an unofficial website

June, 2015

30 June 2015


It is with the deepest regret that Altrincham FC expresses its condolences to the family of former player and manager Graham Heathcote on the tragic death in the recent Tunisian terrorist attack of Graham's brother Philip. Philip's wife, Allison (48), has been badly injured in the outrage and is in an induced coma, with all at the Club hoping that her condition will improve. She has suffered five gunshot wounds. The couple were based in the Felixstowe area and the East Anglian Daily Times has the sad details of the events in Sousse which resulted in this tragedy for Philip and Allison.


As previously announced, Altrincham FC Ladies' are holding a Presentation Evening. However, the date for his has now been changed to 17th July (at 7.30pm). The venue is the Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium and supporters are very welcome to salute a successful season for the Ladies.


Today (30th) is deadline day for season ticket discounts... The standard prices are as follows but a £10 discount applies if bought today.

  • Standing: Adults £250 Concessions £145
  • Seating: Adults £290 Concessions £155
  • 12-16 year olds: £60
  • Under 12s: £30


The Vanarama National League announces that "The National League fixtures will be released this Friday 3rd July at 12noon". Altrincham's fixtures will be posted here as soon as possible after release.

Chester FC "are delighted to announce the signing of Luke George on a one-year deal. George, 22, joins the Blues following a successful stint as captain of the Sandgrounders [Southport]... Manager Steve Burr said, 'Luke fits into what we’re doing at the club and I’m absolutely delighted to capture him. He’s been on our radar most of the summer. He’s a different type to our other midfielders. We looked at the squad and we feel what he’ll bring is that steel, a presence in the air, tough tackling and great energy levels".

Meanwhile, Grimsby Town "welcome back Marcus Marshall to the club on a one-year deal. The winger spent a successful loan spell with the Mariners during the 2012/2013 Season... The 25-year-old, who started his career with Blackburn, was at Morecambe last season, before being loaned to Lincoln City. He made 33 appearances for the Imps, scoring 2 goals".

On Tyneside, Gateshead "have completed the signing of Nathan Buddle following the defender’s exit from Carlisle United. The 21-year-old put pen to paper on a permanent deal at the International Stadium, having left the Cumbrians last week. After beginning his career with Hartlepool United, centre-back Buddle linked up with Blyth Spartans in 2013, clocking up over 80 appearances for the Croft Park outfit.

The Amble-born youngster signed for Keith Curle’s Carlisle in February... He agreed to extend his stay at Brunton Park in principle earlier this month, but, after learning of the Tynesiders’ interest, called time on his stint in Cumbria to move back to the North East".

At Guiseley, "The club are delighted to confirm Ben Parker and [ex-Alty defender] Danny Hall have both agreed terms for the upcoming Vanarama National League season. Popular defenders Parker and Hall are the latest to sign on... having both played important roles in the club’s promotion last term.

Both players joined early in Mark Bower’s time at the club and will form part of the club’s back line this season alongside new recruit Adam Lockwood as well as Jake Lawlor, Ryan Toulson [ex-Alty] and Danny Lowe. Mark said, 'We’re delighted to have Ben and Danny back on board again this season. Both have proven quality and experience at higher levels, which is what we’ll need as we embark on our first season in the Vanarama National League".

Elsewhere, Eastleigh have "announced the signing of 32 year-old winger Lee Cook. London-born Cook was with champions Barnet last season though started his career with Southampton. After leaving Southampton Lee moved into non-league football with Aylesbury United before returning to the Football League with Watford in 1999. With fifty-nine appearances and seven goals at Watford there were also loan spells at York City (7 apps/1 goal), then a permanent move, following a loan spell to Queen Park Rangers (182/12).

Lee had a further two spells at Queens Park Rangers as well as spells with Fulham, Charlton Athletic (13/0), Leyton Orient (47/6) and Greek Super League side Apollon Smyrni before joining Barnet at the start of the 2014/15 season."

Cheltenham Town "have signed striker Billy Waters from Crewe Alexandra on a one-year deal. The 20 year-old made 15 starts and 15 substitute appearances for the Railwaymen, scoring three times. He becomes Robins boss Gary Johnson's seventh new signing of the summer and will link up with his new team mates for the first day of pre-season training on Wednesday."

29 June 2015


The National League says that "Mark Goldberg, manager of Bromley, [has] confirmed the signings of Lee Minshull and Max Porter. The pair arrive from Newport County. Both were part of the Welsh side that finished third in the National League back in 2013... On the latest additions Goldberg commented, 'We are pleased to be able to add both National League and League Two experience to our squad with these two significant signings'".

Welling United reports that the club "attended a disciplinary hearing at the Football Association on Wednesday in regard to the unusually high number of red and yellow cards collected last season. Operations director Barry Hobbins and first-team manager Loui Fazakerley attended the meeting at Wembley.

As a result of the discussions and in respect of the improvements already shown under the new boss and the changes in playing staff this summer, the Wings were fined a total of £4,000 by the FA".

28 June 2015


According to the National League, "Cheye Alexander has returned to Aldershot Town on a one-year contract. The 20-year-old, who can play at right-back or right-midfield, made four appearances for the Shots last season, including two starts, having signed on non-contract terms from Bishop's Stortford in February 2015.

A West Ham fan since his youth, Alexander spent ten years with the Hammers’ Academy before being released in 2013. From there, Alexander spent one year at Port Vale, and impressed in a two-month loan spell at Ilkeston Town from December 2013. Released by the Valiants in the summer of 2014, he joined Concord Rangers in September 2014 and moved onto Bishop's Stortford two months later."

Meanwhile, Gateshead "have agreed to release Phil Turnbull from his contract following his receipt of a job offer to teach PE full-time, a role which he will combine with regional part-time football.

A mainstay in the Heed midfield for almost a decade, the 28-year-old will take up his position at Sunderland’s Academy 360 following the summer. A popular figure on and off the pitch, Turnbull made his first appearance for the Tynesiders back in 2005, during a brief spell on loan from Hartlepool United. He returned for a second loan stint, from York City, in February 2008, putting pen to paper on a permanent contract just weeks later.

Back-to-back promotions followed, with Turnbull establishing himself as a key figure in the Heed’s engine room... Having been offered a new deal at the club by incoming manager Malcolm Crosby, he initially agreed to extend his stay at the International Stadium earlier this month.

But, after being given the chance to take up a full-time teaching role, Turnbull has opted to close the book on his time with the Heed, following a long period of deliberation".


NL Pitchero says that "Hyde United have officially joined the growing number of football clubs owned by their supporters... local clubs such as Chester City, Wrexham and Macclesfield Town have all turned to the fan-owner option.

In a joint statement, the club's previous owner John Manship and Hyde United Supporters' Club confirmed that the proposed sale announced several weeks ago had gone very well and the purchase of the Club's 'A' shares was now complete.

According to the club's chairman Joe Kitchen, it was a very straightforward process with both parties doing all they could to make for a speedy transition. 'I would like to thank John for the very preferential terms he offered the Supporters to purchase the Club. I know he could have got a lot more if he had taken other offers', said the Hyde chairman.

'I always had great respect for the fans at Hyde', said Manship, 'They gave so much and always out-sang other fans even though greatly outnumbered. I feel very happy I could help them own their club. I am sure they will do well'.

'A Supporters' Trust is now being established," added Joe Kitchen. 'It is a great time to be a fan at Ewen Fields. We have got our 'United' name back and all the fans are doing amazing things to raise money to ensure the Club has a secure future'".

27 June 2015


Altrincham FC is holding another "working day", this Saturday. 27th June. from 10am till about 2pm. Any help will be very much appreciated.

Karen Rowley explains that "We need to finish the weeding, clean the seats in the main stand and, maybe, do some painting!! If you can spare even an hour that will be fabulous! Let's get ready off the field for a great season on the field!"


The National League tells us that "Tyrone Marsh is the first signing of the new era at Torquay United. A gifted young striker, Marsh has joined the Gulls on a one-year deal after leaving Ebbsfleet United...

Marsh came through the ranks at Oxford United and enjoyed loan spells with Aylesbury, Staines Town and Welling United before switching to Ebbsfleet last December".

Still at Plainmoor, "Hednesford Town have confirmed that right-back James Hurst has completed a move to Torquay United. The defender, who joined the Pitmen last summer, has made the switch to the south-west coast for an undisclosed fee. Although Hurst, 23, suffered an injury at the start of his Hednesford career, the defender... [was] a regular in Rob Smith’s side from October onwards.

The former West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City defender made a total of thirty-three appearances for the Pitmen, scoring three times during his year-long stay."

NL Pitchero says that "Aldershot Town have signed former Braintree Town striker Dan Walker on a one-year contract. The 25-year-old, who can also play as a winger or attacking midfielder, is a pacey, inventive and composed striker. He ended last season with a three-month loan spell at Eastleigh... and previously played for Hereford United, Luton Town, Southport, Cambridge United and Eastbourne Borough... having begun his career with Rushden and Diamonds and subsequently enjoyed time at Stony Stratford Town, Bedford Town and Leighton Town...

Explained Walker... 'a Club this size should be pushing for promotion. Hopefully this is the season where Aldershot Town can push on'...

'He’s got pace and good ability', recognised manager Barry Smith. 'I see him primarily as a striker, and he is someone who I think the fans will like seeing in an Aldershot Town shirt. My strikers have a licence to be positive, and he’s one of the players who will play with confidence. You’ve got to give players a certain amount of freedom when we’re attacking'...

Of the three strikers in his burgeoning squad, Walker, Matthew Barnes-Homer and Charlie Walker, Smith continued, 'We’ll play different formations and we need different types of player for that. But they are all capable of playing in the first-team, and that’s the reason they are here'".

We learn from Sky Sports that "Nathan Buddle has left Carlisle to sign for Gateshead - just three weeks after agreeing a deal in principle to remain at Brunton Park. Buddle, formerly of Hartlepool and Blyth Spartans, looked set to put pen to paper on a short-term contract with Keith Curle's side but has opted to return to the north east with The Heed.

Blues' boss Curle revealed that he had been considering sending the 21-year-old central defender out on loan to Gateshead next season."

According to Worcester News, "Kidderminster Harriers have completed arguably their most eye-catching signing of the summer so far after landing experienced defender Kelvin Langmead. The 6ft 1ins Coventry-born centre-half had a loan spell at Harriers in their Football League days in 2004 as a striker...

Now aged 30, Langmead arrives on a season-long loan from Ebbsfleet United, who he joined in January from Northampton Town. Langmead was a firm favourite with Northampton, where he played more than 100 games and is still based, but is probably best known for a successful six-year spell at Shrewsbury Town.

He was captain for the Shropshire club and figured in over 250 matches... Langmead, who has also played for Peterborough United in League One, joined Harriers on loan from Preston North End, where he started his career. Ebbsfleet have given Harriers permission to play Langmead in all National League and cup competitions next season.

Kidderminster have also signed defender Lathaniel Rowe-Turner from Alfreton Town, midfielder Joe Clarke from Wrexham and keeper Alex Palmer from West Bromwich Albion on loan as well as promising young players Jordan Jones and Calvin Dinsley from Redditch United".

26 June 2015


Brian Flynn, Alty's joint Press and Media Officer went beyond the call of duty to pursue Altrincham's squad round their running track as they reported for pre-season training earlier this week. Right, Brian captured Michael Rankine leading the field with Shaun Densmore and Tom Marshall hot on his heels.


Altrincham FC is holding another "working day", this Saturday. 27th June, from 10am till about 2pm. Any help will be very much appreciated.

Karen Rowley explains that "We need to finish the weeding, clean the seats in the main stand and, maybe, do some painting!! If you can spare even an hour that will be fabulous! Let's get ready off the field for a great season on the field!"


NL Pitchero tells us that "Neil Young, manager of Stockport County, will link up with a familiar face after adding 6'2" Kevin Holsgrove to his squad for the new season...Holsgrove is a player Young knows well, having worked with him before during one of two spells as a player with Colwyn Bay".

The Manchester Evening News reports that our neighbours Trafford FC's former Alty youth goalkeeper Tom Read has left the Shawe View club.


"Anthony Barry has left Forest Green Rovers by mutual consent, the club confirmed today. Recruited in May 2013 following his release by Fleetwood Town, the 29 year-old spent the majority of last season on loan at League Two side Accrington Stanley and had a year left to run on his contract.

Barry made 36 league appearances for FGR, captaining the side during the 2013-14 campaign... Barry did not make a league appearance last season, re-joining his first senior club Accrington on loan in October 2014, and going on to make 13 Football League appearances for John Coleman’s side last season".

Having just had his contract at Sincil Bank cancelled, FC Halifax Town report "the signing of 22 year old striker Jordan Burrow... Burrow joins the Club following the arrival of Dan Maguire, Josh MacDonald, Elliott Whitehouse, Sam Walker, Matty Brown and Andy Bishop so far this summer.

The 6ft 1 frontman was at Lincoln City last season scoring 10 goals in 40 games for the Imps. He came through the youth ranks at Chesterfield and had a loan spell in 2011 with Boston United before joining Morecambe in January 2012 making over 50 appearances. In May 2013, Burrow joined Stevenage scoring 2 goals in 20 appearances before returning north to join Lincoln last summer".

From north of the Border we learn from the Press & Journal that "Inverness Caley Thistle have reportedly taken one of the brightest talents in English non-league football on trial. It is believed Aldershot Town winger Jason Roberts will train with the Caley Jags squad as John Hughes assesses his options before making moves to strengthen his squad.

Roberts has represented England at C level and, following an impressive season for Aldershot, he has attracted interest from a number of Football League clubs this summer, with Aldershot boss Barry Smith admitting he faces a struggle to hold onto his star man."


As can be seen from the above poster, Altrincham FC supporters will be playing during the Ashley Cricket Club beer festival. Particpants and visitors are very welcome.

25 June 2015

LEE'S "20-20 MANTRA"

Joint Media and Press Officer at Altrincham FC, John Edwards, writes that "Lee Sinnott has coined a new catchphrase aimed at giving Altrincham an even firmer foothold in the Vanarama National League next season. Mindful of the challenge after promotion via the play-offs 12 months ago, the Alty boss studiously avoided sticking his neck out and, instead, proclaimed that ‘we’ll roll the dice and see where it takes us.’

But, after supervising Alty’s first pre-season training session on Tuesday night, and introducing recent signings Michael Rankine, Josh O’Keefe and Tim Deasy to their new team-mates, there was a bolder stance as he outlined his 20-20 vision for the forthcoming campaign.

‘Roll the dice was the approach a year ago, because we had to see what the league was about and let the players get accustomed to it,’ said Sinnott. ‘But we are 12 months on now, the majority of the squad are still together and those who have come in know all about the Conference, so, for me, if we are to keep progressing, the mantra has to be 20-20.

‘If we can attain 20 more goals than last season and concede 20 less, or at least come as near as we can, we’ll be making the improvement I’m looking for.

‘That is the target, and not only do the players know it, they know I believe it is achievable. In the Conference, you have to be ruthless about sticking away chances. We had opportunities around the box and inside it last season, but we have to increase the percentage that are converted.

‘I’m not going to stand here and say we are going to do this or that, but I am looking for us to improve season by season. That is the key, and if we can reach our goal, or come really close, I’d be surprised if I’m not an extremely pleased manager by the time we’ve finished.’

Sinnott wants a squad of 18 or 19 senior players and is backing Deasy (right) to give Stuart Coburn a run for his money for the keeper’s jersey. ‘It’s a straight fight for who is going to be number one,’ he said".


According to the National League "FC Halifax Town have announced the arrival of experienced 32-year-old striker Andy Bishop. The 6ft frontman joins Dan Maguire, Josh MacDonald, Elliott Whitehouse, Sam Walker and Matty Brown in joining the Shaymen this summer as manager Neil Aspin prepares for the 2015/16 season.

Bishop, who is a former England C striker, started his career at Walsall as a trainee. Whilst with the Saddlers he had loans spells with Kidderminster Harriers, Rochdale and Yeovil Town.

He joined York City in the summer of July 2004... During his time with with York he scored 33 times in seventy-eight appearances. Bury signed Bishop in May 2006 scoring 69 goals in 236 appearances in a seven-year stay with the Shakers.

He had a loan spell with Wrexham at the start of 2012/13 season and then signed for the North Wales side on a permanent deal two summers ago."

In Gloucestershire, "A mutual agreement has been reached regarding the termination of James Marwood’s contract and the 25-year-old has now left Forest Green Rovers. The former Gateshead and St Mirren attacker is now set to seek a move elsewhere after he made a total of sixteen appearances in a Forest Green shirt, scoring once in a midweek draw at Alfreton Town.

He agreed a move to Nailsworth in January, signing an eighteen-month contract, but saw eleven of his showings in Ady Pennock’s side come from off the bench. After helping Gateshead to the Conference Promotion Final in 2014, he had begun the 2014/15 campaign in the Scottish Premier League with St Mirren, before moving to Forest Green".

More comes from NL Daily which says that "Winger James Marwood has completed a return to Gateshead... The winger wrote on his Twitter account, 'First of all I would like to thank Ady at FGR for allowing me to leave. He's a good guy in football and he understands that for me to be happy I need to go home. As soon as that was sorted a while ago and I knew I could return to Gateshead it was perfect for me. I've spent my happiest times there and the club is littered with good people from top to bottom'".

Meanwhile, "Grimsby Town have announced that former Bristol Rovers winger Andy Monkhouse has joined on a one-year deal. Monkhouse, born in Leeds, began his career as a trainee with Rotherham United and went on to score 9 goals in 128 League appearances for the Millers. He joined Swindon Town in June 2006 but injury meant that he but only made ten appearances for the Robins and he spent time on loan at Hartlepool United before signing a permanent deal at the Victoria Ground in January 2007.

A member of the side that gained promotion to League One at the end of the 2006/07 campaign, he was also named in the PFA League Two team of the year that season. Released by Hartlepool last summer he scored 44 goals in 290 games for the club... In Rovers' promotion campaign, Monkhouse was ever-present in Darrell Clarke's side making forty-two appearances scoring 8 goals".

NL Pitchero states that "Neil Young, manager of Stockport County, has bolstered his squad further with the signing of Micah Evans. The 22-year-old winger put pen-to-paper having left Southport at the end of last season after twelve months with the Sandgrounders

The same source adds that "Tamworth have added Andy Burns to their squad after the reliable defender was somewhat surprisingly released by Barrow AFC".

According to the BBC "Lincoln City have signed midfielder Matt Sparrow on a one-year deal. The 33-year-old left Scunthorpe at the end of last season, having finished the campaign on loan at Cheltenham.

Sparrow spent the first 11 years of his career with the Iron prior to spells with Brighton and Crawley".

Elsewhere "Kidderminster have signed West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Alex Palmer on a youth loan... until 2 January. Palmer...was named on the bench for a Premier League game against Arsenal last season. He is Kidderminster's third signing in two days, following deals for midfielder Joe Clarke and former Luton defender Nathaniel Rowe-Turner".

Cheltenham Town's deputy head groundsman Matt Rainey will leave the club to take up the role of head groundsman at Forest Green Rovers next Tuesday.

Rainey... returns to the club he left five years ago. He was the first groundsman at The New Lawn after he had joined in Rovers' final season at The Lawn in 2005".

At Lincoln City "Jordan Burrow has today had his contract with the Club cancelled by mutual consent. The striker, who was made available for transfer when manager Chris Moyses announced his retained list, departs midway through his two-year contract having scored 10 goals for the Imps last season.

We understand that he has agreed terms with another Vanarama National League side".

Chester FC "announce the club have signed former Cambridge United left-back Johnny Hunt... Hunt, 24, joins the Blues to become Steve Burr’s third summer signing, following the arrivals of Tom Shaw and Ross Hannah.

Johnny joined the U’s from Wrexham at the beginning of the 2014/15 season, following promotion to the Football League. The versatile player was then loaned back to Wrexham in September... Hunt, who can also operate in central mid at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium."

In the Daily Post we read that "Kayden Jackson has promised two things to Wrexham fans after becoming Gary Mills’ ninth signing

Jackson signed a one year deal at the Racecourse... The signing was followed by news Steve Tomassen has left the Dragons to join former Wrexham manager Andy Morrell at Tamworth.

Jackson was given his big break in football after being picked by Swindon Town as part of the ‘Win a Pro Contract’ competition. However with chances limited at the County Ground, Jackson dropped down the leagues and after spells at Swindon Supermarine and Oxford City he was picked up by Tamworth, going on to become their joint leading scorer last season...

Said the forward, 'I know I was at Swindon, but I didn’t really get the chance there to show what I had with the first team, but being at Oxford (City) and Tamworth, I have just been working towards getting a move back into full-time football. And when a club like Wrexham are interested in you, you don’t really have to look elsewhere or speak to anyone else...

I was due to sign with a Conference North club. No disrespect to them it was a good deal, and it would have been a good opportunity to look for promotion to the Conference, but I spoke to Gary and he said to try and hold fire, and that he was very interested in me... We sorted things out for me to come over here'...

Javan Vidal became Mills’ second signing since taking over in the hot seat earlier in the summer, the full-back being a close friend and former team-mate of Jackson’s, while he also consulted current Tamworth boss and former Dragons player and manager Andy Morrell.

Jackson added... 'After I spoke to Gary Mills I rang Jav and he said he was overwhelmed when he first signed for Wrexham, with the messages from the fans and everything was just great... No club in the Conference or even a lot in League Two can offer what Wrexham have got there in terms of facilities and fan base and just the whole set up really'...

'As soon as I turned up at the training ground and saw the pitches there and the facilities I was wowed', said Jackson. 'And especially when I turned up at the Racecourse, even more so'".

According to the BBC "Newport County have signed right-back Danny Holmes from relegated Tranmere Rovers. Holmes is new manager Terry Butcher's fifth signing ahead of the 2015-16 League Two season and said on Twitter he is 'excited' by the move".


The EvoStik League reports that "Northern Premier League's clubs and fans haven't got long left to find out who their opponents will be in next season's FA Cup and FA Trophy competitions. The Football Association's competitions department announced on Wednesday that the draws for the early rounds of the competitions as well as details of exemptions and a list of accepted clubs should be published on by 1pm on Friday 3 July...

First Division North and South clubs will be the first to fly the flag for the EVO-STIK NPL when they kick off in the FA Cup's preliminary round on Saturday 29 August. Top flight clubs enter the competition two weeks later in the FA Cup's first qualifying round on Saturday 12 September with rounds following every two weeks up to and including the first round proper on Saturday 7 November. The second round takes place on Saturday 5 December and the third round on Saturday 9 January...

The EVO-STIK NPL's FA Trophy campaign also begins in the preliminary round with First Division North and South clubs kicking off on Saturday 3 October".

The ever informative Bulls' News reports that "Carlisle have been revealed as charging £500 to appear in pre-season games at non-league sides. Matt Hessey, manager of Penrith, says his side are happy to pay the fee as they expect to make £3,000 from the match. It is reported to be the first time the Cumbrians are to have made the demand."


According to NL Daily "What does a football club do with £300,000? That’s the dilemma facing Bishop Auckland, who have been left with that amount by a long time supporter.

Colin Rowell, who died earlier this year at the age of 79, left the money to the club in his Will with the only stipulation being that the money, which will probably come Bishops’ way when all the legal formalities have been sorted, should be spent on their recently-built ground, Heritage Park.

Chairman Richard Tremewan said, 'We discovered what Colin had done about two or three months ago, when we received the call from the solicitor. We were astonished and very grateful. Colin was a supporter for over 70 years, he was a regular at our old Kingsway ground in the Amateur Cup days, and then he watched the club when we moved away from Kingsway to Shildon and then West Auckland. It’s a magnificent gesture, it’s like having eight FA Cup runs to the first round proper. We will commemorate Colin in some suitable way'.

There are... suggestions that they should maybe put down a 4G pitch, build concrete terracing down one side of the ground, cover the remaining two sides of the ground, or generally build the ground up to Conference North standard.

'We’re undecided on how we’re going to spend the money. In the short term, it will be spent on ongoing maintenance of the ground, but we also have to think about the long term future of the club. The money will be spent wisely on the ground as Colin wanted. We already have a fantastic facility, one of the best in the north east, this will make it even better'".”

Closer to home, a Stockport councillor has tweeted that "Stockport Council have today agreed to make an unconditional offer to buy Edgeley Park football ground, subject to due diligence."

24 June 2015


Brian Flynn, joint Media and Press Officer has kindly provided images of Altrincham's new signings, Tim Deasy, Michael Rankine,Josh O'Keefe, taken before Tuesday's first pre-season training session. Brian also interviewed Lee before the start of the session and this can be heard here.

Above, left to right: Tim Deasy, Josh O'Keefe, Michael Rankine.


"Altrincham FC are pleased to announce that Neil Faulkner, a long standing supporter and sponsor of the club, has joined the Board of Directors. Neil will be responsible for overseeing ground maintenance and will serve as an observer on the Community Sports Company Board".


The National League reports that "League newcomers Cheltenham Town's performance analyst Craig Cope has left the club to take up a similar role at Notts County. A Masters' student in sports performance analysis at the University of Chichester, 22-year-old Cope has contributed a huge amount of work during his time as part of the backroom staff at Whaddon Road over the past two seasons.

His duties included filming matches and training sessions, allowing the manager to show key moments during pre-match meetings and half-time discussions, compiling information on forthcoming opponents and preparing motivational videos to be played before games.

'I have really enjoyed my two seasons working with all at the club', Cope said. 'I am devastated it ended the way it did, but I love the club and hope they can bounce back straight away'".

On the field "Right-back Jack Barthram has agreed a deal to join Cheltenham Town for the 2015/16 campaign. The 21-year-old Londoner started his career at Tottenham Hotspur, where he played with midfielder Jack Munns, who has also joined the Robins this summer.

Barthram joined Swindon in the summer of 2013 and has since made sixteen League One appearances for the Wiltshire club... Cheltenham manager Gary Johnson said Barthram was an extremely exciting talent, who will be comfortable at either a full-back or wing-back role.

'This signing is a real coup for the club because there is no doubt in my mind that Jack is potentially a Championship standard player',Johnson said. 'He is quick, with great energy and also end product. The grounding he has had at Tottenham and Swindon is only going to benefit us and I've managed to convince him he's coming to a Football League club, even though we are in the National League this season. He did have other offers and he's had experience in League One because he has real quality. He's one that will excite the fans and a positive character too.

I also got Munnsy to have a word with him because they know each other from Spurs and I am very happy to be able to bring him here'. Barthram becomes Cheltenham's sixth new signing of the close season, following Munns, Aaron Downes, Kyle Storer, Harry Pell and Amari Morgan-Smith."

Tamworth confirm that "The Lambs have swooped to further strengthen our squad with the capture of Elliott Durrell. The 25 year-old made his name at Hednesford Town, where he was a regular on the scoresheet before landing a move to Wrexham at the turn of 2014. He was released by the Welsh outfit at the end of last term and had no hesitation in linking up once more with former boss, Andy Morrell, who took him to The Racecourse Ground.

'I’m really pleased to have signed for Tamworth', he said. 'As soon as I knew the club were interested in me, I was keen to come here and link up with Andy Morrell again. “I can really relate to him and the chance to work together again was very appealing. This is a big club in the wrong League and my aim is to help them get back to where they belong. There are some strong teams in the League, but I am up for the challenge. I’ve scored goals at this level before and with the squad that is being assembled here, I hope that I can do it again'".

Elsewhere, "Woking have announced that Jake Caprice and Chris Arthur have both signed for the 2015/16 season. Caprice, 22, is a right-back who made thirty-seven appearances last season for league rivals Lincoln City. Caprice signed for the Imps during last pre-season, and is a former Crystal Palace youngster who spent a couple of years on Blackpool's books.

Although he failed to make the breakthrough into Blackpool's first-team, he gained experience in the Football League during a loan spell with Dagenham & Redbridge in the 2012/13 campaign and in the Scottish Premier with St Mirren in August 2013. He also had a spell on loan at Tamworth towards the end of the 2013/14 season, making a dozen appearances for the Lambs.

Arthur re-signs for the Cards, having signed permanently last January following a loan spell from AFC Wimbledon".

Closer to home, "Macclesfield Town have announced the signing of striker Jack Sampson from Morecambe... A former England under-19 international, Sampson spent the last few weeks of the 2014/15 campaign at the Moss Rose, where he made four league appearances and scored 2 goals. The 22-year-old began his career inside the youth development at Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers before loan spells at Southend United an Accrington Stanley. "

From the BBC we learn that "Halifax Town have signed centre-half Matty Brown following his release by rivals Chester in May. The 25-year-old signed for Chester last July following an initial four-month loan spell from Chesterfield. He was named captain and made 28 appearances for the Blues last season, but was not offered a new deal due to concerns about an ankle injury.

Former Manchester City trainee Brown has also had spells with Southport, Northwich Victoria and Marine FC".

Down in Hampshire, Aldershot Town report that "Tristan Plummer has informed Aldershot Town that he will not be returning to the Club next season, despite having agreed terms on a new contract. The 25 year-old, who made 27 appearances for The Shots, has now decided to find a new club closer to his family home".

23 June 2015


Altrincham FC Patrons' Club

Altrincham FC is again running its Patrons' Club. Chairman Grahame Rowley writes:

"It doesn’t seem a few weeks since I wrote this letter last season, but what a first season we have had in the Vanarama Conference. We’re now asking for people to join the 2015-16 Patrons' Scheme.

For the bargain sum of £50, your name will appear throughout the season 2015-16 in the matchday programme for every home game and on the club’s official website as a Patron of the Football Club.

In August, every Patron will be entered into a prize draw with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with 9 guests. Second prize will be hospitality for 5 people and third prize hospitality for 3 people in the Sponsor Lounge; the value of the 1st prize is £550.

If you are interested in becoming a Patron again this season or joining for the first time please forward a cheque payable to “Altrincham FC” for £50 for the attention of Grahame Rowley.

If you require further information, please speak to me on 07720-606897 or e-mail me.

We need your support even more for the forthcoming season, as we look to 'push on' in the Conference National, so please help the club through the close season by joining up today.

Thank you.

Grahame Rowley, Chairman".


NL Pitchero reports that "Kidderminster Harriers have strengthened their defensive options with the acquisition of former Luton Town man Lathaniel Rowe-Turner on a deal for the new season. The former Leicester City trainee is still just 25 years old but has extensive experience at the heart of the back line having amassed more than 150 appearances in League Two and the National League with the likes of the Hatters and Torquay United.

His spell at Kenilworth Road was arguably his most prominent, the 6'1" man departing in 2014 after a two-season stint. Since then, Rowe-Turner, who is comfortable at centre-half or left-back, has played his football at Alfreton Town but secures a move back to full-time football with his switch to Aggborough".

The NW Evening Mail reports that "Former Lincoln City midfielder Mamadou Fofana is set to join Barrow AFC on a one-year contract. Fofana has agreed terms, with regards to the proposed contract, and the Frenchman should officially join the Bluebirds after arriving back from a trip to his homeland.

Fofana joined Conference North outfit Oxford City in November 2014 and faced Barrow last term, while he previously scored once in 49 appearances for National League side Lincoln City. He has also played for French clubs CS Sedan, Olympique Noisy-le-Sec, La Vitreenne, plus Swedish side Syrianska.

Meanwhile, Barrow boss Darren Edmondson has tabled contract offers to two centre-backs, although it is understood that only one of the defenders will be brought in, and terms have also been offered to an attack-minded player.

Former Hartlepool manager and ex-Oldham coach Paul Murray is in line to join Edmondson’s backroom staff as a first-team coach. Edmondson and the 38-year-old are former Carlisle team-mates and Murray could be at training when AFC report back for pre-season later this week.

Cumbria-born Murray will join [ex-Alty man] Alex Meechan in the coaching set-up."

At Tranmere Rovers, "Defender Matt Hill has agreed a six-month contract with Tranmere Rovers. Hill, 34, joined Rovers last summer, initially on a non-contract basis before signing until the end of the season.

He missed much of the campaign with an Achilles injury but, typical of his positive attitude to the game, recovered ahead of schedule to be involved in the final four matches of the season. The left back has previously played for clubs including Bristol City, Preston North End and Sheffield United.

Manager Gary Brabin said, 'I’m pleased Matt has decided to stay and help drive the Club forward'".

From Aldershot Town we learn that "Midfielder Damon Lathrope has signed a new one-year contract with Aldershot Town. The 25 year-old is the tenth player to commit to Barry Smith’s new squad, after making 24 appearances in 2014-15 during a season beset by injury problems."


For those interested in competitive pre-season games, the BBC reports that "The New Saints (TNS) will play B36 Torshavn of the Faroe Islands in the Champions League first qualifying round. TNS are away on 30 June or 1 July, with the second leg played on 7 or 8 July.

In the Europa League first qualifying round draw, Airbus UK Broughton take on Lokomotiva Zagreb of Croatia, Newtown face Valletta of Malta and Bala play Luxembourg's FC Differdange. The two legs will be played on 2 and 9 July.

If the Welsh trio get through to the second qualifying round, Newtown will face FC Copenhagen of Denmark, Bala will play Turkish side Trabzonspor and Airbus will be up against PAOK FC of Greece.

TNS, who won the Welsh domestic treble in 2014-15, will have to progress through three qualifying rounds and a play-off, if they are to reach the group stages of the Champions League for the first time. If the Saints get past the Faroese side they will take on Hungarian side Videoton FC in the second qualifying round".

22 June 2015


The NL Paper reports that former Alty captain "Mark Maddox has clocked up 100 miles, including three marathons, and jumped out of a plane since he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Now he's Miming for MND and he's already roped in former Altrincham defender Gary Scott.

Mad Dog was diagnosed with MND in 2010 and, he says himself, he should probably be dead by now. The incurable muscle-wasting disease kills 50% of people diagnosed within two years. It's robbed him of his voice but he's found a way of indulging his passion for music while raising funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

'A lot of people living with MND are getting involved now, which is why I am doing it really', Maddox said. 'I can't really talk now... and I thought, even though I can't sing anymore, maybe I can mime. It fits in with what living with MND is like'....

The offer is open to all to put on their favourite song and mime along with it. Check on Mark's initiative here.


Former Altrincham FC Youth and Reserves player, Alex Frost, selects his "dream team" in the NL Paper. He includes Gianluca Havern, "The best-looking lad in non-League. Luca is a cultured centre-half and loves a tackle". Alex also includes Ben Deegan. "'Trigger' is by far the thickest lad I've ever played with. Everything he comes out with is pure comedy gold. Get a camera crew following him and it'd be a hit documentary. But I love him to bits really and he's so underrated as a target man".

A third ex-Alty man in his team is Aaron Burns, of whom he says, "You won't see him for 90 minutes then he'll pop up. The ball bounces off him like a trampoline, but anything in and around the box, he'll put it in"


NL Pitchero says that "David Wright, the new manager of Maldon & Tiptree, has confirmed another addition to his growing squad. Versatile midfielder/defender Matt Lock has joined the club. Lock has joined the club from Dover Athletic where he played twenty-five games".
21 June 2015



According to the BBC, "woking have signed defender Ismail Yakubu after he was released by Newport County. The 30-year-old spent four seasons with the Welsh side, making 120 league appearances...

He started his career with Barnet and also spent a season with AFC Wimbledon, helping both teams get promoted to the Football League".

Accrington Stanley report that "Sean McConville has returned to Accrington Stanley, joining the club from Chester. The midfielder, who was part of the team that made the play-offs in 2011, arrives for an undisclosed fee. The 26-year-old has penned an initial 12 month deal at the Store First Stadium."

In the Halifax Courier, we learn that "Neil Aspin is confident his new-look squad will be in place by the time FC Halifax Town return to pre-season training next weekend.

Halifax have confirmed the signings of Dan Maguire, Elliott Whitehouse, Sam Walker and Josh Macdonald so far, but the Town boss says there are more new faces to come and expects to be working with a squad of 18 or 19 players.

'The players we’ve announced so far are younger players with a point to prove,' he said. 'But I’m well aware that we need some more experienced players as well. Hopefully, the next players we announce will be tried and tested players with a presence in the dressing room, which I feel is what we need.

There are players we’ve signed that we can’t announce at the moment but what I can say is that for every player that leaves there will be a replacement'.

But we needed to make changes and hopefully the supporters will get enthused by seeing some new faces'...

The Town chief also empathised with Matt Pearson’s decision to join League Two side Accrington Stanley. 'Matty had a chance to go back to the Football League, but I spoke to him and said I would like to keep him,' Aspin said. 'But he’d made his mind up that he wanted to go back into the League and it’s difficult to stand in someone’s way when they want full-time football. The lure of full-time football will always be a problem when you’re a part-time club'...

But Aspin is remaining tight-lipped about who else has left the club. 'I don’t want to minimise the chances of players getting fixed-up elsewhere by saying they’ve been released, which would weaken their bargaining position. I always try and help any player in this situation by trying to get them a move to another club if I can'". tells us that "A vision sold to the people of Wrexham, including fans of Wrexham FC and described by one member of the Council’s Planning Committee as a ‘gamble’, appears to have ended with a section up for sale... The former Dickens Garage site and most recently Nightingale House Hospice shop, has been placed up for sale...

The listing with Mason Owen and Bolton Birch features the ‘very prominent location’ and closeness to Wrexham Football Club as highlighted attractions to the plot... The planned ‘Wrexham Village’ development was due in three stages, as indicated in a planning document above dating back to 2009 with the section for sale believed to be ‘Phase 2′. The overall vision was presented along with the top picture of several student blocks and a brand new stand for Wrexham Football Club, who were also due to be benefiting financially from any development.

The planning decision was passed at a Wrexham Council Planning meeting in April 2009, a meeting that then manager Dean Saunders bizarrely also attended... Writing in 2009 Lawrence Isted, then ‘Chief Planning Officer’ said, 'The Council has approved planning applications for the redevelopment of land to the south of the ground with the express intention of helping secure its continued operation and the construction of a replacement stand.'

The plans were sold to fans and politicians alike using the below leaflet issued at a football match, with one club representative accusing the Wrexham Supporters Trust of attempting to ‘derail’ the development plans... The representative, Paul Retout, has recently made headlines after offering ‘tax seminars’ to fellow inmates while staying at Her Majesty’s Pleasure after being convicted of fraud.

Since then Wrexham FC has changed hands with former owners ‘businessmen’ Geoff Moss from Farndon and Ian Roberts from Ruthin based ‘Roberts Homes’ selling the carpark of the club to a company they themselves owned to develop student flats on (Phase 1 area above), sold the Racecourse ground itself to Glyndwr University and sold the club to fans'-owned group Wrexham Supporters Trust for £1...

The club itself which was sold for a pound was at the time in a £442,000 black hole at the time of purchase. Information released after the purchase of the club by the Wrexham Supporters Trust revealed a £100,000 cash injection from the WST to keep the company going during the drawn out purchase saga. Another part of the debt left included a £24k VAT bill that was unpaid, and a £129,986 loan due to Roberts Homes – former owner Ian Roberts’ company...

The club is now prudently run off the pitch... The University still own the ground, for now, and have spent money improving it"

Gateshead say that they "have moved to appoint former Sunderland midfielder Gary Owers as assistant to manager Malcolm Crosby. Owers, 46, will leave his position as Head of Recruitment at Sat the end of the month to link up with the Tynesiders.

Born in Gateshead, Owers spent eight years at Roker Park between 1986 and 1994... After leaving Wearside, Owers clocked up over 100 appearances at both Bristol City and Notts County, before briefer spells with Forest Green Rovers and Bath City.

He moved into management with the latter in 2003, spending two years with the Romans before returning to the Lawn for the 2005-06 campaign, guiding Rovers to a 19th-place finish in the Conference Premier in his sole season in charge.

Owers took up his position at Motherwell in March, following spells as assistant boss at Aldershot Town and Plymouth Argyle...

Crosby said, 'I wanted to bring somebody in who I know I can trust. Gary is a very experienced coach, who I have known for a long time'".


The Manchester Evening News reports that "Town hall chiefs could step in to buy the historic home of cash-strapped Stockport County to save it from being potentially knocked down - almost three years after they refused a similar deal. Stockport council has been approached about buying the Edgeley Park ground, the M.E.N. can reveal.

The move comes after a third party reportedly put in a bid to owners Cheshire Sports to buy the stadium... and potentially demolish it. In 2012, the football club approached the council to buy the ground, then valued at around £1.5m.

One reported option is for the town hall to borrow the cash, buy the ground and lease it back to the club at an advantageous rate... It is understood the council has been asked to buy the stadium at the same price offered by the third party. It is thought the asking price is around £2m.

The ground is currently leased to the club by Cheshire Sports, owned by Sale Sharks majority owner, Brian Kennedy. But it is understood County cannot afford the rent.

A senior source said, 'Somebody has offered a price, which is a firm offer. Because the other party want to demolish the stadium, the group leaders are minded to do it', Another senior source told the M.E.N. 'The council would be stepping in because it would like to give some stability to the club. The council would be buying an asset, not investing in a football club'.

County, said to be in ‘last chance saloon and looking for a way out’, has had financial difficulties for several years and has already been thrown several financial lifelines by the council. But one council source said the current ‘offer’ would be a difficult one for the hard-up town hall.

An extraordinary council executive meeting has been called on Wednesday, but members of the press and public will not be allowed to attend due to the ‘commercial sensitivity’ of the deal. Last year, the M.E.N. reported that County were thought to be paying Cheshire Sports around £15,000 a month in rent, before negotiating that down to £80,000 a year, and that books showed a shortfall of £200,000.

The club has received a number of bail-outs and sponsorship deals from the council after going into administration in 2009 - including an £180,000 loan in 2012. In 2010, the council paid £80,000 to have its logo branded on shirts, matchday advertising and programmes in a bid to keep the club from going under.

The ground is listed as an Asset of Community Value, meaning that any sale by Cheshire Sports would have to be up on hold for six months to give the club supporters ’co-operative group the chance of raising the cash for a bid of its own".

20 June 2015


Our neighbours and pre-season opponents, Trafford report that "new manager, Tom Baker, has started his player recruitment for the forthcoming season in the Evo-Stik First Division North with the arrival of Ashton United pair striker [and ex-Alty youth] Ben Deegan and defender Mark Halsam. Also on the move to Shawe View will be centre back Danny Lafferty & midfielder Danny Lambert both from Radcliffe Borough. In addition to these players there will be centre midfielder pair Scott Sephton from North West Counties League side Congleton Town and Matty Kay from FC United & ex-Curzon Ashton."


The BBC reports that "Guiseley have signed former Accrington Stanley midfielder Will Hatfield. The 23-year-old ended last season on loan with the Lions' National League Yorkshire rivals FC Halifax. The former Leeds trainee made 11 league appearances for the Shaymen after joining in January following a loan spell.

Boss Mark Bower told the club website, 'He's young, hungry, has great quality and can play in a variety of positions'".

Elsewhere, "Aldershot Town have signed striker Charlie Walker following his release by Luton Town. The 25-year-old featured six times after joining Luton last summer and finished the season on loan with Boreham Wood... Walker has previously played for Sussex non-league sides Shoreham, Lancing, Whitehawk and Peacehaven & Telscombe. 'This is a massive club and it's the best club for me to be at. I'd be silly not to want to come here', he said".

At Kidderminster Harriers, "Boss Gary Whild says it is vital the board continues to be honest with supporters over the running of the Aggborough club. Harriers finished 16th in the Conference last term, their worst since 1998, amid serious financial issues that meant players were not fully paid.

Despite seeing his budget halved for the new season, Whild remains upbeat. 'There's an honesty and transparency there, as well as trust, and that's massive moving forward', he said... A restructuring of the board in April saw Ken Rae resign as chairman with Rod Brown replacing him.

'If you look around the place, there's an air of positivity, albeit with the financial restraints; it's a lot better in terms of coming into work', Whild told BBC Hereford and Worcester. 'The transparency is always an important thing for supporters and the new regime understand that and there's a lot of positivity. We've got to get our heads around the fact that last season has gone. We're trying to move forward'".

And "Yeovil have signed Tranmere midfielder Marc Laird and Northampton defender Ben Tozer on one-year deals. Laird, 29, spent last season with the Prenton Park side, making 34 league appearances as they suffered relegation from League Two".

From Wales, Bala Town, "have made their third summer signing after completing a deal for ex-Wrexham defender Anthony Stephens. Joining the Lakesiders after his release from Wrexham in May, Town have moved quickly to secure the highly rated leftback".

Southport manager, "Paul Carden has announced with great enthusiasm Gary Finley as the Port's new assistant manager. Finley will now join Carden's backroom staff as pre-season training commences next week.

Carden said, 'Gary brings a wealth of experience and I am delighted he has decided to be my assistant. I have known Gary for a long time. He has played and managed at non-league level while as a coach he has developed young players at all levels and most recently coached Blackburn Rovers Under 21s. Our players will really benefit from Gary's input and they will enjoy Gary's presence. Gary will be part of what I believe will be an exciting season'.

Gary is familiar with the Merseyrail Community Stadium having been assistant to Paul Cook in 2006. He has also managed Witton Albion, Colwyn Bay, Lancaster City and Aberystwyth Town."

A player leaving the National League is subject of a report from the Football Conference which says that "Crawley Town have confirmed the signing of central defender Joe McNerney on a two-year contract. McNerney joins from Woking, for whom he made more than 250 appearances. Last season he got his first call-up to the England C team for games against Turkey and Estonia".

On the Wirral side of the Mersey, the National League tells us that "Four products of Tranmere Rovers’ youth system have all signed their first professional contracts with the Vanarama National League new boys. Luke Pilling, Mitch Duggan, Ben Jago and Evan Gumbs have all put pen to paper on one-year deals at Prenton Park. All four were offered professional terms at the end of the season after impressing for the reserves and under-18s over the past two seasons.

Manager Gary Brabin said, 'I’ve heard good things about the four young lads and I’m pleased they’ve all signed up for next season... They’ve got to make the step up to the first team squad where there’s more pressure for results and more people watching matches. Three of them have already made their first team debuts so they’ve had a little insight into what they can expect'".

Barrow report that they "have signed Oldham midfielder, David Mellor following his release by the League One club. The 21 year old had been at Boundary Park since 2010 having started his career in Manchester United’s academy. He also had loan spells in the Conference with Alfreton and Halifax. He joins Barrow on a two- year deal. Meanwhile winger Dan Pilkington has also signed a new one year deal at Holker Street."


For those interested in pre-season action, S4C tells us that "Bala, Airbus and Newtown will partake on a European adventure in the Europa League first round qualifying round...

On Monday the 22 of June, the first round draw will take place, with 102 teams entering at the inaugural stage of the competition. The seeded sides will face the non-seeded teams... The Welsh Premier League representatives are Bala Town, Airbus UK Broughton and Newtown AFC. The first round of the Europa League qualifiers will be played over two legs, with the first tie played on the 2nd of July and the second tie on the 9th of July".

19 June 2015


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Altincham FC manager Lee Sinnott is delighted with their early season business and expects more new faces before their 2015-16 season gets underway.

Sinnott will be able to cast his eye over his squad when they meet up for the first time next Tuesday night... He said, 'Tim Deasy has come in to add competition with Shaun Densmore [i.e. Stuart Coburn] in the number one jersey and Josh O'Keefe is a central midfielder while Michael Rankine is a striker... I am very pleased with what we have got so far and we did the same thing last season, bringing [in] a few early ones but everybody has a budget to spend and we have to keep our gunpowder dry until the last few weeks leading up to the season'.

'Before the end of the season, I thought the players were tired. For the past couple of years our season has been longer with being involved with the play-offs and things so I thought it was important to let them recuperate and recharge their batteries'"


The National League tells us that "The National League reluctantly announces it has received notification from Dennis Strudwick of his plan to retire 'in the coming months'.

No fixed date has been set for his departure; it is more important to have a correct strategy in place before beginning the search for a replacement, enabling a professional handover when the time comes.

After more than 50 years' involvement in the game as a player and an administrator, Dennis was one of 150 servants in football to be selected by the Football Association to receive a Grass Roots Hero medal in 2013, presented by Prince William.

Dennis’s last 8 years have been spent as the General Manager of the Football Conference but he is now planning for the referee’s final whistle to blow, signalling the end of his working career.

Chairman Brian Barwick stated 'Dennis has been the central cog in all that has happened in the Competition since he joined in 2007. He has spent a lifetime in the game and was further honoured by the Football Association at our recent AGM. We are grateful that Dennis has agreed to oversee the start of the new season before he retires to a ‘seat in the stands'”.


NL Pitchero reports that "Gary Mills, manager of Wrexham, has announced his latest signing.

Winger Adam Smith, who has spent the last two seasons playing with FC Halifax Town, has moved to the Racecourse Ground. Ironically, Smith played for Wrexham as a trialist back in the summer of 2008, but he was not offered a contract by Brian Little following his release from Chesterfield, and moved on to sign for Gainsborough Trinity.

Smith had been with the Spireites from 2001, sitting on the bench as a 16-year-old, before making his senior debut in 2002 and eventually playing over sixty times. Following the departure of Little and his assistant Martin Foyle from the Racecourse early in the 2008/09 season, Smith was quickly signed up by Foyle, then the newly-installed manager at York City.

From Bootham Crescent he switched to Mansfield Town in the summer of 2010, having turned down the offer of a new deal with the Minstermen, and stayed two seasons with the Stags.

A couple of loan spells with Aldershot Town led to Lincoln City signing him in 2012, but twelve months and thirty matches later, he was on the move again and joined then newly-promoted FC Halifax.

Smith has been a regular with the Shaymen for two years, playing over eighty times and helping them to the play-off semi-finals in 2014. The 30-year-old is certainly an experienced player, with approaching 350 games to his credit."

Another departure from The Shay comes as "Bradford Park Avenue have made yet another signing with the announcement that Danny Schofield will join the club as a player-coach. Signing from FC Halifax Town, the 35-year-old will predominantly be a member of the playing squad, but manager Martin Drury hopes to use his experience on the coaching side as well.

The midfielder, who can play centrally or on either flank, is best known for his time at Huddersfield Town, where he spent ten years between 1998 and 2008...

In 2011, he joined Rotherham on a free transfer, spending three years at the South Yorkshire club. During that spell he spent time on loan at Accrington and Stockport County, before his move to Halifax last summer. He made thirty-four appearances for the Shaymen last term, scoring one goal".

Newly promoted "Guiseley AFC have announced that Steven Drench, Wayne Brooksby and Oli Johnson have all signed fresh terms ahead of the new season...

Goalkeeper Drench has been with the club since the club's debut season in the Conference North, while Brooksby arrived a season later with both playing major roles in the Lions' successes over recent seasons.

'Steven, Wayne and OJ have been important players in our squad over recent seasons and I'm thrilled that all three want to be part of our first season in the Vanarama National League', Bower explained. 'Drenchy's quality in goal has been there for all to see in recent years while Wayne will only get better with the step-up next season. OJ has experience at higher levels and we know he has the quality to help us compete and deal with the higher standard of opposition we'll come up against'".

18 June 2015


TASC's Geoff Morris advises that "The June winners of the Friends of Alty draw are:
  • *83 Peter Wragg £100
  • *52 Stephen Murray £50
  • *26 PB Smith £35
  • *103 Val Shaw £15


Torquay United "have appointed Paul Cox as the new manager after placing his predecessor Chris Hargreaves on gardening leave. He arrives at the Launa Windows Stadium following great success as manager of Eastwood Town and then Mansfield Town, earning the Stags a return to the Football League two seasons ago.

As a player, Cox was a tough defender with the likes of Notts County, Halifax Town and Kettering Town, moving into management with Eastwood Town in the Northern Premier League. Successive promotions with Eastwood caught the attention of bosses at Mansfield and Cox became the new manager at Field Mill in May 2011. It took Cox just two seasons to win the Conference Premier title in a campaign that also saw the Stags reach the FA Cup Third Round, where they took on Liverpool.

His first full season as a manager in the Football League ended in a very respectable mid-table finish and it came as a big surprise when he left the club back in November. It is another bold and decisive move from the new consortium in charge of Torquay United and we would all like to wish Paul Cox every success in his career at the Launa Windows Stadium".

Nearer home, Macclesfield Town "are delighted to announce the signing of Lowestoft Town defender Curtis Haynes-Brown. The 26 year-old has agreed a deal to bring him to the Vanarama National League after a successful spell with Lowestoft.

Haynes-Brown originally began his career as a youngster with Colchester United. After a couple of years in the non-League scene he hit form with Lowestoft and his impressive displays earned him a move to League One with Yeovil. He would make 12 appearances for the Glovers before loan moves to the likes of AFC Wimbledon and Cambridge United. He then made a permanent move to Cambridge [United], before returning to Lowestoft. After a further two successful years with Lowestoft Haynes-Brown, who can play on the left side or in the centre of defence, will now look to test himself in the National League".

17 June 2015


Altrincham FC Youth team manager, George Heslop, informs us of the award winners at the presentation event at the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday, 23rd May.

  • Manager's Player of the Season, U18s (James Black Trophy): Shaun Arrowsmith
  • Manager's Player of the Season, U17s: Alex Robbins
  • Players' Player of the Season, U18s: 1st William Foster, 2nd Laurence Taylor, 3rd Jamie Burrows.
  • Players' Player of the Season, U17s: 1st Peter Iacovou, 2nd Daniel Havern, 3rd Ashley Knowles.
  • Clubman of the Season, U18s: James Clancy
  • Clubman of the Season, U17s: Fraser Hanlon
  • Golden Boot U18s: Reece Dwyer
  • Golden Boot U17s: Dominic O'Gara

George also reminds us that Altrincham FC Youth graduate, Duncan Watmore, won the "Revelation of the Tournament" award at the recent Toulon International Tournament, in which he represented England's under-20s.


Following their successful season, which culminated in promotion, Altrincham FC Ladies' presentation evening is to be held at 8.30pm on 10th July in the Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium at Moss Lane. Everyone is very welcome to attend.


The NL Paper confirms that "Grimsby Town have secured the signature of highly-rated Solihull Moors striker Omar Bogle. Bogle won the Vanarama Conference North player of the year award after topping the scoring charts with 29 goals for the Moors. He scored 68 times in 121 games for Marcus Bignot’s men.

The former Birmingham City and Celtic youngster has been linked with a move back into the full-time game since the season ended and he will be turning out for Paul Hurst’s Mariners. Bogle, who also won England C honours last term, has joined for an undisclosed fee and signed a three-year deal at Blundell Park.

'It’s taken a bit of time but I’m happy now and just want to get started', he said. 'Grimsby first came in for me around this time last summer but I had been injured the season before and didn’t think it was the right move for me. I had a good season for Solihull so now it’s the right time. I like to be known as a striker who does a bit of everything. I’ll hold the ball up, make the runs in behind and get in the box and score goals. Grimsby are a League club in size, stature and the fanbase. It’s all set to get back into the Football League and I like what the gaffer and chairman have said.

It’s a relief to be getting back into full-time football. I’ve got the opportunity and facilities to push myself to levels I couldn’t achieve at part-time'".

The cuts continue at Plainmoor as Torquay United report that "It was with great sadness that Torquay United have been forced into closing down our youth department and the Academy structure. The painful and stark reality facing the new consortium that has taken over the football club was a financial decision between retaining a youth system and securing the future existence of Torquay United.

We would like to put on record that we did not create this situation. For months now, the precarious nature of the football club has been obvious and, in truth, this should have been resolved a long time ago. The comments made by former vice-chairman Bill Phillips in suggesting the youth department would be retained were both premature and misleading to the young footballers in our structure.

We are extremely sorry for all the young boys who have been in the system and the dedication shown by these talented youngsters, and their families, has been outstanding at all times. There will be a meeting held at the Launa Windows Stadium on Wednesday, June 17 at 7pm, where our new Director of Football, Dean Edwards, will explain the decision. This will also be our opportunity to distribute the USB files for each Academy player.

Now this decision has been reached, we can confirm that all the Academy and youth-team players are free agents. Despite our disappointment at being placed in this position, we are in no way abandoning the culture of trying to develop young players and the future plan involves working closely with local clubs to help nurture talent.

We are already in discussion with Paul Devlin and his team of coaches in Football in the Community to see how we can play a role in expanding their operation to develop elite pathways for the best young players in our region. We will also seek to enhance the scouting network available to Torquay United, with the aim of identifying talented teenagers who we believe can make the step up to training with our first-team squad'".

From the BBC we learn that "Gateshead midfielder John Oster is set to retire from football after turning down a new one-year deal. The 36-year-old, capped 13 times by Wales, has been with the National League club for the past two seasons...

Oster made over 500 professional appearances during his career for clubs including Everton and Sunderland".

A player departure is the subject of a report from Cheltenham Town who say that "Goalkeeper Trevor Carson has completed his move from Cheltenham Town to Hartlepool United. Carson spent one season with the Robins, winning the club's supporters' player of the year award for a series of superb performances between the posts.

Ever present throughout the campaign, he established himself as a popular character on and off the pitch... Northern Irishman Carson, 27, joined Cheltenham from Bury last summer, having spent most of the 2013/14 campaign on loan at Portsmouth. He had another year to run on his contract at Whaddon Road, but a deal has been struck with 'Pools for the former Sunderland goalkeeper to return to the North East. Carson was on the bench for Northern Ireland's 0-0 draw with Romania on Saturday."

16 June 2015


  • Standing: Adults £250 Concessions £145
  • Seating: Adults £290 Concessions £155
  • 12-16 year olds: £60
  • Under 12s: £30

Don't forget, a £10 discount applies to adult (not junior) season tickets purchased before 30 June 2015.


The Football Conference now announces that "The respective divisional fixture lists for the Vanarama National League will be published no later than Friday 3rd July".

Bulls' News tells us that "Jennison Myrie-Williams has been released by Scunthorpe by mutual consent. The 27 year-old ended the season on loan at Tranmere and was midway through a two year deal."

According to the BBC, "England C international goalkeeper Andy Coughlin has signed for Southport after turning down the offer of a new deal with National League rivals Wrexham. Coughlin, 22, made 66 appearances for Wrexham and played in the FA Trophy final defeat by North Ferriby in March. 'Andy will give us stability in goal, something we did not have last season', boss Paul Carden told the club website.

'He is an ambitious player. To get this key signing completed is massive to me', he added... The former Tranmere Rovers player was told by new Wrexham manager Gary Mills that the recently-signed Cameron Belford would be his number one choice".

At Torquay United, "The new Board have only been in the building for a few days but hard decisions have already been made, starting with the move to place manager Chris Hargreaves on gardening leave, along with his coaching staff of Lee Hodges and Kenny Veysey. Next on the agenda is to find a replacement and new chairman David Phillips revealed that the journey is already well under way.

He said, 'I am pretty confident that we will have a manager in place by the end of the week'. Director football Dean Edwards added, 'We had a discussion with Chris regarding the financial situation and the playing budget. We asked Chris to take a significant pay cut, and the same with Lee Hodges and Kenny Veysey. They were not comfortable with that and we had a discussion as a Board, and decided we want to go in a new direction. We have a plan in our mind and we know where we want to be. Chris, Kenny and Lee have left the club and are now on gardening leave. I’ve got the upmost respect for them and they are football people'".

the BBC reports that "Stevenage have completed the signing of striker Brett Williams from Aldershot. Williams is new manager Teddy Sheringham's second recruit, having rejected a new deal with the Shots, for whom he scored 15 goals last season. The 27-year-old netted a total of 43 goals in 99 appearances for Aldershot, having joined them from Reading on a free transfer in 2013".

Elsewhere, "Forest Green Rovers have signed former Newport County striker Aaron O'Connor on a one-year contract. The 31-year-old scored 11 goals in 42 appearances for the League Two club in 2014-15 but was released last month. 'This club is going in the right direction, with a good manager and a good chairman', O'Connor told BBC Radio Gloucestershire... The former Mansfield and Luton man had been with Newport County since 2012".

In Essex, "Braintree Town are set for a meeting that chairman Lee Harding feels could be 'pivotal to the future of the club'. Several of The Iron’s directors are due to meet senior members of Braintree District Council on Wednesday to be presented with a feasibility study looking at the proposals for a new football stadium. Plans have been in place for a number of years for the club’s relocation to a new home on land off Panfield Lane, with their present Cressing Road base being sold off as part of a major development of housing.

The scheme has been included in the council’s Local Plan for new homes. Braintree Town are also keen to relocate as they know their current stadium would make it tough for them to move into the Football League if they earn promotion from the Vanarama National League.

However, Harding said, as the club own their current stadium, they want to ensure any proposed relocation won’t land them with a debt that will hamper any forward progress in the future. He said, 'We are certain in our own minds of where we will go, which is the Panfield Lane site. However, we are then into the nitty gritty of how it is afforded. We as a club have always kept our feet on the floor and have a proven track record of finding the resources to be competitive.

The new stadium is important to us. Not because we have tens of thousands of people queuing up to come in but, if we are thinking of competing for a place in the Football League, we need those facilities. We need the infrastructure and the ways of generating income so we can compete and have the resources to bring in better players. The council know what needs to be done and I think Wednesday’s meeting is pivotal to the future of the club. What they show us has to be deliverable and affordable as well. We own Cressing Road and we want the new stadium to be affordable, where there is no rent and no mortgage as we have now.

We have to make sure it works for us. If it doesn’t then we’re not going anywhere and we’ll stay where we are... We have to make sure that we come out of it smelling of roses. When we move, we have to get it right because we are selling the family silver and the new silver needs to be just as shiny or ideally even better'".

On the field, the Basildon Recorder tells us that Canvey Island-based "Concord Rangers midfielder James White has admitted he came close to joining former manager Danny Cowley at Braintree Town, before agreeing a new deal with the Beach Boys. The 26-year-old enforcer was a strong presence in the centre... White has now agreed to stay on at the Aspect Arena, after a prospective move to Braintree collapsed".

NL Pitchero says that "Barrow AFC have announced the signings of former Wrexham left-back Neil Ashton and ex-Cheltenham Town and Barrow loanee Andy Haworth. Ashton, 30, was released from Wrexham at the end of the 2014/15 campaign after being at The Racecourse for the past five seasons... Ashton has signed until May 2017.

Haworth was the winner of the ‘goal of the season’ award for the Bluebirds last season for his fantastic strike against Stockport County, which proved pivotal for Barrow’s Conference North title. The pacey winger was on loan from Cheltenham last season, but having been released by the Bluebirds` new league rivals, has now penned a two-year deal at Holker Street".


According to NL Pitchero, "central midfielder and England Futsal international Stuart Cook, 29, [has] agreed terms to extend [his] stay" at Northwich Victoria.
15 June 2015


Altrincham FC Ladies' manager, Keith Edleston reports that "After a sucessful season that we have also been promoted to the North West Regional League". Also, "On a game front, we have an upcoming international friendly against a touring American university team. They are from Lees University, Cleveland, and we will be playing them at our home ground of Mersey Valley (Banky Lane, Sale, M33 5SL) on the 5th August, kick-off time is to be arranged".


Altrincham FC Chairman, Grahame Rowley confirms "the following appointments at the Football Club.
  • New Safety Officer - Tony Mossman. Tony is a Safety Health and Environment Advisor at Sodexo, apost held from May 2013 and based at AstraZeneca in Cheshire. He and his son Dan regularly attend games at the J Davidson stadium and we are lucky to have acquired a man with such experience for a very important role at the Football Club; welcome Tony!
  • We have also asked Louise Bowyer, with all her experience of the Football Club, to assist him in this new role on matchdays and especially those which Tony will be unable to attend due to work commitments.
  • Ian Cox and Keith Armstrong, vastly experienced stewards, have agreed to jointly take on the role of Chief Steward for the 2015-16 season.

    They are actively looking for new stewards to join the "team" so please contact them direct or via the club (928-1045)"


The Manchester Evening News reports that "A footballer who played for Manchester City in the 1950s [and, later, Altrincham, 1971-72] has passed away at his home in Italy. Dennis Fidler, 76, who was born in Reddish and later lived in Bramhall... also played for Manchester United as a youth player, alongside players including Bobby Charlton, and was involved in two successive FA Youth Cup final victories, against West Bromwich Albion in 1955 and Chesterfield in 1956...

After retiring from football, he became involved in his family’s fish business and was a well-known face at Fidlers fish shop in Bramhall. Dennis Fidler has died aged 76... in Italy on June 2 where he had lived with his wife Christine since emigrating in the 1990s... After leaving City, he went on to play for Port Vale, Grimsby Town, Halifax Town, Darlington and Macclesfield Town throughout his 17-year playing career. In 356 professional appearances with the various clubs, the left winger scored 88 goals.

During a short stint with Grimsby Town, who paid £2,000 for him in 1961, Dennis scored three goals in nine Third Division games. He was with the club when it was promoted in the 1961-62 season. At Macclesfield, he was made captain".

The NL Paper reports that former Altrincham FC youth player Arron Hevingham has been forced to retire at Mossley FC at the age of 27 as a result of an injury which has sidelined him for most of the past two years.


Vanarama's sponsorship of Conference football last season has been a great success for the company as the following press release and adjacent poster confirms.

"Van-leasing company has enjoyed record commercial results thanks to its sponsorship of the top tier of non-league English football, a partnership created by London-based sports marketing agency, SportQuake. Vanarama has successfully placed football at the core of its marketing strategy since becoming title sponsor of the National League, formerly known as the Football Conference, for the 2014-15 season.

Vanarama accelerated ahead of its competition with an 85% surge in enquiries resulting in a 56% growth in sales volume, versus average growth of the commercial vehicle sector of 11%. Thanks to record interest and attendances for non-league football, 25% of UK football fans surveyed by Repucom are aware of the Vanarama brand.

Across the National League’s three member divisions, regular season matches were attended by 1.6 million fans. The end of season showpiece, the Vanarama Big Day Out, drew 47,029 fans to Wembley, a larger attendance than the League Two Play-Off-Final.

The sponsorship has also boosted Vanarama’s online presence, key for a business which is largely e-commerce based, with a 105% increase in web traffic, 321% improvement in SEO ratings and a 1,995% rise in Twitter followers.

In its first season, Vanarama was shortlisted for a BT Sport Industry Award alongside prestigious company including BMW’s Ryder Cup and Stella Artois Wimbledon Championships. In January 2015, Vanarama announced a one-year extension to the sponsorship. Next season, Vanarama will also support the pioneering National-League TV (NLTV) Broadcasting Academy which will offer training and equipment to students in partnership with BT Sport. Live Vanarama National League match coverage and highlights will be available through the NLTV online portal.

Andy Alderson, Managing Director of Vanarama said, 'I believe that the increased brand awareness has led new customers to consider leasing for their next vehicle, accelerating Vanarama’s growth at the same time as boosting the leasing industry as a whole. This means we are ideally placed to grow further in the 2015-16 season. Our first season has demonstrated just how effective a major sponsorship can be in achieving brand recognition. As we move towards next season I look forward to raising the profile of non-league football while cementing that brand awareness still further in the minds of van driving football supporters!2

SportQuake Founder and CEO Matt House commented, “I loved the disruptive nature of what Vanarama were doing to re-invent van leasing but, having worked successfully building many emerging brands, felt strongly that a smart sports marketing campaign would get them 0-60 faster. Non-league football fans and van drivers go together like strawberries and cream. So the audience fit was there and we had huge amounts of data on how a Title Sponsorship Naming Rights campaign drives brand awareness and understanding and SEO. So I felt it was a winning partnership if I could get Vanarama to see it and, like all good entrepreneurs, Andy made a bold, calculated, budget-breaking decision and we are delighted to see it pay off so handsomely for him and his team. SportQuake specialises in creating and delivering world-leading two-way partnerships for rights-owners and brands at a global, regional and national level and The Vanarama National League is a textbook example of this.”

Brian Barwick, Chairman of The National League said, "I think Vanarama and The National League‎ are a great fit. I also applaud Vanarama for their ambitious move into sponsoring a sporting competition. I think they can now prove how effective it has been and will be going forward. They have worked very hard in terms of getting the message out there - and it has worked brilliantly for them."


Press statement: "The National League is pleased to announce, following the retirement of Bill King as President of the Football Conference, the Board of the National League [h]as invited Brian Lee to assume the position of President, which he has accepted.

Brian commented on the appointment 'It is a privilege and honour to receive the invitation and I relish my continuing association with such an outstanding Competition. Together with my wife, Shirley-Ann, we will look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones over the coming seasons. I wish Brian Barwick, the Board and the Member Clubs a successful transition into a new era, under the brand of The National League'".


Chronicle Live says that "Adam Bartlett is the surprise among 11 players let go by the Heed, who have offered new contracts to 12 of last season's squad

Gateshead have offered new contracts to 12 of last season’s squad - but released 11. The Tynesiders have proposed terms to Craig Baxter, James Curtis, Ben Clark, Matty Pattison, Phil Turnbull, Jamie Chandler, John Oster, Rob Ramshaw, Dean Briggs, Jon Shaw, Meechak Kanda and Josh Gillies.

So far, Shaw, Turnbull and Gillies, who was on loan from Carlisle United, from whom he has been released, are understood to have agreed to stay at the International Stadium.

But with Alex Rodman and Michael Rankine having already left the club for Newport County and Altrincham respectively, new manager Malcolm Crosby has also decided to allow 11 more, including Adam Bartlett, to exit the Heed. Bartlett is the biggest name and, thus, most surprising. He made 138 appearances over three seasons on the south bank of the Tyne.

He appeared to know nothing of the news, tweeting, 'Assuming from the tweets I’m getting I’ve been released. Was nice of the club to get in touch with me! Heard nothing!' He then added, 'Never mind, if that’s the case I’ve had a great three years and would like to wish the club luck for the future. Best wishes to Gateshead FC.' Bartlett was joined on the released list by fellow keeper Alex Baird, right-back Andrai Jones, left-back Ryan Wilson and centre-backs Tom Allan and Valentin Gjokaj.

JJ O’Donnell, who is recovering from a potentially-career saving operation on a serious foot problem, has also been deemed surplus to requirements, as have winger Kevin Sainte-Luce, striker Carl Finnigan and Matty Robson and Joel Dixon, who had been on loan from Carlisle and Sunderland respectively".

7 June 2015


Altrincham FC is holding a "Working Evening" at the J. Davidson Stadium on Tuesday (9 June) from 4pm. Supporters are invited to come along and help to spruce up the ground; jobs that need doing include weeding, cleaning and emulsioning. Please bring along a hoe, rake, spade or other suitable gardening implements if you possibly can. It would be helpful if you could let the club know (0161 928-1045 or by e-mail) in advance if you are coming so that planning of jobs can take place. Many thanks for your help.


Altrincham FC Patrons' Club

Altrincham FC is again running its Patrons' Club. Chairman Grahame Rowley writes:

"It doesn’t seem a few weeks since I wrote this letter last season, but what a first season we have had in the Vanarama Conference. We’re now asking for people to join the 2015-16 Patrons' Scheme.

For the bargain sum of £50, your name will appear throughout the season 2015-16 in the matchday programme for every home game and on the club’s official website as a Patron of the Football Club.

In August, every Patron will be entered into a prize draw with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with 9 guests. Second prize will be hospitality for 5 people and third prize hospitality for 3 people in the Sponsor Lounge; the value of the 1st prize is £550.

If you are interested in becoming a Patron again this season or joining for the first time please forward a cheque payable to “Altrincham FC” for £50 for the attention of Grahame Rowley.

If you require further information, please speak to me on 07720-606897 or e-mail me.

We need your support even more for the forthcoming season, as we look to 'push on' in the Conference National, so please help the club through the close season by joining up today.

Thank you.

Grahame Rowley, Chairman".


The next update of this web page will be on Sunday 14 June. In the interim you can follow Altrincham FC via Twitter and Facebook (click on icons in right-hand sidebar).


The BBC reports that "Torquay United will play in the National League next season after the consortium aiming to buy the club provided proof of the finance to ensure they can fulfil next season's fixtures. There were concerns the Gulls would not be admitted into the division without such assurances.

'This is a really positive step for Torquay United', consortium leader Dean Edwards told BBC Sport. It is expected that takeover will be completed next week. The league, formerly known as the Conference Premier, which has its annual meeting on Saturday will visit the club early in the new season to see how the business is performing against its planned budget. Meanwhile the group hoping to secure the deal comprises 10 local businessmen, who lodged a five-figure bond with the league.

The Gulls have been up for sale since January and there had been concerns for its future after millionaire chairwoman Thea Bristow stood down in March".

Aldershot Town report that they have signed Tom Richards on a one-year contract. The versatile defender and midfielder rejoins The Shots after impressing in a loan spell from Fulham between February and April 2015. The 20 year-old from Guildford had been a regular in The Whites’ Under 21 side last season, having joined the club in 2011, but has left Craven Cottage at the end of a three year professional deal.

Richards showed great pace and work-ethic in nine appearances for The Shots, in playing at left-back and on both left and right wings, having also played ten games on loan at AFC Wimbledon between February and May 2014.

'This is the best move for my career right now,' said Richards. 'Barry had a lot of good things to say when we met last week and I think this is my best opportunity to get game time. He’s good pals with my old coach at Fulham (Peter Grant). They’ve been talking about me, and he’s said good things about Barry. Some people have told me that I’m better than National League level but here is the best chance for me to play regular football. The most important thing for me this year is to play games. As nice as it was being at Fulham, I want to be playing first-team football.

I’m only 20 years old but I do have a bit of experience, and I can’t wait to get started. Even when I came here last season, I felt that we were much better than our league position suggested, so I definitely think that we should be challenging for the Play-Offs'.

'Tom knows the Club and has had a good upbringing at Fulham', said Barry Smith... 'He knows that he has to play week in, week out. That’s the challenge for these players, to make sure they are in that team, and I’m challenging them to make sure that they are in the team, because that’s the way I’ll get the best out of them. We’ve got guys that are hungry and enthusiastic about coming to Aldershot Town to play. That’s what I want. To have got these players on board, I think I’m further on (with building my squad) than I would have expected at this time of year... I also want to be adding more in the coming weeks'".

According to the Kidderminster Shuttle "Manager Gary Whild has said there will be a fresh start for strikers Craig Reid and Reece Styche. Despite speculation that the club may well be looking move on the pair, who are on comparatively high wages compared to the club's much reduced playing budget, Whild feels they could have a part to play during the 2015-16 season. They joined on two-year deals in the summer of 2014...

But both struggled to find their best form, with Reid scoring five goals and making just under 30 appearances. Styche had two loan spells at Conference North side Tamworth and scored only twice during 19 league appearances for Kidderminster.

'It’s well documented that Craig and Reece are higher earners but it’s a clean slate and a fresh start for the both of them here', said the Harriers' boss. 'Craig was a regular until the club’s problems arose last season and Reece has scored goals in the Conference before. With all the disruption we had, the season wasn’t easy for them but, if they can work hard, they could make a big difference for us'".

6 June 2015


Phil Taylor writes that "As you will probably be aware, Altrincham FC Ladies achieved a very creditable second place in the Cheshire Women's and Youth League. This encouraged the Ladies to apply for promotion to the North West Regional Women's League. With support from a number of sources including Altrincham Football Club, Mersey Valley Sports Club and the Cheshire Women's and Youth League, amongst others, a point has been reached where the final promotion place is to be decided by a one-off play-off fixture between Altrincham FC Ladies and Haslingden Women and Girls, who were runners up in the Lancashire County Women's League.

It is as yet undecided where and when the game will be played but the Ladies would really appreciate any support any of you might be able to offer. More details will be posted as and when they become available".


Gateshead "are delighted to announce the appointment of Malcolm Crosby as first-team manager. Crosby, 60, has left his position as Head of Recruitment at Blackpool to join the Tynesiders. The former Aldershot and York City midfielder famously guided Sunderland to the 1992 FA Cup Final while in charge at Roker Park, remaining with the Black Cats until January 1993. Later that year, he took on a short-term coaching role alongside Tommy Cassidy at the International Stadium, during the Heed’s previous stint in the Conference Premier.

Crosby held the reins at Oxford United following Denis Smith’s departure in 1997, before spells as assistant boss at West Bromwich Albion, Derby County and Middlesbrough. He was placed in temporary charge of Northampton Town in March 2011, going on to assume the same role at Birmingham City following the sacking of Lee Clark early last season. Crosby linked up with Clark for a second time in November, departing Bloomfield Road earlier this week to pen a one-year rolling contract on Tyneside.

The Heed’s new boss... said, 'I’m very happy to become the new manager of Gateshead. The club has been successful in the last couple of years, and has come on a long way. I have a good relationship with Graham Wood, which can only help, and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I enjoyed my time here alongside Tommy Cassidy back in 1993; it has changed since then, of course, but has always retained the air of a friendly club... I’m ambitious, and I believe I can bring success to this club.

Chairman Graham Wood said, 'He is a well-known and highly respected figure throughout football, as well as an excellent coach with a reputation for developing young players. He is fully familiar with teams and players at our level and above, in addition to all levels of the Scottish game. “The work of assembling a squad for another promotion push will commence on Monday, when the manager will begin meeting with existing players'".

Just as Altrincham FC can also make good use of helpers, Dover Athletic "are on the look out for volunteers to help us make our club even greater as part of our matchday experience overhaul for next season. Do you want to join our team? We currently have opportunities available for matchday magazine sellers, contributors towards our magazine and social media channels, a club shop attendant and a PA operator.

If you are keen to help out your club and have a couple of hours to spare on a matchday, then we are keen to hear from you; in return, you will become an integral part of our matchday operations and assist us in providing an excellent service to both home and away supporters."

According to Wrexham, "The club can confirm that goalkeeper Andy Coughlin has turned the offer of a new contact. After further talks with management staff, it has been mutually decided that the best for both parties is that he is allowed to leave and look for a new club."

"We can also confirm that defender Sean Smith is in the same position so he, too, has also been allowed to leave and look for a new club. A first-year professional, after coming through the youth ranks, Sean spent last season on loan with Bala Town in the Welsh Premier League and helped them to... a place in the Europa League."

Our neighbours Macclesfield Town "are delighted to announce the signing of Theo Bailey-Jones ahead of the 2015/16 season. The 21-year-old has signed a new deal with the club after an extended loan spell at the beginning of 2015. The return of Bailey-Jones, who honed his skills in non-league football before spending some time at Birmingham City, will be a massive boost going into a new year. It was with Irlam Town where his former club, Wrexham, first spotted him, and from there he signed an extended deal with the Red Dragons.

After a lengthy run without match time at the Welsh club, Bailey-Jones made an emergency loan move to the Moss Rose, where he impressed immediately, enough to convert it into a full season loan".

From Lincoln City, we learn that "Craig Stanley has become Chris Moyses' latest acquisition with the midfielder signing a one-year contract at Sincil Bank. One of seven players released by Eastleigh at the end of last season following their play-off semi-final defeat against Grimsby Town, Stanley is a vastly experienced midfielder who has won promotion to the Football League with both Hereford United and Morecambe".

Barrow "midfielder Alex-Ray Harvey has today signed a one-year contract at Holker Street. Harvey, 24, has been on non-contract terms for the two Conference North seasons, having been under contract in the relegation season from The Conference Premier in 2012-13. Harvey joins Barrow’s full-time training set up in a few weeks time."

Aldershot Town report that "defender Glenn Wilson has left the Club at the end of his contract. The 29 year-old team captain made 48 appearances and scored two goals for The Shots last season after signing from Salisbury City in June 2014.

'Glenn is a player that could come back to this Club', explained manager Barry Smith. 'He was made an offer but he’s got every right to talk to other clubs if he feels that the offer wasn’t enough. Every player has his worth and Glenn might decide that he wants to come back. The door is open at the moment but it’s up to the player to either sign it or turn it down. As I’ve said to any player that I’ve offered a contract to, if I get another player who is going to the same job within my budget then I will sign them and that offer will be taken off the table'".

5 June 2015


Port Vale tell us that "Vale will take a trip to Greater Manchester in pre-season when they visit non-league side Altrincham... Former Port Vale boss Paul[!] Sinnott is currently in charge of Altrincham, nicknamed the Robins or ‘Alty’, and led the club to promotion from the Conference North via the play-offs in 2014. Sinnott spent just over a year as the Valiants’ manager before he left the club in 2009 and was appointed as Bradford Park Avenue boss.

Vale and Altrincham have only ever faced each other competitively once, in the 1992/93 FA Cup. The Valiants emerged as 4-1 winners at Moss Lane with Peter Swan, Martin Foyle, Robin Van der Laan and Ian Taylor getting the goals."


The Football Conference announces that "The official rebranding of the top tier of English non-league football as The National League is now effective.

The Parent Company, formerly known as The Football Conference Ltd, will officially enact the name change at its Congress weekend on Saturday June 6 2015 at Celtic Manor, Newport.

Its three Divisions are henceforth officially entitled the:

  • Vanarama National League
  • Vanarama National League North
  • Vanarama National League South.

Brian Barwick, Chairman of The National League said, 'As the incoming Chairman of the Vanarama National League, I am pleased to welcome the new name in the full knowledge that it will be coupled with existing values and strengths of the competition that have been in existence for over 35 years.

It is an exciting time to take over as Chairman and I look forward to the new season. I would also like to pay tribute to the person who I am succeeding; as a fellow Brian, I know it will be a tough act to follow Brian Lee who has enjoyed the respect of the game for many years.'

Competition Title Sponsor Vanarama, who last month announced a sponsorship extension and further financial support, employed sports marketing agency SportQuake to facilitate the name change and logo design.

SportQuake specialise in creating world class two-way partnerships between rights' owners and brands.

Managing Director of Vanarama Andy Alderson said, 'Vanarama is proud to support the highest level of English non-league football. Re-branding as the Vanarama National League will increase the spotlight as the action kicks off again on 8th August. Next season, we’re thrilled to also support the pioneering NLTV Broadcasting Academy which will provide opportunities and equipment to media students'".


The Braintree & Witham Times reports that "Nathan McDonald says he will return to Braintree Town with his confidence restored after a year’s loan at Enfield Town. With Nick Hamann at the club, the 24-year-old goalkeeper said he realised he was not going to get the games he wanted under former Iron manager Alan Devonshire and asked to go out on a season-long loan at Ryman League Premier Division side Enfield.

Working under his ex-Braintree team-mate, Enfield boss Brad Quinton, proved to be profitable and, with Hamann now leaving to join Woking, McDonald will come back refreshed as he bids to return to the Iron’s number one position under the managerial tenure of Danny Cowley. McDonald said, 'I went out for the year with Brad and he brought my confidence back up so I feel I’m back up to where I was. I had waited for my chance at Braintree after Nick (Hamann) came in and was first choice and felt I had got it when he got sent off at Luton. I thought I did well, but he came straight back in, so I knew where I stood under Devs.

I wanted to get a year of football and I wasn’t willing to just sit on the bench waiting during an important part of my career. I had a good year working with Brad and I feel I have improved my game'".

From Chester we learn that "New Chester FC striker Ross Hannah believes the Blues are the ‘perfect fit’ for him after penning a one-year deal with the club... He said, 'The gaffer tried to sign me on loan when I became available back in January. To be fair, I did fancy coming on loan at the time, but it didn’t materialise and I ended up sticking it out with Grimsby and then when we went back in after the play-off final the Manager released me and... I had lots of phone calls and offers including from Steve, and I had a feel for him anyway from playing against his teams and I’ve always felt I’d fit into the way his team plays.

I did have a chance to get back into the League with a League Two club but I just felt it was important to go somewhere I felt it was going to be right for me, my family and that I’d get faith from the Manager... I had a bit of a frustrating season at Grimsby. I feel I didn’t play as much as I deserved to play but I carried myself very well throughout the season without playing much...

I have had a chat with the Gaffer and Macca and they both have ambition which brings me to Chester because I didn’t just want to move to a club that’s "all right" with being mid-table. It’s clear they feel with the right signings they can build on what they did last season and kick on and grab a play-off spot'.

The new striker, who once scored 52 goals in all competitions for Matlock... commented, 'I spoke to Scotty (Scott Brown) about Chester. He’s is a really good friend of mine, and we spoke and he had very good things to say about the club, he was very complimentary about the place... I’ve played against Chester twice since they’ve been in the Conference, and I was impressed last season in the two games...

I’d like to think looking at the style of football Chester play that I’ll fit right in to that with the other good players around me... I’ve come here to score goals, so hopefully I can get the service to score the goals to fire us into the play-offs... Everybody wants to be loved, and this place has a good feel with it being a fans-owned club. It seems a family club and I think the family will love it coming down here as it’s a great little setup here'".

Welling United "have signed Xavier Vidal on a one year deal from Dulwich Hamlet. The 21 year old midfielder has been a regular at Champion Hill since coming through the youth set up. Vidal has caught the eye of a number of league clubs with his attacking displays in the Ryman Premier where he has been Hamlet’s top scorer in the league."

4 June 2015


Altrincham FC is holding a "Working Evening" at the J. Davidson Stadium next Tuesday (9 June) from 4pm. Supporters are invited to come along and help to spruce up the ground; jobs that need doing include weeding, cleaning and emulsioning. Please bring along a hoe, rake, spade or other suitable gardening implements if you possibly can. It would be helpful if you could let the club know (0161 928-1045 or by e-mail) in advance if you are coming so that planning of jobs can take place. Many thanks for your help.


Although England U-20s lost 2-1 to Mexico on Wednesday in the Toulon tournament, the England goal was headed home by former Alty man, Duncan Watmore of Sunderland.


The NL Paper says that "The Football Association have today announced new plans to 'help promote the sustainability and integrity of Non-League football clubs'. From next season, clubs from Steps 1-4 of the Non-League Pyramid will have to obtain a licence from their leagues in order to compete.

Clubs will be assessed on a variety of grounds to try and promote financial stability... An FA statement read, 'From the 2016-17 season clubs in Steps 1 to 4 of the football pyramid (Football Conference and the three leagues below) will need a licence from their leagues to compete. Clubs will be assessed in various areas including legal, ownership, integrity, stadia and finance in order to obtain a licence.

The introduction of the licences is an important step to help protect clubs and to promote financial stability at this level of the game. Further regulations approved by The FA Council include changes to The Owners' and Directors' Test for clubs in the Football Conference and the three leagues below. The changes allow The FA to publicise the results of ODTs if necessary and to take quicker action against a club and an officer that fails to comply with the regulations. The changes are designed to improve the transparency and efficiency of the ODT processes and will come into effect from 1 August 2015.”

According to NL Pitchero, "Eastleigh have announced that, following talks with 29-year-old striker Ross Lafayette, terms have been agreed with the player nd his current club Luton Town for his transfer to The Silverlake Stadium. With Luton officials currently in Portugal at the Football League Annual General Meeting, the paperwork should be finalised on Monday on their return.

Lafayette spent some of last season on loan with Eastleigh`s league rivals Welling United and Woking whilst with Luton, for whom he made eleven appearances. He has also played for Chesham United, Barton Rovers, Aylesbury United, Wealdstone, Burnham and Hemel Hempstead Town. Lafayette has agreed to sign on a two-year contract with the Spitfires."

In the NW Evening Mail we read that "Barrow AFC’s squad will revert to a full-time training regime ahead of the new National League season after the lub’s directors formally approved the move. Paul Casson has confirmed Barrow AFC will switch to a full-time set-up before the new season starts.

The entire board, including owner Paul Casson and manager Darren Edmondson, discussed the issue this week over Skype, before it was decided an instant switch from a part-time set up to full-time is required. For the second season in a row, following their relegation to Conference North in 2013, Barrow continued to train two-nights-a-week on their way to earning title glory in 2014/15. The switch to daily training sessions should happen at the start of pre-season, as AFC prepare to base themselves at Lancaster University.

The club’s move to a full-time schedule was inevitable, with Barrow moving back into non-league’s top-flight. But until now there was doubt over the timing of that transition and official confirmation as to whether it would happen before the start of the 2015/16 season was needed. 'Barrow AFC are going full-time; it was a unanimous decision,' said Casson. 'It was all about being competitive in the league we’re about to engage in. The thought was that part-time clubs particularly struggle in the Conference; the league is only getting stronger from what we can see.

If we really want to have a good season, then we think that in order to attract the players we think we need to operate in the top of half of the table then most of those players will want to be full-time. I think it will attract a different quality of player as a full-time club than if we were part-time.'

The switch to a full-time footballing operation will mean that players will not hold jobs outside of their AFC duties. Casson... added, '“It’s a transition, so it’s a big change and you just don’t make those changes without due deliberation.... You can always remain part-time, but the conclusion was that, if we did, it wouldn’t help our cause and we would probably struggle both in the recruitment of players and just in competing, in terms of general fitness, strength and the time that you can actually spend with the players.'

[Meanwhile] Barrow’s early bird season-ticket price discount offer ends this Saturday at 3pm. The passing of the deadline will see the adult stand ticket price rise from £280 to £300".

The BBC tells us that "The group bidding to take over Torquay United could complete a deal for the Conference club by Monday. The consortium will lodge a five-figure sum with the league in time for its annual meeting to prove they can meet their financial obligations. 'We've agreed with the present board that we will stump up the bond to give assurances to the Conference,' consortium leader Dean Edwards said.

'But that's not to say that the deal is finally over the line,' he added. 'But if I get the phone calls in that I'm expecting, I would like to look at Monday as when I can get behind the scenes, as I need to get to work.'

Former Torquay striker Edwards has been leading a group of 10 businessmen hoping to take over the club from the current board. 'This place is on the life support machine, and the finger's on the switch,' Edwards told BBC Sport. 'At the moment it's 75% that it'll stay alive and it's 25% that it will fail, but that 25%, even if we did stay, could be critical. It's time for the Torquay public to stand up, save their club and save their community. I know it's what they want. Give me a call if anybody's prepared to invest in Torquay United. We need the money. This club can be saved and it can become a viable business, it just needs its house putting in order and it needs to be run properly'"."

Elsewhere, Aldershot Town report that "Barry Smith has made his first two signings as Aldershot Town manager, with goalkeeper Phil Smith and defender Sean McGinty both agreeing new one-year contracts. 35 year-old Phil made 51 appearances for The Shots last season... Previously, the Harrow-born keeper played 132 games in six years at Swindon Town, made 83 appearances for Crawley Town and, from 2002 – 2004, 77 appearances for Margate. Phil began his career at Millwall, and went on to play for Bromley, Ashford Town, Croydon, Walton and Hersham and Dover Athletic...

Admitted Smith, 'I hadn’t played a full season for a long time and I was happy with my form'... McGinty, whose contract at Rochdale expires on 30 June, will join Aldershot Town on 1 July, having impressed in a 13-game loan spell at the ESS from February to April 2015".

Relegated AFC Telford United "are sorry to report that Ian Sharps has decided instead to join Chester on the offer of full time football. The club had agreed terms with the player on the basis that he was to take up a coaching position at a League One Club. The announcement of his signing was agreed with all concerned on the basis that paperwork would be signed upon the player's return from holiday.

During this time the player's arrangements, in terms of full-time employment changed, meaning that we were unable to make an offer suitable to the player and his new found circumstances. This of course is unfortunate. We have a strict policy of not announcing signings until the players have signed the paperwork. This has put us at odds with the local media who like to run stories in advance of finalising details. It is ironic that this unfortunate episode had occurred on the one occasion we have not adhered to this policy. It will not be happening again."

Promoted Guiseley tell us that "After Mark Bower completed his first signing of pre-season with the capture of popular centre-back Adam Lockwood, Gavin Rothery and [ex-Alty man] Ryan Toulson have also signed on for next term. Lockwood spent a number of months at Nethermoor early in Bower’s reign and proved a calm and assuring presence in the Lions’ back line.

The former Oldham Athletic captain returns to Nethermoor... and will be joined by full-back Toulson, midfielder Rothery and striker Boyes... Bower said, 'Ever since that day at Chorley, we’ve known the quality of players we want to get in for next season.

Adam is certainly of that calibre and we know first-hand just how important a player he can be for us. His experience and reading of the game will prove a valuable asset in the Conference next season and we hope to be able to add players of similar quality over the coming weeks'".

Reports from Grimsby Town say that "Toto Nsiala has rejoined the club on a one-year deal. Town boss Paul Hurst has managed to tempt all but two of the players who he had offered deals to at the end of last season".


John Edwards, Press and Media Officer, writes that "Altrincham are delighted to announce that Michael Rankine has agreed to sign for the club on expiry of his contract at Gateshead on 30 June. Michael is therefore expected to be a third close-season signing, bolstering Alty's attack. The 30-year old powerful striker, nephew of former Doncaster, Wolves and Preston centre-back Mark Rankine and cousin of Tottenham left-back Danny Rose, started out with his hometown club Doncaster and more recently played for York, Aldershot, Hereford and Gateshead. After signing at The J.Davidson Stadium earlier today, he spoke with joint press and media officer John Edwards and explained how telephone conversations with assistant-manager Neil Tolson and advice from managers he has previously played under helped convince him he was making the right move. Here are his thoughts.

'It came a little bit out of the blue, but I had a couple of chats with Tols [Neil Tolson] over the phone, and everything he said about Altrincham and how he and Lee Sinnott were planning for next season sounded good.

It's important I get a good feeling about the people I'm working with, and all the feedback I've had has been positive. It's not just what Tols has had to say. I spoke to a good few people before deciding, and they all said the same.

I've a great deal of respect for Gary Mills, after playing under him at Gateshead last season, and I sounded him out. I spoke to another of my former managers, Martin Foyle, and the advice I got from both swung me towards Altrincham.

Martin couldn't have been more positive about the people who run this club. He said they are good people, and that's always a big consideration for me. It might not be as big as some of the clubs I've played for, but it's run properly and professionally and it's going in the right direction.

Right: Michael with chairman Grahame Rowley.

Everything Martin said has been borne out so far. Today is only the second time I've been to the stadium, but the chairman has been brilliant with me and I've already been made to feel welcome.

Now I've got to repay that on the pitch, and I'm relishing the challenge. I'm genuinely excited about the move and can't wait to pull on the jersey and get stuck in.

Gary had a tough job picking a starting 11 last season, because there was such fierce competition for places. I had a good relationship with him, and still have, but I didn't play as much as I would have liked. I've no gripes with him, but that's how it was. I played more towards the end of the campaign, but really I could have done with starting more games. At my age, it's important I'm playing for people who appreciate what I can do and what I can bring to the squad. It's up to me to prove I'm worth picking, of course, but I'm looking forward to showing everyone at Altrincham what I'm about.

What can Alty fans expect? One thing I can promise is 100 per cent commitment every time. They will see a player fully committed to the cause who does as much as he can for the team and works flat out from the first whistle to the last.

People tend to see me as a target man, but I like to think I'm still quite mobile and able to run the channels, as well as hold the ball up. I don't want to big myself up and put myself under even more pressure, but at six-foot-two-and-a-bit, I like to think I can win a few flick- ons and get in the box and stick a couple away with my head. I'll be aiming to win my fair share in the air and cause a few problems, that's for sure.

Did I follow Alty's progress last season? I'm not going to lie and say I kept an eye on their results. That's because I dedicate myself to whichever club I'm playing for, and my focus last season was solely on Gateshead. But now I'm an Alty player I've had a look back at last season's results, and, yeah, the boys did brilliantly. Some of the victories were outstanding, and they ended up in a nice place and a good position in the table.

I'm sure there'll be no resting on laurels, and I'm clear on what my aim is for next season. I want us to improve and do even better. There's no such thing as an underdog in this league, because everyone can beat everyone else, so we should take heart from that. The lads proved that last season, and we must strive to do it again.

I already get the feeling this is a family-orientated club, with the right outlook, and I am delighted to be here. If I can form a successful partnership with Damian Reeves, so much the better. I've known Reevesie a long time, because we are both Doncaster lads. He'll be my travelling partner for getting to the ground, so let's hope we can hit it off on the pitch as well.

I'm taking nothing for granted, but if we can get a good relationship going and bang in a good few goals between us, then great. Of course, I know about his scoring record. It's phenomenal, and long may that continue. Certainly, I'll be more than happy to provide him with some assists!'"


Curiously, Michael Rankine almost joined Altrincham ten years ago. Indeed, he scored for Altrincham Reserves at Bradford PA on 14 December 2005, an eventful Lancashire League game which Alty lost 5-2 and which he could only join at half-time, having been delayed in traffic en route to the ground.

On 20 December 2005 he again played for Alty, this time in a friendly game, away at Witton Albion, having at that time been on the books of Scunthorpe United (2004-06). However, he started out at Doncaster Rovers and played locally for Armthorpe Welfare.

Michael was born in Doncaster on January 15, 1985. His career includes two spells with Barrow (2003-04 and 2004-05), Alfreton Town (2006), Rushden & Diamonds (2006-09), Bournemouth (on loan 2008), Aldershot Town (2011-13), Grimsby Town (on loan 2012-13), York City (2013) and Hereford United (2013-14). His spells at York City and Gateshead were both under the recently departed Heed manager, Gary Mills. You Tube has one of his more spectacular goals!

3 June 2015


Altrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley and several other supporters made the journey across the Irish Sea to Galway this week to watch England C play the Republic of Ireland U-21s, as the image, below, shows.

England won 2-1 as FC Halifax Town's Matt Pearson and Jordan Roberts scored. The FA quotes manager Paul Fairclough as saying “It was an unbelievable achievement from a group of players who haven’t played for five weeks". The FA added that "It was a win not just for Step 1 of the non-League pyramid but further down, too. Fairclough’s side finished the game with four players on the pitch from Step 3 clubs".


NL Pitchero says that former Alty keeper, "Dean Greygoose, manager of Mildenhall Town, has announced that he has signed former AFC Sudbury defender Jacob Brown".

Elsewhere, "Another player potentially leaving AFC Fylde is [ex-Alty loanee from Blackpol] Liam Tomsett after the option on his contract wasn’t exercised by the Coasters. Tomsett arrived at Kellamergh Park towards the end of June 2014 after spending a season on loan to Hyde FC from Blackpool before being released by the then Championship outfit.

Manager Dave Challinor said, 'It was a really tough call with Teddy as he’s been fantastic since he came to the club. The only negative is that he is very similar to other potential options we have in midfield'"


The BBC reports on a former Alty loanee as it confirms that "Lincoln City have signed defender Luke Waterfall from Wrexham on a two-year deal. The 24-year-old made nine appearances for the Dragons in 2014-15 after joining on a deal until the end of the season in January.

Waterfall spent time on loan at Macclesfield and Mansfield before joining the Welsh side from Scunthorpe. He is the second player to join the Imps this week after Alfreton defender Bradley Wood signed on Monday".

The Football Conference confirms that "Lincoln City have announced that full-back Bradley Wood has signed... from former league rivals Alfreton Town. Wood, who has put pen-to-paper on a two-year contract... Leicester-born Wood progressed through the youth ranks at Grimsby Town and... went on to appear over 100 times for the Mariners before departing for Alfreton at the end of the 2012/13 season... 23-year-old Wood, who is primarily a right-back but can also operate on the left, also won a cap for England C before signing a two-year extension in the summer of 2014."

The BBC tells us that "Kidderminster Harriers' chairman Rod Brown has revealed that the club have halved next term's wage bill. Harriers struggled to pay staff on more than one occasion during 2014-15 and had to be helped out by the club's Independent Supporters Trust (KHIST).

Brown realised that stringent measures had to be taken to keep the Worcestershire club in existence. 'We've had a 50% cut to our playing budget,' Brown told BBC Hereford and Worcester. 'We've done that and submitted our budget to the Conference. We'll stick to that; that budget will not deviate.'

Harriers have cashed in on their most sellable assets in each of the last three seasons, having seen Jamille Matt (Fleetwood), Joe Lolley (Huddersfield Town), Chey Dunkley (Oxford United) and Nathan Blissett (Bristol Rovers) all depart at a considerable profit. Kidderminster Harriers finished 16th in 2014-15, their lowest league position since 1998.

They won just thee times in 19 games from the turn of the year after manager Gary Whild was forced to prune the playing budget... Financial pressure forced the wage bill to be trimmed last season when Michael Gash joined Barnet, winger Marvin Johnson moved to Motherwell and player-coach Josh Gowling signed for Grimsby Town.

But Brown admits that there is no guarantee that any further transfer-generated revenue would be used to strengthen the team. 'Something radical would have to happen, an influx of revenue streams, to even consider giving some of that to the playing staff,"' he added... 'I do appreciate we do need a bit of experience in key areas. We can't expect players who are moving up two or three leagues to automatically perform on the higher stage. But I actually think we're going to be competitive. I believe we'll be more competitive than people might think.

When you look at other clubs' budgets and see how many are over £1m per season, it can be disheartening at times. We're going to be working away with a really confined budget at the bottom end. But I think the loyal fan base we've got would rather know that Kidderminster Harriers is going to be a sustainable business going forward'".

Meanwhile, "Boreham Wood forward Junior Morais has signed a new undisclosed-length contract with the newly-promoted side. The 19-year-old joined Wood following his release by Wycombe last summer".

Nearer to home, Macclesfield Town, "are delighted to confirm that John Askey has agreed a new contract with the club... Askey... took the job in July 2013 and guided the Silkmen to comfortable safety in his first season...

Askey and his hastily assembled squad defied the odds and were to launch a promotion challenge in the 2014/15 season."

At Chester, "New Blues' midfielder Tom Shaw is ‘over the moon’ to have completed his two-year deal with the club... The former Alfreton midfielder said, 'I’m really pleased to be coming to, and signing for, such a big club for this level'...

Shaw joins the club after leaving the Reds on the back of their relegation... He said, 'I had quite a tough experience last year with Alfreton with relegation but, even though it wasn’t a great season for the club, individually, I felt I did quite well with my return of goals from midfield. I’m really pleased to have a reward for my efforts of last year now...

I spoke to the Manager and assessed a few options, but this was the club I fancied right away from when I first spoke to him (Steve Burr). He didn’t have to sell the club to me. I’ve worked for him before at Kidderminster and I know what he’s all about, and I know that I’ll enjoy my time with the way that he manages and coaches. The club being such a big club in the Conference; it’s got a lot of pull about it and I didn’t need much convincing...

I’m getting on for playing 350 games in this division now so I’d like to think I can add a bit of experience to the squad. I’m hard working, I’ll always give my all, so hopefully I can add a bit of energy in the midfield... There’s some very good players at the club already and I think with the Manager and the style he has, if we can get on a roll, then I don’t see why we can’t improve on what Chester did last year'...

The new midfielder... will be joined at his new club by another International cap in Ben Heneghan, who made his debut for England against Republic of Ireland U21s yesterday in Galway".

2 June 2015


Season Tickets:

  • Standing: Adults £250 Concessions £145
  • Seating: Adults £290 Concessions £155
  • 12-16 year olds: £60
  • Under 12s: £30

Gate Prices:

  • Standing: Adults £14 Concessions £9
  • Seating: Adults £15 Concessions £10
  • Disabled with Helper: Combined price £14
  • 12-16 year olds: £5
  • Under 12: £2

A £10 discount applies to adult (not junior) season tickets purchased before 30 June 2015. And valid season tickets confer free entry to ALL of the home pre-season friendlies at the J. Davidson Stadium.

The concessionary ages are currently, for females 60 and over, for males 65 and over.


The Football Conference says that "Dover Athletic have revealed who is staying and who is leaving the club. Last week, goalkeeper Mitch Walker signed a new deal to stay at Crabble until the end of the 2015/16 season, making him tenth player to be contracted for next season.

He joins Andrew Rafferty, Richard Orlu, Sean Raggett, Tyrone Sterling, Tom Wynter, Jamie Grimes, Ricky Modeste, Tom Murphy and Stefan Payne. Those offered a new deal but have yet to make a decision are Connor Essam, Liam Bellamy, Nick Deverdics and James Poole.

Those to have already departed the Whites are Sean Francis (subsequently signed for Bromley), Nathan Elder (signed for Tonbridge Angels) and Craig Stone. Those free to find a new club are Christian Nanetti, Adam Mekki, Barry Cogan, Jake Reid, Joe O’Cearuill and Solomon Taiwo. Lee Hook, meanwhile, will be staying at the club in a coaching role."

According to NL Daily, Grimsby Town have suffered a blow as key defender Carl Magnay agreed to join Hartlepool United... His form during last season caught the attention of many Football League sides but Ronnie Moore's Pools have captured the signing of a player who saw a serious knee injury bring an end to his spell with Chelsea earlier in the career."

Meanwhile, "Bromley Football Club are delighted to confirm the signings of forwards Alex Wall and Bradley Goldberg. Alex Wall joins from Luton Town where he became the first signing of current manager John Still back in 2013. During his time with Luton, the 24 year-old striker also spent time on loan at Dartford where he scored six times in eleven appearances for the Club.

Bradley enjoyed a superb season on loan at Bromley in 2013/14, finishing the campaign as the club’s, as well as the division’s, top scorer... The forward then returned to the club on loan towards the end of last season, helping Bromley to promotion... Manager Mark Goldberg has also confirmed that due to a change in training schedule next season, Jamie Slabber can no longer commit to the Club.

Mark said, 'We are disappointed that we have to lose the services of Jamie Slabber this year due to our new training schedule of three mornings a week... We are however pleased to announce the new signing of Alex Wall and the resigning of Bradley Goldberg, this time officially as a Bromley player. Alex and Brad spent time together last year while both on loan at Bristol Rovers. Alex will provide great additional strength and a goal threat to our strong attacking options as well as... experience.”

From the BBC, we learn that "The consortium of 10 local businessmen hoping to take over Torquay United say their bid is 'progressing'. The group, led by the club's current commercial manager Dean Edwards, have an exclusive period to buy the club, which runs out on Thursday. They are to meet the club's acting chairman Bill Phillips on Tuesday.

'It's progressing. Everybody in the consortium really wants this to work because of their love for the club,' Edwards told BBC Sport. Torquay must also satisfy the Football Conference that they have the necessary funds in place to fulfil their fixtures next season in the renamed National League. The club have been looking for a new owner since Lottery-millionaire Thea Bristow stepped down from the club in March and sold her 80% stake to the current board...

'We're trying to keep the club alive,' Edwards said after a meeting of the consortium on Monday. 'If it's through sheer hard work and effort, it will stay alive. This consortium is not out to make money, they want to save the club', he added".

In the Chester Chronicle we learn that "England C midfielder Kingsley James has confirmed he will be leaving Chester FC. James's future has been in doubt since it emerged the 23-year-old had stalled over the offer of a contract extension on improved terms. He has been linked with a move to rivals FC Halifax Town, closer to his home in Barnsley as he continues to support his mother through an illness.

James joined the Blues on a 12-month deal from Hereford United last summer. He was a revelation in central midfield over the first half of the campaign - leading to him being mentioned as a possible target for Football League clubs - before his form dipped following a red card in the goalless draw at Southport in January.

Rotherham-born James did return to form at the back end of the season... In total he made 46 appearances for the club, scoring three goals."


Trafford confirm that "new Manager, Tom Baker, completes his Coaching Staff for next season by appointing Dave Andrews as the club’s goalkeeper coach. Tom says, 'Dave is someone who came highly recommended to me by several people and his CV speaks for itself. Having been at Stockport County for 16 years and also part of Witton Albion staff for several years it was a no brainier for me. After I sat down and spoke with Dave I knew he was the man for the job. He had the same beliefs as me on how things should be done and will be invaluable for both me and the goal keepers this season'".
1 June 2015


There's no too much news to report from around the new National League during this holiday season but Eastleigh "have announced their individual match admission prices for next season which show a minimal increase on to that of last.

With the additional costs that the Club have endured in their first season at Conference National level, the increases have been kept as competitive as possible to assist the Club to compete in the Division for 2015/16 having fully reviewed the first season figures.

We are delighted to be able to keep the rates the same for people purchasing tickets in advance but, unfortunately, for those supporters who just turn up on the day there will be a minimal increase". In fact there is now a £3 differential in some cases between tickets bought in advance or on the match day.

  • Terrace Adult: (in advance) £12; (on match day) £15
  • Terrace Concessions: £8; £10
  • Terrace Under-16: £4; £5
  • Terrace Under-7: Free; Free
  • Seats Adult: £15; £18
  • Seats Concessions: £10; £12
  • Seats Under-16: £5; £7.50
  • Seats Under 7: £2; £3".