push on but I’m not going to say we will be in the play-offs. It would be suicidal to predict where we are going to be because it will be a very tough division. We did well last year and there is no reason why we shouldn’t be there or thereabouts at the end of the next season but we were new last year.

Clubs will have looked at us and they will have done their homework so it’s bound to be harder second time around. What we have in our favour is that we have a superb manager. John Deacey just has a knack, a way of getting the best out of his squad and spotting talented young players in the area that can make the step up'.

Hainsworth and the rest of the board are aware that a thin squad was problematic last term and they want to provide Deacey with the finances to boost that so that they can compete in the league.

'Last Christmas was a double whammy for us', admitted Hainsworth. 'We had so many injuries and suspensions just at a time when we had a run of six or seven games against sides in the top eight. We were looking strong in that group at the time but we never really recovered after that. There was a late burst ,to be honest, we were always playing catch-up after that and we want to be stronger this time.

We still won’t have the budget or the size of squad that you can rotate like some of the other clubs. But we expect to have a greater number of players on board and a few will be confirmed in just over a week’s time when the transfer window opens'.

Like the Football League, the Conference clubs cannot register new players until July 1".

Two players leaving our division are the subject of a report in NL Daily, which says that "Steve Edmondson, manager of Kendal Town, has captured his top two transfer targets with the signings of Niall Cowperthwaite and Jordan Connerton from Workington".

Meanwhile, Solihull Moors "can confirm that defender Danny Spencer has left the club and joined Barwell. The club made Danny an offer at the end of last season, but, with the financial restrictions on next seasons budget, Danny and the club were not able to come to an agreement that was acceptable to both parties.

Danny joined the Moors in 2011 from Nuneaton Town, and initially played as a striker, before being converted to centre-half midway through the season".

Promoted Leamington "announce that, following his cruciate ligament injury... Alex Taylor has recovered much quicker than expected, and will join the squad for pre season training".

22 June 2013


Today (Saturday 22nd) from 10am to 1pm there is a "Tidy Up" session at Moss Lane to get the ground ready for the new season. This will primarily involve removing weeds from the terraces so please bring along gardening gloves and, if you can, a hoe or other gardening tools. Please do volunteer to come along if you possibly can. Entry is via the gates adjacent to the Main Stand turnstiles on Moss Lane. Thank you very much.


Congratulations go to Altrincham FC midfielder, Simon Richman, who is in the squad for the British Universities' team, who take on Welsh Premier team TNS today (Saturday) at 3pm at Oswestry. Duncan Watmore was also called up for the squad but withdrew following his move to Sunderland.


Northwich Victoria announce that they have signed Kieran Lugsden, saying "Kieran is an 'in your face' striker, with pace to burn and chases losts causes with an explosive shot to boot. He joins from Buxton, where he enjoyed a long and prolific partnership with Mark Reed, scoring an impressive 37 goals in under 100 appearances. He started his career as a junior at New Mills AFC. Kieran counts Altrincham of the Conference Premier, amongst his former clubs".

Welsh Premier tells us that "Airbus UK Broughton have solved a goalkeeping problem by signing former Wales Under-21 international gloveman James Coates... The 28-year-old Coates, who is a coach with Manchester City's academy, started his career at Mansfield Town and had spells under the Wingmakers' director of football Andy Preece at both Worcester City and Northwich Victoria.

Coates joined The New Saints for their European campaign in 2004 but was released without being awarded a contract and later made 11 Welsh Premier League appearances for Rhyl... Also capped by Wales at Under-17 and Under-19 levels, Coates played at Belle Vue on-loan from Northwich, where he was ever-present in Conference North the previous season and was named supporters' player of the year.

When his loan spell expired at the end of December 2009 he joined Vauxhall Motors and has also featured for Moor Green, Hucknall Town, Kidsgrove Athletic, Burton Albion, Abbey Hey, Leigh Genesis, Vauxhall Motors, Guiseley, Altrincham and Radcliffe Borough".


Harrogate Town report that they "have been granted planning permission to build two new stands at the CNG Stadium... The changes to the ground will see the Wetherby Road stand severely upgraded whilst a new covered stand will be erected at the Hospital End. In all, the official capacity will rise to approx. 4,000 from its current 3,200 mark.

It is hoped that all grants and finances will be in place for the commencement of this work by the close season of the 2013/14 campaign... Chairman Irving Weaver stated, '“It will hopefully help create a much better atmosphere within the ground'".

AFC Telford United confirm that "Chris Lever, 26, a defender who was with Southport last season, has signed for the Bucks. Lever started his football career as a promising youngster for Oldham Athletic".

The Football Conference tells us that "Oxford City manager Mike Ford has been busy in the last few weeks putting an exciting-looking squad together... All last season’s players have agreed to re-sign with the exception of Nick Stanley.

Additions to the squad to date include goalkeeper Mark Scott from Salisbury City, defenders Lee Henderson from Didcot Town and James Clifton from neighbours Brackley Town, midfielder Will Green from Bedford Town and forwards Kieran Sanders from North Leigh, Mike Symons from league rivals Worcester City and Tom Winters from Brackley. City favourite Felipe Barcelos will be unavailable at the start of the season until he returns from visiting family in his native Brazil".

From the other side of one of these transfers, the Northampton Chronicle throws some light on the finances involved as it reports that Brackley manager "Jon Brady says he wasn’t prepared to break Brackley’s wage structure to keep club stalwart Tom Winters. Winters has been offered what Brady describes as an ‘incredible’ deal by the Saints’ rivals Oxford City.

The winger has decided to move on, ending an eight-year association with Brackley... And Brady has been forced to accept that the Saints simply couldn’t compete with the money Mike Ford’s outfit were offering. 'He’d been offered an incredible deal by Oxford City', said the Brackley boss. 'I wanted to keep Tom. He’s been an incredible servant to the football club, he had seven to eight years here. But I couldn’t get anywhere near what they’re offering him. I wasn’t going to ruin our wage structure. Tommy told me what he was being offered and, if Mike Ford can spend that on players, then we’ll see how he deals with that sort of pressure. They’ll have to perform instead of finishing about 30 points behind us like they did last year'...

Brady added, 'I’ve been talking to the players. The ones I want to sign will be all signed in the next week or two. Tommy, at the moment, is the only player I’d liked to have signed that I’ve lost. There are one or two others, Ryan Austin and Izak Reid, who can play higher and we’ll see with them. If nothing comes to fruition over the next couple of weeks we’ll be there to try to make an offer to them but, at the moment, they’ve got to see if they can go higher... There are one or two over the next week or two we can announce'".

Benzinga has a headline, "Oxford City FC (OTCQB:WMXG) Announces Their Off Season International Executive Meetings Schedule... Oxford City FC executives will be in ten cities in seven countries in the coming weeks forming strategic global relationships for the club...

President of Oxford City FC (OTCQB:WMXG) Thomas Anthony Guerriero confirms that during this off season they have an extensive travel schedule meeting with potential corporate partners and sponsors from around the world... Managing Director Colin Taylor said, 'We plan on bringing increased global awareness to Oxford City FC, our Oxford City Sports College, our work in the Oxford community, and all we as an organization have to offer to potential sponsors and corporate partners'.

Our travel schedule is as follows:

    Los Angeles: June 10th
  • Fiji: June 19-20
  • Sydney Australia: June 21- 25
  • El Salvador: June 26th
  • Lima, Peru: June 27-30
  • Deerfield Beach, Florida: July 1st
  • New York, NY: July 2nd
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts: July 3rd
  • Oxford, UK: July 4-9th
  • Stockholm, Sweden: July 10-12

Oxford City Football Club, LLC entered into a definite share exchange agreement with WMX Group Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:WMXG). This agreement formally reorganized the company to change their central focus to Oxford City FC business. WMX Group Holdings, Inc. plans to move forward with a name change to Oxford City Football Club and a symbol change. Refocusing our energies in one direction to advance the interests of Oxford City Football Club will allow us to maximize the club's earning potential globally.

The global headquarters are based in the South Florida in Deerfield Beach... Oxford City FC currently plays in the Conference North, with their focus on promotion. The organization has a championship tradition leading back to their FA Amateur Cup Championships in 1905-1906. Oxford City FC is one of the oldest and most historic clubs in the county...

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and section 21B of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Readers are cautioned not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are only predictions and only speak as of the date hereof. Forward-looking statements usually contain the words "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "expect," or similar expressions and are subject to numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties".

Runners-up Guiseley "have announced that last season’s Player of the Year, Danny Ellis, has... agreed to a deal that will keep him at Nethermoor for the next two seasons. As well as his playing role in the centre of defence, Ellis will be heavily involved in the coaching of the club’s expanding Academy side and will pursue his stated intention of achieving a UEFA ‘B’ coaching qualification in the next two to three years.

He will also continue to support the club’s efforts to raise its profile locally and work with the Guiseley AFC Community Foundation in the expansion of its holiday programme and links with Junior, Senior and Special schools in Aireborough".

21 June 2013


Alty Youth manager George Heslop announces that the annual Youth Team Presentation Evening will take place in the bar at Moss Lane on Friday 28th June 2013 at 7.15 p.m. (Please note the change of date). As well as the usual individual awards, the evening will feature the Altrincham FC Under-17s who, representing the Altrincham & District FA, won the Cheshire District F.A.Youth Cup, and the Under-18s, who won the Manchester F.A.Youth Cup.

George adds "There will be presentations involving both of the Altrincham N.W.Y.A. League sides from the Premier and First Divisions. Everyone is welcome."


Central defender, Danny Hall (right), released by Altrincham at the end of last season, has joined Carlisle club Celtic Nation, which is sponsored by an American millionaire. The club plays in the Northern League.

The News & Star reports that "Hartlepool United’s Paul Johnson... who was instrumental in Workington Reds’ survival bid while on loan in Conference North last season, is one of four new signings announced by the non-league club", Celtic Nation.

"Fellow centre-back Danny Hall, 29, has signed from Altrincham, and [manager, Mick] Wadsworth, added, 'I had Danny in the team when I was at Oldham and also on-loan at Gretna. He can also play midfield and I’ve known him since he was a kid, which is important. He’ll be great with the youngsters'.

Former Greenock Morton central midfielder Martin Hardy, 36, and Jack Laird, 19, a former first-year pro at Oldham who scored 19 goals in 30 Conference North games for Stalybridge Celtic, have also signed".


AFC Telford United "have completed the signing of former Nottingham Forest and Rochdale Centre Back, Neil Byrne. The 19 year-old Irish Under-19 International player joins the Bucks on a years deal having turned down offers from several clubs.

Neil made 7 appearances during a loan spell with Southport last season and did enough during that time to impress Liam Watson enough to pursue the player.

Byrne's signing now brings the number of players in the squad to 12 with the Bucks hopeful of completing the signing of two midfielders in the next week or so.

Club Chairman, Lee Carter, said 'Liam and Dom have been working really, really hard to get us to this stage, but there is still a fair bit of work to do. We said from the off that we had little time to waste and I think the way in which we have done our business so far demonstrates that. We really need to hit the ground running from the beginning of July and are not going to hang around'.

Physio Rudy Farqharrson has left the club and Darryl Smith has left the position of First Team Goalkeeper Coach, however he will remain within the club's youth set up".

News of another ex-Sandgrounder following Liam Watson to the New Buck's Head comes from the Shropshire Star which tells us that "AFC Telford United are expected to complete the signing of former Southport defender Chris Lever. Bucks' [assistant] boss Dominic Morley is set to meet the versatile stopper, 26, who left the Sandgrounders last week...

Southport manager Alan Wright has agreed to terminate the remainder of Lever’s contract. He was unable to commit to morning training sessions at the Conference Premier outfit because of other work commitments. The Bucks train twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings".

The Football Conference says that "Boston United have completed the signing of Gateshead utility player Peter Bore. The 25-year-old, who is capable of playing at right-back, on the right wing or up front...

Bore has played for York City (on loan), Harrogate Town and Lincoln City, prior to his ten-game spell with Gateshead at the end of last season. United boss Dennis Greene... told, 'Peter is... equally adept at playing in two or three positions and will add real versatility to our squad'...

Bore is the fifth signing of the summer following the earlier arrivals of Ashley Timms, Carl Piergianni, Gary Mills and Ricky Miller".

17 June 2013


This website,, will be undergoing a significant change this Thursday, 20 June, 2013, when a new look is introduced to the site. The content from the last thirteen seasons will still all be available but the way to get at it and its appearance will be noticeably different - and, hopefully, you will think it is better.

Further details of the changes will appear here by Wednesday but, in essence, from Thursday the address will take you to a new "landing" page, where the club's major sponsors will be prominent. From that page, a link will take you to another new page, a "headline news"page. This new page allows users to choose between simply scanning the brief major headlines of the day or clicking on a link after each headline, which will take them to the full news story.

All of the stories will be on a "full news" page which, in terms of content but not appearance, essentially will be the same as the current website's "Home" page, which you are currently visiting. Those users who like to read all of everyday's news need simply to amend their bookmarks or "favorites" to the new page to avoid having to go to it indirectly the "headlines".

As there is a huge number of webpages on the site, (including more than 1,000 match reports alone), it will take some time to convert everything to the new "look". But virtually all the pages currently directly reachable from the current Home page should be in the new format by the time the site is relaunched this Thursday.

Inevitably, given the size of the task, there will be some errors in the transitional process, such as odd links that point to an old address. If you come across any of these, please let me know and they will be corrected promptly.

It is hoped that, when you see it, you will agree that the new website is an improvement on the existing one. As mentioned above, more about the changes and why they are being introduced will appear here between now and Thursday.

Thank you, in advance, for visiting the website and, also, for your patience during the changeover period.


BSBN reports that "Boston United have announced the departure of Nathan Stainfield after he rejected a new contract offer from the club. The 24-year-old defender was one of seven players offered new terms by Pilgrims' manager Dennis Greene at the end of last season.

But Stainfield, who arrived at York Street in September 2011 after a brief stint in the United States, has decided to end his two-year association with the Lincolnshire outfit. A short statement on the club's official website confirmed the news... 'The 24-year-old, who scored four goals in 66 appearances for the Pilgrims between 2011 and 2013, moves on with the best wishes of everybody at the club'".

16 June 2013


Congratulations go to the President of Altrincham FC for, as the Manchester Evening News reports, in the Queen's Birthday Honours' List, "Noel White, from Altrincham, a former chairman of Liverpool FC was awarded the British Empire Medal, for his services to football.

The 83-year-old retired businessman, who was also a longtime director of Altrincham FC, was one of the founders of the Premier League and a vice president of the FA."


Altrincham FC would like to thank those supporters who came along and helped to tidy up the ground at Moss Lane today. Work was concentrated on clearing the weeds that had grown on the Main Stand side's perimeter walkway (seen, right), the Popular Side terracing and the away end. A further session will be held in the near future, so please do come along and help if you possibly can.


"Histon FC and Cambridge City are pleased to announce an agreement that will benefit both sets of supporters now that City will be based at Histon's Glass World Stadium for the next two years. Season Ticket Holders will be entitled to a discount on the Admission price for the other team's home League games held at Bridge Road...

Cambridge City Season Ticket Holders will be able to gain entry to Histon's Conference North home games for £7.00".

At Stalybridge Celtic the chairman says "I can assure you that a lack of communication over the past fortnight has not meant a lack of effort from the directors...

There is one MASSIVE new piece of information which I personally think that is the best news this club has had in years and that is the outcome of the 'root and branch' analysis of the club. Last year Stalybridge Celtic lost a fortune and it was only down to the directors that we still have our heads above water.

Over the past few weeks however, we have gone through each and every line item of income and expenditure at our club and worked on how to improve each line item. We have changed our electricity supplier, we are almost certainly changing our brewery, we have cut costs here, cut costs there. But we shouldn't just cut costs. We need to grow the revenue side too and we are working on many angles there too. Also, subject to board ratification, we are very hopeful of bringing in four new board members this summer...

It won't mean Jim [Harvey] has any extra money, but I'm hopeful that in 12 months time, we will be able to give him more financial support... we ARE still almost debt free (bar to the directors) and this club can look forward to a much MUCH brighter future than most clubs up and down the country...

I'd like to now tackle head on an issue for SOME of our fans. The fans' relationship with the 'gaffer' and the team. What the 'doubters' need to accept is that Jim has a bottom half budget and to expect him to finish in the top 3 is unfair and unrealistic.

However, I DO agree that there is less of a relationship between the players/managers and the fans than there used to be. Next season, Jim and the players (bar maybe sometimes the manager himself and also the M-O-T-M who need to be in the Sponsors' Lounge), need to pop over and eat/mingle with the fans. On top of that, Jim has agreed to a monthly 'Meet the Manager' in the Sponsors' Lounge...

We ended last season undefeated in something like the last 10 games... some of the football that we played near the end was truly tremendous. A number of the lads were in their first year and had to learn fast. We have (thankfully) retained a majority of the nucleus of last season (9 players so far) and I'm hopeful that maybe Callum will be re-signing soon too. Joel is sadly off to France... Others may still re-sign too...

On top of that, Jim has some really exciting prospects that want to come and join. For the non-league anoraks, although they'll be new to us, two would be well known from the BSP and would be major additions to the squad if they sign. On top of that, there are two exciting young lads that have international pedigree that we're hopeful of bringing on board...

We also have 4 or 5 of the academy squad who are starting to knock on the door of the first team. I expect at least one or two of them to be regularly in our first team squad next season.

I also need to dismiss this rumour I'd heard from a couple of people that the players didn't want to play for Jim anymore. If they didn't, then why did we go the last 10 games of the season without defeat and much more importantly, why have all nine that we have approached, all re-signed for Jim before the season ended?...

I sincerely believe that we do have a tremendous manager... but we need everyone to get back on board. Support Jim. Support the players. Support the club... I've not felt as optimistic about the club in a long while".

Another "Boardroom Update" comes from Stockport County which says that "Stockport-based Leemic are the shirt sponsors for the new third kit, designed and manufactured by Umbro, and the Express has been given exclusive pictures. Also if you pick up a copy of the Stockport Express on June 26 you could win a County shirt of your choice in a special competition... We have now sold approximately 1200 season tickets, a tremendous achievement which really underlines that we are the biggest club ever to play at this level of football".

From the Worcester News, we learn that at Worcester City, "You can sense a new-found optimism about the club. Just a few weeks ago, City looked to have thrown the towel in � they had reluctantly left their home of more than a century ...

That was until news broke of a deal having been struck with developer St Modwen to release the club from the contract that tied them to a move to Nunnery Way until 2017... It sparked a dramatic shift in people�s attitudes... The much-trumpeted but poorly supported �100 season tickets began to sell and have continued to do so...

The budget has been slashed and it is likely, through a combination of compensation and capital gains tax, that City will have virtually nothing left of the �1.2million they are due to get back from St Modwen. But, crucially, they are at least free to go it alone without the burden of a ground move they have no hope of affording".


"Two more players have joined Northwich Victoria... George Melling, a 28-year-old defender, has joined the club... Melling is a rugged and very imposing centre-back who attacks the ball at every opportunity. He joins after skippering Leek Town last season...

Melling counts Ashton United and Altrincham among his former clubs; he appeared in the Conference Premier for the latter".

The newly formed 1874 Northwich club "have completed the capture of Ryan Stewart. The former [Altrincham youth and reserves,] Congleton, Winsford and Woodley sports player put pen to paper after the club's first training session...

Stewart could not hide his excitement, when he said,, 'I was made up to be asked by the manager to be the first player ever to sign for the club and have had a spring in my step ever since. I see it as a real privilege and an honour'...

Manager Ian Street also welcomed his first signing, saying, 'Ryan is an outstanding individual, both as a player and as a person. He leads by example and is and will be a fantastic role model for the image of the club'... Stewart, who is a left-sided midfield player, joins assistant manager Lee Duckworth and player coach Matt Conkie as Street�s first appointments at the club".


Tne Manchester Evening News claims that "Semi-professional football is back with a bang at Flixton this summer - but not in the guise of the area's once-proud club. Formed in 1960, Flixton FC ceased to exist last summer after withdrawing from the North West Counties league due to dwindling support and revenue.

A local Sunday team maintained a presence at their Valley Road ground last season, but they've now been joined by Northwich Victoria. Founded in 1874, the Vics are one of the biggest names in the non-league game having spent 29 years in the Conference Premier before suffering relegation in 2009...

'The fans weren't happy travelling to Stafford and Flixton was the nearest available ground', said Northwich chairman Jim Rushe, who's from Manchester... The Vics have agreed a two-year lease for themselves and feeder team Northwich Villa to play at Valley Road. Villa will play on alternate Saturdays, two levels below in the NWC First Division...

Former Flixton chairman Lenny Wood still owns Valley Road, which includes a two-floor clubhouse, but Rushe has spent almost £10,000 bringing it back up to Evo-Stik standards... with Flixton's blue painted over with Northwich's green and white...

'We lost our ground in really unfortunate circumstances, there's nothing anybody could do but accept it and take it on the chin', said Rushe. 'It's still a sin to see a £4m facility built with Football Foundation, fans' and council money being sold for £598,000, to be flattened and used for a chemical factory. But Northwich is where we're aiming to go back, that's where our home is... Northwich Victoria is one of the oldest clubs in the world. It deserves to be in Northwich and as long as I've got anything to do with it, the name will always be Northwich Victoria'...

'Flixton were in a slow decline', said Rushe... 'Thankfully we've got some passionate followers who've played a big part in getting the ground ready'...

Which is why Sunday side Republic of Flixton are thriving. They moved from a park pitch in Salford to Valley Road last summer, winning four trophies in the Manchester Jewish Soccer League last season. This summer they intend to switch to the Manchester Accountants League, changing their name to Flixton FC".

15 June 2013


All Altrincham fans are invited to come along and help get the Moss Lane ground ready for the new season today (Saturday 15th June) between 10am to 4pm when there will be a a "Working Day" at Moss Lane. The main work will be to weed and sweep the terraces, so please bring your garden gloves and, if you can, a hoe or/and spade.


According to the Football Conference, "Leamington manager Paul Holleran has announced that he has agreed a deal to bring goalkeeper Tony Breeden back to the Conference North newcomers.

The 25-year-old was one of Holleran's first signings when he joined the club in October 2009, having worked with the Brakes' manager at Sutton Coldfield Town and Rushall Olympic.

Breeden made eighty-two appearances for Leamington... before being released in the October of 2011... He was snapped up by Steve Burr at Kidderminster Harriers, and went on to make twenty-eight appearances for the Worcestershire side in the Conference Premier.

He then moved across the Midlands to Tamworth last summer... making forty-three appearances in all competitions for the Lambs.

With Niall Cooper deciding to leave the club and Laurie Walker remaining with new league rivals Brackley Town, Holleran moved quickly when he learned of Breeden's availability.

'Tony had made the decision at the end of the season to look to return to part time football. He had eighteen months in the Conference Premier and did well at Kidderminster and Tamworth, but you get to a point where your life starts taking shape and you have other priorities so, unless you get the right kind of deal in full time football to support your life, then you have to start looking at other options. I think Tony had made that decision

We're all aware what Tony Breeden is about. He had a very good first spell with us and has gone on and proved to be the goalkeeper that I always thought he could be. I've watched him three or four times in the last eighteen months and he's been exceptional.

'It's so important to get that number one shirt right, and in Tony Breeden and Lewis Fenney as well, who's a cracking young goalkeeper we've got two good lads there who I'm sure will do a brilliant job for us'".

Meanwhile, "Harrogate Town have announced that striker Liam Hardy and winger Robbie Youhill will be part of the set up for next season. Like defender Craig Radcliffe, who has signed on dual registration forms with Scarborough Athletic, both Hardy and Youhill will be dual registered - probably with Harrogate Railway Athletic - to allow them to get important game time under their belts.

Negotiations with midfielder Paul Bolland and forward Danny Forrest are still ongoing. "

Also from the Conference, comes news that "Hednesford Town boss Rob Smith is delighted... as twenty-goal-striker Neil Harvey and cultured midfielder Kris Taylor both signed up for next season...

The securing of the play-off final goalscoring hero Harvey, subject of interest from a former Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division rival last week, particularly pleased Smith and he also stated with some conviction that both star performers Elliott Durrell and Jamey Osborne will also be playing their football at Keys Park come August.

'We have no intention of selling our better players and I�m delighted Neil has committed to us. Jamey is under contract so there is no issue there, he will be playing for Hednesford next season. I have also had constant dialogue with Elliott and his father. He is currently on holiday but has expressed his desire to stay, so I am more than confident that he will sign a new deal upon his return'.

On the signing of Taylor, a roaring success following a mid-season loan from AFC Telford United last season, the manager was delighted...

More signings are expected before pre-season training starts... with another striker a priority for Smith as his squad begins to take shape in preparation for an exciting season ahead. Meanwhile, both Aaron Rey and Sam Barnes have agreed terms for next season".

In the Shropshire Star, we learn that "Striker Aaron Williams has today been told he is welcome to try to earn a place in Liam Watson�s AFC Telford squad in pre-season.

But the Bucks manager does not want to be heavily reliant on trialists and he is aiming to have the vast majority of his team in place by... July 2. Williams, who is currently a free agent, played 10 games for Telford at the end of last season on loan from former club Walsall...

Watson, who arrived at the New Bucks Head at the start of May, did not see Williams play... and he already has several options in the striking department having signed Tony Gray, Adam Farrell and Andy Owens in the close season, along with wingers Mike Phenix and Sean Cooke who can also play up front.

Watson said, 'Aaron is looking for a club. I haven�t seen him play, but he can come and do pre-season, no problem'. There are likely to be a number of trialists keen to try out for the club in pre-season".

14 June 2013


The Football Conference says that "Stockport County have signed former Nuneaton Town left-back Stephen O'Halloran. The 25-year-old, who made over thirty appearances in the Football League whilst with Wycombe Wanderers, Coventry City and Carlisle United... [said]...

'Stockport County are a big club and it's an honour to play for them, this club should be much higher than they currently are. I'm really looking forward to kicking on and help get the club back to where it belongs'.

County fans may recognise O�Halloran from his time with Boro last season where he was in a relegation battling team which kept eight clean sheets out of the last thirteen matches to finish fifteenth...

On his new signing, manager Ian Bogie said, 'His experience at League level will only serve to enhance the team next season'...

O�Halloran said, 'County are putting together a really good squad for next season. Playing with the likes of Phil Jevons is going to be great and I look forward to providing plenty of chances for him and the other lads'".

According to the NW Evening Mail, "Fans' favourite Gavin Skelton says he would have considered a concrete offer to remain at Barrow AFC... The 32-year-old full-back has shaken hands on a one-year deal to join AFC�s Cumbrian rivals Workington Reds in a player/coaching role, after falling out of contract at Holker Street.

Bluebirds' boss Dave Bayliss remains a big admirer of Skelton and contacted the defender to indicate his desire to keep hold of him around a fortnight ago. But by that late stage and with Skelton already in talks with Workington, Bayliss also conceded that a switch to the Reds represented a better move for the Appleby-based defender, and therefore in-depth talks over new terms never materialised.

'I spoke to a few teams including Celtic Nation, who put forward an interesting proposition, plus three or four Scottish teams', explained Skelton. 'But the Workington offer worked out the best for me and a concrete offer from Barrow was never really put to me. So that wasn�t really in the running. It was probably when I was close to signing for Workington that Bayles said there was maybe something that he could offer. But I don�t know if that was substantial enough (the offer itself, not any wage proposal) to be an actual offer.

It was disappointing last year, we were all disappointed in different ways and he maybe thought he wanted a clean slate which I respect. You always respect a manager�s decisions. I don�t have a problem with it, that�s football'.

He added, 'I think it would have been nice (to have received an earlier and formal offer), and it would have obviously been something I would have considered. But to get involved with the coaching side at a good club like Workington, that created big interest to me as well'...

He is looking forward to rejoining the Reds having failed to do himself justice during a brief spell there more than a decade ago....

With Barrow switching to part-time status, Bayliss said, 'I think this is similar to the Gareth Arnison situation where it doesn�t really make sense to come down (for two nights a week at Barrow�s North West-based training base) from the Penrith area when Workington are on his doorstep".

13 June 2013


It is with deep regret that Altrincham FC announces the death of Keith Davey, the Club's Catering Manager, who was found dead in front of his TV at his home on Wednesday. As well as his key role in the provision of catering at Moss Lane, Keith has performed numerous roles for the Club and its supporters' associations over many years.

Until his death, in addition to managing and stocking the catering facilities at the ground, his voluntary roles at the Club included many unglamorous but necessary tasks, such as helping to clean the ground and its facilities after matches at Moss Lane.

Pictured, right, are Keith and his deputy catering manager, Dawn, in the bar at Moss Lane.

Altrincham FC is a club which Keith had supported for more than sixty years. Till the end he remained an ever-present on the supporters' coach to Altrincham away games, as well as staffing the "away end" catering cabin for home matches. When Altrincham were not playing he was often to be seen at local games at clubs such as Trafford FC and also attended youth team games whenever he could.

Keith will leave a huge hole at the Club and, on behalf of the Club, chairman Grahame Rowley has expressed his deepest sympathy to Keith's friends and family at his sudden death.


The Football Conference reports that "Three of the unsung heroes of last season's title-winning squad have committed to Conference North new boys Leamington for the new season.

James Mace, Craig Owen and Martyn Naylor have all agreed terms for the Brakes' maiden season in the Conference.

Mace, who has been one of the club's most consistent performers over the past two years, made nearly fifty appearances last season and will be returning to the division he played in for two seasons whilst at Hinckley United, while Owen, who is closing in on a century of appearances for the Brakes, will surely be as unfazed by the step up as he was when signing for the club from Sutton Coldfield Town back in summer 2011.

Naylor could be classed as a veteran at 35, but his signing in October 2012 added experience of higher level football and he slotted in well, a calm head in what is a relatively young squad".

Gloucester City "have completed the transfer of midfielder Tyler Weir from rivals Worcester City. Weir, who returns to the Tigers after an 18-month stay in Worcestershire, has signed on a two-year deal.

The Gloucester-born star, who previously played 47 times for City, has expressed his excitement at returning to the club...

'I’m really happy to be returning to the club after they had such a good season last year', the 22-year-old said. 'Hopefully we can go one step further next season and get into the top eight or even the play-offs'.

Boss Dave Mehew described his delight at securing Weir after months of courting the ex-Hereford United player... Mehew explained, 'We’ve been talking to him for a few weeks now and it’s great to finally get it sorted. He’s been brought in as a replacement for Danny Andrew, who did fantastic for us last season, and if Tyler can get anywhere near that, he’ll be a superb replacement'.

Weir will join the returning Scott Wilson and new forward Matt Groves as Gloucester City’s major summer acquisitions so far... 'We’ve signed him up to a two-year deal to show our faith fully in him; he’s the type of player we want at this football club.

There has been a lot of hullabaloo around Tyler recently, but with us we want him to grow as a player that we believe he is and can become, he can settle down and help this football club move forward into the future'...

'There was a lot of interest with some different clubs, but I’m going to college in the City and I wanted to come back to Gloucester City'" said the player.

According to This is Hull "North Ferriby manager Billy Heath won't be tempted to go all out attack in the Conference North despite adding to his already deadly strike force.

Having completed the signing of former Barnsley and Grimsby Town striker Nathan Jarman on a free transfer, the Villagers could now field him alongside Ryan Kendall and Anthony Wilson up front.

But ahead of their first season at Conference level, Heath insists he will stick to the 4-4-2 formation that saw his side win the Evo-Stik Premier League title last season.

'I'm not one for changing formation to accommodate players', Heath told the Mail. 'Therefore I won't be going to a 4-3-3 to include all three strikers next season... We'll stick with the way we played last season. I brought Nathan in to complement Ryan and Anthony and to put pressure on them.

Last season Ryan sat on the bench for the first six games before getting his chance and finishing the season as the league's leading scorer. I want competition for places all over the pitch'...

Having seen the long-serving Paul Foot, Chris Bolder and record goal-scorer Gary Bradshaw leave, Ferriby have trimmed their treble-winning squad down. But after making five new signings, Heath is happy with the players he's assembled and believes Jarman is the final piece in the jigsaw.

'We'll go with 15 or 16 outfield players and two goalkeepers', Heath said. 'I'm happy with the squad we have put together. We will also be bringing back Ben Hunter, who left us in the middle of last season. There will be a chance for the younger members of the squad to make it into the first team.

If they don't do that at the start of the season, we'll send them out on loan to an Evo-Stik side to gain more experience... Our first goal is to get to 40 points', Heath said... 'With the signings we have made, I expect to do a lot better. But there is a lot of travelling involved at this level, which won't make things easy as most of my players have jobs.

That is why I have signed players with experience from the Conference North or higher. I'd have been concerned had we not, but we have made five major signings and we have signed all the targets we wanted'".

The Manchester Evening News reports that "Stockport County are keeping calm and carrying on...after what looked a final potential lifeline disappeared last weekend.

The Conference AGM admitted Aldershot Town to non-league’s top flight despite them being in administration. There had been a hope that the Shots would be punished further for their financial problems with the subsequent re-organisation restoring County to Conference Premier.

However, Saturday’s AGM welcomed Town as members of Conference Premier...

A County statement said, 'Everyone at Stockport County would like to wish Aldershot every success in the future and hope they can secure the future of the football club. Having gone through administration ourselves in 2008, we understand the difficult times the Shots are going through'...

The club has announced Pure 107.8FM has renewed its commentary deal with the Hatters. Home games will be available to subscribers on County Player, while away games are free of charge on Pure 107.8FM...

Pure County presenter and producer Pete Liggins added, 'My biggest concern ahead of the new season was the lack of facilities at grounds in the Conference North, but I am confident we can continue to provide County fans with a high quality service next season'".

12 June 2013


Sale & Altrincham Messenger says that "Altrincham have enhanced their reputation for forward thinking by expanding an already vibrant youth set-up and increasing the prospects of unearthing another Duncan Watmore.

Voted Community Club of the Year at the Conference annual meeting, Alty are continuing to emerge as a focal point for the town by again embracing an innovative scheme to provide education and coaching for aspiring youngsters and also announcing an intention to field an under-21 team next season.

With Watmore earning himself a move to Sunderland, Rob Gilroy (left) being named England Schools under-18 captain and the likes of Stephen Bullen (right) appearing on the bench for the first team last season, Alty already have a youth system that's the envy of many non-League clubs.

George Heslop's youngsters ended the season with two trophies, after the under-17s won the Cheshire FA Youth Cup and the under-18s lifted the Manchester and District FA trophy with a goal from Gilroy in a 1-0 win over Stockport Vikings.

The accent will remain on finding and developing local talent, after the club confirmed that Moss Lane will again be the venue for the Football Scholarship and Education Programme, devised by Oldham-based company Interactive Sports.

'It's a great way to combine football and learning and is run by a guy called Ritchie Semple, who's not only a qualified lecturer but a UEFA qualified coach, who used to play for Bangor City in the Welsh League', said Alty's PR and Promotions Manager, Pete Foster.

'The students have lectures in the sponsors' lounge overlooking the pitch and three coaching sessions each week, as well as playing weekly games as a course team. We basically act as hosts but, if any of the students show they are good enough, they get the chance to play for our youth team. Stephen Bullen, from last year's first intake, ended up on the bench for the first team, so that illustrates the benefits for the club. The course lasts two years, and we had about 20 students last year. We're expecting maybe double this September'.

With Alty set to enter a team in the newly-formed Cheshire FA under-21 League, chairman Grahame Rowley said: 'The progress the football club has made over the past few years, with our junior and youth team sections, has been phenomenal, and the products of this system are now coming to fruition. The introduction of the under-21 side will further enhance the opportunities for local talent to progress up the footballing ladder'.

Anyone interested in the Football and Education scheme should call Steve Mort, programme director, on 07540 418599 or contact him by e-mail".


The winning code on last week's Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee was 0163, which netted one lucky member £1,500 for a £1 a week stake. Three other members won "trebles", each receiving £66.66. Why not join the Yankee and give yourself a chance to win big prizes, whilst also helping an important fundraiser for Altrincham FC. Details, here.


Altrincham FC Youth will be holding its annual Presentation Night at Moss Lane on Thursday, 27 June, at Moss Lane. More details to follow. It has been a successful season for the team who won the Manchester FA District Cup and, under the Altrincham & District FA banner, also lifted the Cheshire County FA District Cup.


Chorley FC "are pleased to announce Danny Fishwick will be taking over... as club physiotherapist... with immediate effect.

Only 24 years old, Danny has previously worked with Huddersfield Town, Ashton United and Altrincham and has spent the last twelve month in Australia with Perth Glory and Armadale Soccer Club. He also carries the sponge for the All Stars' Charity side, which is made up of past and present stars from Coronation Street, Emmerdale & Holyoaks".


The Football Conference reports that during the "Conference AGM it was disclosed that Colin Peake was to stand down from his role of PR & Media Director after being in the post for the past four years...

In the meantime the Conference Twitter account has been rebranded and will now have a username of @conferencefooty. It is hoped that the competition can reach 5,000 followers by the start of the new season. Enquiries can still be addressed to".

According to This is Glos, "There are 500,000 reasons why Gloucester City Football Club will forever be indebted to its hardy bunch of rank and file supporters. Since formation in 2001, the Gloucester City Supporters' Trust has played a vital role in keeping the Tigers alive through its fund-raising efforts.

And after, 12 years of toil, the Trust have smashed through a remarkable barrier in their fund-raising quest, having raised more than £500,000... Funds raised through the work of the supporters have helped run the club's youth, ladies and men's teams and also assist in the community scheme, the Gloucester Futsal Revolution.

Supporters' Trust chairman Lee Mills.... [said], 'It really shows how important the prosperity of The Trust is to the continued financial survival of Gloucester City... I would love to say in 12 months that we have raised that total to £550,000; that is achievable'...

The Trust also plays a vital role on matchdays, producing the programme and running the club shop. They also assist the first team squad with funding for travel to the far flung outposts of Conference North and supply physio Charlotte Wigmore with medical supplies to keep the first team fit. The trust also helps keep the social side of the club alive during its current exile from the city of Gloucester, running social and fundraising events throughout the year in the city".

In the Shropshire Star, we read that "AFC Telford are poised to complete the signing of striker Andy Owens while former Rochdale defender Neill Byrne is also on manager Liam Watson’s wish-list.

Owens, a free agent after his release from Mansfield, has agreed personal terms with the Bucks and the signing is expected to be completed later today. Watson has been in the market for a striker and he is confident Owens will put pen to paper imminently.

The move will see Owens reunited with his former boss. The Liverpudlian striker played 22 games for Southport, Watson’s former club, on loan from the Stags last season. He netted five goals in that time and Watson believes he will be a welcome addition to an attack which already boasts strikers Tony Gray and Adam Farrell as well as wingers Mike Phenix and Sean Cooke.

Watson said, 'Andy is an England C international, he is 6ft 3in, and he has got an eye for a goal. He also works hard and he has got a great long throw-in'. The Bucks are also in talks with defender Byrne, a Republic of Ireland Under-19 international, is currently a free agent. Watson said, 'We have had talks with the player We have made him an offer and we will see where it goes'".

Andy Owens, the son of former Alty player John Owens, was briefly at Alty in 2009, making two appearances from the bench. At that time he was a defender.

Reports from This is Hull confirm that "North Ferriby manager Billy Heath completed his summer signings with the capture of Chester City striker Nathan Jarman.

The 26-year-old was Chester's leading scorer with 15 league goals in 31 games as they won the Conference North title last season and is expected to lead the Ferriby attack with Ryan Kendall. The club don't expect to make any more signings...

Ferriby chairman Les Hare said the signing of Jarman, who has played for Barnsley, Grimsby and Alfreton, promises to be one of the most exciting in the club's recent history.

'Nathan's pedigree at this level is very good', Hare told the Mail. 'He was Chester's leading goalscorer in their record achieving season with 15 in the league and a lot more in the cup competitions. It's been a signing we've been working on for a while... Nathan has picked up two championship winning medals in the last 13 months'...

Jarman is the fifth new signing announced by Ferriby in the last seven days. He follows Jonathan D'Laryea, Matt Wilson, Danny Hone and Jamie Yates to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium, who all signed up last week".

11 June 2013


You only have until 30 June to qualify for a £10 discount on your Altrincham FC season ticket for 2013-14. Season tickets also confer free entry to the five pre-season games at Moss Lane, so don't delay in getting yours! Full details are here.


With no match-day income in June, please do consider becoming an Altrincham FC Patron. As Grahame Rowley explains, "For the cost of £50, your name will appear throughout the coming season in the matchday programme as a Patron of Altrincham Football Club. At the beginning of the season, every member will be entered into a prize draw, with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with nine guests. Second prize will be hospitality for five people and third prize will be hospitality for 3 people in the Sponsors' Lounge.

If you are interested in becoming a Patron for next season, please forward a cheque for £50, payable to Altrincham Football Club, for my attention. If you require any further information please speak to me (Grahame Rowley) on 07720-606897 or e-mail me. Thank you for your support.

The target is to exceed last year's total of 124 Patrons".


The Football Conference reports that "Striker Tommy Wright has become Harrogate Town’s fourth summer signing after joining the club from Tamworth. The highly-sought after target man brings a wide range of experience and can list clubs such as Leicester City, Blackpool, Barnsley, Walsall, Darlington and Grimsby Town as a few of his former League clubs and other sides such as Kidderminster Harriers, Luton Town, Forest Green Rovers and Tamworth as his non-League employers.

Wright, 28, has also plied his trade north of the border having played for Aberdeen from 2008 to 2010. As well as all this, he has also represented England at under-19 and under-20 level".

From BSBN, we learn that "champions Chester have revealed that Dave Hankin and Nathan Jarman will depart the club ahead of the new season. Both players were transfer listed after being unable to commit to the extra travelling involved with football in the top flight of the Conference.

But, while Hankin will be joining up with AFC Fylde, Jarman is yet to put pen to paper on a deal elsewhere. Blues' boss Neil Young said... 'We would like to thank Nathan for all his efforts last season and although we would have like Nathan to be part of the squad in the new season we fully understand the travel commitments are very excessive and we also thank him for making that journey this season with no complaints and he deservedly finished our leading scorer'".

But big-spending Fylde have been thwarted as regards another player as they "have had a bid turned down for manager Dave Challinor’s top target, Neil Harvey from Conference North new boys Hednesford Town. Challinor, who has been in contact with 29-year-old Barbados international Harvey since receiving permission from Hednesford, is disappointed with Hednesford’s reaction.

He said, 'Obviously the lad wanted to [drop a division to] join us and it is disappointing that a deal couldn't be struck. He met with myself and the chairman this week and liked where we are heading and hinted he would like to be a part of it'...

Coasters' chairman David Haythornthwaite added, 'We’ve made what we believe to be a sizeable four-figure offer for Neil but Hednesford want a ridiculous amount and quoted us five figures. It’s a problem we have and just have to deal with as clubs think we are the moneybags team in our league and that we will pay whatever they ask. This is not the case, as while we are ambitious and want the best players, it is not at any cost'" reports the AFC Fylde website.

Meanwhile, Pitchero Non-League reports that "Bosses at AFC Telford United have quashed rumours that midfielder Phil Trainer has signed for Nuneaton...

The club statement reads, 'Despite rumours to the contrary, Phil Trainer has not signed for Nuneaton. He’s still mulling over our offer'. Trainer is so far only the fourth player from last season’s squad to have been offered a new contract following the Bucks' relegation... The Bucks' squad is currently undergoing a significant overhaul as manager Liam Watson sets about building a team capable of mounting a promotion push back towards the Conference Premier.

A total of fourteen players from last season’s squad have departed the New Buck's Head in the close season, with midfielder Christian Smith and defender Kris Taylor becoming the latest to move on late last week. Both players were out of contract at Telford this summer. Smith joined Chelmsford City on Thursday, while Taylor has signed a deal with newly-promoted Hednesford Town".

According to the News & Star, "Workington Reds have announced a new board of directors with two additions joining Humphrey Dobie and Colin Doorbar, who have agreed to stay. Businessman Glenn Heathcote, who lives in Newcastle, will join chairman Dobie and Doorbar.

Heathcote is the managing director of Lilley and Gillie, a firm that specialises in maritime instrument manufacture. Lilley and Gillie work closely with Reds’ new sponsor Baker Tilly, and Heathcote is a relative of late Workington town councillor John Heathcote, who died in 2008.

Also joining the board as an associate director is Workington man Don Blackwell. He is a sports club administrator and coach and will be responsible for ground maintenance, the role Dave Wilson played when he was a director until quitting last season.

As associate director, Blackwell has no shares in Workington and will not be allowed to vote in meetings... Dobie and Doorbar both quit at the club’s annual meeting last month, but have now decided to stay on.

Graham also revealed the club has received a 'significant cash boost' [from] an unnamed supporter... Graham said the figure was on par with the five-figure sponsorship deal struck with Baker Tilly and AI London".

At Histon, "The Board were delighted to receive a donation of £1,000 towards the pitch renovation costs from the Supporters' Trust (HIST) this week. Very-much-needed work on the playing surface at The Glass World Stadium began in earnest in mid May with the hollow coring, sanding and seeding of the pitch overseen by Groundsman Trevor Ball. It has also been necessary to make some repairs to the irrigation system at significant cost and this contribution from HIST will allow that work to be completed in the near future.

Club Secretary Howard Wilkins commented 'There were a lot of games on there last season and there will be even more next season [as Cambridge City are moving in] so it’s obviously an important area to invest funds into'".

10 June 2013


The Football Conference announces that the "Conference North Manager of the Year is Neil Young of Chester FC. Conference North Player of the Year is Antoni Sarcevic of Chester FC.

Altrincham`s Damian Reeves wins the 'golden boot'. Colwyn Bay won the Respect Team of the Year. Bishop's Stortford's switch to the South Division ratified.

Boston United won the Conference North Programme of the Year Award.

Altrincham win the Community Club of the Year Award.

Conference North Team of the Season:

  • 1. Steven Drench (Guiseley AFC)
  • 2. George Horan (Chester FC)
  • 3. Liam Hogan (FC Halifax Town)
  • 4. Paul Linwood (Chester FC)
  • 5. Matty McGinn (Chester FC)
  • 6. Andy Holdsworth (Guiseley AFC)
  • 7. Damian Reeves (Altrincham)
  • 8. Dan Gardner (FC Halifax Town)
  • 9. Duncan Watmore (Altrincham)
  • 10. Lee Gregory (FC Halifax Town)
  • 11. Antoni Sarcevic (Chester FC)


    Both Simon Richman and Duncan Watmore were invited to join the British Universities's football team recently and The New Saints report that "In preparation for our forthcoming UEFA Champions League qualifiers... additional games have been arranged with a GB Universities XI travelling to Park Hall on Saturday the 22nd of June. The Universities side are due to participate in the Summer Games in Kazan, Russia, from the 6th of July until the 17th of July". Meanwhile, British Universities' and Colleges' Sport reports that "With exactly one month remaining until the opening ceremony and the start of the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, BUCS are pleased to confirm... the selections of the men’s football team will be made on Monday 10th June".
    9 June 2013


    At Saturday's AGM of the Football Conference, Altrincham FC were named as Blue Square Bet North "Community Club of the Year" and received a cheque for £10,000 (seen left). Chairman Grahame Rowley said, "Congratulations to everyone connected with the Community Trust; you're a credit to the Football Club". The directors of Altrincham Football Club Community Sports Ltd are Neil Faulkner, Karen Rowley, Carole Nash, Fred Nash, and Peter Foster. The day to day activities are co-ordinated by Chris Bullock, who is contactable by e-mail or by phone on 0161 928-1045.

    And, at the same ceremony, Altrincham FC's Damian Reeves was rewarded with a trophy as the top goalscorer in Conference North for 2012-13. This is pictured, right. Damian netted 36 league goals last season, to add to the 44 he scored in the division last season.


    Altrincham FC are pleased to have agreed terms for next season with left-sided or central defender Mike Williams (d.o.b. 27 October 1986), who joins from Kidderminster Harriers. After starting out at Wrexham, where he made 60 league appearances, he was released by the Dragons at the end of 2009–10 season.

    For 2010-11 he joined Kidderminster Harriers, where he remained till the end of last season (2012-13).

    Mike has appeared 13 times for Wales's under-21 team and, in 2009, received a Wales cap for playing for their semi-pro international side.

    On 29 May, the Worcester News reported that "Williams... was signed in the summer of 2010 and witnessed the club recover from their near miss with administration to become title challengers.

    'Kidderminster are a good club, a professional club, and over the last three years I think the club as a whole has got stronger', commented Williams. 'I’ve had three great seasons and, unfortunately, it is now time for me to move on... Hopefully, I can emulate now what I did three years ago, when I was searching for a club, in finding such a good one'".


    The BBC reports that "Aldershot Town have been accepted into the Conference Premier with a 10-point deduction for being in administration. The Shots, who entered administration on 2 May, finished bottom of League Two, three points adrift of safety.

    Just six players remain on the club's books after administrators Quantuma Restructuring made 13 redundant. The Hampshire side have £1m worth of debts and owe £300,000 to football creditors, but were voted into the division at the Conference's AGM. Supporters' group The Shots Trust has stated its intention to take community ownership of the club and has instigated a pre-share offer to prove its viability".

    According to the Shropshire Star "New Telford signing Sean Cooke is looking forward to playing in front of a packed New Buck's Head next season...

    He said, 'I used to go to Telford when they played Shrewsbury. Telford had some good players and they got excellent crowds. It is still a club with a great fan base and I’m looking forward to playing there next season'. Cooke joined the Bucks from AFC Fylde late last month. But he will have to recover from a fractured leg before he can make his first appearance... He is expected to be out of plaster within two weeks and after physiotherapy, he should be able to play a full part in pre-season training, which starts on July 2".

    Bulls' News tells us that Hereford United "have won the Conference Respect Trophy for the 2012/13 season. The award recognises the efforts the club, players, and staff have gone to to ensure good working relations with officials, other clubs, visiting supporters, their work in the community, and the behaviour of travelling fans. Awarded by a panel, which checks the official website and other media sources, David Keyte told the official site he was 'very pleased' with the award and that it was 'very much in line with what we are doing within the local community at present'".

    Boston United won the Programme of the Season award in Conference North.

    8 June 2013


    The Football Conference says that "Guiseley AFC have confirmed three more players have signed ahead of the 2013/14 season.

    Firstly, popular and influential midfielder and occasional full-back Andy Holdsworth has signed a two-year deal in a move which chief executive Adie Towers says is aimed to bring the squad extra stability and continuity by retaining one of the club`s most highly-regarded players.

    Secondly, a familiar face has returned to the club as Michael Burns re-joins from league rivals Vauxhall Motors, having had a successful season at Rivacre Park following his first stint at Nethermoor in the 2011/12 season.

    Finally, young defender Jameel Ible signs after spending time recently at York City. Ible is an exciting prospect expected to bring pace and energy to the right or centre of the Lions defence".

    Guiseley have "tweeted" that "The club can confirm Josh Wilson has left Nethermoor in search of higher level, full-time football".

    Meanwhile, "Conference North new boys Leamington have announced that Jamie Towers has agreed terms to return to the New Windmill Ground for the 2013/14 season... having made 112 appearances and scoring nineteen goals in two previous spells with the club.

    Beginning his career with local clubs Coventry Marconi and Coventry Sphinx, he was a key part of the Brakes' Midland Alliance 'double-winning' side in 2006/07 before a move to Nuneaton Borough.

    He returned to Leamington in October 2007... before leaving to join Barwell midway through the following season. He enjoyed a successful four-year spell with the Leicestershire side... Towers notched well over half a century of goals for Barwell.

    Manager Paul Holleran was understandably pleased to have further strengthened his squad ahead of Brakes' Conference North debut season, 'We're delighted to have been able to sign Jamie. He's been a key player for Barwell over the last few years and we're delighted to have got him back. He will be a tremendous acquisition to the squad as he is a versatile player who will add further goal scoring ability to the squad'...

    Holleran has also announced that Joe Magunda has agreed terms to remain at the club next season. After signing from Brackley Town last summer, Magunda was an integral part of the midfield engine room that helped Brakes to the title".

    We learn from Pitchero Non-League that "Matty Dodd and Lee Chilton have become the latest members of Leamington's title-winning squad to agree terms for the forthcoming campaign. The two Black Country-based midfielders were key components of Paul Holleran's side last term, both notching twelve goals for Brakes...

    'I'm very pleased that Matty and Lee have agreed to sign up for next season', said Holleran. 'They have both played important roles for us since joining the club'. Meanwhile, the Leamington boss has been busy making moves to fill his goalkeeping positions, with Niall Cooper having left the club and Laurie Walker opting to remain at Brackley Town.

    First to arrive is Lewis Fenney, who spent last season with Boldmere St Michael's in the Midland Alliance. The 19-year-old, who has also had spells at Cambridge United and Rushall Olympic, returns to the New Windmill Ground having made one previous appearance for the Brakes back in 2011/12".

    From Solihull Moors we learn that "Former Moors' youth team striker, Michael Taylor, has rejoined the club for next season, becoming Marcus Bignot's latest summer signing having previously been with Worcester City. Michael spent two years at St George's Lane scoring six goals in nine league starts last season... With his first team opportunities limited in his first season, he also spent a fruitful period out on loan at Stourport Swifts...

    He signed for Worcester from Earlswood Town... Michael's pace and power will give Moors Manager Marcus Bignot plenty of attacking options for next season, joining fellow new forwards Ben Haseley and Aron Wint".


    According to NL Daily, "Chorley have added two more players to their squad after capturing the signatures of Jake Cottrell and Carlos Roca from promotion rivals FC United of Manchester".


    The BBC says that "Macclesfield Town have finalised an agreement which will see the club owned by members of the local community. Present owners Amar and Bashar Alkadhi, and other board members, are to transfer their shares into a Community Interest Company.

    And Cheshire East Council has acquired the freehold of the club's Moss Rose ground for £285,000.

    'This arrangement gives the club the cash flow it needs at a difficult time', said director Barrie Darcie. 'But it also creates a club that will be genuinely owned by and anchored in Macclesfield'.

    As part of the agreement, the existing board have written off all loans made to the Conference Premier club. Amar Alkhadi is staying on to become a director of the new company, along with former chairman Mike Rance and Andy Scott... A new stadium will be built in the South Macclesfield Development Area, subject to planning permission being granted.

    Said Michael Jones, the leader of Cheshire East Council, 'It is unfortunate that they have succumbed to the financial pressures exacerbated by our current economy. It is in times like this that Council's can and should play a part, after all the club is incredibly important to the town's identity and adds to the visitor economy enormously, providing much-needed jobs and prosperity'".

    7 June 2013


    Two more pre-season friendlies have been arranged, completing the planned programme of seven matches. The new fixtures, both against higher-ranked opposition, are:
    • Friday 2 August at 7.30pm, versus Wrexham, at Moss Lane
    • Saturday 10 August at 3pm, versus a Burnley XI, at Moss Lane. This fixture and its k.o. time are to be confirmed.
    The full pre-season programme is here.

    Don't forget that an Altrincham FC season ticket for 2013-14 will get you free entry to the five home friendlies. And there is a £10 discount if your season ticket is purchased before 30 June; full details are here.


    The following is a clarification of the purpose of the Patrons' scheme at Altrincham FC, with apologies from the Club for any confusion about this matter caused by a previous announcement.

    The Patrons' scheme was esatblished as a fundraising mechanism to help the Football Club during the summer months when there is no regular income from the turnstiles. Its objectives remain exactly the same for 2013 and so it is quite distinct from the need to raise funds for the Community Sports Hall, for which fundraising will be made via distinct initiatives.

    As such, the Patrons' scheme is a very important part of the club's fundraising efforts. Last season 124 supporters joined the scheme, so the target this year is to beat that! Chairman Graham Rowley writes about the scheme...

    For the cost of £50, your name will appear throughout the coming season in the matchday programme as a Patron of Altrincham Football Club. At the beginning of the season, every member will be entered into a prize draw, with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with nine guests. Second prize will be hospitality for five people and third prize will be hospitality for 3 people in the Sponsors' Lounge.

    If you are interested in becoming a Patron for next season, please forward a cheque for £50, payable to Altrincham Football Club, for my attention. If you require any further information please speak to me (Grahame Rowley) on 07720-606897 or e-mail me. Thank you for your support.

    A list of the 2013 Patrons is here amd will be updated as the scheme develops.


    Altrincham's goalkeeping coach is the subject of a story from Pitchero Non-League. "Ian Senior became well-known nationally in the 1990s for being THE most-travelled footballer maybe anywhere, but certainly in Great Britain! Ian played for virtually every club in the north-west, many of them in more than one spell, after being originally on the books at Bolton Wanderers.

    His total number of clubs certainly exceeded thirty but it could have been more! Since retiring from playing he has become renowned as an excellent goalkeeping coach and is currently coaching the keepers at Altrincham. He also started up a kit company, originally called Sensport, initially concentrating mostly on goalkeepers' needs, but then blossoming into virtually everything to do with football, kit-wise.

    It then became SKkits and is now a well-established company with a reputation for supplying high class products at unbelievably low prices to sports clubs the length and breadth of the UK... SKkits, based in Bury, now has the country’s leading county attached, with Lancashire FA joining a growing number of clubs that have signed up with the brand, including Clitheroe, Kendal Town, Lancaster City and Buxton to name but a few, along with Altrincham in the Conference North.

    Pitchero Non-League editor Steve Whitney said, 'I have known Ian for many years. I remember featuring him in Team Talk magazine in the early 1990s and simply listing all the clubs he had played for took up half a page! I have recently purchased tracksuits, training kit and polo shirts from SK Kits for my under-18 team at Wellingborough Town and couldn`t believe the quality for the price! There are loads of kit suppliers out there, but in my 30 years in football management, I have never come across one that is so reasonable in price but high on quality".


    Barrow "have a fifth squad member with the signing of former Altrincham and Hyde central defender, Robbie Williams. Williams, 25, suffered relegation from the Conference with Altrincham in 2011 before joining newly-promoted AFC Telford. However he joined Lincoln City on loan in January 2012 staying at Sincil Bank for the rest of that season.

    His most recent club was Hyde last season, but he also had a spell at Colwyn Bay in 2012. Barrow boss Dave Bayliss... said, 'Rob is a good strong defender, who heads the ball well, and that's just what we need'".

    And a player leaving Holker Street is the subject of Welsh Premier, which reports that "Airbus UK Broughton have beaten-off competition from another Welsh Premier club to secure the signature of Wales Under-23 semi-professional international Michael Pearson from Barrow AFC. The Cumbrians' manager Dave Bayliss was also hoping to re-sign the 25-year-old central defender, but admitted yesterday that his attempts to contact his former captain 'had come to nothing'.

    Bangor-born Pearson is a graduate of Oldham Athletic's youth set-up... He was released in April 2008 after being loaned out to Farsley Celtic between October and December 2007. Pearson... [joined Barrow] at the start of the 2008/9 season... He went on to captain and complete 151 appearances for the Cumbrian outfit".

    At Hednesford Town, "There is no doubt that Hednesford Town supporters will be extremely pleased by the news that manager Rob Smith has committed his future to The Pitmen by signing a new two year contract... Smith led his team to an unprecedented treble comprising the Staffordshire and Birmingham Senior Cups plus the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division Play Off Final...

    'This squad have been a joy to work with and I was very keen to continue in the development of my team at what is a very appealing standard of football. I am also very content at the club, everyone has been great to me ever since I joined'...

    Smith was also buoyed by the news that his previous assistant Larry Chambers will return to the dug out after taking a year long break from the game, with fan favourite Chris Brindley being retained as part of the coaching staff after deputising so ably during the past year.

    ‘The decision to bring Larry back into the fold was an easy one. He has been my right hand man for twelve years and instrumental in many of the current signings. Also Chris was a great help to me last year and very popular with the players so having them both on board, as well as Steve Wynn, will mean we have a very strong and experienced management team going into the new season'...

    ‘The players will have a chance to prove themselves in the division. I hope and expect them to step up to the mark... We are undoubtedly going to have more downs than we did last season, so we are going to need the fans’ backing more than ever'".

    Histon tell us that "Grant Roberts has signed a contract that will keep him at The Glass World Stadium for another year. Manager Page... commented, 'Grant has become a really important player for us in that holding midfield role... It’s been hard for him at times as he’s been asked to fill in at right back and even on the wing sometimes but once he got a run in the side in centre midfield he was outstanding and keeps getting better and better'...

    'With Jay Dowie and now Grant committed for next year we have a strong core to the midfield. Losing Jim Stevenson has left a gap of course but I’m working hard on getting in the replacement I want... We have Eugene Libertucci and Charlie Day as well and scholars such as Peter Clark and Curtis Fulcher that will all push for a chance so when I get that extra body in we will have some good competition for places in the centre'...

    Page was also pleased to confirm a number of appointments to his back room team, confirming that Jack Cassidy, Nick Whitehouse and Steve Linger will continue at the club whilst Lee Layton joins the team.

    Cassidy is the tutor for the Scholarship Programme... Whitehouse has been with the club since being recruited by David Livermore in 2011. Livermore had worked with Whitehouse previously whilst both were at Barnet and the Sports Therapist has since become a vital part of the team... Steve Linger will continue to work with the First Team and Scholars as Strength and Conditioning Specialist...

    Lee Layton is a new name on the team sheet but Page has used the scout’s services before... It is hoped that further news on signings and staff appointments will be released soon".

    Reports from Solihull Moors say that "At the end of the season Manager Marcus Bignot moved quickly to offer all of his current squad terms for next season, however two players have since informed the club that they are now speaking to other teams.

    Winger Dior Angus and defender Danny Spencer are currently in talks with other clubs. After being promoted from the youth team last summer and having an excellent first season at senior level, the club hoped Dior would continue his footballing education with the Moors next season, as he looks to fulfill his ambition of playing in the Football League. He is currently in talks with a Conference Premier side...

    Defender Danny Spencer is also in talks with other clubs as the financial restraints of next season's budget meant that, at this time, we could not offer terms that were acceptable to both parties. In light of these impending departures the club are pleased to announce three more signings in Tamworth right winger Peter Till, and Gresley duo Jordan Gough and Michael Nottingham.

    27 year old winger Peter Till came through the youth system at Birmingham City... He spent three seasons [at Grimsby Town] making 80 appearances for the League Two side. After his release he joined hometown club Walsall for an injury hit season, and then joined York City where he made 45 appearances in the 2010-11 season. He then moved to Fleetwood Town... joining Tamworth for last season, where he made 33 appearances.

    Jordan Gough is a left-sided defender and joins us Gresley. The 22 year old joined them in 2008... Although primarily an attacking full-back, his attributes mean he can also play on the wing.

    Centre-Half Michael Nottingham joined Gresley in 2011... He previously had spells with Redditch United... Michael is a commanding ball-playing central defender".

    According to its Twitter feed, "GuiseleyAFC have signed 19-year-old defender Jameel Ible, formerly of York City... The club can confirm Andy Holdsworth has re-signed for the club while Michael Burns returns to Nethermoor from Vauxhall Motors".


    ACcording to Bulls' News, "Forest Green are to move their home terrace to the opposite end of the pitch for the coming season. They say the move is to stop away fans from being the first to be heard by the players as they emerge from the dressing rooms. The change will see seats removed from the EESI stand to make it a full length terrace, pushing capacity at the New Lawn over the 5,000 required for the Football League.

    Away fans will be relocated to the North Stand, which will remain a terrace".

    6 June 2013


    Altrincham Youth midfielder Jamie McLellan was injured by a foul tackle in Wednesday night's Manchester FA District Cup Final. Unfortunately, the injury has now been confirmed as a broken leg. Jamie is set to take up a scholarship in the USA later this summer so all at Moss Lane wish him a very speedy recovery.


    In the latest ending to a season that most Altrincham supporters could remember, Altrincham FC Youth completed the season on a high note with a 1-0 victory on Wednesday evening over Stockport Vikings in the Manchester FA Youth Cup Final at Ayrshire Road, Broughton, Salford. The deciding goal arrived after 29 minutes through Rob Gilroy. Match report here. Above, the lads and the management team are pictured after being presented with their medals and the trophy.


    The Football Conference reports that "Influential midfielder Tom Thorley has committed his future to Worcester City for 2013/14 season. Discussions have been ongoing with manager Carl Heeley and his assistant Matt Gardiner for a number of weeks now and the management team are delighted that they have finally secured their man.

    Heeley said, 'We cannot speak highly enough of Tom and he is seen as the key player we would like to build the team around. It would have been easy for Tom to leave the club this summer as he had a number of offers that would turn some players' heads. Tom is a very intelligent and honest individual and he placed his trust in what the management team had told him and decided to be patient and bide his time before making a decision.

    The signature of Tom will signal that although there are financial restraints as with most football clubs, we aim to be very competitive next season and this news will enhance our chances of further encouraging signatures in the coming weeks".

    Off the field, the Worcester News reports that "The city council’s deputy leader... Councillor Geoff Williams said he wants Worcester City FC to find a new home as quickly as possible, and has even suggested the authority is sitting on 'various pieces of land' which could help.

    The Labour politician... says he would be 'prepared to talk to the club about their future needs'. His rallying call raises the prospect of the land at Bilford Road, in Perdiswell, being contemplated as a serious location for the project. Back in January the football club’s supporters trust revealed its own proposals for a 4,130 capacity stadium on the site, which is council-owned.

    The authority did have talks with the trust over the proposal but no planning application was ever submitted... Coun. Williams said, 'The city council owns various pieces of land around the city and will be prepared to talk to the club about their future needs. We believe a successful football club adds to Worcester's sporting and cultural life'.

    The council’s managing director Duncan Sharkey helped facilitate the talks between Worcester City and St Modwen which led to the club being released from the Nunnery Way contract... after it became apparent the deal could see the club go bust because of a looming sizeable six-figure capital gains tax bill. As your Worcester News reported yesterday, it does mean the club faces paying St Modwen a substantial six-figure fee for work already done on the defunct Nunnery Way project, although it can now finally look elsewhere for a new home".

    According to NL Daily, "Highly-rated Gresley FC defender Jordi Gough has left the club to sign for Solihull Moors... after four successful seasons.

    [Manager] Rowe said, 'Jordi has been the best player at the club for the last few seasons and, although I'm sorry to see him go, the step up to Conference North is a good move for him'...

    Gough made 159 appearances for Gresley, scoring 17 goals since joining the club in 2009... Gough, who also spent a year at Derby County as a schoolboy, made the left back slot his own in recent times and also impressed further forward on the wing and in central midfield".

    In the Leamington Courier, we read that "Liam Daly and Richard Batchelor have become the first of Leamington’s squad to commit to the club for next season. The duo swept the board at Saturday’s end-of-season awards presentation and Holleran said...

    'I’m delighted to secure both their signatures', said Holleran, who revealed talks were still ongoing with other key members of the championship-winning side... News of their retention has been tempered somewhat by the shock departure of 2011/12 Player of the Year and club captain Jamie Hood.

    Hood has been an almost ever-present at the heart of Brakes’ defence since joining them from Halesowen Town in 2010, forming a formidable partnership with Daly. However, Holleran said off-field concerns were behind the decision to sever ties with the former Sutton Coldfield and Atherstone man. 'Last season there were concerns about Jamie’s work commitments', said Holleran. 'We’ve had a couple of chats since the end of the season and we both think it’s the best thing to part company'...

    Goalkeeper Niall Cooper has also left Leamington after finding his playing opportunities limited during the second half of last season".

    Meanwhile, Leamington "are pleased to announce the signings of central defenders Paul McCone from Stourbridge and Josh Green from Brackley Town.

    22 year old McCone skippered the Glassboys last season as they pushed Brakes all the way in the Southern League Premier Division before losing out to Gosport Borough in the Play Offs. He spent 10 years at Wolverhampton Wanderers as a youngster...

    Josh Green began his career at Luton Town, going on to play for Woodford United before joining his home town club Brackley Town, where he went on to make over 200 appearances. He spent the majority of last season on loan at Bedford Town, and is renowned for scoring goals from set pieces...

    Paul Holleran was happy to have clinched his first new signings of the summer, saying 'It's a great coup for the club to have been able to sign two players that were up there with the best centre backs in the division last season. Both Paul and Josh will create competition for places in the squad'".

    Another promoted club, North Ferriby United "have made four new signings for their debut season in Conference North. Danny Hone is a defender who has joined from Gainsborough Trinity. He has previously played for Lincoln City, Darlington, Barrow.

    Jamie Yates is a right-sided midfielder who has also joined from Gainsborough. He has played previously for Rotherham United, Burton Albion and Boston United. Jonathan D'Laryea is a midfielder and an England C international. He has signed from Gainsborough Trinity. Jonathan has also played for Manchester City, Northwich Victoria and Eastwood Town.

    Matt Wilson is a central defender who has signed from Alfreton Town, though he was on-loan at Guiseley. His previous clubs include Darlington, Grantham, Worksop Town and Boston".

    According to This is Glos, "Experienced central defender Chris Holland has parted company with Gloucester City after just one season of his second spell with the Tigers... A string of niggling injuries limited his involvement in the second half of the season and Tigers boss Dave Mehew admitted that the time was right for the defender to move on.

    Revealing that he initially wanted to keep the rugged 32-year-old, Mehew confirmed that after talks, Holland has left the club. 'We wanted to keep Chris for next season but it had to be on our terms', Mehew said. 'With the way we operate with a small squad I need my pound of flesh from the players and need them to play all the time. Chris has got some commitments with work that make it difficult so we've decided it's best for him to move on'...

    Mehew has no plans to seek a replacement from outside of the club for Holland; instead he wants to develop Jack Harris into a centre-half to compete with Tom Hamblin and skipper Matt Coupe. Versatile Harris, who turns 24 on Friday, has mainly operated at left back during his Tigers career but Mehew is keen to develop his game in the coming months.

    'We're definitely going to look at turning Jack Harris into a centre half. He coped admirably when he played there last season', Mehew said... 'He's a big lad with a bit of pace and good left-footed centre-halves are difficult to find. We will start the season with Jack, Matt Coupe and Tom Hamblin as our centre-halves and I'm also going to look at a couple of younger trialists in pre-season'".

    Meanwhile left-back Danny Andrew, who ended the season with the Tigers after his release from Cheltenham Town, is believed to be interesting Grimsby Town. Lincolnshire native Andrew is also wanted by recently promoted Conference Premier club FC Halifax Town".

    5 June 2013


    The final of the Manchester FA Youth Cup competition between Altrincham FC Youth and Stockport Vikings will take place tonight (Wednesday, 5 June), at 7pm at Manchester United's Ayrshire Road training ground in Salford. The postcode is M7 3TP. Spectators are welcome to see the lads try and land the trophy.


    All Altrincham fans are invited to come along and help get the Moss Lane ground ready for the new season on Saturday 15th June between 10am to 4pm when there will be a a "Working Day" at Moss Lane. The main work will be to weed and sweep the terraces, so please bring your garden gloves and, if you can, a hoe or/and spade.

    SEASON TICKETS, 2013-14

    Don't forget that the discount on season ticket purchases ends on 30 June. And season tickets gain you free admission to the home pre-season friendlies at Moss Lane so are great value.

    "Season ticket prices will remain the same as last season with the £10 discount if purchased before June 30th 2013. A season ticket also entitles you to free admission to all the pre-season friendly matches at Moss Lane.

    We hope that we can rely on your support again this season and look forward to seeing you at Moss Lane in July. Please supply your email address if you have one as we are attempting to update people with information throughout the season. TASC, our Supporters' Association is also keen to extend its membership which costs just £10 per year. Please consider joining and achieving TASC’s target of 200 members".

    Full details are here.

    WIN £1,500 FOR £1

    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot now stands at £1,500. Last week's unissued winning sequence, 9994, yielded two Trebles winners, who each received £100.


    Duncan Watmore continues to attract national attention following his transfer to Sunderland. Sky Sports report that "Teenage striker Duncan Watmore insists he is going to continue his studies despite his impending move from Conference [North] side Altrincham to Premier League Sunderland... The joy of sealing a move to the north-east is in sharp contrast to the disappointment he felt when he was released by boyhood club Manchester United at the age of 13.

    That crushing blow ensures Watmore will not get too far ahead of himself; so much so that he will continue his Finance and Economics degree while at the Black Cats.

    'I've always recognised how volatile the football world is', he told the Daily Mail. 'One minute you're making it, the next you're gone. So I've always thought, no matter how successful I get, I was always going to stick with my degree and make sure that was the main thing. I want to prove myself and, hopefully, I can. I'm looking forward to doing so. My main focus is just to become a better footballer.

    I'm looking forward to it, definitely. But I'm moving to live on my own, and I'm going to be in a full-time job while studying. It'll be hectic... It all happened within a week. They put in a bid, then they negotiated', he added. 'Four or five days later they said they agreed and then, two days after that, they invited me up for the medical. It all happened very quickly. I wouldn't have predicted this two months ago. It's all been so crazy for me, and it's come out of nowhere. All this season I've just been thinking about doing well for Altrincham. I assumed I'd be there next season, and then this offer came along'.

    Watmore is also excited to work with new Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio, who has introduced a much stricter disciplinarian regime since taking charge of the club in March, something Watmore agrees with. 'I think whatever changes he does bring will be for the better of the club', he said. 'I'm very happy with being disciplined and I think it's very important. Keeping the players in line is a good thing. The aim is to be working under him, so I want to get that opportunity and hopefully if I play well, I might get the chance'".

    And the Daily Mail invites us to "Meet Di Canio's first Sunderland signing, he's 19, played with Cantona, is still at university and his dad's a former FA boss (no pressure, then)... Duncan Watmore, the 19-year-old striker, son of former FA chief executive Ian Watmore, recently signed a two-year deal at the Stadium of Light and will be joining the Black Cats in July..

    Sunderland fought off competition from a number of interested parties to land Watmore... 'Peterborough were apparently watching,' he added. 'And maybe a couple of others, but I never heard anything. I only ever heard of Sunderland's interest about two-and-a-half months ago. I was a bit shocked. It was a nice feeling, but I obviously didn’t get ahead of myself at that point'...

    'I've always like Sunderland,' said Watmore Snr [Duncan's father, Ian], an Arsenal supporter. 'I saw them play in the 1973 Cup Final when they beat Leeds 1-0. It was my first trip to Wembley so I've liked them since them'".

    Duncan added, "If I can get into training with the first team that would be awesome but I’m not really thinking about that for now. I’m just going to try and play my best at the development squad and see how much I can step up... I’ll just try and keep the wow factor of it all back".

    Ian continued, "We never thought that football was the only option for him because he's a bright lad and we know what careers in football are like... So we always made sure that he had a lot of strings to his bow.”

    After his release by United, Duncan "found himself spotted once more, with George Heslop inviting him into Altrincham’s youth team at the age of 17".

    Accompanying the article are images of "eight-year-old Duncan Watmore, at his school fair" and Duncan at Manchester United's Academy and playing for Altrincham.


    Gloucester City report "The signing of Matt Groves from Yate Town and the re-signing of striker Scott Wilson. The news is welcome information to Tigers boss Dave Mehew as he wanted to increase his attacking options for the upcoming campaign.

    Groves, a former Bristol Rovers trainee, was the main man in Yate’s superb FA Cup run last season which saw them defeat Blue Square Bet Premier Play-off winners Newport County before being defeated by Cheltenham Town in the First Round. Wilson, who has played 13 times for the club, spent much of last season plying his trade in the Southern League for Yate and Cinderford Town

    The moves from Southport to Telford continue as the Shropshire Star confirms that "AFC Telford United manager Liam Watson is hoping to hold talks with Southport defender Chris Lynch about a possible move to the New Buck's Head.

    Watson is currently in the market for another centre-half and has been told the Sandgrounders stopper would be available on a free transfer... Watson, who took over the managerial reins at Telford in early May, has already brought in one ex-Southport centre-half, Simon Grand...

    Watson said, 'He would be a third centre-half and for a young lad he has got quite a bit of experience. He can play either on the right-hand side or the left-hand side of a centre-back paring very comfortably and he can also play right-back... He will dig in for you. On a rainy day at Bradford Park Avenue he would be a good sort to have around'.

    Lynch, a former Burnley player, has worked with Watson before, having joined the current Telford boss's previous club Southport last summer from Stalybridge Celtic. Watson is also hoping to make further additions to his squad... He is looking to bring in another striker... Telford have already brought in two forwards recently, in Tony Gray from Chester and Adam Farrell from FC Fylde".

    According to the Football Conference, "Fans' favourite Steve Basham has agreed a new contract to keep him with Oxford City for the forthcoming season. Thirty-five-year-old striker Basham hit five goals in twenty-nine appearances last season and is preparing to do it all over again

    Basham said, 'We’re still in the North division, so that’s a few long treks, but I didn’t find it too bad last season. Saturday’s a write-off anyway, but at the end of last season we had all those games, City played eleven matches in April, in midweek. It’s difficult having to leave work and then travelling for four hours by coach to places like Bradford and Stalybridge. It was a bit crazy. That was down to that four-week spell in March where we didn’t play because of the bad weather'...

    He remains level-headed about their prospects for the new campaign, adding, 'If we can improve on tenth, that would be a fantastic achievement. I’ve got some exams to sit and then I’m off on holiday before we’re back for pre-season training in the first week of July'.

    Influential central defender Chris Willmott, has also committed himself for next season, as have midfielders Liam Malone and Callum McNish, plus defender Paul Stonehouse, with new deals offered to the rest of the squad still to be confirmed.

    And manager Mike Ford is set to sign striker Mike Symons from league rivals Worcester City... He added, 'He scored twice against us last season and was a real threat'. Goalkeeper Mark Scott who was briefly with the club in the 2011/12 season has also agreed to put pen-to-paper".

    Meanwhile, "Gainsborough Trinity have lost both winger Terry Hawkridge and defender Luke Waterfall to Scunthorpe United on one-year deals. Hawkridge... jumped two divisions from Carlton Town to Gainsborough via Hucknall Town and has now leapt two more... The 23-year-old wideman, who can play all across the midfield, joins after impressing during his year-long stay at the Northolme. With the player being under 24, a fee will be agreed for his services.

    Twenty-two-year-old central defender Waterfall started his career with Barnsley and was a regular for their youth and reserve teams during the 2007/08 season. After being released he signed as a youngster for Tranmere Rovers... He joined then Conference Premier side Altrincham [on loan] that October and made one substitute appearance in a 2–0 defeat to Weymouth.

    After leaving Tranmere in May 2009, Waterfall signed for Ilkeston Town... He then signed for Gainsborough in May 2010".

    Elsewhere, "Boston United have completed the signing of striker Ricky Miller from Stamford AFC. Miller, who played for the Pilgrims during 2008/09... has been snapped up by manager Dennis Greene as his fourth summer signing...

    Greene said, 'Ricky brings along a proven goalscoring record'".

    As well as losing two players, Gainsborough Trinity announce that "boss Steve Housham has secured the services of captain Michael Leary for the upcoming season... Housham has now managed to secure seven of last season's squad, this with Player of the Season Dominic Roma having agreed to a pay cut to remain at the Northolme".

    Harrogate Town say that "Hot on the heels of the arrival of Anton Brown, we are very pleased to be able to reveal that striker Chris Hall has joined us from Stalybridge Celtic.

    Chris, 26, is an established striker at this level... During his career, Chris has played for Oldham Athletic, Stalybridge Celtic, Bradford Park Avenue and Mossley AFC... Chris is also becoming very established in the acting world, having had parts in Grange Hill, Hollyoaks and the Accused to name but a few and we are very confident that he will be a hit, both on and off the pitch!"

    At Histon, "Goalkeeper Calum Kitscha is the latest of last year’s squad to put pen to paper, signing a new contract that will keep him at Bridge Road for another year. Manager Brian Page has added to his squad for 2013-14, securing the signatures of Zak Mills and Charlie Day for another season whilst re-signing Eugene Libertucci. All three are products of the Histon FC Scholarship Programme and join Jay Dowie and Kaine Sheppard in signing on the dotted line for the coming season".

    4 June 2013


    An image of the recent Tribute to Tony Sanders, the most successful manager in Altrincham FC's history, is shown, right, courtesy of Nic Seller. It shows, left to right, Tony Sanders, John Rogers, John King, Jeff Johnson and Graham Heathcote.


    The Holker Street Newsletter reports that Barrow manager "Dave Bayliss believes Tony McMillan, the keeper he signed on a one-year contract after being released by Southport is a cracker (McMillan spent the tail end of last season on loan to Altrincham) and he gushed to the Mail, 'I'm delighted, and it's not just me saying it, a lot of managers have said that Tony is probably the best keeper at Conference North level. I'm very surprised that he never got offered a contract at Altrincham, which everybody thought he deserved. But their loss is our gain and I think every decent team must have a good goalkeeper.

    We know all about Tony; he's got good experience and great distribution which is something that we lacked last year. I think he'll be a fantastic signing. I know Liam rates him very highly as a lad and as a goalkeeper. I know he's top-drawer and he won the Conference Premier Player -of-the-Year trophy two years ago. For a goalkeeper to do that in non-League football is phenomenal. I had to keep this very quiet and we moved to sign him the day after he got released by Altrincham. So that's how quickly we moved. We've been looking at him for a while...

    Now we've got to make sure we get two good centre-halves in front of him and that's the next priority now, to fill those two positions... We said all last season that we lacked a bit of strength down the spine of the side. That's what we've got to get right... Tony will be a massive part of that spine for us...

    Telford are going out and signing everybody, they're all top-drawer players. But we know what we can afford and we can't live with the likes of Telford. So we've got to move a little bit in a shrewder way and get different types of players in...

    A new training ground? He added, 'There's no rush, but there are one or two in Manchester and Preston. The way I stand is the majority of the players we'll have will be from Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and Blackburn. So Manchester and Preston are not bad areas... Pre-season is very important to us this year because we'll probably have a new squad of players so we need to get things right on the training ground before we go back".

    At Solihull Moors, "Manager Marcus Bignot has further added to his squad this week with the signing of striker Aron Wint. The 20 year old becomes the Moors fourth new signing of the summer as Solihull continue to build for next season. Aron progressed through the youth ranks at Coventry City until being released at the end of 2008. He then joined Scunthorpe United... He had loan spells with Belper Town and FC Halifax Town before being released by Scunthorpe in the summer of 2012. Wint then joined Hinckley United making 25 appearances for the Knitters last season, scoring five goals".

    Stockport County "are pleased to announce the signing of Keiran Charnock. The central defender is no stranger to Edgeley Park having spent the last two months of last season on loan with the Hatters from Fleetwood Town.

    Charnock began his career at Wigan Athletic as a product of their youth system. Having spent time out on loan at Conference side Southport he joined another Conference outfit Northwich Victoria having been released by Wigan... before moving to Peterborough United... After a loan spell with Accrington Stanley he joined Torquay United before moving back North to Morecambe. Charnock was a member of the Fleetwood Town side that won promotion to the Football League in 2012.

    Charnock told the club website, 'Having played at Edgeley Park for and against County, I know how the supporters get behind the team. Unfortunately I missed the last few games last season but I loved being at the club and am delighted to be able to join in time for the new season when, hopefully, my experience will prove invaluable to the team'".


    The BBC reports that "A consortium fronted by former Chester City owner Stephen Vaughan is looking to take over Oldham Athletic, BBC Radio Manchester understands. Vaughan took over at Chester in 2001 but the club were expelled from the Conference and then wound up in March 2010 for overdue tax... Vaughan runs a Merseyside boxing promotions company called Stephen Vaughan Boxing Promotions and also had a spell as Barrow chairman in the mid-1990s.

    Following the liquidation of Chester City under Vaughan, where he became the first person to fail the FA's 'fit and proper person test', Chester FC was formed by a group of supporters and the club have just won promotion to the Conference Premier".

    3 June 2013


    Sunday's NL Paper has an interview in its "Room 101" column with Shaun Densmore (below, left), who revals that he hates TV "soaps", saying "The storylines are so bad, they're almost comical and the acting isn't much better". Shaun discusses how as well as working as a quantity surveyor, he is completing a university course, "so getting back at 2-3am [after a game] on a weekday is the last thing I need... Some of the bigger trips wipe me out for a good few days".

    Shaun's other pet hates include "big-time Charlies" in non-League. Shaun mentions how "The chairman paid for us to go on a holiday this year as a reward for making the play-offs and doing well in the FA Cup. While we were there we saw a player, now in the Championship, who I marked out of the game in the Conference a few years ago. WE went over and were winding him up... He stands there and says, 'Get your wallet out and we'll see who the best player is'. You wouldn't believe how many players are like that. I even had someone say it last year in the Conference North! I just thought, 'Come on mate, get real!'"

    Also in the NL Paper, Stuart Hammonds has a piece speculating on Damian Reeves' future and quoting Lee Sinnott as to why the prolific striker has not moved on. Lee says, "First game of the season, if Damian Reeves is wearing the no.10 short, then I know he is staying. But we go through this every summer. That's not setting alarm bells ringing. He's under contract to us for another season but people are aware of the stipulations within his contract where, if a League club comes knocking, he is able to take up that opportunity, if he so wishes.

    That is always at the back of our minds but we have to plan that Reevesy will be with us next season". As for why he has not gone, Lee added "Maybe you're looking at his age and people are a little unsure". And Hammonds says that an anonymous "leading [?Conference] Premier boss said to me recently, 'I've watched him five times, he's scored eight goals but he's done nothing for me'".

    And the reporter adds "He's certainly not a player who will be dropping deep to receive the ball, helping out in his own penalty area, climbing high above centre-halves to win flick-ons or generally tearing around, being a nuisance... He is a poacher".

    Lee says "If there is no end-product, you don't win games. That is as vital as the phase of play. Other people's loss is our gain".


    The Manchester Evening News reports that "Duncan Watmore may be off to the glittering world of the Premier League, but it will still be a bitter-sweet farewell to Altrincham for the striker... after signing a two-year deal at the Stadium of Light...

    'There’s so much I’ll miss; the players, the management and the chairman, they’ve all been so good to me', said Sunderland’s newest recruit. 'I feel so at home at Moss Lane. It’s my first-ever club, so it’ll always have a special place in my heart and I’ll always be a fan of Altrincham'...

    Watmore thinks that even though the leap from the youth team to the first team was a tough one, it resulted in an improvement in his game. 'It was a massive step up at first', he said. 'I was doubting myself but, I think, within a couple of months I got used to it and it definitely made me a better player, knowing that I had to improve. My decision-making got better. At the start I didn’t know where to pass, when to shoot, and it definitely improved while I was there'...

    'There were a lot of the players who were really good to me', he said. 'The skipper Shaun Densmore is always really good with the young lads, and Damian Reeves is obviously an unbelievable strike partner. He’s so laid back but he’d always encourage me. There’s such a good balance to the team, everyone plays their part'.

    Dad Ian Watmore, former FA chief executive, played a key part in developing his son’s affection for the Robins. 'I was an Arsenal supporter but I switched to Altrincham when we made the move up north', said Watmore senior, who first took his son to Moss Lane at the age of four for his very first football experience...

    'All we were thinking about was promotion', he said. 'It hadn’t crossed my mind about Sunderland since I got injured. I got back for the [play-off] semi-final, so I was really chuffed, but unfortunately injured it again in the second leg. It was such a shame for the team and the fans that we missed out'.

    The next challenge will be balancing his degree in Finance and Economics, which he will be transferring from Manchester to Newcastle University, alongside playing with Sunderland. But the former Cheadle Hulme School pupil is determined to continue... 'One injury and you could be done', he said. 'I think education is so important. I quite enjoy it as well. It gives me a focus'".


    According to the BBC, "Worcester City appear to have been saved from potential closure by sidestepping their originally planned move to a new home at Nunnery Way. They have confirmed to BBC Hereford & Worcester that they have provisionally agreed terms to be released from their contract with building firm St. Modwen.

    If they had been tied into the deal to build a new stadium, the Conference North outfit could have faced closure... The agreement will allow Worcester to meet their capital gains tax commitments, as well as still having money left to go towards a new stadium in the city. They were due to hand over the remaining £1.3m from the sale to St. Modwen for initial land and infrastructure costs at Nunnery Way, but the club would then have been responsible for the crippling costs of the new stadium.

    The club, who thanked St. Modwen for 'accommodating their request to terminate the contract', have yet to comment on the search for other sites where a new ground could potentially be built".

    2 June 2013


    The final of the Manchester FA Youth Cup competition between Altrincham FC Youth and Stockport Vikings will take place on Wednesday, 5 June at 7pm at Manchester United's Ayrshire Road training ground in Salford. The postcode is M7 3TP. Spectators are welcome to see the lads try and land the trophy.


    Altrincham FC's Peter Foster announces that "The Planning Application for the Community Sports Hall project at Moss Lane were submitted on Tuesday 21st May and information regarding the application has now been published by the Trafford Planning Officer. Details can be viewed on the Trafford Planning portal, here.

    The application number is 80669/FULL/2013

    On the Planning Application Search Results page, click on the application number, and you will find displayed the details of the application. Towards the bottom of this page, by selecting 'Comment on this application' you will be able to enter a letter/email of support. These are required by June 14th. We are led to believe that these really do carry weight so you can do your bit by writing to the Chief Planning Officer. Letters from outside Trafford do count as long as you travel into Trafford, and are a potential user of the Community facility.

    We have already received a letter of support from MP Mr Graham Brady, and a copy of a letter of support sent to the Chief Planning Officer from the Altrincham Chamber of Commerce, who are always very supportive of the Football Club. We believe that a target decision date is August 20th".


    Congratulations go to Sarah Rowley and Dan Jones on their wedding yesterday (Saturday). Both bride and groom will be well known to Alty supporters in their various volunteer roles at Moss Lane. Sarah, daughter of chairman Grahame and his wife Karen, and Dan sell matchday programmes at every Alty game at Moss Lane whilst Sarah also recently organised the successful Bingo Night and produced cakes, (with James Lawrie's mother), for sale at the Beer Festival. Dan, who runs the company Techknowledgey, oversees the club's technology equipment.


    The Football Conference confirms that "Joining Harrogate Town for the new season is Alfreton Town’s Anton Brown. Brown, 25, can play either in defence but has had a lot of success with his conversion to a centre midfielder. He has made 285 appearances for the Reds and scored twenty-four goals.

    He has been so popular with the Alfreton faithful that he won their supporters’ player of the season [award] for the 2011/12 campaign as well as the coveted players’ player and supporters’ player of the season awards in the 2007/08 campaign.

    Brown’s career started at Central Midlands League side Greenwood Meadows... Joining Mansfield Town’s youth set up, he... wasn’t able to make it into the Stags first-team... He was quickly picked up by Alfreton... it was a conversion to centre midfield in 2009 that paid major dividends for both club and player... He is also seen as a 'very good athlete' and should bring a new level of movement and play to the centre of our midfield'" reports the club.

    From This is Glos we learn that "Matt Liddiard can grow to be a key part of a new-look Gloucester City midfield after agreeing his first semi-professional contract with the Tigers. The talented teen made a breakthrough into the City side last season and his form has earned him a one-year deal with his hometown club.

    He joins midfield partners Tom Webb and Lewis Hogg in committing for the new season as boss Dave Mehew looks to strengthen his squad... Mehew hopes to make three summer signings, with midfield versatility sure to be on his hit list...

    'I think as the game changes we have to look to make changes to suit, even at our level', Mehew said. 'Not many teams play with two strikers anymore and often you can get outnumbered in midfield as a result and so I am looking to give myself some different attacking options in midfield. We're looking to bring some attacking players in, but it won't necessarily be strikers in the old-fashioned mode because those are perhaps becoming a thing of the past.

    We have Tom Webb and Lewis Hogg agreed for next season and I am delighted to give Matt Liddiard his first contract as he's definitely earned it. He will be more involved next season than he was last and I hope he can keep developing and become one of the lynchpins of the side in the future... Add in Darren Mullings, who I am confident will sign when he gets back from holiday, and we've got a good mix'.

    Of the remaining midfield players from last term, only Steve Davies and Adam Mann have yet to commit to the Tigers for the new season. Davies will be invited back for pre-season training and offered terms, with Mehew keen to keep the pacy Welshman due to his versatility.

    But Mann's future will not be decided in the near future as he is currently away coaching in Kansas and is not expected back until a month after the campaign starts... Mehew has agreed new deals with striker Darren Edwards, goalkeeper Mike Green, Jack Harris and Joe Parker. He is still speaking to the remainder of last season's squad with the intention of keeping them all signed for next season".

    In the Worcester News we learn that "With his playing budget for next season having finally been sorted out, Worcester City manager Carl Heeley has stepped up his squad building...

    Manager Heeley, who this week committed his future to City alongside assistant Matt Gardiner... said, 'We have now been able to agree deals with goalkeeper Matt Sargeant and defenders Shabir Khan and Ellis Deeney, who have committed their futures to us. Young right-back Josh Smith, who came through the college academy and played a couple of times late last season, has also signed.

    We have signed young Daniel Williams, who is a really quick wide player or forward and has great potential for the future. Another with massive potential to have agreed to stay is Ethan Moore (striker), who showed a great deal for us at the end of last year. However, keeper Glyn Thompson will be leaving the club as a great opportunity has come up for him to move into coaching over in Thailand..

    We have a list with dozens of players on; some we might not be able to get, but there are always players available to sign. I am not concerned about recruitment of players'".

    Elsewhere in the same source we read that "Heeley has declared the forthcoming campaign will be the ‘biggest challenge’ of his career... A host of last term’s important players, including the likes of top-scorer Mike Symons, the versatile Rob Elvins and centre-half Jacob Rowe, have all moved on as Heeley struggled to offer them competitive terms with the uncertainty around the club’s future lingering on...

    Heeley said, 'There is no secret that the budget has been reduced, but it has been difficult to predict what it would be with so many other factors, such as the ground-share, going on... Matt and I are fully up for the challenge and the players who have decided to stay are here for the right reasons...

    It will absolutely be very tough next season. We didn’t have the biggest budget last season, but it will be even less this year'".

    According to This is Glos, "A prize pot of more than £11,000 was Gloucester City's reward for making the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century... The Citizen understands that it had already been earmarked to help pay their rent arrears with Cheltenham Town...

    Chairman Nigel Hughes confirmed... 'We have already paid them £21,000, as agreed, and are taking significant steps to pay off the remaining money owed well before the start of the new season'... Hughes said talks were progressing between the club and a group of investors... The Citizen understands that this could lead to the club's administrative functions being split in two, with the new group giving funds directly to Mehew's playing budget.

    Owner Eamonn McGurk would then take on responsibility for the club's revised new stadium at Meadow Park... The club's preference is to move back to their former home, but with plans for a modest football stadium and requisite flood defences taking the place of the more ambitious £5 million community stadium".

    Pitchero Non-League reports that "Barrow AFC have raided rivals Workington for prolific striker Gareth Arnison for the forthcoming campaign. Arnison, 25, scored nineteen goals for the Borough Park outfit last term but is out of contract and moving to Manchester and hence nearer to Barrow's training base...

    Barrow boss Dave Bayliss is delighted to have captured a decent striker following the acquisition of pacey winger Shelton Payne on Wednesday. The Barrow squad now boasts four new members with [ex-Alty duo] keeper Tony McMillan and player-coach Alex Meechan alongside Payne and Arnison".

    At Gainsborough Trinity, "Dom Roma says his relationship with Trinity boss Steve Housham, and the club’s fans, convinced him to sign on for another season. Gainsborough’s ‘Iron Man’ who played over 50 games last season at full-back, was one of the first to commit to the 2013/14 campaign on the Northolme, despite a reduced offer from the club.

    He told the Gainsborough Standard, 'Housh spoke to us after the last game of the season and offered us all contracts on reduced terms. It was a case of deciding if we could do it, everyone had their own individual cases. I’ve got a lot of respect for Housh and I enjoy it down there, I enjoy playing for him. And the fans are brilliant, they don’t get straight on your back if you have a bad game or if you give the ball away, they’re quite supportive. I got on well with them and could always have a bit of a chat in the Blues Club after the game'.

    Roma, 27, believes the quality of the players already signed is an encouraging sign...

    'I’ve spoken to a few of the lads and unless you were going to a North Ferriby or a Harrogate, you’re not going to get the same money [we] were getting here in the last two years. The money that Gainsborough is offering is the same as anywhere else in the league and, if you enjoy it, you want to come back... To see the likes of Barnsey (Phil Barnes, goalkeeper), Ryan (Williams, midfielder), Stampy (Darryn Stamp, striker) and Greg (Young, defender) signing on again is encouraging...

    We’re not going to have a squad of 21 players like we did', he said. 'But, if we’ve got 13 or 14 lads who are experienced at this level and a few loan deals from league clubs, then we could have a good squad'...

    The Sheffield PE teacher revealed, 'I always have two weeks off to let my body recover, especially after playing a lot of games, and then I have three or four weeks getting back into the gym and out running, preparing for the beasting in pre-season'".

    1 June 2013


    Sunday's NL Paper has a couple of features on Cheshire teams. As well as a feature entitled 'Altrincham in Focus', there is a story headed 'The big repair job, a special feature on Stockport County’s slide, and what the future holds at Edgeley Park'".


    Stockport County "have added to their squad with the signing of experienced midfielder Ian Craney. Craney began his career as a junior at Everton, before joining Altrincham, moving on to Accrington Stanley in 2004. After a successful period at Stanley, he joined Swansea City on loan in November 2006 before signing on a permanent deal in 2007 for £150,000. He returned to Accrington on loan before rejoining them in early 2008.

    Early in the 2008-09 season, Stanley accepted an undisclosed fee from Huddersfield Town for the midfielder... In July 2009, Craney and his Town team mate Phil Jevons joined Morecambe on a season-long loan deal... Injury cut short his loan, forcing him to return to the Galpharm in April 2010.

    His contract at Huddersfield terminated, he joined Fleetwood Town for the 2010-11 season before joining former club Accrington Stanley for a third spell, on loan. Craney rejoined Stanley on a permanent basis, his third full-time spell with the club.

    Having been released at the end of the 2011-12 season he joined Rochdale where he made seven appearances before joining AFC Telford United in February 2013.

    Craney said, 'A club like Stockport County is a big lure for any footballer so, when I got the call to say they were interested, there was only one place I was going to go'. Manager Ian Bogie added, 'I am delighted to get Ian on board, he is a talented ball playing midfielder with vast experience, having played at a high level. He knows all about the fantastic support at this club and cannot wait to play in front of them. He will be a great addition to our squad'.

    County have also re-signed forward Brandon Windsor. The 17-year-old made three appearances for the first team last season as well as spending a period out on loan with Nantwich Town. Alan Lord said, 'Ian Bogie and myself are pleased that Brandon has committed his immediate future to the club, we see him as a very talented addition. He has all the attributes to carve out a good career for himself, he is a willing learner who will no doubt cause defenders problems as and when he gets his chance'".

    According to BSBN, "Workington have agreed personal terms with Gavin Skelton to become the club's player/coach next season. The 32-year-old former Carlisle, Workington, Gretna, Kilmarnock, Hamilton Academical and Barrow midfielder would replace David Hewson, who has been forced to call time on his career due to a knee problem...

    Skelton... was the National Supporters' Clubs' Player of the Year at Barrow last season having captained the side.

    Reds boss Darren Edmondson told the News and Star, 'We've agreed personal terms, but there is still a bit of work to do... We lost a leader in David, but we're gaining one in Gavin, who can play a number of positions. It's a coup for us because other clubs have offered more money, but Gavin wants to work on his coaching, and I can offer him that... He has the right attitude to fit straight into the team as a player, and coach'".

    Meanwhile, "Steve Housham has continued his summer rebuilding work at Gainsborough Trinity with four players committing their future to the club. Fans' favourite Darryn Stamp re-signed on Thursday evening and the 34-year-old also takes on the assistant manager role. But Housham has also brought striker Bradley Barraclough back for a second season and midfielder Simon Russell also rejoins the Blues.

    Newcomer Liam Davis also joins from local side Brigg Town. The 22-year-old, originally on the books at Grimsby Town, has been inspirational for the Brigg team this season, scoring 14 goals in 46 appearances" reports This is Lincs.

    Guiseley AFC have announced that club captain Mark Bower will remain at Nethermoor next season. After discussions with boss Steve Kittrick, Bower will remain at the club in his player/coach role".

    Reports in the Worcester News are that "The doom clouds that had been gathering around Worcester City have been lifted with the club revealing they are fully committed to the coming season. Speculation had been building that the St George’s Lane outfit was close to being liquidated, but the board of directors are now looking ahead with ‘renewed optimism’ after ‘positive discussions with partners’.

    As a consequence of these assurances, manager Carl Heeley and his assistant Matt Gardiner have committed their futures to the side ahead of next season, which will see the club ground-sharing at Kidderminster Harriers’ Aggborough ground...

    A City statement said, 'The board accepts that the last few weeks have been a particularly difficult period for the club, its management team and players alike... We are now confident we can move into next season with renewed optimism about the long-term viability of the football club.

    The board can confirm we have registered with the Football Conference to play in the Blue Square North at Aggborough next season. Carl and Matt have committed their future to the club and continue to plan for next season. We are grateful to them for their continued commitment and hope the removal of uncertainty about the longer term viability of the club will assist them in attracting players...

    It is perfectly understandable that the uncertainty around the future of the club has had a negative impact on season ticket sales and sponsorship... We have therefore agreed to extend the deadline for the sale of £100 season tickets and these will be available until June 30".

    In the Shropshire Star, we learn that "AFC Telford United midfielder Phil Trainer has been offered a new deal to keep him at the New Buck's Head for the forthcoming season.

    Manager Liam Watson confirmed that the popular midfielder... has a deal on the table... Trainer, who has played more than 200 competitive games for the Bucks, is understood to be only the fourth member of last season’s squad so far to be offered a new deal for the next campaign...

    The news is likely to be well received by many Telford supporters. Trainer was one of few players that Bucks fans have expressed a significant interest in keeping. It comes after the team’s disastrous season, in which they were relegated from the Blue Square Bet Premier, finishing 19 points adrift of safety.

    The club had previously handed new deals to goalkeeper Ryan Young as well as defenders Dan Preston and Will Salmon, albeit with the latter opting to seek a new club closer to his Basingstoke home... Should a deal be agreed with Trainer, Watson said he plans to utilise the experienced former Oxford United man as a more attacking player next season... He was used more as a holding player in the last campaign...

    He said, 'If he is playing centre midfield, I would want him to be getting into the box. I think that is his strength and he’s capable of getting more goals'".

    Confirmation comes from This is Hull that "Three of North Ferriby United’s leading players are to leave the club ahead of their first season in Conference North.

    Captain Paul Foot, all-time leading goalscorer Gary Bradshaw and midfielder Chris Bolder have all declined terms offered by the Villagers. Between them, they have played over 1,000 games for Ferriby and helped them win a historic treble last season".

    At another promoted club, Hednesford Town confirm that they "have wasted no time in agreeing terms with eight of their victorious Play-Off winning squad ahead of their new campaign in the Conference North, with manager Rob Smith sounding confident...

    ‘I fully believe that this team is still very much in its infancy and has room to get a lot better and I also believe a lot of the squad are comfortably up to the level we are going into. This pre-season will be the opposite of last year where we made a lot of new signings. My main aim will be to keep this group together and I expect to do just that.’

    The players who have committed themselves to Keys Park for next season include... Dan Crane and John Disney, the imperious centre half pairing of Francino Francis and Ben Bailey, club captain Darren Campion, midfield enforcer Dave MacPherson, ex-Bolton left winger Nathan Woolfe and 16-goal striker Michael Lennon.

    Smith stated that while he is obviously keen to keep together the squad who performed so well last year there will be new signings... 'They will need to be good footballers with the type of never-say-die attitude that we witnessed in the run-in and play with the passion we are used to. If I can keep the team together and add a couple I am certain we can compete'".