an unofficial website

July, 2016

31 July 2016


Full details of the TASC supporters' transport to our first two away games at FC Halifax Town (on 9 August) and Harrogate (13 August) are here. You can book by ringing (0161 928-1045) or by visiting the Club offices during normal office hours.


Alty travel to Witton Albion on Monday for their final pre-season game. Their stadium is at Wincham Park, Chapel Street, Wincham Northwich CW9 6DA. On Saturday Albion beat Ashton United 2-1 at home. The Witton forum says that it was a "A very good performance against a tough looking Ashton, we look very competitive and played some nice football... Looking good, so far back-five look good and settled and up front looks good, we played a mid ield diamond it seemed to work well". Another correspondent says "I thought it was a performance that gave lots of reasons to be optimistic for the coming campaign... One thing is sure, we won't be bullied off the field. This is a side with a bit of steel".


Mike Ripley has images from the Altrincham v Burnley XI friendly here. Above we see his photo of Alty right-back Sam Patterson in action during the game.

Burnley report that "A strong Burnley Development Squad played out a goalless draw at Altrincham in the latest pre-season friendly. Michael Jolley’s squad was complemented by the inclusion of first team players Kevin Long, Rouwen Hennings and new signing [goalkeeper] Nick Pope.

And only an office [official's] flag denied the Clarets a late winner as they enjoyed a competitive clash at Moss Lane. The first chance of the game fell to Alty’s towering 6ft centre half John Cyrus, who couldn’t find the target with his far post header from a well worked set piece.

The Clarets then looked to have broken the deadlock as Arlen Birch whipped in a fine cross which found Dan Agyei in the box. The striker, who caught the eye for the first team in the friendly win at Bolton earlier in the week, saw his effort on goal blocked into the path of Hennings, who opened fire from close range forcing a smart save from former Fulham stopper Andy Dawber...

Damian Reeves broke free into the box with only the keeper to beat. However, captain Kevin Long showed his class and made an outstanding tackle in the box... It looked as if either team could go on and win it. And, in the 84th minute, it looked like Fraser Murdoch had done that for Burnley, as Robbie Leitch's shot deflected off Altincham's skipper Alan Goodall into the feet of Murdoch, who tapped home only to be flagged for offside".


Goalkeeper David Parton has signed from Newcastle Town for Nantwich Town. Both Kieran and Kelvin Lugsden of Glossop North End have signed for Barnsley club Shaw Lane AFC, formerly Shaw Lane Aquaforce.


The Northern Echo. tells us that "Darlington completed their pre-season preparations with a 3-2 win over Barnsley’s reserves. Played behind closed doors at Quakers’ training base in Peterlee, this week’s new signings Mark Beck and Josh Gillies were both on target. They helped give Darlington a 3-0 half-time, the other strike being an own goal netted by Barnsley...

The Tykes fought back to score twice after the break during a match in which most of Martin Gray’s first-team squad got a run-out in final Quakers’ final friendly. They start their Vanarama National League North season with [a game] at Altrincham on Saturday, August 6."

NL Pitchero says that "Stalybridge Celtic have announced the double signing of midfielders Liam Hynes and Callum Bagshaw. Hynes is a product of the Everton Academy who has impressed in Celtic's pre-season games alongside Bagshaw, who joins after spending last season with Formartine United of the Scottish Highland League.

Leaving the Fold are Alec Mudimu, who has joined Northwich Victoria and Amour Cisse Lingouba, who has re-joined Droylsden, where he spent time on loan last season."

30 July 2016


Above: Tom Hannigan in action against Burnley.

Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Manager Neil Young heaved a sigh of relief after key defender Tom Hannigan survived a massive eve-of-season injury scare in Friday night's goalless draw with Burnley at The J.Davidson Stadium.

The summer signing from AFC Fylde was left reeling in agony after sliding into a typically-committed 79th minute challenge and being caught late by Burnley midfielder Brad Jackson.

After lengthy treatment from physio Alan Ainsley, he was able to make his way off unaided, though his laboured progress round the side of the pitch and the sight of ice being applied to the injury raised fears about his fitness for the start of the campaign.

But any concerns were firmly dismissed by Young, who was in no doubt Hannigan's hugely-impressive centre-back pairing with John Cyrus will remain intact against Darlington in next Saturday's Vanarama National League North opener against Darlington at The J.Davidson Stadium.

'It's nothing serious, just a dead leg,' said the Alty boss. 'He should be a brave centre-half, shouldn't he, and take it and get on with it! He's from the Wirral as well! In all seriousness, I was concerned at the time, because the lad (Jackson) has come across quite quick, and I thought it was studs going in on Tom and maybe doing some damage.

'That's how it seemed, looking across the pitch to the far side, but thankfully it is just a dead leg, and he appears to be ok. That's a relief, because the last thing we need is any disruption to his partnership with John. They have probably been two of our most consistent players so far, and we wouldn't want to lose either of them.

'He will be fine for Darlington. He won't play at Witton on Monday, but there shouldn't be any problem at all for the opening league game next Saturday.'

Alty make the short trip to Witton Albion for their final warm-up game on Monday evening, kick-off 7.30pm, prior to an eagerly-awaited Vanarama launch at home to Darlington on Saturday afternoon, k.o. 3pm."


This fifth draw in six pre-season matches was also the first clean sheet and the first time that the Robins had not found the net this summer. In a match which saw neither keeper overworked, the sides were evenly matched and the defences on top. For Alty, Harry Cain started at left-back and the others to start this game who had not done so last time out were Charlie Joyce, Craig Hobson, Alan Goodall and Simon Richman, as manager Neil Young again rang the changes. Tom Hannigan picked up a late injury but hopefully will be OK for next Saturday's start of the season. Burnley did have the ball in the net late in the game but it was ruled out for offside.

Match report here.

Right: Charlie Joyce (right) and Simon Richman are here pictured in the Alty midfield on Friday evening.


Altrincham Reserves' remaining pre-season games are:
  • Saturday 30th July: v Mersey Valley FC (Away), Banky Lane, Sale, M33 5SL, 3pm K.O.
  • Monday 1st August: v Middlewich Town (Away), Finney's Lane, Middlewich, Cheshire CW10 9DR, 7.30pm K.O.
  • Saturday 6th August: v Curzon Ashton (Away), Tameside Stadium, Richmond St, Ashton-under-Lyne OL7 9HG, 2.30pm K.O.


TASC Travel Coordinator, Mark Eckersall, tells us that "TASC aim, once again, to provide away travel to as many games as possible for the coming season. Regular travellers will know that we provide a family friendly service and welcome passengers of all ages. To ensure this atmosphere is maintained, the consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited on all TASC transport.

We always aim to arrive around an hour and a half before kick off for Saturday games to allow passengers to explore/enjoy a drink in the place we are visiting and return straight after the game to get people home to families or any commitments they may have. The service can only run with your support so we appeal once again for people to use the service where possible.

Full details of the transport to our first two away games at Halifax and Harrogate are here and you will be able to book at the Burnley game on Friday night, then through the week at the club and at our opening game against Darlington. Any queries in the meantime, please feel free to drop me an e-mail and I will be happy to help".

Please note revised time for the Harrogate coach, which will now depart The Vine at 11am, Hare & Hounds at 11.10am, Leisure centre 11.15am and Ground at 11.20am.


The National League reports that "England will return to AFC Telford United in September for an international game against the Netherlands. The New Buck's Head will host England under-19s and the Netherlands on Thursday, 1st September with the game kicking off at 12.30pm.

England’s development teams are all in action throughout September, with four different squads facing a variety of opposition during the next international week. Aidy Boothroyd’s under-20s will spend this season preparing for next summer’s World Cup in South Korea and they will begin their campaign with a double-header against Brazil on home soil.

The first match will be played behind-closed-doors at St George’s Park before the nations will face off at Kidderminster Harriers’ Aggborough Stadium on Sunday, 4th September with a 3pm kick-off.

For the under-19s, who are warming up for their Euro Qualifiers in October, there’s a home game to start with as they face the Netherlands at the New Buck's Head on Thursday, 1st September, with that game kicking-off at 12.30pm. Keith Downing’s side then head over to Brussels for a second game against Belgium at their national training centre on Sunday, 4th September (3pm)".

Also from the National League we learn that "Brad Beatson is the latest to pen a deal with Gainsborough Trinity following a successful period on trial at the club. Beatson, who was with Sheffield Wednesday, was one of only three players to be awarded a professional contract at Hillsborough last season, having impressed whilst playing for the under-18s.

Of his move, Beatson said, 'I am delighted to be joining the club, I've enjoyed pre-season training so far and the chance to get involved in the friendlies as well, I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.'

Beatson played in the past two home friendlies against Handsworth Parramore and Grimsby Town and stood up well to the threat in both games and manager Dominic Roma was keen to secure the young centre-back`s signature following competition both from league rivals and the National League...

Beatson will add competition for places to the backline, which includes old favourites Jake Picton, Josh Lacey, Matty Wilson and Adam Quinn and fellow summer recruit from the other side of the Steel City divide, Ioan Evans. The recruitment of the former Owl, gives Roma the opportunity to shuffle the pack, as he did in the friendly game against Grimsby, which saw Wilson employed in the central midfield holding role... Roma’s summer recruitment drive is almost finished".

29 July 2016


Altrincham entertain a Burnley XI at the J Davidson Stadium tonight (Friday); kick off is at NB 7.30pm.

Admission is £8 for adults, £5 for concessionaries and £2 for juniors and free for holders of 2016-17 Altrincham FC season tickets.

Brian Flynn writes that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Friday night's game. The commentary team is Paul Salt and Tim Ainsworth and the match summariser is Ian Wilkinson. Coverage starts at 7.25pm with the game kicking off at 7.30pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here".

Before the game, Up The Clarets reported that "The development squad continue their build up to the season tonight with a visit to Moss Lane to face Altrincham... It’s a pre-season fixture that was becoming almost a regular feature after Eddie Howe took the first team there in both 2011 and 2012, on both occasions for our opening pre-season game.

We won both those. In 2011, goals from Alex MacDonald, Chris Eagles, Martin Paterson and Chris Iwelumo gave us a 4-1 win and a year later it was 4-2 with goals from Chris McCann and Danny Ings with Charlie Austin bagging a brace. We went back in 2013 with the development squad in a game played on the same Saturday afternoon as the first team were picking up a first league win of the season at Sheffield Wednesday. On that occasion goals from Steven Hewitt and Jamie Frost weren’t enough with Altrincham winning the game 3-2.

And so back [to] tonight, but for the Altrincham fans there will be disappointment that Josh Ginnelly won’t be playing. He spent the second half of last season with them, scoring five goals in twenty National League games, but his loan move to Walsall yesterday has ruled out a return to Moss Lane.

He’s one of two who featured at Colne last week who has since gone out on loan with Alex Whitmore, who featured at left-back in the game at Holt House, having moved to Morecambe.

Who will feature tonight is difficult to determine and will depend on who did and didn’t board the coach this morning bound for Glasgow. Besides Ginnelly, Brad Jackson and Dan Agyei were both involved at Colne but then played a part with the first team at Bolton.

Altrincham could field a couple of players who spent time at Burnley. They’ve signed Dave Lynch from Clitheroe in the summer. He was a member of our youth team and enjoyed the 2011/12 season in the development squad before leaving the club, and Billy Hasler-Cregg [pictured, above right] was an under-16 who played some youth team games before moving on to Rochdale".


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Following the completion of his Morecambe contract, Alan Goodall can now be confirmed as an Altrincham player. Manager Neil Young was delighted to be able to announce the vastly-experienced defensive midfielder's signing and believes his addition to the squad will prove invaluable, in terms of personal contribution and the effect on those around him.

'Alan is someone I know well, and it is clear he has had a great career in the Football League,' said the Alty boss. 'He will bring his qualities and experience to our squad and will be an ideal role model for the younger players to learn from.'

Born in Birkenhead, the versatile 34-year old, who can operate in midfield or defence, launched his career at Bangor City before making over 100 appearances for Rochdale. He had spells with Luton, Chesterfield, Stockport County and Fleetwood before joining Morecambe for a successful two-year stint at The Globe Arena.


Brian Flynn conducted an interview with Altrincham FC's Assistant Manager, Gary Jones, following the game against Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday. It can be heard here.


John Edwards, joint Press & Media Officer at Altrincham FC, says that Alty manager "Neil Young has added one extra fixture to Altrincham's list of pre-season friendlies, against Witton Albion at their ground on Monday evening, kick-off 7.30pm.

'Friday night's game against Burnley was to be the last one, but we have now arranged an additional fixture against a Witton Albion XI on Monday,' said the Alty manager. 'The idea is to give lads who have not played some game time, so it should prove a useful exercise from that point of view. We will still be training on Tuesday and Thursday, prior to the opening Vanarama National League North game against Darlington.' A full interview with Neil, reflecting on Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra, will appear on the website later".


Altrincham FC Ladies' league fixtures for 2016-17 in the North West Women's Regional League, Division One South, are here

Manager Keith Edleston adds, "It's going to be a tough season with the two promoted teams from the Cheshire League being put into our league along with two Premier teams dropping into ours too, but we will relish the challenge.

Our pre-season games are as follows"...

  • 7th August: v Bury LFC (Dev/Squad), Away 2pm
  • 14th August v Rhyl LFC, Away 2pm
  • 21st August v Leigh RMI LFC, Home 2pm
  • 28th August v Tranmere Rovers LFC, Away 12 noon


Altrincham FC Reserves' early fixtures for 2016-17 in the The Hallmark Security Cheshire Football League are here. Their first league game of the season is on Tuesday 9th August, away at Whaley Bridge.


Altrincham's Football Careers, Scholarship & Education Programme football team fixtures in Division J of the The National League U19 Alliance are here.


Altrincham FC Youth (u-18) team's first fixtures of 2016-17 in the NWYA Premier Division are here.


From the Northern Echo we learn that "Darlington defender Chris Hunter will continue to be available for selection despite a planned knee operation being delayed. He has barely featured in pre-season and was due to go under the knife last week to repair a small tear in the cartilage in his right knee.

However, a mix-up at the hospital due to perform the surgery means he now faces a wait of up to three months to have the issue dealt with, though manager Martin Gray is not too concerned. 'He’s going to play through it until the operation comes around,' he said. 'He’s fine, it’s only a simply cartilage issue, so it’s a painkiller job, roll your sleeves up and get on with it. It won’t affect his performance, subject to sustaining further damage, in which case we would take him out of the team. At the end of last season we had a massive backlog of games, he played through that okay when we had two or three games a week and this season we’ve got fewer games to play.

'So he should have more time to recover and prepare for games and he will be available for selection after first two games of the season when he is suspended.'

Following the arrival of summer signing Liam Marrs, the former Boston United right-back, Gray may feel he is in a position to not risk Hunter sustaining further damage. His appearance as a substitute at Gateshead last Friday represents Hunter’s only action of pre-season so far. Quakers’ campaign starts on August 6 at Altrincham, and they play their final friendly on Saturday against a Football League club behind closed doors. "

Chester FC "are delighted to announce the double signing of striker James Akintunde and midfielder Wade Joyce. The duo have been on trial during the pre-season campaign but have now made their switches permanent for the 2016/17 National League season.

Joyce, 22, arrives after spending last season at Stalybridge. He's had spells with St. Johnstone and Barnsley and is the son of Manchester United U-21 Manager Warren Joyce. Akintunde, 20, is already well known to the Blues faithful after his impressive 11 minute hat-trick in the 5-3 pre-season win at Marine on Saturday; he's spent the last three years at Cambridge."

The Worcester News comes news that "Carl Heeley says Worcester City must learn how to manage 'the hill' at the Victoria Ground [at Bromsgrove] to make home advantage count. City made their first appearance at their new temporary home since securing their ground-share with Bromsgrove Sporting when they took on Romulus.

Playing with the slope in their favour, they powered into a 4-0 lead... But Romulus turned the tide in the second half with three goals...

Heeley was pleased to arrange the fixture before hosting Harrogate Town in the National League North opener a week tomorrow but admitted there were areas they needed to work on. 'We have got to learn how to play on this pitch because it’s no coincidence, although there were other factors, the halves were dominated by the teams kicking down the hill. We have to look at managing that,' he said.

'Of course it is different (to Aggborough) but it’s our home now and we will make the most of it and make it as difficult as we can for teams coming to visit us... Hopefully we can make home advantage count... We needed to play here and a game is better than training. It’s an old-fashioned ground. There’s plenty of grass on the pitch. It is a bit dry but hopefully we will get some rain on it and it will be fine. We were grateful to Kidderminster and are grateful to Bromsgrove for allowing us to use their facilities.'

Worcester’s tactic of sending long balls in behind Romulus’s defence paid off in the opening period but Heeley insisted it was not an indication of how they were going to utilise the slope. 'We didn’t set up to do anything as we wanted to keep the ball and pass it when we could and have energy coming from deep in midfield and we had all of those attributes,' he said".

Also in the Worcester News we learn that "Sean Geddes is set to leave Worcester City, less than two months after making a surprise return to the club. Manager Carl Heeley offered Geddes, who left City to join Stourbridge in December, another chance at the Vanarama National League North club after admitting the 24-year-old convinced him of his 'hunger' to get back to his best.

However, with just over a week to go before the season gets underway, it has been revealed the former Manchester United trainee, who came off the bench in Worcester’s 4-3 win over Romulus last night, has been given the opportunity to find a new club. 'Geddes who was starting his second spell with us has been informed that it is in the best interests of all parties that he finds another club where he can play regular football,' a club spokesman said...

Meanwhile, former Cheltenham Town and Hereford United right-back Andy Gallinagh has signed a one-year deal, while ex-Bristol City youngster Elijah Chilekwa has also joined City. Evesham-based Gallinagh, 31, has been on trial at the club after being released by Bath City at the end of last season.

The spokesman added, 'Andy brings with him a wealth of experience... He is a versatile player who can play at either right back or in central defence'...

Winger Chilekwa has also been training and playing for City over the past week... The Gambian-born 18-year-old is a Welsh youth international and Heeley says he has demonstrated his 'huge potential'...

Heeley said, 'Although he is still very raw, we can see something that we can work with and develop'...

City say they are 'very confident' of releasing further news regarding the squad in the 'very near future."

28 July2016


Joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, spoke to manager Neil Young after Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra. Here is the interview in full.

Q: Have you had the reaction you were looking for, in the last two games, after you voiced some misgivings at Trafford?

A: Yes, I'd say so. If you go back to the Trafford game, it was early on in pre-season, it was very hot and we were playing a system we hadn't used previously. If you notice what we are trying to do, it's to educate the players to cope with various systems. Against Manchester United on Friday night, it was a real test in terms of pressing and keeping the ball and being moved about, and the Crewe game was similar.

From what I saw, I'd say we have learned from Friday's game. There were some good performances, and it's also about some of the young lads appreciating that most of football is played in the head. The ability might be there from a technical point of view, but you have got to understand when to run, when to press, when not to press, and so on. These are things we are trying to teach the lads, but I have to say you can't knock the effort they are putting in. The work-rate of the players has been phenomenal.

Q: One thing you picked up on at Trafford was a lack of pressing, but there was plenty tonight, wasn't there?

A: We were up against a Crewe side who were pretty much all first-team players, so it was a great test and one we responded to really well. Young boys like Sam Heathcote and Harry Cain came on in the second half and made the most of their opportunity, which was great to see.

John Cyrus and Tom Hannigan (left) again looked the part in the centre of defence and the keeper (Andy Dawber) looked a lot better. We have put together a squad that is fairly young very quickly, and the boys who were already here are trying to learn different methods we are trying to implement in readiness for what is going to be a very tough league. But the pleasing thing for me is they are taking things on board, and what can't be knocked is their effort and attitude.

From what I have seen of Altrincham fans on previous occasions I've been here, the first thing they want is to see a lad putting the shirt on and giving everything they possibly can.

Q: Were you pleased for Andy Dawber after one or two uncertain moments in previous games, and will it have boosted his confidence to have made two or three impressive saves?

A: He is a young lad who's got the ability to do well for us, and I think we have maybe got carried away a bit with one or two Twitter posts and various things on social media and websites. People can be a little bit negative, and that breeds negativity. I have seen it before, and at the end of the day, people who bring players to the club have to be trusted to be able to do that.

We made a lot of decisions about players during the summer. We had to, because we couldn't keep the players who were here previously after the budget had been cut. Neither could we compete financially with other clubs in this division, so we have gone, to a large extent, for young lads. We've got some right and we've got some wrong. But what I can see out there is 18, 19, 20 players, or whatever it is, giving everything they've got.

Q: It's no surprise that Hannigan has made such a favourable impression, given his pedigree, but Cyrus (right) has really taken the eye. So has David Lynch, so does that suggest there is talent that can be unearthed from a lower level?

A: There's plenty out there. You've just got to find them, and a lot of hard work goes into that. It's not just me. There are people working for me who highlight these lads to me. That never stops. It is a continuous process. I've said all along, in terms of recruitment, the second lot you make are the most important. When you first come into a club, you've got players you have inherited and the budget may have changed. It's throughout that first season that the identification process goes on and you earmark what's required for the second season.

I'm very happy with what we've done so far, though there are probably two or three lads who are going to have to go out and learn their trade a bit more. It's no good them sitting on the bench here. They need to be playing football. It's more about the physical side, particularly lads who have come out of the League and not experienced this level before. They need to get some games, get roughed up a bit and rough a few people up themselves. That is the key.

Q: That's still the case, then, that it could be one or two going out and one or two more coming in?

A: Other clubs were in for certain players we wanted, and we had to go early to make sure we brought them to the Football Club, because anyone who knows about non-League football these days will know some of the wages being handed out are frightening. I'm not knocking it, though. If you've got it and better players are there, demanding that sort of money, you go and get them.

But we have to look at a different animal, in the way we do things. That involves a lot of recruitment and working with younger players, hopefully developing them and making them better.

Q: Would you say Cyrus and Lynch have exceeded expectations, given the clubs they were at before?

A: They've done very well, both of them, but I don't think I'd necessarily say that. It's quite difficult really, because some lads are actually better playing at a higher level, but that's the art of recruitment, in a way. You spot something that tells you they can step up to the plate, and these boys have done really well so far.

Sam Patterson has been excellent as well, whether at right-back or left-back. We took him from Bradford Park Avenue, and he has stepped up really well. All managers are trying to unearth something a bit special, but, likewise, we want to be seen as a football club trying to develop lads and give players from lower down a chance at our level. Like any club, even those at the very top, we will get some right and some wrong.

Q: With the start of the season just round the corner, do you feel the squad is in good shape?

A: I think we are still short in one or two areas to start the season. I would like to think we will get at least one, if not two, in before the Darlington game. We are talking all the time to League clubs about loans. I speak to managers in our league a lot, and the league above, and they are all saying the same, that there's not a lot out there. So we are probably going to have to look at the loan system, which I don't mind, because you usually find the lads in question are training every day and are fit.

Q: Any thoughts on the captaincy, while Shaun Densmore continues his recovery from injury?

A: Not at the moment, in terms of actually deciding, though there are plenty of candidates. It will be a senior player, and there are four or five who would be well suited. I've got an idea in my head for captain and vice-captain, but it depends on what we decide on, team-wise. You look at the likes of Alan Goodall, Tom Hannigan, Damian Reeves and Jake Moult, and they are all players who have seen it and done it. I'll take a view on it probably next week.

Q: Clearly David Lynch (right) isn't ready for that sort of responsibility yet, but he does seem to have leadership qualities, doesn't he?

A: He is a talker, all right. He demands off others, but I wouldn't want to put undue pressure on him so soon after coming up two or three levels. We are still trying to get him ingrained in what we are trying to do, so he doesn't need any added pressure at the moment. But the lads I've mentioned would take it in their stride. They have it in their make-up to do the job, whereas I want to take the shackles off the younger lads and let them go out and enjoy their football and keep learning.

Q: Finally, how close are you to deciding on your starting XI for the Darlington game?

A: I've got a good idea, but it still depends, to an extent, what shape we decide to go with. We probably need to bring in one player before Darlington, so that's another factor to consider. But I'm getting close..


Michael Ripley has excellent images from Alty v Crewe Alexandra here. Pictured, right, by Mike is Harry Cain, who came on as a second-half substitute.


From the Stoke Sentinel we learn that "Crewe first-team coach James Collins felt it was important to give 90 minutes to Crewe's likely starting XI during the 1-1 draw at Altrincham last night.

Steve Davis fielded the same team for the second game running, with that looking to be his line-up when Crewe travel to Stevenage on the opening day of the season on August 6. Crewe dominated the first-half, and will have been disappointed to take only one of the numerous chances they created against the National League North side. But, having lost concentration to hand Altrincham a way back in to it, Crewe lost their way in the second period as they never looked like grabbing a second goal.

Collins admits a change of shape, or indeed some fresh legs, would have helped, but giving 90 minutes to the players with the season approaching was deemed the best move by the management team...

'That was always the plan,' Collins said. 'We had this game and the one at Lincoln on Saturday, plus two at Hednesford and Kirby Muxloe, and we now need to get a couple of 90 minutes in to them going in to the Stevenage game. I think if it had been a league game we would have made some changes in the second half to try and liven them up but I think the gaffer wanted them to get that 90 minutes. Sometimes, if they get the solution from the side with a change of shape or substitution, then they don't work at it, they have to work things out to try and win the game or definitely not lose. We didn't create enough chances in the second half to really win the game'...

Collins was happy with the test Altrincham provided, believing the club's young players to have benefited from it. He added, 'That was the first game in pre-season that will look a lot like what we will face this season... and I think that while it wasn't particularly exciting game, our boys will take a lot from the game...

'Second half was tougher, they put an extra man in midfield, brought on some fresh legs, and got on top a little bit but the manager wanted to test them by giving them all 90 minutes'...

With a relatively small side, defending set plays could be a potential worry in a more physical League Two, and Collins said, 'To be fair to the lad it was a terrific delivery [by James Lawrie] but we lost the lad at the back [John Cyrus] and when you've worked hard to get a 1-0 lead you don't want to throw it away with a soft goal'".


Altrincham's opening-day league opponents, Darlington 1883 "would like to announce the signing of attacker Josh Gillies from Gateshead. Josh, 26, has been signed on a permanent basis by Darlington manager Martin Gray, who rates the former Carlisle player very highly.

'Josh has got plenty of experience for both Gateshead and Carlisle United in the past,' said MG. 'He is a major signing at this stage of the season, and has come highly recommended by several people. I rate him in the same calibre as Phil Turnbull, and I think he’s a player that will go back to playing at a higher level, hopefully with us.'

Josh started his career in the Northern League at Sunderland Nissan, before moving on for brief spells at Newcastle Blue Star and Blyth. He then moved back into the Northern League to Whitley Bay... He then moved on to Gateshead, and was top scorer with 15 goals for them in season 2012-13, earning a call up to the England C squad...

He was transferred to Carlisle in 2013, and had a loan spell at Cambridge before he was freed by Carlisle in 2015 and rejoined Gateshead. He scored 4 times for the Heed in 23 games last season. He would have played more games, but was hampered by a shoulder injury."

Alty lost 2-1 to the Manchester United Reserves last week and Metro reports on the United side's next game, against our league rivals Salford City. It tells us that United'as"James Wilson boosted his hopes of convincing Jose Mourinho he has a future at Old Trafford last night thanks to a solid display for a Manchester United XI side that thrashed Salford City 5-1...

The 20-year-old wasted no time in showing off his ability on Tuesday evening by scoring just three minutes into the match at Moor Lane, taking a touch before firing into the back of the net. Salford equalised after 20 minutes and the match against the Class of ‘92 backed non-league side would remain at 1-1 until Josh Harrop sparked a goal frenzy in the last 25 minutes". The United line up comprised Henderson; Riley (Olosunde 82), Love, Poole, Blackett; El Fitouri, W

The Lancashire Evening Post reports that "Striker Jordan Connerton has returned to Lancaster City from Chorley. The 26-year-old is back for his fourth spell at Giant Axe...

City boss Phil Brown said... 'Strikers of Jordan’s calibre are difficult to secure, so it’s a great signing for us'...

He [had] returned to Giant Axe in 201... before leaving for Australia and signing for Chorley on his return to England. The Magpies have given their blessing to the move, with the club indicating Connerton has headed back home in search of first team football after the arrivals of Marcus Carver, Sefton Gonzales and Jason Walker at Victory Park this summer. A statement said: “Although we are disappointed with Jordan’s decision, as we feel that he brought us different options to the other strikers, we also respect his decision'".

We learn that Bradford Park Avenue, "have added attacker Leon Osborne to their squad for the fast-approaching campaign. Osborne, 26, joins after spending the summer on trial with Alex Meechan’s Avenue side. He has played in four of the five friendlies so far...

Osborne, equally comfortable on either wing or in attack, started his career at Bradford City, going on to make 36 appearances in the Football League... and spent time on loan at Southport. The forward then spent time at Harrogate Town and Stalybridge Celtic before two years at Buxton, with a short spell at Goole sandwiched in. Osborne then moved on to Frickley in 2014 before joining Matlock for the 2014-15 season.

A stint at Rainworth Miners Welfare followed before he joined Farsley Celtic last season following a trial at Avenue in the summer. Osborne becomes the 17th member of Meechan’s squad and the 14th new signing this summer. He is the fourth signing in just two days, following Liam Dickinson, Tom Davie and Sanchez Payne yesterday."

And NL PItchero adds that "Midfielder Sanchez Payne became the third player to sign for Bradford Park Avenue in 24 hours. The former Leeds United man has been on trial at the Horsfall Stadium for the majority of pre-season... He played 90 minutes in his first appearance against Newcastle United, when head coach Alex Meechan chose to keep his identity under wraps... The skilful 23-year-old started his career in the academy at Elland Road, before his release in 2013.

He initially joined Doncaster Rovers, but a serious injury scuppered any chances of earning a contract and he was left without a club until he signed for Stockport County in 2014. A spell at Frickley Athletic followed before last season, when Payne started out at Ossett Town but took a self-imposed break from the game, before returning to Ingfield for the latter stages of the campaign. The midfielder adds competition in the centre of the park, joining Luke Dean and new signing Nicky Wroe in the fight for a place in the starting XI".


From the BBC we learn that "Clubs will be allowed to use a fourth substitute during extra time in the latter stages of this season's FA Cup. The format, subject to approval from the International Football Association Board, was trialled in the Copa America this summer. The rule will be introduced in the FA Cup from the quarter-final stage.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said the move will add 'intrigue and interest', adding that 'player welfare" had also been a consideration. It is important The FA continues to look at how it can further add to the drama and spectacle of a competition loved by millions,' he added. The FA's decision to scrap replays from the quarter-final stage was another factor in the move. 'With the cup now adopting a straight knockout format from the quarter-finals onwards, the introduction of a fourth substitute in extra time will bring extra intrigue and interest,' Glenn said.

'Also, from a technical point of view, it will be interesting to see how managers use the chance to make an additional substitution in such high-profile games and the impact it has on the final result.'"

27 July 2016


Above: Alty line up before the game.

Altrincham secured a well-deserved draw, their fourth in five pre-season games, against a strong Crewe Alexandra side at the J. Davidson Stadium. The visitors had enjoyed a dominant spell midway through the first half when only a couple of fine stops by goalkeeper Dawber kept them out. But Alex got the breakthrough in the 32nd minute when Cooper nodded home a Jones ball played into the box.

Having rarely threatened, Alty nevertheless equalised less than four minutes later when James Lawrie's well-taken freekick from 25 yards was firmly headed home by centre-back John Cyrus who arrived, unmarked, towards the back post

Altrincham made three changes at the interval and went on to make eight substitutions, in all, during the second half. And it was they who had the better of the latter stages of the game but the score remained 1-1.

Match report here.


Keithe Edleston, manager if the Altrincham FC Ladies has kindly sent images and information from the recent Presentation Night for the Ladies' team. This was kindly sponsored by Neil Faulkner from Robinsons Preservation Ltd. who made the presentations seen below.

The awards were...

  • Manager's Player of the Year: Jess Hartopp
  • Players Player of the Year: Kate Bryan
  • Most Improved Player: Lucy Smith
  • Sportswoman of the Year: Lucy O'Dwyer
  • Blue Dog Player of the Year: Heather Scott
  • Isle of Man Player of the Tournament: Laura Dodds
  • Parents' & Supporters' Player of the Year: Elina Parker
  • Top Goalscorer: Kate Bryan
  • Physio of the Year: Alan Ainsley

The images below are courtesy of Keith Edleston.

Above: The Ladies after the Presentation Evening.

Jess Hartopp

Kate Bryan

Lucy Smith

Lucy O'Dwyer

Heather Scott

Laura Dodds

Alan Ainsley

Elina Parker

Manager Keith Edleston


According to the Northern Echo, "Football fans have given a cautious response to the announcement of a start date for long-awaited redevelopment work to bring a North-East club home. Darlington FC confirmed that construction to complete an agreed groundshare between Martin Gray’s squad and Darlington Rugby Club would finally go ahead at the Blackwell Meadows site.

Darlington-based J & RM Richardson Construction Ltd will being the existing facility’s overhaul on Monday, August 8 to include a welcome expansion. The rebuild of the beloved Tin Shed from Darlington FC’s former Feethams home will include 250 new seats, terraces, turnstiles and a security fence to secure the ground. Darlington RFC will undertake the redevelopment of the changing room facilities.

However, despite the step forward to returning the Quakers to Darlington after four long seasons at Heritage Park in Bishop Auckland, some fans are still not getting their hopes up. Sisters Louise Airey, 34, and Clare Clayton, 32, both season ticket holders from Hurworth, near Darlington, have been fans of the club for over two decades... Mrs Airey said, 'There have been so many stories over the last few months, it’s actually disheartening. I’ll wait until the August 8 and then I will get excited'...

Darlington FC director, John Tempest, previously stated that the target date for the club’s first National Northern League game at Blackwell Meadows would be the August Bank Holiday weekend... Through the Community Share Scheme, dedicated fans have raised over £100,000 within a three-year period.

Chair of Darlington Football Club Supporters Group, Wayne Raper, said, 'Many supporters thought this might not ever come off but this is a real start'...

However, club bosses have hailed the progress so far as a milestone for the squad that now hopes to play its first game in its new home at some point in October this year".

From another club playing away from its home, the Worcester News tells us that "There is 'no pressure' on former Leicester City, West Bromwich Albion and Watford defender James Chambers to sign for Worcester City, insists manager Carl Heeley. The 35-year-old, who announced his retirement last year, made his second appearance for City when he started in their 2-0 victory over Sutton Coldfield last Friday.

But Heeley said the talks remained 'relaxed' as Chambers, who also played for Walsall, Doncaster Rovers, Cardiff City and Hereford United during his career, continues to consider whether or not to play competitive football again. 'It is very open with James,' said Heeley. 'He wants to play some minutes, we are happy to give him that and we will see where it goes. But it is relaxed and we are putting no pressure on him'...

Chambers, who memorably secured promotion to the Premier League with West Brom in 2002 and Watford in 2006, currently runs a business called My Farewell. Heeley said the former England Under-20 international was looking to return to the game and insisted City were the only club he was talking to ahead of the new season...

Heeley said, 'He knows we would like to get him on board but it is not about whether he wants to sign for us or whether we can agree a deal, it is about whether he feels he can commit to playing football again as he has had over a year out and that’s all we are talking about.'

Chambers played the full 90 minutes at centre-back against Stratford Town earlier this month before featuring at right-back against Sutton Coldfield".

Bradford Park Avenue confirm that "Striker Liam Dickinson has completed his return to the club following a successful trial period. The towering front man spent the last two months of last season on loan at the Horsfall Stadium, and has now signed for Avenue on a permanent basis. He has featured in four of Avenue’s five pre-season friendlies so far...

The 30-year-old was probably involved in the most memorable event of last season, as he started in goal when Avenue travelled to Boston United in April due to the fact no other goalkeepers were available. Dickinson has had an eventful career to say the least. After spells at Bolton, Blackpool and Blackburn as a youngster, he gave up on becoming a professional at 16. However he became a prolific goalscorer for several non-league clubs in Manchester, prompting then-Football League club Stockport County to sign him for £2,000.

Three years and 35 goals in 107 appearances, including a winner in the League Two play-off final, later, Dickinson secured a £750,000 move to Derby County in 2008. He never made an appearance for Derby, but impressed on loan at Huddersfield Town and Leeds United before joining Brighton and Hove Albion in 2009. Spells at Peterborough, Barnsley, Walsall and Rochdale followed before the 6’4″ striker joined Southend United in 2011, netting 12 goals in 37 appearances that season.

He returned to Stockport for a year, and spent a season at Stalybridge before joining Guiseley last summer. He scored six times in the National League at Nethermoor before moving to Avenue on loan. Dickinson’s signing takes the tally of returning players up to three, with Luke Dean and Ryan Jones the only two other faces in Alex Meechan’s squad that fans will remember from last season."

Also, "Bradford Park Avenue have signed left-sided winger Tom Davie from North Ferriby United. Davie, who can operate on the left-hand side of midfield or at left-back, has been on trial with Avenue lately, playing in the recent friendlies against Consett and Guiseley...

After making just two substitute appearances for Billy Heath’s North Ferriby last term, Davie spent the majority of last season on loan at Frickley... The 21-year-old joined Ferriby last summer following two years at Gainsborough Trinity, where he made 39 appearances in the then-named Conference North... A product of the Hull City academy, Davie also scored eight goals in a loan spell at Scarborough Athletic in the 2013-14 season, his first with Gainsborough".

The Tamworth Herald tells us that "Tamworth FC have completed the signing of former Mansfield and Wrexham winger Louis Briscoe. Lambs boss Andy Morrell said, 'I think he is the kind of player that we need. He has plenty of experience but is still hungry and wants to do well. He ticks all the boxes, his touches are great and I think he is someone who will get better as he gets fitter. He can play in various positions at the top end of the pitch'".

The Football Conference reports that "Brackley Town have announced the signing of central midfielder Shane Byrne. Dublin-born, 23-year-old Byrne spent last season with league rivals Nuneaton Town. He arrived in England at Leicester City before going on loan to Bury where he made four League appearances for The Shakers.

Released from his contract, Byrne returned to Ireland and played for Bray Wanderers before joining Corby Town for the 2014/15 season where he attracted the attentions of many clubs, including Nuneaton".

And a third exiled club, Gloucester City report that "In light of the club’s ground application not being heard on the August Planning Committee meeting, Gloucester City would like to issue the following statement.

'The club is very disappointed that it’s not been possible for the council planning committee to consider our reserved matters application at the August meeting. It is necessary for the Council Lawyers to draw up a Deed of Variation relating to the Universal Undertaking signed last year in relation to the flood relief payments to the Environment Agency. Unfortunately, due to very high levels of work in the council legal department, it has not been possible to get this drawn up in time for the deadline.

We continue to work closely with all parties to get this completed quickly so that the whole package can be considered together (even if everything else had gone to committee this month a determination would not have been possible without that document). The club is working through the implications of this delay, and remains committed to holding meetings with fans to discuss [this]'".

26 July 2016


Alty entertain Crewe Alexandra at the J Davidson Stadium on Tuesday evening (7.45pm). It is Alty's fifth pre-season match and follows three draws and a defeat in their previous four matches.

Brian Flynn writes that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Tuesday night's game. The commentary team is Alex Sarwar and Ian Watmore and the match summariser is John Edwards. Coverage starts at 7.40pm with the game kicking off at 7.45pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.


Crewe Alexandra report that they "travel to Altrincham on Tuesday night to contest the Mornflake Cup. Kick off is 7.45pm at Moss Lane and tickets are priced at £8 for adults, £5 concessions and £2 for juniors."

Before the match Crewe Alexandra reported that "Alexandra travel to Altrincham this evening for our latest pre-season warm-up game and, with both clubs sponsored by Mornflake, we will be playing for a commemorative trophy to only add to the friendly fixture.

Steve Davis... has stated that he will name a strong side. Steve told, 'It will be another good test against a good non-League side. I am sure we will get out what we need and it is important now that players start to get 90 minutes under their belts. We will go strong and build them up for the opening game of the season. I want to replicate the tempo we played against Bolton on Friday night, but the most important thing is that the players come through unscathed.

'I want it to be as competitive as it can be and I’m sure Altrincham will be as sensible as we want to be. No manager wants their players to pick up injures a week or so before the new season starts. They will want to beat a club that is playing at a higher level than themselves and I’m sure they will raise their game against us. We will have to raise ours to match them or a tough game becomes even more difficult. There are no strolls in pre-season and I’m sure it will be a good game tonight'".

Last Tuesday Crewe Chronicle says that Crewe boss "Steve Davis was encouraged by his side's performance in their 4-0 friendly win at Nantwich Town... Manager Steve Davis said, 'It was another useful run-out for us and it was good.... but it was more about seeing the signs of what we have been doing all week in training. I thought there were positive signs and we played some really good football at times...

'I thought the back four were good, the full-backs got forward a lot more and we didn't let a lot into our box, so that was a positive'.

Davis used 21 players, including three trialists, during the annual encounter at the Weaver Stadium. Former Wigan winger Ryan Jennings got another run-out, while Solihull Moors midfielder Jamey Osborne impressed in his second-half cameo. Striker Toby Fure played the final 25 minutes.

And on Friday, it was Crewe Alexandra 1 Bolton Wanderers XI 1 which "was another useful run out for manager Steve Davis's side, who played well in patches but often lacked a ruthless edge in the final third... The Alex had been the better side, and Dagnall got his reward for an industrious first half with the opener on the stroke of half-time...

Just after the half-hour mark the manager made five substitutions, giving home fans a first glimpse of Kiwomya. Daniel Udoh, Liam Smith, George Ray and Callum Ainley also entered the fray, with Jon Guthrie, Ryan Lowe, Kirk, Cooper and Jones getting a rest. The new players had no time to settle in before Bolton drew level... Wanderers also made a whole host of changes, and the alterations drained the life out of the encounter.

Neither side truly threatened to win it from that point, with most of the match being contested in the middle third. But there were worrying scenes for loan man Smith just before the end, when he went down in agony after a heavy challenge from Alex Samizadeh. The Newcastle United man was stretchered off to warm applause from the home fans.

Crewe (4-4-2): Garratt; Turton, Davis, Guthrie (Ray), Bakayogo; Cooper (Smith), Jones (Kiwomya), Bingham, Kirk (Udoh); Lowe (Ainley), Dagnall (Saunders).


Darlington 1883 report that "The directors are pleased to announce that they have exchanged contracts with Darlington-based company J & RM Richardson Construction Limited to undertake the main building works for the Blackwell Meadows redevelopment.

The announcement is the latest step to bringing Darlington FC back to its home town after four seasons at Heritage Park in Bishop Auckland. The club intends to groundshare with Darlington Rugby Club at Blackwell Meadows.

Richard Cook, Director of the football club said, 'I am delighted that we have reached this major milestone in returning the football club back to Darlington. Being able to work with a local Darlington based company with an excellent reputation on quality and delivery provides the club with confidence in making this substantial investment. We are also grateful for the help and assistance given to us by Darlington Rugby Club and Darlington Borough Council as well as other stakeholders.'

Having signed the relevant contracts with Darlington Rugby Club less than two weeks ago, the main building works will commence on the 8th August with the first game in the Vanarama National League North scheduled to be played back in Darlington later in the year.

Managing Director of J and RM Richardson, John Richardson, whose company is based in Portland Place in Darlington, added, 'My company is proud to have been chosen as the main contractor for the Football Club’s redevelopment works. We are looking forward to starting the project and delivering this prestigious development'.

The redevelopment will see the rebuilding of the 1,100 space Tin Shed, many Darlington fans have fond memories of the original Tin Shed at Feethams, long with over 250 new seats, new terraces and turnstiles, while a security fence around the ground will be constructed. The development of new changing rooms [is] being undertaken by Darlington Rugby Club."

According to the Shropshire Star "Defender Gianluca Havern is set to be named as AFC Telford United’s captain for the new season. Manager Rob Smith has revealed the 27-year-old centre-back, who has skippered his previous clubs Hyde and Altrincham, is his choice to take the armband for the 2016-17 campaign.

Jack Rea led the team at the end of last season and captained the side in Saturday’s 4-0 win in the Shropshire Senior Cup semi-final against Market Drayton Town. Smith said, 'Ben (Bailey), ‘Camps’ (Darren Campion), Josh (Wilson), ‘Prezzo’ (Dan Preston) have all captained teams, but I want a centre-half really. We’ll go with Gianluca as captain. I just think he’s a talker and an organiser and he’s got the experience. He’s not a bawler and a shouter but he organises people and you can hear it so it’s a good position to have a captain.

'Luca’s got to get his shirt as well but the good thing is, if he doesn’t play, we’ve got other people who can be captain. I don’t make a great deal out of the choice of captain but he’s a natural organiser'.

Smith is happy... adding, 'The one thing we’ve got this season is a lot of players who have been captain at clubs, so we’re spoilt for choice really. He (Rea) has been doing my head in, telling me he’d been stripped of the captaincy so I thought I’d give it to him on Saturday!'

Right-back Dwayne Samuels suffered a dead leg and went off shortly after replacing Darren Campion as a half-time substitute. Smith said, 'It was just a dead leg but there was no point risking him any more. I imagine he’ll be OK for Tuesday.' Centre-back Dan Preston missed the game because of a family issue in Devon, but both he and Samuels are expected to be available for tomorrow’s visit of Wrexham."

At Nuneaton Town "The football stadium at Liberty Way will be known as The Coombe Abbey Arena for the 2016-17 season after the Warwickshire hotel won the Golden Ticket draw on Saturday... DB Devall and Son won the pitch side advertising board, while Sheldon's Wine will be enjoying the hospitality in the SFB Boro Boardroom as winners of the match ball sponsorship package. JJ Sports Promotions, who produce the club's match day programme, will receive the framed and signed Nuneaton Town football shirt."


The EvoStik League reports that David Brown has signed to allow him to play for Burscough. Two former Alty players have gined on at EvoStik clubs. Samuel Grimshaw (Stockport County) has signed for Leek Town whilst Joe Mwasile has signed for Marine from Salford City.
25 July 2016


Altrincham FC's Peter Foster writes that "Our friendly game against a Manchester United XI on Friday night was not just the latest match in our pre-season preparation, it also included the official ’switch-on’ of our new pitch irrigation system.

The system is part of a £45,000 project that also included some work on pitch drainage, and new mowing equipment, all of which we believe will help to improve the quality of the playing surface. The project is part-funded by a grant from the Football Foundation's ‘Football Stadium Improvement Fund’.

It was appropriate that the visitors were United, who will share the benefits of the playing surface as they have committed to playing at least ten of their Under-18 fixtures at the J. Davidson Stadium in 2016/17. We are very grateful to United for sending such a strong team which contained a mix including players with first-team experience as well as highly promising young players.

Afterwards Neil Faulkner commented ‘The pitch improvements are the latest in a series of enhancements to the facilities for players and spectators, including new changing facilities, matchday bar, catering outlet and, now, the pitch improvements.

All of these have been undertaken with the support of the Football Foundation and the Premier League, and, without this support, they would not have been possible. We are really grateful, and hope to continue to improve the facilities over the next few months and years.

Thanks also to Neil Brown (groundsman), who has worked so hard in co-ordinating the installation of the irrigation system during the close season, while still managing to get the pitch in top condition for the new season.’

United’s U21 manager, Warren Joyce (left) is in the above picture along with groundsman Neil Brown, Altrincham FC director Neil Faulkner and Altrincham FC manager, Neil Young".

Image courtesy of Mike Ripley Photography.


The Manchester Evening News says that "Manchester United's under-21s claimed a 2-1 win over neighbours Altrincham on Friday night...

While the first-team squad were recovering from a bruising encounter with Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai, James Wilson was starting for the second string against Altrincham. It was a difficult evening for the young striker, who ran an increasingly isolated furrow as a lone frontman and struggled to get into the game. During the first half, the majority of United's attacks came down the wings, the crosses were largely not good enough to pick out a man wearing a blue shirt in the middle and Wilson suffered.

However, left out of the trip to China and without a first-team squad number for next season, he will surely have wanted to make a positive impression here and his frustration was evident at being unable to have any influence on proceedings. A loan away from Old Trafford must beckon...

Warren Joyce will have been glad to leave Altrincham with a win after a game that failed to provide much in the way of inspiration... Ultimately, this looked like what it was - a friendly on a July night featuring players with distinctly rusty limbs against a side that showed limited ambition in United's half, particularly after the break. Tyler Blackett was given so much freedom to roam by Altrincham that he ended up in a position more akin to a centre forward on a couple of occasions...

James Riley and Sadiq El Fitouri were particularly effective as a duo in the build-up and although it took four or five attempts, the first goal from Tosin Kehinde arrived from this approach. It was a noticeable tactic employed by Jose Mourinho and the first team at Wigan and with Joyce also setting up in a 4-2-3-1, it points to a welcome cohesion between the first and second XIs...

The second half brought a raft of changes from Warren Joyce, subs that brought down the average age a notch or two. With younger players chomping at the bit to get game time, there are questions over the side that started at Altrincham that the following 90 minutes failed to answer. Many of them are the elder statesmen of this group now and it's unclear what happens next. With more players to return to this level, either from injury or exploits in China, there is a clear need for some to be moved on, whether on loan or more permanently, to give the next generation room to flourish."


Chorley added after the Trafford game that the match " will be one of those that lives short in the memory. Both sides put in a good display, but the passion, drive and eagerness to win was, as ever in these games, lacking.

With keeper Sam Ashton unavailable due to holiday and deputy Jack Cookson injured, AFC Blackpool keeper Adam Caunce was drafted into the number one shirt on a temporary basis...

With an hour on the clock Sefton Gonzales was fouled just inside the box and the referee awarded the Magpies their fifth penalty of the season, but Josh O’Keefe blotted his spot kick record when he fired against the bar from 12 yards. It wasn’t long before Chorley did take the lead, Gonzales rounding a defender to slot beyond Pilling on 67 minutes, but the lead lasted only 7 minutes as Trafford levelled from the spot... Then, in the final minutes, Walker was fouled, a penalty awarded and the new signing followed O’Keefe by failing to score...

Starting XI: Adam Caunce, Matt Challoner, Will Beesley, Andy Teague, Scott Leather, Stephen Jordan, Josh O’Keefe, Dale Whtiham, Jason Walker, Sefton Gonzales, Paul Jarvis. Subs: Keiran Charnock, Jack Lynch, Jordan Connerton, Waqas Azam, Aaron Astley".


Chorley report that "Ahead of Saturday's friendly with Trafford, striker Jason Walker put pen to paper on a deal to play for the Magpies this season. The former Barrow striker has been a proven goal scorer throughout his career and offers a different option to the management team up front to compliment Marcus Carver and Sefton Gonzales.

Now 32 years old, he has played for Greenock Morton, Morecambe, Barrow (two spells), Luton Town, York City, Forest Green Rovers, Southport as well as a stint with Östersunds FK in Sweden, and totals 145 goals in 480 career appearances throughout his career. He has appeared for the club in the last three pre-season games, including today’s draw with Trafford, and has looked sharp in each game".

Two players who were at Alty last season were in action over the Pennines, where Guiseley reported that they "travelled to Horsfall for their second pre-season game in two days and came away with a confidence boosting 3-2 win over Bradford Park Avenue...

Starting line-up: Willynski, Bennett, tares, Vidal, Wells, Abbott, Smith, Boshell, Boyes, Clee & Rankine. Second-half subs: Jack Carney, Steve Smith, Scott Smith, Jack Atkinson and Dev Morton for Stares, Vidal, Clee, Bennett & Boyes".

From Bulls' News we learn that "Hereford travelled to Manchester on Saturday for their fourth friendly but suffered the first defeat as the National North side FCUM won 1-0... The opening stages were fairly even...

FCUM broke the deadlock as Greaves scored. Hereford went searching for a leveller but they were frustrated by FCUM defending... Full Time: FC United 1-0 Hereford... FCUM: Dave Carnell, Dale Tong, Chris Chantler, Tom Brown, Tom Eckersley, Scott Kay (c), Sam Madeley, Sam Sheridan, Harry Pratt, George Thomson and Harry Winter. Subs: Tom Greaves, Adriano Basso, Dean Hope, Kieran Glynn, Matt Walwyn, Kisimba Kisimba, James Doyle, Jake Williams and Jamie Frost."

24 July 2016


Manchester United report on their game aganst Altrincham.

Right: Mike Ripley's image shows John Cyrus in action for Alty against a Manchester United XI on Saturday.

"Manchester United came from behind to claim a narrow 2-1 friendly win against close neighbours Altrincham on Friday evening. Tosin Kehinde and Callum Gribbin grabbed United’s goals after Damian Reeves had given Altrincham the lead.

This was the start of pre-season in earnest for Warren Joyce’s charges, following their behind-closed-doors training game against Blackpool on Tuesday...

Altrincham, one of the aristocrats of non-League football and richly deserving of the status as Trafford Borough’s top club behind their illustrious guests, have accumulated a considerable back catalogue of friendly matches against United over the years.

This latest visit was billed as the official unveiling of Altrincham’s new playing surface which, it has to said, was looking resplendent as the match commenced. The hosts, represented by their first team, were in familiar red-and-white stripes, while United were kitted out in all blue...

A rapid raid on United’s goal bore fruit when Reeves struck a shot past Dean Henderson to put the home side in front.

The lead was short lived for, in the 33rd minute, Sadiq El Fitouri raced down the right wing to cross for Kehinde to lash home the equaliser...

There was very little to choose between the sides as the second half unfolded but, with 15 minutes of the game remaining, United finally got their noses in front.

Dawber managed to repel a couple of threats to his goal but, when the ball fell to Gribbin, one of United’s substitutes, he launched a sweetly-struck shot into the top corner that gave the Alty no.1 no chance and brought a cheer from the United fans among the 543 spectators".


Adam Nuttall writes that "The Foyle Cup trophy is on the next flight back to Manchester as Altrincham FC U19s last night beat local side Foyle Harps 2-1 in another closely fought game at Ardmore FC in Derry.

Harry Dulson got up highest to nod home the opener, a fine reward for a superb tournament from the centre-half, and Thabani Jambaya added another to his collection for the trip, midway through the second half.

The home side threw everything at the Altrincham defence an, despite some more great saves, Christian Evans was finally beaten when a wonde-strike crashed in, off the cross bar, with 15 minutes remaining!

Foyle Harps now had the bit between their teeth and a few Altrincham hearts were in mouths when a late chance bounced down off the bar onto the line but was cleared. Finally, the final whistle blew and the Altrincham players were joined by their under-13 counterparts for celebrations that went on all the way back to the hotel! What a fantastic trip!"

From Northern Ireland's Newsletter, "The Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup Under=19 final had everything in a pulsating showpiece at Ardmore on Friday night as local side Foyle Harps fell to Altrincham FC.

In a tense final it was the English side who prevailed with a 2-1 victory to claim the silverware... [A] corner saw Altrincham centre back Harry Dulson head goalwards with play waved on at first. After consulting his line official, the referee awarded a goal claiming the ball had crossed the line.

Ten minutes into the second period, Harps conceded again. Tricky Altrincham winger Thambani Jambaya neatly tucked the ball inside the post from 16 yards... A constant barrage of attacks from the local side saw them pull a goal back when Caolan Kearney’s deft chip from 20 yards out deceived the keeper and crept under the crossbar.

Minutes later Harps went down to 10 men with Odhran Scarlett sent off for abusive language... The red and white of Altrincham ran out 2-1 winners and collected the Hughes Insurance Under 19 Foyle Cup at Ardmore from Mr. Don Brennan, Area Manager, Hughes Insurance Northern Ireland."

Above and below, are images from Adam Nuttall showing the celebrations.


Altrincham FC is pleased to welcome Smart Storage as new sponsors of the Family Stand at the J. Davidson Stadium. "Smart Storage Altrincham provide a huge range of self storage options to both domestic and commercial customers situated in Altrincham. If you’re looking for self storage in South Manchester give us a try.

We can cater for any requirement, whether you need a small storage locker or you are looking to make use of over 5000 sq ft. We also have commercial office spaces, perfect for those businesses wanting a town centre location without paying inflated prices or rates for the privilege.

Our Craven Road storage facility in Broadheath, Altrincham, near Atlantic Retail Park, is perfectly situated between Hale, Bowdon and Sale and offers easy access to the A56, A560 and the M56".


From the Shropshire Star we learn that "AFC Telford United are still seeking fresh investment as it emerged they have held talks with five interested parties, as two new directors and a new commercial manager were appointed.

Talks with one individual are on hold after four other parties were ruled out following the mandate given at the AGM in December to look at different ownership models. Chairman Ian Dosser said, 'The publicity after the AGM generated five enquiries of material interest. Two parties were quickly ruled out because they were unsuitable and a further two were ruled out because the individuals had the wrong motives. That leaves one and there were discussions with a fifth person.

'But although talks are not ongoing with the remaining party, it remains an open item and it’s not been "switched off""'...

Dosser stressed the board... 'Will not give the club away to someone not suitable'...

Telford have been appealing for fresh investment ever since a fans’ forum last October when outgoing managing director Lee Carter claimed the club could go under in 12 months if the current financial situation continued. The news comes as the Bucks unveiled two new directors to the club board, Andy Pryce and Luke Fearnall.

Fearnall will become fan liaison director... Pryce, who runs a successful local building company and is also the Bucks' goalkeeping coach, brings a wealth of business and football experience, having been Market Drayton’s goalkeeper for many years...

Two external additions are likely to be appointed to the club board in the coming months."

Elsewhere, "Midfielder Nicky Wroe has today joined Bradford Park Avenue from FC Halifax Town. The 30-year-old was an unnamed trialist in Avenue’s victory over Consett, and has committed to the club...

Wroe joins with a wealth of Football League experience... He made over 100 league appearances for Torquay... before joining Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed fee. The central midfielder started his career at Barnsley... going on to make 59 appearances...

Spells at Bury, Hamilton Academical and York City followed before he joined Torquay in 2008... Two more years in League Two followed with Shrewsbury before he joined League One side Preston in 2012. After loan spells at Shrewsbury and Oxford United, Wroe joined Notts County in 2014. In his second season at County, he joined Halifax on loan, making the switch permanent in January this year.

The midfielder is Alex Meechan’s 11th new signing this summer, and becomes the 13th member of Avenue’s squad".

23 July 2016


Altrincham gave a good account of themselves against the Manchester United Reserves at the J Davidson Stadium on Friday evening. Altrincham took a 25th-minute lead when United keeper Henderson dropped a cross and Damian Reeves scored off the underside of the bar. United levelled nine minutes later when Riley fed el-Fitouri up the right and his cross was converted by Kehinde from 15 yards.

During the second half United fielded ten substitutes to Alty's six (with two of the home side's replacements only deployed late in the match) and the fresher legs told as United took a 75th minute lead. The ball broke free in the Alty box and Gribbin sidefooted home.

Match report here

Right: Tom Hannigan and Alan Goodall get stuck in against Manchester United Reserves at the J. Davidson Stadium.


Adam Nuttall, coach with the Altrincham FC Youth and Juniors' teams competing in the Foyle Cup in Northern Ireland, writes "Last night (Thursday) the Altrincham FC U19 side maintained their 100% record with a nail biting 4-3 win over Scottish side Partick Thistle. A difficult opening ten minutes was navigated thanks to some top-drawer goalkeeping from Christian Evans before Thabani Jambaya countered and with his first touch of the game finished expertly to give Altrincham a lead against the run of play.

Partick were soon level, but Altrincham's quick counter attacking saw them add to the score sheet with Jambaya adding a second and skipper Dominic Newton breaking away to add a third before half time.

The Scottish side came at Altrincham hard but Evans's defence stood strong. Eventually, a twenty-yard free kick skidded off a wet surface and the lead was pegged back to 3-2. The goal of the game then came from substitute Aaron Clayton, who collected a loose clearance from the Partick goalkeeper, took one touch and left the keeper stranded from fully forty yards! 4-2 Alty!

With twenty minutes left on the clock, the Altrincham side were bolstered by strong performances by Jordan Henry and Isaac Graham, off the bench,to help take pressure off the defence. A late Partick goal meant a nervy final five minutes but Altrincham held on to book their place in Friday's Foyle Cup Final versus local side Foyle Harps at Ardmore, kick off 7pm.

The U13s continued their action packed week with a great team performance against Strabane. Tom J's dipping free kick and great saves from goalie Ben were the big highlights!


Chris Rowley adds that "Our next game is the most recently arranged fixture, which is this coming Saturday (23rd) against Manchester Gregorians (at The Platt Lane Complex, Yew Tree Road, Fallowfield, M14 7UU K.O. 3pm),


Jack Jolly updates us on the Altrincham FC Supporters' Team. He says, "We're at the WorldNet 2016 tournament this weekend. Fresh off the back of their Staff v Supporters victory, Altrincham Supporters' team head off to sunny Preston this weekend for their annual post-season tournament. WorldNET is a two-day knockout tournament, played annually every year since 1996 in July, for supporters' teams.

This is Altrincham's thirrd WorldNet tournament and we're hoping to do better than last year's Quarter-Final defeat to Kidderminster Harriers. The defeat was attributed to Altrincham's Dave Barnett missing an open net. This year, the supporters have been drawn in Group C alongside Ipswich Town, Sheffield United, Barnsley and Southampton. The tournament not only features English teams but has representatives from Scottish, Welsh and French clubs. You can follow our results this weekend via Twitter at @altrincham_Sfc

The competition is run by the Internet Football Association who also help us play 10-15 games throughout the season against the likes of Rochdale, Manchester United, FC Halifax Town and other Vanarama clubs. The games take place on Saturday mornings and, unlike Saturday teams, do not require a weekly commitment. We welcome all standards of fitness and footballing ability, as long as you support the Robins! 'Training' (a kick about) takes place each Monday at Timperley C.C.

If you'd like to join the team for the 2016/17 season, or just fancy a kick about on a Monday night, then contact Jack Jolly for more information".


Nuneaton Town report that "Kevin Wilson has added to his defensive options by signing 19-year-old Elliot Hodgett-Young. Hodgett-Young, who can play as a centre half or left back, said, 'I was with the gaffer and Steve at Ilkeston a couple of seasons ago and it's great to be linking up with them again at Nuneaton. After they left, I went to Carlton Town, but I wanted to work with them full-time again and play at a higher level...

'Obviously I know a few of the Ilkeston lads who are here and I also went to the same school as Greg Tempest and Jordan Keane so I don't think I'll have a problem settling in. It's a step up for me, but I want to progress and help to take Nuneaton forward. I'll fight for a place in the team'...

Kevin Wilson said he was happy to have the chance to work with Elliot again. 'He needs to be around the first team squad and train with us so that he can progress. He will develop as a player with the Boro and I'm pleased to have the opportunity to help with his development and, in turn, improve the team'".

22 July 2016


On Friday evening (k.o. 7.30pm), Altrincham entertain Manchester United Reserves at the J. Davidson Stadium.

Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Friday night's game. The commentary team is Ian Wilkinson and Brian Flynn. Coverage starts at 7.25pm with the game kicking off at 7.30pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.

Manchester United Reserves, a.k.a. the Under-21s include...

  • J. Castro Pereira DOB: 28/06/1996 Position:Goalkeeper
  • K. O'Hara :22/04/1996 Position: Goalkeeper
  • O. Byrne DOB: 31/12/1997 Position:Goalkeeper
  • D. Henderson DOB: 12/03/1997 Position: Goalkeeper
  • M. Olosunde DOB: 07/03/1998 Position: Defender
  • A. Tuanzebe DOB: 14/11/1997 Position: Defender
  • R. Poole DOB: 18/06/1998 Position: Defender
  • C. Scott DOB: 02/09/1997 Position: Defender
  • S. el-Fitouri DOB: 10/10/1994 Position: Defender
  • D. Love DOB:02/12/1994 Position: Defender
  • J. Riley DOB: 06/12/1996 Position: Defender
  • S. McTominay DOB: 08/12/1996 Position: Midfielder
  • T. Kehinde DOB: 18/06/1998 Position: Midfielder
  • J. Weir DOB: 04/08/1995 Position: Midfielder
  • J. Harrop DOB: 15/12/1995 Position: Midfielder
  • S. Goss DOB: 01/10/1995 Position: Midfielder
  • D. Redmond DOB: 19/09/1996 Position: Midfielder
  • M. Willock DOB: 20/08/1996 Position: Midfielder
  • D. Mitchell DOB: 11/01/1997 Position: Striker
  • J. Doughty DOB: 08/04/1997 Position: Striker

As usual for pre-season friendlies at home, entry is free on Friday to Altrincham FC season ticket holders. For those paying at the turnstiles, the prices are:

  • Adults: £8
  • Concessionaries: £5
  • Under 16s: £2


As the above image shows, the recently re-sown pitch at the J Davidson Stadium is proving very attractive to the local bird population!


Mike Ripley had his excellent images from the pre-season game at Trafford last Tuesday, here. Pictured right, by Mike, is Sam Patterson in action at Shawe View.


Adam Nuttall, Altrincham FC youth team coach on their summer participation in the Foyle Cup in Northern Ireland, has provided an update on the competition.

"Last night (Wednesday) the Youth Team won their third game in a row, to top the group with nine points, with a hard-fought win over the hometown side, Kildrum Tigers. Dominic O'Gara won and scored a penalty to equalise before slotting away the winner. Tonight (Thursday) we face Scottish side Partick Thistle in a semi-final of the Foyle Cup at Kings Lane, Ballykelly in the Limavady area. Kick off 7pm.

The U13s have been drawn to play Strabane Athletic once more in the Foyle Vase semi-final following Tuesday's game in the group stages. Everyone is working hard, especially our physio Aine!"


Sam Hewson, now 27, is now playing for Hafnarfjordur, an Icelandic side who drew 2-2 with Dundalk this week in the second qualifying round of the Champions' League. Sam scored the game's opening goal in a 2-2 draw but it was Dundalk who progressed on aggregate. He joined Alty in September 2010, following his release by Manchester United. Previously he had played for Hereford United, for whom he made 10 appearances and he also appeared for Bury. He made his Alty debut as a sub against Kidderminster in September 2010 but was released on 21 March 2011 having made 14(+9) appearances and scoring on three occasions.


News of Altrincham's first league opponents of 2016-17 comes from the Northern Echo, "Arran Wearmouth has not kicked a ball yet for Darlington but faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury. The forward sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury at the end of last season while playing for previous club Blyth Spartans, but the issue was not detected before he signed for Quakers in May.

He even continued to play for Blyth after sustaining the injury, not realising the severity of the problem and believing he had recovered. However, the former Bishop Auckland ace felt soreness in his knee before beginning pre-season with Darlington and was sent for an MRI scan which has indicated he required an operation which he underwent yesterday. Full recovery from such an injury typically requires six to 12 months.

It is a big blow to Wearmouth, who signed a two-year contract when he joined Darlington, as well as manager Martin Gray, who had tracked the player for a long time and even tried to sign him before the end of last season when Quakers were locked in a promotion battle with Blyth.

Gray said... 'He took it really badly when we received the news a week or two back. We’ve acted as quickly as we can. There’s nothing we can do other than look after him and get him back playing as quickly as we can. Unknown to us he did it at Blyth Spartans at the end of last season. It happened with about four or five games to go. He came back and got some minutes under his belt and had he not done that we would have looked into it and done a more in-depth medical...

'We’re now one player down. We brought Arran in to give us a big push and he’s just going to have to get on with it and we'll help him get back fit'. Darlington are at Gateshead on Friday evening and for their final pre-season friendly will also play a behind closed doors game a week on Saturday against a Football League club."

The Worcester News tells us that "Frustrated boss Carl Heeley has blamed Worcester City's off-field troubles for leaving him with a squad 'nowhere near strong enough' to compete in Vanarama National League North... Heeley admitted his side were 'lacking in quite a number of areas'.

Heeley said Worcester’s 2-0 defeat to Redditch United in the Worcestershire FA Senior Cup semi-final highlighted his team’s problems and revealed some of the players who featured on Tuesday night 'were not good enough'... Heeley stopped short of naming individual trialists but Raajan Gill, Brad Williams and Edji Mbunga played the full match. Fellow trialists Matt Birley, Mickael Partodikromo and Andy Gallinagh featured for 68, 32 and 20 minutes respectively, while Alex Connell and Chekaine Steele didn’t come off the bench.

The manager insisted his summer recruitment drive has been hampered by the goings on off the pitch as the Supporters’ Trust and City’s board remain at loggerheads over the club’s future, with calls for Anthony Hampson to quit as chairman. 'It has been the most different [=difficult] summer ever for recruiting players,' said Heeley, who recently resigned as a director to concentrate on managing the first team...

'“I have lost count of how many players have said they don’t want to join the club because of all the issues we are going through. I can’t do anything about that. All I can do is try and sell the positives'. He added, 'I understand everybody’s frustration off the pitch, but they don’t even come close to mine, having to deal with it from this side... We are lacking in quite a number of areas at the moment. What we have got is nowhere near strong enough. I know that. Collectively there is not enough in there (changing room) to put a squad together to compete in National League North.'

So far this summer, City have signed centre-back Graham Hutchison, forward Sean Geddes and midfielders Junior English and Richard Batchelor. But having failed to snap up a player since early June, Heeley says he faces a battle to add his squad ahead of the curtain-raiser on August 6. 'We have to sit tight as there will be players available over the next couple of weeks,' he added. 'But we are not on our own waiting for that situation to occur and we have got to try and take players and compete to get them'".

The NL Paper reports that "AFC Fylde will unleash Sir Alex Ferguson’s legal team as the bitter dispute over Dion Charles’s transfer heads to the courts. Midfielder Charles, who was scouted by a host of Football League clubs last term, signed a two-year deal with the Coasters in September 2015. However, the FA say they never received the paperwork, meaning the 18-goal wideman was technically a free agent.

Fleetwood swiftly took advantage of the blunder by signing Charles on a free transfer, but their conduct has incensed Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite who branded the League One side 'unethical'. The 62-year-old asked the FA to arbitrate, but, with no assistance forthcoming, is preparing a legal challenge to secure a fee for his star player. 'I’m pretty certain it will go to court,' said Haythornthwaite. 'What’s happened is unethical and it leaves a really sour taste in the mouth. There’s no doubt that we were at fault with our paperwork. We should have checked at the outset that the FA had received it and that was obviously the big mistake in all this.

'But, in normal law, outside of football, a contract is still a contract. Dion had an obligation to his employer and both the player and his agent knew that. Fleetwood have got their lawyers involved and have asked to see a copy of the contract. We sent them that on Friday afternoon and we’re waiting to hear back. But my intention is to take it to arbitration. My legal team have represented Alex Ferguson and are experts in these matters. They’ve assured me we have a solid case.'

Haythornthwaite concedes that Fleetwood broke no rules by signing Charles but feels chairman Andy Pilley should have had the decency to inquire before completing the deal. The Fylde chairman also turned his guns on Charles’ agent who he accused of 'touting' his player around the country. 'Dion isn’t blameless,”' said Haythornthwaite. 'But the agent was a disgrace. Dion didn’t even have an agent when he signed the deal so this guy knew he couldn’t make any money from him for at least two years. He’s clearly got wind of the situation and suggested to the player that he should move. Fleetwood aren’t much better. Technically, they haven’t done anything wrong but, morally, they’ve broken every rule in the book.

'If one of their best players had suddenly been touted to us as a free agent, I’d have made some checks, just like Nottingham Forest did when Dion was offered to them. And, like Forest, I’d have backed off. But Fleetwood’s ethics were non-existent.' Neither Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley nor Charles’s agent were willing to comment."

Meanwhile, AFC Fylde are the subject of a report from It's Round and It's White. "Many may not know, or have even have heard of AFC Fylde, however, the small club located in the Borough of Fylde (near Blackpool) have taken huge strides since their creation in 1988...

The club was offered a place in Division Two of North West Counties League for the 2007-08 season... This was coupled with a move to a new ground in the village of Warton called Kellamergh Park. The original cost of the stadium was just £150,000 and had just 533 seats. Seeing the progress his club had made, David Haythornthwaite (current chairman) and members of the board decided to put forward a 15-year plan. The plan was simple, they wanted the club to be playing in the Football League by 2022. The plan at first was ridiculed by many...

Following FA Vase success, the club decided to change its name to how it is known today, AFC Fylde...

The club beat Ashton United 4-3 on penalties to guide themselves to the National League North... It was 2014... After the promotion in May of 2014, one month later there were, even more, reasons to celebrate again after a £18 million development plan was accepted by the Fylde Borough Council. The plan was to create a brand new stadium (Mill Farm) near Wesham which would have a capacity of 6000. The area would also be home to sports science facilities, numerous training pitches, an Aldi supermarket, a restaurant and even a petrol station. It is expected to be finished in the summer of 2016 and it was something to look forward to...

The club’s new stature isn’t going unnoticed either with previous Premier League players such as Stephen Crainey joining. They are favourites for promotion this season... They have ultimately come from nowhere. The club has grown and grown. 20 years ago the club had attendances of 30. Now their new stadium, Mill Farm, can hold 6000. The growth has been magnificent and shows many non-league clubs that with the right investment, management and players, a lot is possible".

AFC Fylde's average gate last season was 522, 2.35% down on the previous season.

21 July 2016


Please click on the image above for an enlarged version of the application form.

The above leaflets will be made available on matchdays and will be issued to previous lottery customers when stock is received from the printers. Existing lottery customers have already received a letter to this effect this week.


Joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, spoke to Altrincham FC manager Neil Young after Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at Trafford. Here is the interview in full...

Q: We're another step nearer the new season, Neil - what were your overall impressions?

A: It was very hot out there, which didn't help, and we made a lot of changes from Saturday, because it's about getting minutes into all the lads. I'm a bit disappointed we didn't dominate the game a bit more, I have to say. Trafford are a good side, and Tom Baker has got them well drilled in their shape, but I thought they were playing the same shape as us and really we should have been more dominant. But one or two people dropped a bit deep, and we were not as aggressive in our closing down as we were on Saturday. That caused us problems, because they were able to play round us at times.

Q: That came across in some of the things you were shouting from the bench; for instance, when a long ball was played up to Damian Reeves in the second half, you made it clear you were unhappy there was no-one up in support.

A: If the deeper lying midfielder drops too deep, everyone will drop with him, meaning that if you knock a long ball forward to Reevesie, or whoever, the gap between him and the rest of the team is going to be too great, and it's going to break down. If you go back to Saturday, and towards the end of this game when we made a lot of changes and started pressing the game again, we were getting the ball back, which is what we want to see from the players. But there were lads out there tonight not on the front foot at all. They were on the back foot, and I've just said to them they've probably ended up doing twice as much running as they'd normally do, because they've had to make up ground to close people down, instead of already being there.

Q: Were there any plus points you took from the game?

A: Well, we've got lots of minutes under belts in hot weather, it was a good game, a good work-out, and that will help from a fitness perspective. It was a good tactical work-out for us, because they Trafford [were] very well set up. They've got a good squad of players, and I expect them to do well this season. We created opportunities, but not as many as I would have wanted. At this stage of the season, the grass is quite long, and players of both sides were getting the ball caught under their feet quite a bit. But the main thing is we are getting minutes into the players. Danny Hattersley got a full 90 minutes in, and that's good to see because, as I said on Saturday, he is a bit behind. We know there are individuals who, in terms of how we want to play, have got to do more.

Q: One similarity to Saturday was the quality of the goal - it was some free-kick by Billy Hasler-Cregg (left), wasn't it?

A: It was a good goal, a great finish by young Billy, which should give him a bit of confidence. But I still think we didn't create enough from open play. That stems from being too deep and not going and pressing the game.

Q: That said, you may face some difficult decisions for the opening game against Darlington, because you seem to have plenty of options, particularly in midfield?

A: Well, that's what we are hoping for, players pushing hard for a starting place, but we are still a little bit short in certain areas, where we need to add to. We need to make sure that, going forward, we have a structure that we can stick to and that everyone understands. People have got to be able to play within that. It is going to be around pressing the ball, and you are going to have to be able to take that on board and implement it by stopping people playing. If we don't do that on Friday against Manchester United, we will get picked off and do a lot of running, because we will be chasing the ball all evening.

Q: So you feel there may be more new faces coming in, then?

A: I don't think there will be new faces immediately. As I said on Saturday, we will assess what we have got and where we are at. We have brought a lot of lads in, lads who are well thought of. We have brought in some lads we are looking to develop and who may have to go out on loan. That would mean we would bring in one or two. There are one or two areas we have identified where we need to strengthen, and I have had one or two conversations with Premier League clubs I've had players from before. It's still pretty early in their pre-season programme, and they are not likely to let lads out yet. But I have spoken to clubs about possibilities, and as we get closer to it, there might be one or two more coming in.

Q: Is there a time scale you have in mind?

A: You're probably talking about just before the season starts, if we can do something. Maybe the week before we kick off against Darlington. The clubs want the lads in with them as long as they can, doing their stuff, but, of course, we kick off earlier than the under-21s' league. We have asked about them, and hopefully we will be able to get something done.

Q: Can you say which areas of the pitch you are looking at?

A: I think we still need to strengthen at full-back. We've only got one full-back either side. There are one or two lads who can fill in, but I do feel we need another left-back, in particular. There are a couple of lads who could probably step in and do a job at right-back, but not on the left. I think we need maybe to find another number 10 for the squad, and we definitely need another forward who's a bit different to what we've got, in terms of running in behind with a bit of pace. That's in an ideal world, to increase the options at our disposal, so we can rotate when need be. Don't forget, in the first month, we play something like seven or eight games, and fitness is going to be a big factor. What's good about getting lads in from the League is they are going to have been training every day, so you are not getting someone who's been inactive and hasn't played for five or six weeks. They are up to speed from minute one. That is the benefit and beauty of getting lads like that in to the club.

Q: On the subject of full-backs, where are we up to with Shaun Densmore?

A: I don't think there's any chance of him being right for the opening game, going by what Alan Ainsley is telling me. Shaun is seeing the specialist again next week for another MRI scan. He has had a lot of pain in a different area of the knee, but hopefully the scan will show it just a bit of tendinitis, rather than anything serious. Either way, we will be governed by what the scan tells us. Realistically, if it shows he's basically OK and, if you factor in working his way back to fitness, you are talking about the end of September or early October before he'll be in a position to return to the team. He's a million miles away. He has not done anything, in terms of pre-season. He hasn't played since November and has got to strengthen that leg up and strengthen the quad to an extent where it is capable of withstanding a full-blooded challenge.

We all know the way Shaun plays. He gets stuck in and flies into tackles. He has had a lot of wastage in his thigh muscle, because he's not been able to do a lot. It is a big setback for him and the squad, but at least Sam Patterson (right) has stepped in and done really well. There have been many plusses so far, and he has been one of them. I just think we need to strengthen, and it's also about getting them to understand what we are asking of them and, after that, are they capable of doing it.

I'm not saying they are bad footballers. It's just they are used to doing things a different way, some of them, and they still need to convince me they can play the way we want them to. That doesn't make them bad players; it's just that they need to fit into the philosophy we are trying to put into place, so we will have another look in the remaining games.

We will have another good look at them and then make a decision on one or two, because we have got to create money in the budget if we are going to bring anyone in from a full-time perspective. But the key thing for me at the moment is they are working really hard and giving everything they've got. You've seen it tonight. Yes, it may be a little bit haphazard at times, but the effort is there, the commitment is there.

Q: It sounds like one or two might be on their way out, then?

A: We might have to do that. At the end of the day, we've got lads here who can't play within the system we are trying to implement, so it's pointless keeping them around. I'm not saying they will leave the club as such, but we can send them out on loan, or whatever. There is no point having good lads sitting around, doing nothing. We need them to be playing football, so they may need a bit of time away to get games under their belts. Likewise, if we want to strengthen, and improve the squad, we have to create money, so some may have to leave the club. But it is early to be talking along those lines.

I'm talking long term, with regard to that. At this moment, we are very happy with the lads and very happy with the work-rate they are all putting in. We are a little bit short in one or two areas, in terms of cover, but they have to take on board what we are trying to do. Otherwise, and this is not me being nasty and saying it's my way or the highway, it is a case of wanting to play a certain way and getting lads in who can fit in to that approach.

Q: Would you still say the last two games have been fairly encouraging overall?

A: I can't fault the commitment of these lads. Every single one of them has given effort and commitment and done their level best, whether in training or a game. But what I want is for them to learn what we are trying to achieve in our way of playing, more out of possession than in possession, and I didn't see too many signs of that tonight. That's not me being critical of the overall play when we are on the ball. I didn't look too much at that. I was more interested in what we did when we didn't have the ball and, at times, we looked very lazy. I don't mean lazy in terms of effort, more in their thinking. It was lazy minds.

Q: It comes across that pressing is one of the integral parts of your philosophy. Would that be right?

A: We have put a squad together so that the full-backs can get on and get forward but they didn't do that tonight as much as previously. A bit later in the game, Sam and young Harry Cain did manage to. The two centre-halves, and young Sam Heathcote as well, I'm prepared to let them go and defend one on one and be risk-takers a little bit, if you like. But tonight we did not push people on. The midfield did not play high enough, which meant we never got the ball back, which, in turn, meant there were times when they were passing round us. That should not happen.

They are a good footballing side and are well structured, but if we are going to work on stuff (in training), we need to see it carried out in games. David Lynch was pressing when he went on in the second half, but no one was pressing behind him, so it takes him totally out of the game.

Q: Finally, any further fitness updates?

A: Sean Miller and Craig Hobson should hopefully be ready to play some part over the weekend. We'll see what sort of side Manchester United bring, because that may just be too intense for them. If they don't play Friday night, they will play for the Reserves on Saturday. It will be a great test for us against United from a tactical point of view, because they are going to play and move us around, and we have to try and stop them. I'm not too disappointed, because the lads have had very little time to learn about what we are trying to achieve. I don't want to be too hard on them, because their effort and commitment has been fantastic. We just need to see they are taking things on board and tuned in to what we are after".


Altrincham FC is cicrulating the following letter to prospective advertisers. If you or anyone you know would be interested in taking up the offer, below, please contact the Club

"Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to inform you of our 2016/17 advertising opportunities for the upcoming National League North season.

Last year, we had great success with our first ever fixture booklet, which saw local businesses sponsor the 1000 copies produced. This booklet went out to all the fans attending on the first home fixture last season. This year we are offering something different, advertising spaces on our match team sheets for AFC home fixtures.

As a part-time, community run football club, we rely heavily on the support of local businesses/individuals and fundraising events we organise each year to give the club the best chance of competing amongst their league counterparts.

Sponsorship prices are below:

FIXTURE TEAM SHEETS (sample attached):

  • Large advert = £125.00 +VAT
  • Small advert = £75.00 +VAT

We also offer advertising space in our matchday programmes (300-400 per home game), season-long packages starting from £125.00. If you would like any more information about our sponsorship opportunities at the club, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will need any artwork by Sunday 24th July, so please let me know if you are interested in advertising.

Yours Sincerely,

Grahame Rowley, Chairman"


Match report here.

Alty supporter Colin Mitchell has put his excellent recording of Billy Hasler-Cregg's goal at Trafford on YouTube

Trafford report on Tuesday's game against Altrincham, which it describes as a "hard-fought draw at Shawe View. Following comfortable victories over Abbey Hey and Turton, Conference [North] outfit Alty provided a much sterner test but Tom Baker’s side got off to a fine start when, after just nine minutes, Aaron Burns finished off a fine four-man move with a great angled drive from 18 yards.

New signing Kingsley Williams rifled a shot just wide but Altrincham levelled in the 31st minute when Lee Neville was harshly adjudged to have fouled Damian Reeves and Billy Hasler-Cregg cracked the resultant free kick inside the angle of crossbar and upright...

Trafford dominated the opening stages of the second half although Alty looked dangerous on the break, Tom Hannigan curling a shot just wide in the 51st minute. Seven minutes later Connor Martin should have scored when he broke clear down the left but side-footed the ball past the far post...

Trafford’s rhythm and shape was upset by a number of substitutions but they still could have won the game when, in the 84th minute, a Lee Neville corner was headed down by Ryan Ledson and Mitch Bryant volleyed into the side-netting. An entertaining game played in extremely difficult conditions came to an end and Trafford can now look forward to another tough test on Saturday when Chorley are the visitors".


According to NL Pitchero, "Goalkeeper Ryan Jones has re-joined Bradford Park Avenue. The 24-year-old spent the final six weeks of last season on dual registration from AFC Liverpool, and played seven times in the league. Jones has been on trial with the club throughout the summer, starting in the recent matches against Newcastle United, Nelson and Consett.

The Liverpudlian has spent time at Rochdale, AFC Telford United and Stockport County during his career, and he kept goal in Avenue’s victory in the West Riding County Cup final in April. He becomes the eleventh member of Alex Meechan’s squad, and is only the second survivor from last season alongside Luke Dean."

20 July 2016


Joint Press & Media Officer, John Edwards, reports that "Neil Young’s pre-season build-up has been dealt a blow after it was revealed Altrincham skipper Shaun Densmore will miss up to two months of the new campaign.

Right: Shaun, back to camera, talks to Charlie Joyce and David Lynch before last night's game at Trafford.

Attacking right-back Densmore had hoped to be fit for the big kick-off after undergoing surgery on a medial ligament injury midway through last season. But another knee problem has hampered his progress, and even if the results of a scan next week prove favourable, he could still be out until early October.

After seeing his side recover from going behind for a third successive time, in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Trafford, Alty boss Young said,'Shaun has had a lot of pain in a different area of the knee and will see the specialist again next week for another MRI scan. We will be governed by what the scan tells us but, hopefully, it will just be a bit of tendonitis, rather than anything serious. Realistically, if he is OK and, allowing for working his way back to fitness, you are probably talking about the end of September or beginning of October before we would even consider him.

‘He is a million miles away. He hasn’t done anything in terms of pre-season. He has to strengthen that leg up and strengthen the quad to an extent where it’s capable of withstanding a full-blooded challenge. We all know the way Shaun plays. He gets stuck in and flies into tackles. He’s had a lot of wastage in his thigh muscle, because he’s not been able to do a lot, so clearly there’s a lot of work ahead.’

Alty face a Manchester United XI at The J.Davidson Stadium on Friday (7.45pm) to officially mark the pitch improvements that have been made possible by a £20,000 grant from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund.

Alty’s playing surface will benefit from regular irrigation and new pitch maintenance equipment, including sprinklers that were on show against Chester last Saturday.

‘Clubs like ours would find it impossible to maintain a good standard of facility without this funding, and we are extremely grateful,’ said chairman Grahame Rowley".

Footnote: Shaun was limited to just 12(+2) league appearances last season.


For the third time in their three pre-season games, to date, Altrincham fell behind but ultimately secured a draw.

Match report here.

Above: Billy Hasler-Cregg's freekick finds the top of the Trafford net.


The Altrincham FC Patrons now number 145; please help the Club break the 150 mark by joining up now!


Paul Fay confirms that for 2016-17 he will manage "The U18 youth side [and that it] will continue to operate as Altrincham AFC in the Premier Division of the NWYA League. The Altrincham Youth U17 side will continue in the NWYA First Division with Sara Newton as manager.

In addition, there are several Altrincham Juniors' sides playing in the Timperley and District Leagues in the U16, U17 and U18 age groups".

Currently Paul is in Ireland with Altrincham under-18 and under-13 teams. He tells us that "The older team beat Institute in their first group game on Monday night, 4-0. Declan Lewis scored a hat trick and Declan McGloin got the fourth goal, while Christian Evans saved a first-minute penalty.

The U13s put up a great team performance against a strong Sion Swifts side. They are enjoying the sunshine and have just outsung all the other teams on the opening ceremony parade!"


The BBC reports that "Torquay United chairman David Phillips says the club's planned takeover depends on the new owners being able to buy the club's Plainmoor ground. The freehold is currently owned by Torbay Council, but prospective owners Gaming International Limited want to sell the ground and build a new stadium on a different site. Torquay entered an agreement with the Swindon-based firm in March. If they cannot complete a deal by 31 July, they will look for new investors.

'We are fully aware that delay and uncertainty is potentially damaging to the football club,' Phillips said in a statement. 'We are therefore urging the Mayor and Torbay Council to confirm their intentions in relation to the football ground as a matter of urgency to enable us to move forward.'

In February, the Gulls first mooted the idea of leaving their home of 105 years in order to move to a new purpose-built ground with a synthetic surface on the outskirts of the town. Under the deal, the developers would pay for the stadium in exchange for council land to build housing on.

'The new stadium will be designed to satisfy the needs of Torquay United and the local community,' added Phillips. 'The board are working hard with Gaming International (as one of the possible purchasers of the club) and the council, to secure the necessary assurances that will allow Gaming International to proceed.' Torquay experienced a season of financial instability after millionaire owner Thea Bristow left the club in the summer of 2015, leading to a takeover by a consortium of local businesspeople headed by Phillips".

As Bloomberg informs us "Gaming International Ltd. operates in the gaming and leisure industry in the United Kingdom. The company, through its subsidiary, Stadia UK, manages and operates greyhound racing tracks with stadiums in Swindon, Poole, Reading, and Milton Keynes. These stadiums are multifunctional with motorsports promotions, indoor and outdoor markets, and sporting and leisure facilities. It also manages stadiums and greyhound tracks in Japan. In addition, the company operates National Bowl in Milton Keynes, which hosts live events. The company was incorporated in 1932 and is based in Swindon, United Kingdom. Gaming International Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of Toklon Ltd".

FC United of Manchester have unveiled "Arrangements for tickets sales for FC United v Stockport on Friday 12th August. Kick-off 7.45pm. FC United ‘s league match against Stockport County at Broadhurst Park, previously scheduled for Saturday 13th August will now take place on Friday 12th August 7.45pm kick-off for the following reason...

One of the planning conditions on Broadhurst Park is that we cannot host matches on the same day when Manchester City are playing at home. This is not an ideal situation, nor one we are happy about, but we are continuing to work with the authorities towards a long-term resolution. On Saturday 13th August Manchester City play Sunderland at home, meaning that the FC United v Stockport match had to be rearranged. As FC United and Stockport have a fixture on the following Tuesday (16th August), both clubs have agreed that the match should take place on the Friday 12th August as opposed to the Sunday. FC United sincerely thank Stockport for their cooperation in this matter.

The match will be all-ticket, with segregation in place and police will be in attendance. A reduced ground capacity of 4,000 will be in operation and Stockport’s allocation will be 650 tickets. FC United will only be selling tickets for home supporters for this match. Away supporters will need to purchase their ticket from Stockport County".

19 July 2016


Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Tuesday night's game [at Shawe View]. The commentary team is Ian Wilkinson and Brian Flynn with match summaries from John Edwards. Coverage starts at 7.40pm with the game kicking off at 7.45pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.


In last Saturday's "Robins' Review", Altrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley reported that "Manchester United have agreed to play ten under-18s' fistures at the J. Davidson Stadium during the season 2016-17... Many thanks to John Alexandre for his help and assistance in this matter".


According to the Chester Chronicle, "Chester FC boss Jon McCarthy admitted to being 'frustrated and disappointed' with his side's performance in the 2-2 draw with Altrincham.

Despite taking the lead... the Blues never settled into the the game and lacked fluency going forwards so there could be no real arguments when Altrincham equalised via Damian Reeves and then went ahead courtesy of Danny Hattersley's header.

Chester found a response with James Alabi netting the goal of the game...

'We're disappointed with the performance and frustrated,' said McCarthy. 'As delighted as we were with the performance against Wigan [0-0], we're a little bit disappointed and frustrated with that as a group. It's not one where we going in there shouting but we'll have a look at ourselves in terms of our understanding of some of the systems and some of the shapes. There's still quite a lot of work to do on that. We've scored two good goals and my two strikers have scored and have got two goals in pre-season so there's benefits in that and there was some good little bits of play and the second goal involving Chapell and Alabi was great.

'But overall we felt like we were a little bit off but it gives us an opportunity to look at some things in how we prepared and our shape and when we press. I think some of our players got a little bit caught in between today'...

Chester were without goalkeeper Liam Roberts (concussion), defender Ross Kiillock (calf) and Craig Mahon (unwell) for the game against Neil Young's side.... 'We still haven't lost in pre-season but we're disappointed with the two goals we conceded,' he said. 'We made a lot of changes again but I'm not going to go down that route of excuses. It's pre-season and it's where it's at. It allows us to look us at some things and we won't get carried away. It sets us back on our heels a little bit so we've done a little bit of work'".


NL Pitchero announces that "AFC Telford United have confirmed the signing of pacey winger Micah Evans after impressing whilst on trial... The 23-year-old spent the past week with the Bucks and terms were agreed after the 2-1 friendly defeat to Aston Villa at the New Bucks Head on Saturday...

Evans came through the ranks at Blackburn Rovers and was on the books of Burnley two years ago. He finished last season on loan at Chorley before being released by rivals Stockport County. He also played twenty-three games, scoring three times, for League Two Accrington Stanley in the 2011/12 season".

Gloucestershire Live reports that "Gloucester City have completed their sixth new signing of the summer. Left-sided defender Leroy Odiero has agreed to join the Tigers following his two week trial with Forest Green Rovers. The 21-year-old spent last season at Bishop's Cleeve and has also played for Cinderford Town and Slimbridge. He has completed several training sessions with Gloucester already this pre-season, impressing boss Tim Harris.

'This young man is a good fit for our club and has looked assured since attending our training sessions over the last few weeks', Harris said... Odiero lived in Stoke-on-Trent before moving to Cheltenham seven years ago, when he joined Pittville school and played for FC Lakeside before starting out in senior football with Cheltenham Saracens. He went on to play for Cinderford for half a season before helping Slimbridge win promotion to the Southern League for the first time in 2014/15.

Odiero follows Ethan Moore, Keiran Thomas, Craig Reid, Jack Deaman and James Fitzgibbon as Harris' new recruits ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, Gloucester's eighth in National League North."

News of our first League oppoonents of 2016-17 comes from Darlington 1883 whose "manager Martin Gray is hoping for a better performance against Sunderland in Quakers’ next pre-season friendly on Tuesday night... after the 5-1 defeat by Newcastle on Saturday."

18 July 2016


Alty TV has Brian Flynn's informative interview with manager Neil Young after the 2-2 draw against Chester FC. The interview, (right) includes highlights of the game.


Altrincham have two games during the coming week.

On Tuesday, they travel to our neighbours Trafford for a 7,45pm kick-off at Shawe View.

Last Saturday, Trafford won a friendly 1-0 at Turton, Lancashire's oldest football club. The Trafford team comprised several well-known faces: Russ Saunders, Kyle Jacobs, J.Truelove, Andy Langford, Josh Granite, Craig Robinson, Kingsley Williams, Nicky Platt, Chris George, Aaron Burns, Connor Martin. Subs: Shelton Payne, Ryan Ledson, Mark Derbyshire, Chris McDonagh, Danny Nardiello, Luke Horrocks, Conor Smith (all played). Scorer: George".

Last Tuesday, "Trafford got their pre-season campaign underway last night with a 6 v 0 win at North West Counties League side Abbey Hey. Trafford’s plan, due to having a number of new faces and trialists, was to have a different team in each half. Trafford striker Shelton Payne opened the scoring with Chris McDonagh & Mitch Bryant adding a goal each to make it 3-0 at half time. A complete team change for the second half with Aaron Burns scoring second half hat-trick, giving Trafford a comfortable 6-0 win.

FIRST HALF TEAM: Russ Saunders, Ally Brown, Lee Neville, Nicky Platt, Danny Caldecott, Ryan Ledson, Danny Nardiellu, Andy Bianga, Chris McDonagh, Mitch Bryant, Shelton Payne.

SECOND HALF TEAM: Terry Smith, J. Jeffries, Craig Robinson, Rick Walker, Andy Langford, Josh Granite, Kyle Jacobs, Conor Smith, Mark Derbyshire, Kingsley Williams, Aaron Burns".


As we continue to get to know the many new faces in the Altrincham FC squad, below are images of two of the players concerned. Left is Callum Charlton and, right, Craig Hobson.


On Friday (22nd, 7.30pm), Altrincham play Warren Joyce's Manchester United Reserves at the J. Davidson Stadium. Earlier in the week (19th) they entertain Blackpool at the A-on Training Complex behind closed doors.


Mike Ripley has images from the Alty v Chester FC game, here. Pictured, right, is Mike's view of Jamie Menagh.


According to the Football Conference "Midfielder Kristian Platt has left Bala Town and has signed for Stalybridge Celtic. Platt joined Bala from AFC Telford United. A product of the Chester City academy, he made one appearance for City’s first-team before moving to Stalybridge Celtic where he scored 12 goals in 132 games.

Twenty-four-year-old Platt hails from Rock Ferry and played thirteen times for AFC Telford before making the switch to the Welsh Premier in the summer on 2015. Platt re-joins Stalybridge after making sixteen appearances for the Lakesiders in his only season at Maes Tegid."


The Northern Echo reports on our first opponents of the league season, Darlington 1883, who lost 1-5 at home to a Newcastle United XI at the weekened.

"Darlington manager Martin Gray had a few harsh words with his players after their defeat by a Newcastle second string on their temporary return to The Northern Arena. Gray expected better from his players following a promising start to pre-season, and he was annoyed with their collective defending in the first half, when Newcastle didn’t need to do a great deal to go three goals in front.

Quakers showed some spirit to get back into the game and give the Darlington fans in the 2,725 crowd something to cheer about...

'From a manager’s point of view, I didn’t learn much from the game at all,' he said. 'It wasn’t good enough. From my point of view, I always want better and, as much as we got a lot of minutes out of it and some fitness out of it, we’ve got to be a lot better than that come the season... If there was anything we gained out of the game it was fitness, and that would be about it. The defeat has hurt me, I don’t want that sort of performance happening again. It’s not acceptable. Last season has gone. We’ve got to be better prepared, we must use the ball better, work harder and have better discipline off the ball'...

Quakers’ are at the Arena tomorrow night {Monday] when they face a Sunderland XI. Darlington: Jameson, Marrs (H Scott 61), Watson, Turnbull, Burgess, Brown, Nightingale (Mitchell 55), Portas (Gaskell 55), Hardy (Cartman 55), Purewal (Nowakowski 55), Thompson. Subs (not used): Bell, Lovegreen".

17 July 2016


Match report here.

Right: Alty defenders (l. to r.) Sam Patterson, John Cyrus and Tom Hannigan keep an eye on Chester's Elliott Durrell

After Saturday's match, the Chester Chronicle reported that "Chester FC were held to a 2-2 draw against Neil Young's Altrincham in what was a strenuous pre-season contest. Kane Richards had given the Blues the lead in the first-half but that was harsh on the National League North hosts who had been the better side.

The Robins deservedly drew level through Damian Reeves on the hour and Danny Hattersley, who failed to score in an eight-game loan spell at Chester last season, then headed them into the lead with 10 minutes to go.

Chester responded in the best possible manner with James Alabi netting an excellent equaliser but in comparison to Wednesday's encouraging draw with Wigan Athletic, this was a performance which raised more questions than answers for manager Jon McCarthy.

It took the best part of 20 minutes for the game to get going...and it was the home team who looked the more dangerous... In the 23rd minute however when Andrew Dawber got his clearance wrong and Tom Shaw found the ball at his feet with the keeper on the floor and the goal gaping but rather than shoot the midfielder elected to pass to Kane Richards and Cyrus was able to block the forward's shot.

With the visiting supporters still struggling to understand why Shaw hadn't rolled the ball into the net, the Blues went ahead as Jordan Chapell whipped the resulting corner to the back post where Richards punished the napping defence with a calm side-foot finish to make it 1-0.

Altrincham continued to create the better chances... McCarthy made four changes for the second-half but it was Altrincham who continued to produce the better football... but it was not long before the home side's weight of possession paid off. It was the dangerous Reeves, a thorn in Chester's side so often, who got the goal as he collected Sam Patterson's ball over the top with a deft touch and guided his shot past Worsnop...

The hosts kept on pushing and, after Worsnop had turned a James Lawrie effort behind for a corner, Hattersley rose highest to steer a header into the bottom corner and give Young's men a 2-1 lead. Chester to their credit responded in exactly the manner that McCarthy would have wanted, equalising inside three minutes as Chapell rolled the ball into Alabi and the forward did the rest as an excellent touch took him away from the defence and he slotted the ball into the corner of the net to make it 2-2".

And the Leader Live adds that, "Chester were without goalkeeper Liam Roberts who had suffered concussion in training, centre-back Ross Killock who was sidelined with a calf injury, and Craig Mahon who was struggling with an illness. Altrincham had enjoyed the most possession and created more goalscoring chances before the deadlock had been broken...

Damian Reeves levelled matters with a superb piece of skill to control a long ball from Sam Patterson before firing past Worsnop from close range. Worsnop then made a superb save to deny Billy Hasler-Cregg...

But substitute and former Blues' striker Danny Hattersley headed the home club in front in the 79th minute with a header from a James Lawrie corner. And James Alabi equalised in the 84th minute".


Press release:

"Altrincham FC officially open their new pitch with a pre-season game against a Manchester United XI [on Friday 22 July at 7.30pm]. The improved surface was made possible thanks to a £20,000 grant from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country.

The funding helped to provide major improvements to the playing surface at the Altrincham FC J Davidson Stadium, which is also used by the Manchester United Under-18 team, after a season severely disrupted by postponements.

The pitch will benefit from regular irrigation and new pitch maintenance equipment, and so help the National League North team to play on a consistently good playing surface.

In February 2015, Sir Alex Ferguson CBE, visited the club to officially open their new £752,000 state-of-the-art Community Sports Hall. The project was made possible thanks to a separate £114,880 FSIF grant and £269,470 from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund – the FSIF’s sister organisation.

Funded with £5.2m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.

Grahame Rowley, Altrincham FC Chairman, said, 'Without funding from the Premier League and the Football Foundation clubs such as Altrincham would find it impossible to maintain a good standard of facility for players and spectators. We are extremely grateful for their ongoing support'".


On Saturday, Altrincham FC Reserves won their pre-season game against a strong FC United Development squad, 3-1, thanks to goals from Joel Swift, Josef Faux and Harry Cain.

Joint manager Chris Rowley adds that "Our next game is the most recently arranged fixture, which is this coming Saturday (23rd) against Manchester Gregorians (at The Platt Lane Complex, Yew Tree Road, Fallowfield, M14 7UU K.O. 3pm), where it is already expected that some of the First Team squad will be involved".


Welsh Premier tells us that "Airbus UK Broughton have signed goalkeeper Ryan Neild after former first-choice stopper James Coates decided to join Droylsden... Coates, who joined Airbus in the summer of 2013, went on to make 93 Welsh Premier appearances and started in all six of the club's Europa League ties."


The BBC reports that "The agent of England captain Wayne Rooney wants to get Cheshire League side Rylands into the Football League. Paul Stretford was a Rylands player for a decade from the mid-1970s and became actively involved again four years ago after meeting an old team-mate on an errand to the chemists for his dad. He has since spent £100,000 on ground improvements.

He said, 'Does my work as an agent have any longevity? Probably not. With Rylands I can create a legacy.' Reaching the Football League from their present position would require seven promotions and cost the Warrington-based club millions of pounds.

Stretford said, 'Why not aim for the Football League? There is no point setting a target we could achieve tomorrow. It might take 10 years, or 20. It might not happen in my lifetime. But you have to aim for the stars.' Through his work as an agent, his company also acts for Leicester duo Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Simpson... There is no glamour attached to Rylands, who have just opened changing rooms by their Gorsey Lane pitch and a stand, named after Stretford's father, club stalwart Ron.

There are plans for floodlights in the next stage of development as Stretford looks to old rivals Fleetwood Town, now in League One, for inspiration. 'I played league games for Rylands against Fleetwood in the 1970s,' said Stretford. 'What they have done shows you nothing is impossible.' Stretford says his involvement is 'not exactly philanthropic' but accepts 'there is no return' on his investment. 'It stems from a love of football,' he said. 'We have to do what we can to help the grassroots of the game survive. Without that the game is going nowhere.'"

16 July 2016


In an entertaining pre-season friendly at the J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham secured their second 2-2 draw of the week against Chester FC. Altrincham fell behind in the 24th minute when they defended a corner poorly and the unmarked Kane Richards sidefooted home. But just before the hour mark Damian Reeves scored a superbly taken goal to level the scores. Substitute Danny Hattersley headed home a James Lawrie corner to give Altrincham a 79th minute lead but Chester sub James Alabi equalised four minutes later.

Match report here.

Right: Danny Hattersley (20) takes his team-mates' congratulations after scoring Alty's second goal.


The Saturday Yankee fundraising initiative has been in operation at Altrincham Football Club for nearly twenty years but, in recent times, with a lack of canvassers, the number of members has dwindled to a point where it has become uneconomic to run. The Saturday Yankee will therefore cease to operate from 31 August 2016 but will continue to operate normally until then.

Consequently, Altrincham FC invites all existing participants in the Saturday Yankee and, indeed, all supporters of the Football Club, to help to raise funds for the Club by joining the Monthly Draw which already operates at the Club.

The Monthly Draw takes place at the first game of every month and is broadcast, live, on Radio Robins. The results are also published on this website. At present, there are approximately 100 members and there are four cash prizes of £100, £50, £35 and £15 each month.

The Club has written to all those members of the Saturday Yankee who pay by direct debit or standing order inviting them to transfer their payments to the Monthly Draw. Other members will be contacted by their collecting agent in the as soon as possible.

If existing members of the Yankee scheme and new members join the Monthly Draw, it will enable the Club to increase the amount of prize money and the number of prizes available each month. Additionally, the Club plans to re-launch the Monthly Draw with additional prizes, which will include merchandise and hospitality.

Full details of the Monthly Draw scheme are here.

Please do join up to the Monthly Draw and help Altrincham Football Club!


Saturday sees the first game of pre-season on the newly grown grass at the J Davidson Stadium, when Chester FC are the visitors.

Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Saturday's game. The commentary team is Ian Watmore and Brian Flynn with match summaries from John Edwards. Coverage starts at 2.55pm with the game kicking off at 3pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here".


Club director, Barry Pond continues to work tirelessly to raise funds for the Club through commercial initiatives. He has prepared updated details of how to help Altrincham FC through various sponsorship initiatives and these are to be found here.

Please have read the details and see if you, or someone you know, could help the Club through sponsoring a game, or a player or by having an advertising board at the J. Davidson Stadium.


Following last Sunday's draw with Altrincham, Widnes have posted highlights of the game.


NL Pitchero reports that "Local lad Luke Shorthouse has signed for Nuneaton Town. Shorthouse, who scored 44 goals in fifty-one games at Midland League neighbours Nuneaton Griff last season, has been training with the club during the summer and featured in both of the pre-season friendly games at Liberty Way this week.

The 21-year-old striker said, 'I can't believe I've progressed so quickly as I only started playing Saturday football again two years ago'...

Shorthouse scored on his pre-season debut in the game against Coventry City, which delighted Boro manager Kevin Wilson, who said, '"It was a lovely finish from Luke and I'm pleased for him. After being sent a letter by a fan, I went to watch him three times, and we have had him in for a week to see how he is in training. He has given up a job on a better wage than we can offer him because he wants to play for the football club and get the chance to prove himself. You have to give him a lot of credit for making such a decision.

'He has a great eye for a goal and likes to play mostly in the 18-yard box. His head does not drop when a chance goes begging; he works hard and is always looking to score, which is what impressed me when I went to watch him playing for Griff last season'".

From the National League, we learn that "Goalkeeper Michael Emery has put pen-to-paper on a one-year contract with Boston United. The 24-year-old has been brought in as back-up to Christian Dibble, who himself joined the Pilgrims at the end of June.

Emery has previous experience of National League North from his Gainsborough Trinity days and was previously with the sadly now defunct Rushden & Diamonds. He finished last season between the sticks for Midland League side Heanor Town."

Elsewhere, "Gloucester City have confirmed the signing of 23-year-old central defender Jack Deaman. Deaman started his career as a youngster with Wrexham, before joining Birmingham City in 2011. From there he went on to teams such as Cheltenham Town, Stevenage, Torquay United and Cambridge United...

Manager Tim Harris said... 'Jack is a tall, ball-playing centre-back and he has played in the Football League so he has good experience... “He is a now living locally, he has a really first class attitude and ambition'".

Meanwhile, "Alfreton Town have signed former Sheffield United defender Terry Kennedy. The 22-year-old left the Blades at the end of last season having not been offered a new contract... Academy product Kennedy, who was at Bramall Lane for fifteen years, feels he did not get a fair chance to prove himself at first-team level. He made thirteen appearances under former manager Nigel Clough... but last campaign, with Nigel Adkins in charge, he featured just three times...

He was sent out on loan to Cambridge United in November 2015 and played twice for the 'U's".

FC Halifax Town have told their fans, "What more can we do? We really need your commitment now... A rallying cry. A bang of the drum. Shout it from the rooftops.

Following our season ticket announcement at the beginning of June, the Club has worked tirelessly to engage with fans to support our fantastic season ticket offer and really get behind the 2016/17 campaign. By reducing the ticket price significantly and introducing a whole host of new benefits, it was hoped that we would see a huge surge in people buying season tickets, given previous years' feedback on price and value for money. In other words, at considerable possible financial risk, we really have listened to you.

To those of you who have so far given a financial commitment to buy a ticket, we say ‘THANK YOU’. Unfortunately we have not experienced the required surge we had hoped for, as our season tickets sales, whilst improved, are nowhere near, where we’d expected them to be. A real increase is necessary, to ensure the scheme is financially/commercially viable for the good of the Football Club and our fans. As you know our gate contribution has a direct correlation to our First Team budget and we can confirm that our support for the Manager has been very, very substantial, in striving to bring a competitive squad together. The lack of real impetus and commitment to purchase the season tickets, places the scheme in jeopardy, when we are craving success for the success of season tickets at this price.

So our plea to you... Please get behind the scheme NOW and buy your ticket as soon as possible. Your personal contribution and that of a whole new group of purchasers will make a huge difference not only to the success of the season ticket campaign but to the overall success of the Football Club. We have just over two weeks left and we need every single fan, your friends, local businesses to come out and support this initiative. At £199, £9.47 per game it's the cheapest way to watch the mighty 'Shaymen'. In addition, we have included a free drink, a 20% discount voucher for the shop, a car sticker, inclusion in any future VIP offers and option of a free Under 12 season ticket with each senior purchase. What more do we have to do?

We have used every source of media available to us, including poster site/billboard advertising in the Calderdale area.

Remember you can buy online 24/7 here or Thursday we have our season ticket coffee morning from 10-12pm and Friday we're open all day.

It is over to you, so don't delay and buy today. Please ensure this season ticket initiative can go ahead. Your continued support is hugely appreciated, we have to reach the target of 1700 paid sales announced at the outset to make this scheme feasible".

15 July 2016


As usual, possession of an Altrincham FC Season ticket for the coming season will entitle you to free access to the home pre-season friendlies. The home games are...
  • Sat. 16.7.16 3pm v CHESTER FC
  • Fri. 22.7.16 NB 7.30pm v MANCHESTER UNITED XI
  • Tue. 26.7.16 7.45pm v CREWE ALEXANDRA
  • Fri. 29.7.16 NB 7.30pm v BURNLEY XI
  • Away from home, Alty's only remaining pre-season game is at Shawe View on Tuesday, 19th July at 7.45pm when our neighbours, Trafford FC, are the hosts.


    Chris Rowley has reported "There has been a change to the Reserves' pre-season schedule. The game scheduled for Tuesday 26th has now been called off. We now have a game on Saturday 23rd against Manchester Gregorians @ The Platt Lane Complex, Yew Tree Road, Fallowfield, M14 7UU.

    This is the day after the First Team fixture against a Manchester United XI. It is expected that that in most Reserve games there will be some First Team squad players involved if they have not played or got enough minutes in the First Team fixtures".

    So the revised schedule is now...

    • Saturday 16th July: v FC United of Manchester (Away), Broadhurst Park, Manchester, Moston M40 0FJ, 2pm K.O.
    • Saturday 23rd July: v Manchester Gregorians (Away) @ The Platt Lane Complex, Yew Tree Road, Fallowfield, M14 7UU K.O. time TBC
    • Tuesday 26th July: v Rochdale Sacred Heart (Away), Fox Park, Rochdale, OL16 2UB, 7pm K.O.
    • Saturday 30th July: v Mersey Valley FC (Away), Banky Lane, Sale, M33 5SL, 3pm K.O.
    • Monday 1st August: v Middlewich Town (Away), Finney's Lane, Middlewich, Cheshire CW10 9DR, 7.30pm K.O.
    • Saturday 6th August: v Curzon Ashton (Away), Tameside Stadium, Richmond St, Ashton-under-Lyne OL7 9HG, 2.30pm K.O.


    The NL Paper tells us that "Alfreton Town have secured the signing of experienced former Nottingham Forest and Notts County striker Craig Westcarr. The 31-year-old joins the Reds after Mansfield Town at the end of last season. He scored four times for the Stags before being sent out on loan to National League side Southport at the beginning of March.

    Westcarr scored twice in 11 appearances for the Sandgrounders... After starting his career with hometown club Nottingham Forest, Westcarr dropped into Non-League with Cambridge United and then Kettering Town in May 2006... After leaving Kettering, he went on to play in the Football League for Notts County, Chesterfield, Walsall and Portsmouth before moving to Mansfield."

    From NL Pitchero we learn that "BT Sport has confirmed details of a further six screenings from the Vanarama National League for August and September.

    The latest selection not only offers a mix of traditional and attractive fixtures... The overall increase in televised games allows a regular pattern to be adopted by fans. Regular screening of a LIVE televised match on a Saturday via BTSport 1 will allow fans time to take up their own personal choice of another game to watch and, on the Sunday, the opportunity to round off their weekend with the BT Sport Highlights Show. Each 30-minute show brings all the goals scored on Saturday coupled with the rest of the important action, interviews and news from around the Vanarama National League".

    • Saturday 27th August Dagenham & Redbridge v Wrexham 12.15pm
    • Monday 29th August Tranmere Rovers v Guiseley 5.30pm
    • Saturday 3rd September Torquay United v Lincoln City 5.30pm
    • Saturday 10th September Dover Athletic v Forest Green Rovers 12.15pm
    • Saturday 17th September Sutton United v Tranmere Rovers 12.15pm
    • Saturday 24th September Wrexham v Chester FC 12.15pm.

    14 July 2016


    Paul Fay writes that "On Saturday 16th July the Youth Team and U13s will travel to Northern Ireland to compete for the second year in the Foyle Cup in Derry City. As part of the week, the teams will stay in Belfast on Saturday where the U13s will play in the Neil Taggart Memorial Cup against St Mary's Fc and Aquinas Fc. The matches will take place at Queen's University playing fields. Following this, both squads will then travel to Derry City on Sunday in preparation for the tournament which starts on starts on Monday 18th July. Details of the draw for both teams are below.

    The squad involved in the last Foyle Cup had a fantastic experience and the coaches have no doubt that the lads competing this year will have an equally great time. A lot of work has gone in to creating this opportunity for two teams from the club and it would not have been possible with out the support of the following people. I am very grateful for your help throughout the year!

    Grahame and Karen Rowley, Paul Rafferty, Catherine and Colin O'Gara, Altrincham Grammar School, Sale Grammar School, Wellington High School, Sale High School, Stamford Park Juniors, St Vincent's Primary, Dave Bushell, Wilf McGuiness, Mike Toolan, James Wilson, Keith Ifield, Altrincham Community Hall, 3Q Sports, Ian Senior.

    Finally, a personal thank you must go to Mr Graham Heathcote, for not only supporting our fundraising by hosting another Sportsman's Dinner, but also for all of the help and support he has offered me since I became involved at the Football Club".

    U13s' draw: v Sion Swifts FC, Strabane Athletic FC, Oliver Plunkett FC

    Youth Team draw: Loughall FC, Institute FC, Kildrum FC".

    Pictured, above, are members of the two squads who are travelling to Ireland.


    Continuing our introduction to Alty's new faces for 2016-17, we see (right) Danny Hattersley, who marked his debut on Sunday with a goal from the penalty spot against Widnes.

    Born on 8 April, 1992, Danny joined Altrincham on 23 June 2016. He is a 6ft 3in striker, whose former club was FC Halifax Town, though he was loaned for two months to Chester FC from November 2015. Danny joined the Shaymen on loan in September 2014 before signing for them in February 2015.

    His previous clubs include Southport, who signed him in June 2013 after a loan spell, from Stockport County for an undisclosed fee. He was with The Hatters in 2012-13


    The draw for the Neil Thomason Cup, named after a much respected former Altrincham FC Youth Team coach, has dealt Alty a home tie on 2 October (2pm) at Hale Country Club (Clay Lane) against Hyde FC.


    Alty entertain Chester FC in a pre-season game this Saturday. And the visitors announce that "Theo Vassell has joined Chester Football Club on loan from Walsall until January 1st 2017".

    Also Chester's opponents on Wednesday, Wigan Athletic reported that "It's been a busy couple of months for Chester's recently appointed manager Jon McCarthy and his assistant Ian Sharps... following the departure of Steve Burr in April. McCarthy, who featured for the likes of York City, Port Vale and Birmingham City during his playing days, has already started the process of re-shaping Chester's squad, bringing in defenders Evan Horwood (Northampton Town), Ross Killock (Leeds United), Blaine Hudson (Wrexham) and Theo Vassell (loan from Walsall), as well as goalkeeper Liam Roberts (loan from Walsall) and striker Elliott Durrell who finished last season at Tamworth's top goal scorer in National League North.

    A couple of standout departures saw John Rooney leave for local rivals Wrexham, as well as last season's top marksman Ross Hannah who made the switch to fellow National League side Barrow.

    Chester's most frequent transfer activity has been in keeping players from last season, including new contracts for James Alabi, Jordan Chappell, Luke George, Kane Richards, Johnny Hunt and former Latics' youth player Ryan Astles".

    Altrincham's only remaining away friendly in pre-season is at Shawe View next Tuesday 19th (k.o. 7.45pm). From there, Trafford report on their friendly last Tuesday at Abbey Hey. "Trafford got their pre-season campaign underway with a 6 v 0 win at Abbey Hey. Trafford’s plan, due to having a number of new faces and trialists, was to have a different team in each half. Former Trafford striker Shelton Payne opened the scoring with Chris McDonagh and Mitch Bryant adding a goal each to make it 3-0 at half-time.

    A complete team change for the second half with [ex-Alty striker] Aaron Burns scoring second half hat-trick, giving Trafford a comfortable 6-0 win.

    FIRST HALF TEAM: Russ Saunders, Ally Brown, Lee Neville, Nicky Platt, Danny Caldecott, Ryan Ledson, Danny Nardiellu, Andy Bianga, Chris McDonagh, Mitch Bryant, Shelton Payne.

    SECOND HALF TEAM: Terry Smith, J. Jeffries, Craig Robinson, Rick Walker, Andy Langford, Josh Granite, Kyle Jacobs, Conor Smith, Mark Derbyshire, Kingsley Williams, Aaron Burns.


    Rochdale report that they "got their pre-season schedule off to a winning start on Tuesday night following a 2-1 win over AFC Fylde... Trialists Nathan Eccleston, Marcus Holness and Theo Robinson, who all travelled to Tenerife with the team, were named amongst the squad...

    In [the] lead up to the [Fylde] goal, Holness fell to the ground injured and disappointingly was unable to continue".

    The Hallmark Security League, formerly the NW Counties' League, reports that "Runcorn Linnets have announced the resignation of manager Joey Dunn...

    Club Chairman Derek Greenwood said...'We are all desperately sorry that Joey has felt the need to make this decision but fully understand his reasons for doing so. We have lost the best manager in the league'...

    Joey Dunn said, 'Early in the summer, we discussed my need for a break from the game. We looked at possible scenarios but, ultimately, I just felt the need for a complete break and the club accepted this. The role of a manager is all consuming and this ultimately has taken its toll. It would be easier for there to be a specific reason cited, but there is not, and I trust that you understand that for me to walk away from being manager of The Linnets, I am 100% convinced, is the right thing to do. It would be more damaging and wrong for me to stay in position.

    'I have been immensely proud and honoured to serve as the Manager of Runcorn Linnets and can say that the club are the best run I have ever been lucky to serve under... I would wish to leave with only positives from my experiences here and will be eternally sad that I could not deliver the much sought after promotion'".

    From Boston United we learn that an Alty loanee of last season, from Tranmere Rovers, "Jonny Margetts, bagged a first half hat-trick as Lincoln City overpowered a much-changed Boston United side on Tuesday evening. Margetts struck after nine and 12 minutes before sealing his hat-trick from the spot two minutes before the break".


    The NL Paper says that "Kingsley James will be remaining in Non-League’s top tier after the midfielder penned a one-year deal at Macclesfield Town. James played 46 times in the National League for FC Halifax Town last season... Macclesfield agreed an undisclosed fee for his services.

    He spent a year with Halifax after joining from Chester last summer. The former Sheffield United and Port Vale youngster had previously played for Hereford United... James... will be a key addition for Macclesfield boss John Askey, after he lost midfielder and captain [and former Alty loanee] Paul Turnbull to Barrow earlier this summer".

    From the Halifax Courier we learn that "Centre-back Matty Brown will miss the start of the season after undergoing an ankle operation. Brown will be out for the next eight weeks after his operation on a persistent ankle injury he has carried since the tail end of last season [in the game against Altrincham].

    The former Chester man played with the injury during the FA Trophy final win over Grimsby, but that is his only appearance for Town since late March. Town boss Billy Heath also confirmed defender Kevin Roberts will miss Saturday’s friendly at Frickley with a calf injury. Heath said... 'Although we don’t think it’s serious, he won’t play against Frickley. We want to make sure it’s not a recurring injury'".

    13 July 2016


    There is still time to get your season ticket before the next home friendly. Details are below...
    • Standing: Adults £250 Concessions £145
    • Seating: Adults £290 Concessions £155
    • 12-16 year olds: £60
    • Under 12s: £30

    Tickets can be obtained at the Club offices at the J Davidson Stadium during normal office hours on weekdays (9.30am to 4.30pm)


    Continuing our visual guide to Altrincham's new players for 2016-17, we see below Charlie Joyce and Billy Hasler-Cregg.

    Above, left Charlie Joyce (d.o.b. 3 October 1993) was Neil Young's first signing for Altrincham when his capture was announced on 8 May 2016. An energetic midfielder, he spent 2015-16 with Southport whom he had joined in 2012. He enjoyed a loan spell at Stalybridge Celtic in February 2016.

    Pictured, above right, is winger Billy Hasler-Cregg, who was born on 11 September 1996, in Burnley. At Rochdale he progressed through their Academy to the first-team squad from where he spent a loan spell at Droylsden last season.


    According to the Blackpool Gazette, "Fleetwood Town have signed winger Dion Charles from AFC Fylde, whose chairman David Haythornthwaite says the deal has left 'a very nasty taste in our mouths'. The 20-year-old midfielder has penned a two-year-deal at Highbury to step up three tiers from National League North to League One.

    The former Blackpool youth player, who scored 18 goals for Fylde last term, will initially link up the club’s development squad. But Haythornthwaite believes the deal is unethical and was only made possible by an administrative error. Fylde state Charles signed a lucrative contract extension in September 2015, tying him to the club for at least another two years. However, that new contract was not received by the FA, in whose eyes Charles was out of contract this summer and so free to move.

    Haythornthwaite admits his club are at fault for not checking the FA had received the paperwork, but he berated both the player’s agent for offering Charles to other clubs and Town for not contacting Fylde before completing the deal. He said, 'The situation is one I feel not only our own supporters but the footballing world in general should be made aware of. It is a sad but true reflection of the world of football that most fans never hear about.'

    Haythornthwaite says his club began legal proceedings after unsuccessfully appealing to the FA to review the evidence. He also claims that Championship club Nottingham Forest dropped their interest in Charles on hearing Fylde’s side of the story. He said, 'When we explained the situation they immediately respected our position and backed off. However, in the last 48 hours we have learned that Fleetwood have now signed him. I have made my feelings known in no uncertain terms to their chief executive Steve Curwood and their chairman Andy Pilley. The fact that no one from Fleetwood has even had the decency to call us sums it up;– it is dog eat dog and nothing else.'

    Fleetwood issued no immediate response when approached by The Gazette."

    News of an Alty old boy comes from the Shropshire Star which tells us that "Part-time model AFC Telford new-boy Gianluca Havern insists he is lucky to have a girlfriend. The good-looking 27-year-old looks as though he could be about to set female pulses racing at the New Bucks Head next season. He might be more used to sharp suits in his job off the park but Havern, who has won promotion from National League North with Hyde and last club Altrincham, is no ‘pretty boy’ on the pitch.

    He said, 'It’s a good job I’d already got a girlfriend because my nose is a bit bent and I don’t know if I’d have got one otherwise! I went up for a header in the FA Cup last season and the next thing I knew, my nose was spread to one side. It was a really bad break and I was out for four weeks. I was hoping to play in a protective mask, but we couldn’t source one. It was really frustrating because my legs and body were fine but my nose was all over the show so I couldn’t play. That’s my job, though, and that’s what defenders have to do sometimes.

    'It’s a competitive league and judging by the strikers, they’re going to be aggressive'. But the tall, dark Mancunian of Italian descent insists he is mystified at being described as a model. He said sheepishly, 'I don’t know where that came from but I’m happy to take it! I helped a mate out once. I’ve got a proper job anyway, so I’m certainly not modelling any more! I work in Manchester city centre in recruitment, getting young people into apprenticeships for different businesses and, away from that, I just concentrate on my football.'

    Havern has Italian parents and has just returned from a holiday there, admitting he loves their football too. He said, 'I grew up watching Italian football and we’ve seen in the Euros how the Italians defend. Juventus are my favourite team and I loved to watch Fabio Cannavaro back in the day... but I’ve never seen a live game over there.'

    But he speaks with equal passion about his new club... 'It’s a massive club and always one I’ve enjoyed playing at in the Conference and Conference North. The fans are great, it’s a lovely stadium so, when the gaffer rang me, it was a no-brainer really, he didn’t have to sell it to me'...

    Havern was made captain on his Bucks debut on Saturday, a 2-1 win at Colwyn Bay... 'I like to help people do their jobs. I’ve been captain and vice-captain at Altrincham so it’s a role I’m comfortable with and I like to talk a lot.'

    Havern is one of 10 summer signings, as Smith has effectively put together a new team. The former Altrincham man is determined to help foster a bond between the old and new, which was helped by a night out in North Wales on Saturday. He said, 'It’s a new team Rob is putting together, so the main thing is to build that team spirit and put together a run. But our aim is to be competitive... It seems to be a really good squad being put together with a blend of youth and experience'...

    He confesses to being somewhat daunted by the pre-season hill training up the Wrekin... He said... 'I couldn’t believe the size of it (Wrekin). I thought the lads were having me on when we drove to it and the lads said "We’re going to be running up there!”'"

    At Bradford Park Avenue "Long-serving defender Ryan Qualter has left the club to join Shaw Lane. The centre-back was contracted for the coming season after Avenue exercised the option to extend his deal, but Qualter asked to be released from the contract due to personal reasons... Qualter joined Avenue from Ossett in January 2014, and has gone on to make 81 league appearances for the club.

    He was set to enter the new season as the longest-serving member of the squad, and one of only two who were with Bradford last season... Qualter said... 'I just felt the time was right for a fresh challenge and a new start. The club made me a good offer and it was a difficult decision not to stay. Alex (Meechan, Avenue head coach) has been fantastic with me and I can’t thank him and Terry Dolan (Director of Football) enough'... Qualter joins former Avenue winger Danny Frost, goalkeeper Jon Stewart and coach Matty Wright at Shaw Lane."

    The Daily Mirror confirms that "Salford City will meet Manchester United's reserves in a pre-season friendly for the second year running... Salford City co-owner Gary Neville, the former United defender, joked the match will be Zlatan Ibrahimovic's first as a United player...

    Neville owns a 10% stake in the National League North outfit, as do each of his four former United team-mates, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and brother Phil. The controlling stake in the Ammies is held by billionaire businessman Peter Lim, who owns 50% of the club. Lim is also the owner of Valencia".

    Darlington 1883 confirm that the "Quakers can move home after groundshare licence signed. The Directors of Darlington Football Club and Darlington Rugby Club have announced that the 'Licence to Groundshare' at Blackwell Meadows and the commercial agreements have been signed today. This will trigger the return of the Football Club to its home at Darlington within Blackwell Meadows.

    Both clubs have been working together for several months to satisfy the many grantfunders and stakeholders who will be funding the redevelopment programme. The final stages of the legal process have allowed the signing to take place. The signing allows both clubs to implement the proposed building and construction requirements and an announcement on main contractors for the works will be made shortly".

    From another exiled club, Worcester City, comes a "Chairman's Statement [from Anthony Hampson]. Since making a reasoned offer to the Supporters' Trust on Saturday morning I am still awaiting a formal reply as to whether the suggested way forward finds favour. I have received confirmation from the Trust that they will be meeting in due course to discuss the offer...

    The joint Planning Application for the Perdiswell scheme will not go to the Planning Committee in July 2016. The uncertainty generated by these continued delays together with the Shareholders rejection of the Supporters Trusts’ resolutions to last week’s General Meeting is highly damaging...

    The rejection by Shareholders of the proposal that unsold shares in the Club are handed to the Trust has been the subject of considerable debate in the media. The Trust believes that the changes proposed by them would allow them to convert the Club to a Community Benefit Society, and thus attract a significant (but as yet unsubstantiated amount) of grant funding. They also believe that conversion will persuade the City Council to allocate the necessary land by way of a community asset transfer...

    The future ownership model is not a factor which will influence the City Council to allocate the necessary land. Their only consideration is whether the Football Club can deliver a sustainable business plan for the future...

    There are constitutional changes which may find favour with shareholders and which could allow the Trust to begin to gather a portfolio of influence in the current Club and I have put these to the Supporters’ Trust for consideration".

    Gloucester City has been producing an excellent series of review of other clubs in the Vanarama National League North. Its latest report is on Chorley. "Another side who began as a Rugby Club, they made the switch to football and haven’t looked back since. In their early years the Magpies dominated the Lancashire County League and Cups winning over thirty honours...

    It wasn’t until the 1980s that Chorley really began to rise in non-league where they managed to secure the Northern Premier League championship in 1987... Last season saw Matt Jansen’s side finish in 8th...

    The big news is that forward Darren Stephenson has left the club to join Tranmere Rovers for what is a club record fee... Coming in the other way is Accrington Stanley striker Marcus Carver, who had a loan spell at Victory Park in 2015. Matt Jansen will be hoping he can replace the goals they have lost in Stephenson.

    Also arriving at the club is midfielder Josh O’Keefe... a superb capture for the club. As is Stephen Jordan who has signed on, who six years ago made 19 Premier League appearances at Burnley... Other names include Scott Leather, Matt Challinor, Sefton Gonzalez, and Adam Blakeman".

    Bradford Park Avenue also report that "Avenue head coach Alex Meechan says he is pleased with the progress his side is making... Meechan has 10 names in his squad for the coming season, with various trialists making appearances...

    Meechan said...'I thought so far we’ve looked quite an organised outfit.'

    Defender Harry Coates became Meechan’s ninth summer signing, taking the number in the squad up to 10... 'We’ve got a decent number signed now, and the next three, four or five signings now are critical because that’s what we’re going to go into the season with,' Meechan explained.

    'I’m making sure I am getting the right characters for this football club, the right people and the right players. There’s plenty of players about... Overall I’m pleased, there’s a lot of trialists in our camp who are coming in and out of the game and it gets a little bit fractured'".

    12 July 2016


    Neil Young conducted his first post-match interview as Altrincham manager with joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, moments after Sunday's 2-2 draw at Widnes. Here it is in full.

    Q: What were your overall impressions, Neil?

    A: I thought it was a very useful work-out. We had a double session of training yesterday, so it was always going to be hard. There were a number of triallists, which meant mixing the side up a bit. There were lads coming in who had not seen the group before, and we were playing on a massive pitch, so it was always going to be a test for the players, but I thought they responded well. The pleasing thing was, having gone 2-0 behind, we came back strongly and did well in the end to finish all-square.

    Q: The players were put through their paces yesterday, then?

    A: Yes, we had a good day and got through a lot of work. We trained in the morning at Partington Sports Hall, had some lunch back at the ground, then trained again at Longsight. It was actually St Peter's School, part of the Belle Vue Stadium complex, where there's a lovely astro pitch.

    We trained there from about quarter to three to 20 past five, and I'm sure we'll feel the benefit of such a good session on an artificial surface, seeing as we will encounter a couple of pitches like that during the coming season. We've got Harrogate quite early on, then Tamworth as well.

    Q: This pitch was 3g as well, of course. Was there much feedback from the players about the difference between grass and artificial pitches?

    A: Funnily enough, it was more about the difference between the various artificial surfaces. We played at Partington in the morning and St Peter's in the afternoon, and while they were both very good pitches, they were different types of surface. Today, we again encountered a surface that was different to the other two, but it was still a useful exercise that helped us get a feel of what it's like not playing on grass.

    This one seemed to have more crumb (small rubber particles) on it, because the rugby league lads use it and are diving around all over the place. Today was more about shaping things, in terms of the players, and it was good to get a couple of goals. It served its purpose. Harrogate's pitch has only just been laid and will be the latest on the market, while I would imagine the Tamworth one will be more like we experienced at St Peter's.

    Above: Danny Hattersley nets his penalty kick at Widnes.

    Q: You will have been looking at how all the new signings fared, no doubt, what did you think?

    A: I thought there were lots of plusses. People in the stand might not have seen as many as I did, because I was asking the players to do certain things within the system. When I look at their goals, we've been done by a diagonal for the first, though I believe we should have had a free-kick on the edge of their box at the time.

    We gave the ball away for the penalty, but I thought the award was a bit dubious, as I did for our pen, without being entirely sure. But there were plenty of positives. I thought Tom Hannigan did really well at centre-back, Sam Patterson did well, and James Lawrie, and Jamie Menagh in the second half. Damian Reeves too. I asked him to do a certain job, and it was obvious today what that was. We're trying to get him playing on the last man, down the channels, and getting in behind people.

    We've had a number of triallists in now, and I know in my own mind what we are going to do. I thought there was a bit of quality about our goals. We played some good stuff, and Menagh showed, for the second goal, that he can pick a pass. But those balls can't be played without the run by whoever gets on the end of them. Reevesie was making those runs, and that's what we're asking him to do.

    It can be a bit disjointed when you've got a lot of new faces, but it was about getting the ball down, playing and everyone getting used to each other.

    Q: So many new faces, yet you seem as taken with a very old, familiar one?

    A: Well, if you mean Reevesie, I had a good chat with him and said I wanted to see him spinning in behind people at every opportunity, because that's what gets him his goals. We've got Danny Hattersley and Craig Hobson to take the bangs, if you like, or to be the first phase, then Damian to get in behind and finish things off. He's done that numerous times today, so we'll carry on working with him along those lines. He is a goalscorer, and you try and get the best out of your goalscorers, because they are the hardest people to find.

    Q: Finally, any update on the holding midfielder who's due to sign for us?

    A: Yes, he's a player with Football League experience, and he is still coming to the club. We just have to be patient, as he is still under contract elsewhere. We just need to wait for it to happen, but he is training and keeping fit.


    A Manchester United XI will play Altrincham in a pre-season friendly at the J. Davidson Stadium on Friday, 22 July, at 7.30pm.

    Manchester United add that they "have released five dates for the Reserves' pre-season calendar as Warren Joyce prepares his side for the new season.

    The youngsters will kick things off with a friendly against Blackpool behind closed doors at the Aon Training Complex on Tuesday 19 July before facing Altrincham later in the week at J. Davidson Stadium, the former home base of Joyce's charges.

    Salford City provide the opposition on 26 July... and there is also a test against Bruno Ribeiro's Port Vale on 30 July . As earlier confirmed, the Lancashire Senior Cup semi-final against Oldham Athletic has been arranged for the start of August... MUTV's coverage of the games will be confirmed in due course."


    One of the challenges of pre-season is identifying the new faces in the Altrincham squad and, with so many new signings this summer, that is a major task. To aid the process, below, we see two of the new signings; midfielder David Lynch (left) and defender Tom Hannigan (right).


    From NL Pitchero we learn that "Neil Kitching, manager of Stafford Rangers, has added another new striker to his squad. George Bowerman, 24, joins Rangers after leaving Altrincham following their relegation. He started his career with Walsall, where he came through the academy to make fifty League appearances and net 9 goals.

    After a spell on loan with Redditch United, Bowerman was released by the Saddlers and briefly signed for Woking before returning to the League with Accrington Stanley, for whom he made seventeen appearances and scored 3 goals. He moved to Altrincham in July 2015 and totalled twenty-eight games and 5 goals.

    He joined National League North side AFC Telford United on loan in January 2016 but that was initially cut short when he was offered a trial by Major League Soccer side Orlando City."


    Darlington 1883 "manager Martin Gray said that the training day at Catterick Garrison on Saturday was a 'very good exercise.' All of the Quakers’ squad attended the training day, which was aimed at building the players up in various ways as they continue their build up to the start of the new Vanarama National League season on 6th August at Altrincham.

    Said MG, 'It was very good for team bonding,and the new lads got to know their team mates a bit better. There was a lot of fitness work and testing, and the players did some work with three psychologists that we brought in for the day. There was a big, big emphasis on the benefits of teamwork.'

    FC United of Manchester state that "As most teams are taking advantage of the close season to bring in new players, FC United actually strengthened their squad throughout the course of the last season. Following a slow start to last season’s campaign FC Manager Karl Marginson brought in 10 new players between October and the end of the season to completely transform the team.

    Last season 36 players appeared for the first team in all competitions, and... only 3 players started more 30 matches, Luke Ashworth, Tom Greaves and Dave Carnell... All of the squad that finished last season will be re-signing for the new season... Notable departures from last season’s squad are Dean Stott, Craig Lindfield and Liam Brownhill. Stott, who last appeared for FC United... in January has now signed for Ramsbottom...

    Craig Lindfield... has signed for Marine; and Liam Brownhill who was at FC for 3 seasons has signed for Ashton United...

    With regards to new signings we are delighted to announce the signing of promising 20 year-old, Zac Corbett. The midfielder, who can also play in defence, has had short spells with Rhyl, Colwyn Bay and Witton Albion. He was also with Crewe and Stoke City as a YTS youngster...

    Margy is also looking to promote players who have impressed in the Reserves. In Saturday’s away friendly at Rhyl, both Dean Hope and Chris Hill came on as second-half substitutes. Midfielder Dean Hope has been a regular in the FC United Reserves for the past two seasons... Chris Hill captained FC’s Youth Team... and spent most of his time last season playing for the Reserves...

    Other trialists who featured in Saturday’s team at Rhyl were James Doyle, who played for Blackpool Youth Team last season; and striker Jamie Frost (19) who left Burnley at the end of the season having previously signed professionally with them in 2014...

    31 year old Jerome Wright begins his 10th season with FC this season and holds the record for the number of appearances by some distance having played 364 times for the Club... 25 year old midfielder Rory Fallon is hoping for a full recovery from injury this season. Fallon featured in almost every match before getting injured against Gloucester in December, which saw him miss the rest of the season.

    With 8 pre-season friendlies planned before the start of the new season, there will be ample opportunity for new players to impress".

    Gainsborough Trinity have launched a crowd-funded initiative called "Dom's Dough", a reference to manager Dominic Roma. To "Boost our transfer kitty", you can donate anything from £5, whilst £500 gets you registered as a Gainsborough player!

    11 July 2016


    Above: Altrincham line up against Widnes on Sunday. Left to right: James Lawrie (capt), Ciaran O'Loughlin, Sam Patterson, Harry Cain, Joe Cuff, Keenan Quansah, Billy Hasler-Cregg, Tom Hannigan, David Lynch, Jake Moult, Craig Hobson.

    Match report here.


    Altrincham's next game is their first pre-season home match, when Chester FC are the visitors. The match is at 3pm next Saturday (16th) at the J Davidson Stadium.


    The Worcester News reports that "Worcester City manager Carl Heeley is the latest director to resign from the troubled club's board. The former player, who will remain as boss, had only revealed a business plan intended to keep Vanarama National League North outfit City afloat in the short term earlier this month.

    Heeley's resignation follows the departure of Worcester City Supporters' Trust directors Mike Davis, Rob Crean and Jem Pitt from the club board. Calls were made for Anthony Hampson to quit as Worcester chairman by fans after the Trust's hopes of making the club, who are groundsharing with Bromsgrove Sporting, a community benefit society (CBS) were dashed by a vote.

    Heeley, 47, is general manager for a workwear rental business off the pitch as well as being in sole charge of City after the summer exit of joint boss Matt Gardiner to local rivals and former landlords Kidderminster Harriers. Hampson revealed he had contacted the Trust with details of his vision to move the homeless club forward.

    The chairman said in a statement, 'I have been advised by Carl he wishes to tender his resignation from the board of directors of Worcester City Football Club Limited. Reluctantly, I have accepted his decision... We all know Carl has a high-profile job, which he balances alongside the significant demands of managing the first team... and he genuinely feels he is unable to devote the necessary time to fulfil his responsibilities as a director...

    I believe it is in the best interests of the football club to allow him to concentrate his energies on first-team football activities. The negative reporting associated with the club is clearly having a very damaging effect, none more so than on Carl and the team. Despite the obvious differences we have at the moment, I believe we all have a duty to give Carl our undivided support. I take my responsibilities as chairman seriously and I have emailed the Supporters’ Trust chairman and secretary offering what I believe to be a way forward to unify the club and allow it to move forward'".

    10 JUly 2016


    Above: Damian Reeves receives congratulations after equalizing.

    Two late goals secured a draw for an Altrincham team playing for the first time under the management of Neil Young. With different line-ups playing in each half and with each of them comprising a mix of last year's squad, new signings and trialists it was not surprising that the visitors were unable to impose themselves on the NW Counties side. It was not until the last fifteen minutes that Alty began to assert themselves.

    They had fallen behind after 35 minutes when a long ball reared up and allowed Jack White to score past trialist keeper Ciaran O'Loughlin who, earlier, had made two fine saves. When Simon Richman lost possession and then Heathcote fouled Owalabi to concede a penalty. Owolabi scored from the spot in the 64th minute.

    Alty got back into the game when Boris Melingui's fine pass gave Reeves a shot which was half stopped but as Hattersley went to finish it off he was brought down. Hattersley took the spot kick to make it 2-1 after 77 minutes.

    Reeves got the equalizer with six minutes remaining, steering home a low shot, just inside the post.

    Report to follow

    The Altrincham second half players were not numbered on the team sheet and several of them wore differing numbers on their shorts from their shirts! So, apologies for any errors. Likewise the Widnes second half team did not wear the numbers given on the team sheet.

    ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks) First Half: 17. Ciaran O'Loughlin, 18. Sam Patterson, 12. Keenan Quansah, 5. Tom Hannigan, 2. Harry Cain, 14. Joe Cuff, 9. Jake Moult, 20. David Lynch, 11. Billy Hasler Cregg, 7. James Lawrie (capt), 21. Craig Hobson. Second half subs: 1. Andrew Dawber, 14. Charlie Joyce, 20. Callum Charlton, 22. Sam Heathcote, 25. Boris Melingui, 26. Liam Haynes, 8. Simon Richman, 28. Jamie Menagh (capt), 10. Damian Reeves, 23. Danny Hattersley.

    WIDNES (All blue) 1. Richard Mottram, 2. Josh Kavanagh, 3. Joe Fielding, 4. Kevin Pollard, 5. Jack Riley, 6. Michael Burke, 7. Dale Korie-Butler, 8. george Webster, 9. Jack White, 10. James McShane, 11. Luke Edwards, 12. Jordan Stafford, 13. George MCGrogan, 14. Thomas Mitchall, 15. Paul Carney, 16. Daniel Whalley, 17. Luke J Edwards, 18. Elliot Toner, 19. Matthew Rigby, 20. Tunde Owolabi, 21. Liam Turner.


    Brian Flynn advises us that for, Widnes FC v Altrincham, "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Sunday's game. The commentary team is John Edwards and Brian Flynn. Coverage starts at 1.55pm with the game kicking off at 2.00pm".

    Widnes FC remind us that their "pre-season schedule begins... this coming Sunday, as The Whites host Vanarama National League North side Altrincham at the Select Security Stadium (Lower House Lane, Widnes WA8 7DZ), with the game kicking-off at 2pm.

    Widnes will receive a good test against Altrincham, who will be eager to test themselves on the Select Security Stadium’s 4G artificial playing surface, which will be a feature in a number of away games in The Robins’ upcoming league campaign.

    Joint Managers Danny Meadowcroft and Brian Pritchard are expected to field a side consisting mostly of new signings and trialists, with the names of who are yet to be confirmed. Faces familiar to Widnes supporters are also likely to be included in the duo's squad.

    The friendly is Widnes’s first of a six-game pre-season schedule, with a home game against local rivals Warrington Town, and trips to Congleton Town, Vauxhall Motors, Knutsford and Halebank to follow.

    Entry to the stadium will be gained through the South Stand’s turnstiles, rather than the Stadium Fitness entrance which has been the norm for the past two seasons.

    The Club is delighted to be offering the following discounted prices for the game:

    • Adults: £1
    • Concessions: £1
    • Under-16s: FREE when accompanied by a paying adult
    Can’t make it to the game? There will be full coverage of the afternoon’s proceedings on Twitter: @Widnes_FC".


    Right: Alty Reserves' defenders Tom Clarke and Will Foster keep an eye on former Alty striker Tom Bailey, in Saturday's match against 1874 Northwich.

    In their first match of the pre-season against external opposition, Altrincham Reserves lost 3-0 to North West Counties' Premier Division side 1874 Northwich. The match took place at the Reserves' home ground, Egerton Sports Club, Knutsford, on their artificial pitch.

    After a fairly even start, Northwich took a 25th minute lead when Danny Thomas headed home following a corner. An Alty defender had headed the ball away from goal but only into the path of the Northwich man whose header left keeper Jones with no chance.

    Northwich's second goal arrived in similar fashion. A corner was nodded on by a team mate and Scott McGowan headed home (62 mins).

    Alty enjoyed a late rally with, arguably, their most threatening attack coming with Leather's run which gained a corner. But the visitors wrapped up the match with a third goal seven minutes from time when a cross from the right was converted by their no.19, Jack woolley, one of half a dozen substitutes introduced to the game at half-time.

    ALTRINCHAM RESERVES: 1. Andrew Jones, David Brown, 3. will Foster, 4. Ryan Barry, 5. Marcus Dibble, 6. Tom Clarke, 7. Ashley Leather, 8. Joel Swift, 9. Connor Sutton, 10. Jimi Folagbade, 11. Ioannis Stouppis. Subs: 12. Joe Faux, 14. Jude Oyibo, 15. Alex Robbins, 16. Kai ---, 17. Will Smith.

    1874 NORTHWICH: First Half, Hall, Connor, Mitchell, Thomas, Russell, Chappell, Jones, Moran, McGowan, Bailey, Wellstead. Second half, Hall, Connor, Mitchell, Thomas, James, Kirk, M.Woolley, Riley, J.Woolley, Bailey, Simp

    The managers of the Reserves, Craig Malbon and Chris Rowley would like to thank Neil Tolson for stepping in to oversee the Reserves on Sunday as they were both unavailable. Neil has also kindly agreed ot step in for a further fixture when Craig and Chris are unavailable. Both being teachers, they have to take their holidays at this time of year!


    Altrincham FC Director, Neil Faulkner, writes that "I am working down at the ground on Tuesday evening 12th July from 5.30pm onwards, can anyone join us to help finish off any outstanding jobs that are needed around the J Davidson Stadium, please"?

    Underlining how much works goes on at the J Davidson Stadium during the close season, is the photo (right) of the new pitch sprinkler system. This has already helped groundsman Neil Brown to get the newly seeded surface growing well, in good time for the new season.

    Pictured is just one of the sprinklers in action; there are sprinklers installed around the edge of the pitch as well as retractable ones along the central area of the playing surface.

    Meanwhile work is progressing on the new turnstile block at the Away End, which it is hoped will be completed in the coming week.

    So, if you can, please come along on Tuesday evening and help to make the J Davidson Stadium ready for the new campaign.


    Altrincham FC Reserves' inaugural season in the Premier Division of the Hallmark Cheshire League kicks off as follows...
    • 09/08/16 Whaley Bridge v Altrincham FC Reserves
    • 13/08/16 Altrincham FC Reserves v Denton Town
    • 16/08/16 18:30 Eagle Sports v Altrincham FC Reserves
    • 20/08/16 15:00 Altrincham FC Reserves v Poynton
    • 23/08/16 18:30 Knutsford v Altrincham FC Reserves
    • 27/08/16 15:00 Altrincham FC Reserves v Linotype Cheadle
    • 30/08/16 18:30 Greenalls Padgate St Oswalds v Altrincham FC Reserves
    • Cup 01/10/16 15:00 Altrincham FC Reserves v Whaley Bridge


    Altrincham FC Youth's early fixtures in the NWYA Premier Division are:
    • 21/08/16 14:30 ALTRINCHAM v ASHTON ATHLETIC
    • Cup 02/10/16 14:00 ALTRINCHAM v HYDE FC (NEIL THOMASON CUP)


    The Lancashire Evening Post reports on a pre-season game which ended Chorley 1 PNE 2, a game in which "The Lilywhites were very much second best in the first half, the Magpies deserving of their interval lead given to them by an early penalty from Josh O’Keefe.

    Simon Grayson changed all the side at half-time - a planned exercise - and the second-half team changed PNE’s fortunes... Victory saw them lift the Jack Kirkland Memorial Trophy which is played for by the two clubs on an annual basis."


    The Worcester News tells us that "Worcester City Supporters’ Trust have hit out at the club’s bosses after claiming they had demanded £10,000 from a college to have the 'right to wear their badge'. The Heart of Worcestershire College are working with City to provide a pathway for bright prospects to the first team.

    Homegrown aces Jamie Smith and Dean Waldron have been products of the academy system but the relationship is understood to have hit 'rock-bottom'. And manager Carl Heeley, who is also on City’s board, said they will look at creating their own programme if HOW are not willing to stump up cash but he did not disclose the amount. 'In a nutshell, Heart of Worcestershire College are using the name of Worcester City to get their students to the goal of being the same as the Jamie Smiths and the Dean Waldrons,' he said. 'Why have we not been rewarded for that? Being blunt, if they (HOW) are not prepared to discuss it, other options are out there for us. Other clubs deliver their own programmes and it is an income stream.'

    However, Trust director Rich Widdowson has criticised the move, saying it goes against the club’s efforts to strengthen links in the community. 'Worcester City’s board have shown their colours by demanding £10,000 from the Heart of Worcestershire College for the right to wear their badge,”' he said. 'We always thought that was a partnership with the intention of bringing through 60 or 70 lads. But now we are going to set up our own profit-making academy. That is fine but it is not a community-owned football club. It is a private company with a private interest to the shareholders.'"

    On Saturday "Curzon Ashton`s friendly at NPL First Division North neighbours Mossley AFC was called off due to a waterlogged pitch at Seel Park! However, Curzon`s league rivals FC United of Manchester may have wished the same had happened to their game at Welsh Premier Rhyl! The Rebels suffered a 5-1 drubbing" reports NL Pitchero.

    9 July 2016


    Altrincham FC Reserves are in action on Saturday 9th July at their home ground, Egerton Football Club, Mereheath Lane, Knutsford, WA16 6SL. With a 2pm kick-off, they take on 1874 Northwich. Spectators are very welcome.


    On Sunday 10th July, Altrincham's new-look first-team plays its first pre-season game, away to Widnes FC, whose stadium location is here. The postcode is WA8 7DZ. Kick off is at 2pm.


    In the FA Youth Cup Preliminary Round draw, Altrincham FC Youth have been drawn at home to Stockport County in the week commencing 5 September, 2016.


    The Lincolnshire Echo reports that "Lincoln City's search for another striker could be coming to an end as highly rated Jonathon Margetts has impressed while on trial at the club. Imps' boss Danny Cowley and assistant Nicky are known to be admirers of the 22-year-old and have kept a close eye on his career over the last two seasons." Margetts was on loan from Tranmere Rovers at Altrincham during part of last season.

    NL Pitchero reports that "Marine AFC have announced the signing of winger Joe Mwasile. Mwasile, who turned 23 on Wednesday, spent last season at Salford City... He made his Football League debut for Morecambe in 2012 and went on to make thirty appearances for the Shrimpers. He had loan spells at Workington AFC, Altrincham and Barrow AFC".


    The Chorley Citizen says that "Chorley forward Darren Stephenson has joined Tranmere Rovers for a club-record undisclosed fee, writes Josh Vosper. The Jamaican departs after four seasons at Victory Park, having joined from Southport in September 2012... Stephenson made 157 appearances with the Magpies, scoring 62 goals in total.

    He said, 'The decision was a hard one but I feel now is the time to progress in my career and test myself at a higher level... Chorley will always have a special place in my heart'".

    There is a mysterious announcement from Hartlepool United which says that "The scheduled pre-season fixture with Salford City has been cancelled. The game, which was due to be played on Tuesday 26th July at Moor Lane will no longer take place after the National League North side were forced to cancel the game due to unforeseen circumstances". Currently there is no further clarification on the Ammies' website.

    The Worcester News updates us to the effect that "Worcester City’s dream of creating a 'community' stadium could be over after the group behind the plans lost its 'negotiation power' to build on Perdiswell Park. The club’s Supporters’ Trust, which put forward the application for a 4,100 ground, suffered a major setback on Thursday night when a 'vital' bid to make City a community benefit society was turned down.

    Trust secretary Rob Crean said the move would have helped raise the capital for the stadium and boosted negotiations with Worcester City Council to use the land. However, supporters’ hopes were dashed when shareholders voted against the proposed changes to City’s constitution at the club’s general meeting. The news has also led to fresh calls from protesters for the 'controversial' application to be withdrawn.

    Mr Crean said the trust were still keen to 'drive' the plans, which were submitted more than two years ago, to a 'resolution'. But he admitted the outcome of the vote, which sparked anger from City fans, had left them in a 'difficult' position. 'What we were trying to do was to provide a mechanism where we could go to the council as a community-owned club and say, "This is the best way for us to discuss Perdiswell"', he said. 'If the application was successful, we could have talked (to the council) about a community asset transfer of the land but now that won’t happen. So we have got no negotiation power with the council at all expect for (City chairman) Anthony Hampson’s previous statements that we should go there and hold their feet to the fire. But we have got no bargaining chips, so why would they listen?'

    Jason Marshall, of Protect Perdiswell Park, which have been campaigning hard to stop the plans, has sent an open letter to City and the Trust urging them to remove their application... He said... 'The controlling interests will now determine the club’s future as a limited company, in which the Perdiswell stadium proposal can have no place. Please withdraw the application and make clear to the people of Worcester, whatever their views, that a stadium on Perdiswell cannot and will not happen.'"


    In the UEFA Europa League 1st Qualifying Round 2nd Leg on Thursday, one result was Stabaek 0 Gap Connah's Quay 1, so the Welsh club progresses to the next round, 1-0 on aggregate. However, at Rhyl, Bala Town lost 0-2 to AIK Fotboll so went out 0-4 on aggregate. And at Bangor, Llandudno FC lost 1-2 to IFK Goteborg. The Swedes won 7-1 on aggregate.
    8 July 2016


    As Alty's players will not have squad numbers or wear their names on their shirts next season, the Altrincham FC shirt sponsorship scheme will be a little different for 2016-17.

    You are still invited to sponsor your chosen player's shirt, home and/or away for 2016-17. At the end of the season you will receive the signed shirt which bears the player's most commonly worn number.

    To sponsor a player, please contact the club on 0161 928-1045 or e-mail your request.

    It is just £150 to sponsor one shirt or £250 for two!

    A list of the available players and of those already sponsored is here.


    The Northern Echo reports that "Supporters of Darlington FC have urged fans to ‘forget turbulent experiences’ and get behind the team ahead of high profile friendly matches. The Darlington FC Supporters Group (DFCSG) have issued a statement welcoming the return of the club to The Northern Echo Arena.

    Later this month, The Quakers will take on Sunderland and Newcastle United in friendly matches that mark the return of the club to Darlington. The team has played their ‘home’ games at Heritage Park in Bishop Auckland for the last four years and are expected to make their return to Darlington in the coming season.

    DFCSG’s statement called the matches a monumental occasion and urged supporters to forget any bad memories associated with the arena, where the club played prior to a period of financial turbulence. It said, 'We are delighted that the arena has been made available to allow us to play back in our town for the first time in four years. Whilst the period of tenure at the arena harbours bad memories for some supporters it should not be forgotten that the venue itself was not directly responsible for the demise of the football club.

    'The DFCSG appeals to all Darlington fans, whether current or lapsed to forget the turbulent experiences that coincided with our time at the arena and come along to support the town’s football club.' Highlighting pre-season games as a key revenue generator, it said, 'It would also mean a great deal to the dedicated players who pull on the Darlington shirt with pride to see a huge turnout of the public for the first games back in the town.'

    The Quakers will play Newcastle United XI on Saturday, July 16 and a Sunderland XI on Tuesday, July 19".

    And Darlington 1883 add that "The scheduled Vanarama National League North home game against Chorley has been moved from Tuesday 9th August to Wednesday 24th August, which means that the first home game will now be against Boston United on Saturday 13th August. Midweek home games will now be played on Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays after talks with the league. The much-anticipated first game in the Vanarama National League North will be at Altrincham on Saturday 6th August.

    News of another exiled club comes in the Ludlow Advertiser, which says that "Robin Walker today calls for Worcester Warriors to help rescue the city's football club by using Sixways to bring it home. Worcester's MP says the new artificial pitch being installed at the rugby club is a potential 'game changer' for getting Worcester City back.

    The Conservative politician, anxious about the club's ongoing exile, now wants fresh talks about considering the 12,000 capacity venue under a ground-share deal. In May the Worcester News revealed how the city council's new Labour leadership had launched a cross-party working group to consider different options to Perdiswell.

    Mr Walker says Sixways has all the ready-made facilities to offer a solution, especially given the fact the club and its Trust is currently unable to afford to build the 4,100-capacity Perdiswell ground even if planning permission does get granted. He said, 'The great advantage of Sixways is that the parking is there, the facilities are there, everything you'd need is already there... If a deal can be done with the rugby club I think it'd solve this problem and may well end up being the best option.'...

    Worcester Warriors has not ruled anything out but its chief executive, Jim O'Toole stressed that the club is not seeking to get involved. He said... 'We are friends with anyone and we will talk to anyone, but let them sort it.'

    Labour Councillor Adrian Gregson, the city council's leader, said, 'Robin isn't the first person to think Sixways is a good idea, so let's not get carried away that this is a light bulb moment. The working party is currently reviewing potential sites, but that is subject to confidentiality'...

    Worcester City... will play home matches at Bromsgrove from August. The application for a new 4,100-capacity ground on Perdiswell Park, submitted in April 2014, has been bogged in difficulties and has attracted around 1,400 public comments, with more than 1,000 of them in support. The club's Supporters Trust is still backing the Perdiswell bid".

    More comes in the Worcester News which told us on Thursday that "Fans' hopes of taking over the running of Worcester City appear to be fading ahead of tonight’s 'do-or-die' vote. Shareholders will gather... when they will have the chance to back Worcester City Supporters’ Trust’s proposals.

    The Trust say their plans to make City a community benefit society (CBS) will keep the exiled club, who have about £530,000 left in the bank, alive. However, City’s board have refused to get behind the changes and Trust director Rich Widdowson admitted it only needed 'a very small amount' of shareholders to scupper their efforts. 'I know for a fact that people are going to support the board and that’s the reason why we are in the mess we are in,' he said. 'It only needs to be a very small amount of people for them (the board) to win. We need 75 per cent of the vote whereas they need four or five people with big shareholdings.'

    Widdowson added, 'It’s do or die and if we fail that’s it (for the club). They say we are scaremongering but the chairman (Anthony Hampson) stated at the last meeting the club has got two years left, so how can we be scaremongering? We are offering a solution'....

    David Alcock, of the legal firm, also confirmed a poll vote, which will include proxy forms, had been agreed rather than making the decision on a show of hands in the room."

    News of an Alty "old boy" is to be found in the Shropshire Star. where it is stated that "Defender Gianluca Havern will put aside his glamour looks to mix it in National League North, insists AFC Telford United boss Rob Smith. The 27-year-old became the Bucks’ 10th summer signing yesterday... Although brought up in Manchester, 6ft ft 1in Havern is of Italian descent.

    He is a part-time model who has dated pop star and former 'X Factor' judge, Tulisa Contostavlos, after the pair met on holiday in Ibiza. Havern’s good looks don’t fit the stereotype of a non-League centre-half but Smith believes the former Stockport, Mansfield and Ashton United stopper has the grit to go with good looks. Smith said, 'He had a badly broken nose last season, so he knows that side of the game. But, as for the looks, his mum and dad are Italian, although he was brought up in England. He’s a typical Italian in his defensive, niggly style but he’s a good-looking lad, so some of the female supporters will be happy!

    'I think Larry’s (Chambers, assistant boss) wife has offered to put him up for the night!'...

    The Bucks chief added, 'He’s a good defender first and foremost but, at the same time, an organiser'".

    Mansfield Town "Manager Adam Murray has clarified the situation surrounding young defender Jordan Wheatley, who joined Nuneaton Town earlier this week. The 18-year-old right-back was expected to sign for the club... but joined the Warwickshire club on Monday...

    And manager Murray revealed at this morning’s news conference that the defender’s mother contacted the club’s medical department on Monday morning, to tell them that Wheatley wouldn’t be reporting for pre-season training. 'I think the big thing to come out of it was that Jordan wasn’t really committed to Mansfield Town. We had communication from his mum to the physio on Monday that he wasn’t very well', Murray said. 'Was he very well or wasn’t he very well? I’m not sure but then I think Nuneaton put it in the press that he signed for them so he might not have been very well in Nuneaton or something, I’m not sure.'

    'It was his decision; he didn’t feel like League Two was for him. We brought him in to go into the first team squad and compete for a first team place at a professional level at League Two. He felt that he’d get more opportunity to play man’s football in Nuneaton’s league so [we] wish him all the best... I’m not going to lose any sleep over it'".


    Your route to the J. Davidson Stadium may be affected by the following...

    With year-long delays on the A56 road from Sale to Altrincham set to continue till "late summer", the Sale & Altrincham Messenger adds that "Motorists are set for more disruption as a key slip road at [the M56/A556] Bowdon Roundabout is set to shut for until the winter.

    Work to complete the first major phase of Highways England’s £192 million Knutsford to Bowdon A556 link road between the M6 and M56 will get underway Monday July 11. The eastbound exit slip road at junction 7 of the M56 will close from 2am on Monday for around four months as the junction, which serves motorway and A556 drivers as well as traffic on local roads, is re-modelled. It is expected that the road will reopen in November.

    Once completed, traffic will have direct ‘free flow’ access between the A556 and M56, without having to negotiate roundabouts or traffic lights. Local drivers will have ‘easier access’ to the A556 and M56, as well as A56 Lymm and Altrincham roads, in a new layout twinning the existing Bowdon roundabout with a new roundabout at Yarwood Heath,

    Highways England project manager Paul Hampson said, 'We’ll be spending the next few months tying the new link roads into the A556 and linking the new and existing roundabouts. Given the current layout we cannot complete this work without closing the exit slip road from the eastbound M56 and while good alternative routes are in place, we would like to thank drivers in advance for their patience. While the eastbound exit slip road is closed, drivers will be able to leave the motorway via junction 20 of the northbound M6 near Lymm services or at junction 6 at Hale.

    Anyone seeking more information about the project, closures or diversion routes can visit the project webpage.

    And also it is reported that "Roadworks in Partington are coming up also, as Moss Lane at its Junction with Sinderland Lane, all the way into Partington, will be resurfaced".

    7 July 2016


    Joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Altrincham’s finances have been given a significant boost after they landed a ‘substantial’ new shirt and stadium sponsorship deal with scrap metal specialists J.Davidson.

    In a timely announcement, on the eve of Sunday’s opening pre-season friendly at Widnes, Alty chairman Grahame Rowley revealed the Broadheath-based company had pledged their support for the next two years on terms that will help keep the club on a sound financial footing.

    For their part, Alty will again wear J.Davidson on the front of their shirts, and one of non-League football’s best-known venues will continue to be known as The J.Davidson Stadium.

    With a progressive-looking Alty board eager to forge ever-closer links with the local community, the hunt is on for more prospective partners to help make it happen.

    ‘It’s great news that we have been able to reach an agreement with J.Davidson and extend a long-standing relationship that is clearly beneficial to both parties,’ said Rowley. ‘It is for a substantial amount, and I’m delighted we can look forward to another two years together.

    ‘Now, the hope is that others might follow their lead and help us achieve our aims, on and off the pitch. We are right in the middle of the local community and are actively looking to do even more to involve people with the club.

    ‘More Fun Weeks for kids and a new disabled football team are just two of the many projects we are working on, but these things need funding. We can’t continue expanding activities without the help and support of local companies.

    ‘J.Davidson, Smart Storage, Manchester Glass and Mornflake are all major sponsors, with many other local businesses also backing us, but there’s always room for more to come on board and help shape an exciting and rewarding future for the club.’

    Luke Davidson, son of J.Davidson owner Jamie, was in no doubt a partnership with Alty represented value for money.

    ‘It is a big commitment for us, one of our biggest, but we are delighted to have extended it,’ he said. ‘We take everything into account before making a decision like this, and it’s clear we get plenty out of it, in terms of getting our name out there and generating extra business.

    ‘We have certainly found it worthwhile, and I’m sure others would. It raises your profile, and as an Altrincham company, run by a family who are all from the town, it’s great to see the club doing so much for the community.

    ‘We managed to get to a few games last season, and even when we couldn’t, we’d all be on our computers, laptops, phones, or whatever, checking the score. The club means a lot to us.’"

    Above: Altrincham FC directors Derek Wilshaw and Barry Pond meet Luke Davidson at the company's headquarters in Broadheath, Altrincham.


    The National League 2016-17 fixtures were issued on Wednesday. The season starts for Altrincham with a home match against Darlington 1883 at the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday, 6th August (3pm). Following that is a Tuesday trip to The Shay to play FC Halifax Town (9th August) and another trip to Yorkshire follows on Saturday (13th) for the game at Harrogate Town on their new artificial pitch. Our August and Easter bank holiday opponents will be Kidderminster Harriers.

    Christmas and New Year sees a double with FC United of Manchester. The full fixture list is here.


    AFC Telford United confirm "the signing of defender Gianluca Havern (right). The 6ft 1 defender joins the Bucks after leaving Altrincham, where he enjoyed a successful four-year period, in May. Luca’s previous clubs have included Stockport County, Mansfield Town and Hyde."

    From the National League we learn that "FC Halifax Town have announced that 28-year old midfielder Nathan Hotte has joined the club from North Ferriby United. Hotte spent four seasons at Bradford Park Avenue before moving to the Villagers last season and joins his former boss Billy Heath at The Shay following his arrival this close season".

    According to recent reports and to Wikipedia "On 18 March 2016, it was confirmed that Darlington 1883 were to be relocating to Blackwell Meadows at the start of the 2016–17 season (sharing with Darlington RFC". However, on Wednesday Darlington 1883 announced that their "much-anticipated first game in the Vanarama National League North will be at Altrincham on Saturday 6th August.

    Quakers asked for their opening game of the season to be scheduled away from home because the Heritage Park pitch in Bishop Auckland has been relaid during the summer, so the first home game will be the following Tuesday 9th August against Chorley, quickly followed by another home game against former Football League side Boston United.

    It will be hectic start to the season for Quakers, who will have seven matches in the month of August, three at home and four away but, over the course of the season, they will play four fewer fixtures in total than last season in the NPL, 42 compared to 46. There is also no league cup competition in the Vanarama".


    The National League's Colin Peake announces that "BT Sport will launch the 2016/17 Vanarama National League season by screening the opening day fixture between Maidstone United and York City from the Gallagher Stadium with a 12.15pm kick off on BT Sport 1.

    The Stones are setting out on their first season after gaining promotion last term by welcoming their visitors for the long journey down into Kent. Meanwhile, for The Minstermen, they will be facing their first competitive game since relegation and so, for both clubs, they will have differing reasons to get off on the winning foot.

    Respective managers Jay Saunders and Jackie McNamara will surely relish the opportunity not only to be the first to test out the newly relaid 3G Pitch, the first game to be played at Step 1 on an artificial surface; but to get the new Vanarama National League season off to the best possible start in front of the BT Sport cameras.

    After seeing a live game of their own choosing on match weekends, fans will be able to top off their weekend on Sunday evening, with the BT Sport highlights show covering all the goals and important action from the Vanarama National League matches over that weekend".

    6 July 2016


    Grahame Rowley writes that "Following on from my appeal for membership for the Patrons' Scheme to reach the 150 mark, we have received another 15 subscribers, taking the total to 138. Details of the scheme and the list of members is here. Many thanks to all who have supported the scheme - new members are always welcome!


    Keith Edleston, manager of Altrincham FC Ladies, reminds us of his team's early games of 2016-17...

    • 7th August: v Bury LFC (Dev/Squad), Away 2pm
    • 14th August v Rhyl LFC, Away 2pm
    • 21st August v Leigh RMI LFC, Home 2pm
    • 28th August v Tranmere Rovers LFC, Away 12 noon


    The FA announces this week details of the The Emirates FA Cup, FA Trophy, FA Vase and FA Youth Cup for 2016-17. This will comprise the list of clubs accepted and rules for each competition. Hereford FC confirms that "The first two rounds of the four competitions will also be announced at midday on Friday 8 July. Clubs to enter the competitions at this stage come from Steps 4-6 of The FA National League System for the FA Cup, Steps 5-7 for the Vase and Steps 3-4 in the Trophy

    Details of all the above will be available from midday on Friday on".


    According to the Football Conference "Left-back Andy McWilliams has become Bradford Park Avenue’s seventh summer signing, joining from league rivals Harrogate Town. The attacking full-back helped Barrow to the National League North title the season before last, linking up once more with boss Alex Meechan, who was his assistant at Holker Street.

    McWilliams, 26, has spent three seasons at Stalybridge Celtic across two spells, as well as featuring for Guiseley AFC and York City, where he began his career. The defender is therefore extremely experienced at this level, making 165 appearances in the National League North during the last six seasons...

    McWilliams said. 'I know the gaffer from Barrow, and when he gave me the chance to come I was definitely up for it. I’m an attacking full-back, I like to get forward and put crosses into the box, linking up with the winger and ultimately supplying the forwards. My experience with Barrow will help of course, I would love to do the same here... With so many teams expecting to do well, everyone’s going to beat everyone, so there’s no reason why we can’t be up there'".

    Also "Former Premier League defender Matt Hill has agreed in principle to join Bradford Park Avenue. Hill, who has a glistening career with names such as Bristol City, Queens Park Rangers and Wolverhampton Wanderers on his CV, will assist Alex Meechan in his role as head coach, and also register as a player. The 35-year-old left-back joins the club from Tranmere Rovers, [where he made] forty-seven appearances in two seasons, including thirty-one in the National League last term. His career has seen him make 452 appearances in the Football League, including two in the Premier League for Wolves in 2009...

    Hill becomes Avenue's sixth new signing of the summer, and will also take up a coaching role alongside Meechan in the club's newly formed academy. "

    At Gainsborough Trinity, "boss, Dominic Roma, has moved into the loan market recruiting Jake Eastwood, a promising twenty year old goalkeeper from Sheffield United. The ‘keeper comes from the same stable as recent signing, Welsh u19, Ioan Evans and former loan signing CJ Hamilton. He signs on an initial two-month loan deal, where he will compete with Jonathan Hedge for the number one spot...

    He is looking to gain experience at, having impressed during a similar deal at Sheffield FC last season, where he picked up back to back Player of the Month awards...

    Roma was keen to point out, 'I have always stated my desire to have two goalkeepers at the club and, following discussions with the Sheffield United goalkeeper coach, Darren Ward, I was impressed with what he had to say, as he rates him highly... Both goalkeepers have excellent pedigree, with Hedge having represented England C earlier in his career and was part of the successful Halifax side that rose through the leagues as a phoenix side...

    'We haven’t been given stipulations regarding who plays, so it will be really competitive between Jake and Hedgey to make the number one jersey their own for the start of the season'" sats Roma.

    In the Tamworth Herald we learn that "Andy Morrell has confirmed that he will register as a player again next season ... The Lambs player boss, 40, says... 'I think I will be registering again, just in case really... but the aim is for me to play less and less now... I don't want to stand in the way of a young player who might be emerging...

    'I have spoken to a fair few players,' he said. 'We are looking at the top end of the pitch mainly now. There are one or two who are training or are on trial at full-time clubs at the moment, so we will have to wait and see'".

    Reports from the NL Paper say that "Worcester City have been left in shock after three directors resigned from the club, claiming they have been 'misled”. Jem Pitt and Rob Crean joined Mike Davis on the National League North outfit’s board in January to help create unity between the club and the Worcester City Supporters’ Trust.

    However, the trio have now stood down from their roles following a meeting last Thursday where the board discussed the Trust’s proposal to change the club to a community benefit society. Chairman Anthony Hampson and vice-chairman Colin Layland previously said they had alternative plans and Pitt, Davis and Crean reacted angrily to being left out of the discussions.

    Pitt told the Worcester News, 'In the last few weeks, it has become apparent that other directors including the chairman and vice-chairman have been involved in meetings and discussions regarding the future of the football club which we have been deliberately excluded from. Statements have been issued on behalf of the board, which we three had no knowledge of until they were published. We all attended the pre-EGM shareholders meeting last Thursday, only to find that we had been excluded from sitting at the top table, indeed the solicitor who had been engaged to represent the board, without our knowledge, was unaware of the fact that we were even directors at the club.

    'Despite publicly proclaiming that there was a ‘plan B’, we have never been made aware of any plans other than the short-term survival plan presented at the meeting. Either there is no plan B, and the board are misleading shareholders, or there is a plan B, and the board are misleading us, their fellow directors. Either way, we believe this is unacceptable behaviour by the chairman and his board of directors'".

    The Nuneaton News states that "Nuneaton Town have sensationally pipped Mansfield Town to the signing of teenage wonder-kid Jordan Wheatley this summer. Wheatley, who played in a Stags' shirt at Rainworth Miners Welfare on Saturday, turned down the chance to join the Football League side, instead opting to sign for former Ilkeston boss Kevin Wilson at Nuneaton Town.

    For Wilson the signing is a show of strength for the Boro. He said, 'He has real quality and he can count himself unlucky that he is not at a Football League club already. He is that good'...

    Wheatley has been linked to high profile moves in the past with the former Ilkeston man tipped to sign for Brighton and then Doncaster in the past... but that did not stop the Football League scouts from circling the 18-year-old centre back...

    Wilson added, 'People know what this club is about and that is why they want to be here'... Wheatley has signed a one-year deal with an option for a second year and has cost Nuneaton an undisclosed amount in terms of transfer fee."

    However, NUneaton Town can also "confirm that club captain, Shane Byrne, has been officially placed on the transfer list... Due to a change in Shane’s circumstances the club and the player have been unable to reach a mutual agreement to resolve this change in circumstances, which regrettably gives the club no other option than to make the player available for transfer."

    5 July 2016


    Altrincham FC Reserves are in action on Saturday 9th July at their home ground, Egerton Football Club, Mereheath Lane, Knutsford, WA16 6SL. With a 2pm kick-off, they take on 1874 Northwich. Spectators are very welcome.


    On Sunday 10th July, Altrincham's new-look first-team plays its first pre-season game, away to Widnes FC, whose stadium location is here. Kick off is at 2pm.

    Altrincham's 2016-17 squad currently comprises 18 players; twelve new signings and six players who were with us last season (Shaun Densmore, Sam Heathcote, James Lawrie, Jake Moult, Damian Reeves, Simon Richman).

    • Callum CHARLTON
    • John CYRUS
    • Andrew DAWBER
    • Shaun DENSMORE
    • Tom HANNIGAN
    • Billy HASLER-CREGG
    • Danny HATTERSLEY
    • Craig HOBSON
    • Charlie JOYCE
    • James LAWRIE
    • David LYNCH
    • Jamie MENAGH
    • Sean MILLER
    • Jake MOULT
    • Damian REEVES
    • Simon RICHMAN

    More details can be found on the First-Team page.


    According to the Northern Echo, "Darlington will give former Lancaster City midfielder Ryan Wilder another outing in their second friendly fixture at Harrogate RA. Quakers got their pre-season under way with a 3-1 win at Buxton on Saturday, with Winder, 22, impressing as a second-half substitute. He was quite nippy and creative as Quakers scored twice while he was on the field.

    'He’s been recommended to us after doing well at Lancaster and we’ll be looking at him again on Tuesday,' said manager Martin Gray. 'I thought he did well, as did our new signings, Jordan Watson and Lewis Nightingale. Pre-season games like these are useful for several things and we’re quite happy with the performance. I thought that we controlled most of the game and maybe could have scored a couple more goals before we actually opened the scoring.'

    Winder was one of five half-time substitutes after Gray fielded a strong first-half team that fell behind after keeper Peter Jameson and trialist right-back Harrison Scott got in a tangle, and the ball fell kindly for Buxton striker Lee Bennett to turn home. But Quakers, who had missed three good chances before the NPL side scored, got back into the game when the busy Nightingale, who played behind the front two, found Amar Purewal in the area, and he flicked the ball on for Liam Hardy, on his return to his previous club, to tuck past former Hartlepool keeper Jan Budtz.

    The five subs did not weaken Quakers, and another of the quintet, Stephen Thompson, put them in the lead on 55 minutes with a curled free kick around the defensive wall from 20 yards and into the bottom corner of the net. Sub keeper Jack McLaren had virtually nothing to do in the second half, before Adam Mitchell scored the third in the last minute when he beat two men and fired confidently past Budtz from the edge of the area.

    Striker Nathan Cartman is one of several players who are expected to return against Harrogate RA tomorrow."

    "FC Halifax Town and Nantwich Town both announce that they have come to an agreement for Matthew Kosylo to transfer to FC Halifax Town for an undisclosed fee. Matthew Kosylo is an exciting winger and is the current Evo Stik Premier Young Player of the Year.

    Commenting on the transfer, Nantwich Town Chairman Tony Davison said 'We are sorry to see Matty leave but he made it clear to me at the end of last season that he wanted to play at a higher level. Matty clearly impressed FC Halifax in our two-legged FA Trophy semi-final tie and they came calling in recent days".

    More sginings are announced at Bradford PA where "Alex Meechan has bolstered his defensive options with the signing of experienced centre-back Shane Killock. A product of the Huddersfield Town academy, the 27-year-old has played most of his football in spells at AFC Telford United and Harrogate Town. Killock joins the club from Scarborough Athletic, who he joined in January following a short spell at Hyde United.

    Having spent his younger days at Huddersfield, Killock moved to Ossett Albion and featured in the Northern Premier League at just 15 years old. He then returned to Town, making one league appearance and spending time on loan with Hyde, Harrogate and Oxford United, for whom he signed permanently in 2009... A loan move to Telford was soon turned permanent. He spent over three seasons playing at the New Bucks Head, making 132 appearances and scoring four goals.

    In 2012, he returned to Yorkshire and joined Harrogate Town, where he spent three seasons and made 29 league appearances, and also had a loan spell at Guiseley. Last term his season was badly affected by a horrific injury suffered incidentally at Ossett Albion, fracturing a number of bones in his face...

    Killock said, 'Meeks (Alex Meechan, Avenue manager) rang me, and from there I couldn’t wait to get going. It’s a good club and it’s a good level to be playing at. It will be a tough league next season but I can’t wait for it to start. I always work my hardest, as a centre half obviously I love to get stuck in. I give 110%, always wear my heart on my sleeve and put a shift in for the team, wherever I’m asked to play doing whatever I’m told to do'".

    The Worcester News reports that "Bosses at Worcester City have come out fighting after feeling 'discredited' by 'scaremongering tactics'. City chairman Anthony Hampson and several of his directors have come under fire after many shareholders accused them of not having a plan to keep the Vanarama National League North outfit alive.

    However, the 'majority of the board' insisted the claims were 'factually incorrect' as they have vowed to create a 'vibrant and viable' future for City. They said they were continuing to 'evaluate all possible options' to bring the exiled club back to Worcester 'as quickly as possible'. A club spokesman said, 'Over recent weeks the club has been misquoted resulting in scaremongering tactics to discredit board members. However, shareholders should be assured the majority of board members remain committed to securing the longer term interests of the club and will continue to work tirelessly to bring the club home to its rightful place, playing a major part in the sporting heritage of the City.'

    Last week Worcester City Supporters’ Trust hit out at a number of board members for rubbishing their proposals to make the club a community benefit society. The Trust believe the ownership model will help the club raise the capital for the proposed new ground at Perdiswell Park and boost negotiations with Worcester City Council to use the land".

    Also at The Shay, NL Daily says that "It's six weeks since [Billy] Heath chose to leave his former club North Ferriby United to take over at the newly-crowned FA Trophy winners. And since taking over from Jim Harvey, he has been busy negotiating with existing members of his squad and bringing in new players.

    There is a familiarity about the new additions. Heath raided his old club for the likes of striker Tom Denton and left back Josh Wilde, whilst former Guiseley goalkeeper Steven Drench and Altrincham midfielder Jordan Sinnott have also completed moves to The Shay. A number of the club's Wembley heroes have committed to the cause for the new season as well...

    Full back James Bolton and on-loan keeper Sam Johnson have now joined Gateshead and defender Hamza Bencherif completed a move to Wrexham earlier in the summer...

    Heath said 'It has been hectic and we haven't really had a break. A lot of players went out from the squad last season and they had to be replaced, we have done that really well I think. We have signed the players that we aimed for, ones that we know well, they are the right players for this club and by that I mean they have the right mindset to play for this club... and I don't think we are done yet'...

    'There are two deals ongoing and maybe a third could start... I am hopeful both players will come in by the end of next week and I think the third one would be a bit of a bonus... We were concerned how players would view us having just been relegated. But it's a big club in non-league terms, we didn't have to sell it, it has been easy... We have a reputation of getting players into the league, players like (Marc) Roberts, (Shaun) Tuton and , of course, (Jamie) Vardy. That reputation attracts scouts and that helps, it has made it easier bringing players in'...

    Heath added 'The chairman here has always targeted the Football League. That has proved difficult, maybe more than they thought it would be. As a manager, my mind is working more short-term for now. You have to do that and we have to make sure we get back into the National League at the first attempt... I think it is the strongest I have seen this division and arguably the strongest it has ever been at this level. Normally you have two strong sides in the division but this time you could name eight to ten teams, maybe more, thinking we are strong, we are capable, we can get promotion'".

    According to NL Pitchero, "Boston United have signed former Bradford Park Avenue and Stockport County striker Lamin Colley. Colley joined Avenue from Harrogate Railway Athletic in October 2014 but it was agreed that the deal would not be completed whilst Rail were still in the FA Cup.

    Colley originally linked up with Rail boss Billy Miller at Liversedge FC as a young 17-year-old on loan from Farsley Celtic and returned to re-establish that link at Railway... The 6`4” striker made twenty-one appearances for venue... before moving to Stockport in May 2015. But after a goalless ten league appearances for the Hatters, he re-joined Avenue... The 23-year-old Gambian is Dennis Greene’s eleventh summer signing and could feature in Tuesday evening’s opening pre-season friendly against Boston Town, which is the day of his 23rd birthday."

    It is reported by NL Daily that "Curzon Ashton have completed a deal to sign Guiseley [and ex-Altrincham] centre back Danny Hall. Hall has spent the last two seasons with the Lions... The thirty two year old has also spent time with Hyde United and Altrincham during his career.

    In his time in the Football League he represented the likes of Oldham Athletic, Shrewsbury Town and Chesterfield. Hall has been training with John Flanagan's squad during pre-season".

    4 July 2016


    123 AND COUNTING...

    Altrincham FC Chairman, Grahame Rowley, reports that "With the aim of attaining 150 Patrons for the 2016-17 season we have now reached 123 and I would ask that, if you are considering becoming a Patron for the season, can you please contact me by e-mail so that I can add you to the already impressive list of subscribers. Thank you to all those who have paid to date".

    The updated list of Patrons and details of the scheme are here.


    It's all change at the Horsfall Stadium as Bradford Park Avenue confirm that "Avenue pair Lamin Colley and Jason St Juste have moved to Boston United. Both players spent the majority of last season at the Horsfall Stadium, and both were in the second spell with the club.

    St Juste started the 2015-16 campaign at AFC Fylde... However he made the move to return to the club in early-September, having previously played for the club in the 2013-14 campaign. The much-travelled St Kitts & Nevis international made 12 appearances in his first spell, before spending time at Farsley, North Ferriby United and Fylde...

    Colley’s two spells in Bradford have come more recently, originally signing in 2014 before briefly leaving the club last summer to join Stockport County. He joined Avenue early in the 2014-15 campaign... However Stockport came calling, but after a goalless 10 league appearances, he rejoined Avenue. Visibly improved, Colley proved a handful as he begun to start matches and form a partnership with Chib Chilaka.

    Towards the end of the season, he was used as a lone front man supported by loanee Reece Webb-Foster... He scored 6 goals in 18 appearances in all competitions last term for Avenue, and is also registered with Scarborough Athletic for the forthcoming campaign".

    The NL Paper confirms that Darlington 1883 will kick off the new season back in their home town after playing last season at Bishop Auckland. But they will not be at their former home, the carvernous Darlington Arena but, rather, they will be ground sharing with Darlington Rugby Club at Blackwell Meadows, Grange Road, Darlington DL1 5NR.

    3 July 2016


    Peter Foster reminds us that "As supporters may know, the Altrincham FC Community Sports Co was set up in March 2012 and became a Registered Charity from October 2013. The Community activities have been consistently supported by the Football Conference Trust. This is a charity that offers grant aid to National League clubs to support and develop their community projects.

    Funding is made possible by the generous support of the Premier League and the Professional Footballers' Association. Each has contributed to a fund of £5.2m, and as a result over 59 National League clubs are currently running projects after receiving funding from the Trust.

    We would like to thank the Football Conference Trust, The Premier League and The PFA for their continued support as, without this, our Community activities would not be possible".


    Stockport County report that "Director Richard Park has accepted an invitation to become Chairman of Stockport County Football Club with immediate effect.

    Richard has been a Board member at Edgeley Park since May 2013 and, as a shareholder, has invested substantial funds to support the club for many years. He is a lifelong County fan and brings substantial business experience to the role.

    Richard said, 'I am very proud to accept the position as Chairman of Stockport County, and I hope it demonstrates my increasing confidence that the club is now moving in the right direction, thanks to the support and hard work of some amazing people behind the scenes. I'm also grateful to my colleagues and those supporters who have spoken to me privately for all their support and encouragement'".

    2 July 2016


    The National League reports that "Gloucester City have completed the permanent signing of Joe Hanks, following the expiration [expiry] of his contract at Cheltenham Town.

    Hanks joined the Tigers on loan towards the start of the 2015/16 season and was a mainstay in the heart of the midfield. The 21-year-old made forty-one appearances last season... He came through the youth system at Cheltenham and made thirty-seven appearances for them in the 2014/15 season

    Speaking about the move, Hanks said, 'Obviously I know all the boys and all the staff so I’m really happy to have signed here... I feel at home here and I’m looking forward to this season but also getting the ground back in Gloucester'".

    Also from the National League we learn that "The Board of Directors of Darlington Football Club and Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Club have joined forces to stage two prestigious pre-season friendlies at the Northern Echo Arena.

    Both clubs are proud to announce that two of the region’s iconic sides, Newcastle United and Sunderland, will be visiting the Northern Echo Arena later this month.

    The games will also herald the first back in town for Darlington FC, who have been playing their 'home' games at Heritage Park in Bishop Auckland for the last four years.

    Quakers will play a Newcastle United X1 on Saturday 16th July (3pm kick off) and then a Sunderland XI on Tuesday 19th July (7.30pm kick off), and will showcase some of the North East’s best up-and-coming talent alongside household names".

    1 July 2016


    As reported yesterday, Altrincham FC will be taking part in this Saturday's Altrincham Festival parade. If you are able to help by accompanying the procession from its start at St Margaret's Road, to the showground in Timperley, you will be very welcome. Please e-mail the Club to confirm arrangements.


    News of an Alty "old boy" comes from FC Halifax Town where "Jordan Sinnott became the seventh player brought in to the FC Halifax Town squad this summer, saying the decision to join the club was a 'no brainer'. He joins from Altrincham who were also relegated to the Vanarama National North last season, finishing one place lower than Town. The 22-year-old spent his youth career at Huddersfield Town...

    The central midfielder is the seventh signing which new boss Billy Heath has brought in, following Guiseley goalkeeper Steven Drench, Boston’s Scott Garner and Josh Wilde, Tom Denton, Liam King and Tom Nicholson who all followed Heath over from North Ferriby.

    Since Sinnott signed it has also been announced that Ferriby defender Danny Hone and Alfreton’s Cliff Moyo will also be joining the club bring the transfer total up to nine already. He comes to the club with high expectations and said that his aim is 'to get Halifax back into the Vanarama National'. He also wants to 'make The Shay a fortress this year'.

    'Obviously I met the manager', Sinnott said, speaking about the process of signing. "He rang me up about three weeks ago now saying he was interested so we organised to have a sit down. From when we were sat down talking I knew when I left (Altrincham) I wanted to sign here. The style he wants to play and obviously with him taking North Ferriby up last season, it’s something that I want to be a part of. Early signs, obviously meeting him before I signed and everything, he talks a lot of sense, he knows the game and he knows the league very well since he took Ferriby out of it last season. So hopefully he can do it again this season.

    'Altrincham got new coaching staff in and my deal expired there. The boss there [Neil Young] said he wanted to get his own squad in so, when the gaffer here rang me up, it was a no brainer to come here. One of the things when speaking to the gaffer was that you can tell he’s a winner. That’s what you want to do in your career, when you look back at it you want to have won things so that’s my aim, to try and get Halifax back into the Conference'...

    'We’ve had two preseason sessions now and you can tell it’s a good group of lads'... The midfield spot was already contested last season and, as the second midfielder coming to Halifax this summer, it is going to be even tougher for every player to claim the first team spots, however Sinnott has admitted... 'You want to be competitive and you can’t really get complacent because there’ll always be somebody else who wants your shirt if you’re the one playing... Playing in centre-mid I like to get on the ball, get the attacks moving. Assisting as well, I like to get involved with the play and creating chances for people... We’ll be aiming to make The Shay a fortress this season because we know a lot of the teams coming here will up their game for the stadium and the crowds we attract'...

    It is no surprise that Sinnott is looking forward to facing his old club Altrincham... 'Obviously Altrincham came down as well, I can’t wait, hopefully it’s early doors but we’ll have to see when the fixtures come out. I’ve been speaking to some of the lads at training last night and we all know Fylde have been chucking a bit of money about. As long as we concentrate on our own game I think we should be up there as well.'"

    The BBC reports that "Thirteen months ago, FC United of Manchester opened their £6.3m home at Broadhurst Park with a prestigious friendly against Benfica... Newly-promoted to National League North, it was supposed to mark the end of the beginning for a club formed in 2005 as a protest to the Glazer regime at Manchester United... But it has not worked out as imagined... The period has been marked by rows, allegations, resignations and recriminations.

    A packed general meeting was adjourned for a month, in part owing to voting irregularities. Their final home game of the season was stopped for five minutes when protestors invaded the pitch. Concerns have been expressed about the club's finances and uncertainty exists over work required to keep the St Mary's Road End terrace functioning fully. So, is the club held up as the ownership model every supporter should aspire to beginning to destroy itself?

    Broadhurst Park should have been ready in September 2014 but a combination of construction delays as contractors went bust and poor weather meant it was not finished until May 2015. First estimates put the cost of the stadium at £5.5m, but that budget was exceeded by £800,000...

    A photoshoot at Broadhurst Park with Damian Hinds, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, created discontent among members given it is FC United policy not to allow itself to be used for political promotion... The centrepiece of Broadhurst Park, the St Mary's Road End terrace, was bought from the administrators of Northwich Victoria and has a capacity of 2,500. The temporary bar underneath it generates around £2,200 per game. Due to ground regulations, the bar needs £140,000 of work for it to be open next season. A £400,000 grant application for work that would create a community asset has been put on hold until October. There is also an obligation to turn standing areas at the end of the main stand into seating.

    With more than 5,000 members, 2,200 season ticket holders and an average attendance of 3,500, FC United boast some impressive figures. But by their own admission, they have failed commercially... and they are forecast to make a loss of over £90,000 this year, even with £92,000 coming from their FA Cup run... A sponsorship deal with a local company that was expected to generate £30,000, was then reduced to £15,000 and might ultimately yield nothing...

    Seven board members have resigned, including another founder member, Adam Brown, who cited an alleged 'hate campaign'. Club stalwart Andy Walsh is to stand down as general manager at the end of June. A stormy general meeting was anticipated at Broadhurst Park on 24 April, with a proposal of no confidence in the board on the agenda. In the absence of fully-independent invigilators, two club members took on the role instead. The room had exceeded its 350-person capacity, with some members standing on tables at the back.

    As the meeting began a member pointed out she had already cast her postal vote but had been issued with a further voting slip. Neither her postal vote, nor that of other members of her family, had been registered... The overwhelming majority decided the meeting should be adjourned. In the wake of the general meeting fiasco, two more board members stood down...

    Chief fundraiser Andy Walker, whose rolling three-month £6,000 contract had been the subject of much criticism, relinquished his position at the end of April. On 8 May, another three board members resigned, claiming "staff members and volunteers alike have at various times come to fear for their own safety"...

    FC United say cash flow will not be an issue until 2017 but concede managing their own stadium puts a strain on finances that did not exist during their nomadic years. Season ticket sales for the 2016-17 season are 'significantly behind' where they were 12 months ago. The club are asking members to renew as soon as possible and anticipate, in a league now containing local rivals Stockport, Altrincham and Salford City - the club owned by the ex-Manchester United players known as the 'Class of 92' - their average attendance will rise...

    Outgoing general manager Andy Walsh, speaking to BBC Radio Manchester in a personal capacity, [said], 'We had a judicial review, which added hundreds of thousands of pounds, the lawyers went bump, the accountants went bump, the main contractors went bump. We found contaminated materials on site that had to be dealt with. We had issues over maintaining relationships with local residents and the funders. Yes, we were late, but we still delivered the stadium'".

    Another NL North club with money problems is the subject of a report in the Worcester News, where we read that "Exiled Worcester City are having to plug a gap of £250,000 each year to keep themselves afloat, it has been revealed. But Worcester City Supporters’ Trust believe becoming community-owned will give the club the 'best opportunity' of creating a 'sustainable' future...

    Shareholders were informed of City’s financial situation during an open meeting before next Thursday’s crunch vote, which could see the club change ownership. New statistics presented by the Trust showed the National League North outfit’s deficit has grown from £150,000 to about £250,000 since leaving St George’s Lane in 2013. With just over £500,000 left in the bank, the trust have warned shareholders the club could go bust within the next three years.

    Trust member Jem Pitt, who is also on City’s board, insisted they cannot keep losing money and needed to find a way to generate 'non-football income’ before it is too late. '£250,000 is the gap we are having to try and plug year-on-year,' he said. 'If we had a fabulous clubhouse and a 4G pitch that we could rent out, we would be able to generate non-football income to fill those gaps. But we won’t have it at Bromsgrove and we didn’t have it at Kidderminster. That is why we got together and agreed there must be a better way to try to find income'...

    One shareholder suggested slashing the playing budget and dropping a division to make savings but Pitt said it would make no difference... But he insisted making the club a community benefit society (CBS) would allow shareholders to work together and apply for grants... Among the grants on offer include the Big Lottery Fund’s £150million pot and the Blending Funding Programme, where community organisations can secure more than £250,000 from social investors.

    Trust director Rich Widdowson said, 'We are not going to get all these funds but there are a lot out there and they open and close all the time'... The trust believe changing the club from a limited company to a community benefit society will help raise the capital for the proposed new ground and boost negotiations with Worcester City Council to use the land at Perdiswell Park. At least 75 per cent of shareholders must vote in favour of the trust’s plans to trigger a change in ownership".

    And money troubles also afflict one of Alty's opponents of last season as the BBC reports that "Torquay United manager Kevin Nicholson says the club may lose out on the chance to re-sign striker Shaun Harrad due to a lack of finances...

    'Funds are very low at the moment,' Nicholson told BBC Sport. 'Shaun, as is his right, needs a certain amount to be able to carry on playing for us.... We're trying to raise as many funds as we can through sponsorships and through the players' fund so that maybe I can go back to Shaun and offer him something that can get him to come back,' Nicholson added... 'I haven't got enough money to offer him, but I don't want him to leave'".

    Elsewhere, the BBC says that "York City have signed winger Kaine Felix from Boston United on a two-year deal. Felix, who can also play as a striker, made 32 appearances in all competitions for the National League North club last season, scoring five goals. The 21-year-old joined Boston in 2014 from Southern Football League Premier Division side St Neot's Town".

    In the Lincolnshire Echo, we learn that "Dom Roma has warned that his ability to make further signings will depend on how realistic the players' demands are. The Gainsborough Trinity boss has welcomed a small number of trialists to the club for pre-season training, which got under way last Saturday. He says he intentionally kept the numbers down because they were players he felt had a realistic chance of making the grade and earning a deal.

    However Roma has warned his budget will only stretch so far and, if the players have arrived at the club with financial motives, they will be bitterly disappointed. 'We have some of our playing budget left and the intention was to only have a small number of trialists who have a real chance of earning a deal,' said Roma. 'But they have to be here for the right reasons and they will have to buy into what myself and Fozzy (assistant boss Martin Foster) are trying to do. A lot of it will depend on their personal circumstances and what they expect financially from playing at Gainsborough Trinity... They have to be coming to the club for the right reasons and that is for the football and not for money'.

    Roma revealed none of the trialists will be offered anything until he has seen them in a game situation. 'Our first pre-season friendly is at Lincoln United on Saturday, July 16 and every one of the trialists will get a fair chance to impress us,' Roma added. 'I'm not going to make a judgement on a player before I have seen what they can do in a game.'

    The Blues' boss says he was happy with the condition of the players when they reported back for the start of pre-season training. Each of the players had been supplied with a fitness programme for the summer and Roma says they have stuck to it. 'I would say 95 per cent of the players have returned to trining in really good shape,' he added... 'There isn't one position that is already filled for our first game. If they want a shirt when we kick off the season every single one of the players will have to impress us. No one will be handed a shirt on reputation it will have to be earned and that starts now...

    'Things are very different nowadays at this level, you have to be fully committed and you have to be very physically fit. I can't really tell you what the lads are thinking about the new training regime that we have begun, you would have to ask them. But I can tell you that it will be different and the players will probably be feeling the difference. But, as a footballer, you get used to putting in a lot of training and a lot of hard work during the pre-season. The lads will have been through it before, it's just that it might be a bit tougher this season than it has been before.'"

    NL Daily confirms that "Talented attacker Nicky Boshell has joined Bradford Park Avenue for his third spell with the club. The 30-year-old returns to the Horsfall Stadium from Guiseley AFC once more, having yo-yoed between the two clubs since first leaving Avenue in 2012. He already has just short of 100 Bradford appearances in all competitions to his name, scoring 15 goals.

    Boshell, the younger brother of Guiseley [and ex-Alty] midfielder and assistant-manager Danny, has spent the last two seasons at Nethermoor... Last campaign, Boshell made thirty-one appearances in non-League football’s top flight, netting 4 goals... He becomes the second Guiseley player to make the move across West Yorkshire this summer, along with right-back Ryan Toulson.

    Boshell is new Avenue boss Alex Meechan’s third new signing of the summer, following Toulson and striker Chris Sharp... 'I’m looking forward to returning,' the forward said. 'I really liked what the manager had to say, which made me think I will enjoy playing for him... I will work hard for the team and I like to get on the ball as much as possible to create and score as many goals as I can. It’s a completely new squad going into a very competitive league but if we can get a good team spirit, I’m sure we can surprise a few people'".

    The National League reports on a renewed deal with BBC Radio.

    Jason Horton, BBC Head of Sport for England said, 'Today’s deal with the National League demonstrates the BBC local radio stations commitment to bring sports fans across England and Wales all the sporting action from their area. So whether you’re tuning in to BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s coverage of Lincoln City, listening to BBC Radio Solent reporting on Eastleigh or following one of the other 66 clubs across The National League we’ll be bringing you the latest action.'

    Brian Barwick, chairman at the National League said, 'The National League is pleased to confirm our existing partnership has been extended until 2020. This will permit continuing stadium access with match commentary, thus complementing the excellent support given generally by BBC Local Radio stations covering all sixty-eight member clubs and their local communities'".