an unofficial website

May, 2018

31 May 2018


As the above image, (taken on Wednesday), shows, the grass on the pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium is growing well after its re-seeding.


As previously announced the following admission prices at the J Davidson Stadium will apply for next season:

  • Adults £13
  • Concessions £10
  • Juniors (12-16) £5
  • Under 12s £1

Season tickets will be priced as follows:

  • Adults £220
  • Concessions £170
  • Juniors (12-16) £50
  • Under 12s £20

'Early Bird' pricing of Adults £210 and Concessions £160 will be offered for all season tickets purchased before 30th June.

Director Bill Waterson adds, "Thank you to all who contributed to this debate, and the board discussed it at some length on Thursday. We have set a price that is below the average pricing for the Conference North last season as we balance thanking you all for your excellent support last season with raising funds for the playing budget".

You can order your ticket now via the Club Offices although the tickets themselves will not be available from the printers till the end of May. Season tickets cover ALL league games and pre-season friendlies played at the J. Davidson Stadium. They do NOT cover cup matches.


According to the National League "Darlington have brought in Simon Ainge for an undisclosed fee... His goals helped the side to a good position in the table before he went to Wrexham on loan.

Before that he made 134 appearances for Guiseley and had spells at Bradford Park Avenue, Bradford City, Luton Town and FC Halifax Town. Ainge joined Harrogate Town as a defender but became a striker and hasn't looked back.

'Simon has plenty of experience at this level and above, and he will form a very good partnership with Reece Styche in our forward line,' Tommy Wright told the club's website. 'This is a great signing for Darlington Football Club and demonstrates the ambition that the chairman, directors and supporters’ group currently have and I’m thankful for the fans boost the budget scheme which helped secure the deal.'"

On the subject of Ainge, the Harrogate Advertiser adds that "The former Bradford City centre-half turned centre-forward spent the latter part of 2017/18 on loan at Wrexham after losing his place in Town’s starting line-up...

Ainge scored 34 times in National League North in 2017, a feat that left him second only to Tottenham and England forward Harry Kane (39) in terms of goals scored in the top six tiers of English football during the calendar year. Despite injury problems, he still netted on 14 occasions for Town in just 16 starts in 2017/18."

The BBC reports that "Vincent Kompany is involved in a bid to take over Stockport County. The Manchester City skipper is associated with a Belgian entrepreneur who is behind one of two current bids which are seeking to revive the fortunes of the National League North club.

It is thought that Kompany has not taken an active part in the proposed takeover, which will be discussed by both the Cheshire club's shareholders and football board at a meeting tomorrow...

Kompany graduated from Manchester Business School with a master's degree in business administration last year... He opened two sports bars in Belgium in 2014 under the name Good Kompany, but both closed within a year of opening...

County's shareholders and board will discuss two proposals tomorrow, but both the club and the bidders are staying tight-lipped. The bid associated with Kompany was made late last year, and the other has been on the table much longer...

They are a sleeping giant, averaging crowds of 3,500 this season and getting over 6,000 for their play-off defeat by Chorley. This season, under the management of Jim Gannon, they reached the play-offs... County are currently owned by various shareholders with one of the [bids] and both bids are understood to be seeking 51 per cent of the shares.

County... issued a statement after being quizzed on the bids. 'Regardless of any external interest in the football club, the current board of directors, the staff and the management team have taken a pragmatic "business as usual" approach, and we continue to plan for the new season. The manager is building a formidable squad for 2018-19.'

Kompany bought his hometown club FC Bleid-Molenbeek, when they were relegated from the Belgian third division, in 2013 and re-named it BX Brussels. He called that 'a sporting and social commitment' and the club now plays in the fifth tier."

We learn from the Shropshire Star that "AFC Telford United have announced attacker John Marsden has left the club. The club confirmed they and Marsden, who netted three goals in 31 appearances last season, had 'mutually agreed' to part company.

Bucks boss Gavin Cowan said, 'John is a great lad who at this level, has shown that he can be a real asset'...

Marsden signed for Telford on a permanent deal last May, having impressed while on loan at the New Buck's Head the previous season."

And there is also an arrival at Telford as the club has "sealed the signing of Theo Streete, a centre-half boss Gavin Cowan describes as "a leader of men". The 30-year-old joins from Brackley Town where he won the FA Trophy at Wembley earlier this month.

He captained another of his former sides, Solihull Moors, to the National League North title alongside Cowan. The centre-half spent a year away from football before joining Brackley after requiring knee surgery while with Solihull.

Streete is the second new signing by Cowan following Darryl Knights, another ex-Solihull man. The duo join Amari Morgan-Smith, Ellis Deeney, Shane Sutton, Ross White, Jon Royle and Henry Cowans as Cowan now has eight players in his Bucks squad.

The boss said 'He is a leader of men who is now back fit and eager to go for the new season. Theo will be massive in the changing room as well as on the pitch and knows very well what it takes to get success at this level and above!'"

The NL Paper confirms that "Salford City have signed striker Ashley Hemmings from Boston United. He scored a career-best 16 goals with the Pilgrims last season...

After leaving Walsall Ashley signed for League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge. He racked up over 90 appearances and 12 goals for the Daggers but was released in 2016 following the club’s relegation to the National League. The 2016-2017 season was spent back in League Two at Mansfield Town."

30 May 2018


News of a former Altrincham FC player comes from the NW Evening Mail, which reports that "Barrow AFC have completed a double signing from Welsh side Colwyn Bay. The Bluebirds have brought in Jack Hindle and Astley Mulholland from the Northern Premier League Division One North side.

The attacking duo become the second and third signings of the summer, following a deal for defender Josh Granite from Northern Premier League Premier Division side Ashton United.

They join a club presently without a manager and seeking their fourth boss in less than a year following the departure of Ady Pennock earlier in the summer. Interviews for the vacant post are taking place this week, with news of an appointment expected in the near future.

'It has been an interesting process going through the early recruitment phase without a manager in place,' said AFC managing director Andrew Casson. 'We've got the focus on bringing in guys who have the right attitude, have the right work ethic and do want to put a shift in rain or shine; we feel like these are guys who will play well under any manager'".

Footnote: Astley Mulholland, now 30, signed Conference North forms for Altrincham in mid-August 2011, having been a leading player in Alty Youth's 2005-06 side. In 2010-11, season, he played for our neighbours Flixton in the NW Counties League, hitting more than 40 goals, which led to interest from league clubs including Carlisle United and Crewe Alexandra, as well as Kidderminster Harriers in the BSB Premier and an unnamed Belgian club. Earlier his non-League career had included spells at Abbey Hey and Ashton United.

Astley featured throughout Alty's pre-season in 2011 and had previously encountered Alty's then boss, Lee Sinnott, at Leeds United's academy. He was named on the bench for every Altrincham game in season 2011-12 until he decided to leave for FC United of Manchester on 10 October 2011, just after he had scored his first goal of the season against Boston United. Altrincham appearances: 0(+9), 1 goal.


The Boston Standard reports that "Jonathan Wafula will be among six signings Boston United hope to unveil this week. Pilgrims boss Craig Elliott says the winger, who made nine appearances for the club last season after joining in February, has verbally agreed a new contract with the Pilgrims.

'We’re hoping to announce five or six later this week,' Elliott told The Standard. 'Jono has verbally agreed to stay with us and we’ve got another couple agreed, but we just need to get things signed and make them official now, hopefully by Friday'.

Elliott, who is still in discussions with in-demand left back Stephen Brogan, confirmed that strikers, a winger and centre-back are the key areas he expects to strengthen. However, last season’s skipper Jordan Keane and leading scorer Ashley Hemmings will not be among the players signing deals. Both turned down offers of new contracts with United, Keane joining Stockport County and Hemmings rumoured to be on his way to National League Salford City.

'They both had offers and we got the impression that Boston was never really an option. They both have the same agent,' Elliott continued. 'It was important to hear from the players we offered deals to first before we made any signings. Now we can move faster and get a few things done'".

Elsewhere, "Following a recruitment drive for six new roles at the club in May, Southport Football Club are pleased to announce that Michael Brown has been appointed Head of Media and Online Content. Michael, 25, joins Southport from the Manchester Football Association, where he spent over two-and-a-half years as the Marketing and Communications Officer.

A graduate from UCFB Burnley in Football Business & Media, he has been involved in football for a number of years, gaining valuable and worthwhile experiences at Football4Football, Ashton United and The FA’s England setup. Responsible for managing, developing and driving Southport’s media communications activity online, Michael commented, 'I’m extremely excited to be joining such an ambitious organisation. My dream has always been to work within a football club’s media department. I have some exciting plans for the season ahead and I can’t wait to begin and start working with the excellent volunteer team already in place'... Meanwhile, the National League says that "Billy Heath has again returned to FC Halifax to boost his Alfreton Town hand. The former Shaymen boss has made his fourth summer signing...

Goalkeeper Tom Nicholson has followed striker Tom Denton from the Shay and, like the big forward, the pair know each other well. Nicholson was also at North Ferriby United when Heath was in charge of the Villagers...

'Tom is another great addition to our side'... he told the club’s website. 'He has often been a number two at previous clubs and was largely in that role for Halifax last season... He’s been at a great level for a while now and he joins us wanting to compete... He will not only provide competition for Ross but also help him and provide that experience that will help us in all departments'".

And the National League also reports that "Darlington boss Tommy Wright says the signing of Liam Hughes will bring a lot to the side. The ex-Guiseley and Barrow man joins as the first summer signing for the Vanarama National League North side.

'He is a very good footballer and his versatility will help. We want to reduce the size of the squad so this will help', Wright told the club's website. 'He can play down the spine of the team. He has a preferred position he will play there but he can play in other areas as well. The amount of football he has played at that age, he is six foot five, he has towered above me, he will be a presence for us'...

Wright says they know what else they want. 'This is the first signing for us, we are looking for a centre forward, we are talking to a lot of players'".

29 May 2018


Bill Waterson, Altrincham FC director, announces that "We will be playing the Isle of Man representative side, in Douglas, on Saturday 14th July, with a 5pm kick off. Steam Packet Holidays can sort out ferry and hotel options, and are quoting £95 per person including one night accomodation. Our contact there is Catreeney Denham, and she can be reached either on 01624 645777 or by e-mail.

There are also flight options with the 07:20 Easyjet flight from Liverpool currently being the cheapest. Flybe also offer flights from Liverpool, and there are also flights from Manchester, which tend to be more expensive. For the southern based fans, there is a good EasyJet flight from Gatwick, or a BA alternative from London City".


Altrincham FC Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes "Liam Goulding finally graduated to the Vanarama National League North at the third time of asking, and made his dad’s day in the process, after becoming Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson’s latest summer signing.

Right: Liam celebrates his arrival at the J. Davidson Stadium. Image courtesy of Mike Ripley.

After a spirited but unsuccessful pursuit of Alty for the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League title and subsequent defeat to Grantham in the play-offs, the 22-year old former Warrington defender was convinced the chance to step up to the next level had passed him by.

But a call from Parkinson threw him a lifeline he grabbed with both hands and no one was more delighted than his dad Derek.

‘My dad’s always telling me about his time at Alty, in particular the goal he scored against York City in the FA Cup in the early ‘80s,’ said Alty’s new arrival. ‘He even described which net he scored in. It was the covered end (Golf Road). That was all before Alty came in for me, so, now I’ve actually signed for them, I’ll never hear the end of it!

‘He was absolutely made up when he heard the news, and I'm sure he'll come to as many games as he can. He was so happy for me, and he said “You’re joining a good club, a really big club with a fantastic history, so kick on to the next level and make the most of it.” I am determined to do just that, especially after the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion, then via the play-offs, with Warrington.

‘I thought that was that for the National League North. I thought the chance had gone, until a conversation with Phil changed everything. I was at work and actually missed his initial call but, as soon as I saw missed call on my phone, I got straight back to him, and we had a chat about how we saw the future.

‘I’m always aiming to play at the highest level I can, and it was an easy decision to sign for such a big club with a long history of achievement. They are still a big name. That was evident in the four games between Warrington and Alty last season. There was a special feel about each one, particularly the league games, with almost a thousand at Warrington for the first one and nearly 1,500 at The J.Davidson for the return.

‘That’s what Alty are all about, free-flowing football, players who are good on the ball, being a real threat up front, and solid at the back, and playing to big crowds. They've got supporters backing them in numbers way above anything else in the Evo-Stik, so when you add all that up, it was clear we were in for a tough game every time.

‘I played centre-half in three of those games and right-back in the other, so I know all about the threat posed by the likes of Jordan Hulme, Josh Hancock and John Johnston. I loved those games, and the atmosphere created by such big crowds, so you can imagine how much I’m looking forward to it on a regular basis next season.

‘Another factor was the style of play favoured by the manager. I would like to think that will suit my game perfectly. First and foremost, if you are at the back, you’ve got to be able to defend, but I like to get the ball down and play as well.’

The versatile Goulding readily admits he has a fight on his hands nailing down a starting place after following his former Warrington team-mate Sean Williams into The J.Davidson Stadium.

‘The first task is to try to get into the team, but that won't be easy when you look at the defenders already here,’ he said. ‘Ben Harrison, Tom Hannigan and James Jones are top-quality centre-backs, but I am relishing the challenge and can’t wait to get started.

‘Of course, I know Sean well, and he’s a good lad who will add quality on the ball. He’s done it not only in the North division but the National League itself, and that experience will count for a lot. I’m delighted to be here and counting the days to the start of the pre-season programme - I can't wait to get stuck in.’"


Curzon Ashton report "the signing of defender Max Cartwright. Cartwright, who can play either left-back or centre-back, started out at Fleetwood Town and progressed through the academy at Highbury. The defender impressed during a loan spell at Chorley, where he was part of their Evo-Stik NPL title winning side, and returned for a second spell the following season. A loan move to Southport in the National League resulted later that year before the 22-year-old was released by the League One outfit at the end of the 15/16 season.

Max subsequently joined Stockport County in 2016, where he scored on his debut, before signing for Ashton United at the start of last season.

Manager John Flanagan... said, 'In Max, we’ve signed a fantastic young player who can play in a number of positions. Although only 22, he brings good experience and excellent quality to the left side of the pitch'".

Lincolnshire Live reports that "Craig Elliott believes the blow of losing two key players will be softened by a flurry of transfer activity this week. Boston United’s reigning player of the season, Ashley Hemmings, has turned down a new contract with the Pilgrims and is set to join a National League club. Meanwhile, another important player, the versatile Jordan Keane, has signed for National League North rivals Stockport County.

A philosophical Elliott admits losing the pair is blow, but has already moved on to other targets. 'We made them what we felt were very good offers and I liked to think they would have wanted to stay,' said the Pilgrims boss. 'But, as I’ve said in the past, if they think they can achieve more somewhere else, then we don’t want them here. They’re both good lads and good luck to them. It’s football. Let’s not get around it, it’s about money, which is a shame. The teams they’ve gone to, we can’t compete with financially. I think it could have been dealt with quicker, that’s the only thing I’m disappointed about. I’m a couple of weeks behind on some of the targets I’m looking to bring in'...

'It gives us an opportunity to bring other good players in and we’re hoping to finalise some targets this week. There might be five or six signings,' he said... 'We’ll be a slightly different team to last year, especially with losing Ash [Hemmings]. There are some good young players I’m looking to bring in and I’m excited... We need a lot attackers now because we’ve lost Reece [Thompson], Kabby [Kabongo Tshimanga], Gregg Smith and now Ash,' said Elliott.

'But I’m quiet calm. I’m not just going to rush in and sign anybody. It’s a long summer and there’s still two months left before the season starts... I can understand why some teams want to get their business done early, but experience tells me that good players can become available in late-June and even into July... Recruitment is the most important part of it in this league, in my opinion.'

Thompson impressed during his loan spell from Guiseley last season and Elliott has attempted to bring the striker back the Jakemans Stadium, but... 'Guiseley don’t want to do anything so I don’t think anything will happen there'".

News of two players leaving clubs in the National League North comes firstly from the BBC which confirms that "Barrow have made centre-half Josh Granite their first signing of the summer. The 26-year-old defender has joined on a one-year contract after a season with Ashton United. Granite was the captain as they won promotion to the National League by placing second in the division". And, secondly, according to the Whitby Gazette, "Whitby Town have announced the return of David McTiernan following his release by Blyth Spartans. The midfielder returns to the club for a fourth spell, taking up a player-coach role with the Seasiders".

28 May 2018


Images, above and below, courtesy of Michael Ripley Photography.

Altrincham FC is pleased to announce the signing of centre-back Liam Goulding (22) from Warrington Town.

Liam, (d.o.b. 28 April, 1996), actually played against Alty for Warrington Town on no fewer than four occasions last season and even scored a goal against us in an FA Trophy replay at the J. Davidson Stadium!

He started out at Accrington Stanley, where he captained the youth team. Whilst at the Lancashire club, Liam had loan spells at Belper Town, Witton Albion, Ashton United, Chorley, Marine and Wealdstone. He then joined Wealdstone after leaving Stanley before signing for Warrington in summer 2017.

In December 2017 the Warrington Guardian reported that "Liam Goulding says... that constantly changing positions does not bother him. The 21-year-old defender has been an impressive performer for Yellows since joining in the summer, but his versatility has seen him cover plenty of positions.

As well as his natural position of centre-half, Goulding has featured at right-back and in a defensive midfield role over the course of the campaign but he says he is always happy to help out where required. After taking in spells at the likes of Accrington Stanley, Witton Albion, Marine and Wealdstone in his young career, Goulding says he feels like he has found a home at Cantilever Park.

'I’m enjoying it, it’s been going really well I’d say,' he said. 'It’s good to play alongside lads who’ve had a lot of experience at a higher level. It’s helped me develop my game... It’s nice to be somewhere that I’m playing every week".

He joins Shaun Densmore as a member of the Alty squad whose father has also played for the Robins; Liam's father is Derek Goulding who joined Altrincham as a teenager at the start of the 1981-82 season, having previously been at Everton. After his playing career, which featured a goal in Altrincham's 4-3 win over York City in an FA Cup Second Round replay, Derek became manager at Burscough.

All at the J. Davidson Stadium welcome Liam to the Club.


The Barnsley Chronicle reports that "Shaw Lane AFC are considering a move out of Barnsley, due to 'dislike' for them in the town, with Wakefield a possible destination.

The Ducks won the Sheffield Senior Cup with a 4-3 extra-time success over Penistone Church, who led three times, at Bramall Lane on Tuesday. It was their second successive win of that cup to add to their five promotions in seven seasons, but they are still averaging crowds of less than 200 and a recent application to become AFC Barnsley was rejected by the FA. Owner Craig Wood admits he has doubts about how long the club can continue in its current form and says they are 'not wanted in Barnsley.'

He signed a ten-year lease with Athersley Rec last summer but is now looking at several other options, including a potential groundshare with Wakefield Trinity. The rugby league club play at the 9,000-seat Belle Vue and are hoping to build a new stadium.

Wood told the Chronicle, 'I don't think there is an appetite for a successful non-league club in Barnsley. There are too many obstacles. Our future may not be in Barnsley. I am in discussions with various people about the possibility of moving away. We have got a city not far away that has not got a football club. There has been talk of Wakefield Trinity building a new stadium and there are some other options as well.

'I doubt it will be for next season but we will see. There should be developments in the next few weeks.'

Wood is still hoping to take the Ducks into the National League, formerly the Conference. But he recognises that there is negativity surrounding the club following their rapid rise since being formed in 2011, his support of Sheffield Wednesday and the frosty relationship with Barnsley FC who objected to the name change.

'We're not really wanted in Barnsley. I am a Barnsley lad, I have a Barnsley business and I wanted this so much in Barnsley but there seems to be so much dislike towards us. We have a good team and club and we have achieved so much so quickly that it would be a shame to lose all of that. But we need to take it to the next level and build a fanbase and I don't think we can do that in Barnsley. I can't take the club any further on attendances of 150. We have been to the first round of the FA Cup and been live on TV this season, but we have got no more fans than we had five years ago.'"

Footnote: Ironically, given the above reference to low levels of support for Shaw Lane, this Sunday's NL Paper gives the result of the club's recent Sheffield & Hallam Senior Cup Final match against Penistone Church, played at Sheffield United FC and states that the attendance was a phenomenal 31,403. According to the EvoStik League, the actual attendance was 671.

Just over a week ago, Shaw Lane AFC announced "South Yorkshire’s highest placed non-league club want to appoint hard-working, dedicated business men and women to their board of directors. If you have a love for football and want to get involved in the inner workings of one of the fastest growing clubs in the country then you and your company could be the ideal match for Barnsley-based Shaw Lane AFC...

With four promotions and victory in the prestigious Senior Challenge Cup already written into the history books the club want to build on its already strong foundations by creating an encouraging and supportive Board of Directors...

Ground sharing at Athersley Recreation’s Sheerien Park has seen the installation of the Dan Wilkinson Memorial Stand with brand new turnstiles, which has seen the FA grade the ground to allow entry to the next level of the football pyramid, The National League. Shaw Lane is also proud of its successful Ladies football team and junior levels which run from nursery age to Under-16s and play at the Shaw Lane Sports Ground in the heart of the town.

The club is supported by a hard-working and dedicated group of volunteers who put their heart and soul into every job they do and, along with all the supporters, want to see the club grow from strength to strength... The club would ideally like to receive enquiries by May 31st 2018".

27 May 2018


Former Altrincham striker Damian Reeves (right) has left Shaw Lane AFC and signed for Gainsborough Trinity, whose manager is his former boss at the J. Davidson Stadium, Lee Sinnott. There is a video interview with Damian on GTFC in which he recalls his time at Altrincham and singles out Nicky Clee as the former team-mate with whom he would most like to play football again. (Nicky recently extended his contract at Bradford PA).

Gainsborough were relegated last season from the National League North and will play in the EvoStik Premier division next season.


Altrincham FC is looking for supporters to renew or join the Patrons' Scheme for next season which will be the 13th season that it has run. The Club thanks all those supporters who have signed up so far and invites others to take the numbers towards the next landmark of 150 members; currently the total stands at 129.

For the cost of £50 your name will appear throughout the coming season in the matchday programme and on the website as a Patron of Altrincham Football Club.

At the start of the season, every member will be entered into a prize draw, with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with nine guests. Second prize will be hospitality for five people and third prize hospitality for three people in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge.

If you are interested in becoming a Patron for next season, please forward a cheque, payable to Altrincham Football Club, for £50. Alternatively, you can pay by card by phoning the office (0161 928-1045). If you require any further information please do not hesitate to enquire by e-mail."

The Club would like to thank all of the following supporters and organisations for joining the scheme...

Patrons 2018-19

  • Diane Swindells
  • Peter Baker
  • In memory of Jacqui Forster
  • John Skelhorn
  • Patrick J McMorrow
  • John Laidlar
  • Dana Laidlar
  • Paul Brady
  • Ian Senior
  • David Slack
  • Nick Olley
  • Silverwood Grindings Ltd
  • Gary Stubbs
  • Harold Smith
  • Terry Surridge
  • James Surridge
  • Mark Alton
  • Nigel Davis
  • May Davis
  • Peter Foster
  • Judy Foster
  • David Baldwin
  • In Memory of Tom Baldwin
  • Nigel Bunce
  • Colin Allsobrook
  • The MacKellars
  • Robbie Sharpe
  • Jackie Gallimore
  • Ron Gallimore
  • Barry Pond
  • Martin Gillet
  • Fran Morris
  • Stuart Buchan
  • Steve Murray
  • John Lamey
  • Alan Ford
  • Richard Jerome
  • Martin Hamnett
  • Marie Hamnett
  • Tom Hamnett
  • Jack Hamnett
  • Tim Ritchie
  • John Woodfield
  • Bob Allan
  • Claire Allan
  • Denis Powell
  • Dave Johnson
  • Richard Impey
  • Anjan Trivedi
  • Hazel Parker
  • Phil & Gill James
  • Andy Redford
  • Martin Doran
  • Derek Bowland
  • Alan Murray
  • Thomas Murray
  • Katie Murray
  • Mike & Tricia Davies
  • David Grundy
  • Alan Blinkhorn
  • Andy Wilson
  • Jimmy Wagg
  • Tracey Porter
  • David Meadows
  • Dan Martell
  • Alan Bonson
  • Lawrence Tottle
  • Geoffrey Price
  • Robert Amstutz
  • Campbell McLay
  • Jacqueline McLay
  • Bryan Ford
  • Andrew Shaw
  • Geoff Morris
  • Dr Nigel Lord
  • Ian Gordon
  • Alan Pennycook
  • Alison Pennycook
  • Oscar Pennycook
  • Alasdair Costello
  • Pete Scotson
  • Roger Wade
  • Iris Esteva
  • Kath Esteva
  • Gus Esteva
  • Mia Ellison
  • Max Ellison
  • Grahame Rowley
  • Karen Rowley
  • Christopher Rowley
  • Sarah Rowley-Jones
  • Dan Jones
  • Daisy Rowley
  • Penny Rowley
  • Chloe Rowley-Jones
  • Ian Gordon
  • Les Roberts
  • Jackie Hudson
  • Dave Hudson
  • Ann Wilshaw
  • Derek Wilshaw
  • Steve Bradshaw
  • Peter Clarke
  • Eddy Bishop
  • Ian Watmore
  • Christine Green
  • Nigel Green
  • Neil Faulkner
  • Hazel Faulkner
  • Anthony Faulkner
  • Richard Faulkner
  • Darren Falkner
  • Terrance Cain
  • David Ingram
  • Ray Whitelegg
  • Allison & Peter Lewis
  • Samm Lewis
  • Dave Potts
  • Ian Whitelegg
  • Daniel Whitelegg
  • Beverley Newton
  • Anthony Taylor
  • Bill Morris
  • Paul Salt
  • Direct Adhesives
  • Eva-Tec Limited
  • Albert Mackey
  • Paul Varty
  • Chloe & Olivia McDonald


Over at Bradford Park Avenue, following Nicky Clee's recent contract extension, comes news that another ex-Alty player "Defensive lynchpin Gianluca Havern (right), has signed a new deal with the club after establishing himself as an integral part of Mark Bower’s side in his debut season.

The centre-back, more commonly known as ‘Luca’, joined in June 2017 after leaving AFC Telford United. He captained the Bucks after enjoying spells with Hyde United and Altrincham, both of which achieved promotion to the top tier of non-league football during his stay.

He came through the youth ranks at Stockport County and scored the winning goal on his debut for the Hatters in a 1-0 win over Brentford in May 2008. Manchester-born Havern joined Mansfield Town in 2009 but returned to Stockport for a second spell shortly after. The defender then represented Mossley and Ashton United before linking up with Hyde.

Luca spoke to us after agreeing terms... 'I’ve really enjoyed working with the management team and everyone at the club and that was what made the decision for me. I’ve experienced a lot of change in the last few years but I’m glad that I can stay here and carry on from last season. Over the last few years, there’s been a few seasons where things haven’t gone as planned but last season gave me my love for the game back. I know Rossy (Mark Ross) said the same thing but we’ve been speaking about how buzzing we both are for the new season. I just want to get going again now'".

According to NL Daily, "Blyth Spartans manager Alun Armstrong has revealed that he spoke to Hartlepool United about their vacant managerial role following the departure of Craig Harrison.

The former Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough striker has impressed a number of clubs after impressing in his first managerial role at Croft Park. He led the Spartans to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League title in the 2016/17 season and they flirted with a National League North play-off challenge last term.

They looked set to secure a play-off spot but a seven-game losing streak starting with a defeat at Leamington in late-February left them playing catch-up throughout the rest of the campaign. That defeat against the Brakes coincided with Craig Harrison’s departure from Pools and Armstrong believes that the speculation had a negative impact on his Spartans players.

Speaking to the club’s official YouTube channel he said, 'After the Leamington game, Hartlepool had approached Tony (Platten, Spartans chairman) and again they wanted me to take over. It just didn’t feel right. There is something about Blyth, once you are here you seem to get stuck. You enjoy it and I love what I am doing here.'"

And the Hartlepool Mail adds that "Hartlepool United will take on local rivals Middlesbrough in a pre-season friendly... with a trip to Billingham pencilled in for July 7, [as] Matthew Bates’s first pre-season in charge continues to shape up... The former defender, in his first full season in charge, wants three other games... [saying] 'We don’t want to cram the games in, especially with a smaller squad'".

Meanwhile, AFC Telford United "announce the signing of Darryl Knights. The former Tamworth player is a versatile attacker who can operate in various positions in the the forward area of the pitch with Knights making 30 appearances last season for The Lambs scoring 10 goals.

Knights spent 2016/17 with rivals Kidderminster Harriers, after winning the division in 2015/16 with Solihull Moors. A graduate of Ipswich Town's youth Academy, he has plenty of experience with the likes of Yeovil Town, Cambridge United, and Newport County...

'To play for a club like AFC Telford United was too good to turn down. Gav has always been someone I respect, having won promotion with him from this league and I just can't wait to get started. With the vision that the gaffer has presented I know we will be competitive next year and do the supporters proud!"

Gavin Cowan [added], 'I’m over the moon to sign a player of Darryl’s quality. His intelligence and ability will be massive in tight games and he knows how I want to play inside out. On his day he is one of the best players in the league in his position'".

26 May 2018


On Tuesday, 10 July 2018 (7.45pm) Altrincham will be visiting Kidsgrove Athletic for a pre-season game, having won there 4-1 last year, also in a pre-season match. This brings to six the number of pre-season games announced by Altrincham. Only five of the starting eleven in the game at Kidsgrove in July 2017 went on to become first-team regulars last season (Thompson, Densmore, Jones, Harrison, Peers and Hancock), the other six being Brownhill, Taylor, Sheridan, Amis and Wright.


Family, friends and colleagues of Jacqui Forster gathered in the Community Sports Hall at Altrincham FC on Friday afternoon, following the funeral of Jacqui, for a celebration of her life. A lifelong Altrincham supporter who recently lived with her husband Pete directly opposite the J. Davidson Stadium, Jacqui's involvement in football extended far beyond her hometown. A leading figure in Supporters Direct, Jacqui also worked tirelessly for various causes and her most recent achievement, exactly a year to the day before her funeral, was the establishment of Women at the Game, an initiative to encourage women to attend football matches, in a safe environment with other women.

During the Celebration in the Sports Hall, compered by Susan Blackshaw, tributes were paid to Jacqui by her friend from schooldays, Alison Woolford, and by her brother Steve Forster, before her husband Pete Baker and her Supporters Direct colleague, James Mathie also recalled Jacqui's many achievements and lively personality. Interspersed with some of Jacqui's favourite music, the event concluded with a meal of Lancashire hotpot, followed by lemon cake - a menu devised by Jacqui herself once she knew that her cancer was terminal and faithfully executed by Richie Bentley.

Jacqui's influence in the world of football will be long-lasting, not just at Altrincham but also at the many clubs that she helped through her role in Supporters Direct, a number of which had representatives at her funeral.


The National League reports that "Kidderminster Harriers have confirmed that John Eustace has left to become the assistant manager at Championship side Queens Park Rangers. Steve McClaren knows Eustace well and has picked him for the role and he leaves the Vanarama National League North side with immediate effect.

'I said when we appointed John that he was a remarkable coach who would go on to have a terrific career in this side of the game so the fact he has been sounded out by such an established manager and a huge club is no surprise,' Chairman Colin Gordon told the club's website. 'Steve McClaren knew John well as a player but believes he’s also one of the finest young coaches he’s come across and was determined that he be part of things at QPR. Quite simply it’s the ethos of this club that we won’t stand between hard-working, ambitious people and those kinds of opportunities.'

The club have also confirmed they hope to name his replacement in the near future."

And, true to their word, later on Thursday, the National League added that "Neil MacFarlane has been named Kidderminster Harriers' new manager, hours after John Eustace departed Aggborough... 40-year-old MacFarlane, the ex-MK Dons and Fleetwood coach, has been picked to take over.

Chairman Colin Gordon... is thrilled to get his man. 'He’s been here before and I know the way he works,' he told the club’s website. 'He fits the profile of the philosophy of what we’re looking for. He’s hard working, fun and studious, with very good experience and great confidence. He’s done his research and has watched a numerous amount [of our games] games and already has his ideas on how he would like to work and how he would like to play.'"

Relegated Chester FC have lost defender Myles Anderson (28) to National League Hartlepool United. "Anderson started his career at Leyton Orient, before having spells at Aberdeen and Blackburn Rovers. He would then spend three years in Italy, with five different sides. In 2016 he returned to England and joined Barrow, he made 23 appearances for Torquay, before moving to Chester, initially on loan, before the move was made a permanent one".

According to the NL Paper, "Stockport County have given their fans something to cheer about... by completing a double swoop to bring in Frank Mulhern and Connor Dimaio. Mulhern has a proven track record at Step Two level and found the net six times in 15 starts for Guiseley last season.

Dimaio joins County having racked up Football League experience with the likes of Sheffield United and Chesterfield United. The 22-year-old has an impressive reputation having won the Young Player of the Year award at Sheffield United at the age of 18, as well as making almost 50 appearances for Chesterfield in League One and League Two. Both players have experience of playing in the Republic of Ireland youth set up and have both put pen to paper on two-year deals."

Up at Darlington, the Quakers "have agreed the transfer of midfielder Phil Turnbull to his hometown club South Shields. Phil has been a magnificent servant of Darlington FC, joining us from Gateshead in the summer of 2015, and going on to make 127 appearances for us. He was a key part of the team that won the EvoStik League title in season 2015-16, and then again when we reached the play off positions in the Vanarama National League North in season 2016-17. He also had a brief spell as joint caretaker manager with Gary Brown last season following the departure of Martin Gray...

Phil said, 'Darlington has been fantastic for me, I wouldn’t have left if it wasn’t for South Shields, my hometown club. It’s the right decision for me and my family. I’ve loved every minute of my time at Darlington... The club is in a better place than when I arrived'".

Closer to home, the NL Paper tells us that "FC United of Manchester have announced the signing of three new players as they lay the foundations for next season.

It has been confirmed that Harry Winter, Brad Barnes and Matty Dempsey have all come through the door at Broadhurst Park. Winter returns to the club for a second time having represented Stockport last season, midfielder Barnes has played for a host of non-League clubs including AFC Fylde, Salford City and Warrington Town, while Dempsey will look to bring a sense of stability to The Reds’ back line.

Speaking to the club’s official website, manager Tom Greaves said, 'We are delighted to announce the signings or another three experienced players. Harry needs no introduction to the FC United faithful, he’s a player we’ve been keen to bring back to the Club since we took over and we are delighted to finally have him back. A big physical midfielder, good on the ball and [he] will be a threat from set pieces... Brad is a player who brings a wealth of experience at the right end of tables, enjoying success with AFC Fylde and Salford. He’s a box-to-box midfielder who will pop up with his fair share of goals'.

He added, 'Matty is another player I’ve admired for a long time. A tough tackling central defender whose will to win is second to none. Matty brings a lot of experience and can play a variety of positions equally well. We played together for Bradford Park Avenue and he’s enjoyed promotions with both Bradford P.A. and Farsley Celtic'”.

From Alfreton Town we learn that the Reds "are pleased to announce the signing of goalkeeper Ross Durrant from North Ferriby United. Ross has signed a one year deal at the Impact Arena. Durrant, a product of the Nottingham Forest Academy, has had spells at both Ilkeston FC and Boston United in recent seasons...

Ross would then join North Ferriby in July 2017 after making 22 appearances for the Pilgrims. He was a regular starter for the Villagers making 39 appearances in the league, in what proved to be a difficult campaign, as Ferriby were relegated last season. Manager Billy Heath [an ex-Ferriby manager] on Durrant joining the Reds [said], 'Ross is a top young keeper and he did very well at Ferriby last year. We went to watch him two or three times last season and everytime we watched him, he was impressive. He has great ability, he’s a good shot stopper and matured very well in the last season'".

And there is also a new face at another rival as the Leamington Courier reports that "Leamington boss Paul Holleran has finally got his man in Connor Taylor, at the third time of asking. Taylor became Brakes’ first signing of the summer after joining from relegated Tamworth and Holleran said he was delighted to capture the attacking midfielder, a former teammate of Richard Taundry at Walsall.

'It’s not the first time I’ve tried to sign him,' said Holleran of the 25-year-old who grew up in Leamington. 'It’s probably the third. With the circumstances, his work position has changed, this time it has worked out'.

The former Aston Villa youth, who was named Tamworth’s Player of the Season, admitted it had been a hard decision to leave the Lambs for whom he made close to 150 appearances...

Holleran is convinced Taylor will prove a perfect fit... 'He’s versatile and will add attacking strength to the side, something I’m making my priority'...

Holleran is also close to finalising deals for several of his current squad, while a move for a Southern League Premier Central striker is also nearing completion".

25 May 2018


As previously announced, Altrincham FC director Bill Waterson advises that "The funeral for Jacqui Forster, who died recently, will be held on Friday, 25th May, 2018. Her burial will be at Hale Cemetery, Hale Road, Hale at 12:30pm. Everyone is most welcome to attend.

A celebration of Jacqui’s life will take place at Altrincham Football Club, Community Sports Hall, Moss Lane, Altrincham, WA15 8AP at 2pm. (Please do not arrive before 1:50pm). Parking is limited to the surrounding roads so if you can arrive on foot please do so.

Please dress as you like; football shirts for your local club will be much appreciated. We will be having Lancashire Hot Pot and Luscious Lemon Cake as per Jacqui’s instructions and the bar will be open. A vegetarian option will be provided. Flowers are welcome and donations to The Christie will be gratefully received by James at Kershaw's on the day or by contacting the funeral directors directly on 0161 969 2288".

Ian Senior adds, "With Jacqui’s funeral in mind, and Pete’s request for anyone attending to wear an Alty shirt, we are clearing all remaining home shirts for whatever anyone is willing to pay. ALL proceeds will be going to Jacqui’s chosen charity. Shirts are available in adult and kids' sizes from the Club."


Altrincham FC is inviting applications for the post of Website Manager of the Altrincham FC official website. The role description is to be found here. As stated in that document, applicants are invited to submit their CV and cover letter to Club Director, Bill Waterson by Friday, May 25th.

The role description is also to be found on the Job Opportunities page of the website.


As announced yesterday, Altrincham have arranged five pre-season games and Mike Garnett has kindly supplied the following information about them.

Above: Things have changed a lot at Moor Lane, since Alty last played a friendly against Salford City, on 2 August 2006. Pictured above we see Eddie Hussin (in blue, on knees) scoring the opener, with Robbie Lawton (19), Pat McFadden (28) and Lee Hendley (26) involved in the build-up. For that game, in a sign of things to come, City took to the pitch for the second half in a Manchester United strip. This time the Ammies will be visiting the J. Davidson Stadium on 28 July.

Last pre-season meetings:

  • v Rhyl; 22.7.17. (a) won 3-1
  • v Macclesfield Town; 27.7.10 (h) lost 1-2
  • v Crewe Alexandra; 26.7.16 (h) drew 1-1
  • v Trafford; 5.8.17 (a) lost 0-1
  • v Salford City; 2.8.06 (a) won 3-1

Record in friendlies as known since 1963:

  • v Rhyl; p.3 w.2 d.0 l.1 f.5 a.2
  • v Macclesfield Town; p.2 w.0 d.1 l.1 f.1 a.2
  • v Crewe Alexandra; p.7 w.1 d.3 l.3 f.6 a.13
  • v Trafford; p.17 w.12 d.2 l.3 f.47 a.18
  • v Salford City; p.2 w.2 d.0 l.0 f.5 a.1


As previously announced, here is a reminder to sponsors that last season's signed players' shirts are ready to be picked up from the Club at your convenience, during weekday office hours.


From Shropshire, the National League reports that "AFC Telford United have dismissed speculation that the club are quite ready to go full-time. The Bucks do say, however, that they are confident a 'change of culture' will improve their fortunes next season. Telford just avoided relegation last season and earlier this month the club replaced manager Rob Edwards with former player Gavin Cowan.

The club [has] released a statement informing supporters of chairman Andy Pryce’s plans going forward. They don’t include full-time football yet but he is confident of a better season after a great end to last term. 'It has been very evident over the past 3 or 4 seasons that the club has found it very difficult financially in an ever more competitive league,' he said. 'There has been a lot of talk about the club becoming full-time, but at our current level of income and investment this is not possible. With that said, for the 2018-19 season the team will be part-time and will be in intensive training on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, in addition to this the team will also train on a Monday morning, which gives Gavin and his management team valuable extra time to work with his new squad.'

He added, 'Off the field we will continue to look carefully at all aspects of the club to ensure we build a club fit for the future, set on the foundations of stability, continuity, good solid structure and, most importantly, a club which is sustainable, not just for now but long into the future. For a couple of years now the club has needed a change of culture and a reimagining of its vision for the future. But it now needs more than ever more local support both in terms of financial support and through an upturn in the numbers of people getting involved to help the club with time and skills.

'There are still models at our level and slightly above (Accrington and Macclesfield spring to mind) which show that clubs structured correctly from top to bottom, and clubs which operate efficiently can still succeed. As a fan I know that success on the field is imperative, but we have to consider that success cannot be pursued at any cost, particularly at any long term detrimental cost to the club.'"

Curzon Ashton "are delighted to announce that striker Chris Sharp has agreed a deal to join the club from Alfreton Town. Thirty-one-year-old Sharp, son of ex-Everton and Scotland player Graeme, began his career in Wales with Rhyl before moving on to Bangor City.

Impressive displays for Bangor, including 33 goals in 40 appearances, earned Chris a move to The New Saints where he scored 22 goals in 29 appearances. After winning the Welsh title and playing Champions' League football in the process, the forward accumulated over 100 National League appearances across respective spells with Telford, Hereford and Lincoln. Chris also appeared for Salford City, Stockport County and Bradford Park Avenue before linking up with Alfreton Town last summer, where he started 25 games and scored seven goals.

Manager John Flanagan, on his third summer signing, commented 'Nev and myself are really pleased to be able to announce the signing of Chris. He’s played well against us on a number of occasions over the last few seasons and subsequently I’ve had my eye on him. He’s a big lad, powerful, aggressive and deceptively quick. Once again, my focus has been on improving our attacking options and I feel that if we use Chris in the right way we will benefit from an increase in our goals tally.'"

According to the Telegraph & Argus, "Shane Killock has signed a new deal at Bradford Park Avenue. After shaking off injury problems in the early stages of the season, the central defender went on to make 27 appearances in all competitions this season...

The 29-year-old was released by Huddersfield Town after just one first-team appearance... He achieved promotion to non-league football’s top tier with AFC Telford United as captain and has also represented Ossett Albion, Oxford United, Harrogate Town and Guiseley. He becomes the fourth player to be confirmed as a member of Avenue’s 2018/19 squad, following in the footsteps of Adam Boyes, Oli Johnson and Nicky Clee."

Still in Yorkshire, we learn that "On a sunny Saturday morning the new Guiseley AFC Management Team were at Nethermoor in front of the waiting press to give their first interviews since joining the club...

First up is an interview with Joint Manager Marcus Bignot. 'I am excited for a new challenge... Me and Russ have known each other for some time through our previous clubs, we share the same values and principles on football. I was encouraged by what I wanted to hear from the directors, for me my next club had to be with the right people and I have certainly made the right move to work with good people and the right people'... The Joint Manager is ready for the training to start... 'To the Guiseley fans you are going to get a management team and a group of players who care, who will be approachable and you will be proud of us all, together nothing is impossible'".

24 May 2018


Altrincham FC is pleased to announce five pre-season games...
  • Saturday 7th July: Rhyl (A) 3-00pm
  • Tuesday 17th July: Macclesfield (H) 7-45pm
  • Friday 20th July: Crewe Alexandra (H) 7-45pm
  • Tuesday 24th July: Trafford FC (A) 7-45pm
  • Saturday 28th July: Salford City (H) 3-00pm

Remember that if you have a 2018-19 Altrincham FC season ticket, admission to the friendles at the J. Davidson Stadium is FREE, on production of your season-ticket book.


Hyde United "announce that... returning to Hyde, albeit he was on loan last time, is defender Sam Heathcote. Sam made 6 appearances for the Tigers in his loan spell in 2016/17 season only losing one game he played in. An ex-Altrincham player, Sam [also] played 29 games for Ramsbottom and scored 11 goals for them in a makeshift striker role last season. Welcome back Sam".

20 year-old Sam (right) graduated through Altrincham's youth team and reserves to sign Conference forms, as a back-up for the first-team, in March 2015. Converted from a striker (as he had been in his early days at Manchester United) to a centre-back in the Alty Youth and Reserves' teams, he was first included in the first-team squad for 2015-16.

He made a remarkable debut for the first team, coming on as an injury-time substitute against eventual champions Cheltenham Town on 5 September 2015. Within some ninety seconds he had scored the winning goal! With his opportunities in the first team limited, after making 5(+4) appearances in 2016-17, Sam went on loan to Hyde United. On his return he re-established himself as a regular member of the matchday squad.

Latterly, Sam has become a popular coach with the Altrincham FC community venture, a role which he retains. On 26 July 2017 it was announced that Sam had opted to leave the club after manager Phil Parkinson had indicated that he could not be promised a regular place in the starting eleven. He then joined fellow ex-Altrincham team-mates Kyle Brownhill and Jerome Wright at Ramsbottom United where he reverted to a striker's role. However, he made a welcome return to Altrincham on 1 March 2018.

He teams up again with Kyle Brownhill at Ewen Fields. Sam's Altrincham first-team appearances totalled 35(+26).


From the Northern Echo we learn that "Former Darlington [and Altrincham] striker Chris Senior (right) is to play in the club’s Non-League Challenge friendly game in July. Senior scored the dramatic late winner in the 2011 FA Trophy final at Wembley, a moment that means he retains a place in the heart of all Quakers supporters.

'I’m really looking forward to it,' said Senior, who is now first team masseur at Sheffield Wednesday. 'My eyes lit up when I realised who else will be on the field...It’s also a chance for my son to see me play football in the flesh!' The game will be played on Sunday, July 29 at Blackwell Meadows and will see Darlington play against a team of former Premier League players. It is part of the club’s reward for winning the Marathonbet #NonLeagueChallenge, which was a competition to find the best goal celebration in non-league football."


According to NL Daily, "A move to get businesses behind a bid to buy-out Nuneaton Town Football Club has failed, forcing co-operative club members to go it alone.

That was the outcome of the Nuneaton Borough Supporters' Cooperative (NBSC) meeting where interested parties were asked to attend to discuss plans to buy out the Boro. While the asking price for the club and Liberty Way-based ground has not been revealed, it is known that it runs into six figures and, coupled with other concerns, it proved too much for businesses to get involved.

A spokesperson for NBSC said they will now revert to Plan B, working with Supporters Direct to finance the buy-out themselves but they have appealed to Lee Thorn, who owns the club, to get round the table and help them secure the future of the Boro...

'Nuneaton Borough Supporters' Cooperative chair Harry Warren and treasurer Mike Turner met with a number of people from the local community who had expressed an interest in supporting the Cooperative and their aims for a community run football club,' said the NBSC spokesperson. 'We delivered our vision to them regarding the future of the club, something which was widely bought into by the group, all of whom actively want to help us should we secure the football club. However, the price that has been quoted, coupled with information available in public domain about the operational situation of the football club, was deemed too high a risk for anyone to be interested in making financial support for our bid'".

Comment on this comes from the ever informative Bulls' News which says that "The owner of Nuneaton Town FC, Lee Thorn, wants to sell the club and has released a statement about what's led up to his decision. Late on Monday night I was informed that the Nuneaton Town Supporters Cooperative were not able to put together any offer for the football club and its Liberty Way home. I was very disappointed to hear this as I really wanted them to take over and make it a community and fan run club.

Two options were presented to the Coop:

Option 1 to buy the club and stadium at a figure supplied to them.

Option 2 to rent the stadium on a long-term lease which satisfied the competition criteria, based on an, under market value, rental figure (this option included taking over the clubs trading debts).

At no stage was any financial information requested by the Coop regarding the running costs, trading debts, or any other costs involved in taking on a club of our standing. The last few weeks have also proven that there is not a group of local businessmen waiting in the wings to invest in this club. They have had a chance to come forward and talk to me, yet none have taken it.

The Coop have shown, for a second time under my four-year tenure, that they are not able to take over the running of the club either. Since taking over at the club I have had to fight battle after battle to keep the club going. People inside the club have tried to sabotage it, people outside have tried to undermine it and people who want to cause the club to fail have tried to turn the town, and Boro fans, against the club for their own ends.

I have fought hard for over the past four seasons for a club that I have grown to love, but it has taken a toll and I'm now tired of the fight. I told members of the Coop about my intention to step down as Chairman and sell the club prior to my planned announcement. I did this to allow them time to prepare and plan, so they could spring into action when the announcement came. I also informed them that the application to change the club name, back to Borough, had been successful and when I had planned to announce it.

However, the Coop, for their own reasons announced those two things the day before I was going to, which made any statement from the club pointless. This meant our contracted players, employed staff, sponsors and fans found out from the Coop, rather than officially from the club, this alone created a huge amount of turmoil and uncertainty. This action has damaged relationships between the club and some sponsors, maybe irreversibly, and could cost the club thousands of pounds in lost sponsorship.

Prior to this I had not spoken to anyone about sponsorship for the coming season because I wanted to give the Coop a clean slate and a chance to earn as much money as possible upon taking over. I had also not set season ticket and admission prices, as I wanted the Coop to be able to set the prices they wanted, if they were to take over. Now it is clear they cannot table a serious bid, I must move on, as does the club. Other offers have been tabled which we hope to progress now that a line can be drawn, once again, under the Coop’s ambitions.

The club must meet certain conditions to fulfil our licence to compete in the competition. We had three things to tick off to enable this to happen, we now have one item outstanding. It is not my intention, at this time, to re-enter the club, and I hope that a new owner is found as soon as possible, so that the work required to start the new season can commence."

The National League reports that "The new Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath is working hard to get a squad ready for the Vanarama National League North season. In total 13 players have been let go from the side.

These include Chris Elliott, Sam Topliss and Craig Westcarr [who] have all been released by the National League North side, while Tom Platt, Luke Shiels, Cieron Keane and Craig Disley have been retained. The club also revealed that Tom Allan had been offered a new deal with the Reds but opted to sign for York City. Eleven new players have signed for the side and the club say details of these will be released in the forthcoming days."

At Curzon Ashton, "three members of the 2017/18 playing squad will not be offered new deals for the upcoming season. Midfielder Luke Clark, 23, who joined the club in 2016 from Salford City, has accepted a job offer in London and will not be returning for pre-season at the Tameside Stadium. Fellow midfielder Richie Baker, 30, and centre-forward Ben Wharton, 27, have also been informed that they will not receive new deals at the club.

On the departures, manager John Flanagan commented, 'It’s always difficult when you have to make decisions on who to keep and release. Unfortunately, following a difficult season, it’s clear that changes to the squad going forward were required and, before we can adjust the squad, we need to create space for incoming players. Hopefully any new recruits will improve our level of performance for next season and help us stay away from the relegation threat that we had hanging over us this season'".

Bradford PA confirm that "Fan favourite Nicky Clee (left) has put pen to paper on a new deal after an impressive first season with the club. The tricky winger, who can also operate in central midfield or at left-back, joined from Altrincham in May 2017 and became a favourite amongst Avenue supporters due to his technical ability and work ethic. He made 35 appearances in all competitions for Mark Bower’s side last season and spoke to us about his excitement for the season ahead...

'I’m really happy to have signed on for next season. I’ve been made to feel at home by everyone associated with the club from day one. My season was cut short with my broken toe, so I feel like I’ve had my summer already. I can’t wait to get back amongst the lads and continue the good work that was done last season'".

The Shropshire Star reports that "Jonathan Royle has signed a new one-year- deal with Telford. The defensive midfielder's new contract ensures that he remains with the Bucks for a third season after initially joining on loan from Southport back in September 2016.

New boss Gavin Cowan knows exactly what he is getting from the 23-year-old after working closely with him over the last two seasons. 'Joff (Royle) has all the attributes needed for a midfielder at this level and I believe the level above', said Cowan".


Relegated Tamworth "Following the managerial appointment yesterday [see News for 23 May on this site], we are now in the position to offer a full update on the playing squad ahead of next season. Several new arrivals can be expected in the coming weeks...

  • Under Contract 2018/19: Akwasi ASANTE, Rhys SHARP, Tom SHAW, Aman VERMA
  • Offered Terms for 2018/19: Joel KETTLE, Chandler PEGG, Charlie SHAW, Connor TAYLOR (declined, signed for Leamington), Dexter WALTERS
  • Invited to Pre Season 2018/19: Sam COULSON, Dan JEZEPH, Bradley REID, Regan UPTON
  • Released: Andrew BURNS, Matt CURLEY, Jed DAVIES, Luke JONES, Darryl KNIGHTS, Jack LANE, Steph MORLEY, Callum POWELL
  • Following the final U21 fixture of the season on Friday May 18th, talks can now commence with individual members of that squad."

    The Stoke Sentinel tells us that "Steve Burr has said he will look to establish an academy setup at Stafford Rangers via a link between the club and a local college. Last season, Boro’s successful under-18 team, managed by Tim Turner, produced several players who stepped up to the senior side.

    Most successful were striker Lucas Burnett and goalkeeper Riley Stephenson, both making their first-team boys towards the end of the campaign. And new manager Burr wants to continue and expand that focus on youth. He said, 'One thing that does surprise me about the club is no academy set up with a local college etc. Supporters love local lads coming into the first team and I do look at local lads. I have discussed with John (chairman Bromley) setting up an academy here, getting young players coming through. In my previous teams I have had lads who go and watch games for me as long as they get a ticket.

    'I think it is important that you don’t go too far afield, 25-30 miles, otherwise you have issues with training etc.'

    Boro captain Josh Craddock and right-back Sam Griffiths have signed for rivals Hednesford Town, the club have announced. Meanwhile, Rangers have announced their first batch of pre-season friendlies – which will include a visit by Premier League outfit Leicester City".

    23 May 2018


    We are looking for supporters to renew or join the Patrons' Scheme for next season which will be the 13th season that it has run. The Club thanks those supporters who have signed up so far and invites others to join them in this important fundraising scheme.

    For the cost of £50 your name will appear throughout the coming season in the matchday programme and on the soon-to-be-launched new website as a Patron of Altrincham Football Club.

    At the start of the season, every member will be entered into a prize draw, with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with nine guests. Second prize will be hospitality for five people and third prize hospitality for three people in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge.

    If you are interested in becoming a Patron for next season, please forward a cheque, payable to Altrincham Football Club, for £50. Alternatively, you can pay by card by phoning the office (0161 928-1045). If you require any further information please do not hesitate to enquire by e-mail."


    At York City, "Striker Flynn McNaughton has signed his first professional contract with York City after graduating from the club's Academy. McNaughton, 17, made three appearances as a substitute for the first team last season and was also leading goalscorer for both the reserves and the Under-18s.

    'I am really happy. It's a dream come true,' he said. 'If you had said to me at the start of last season that I would be making my first team debut in March, I would have said 'No, not a chance", but everything has fallen into place. 'My aim now is to break into the first team and try and make an impact. The first team will be looking for promotion next season and I just want to be part of it. I think the manager has made a big statement by bringing in players from the league above and we have got a really strong squad,' commented McNaughton. 'He has told me to come back for pre-seaso "fit as a fiddle" and be at the front of all the running. I will have to stake my case in pre-season games'.

    Born in Scarborough, McNaughton joins midfielder Harry Thompson and centreback Josh Rogerson in signing professional terms for the club after graduating from the Academy this summer. McNaughton's father Michael was also a professional footballer who played for Scarborough 16 years ago before going part-time with Harrogate Town".

    The National League reports that "Another of Macclesfield Town’s title winners [has] opted to stay in the National League. Goalkeeper Shwan Jalal will remain in the division and has agreed to join new boys Chesterfield. He is the second key member of the champions to leave Moss Rose after midfielder Danny Whitehead put pen to paper at Salford City last week.

    New Chesterfield manager Martin Allen was thrilled with his first signing. 'We have signed Shwan Jalal on a two year contract on a free transfer... We have a strong, reliable and decent keeper. On top of that, he knows what it takes to be a champion'".

    At Hereford FC, "Bulls' boss Peter Beadle will hold talks with a number of players this evening as he continues his planning for next season’s National League North campaign. So far eight players have agreed deals to remain at Edgar Street next season. Martin Horsell, Will Puddy and Eliot Richards are currently considering offers put to them by the club.

    A number of players were away on holiday when talks began last week, and Beadle will start to meet with those players this evening. Jamie Cuss and George Hayes are currently the only two players to have been released, with Cuss being forced into retirement after an injury-hit two seasons."

    They may have been relegated from National League North last summer but the National League reports that "Tamworth have announced their new management structure which they hope will lead them back into the National League. The Lambs were relegated last season after a poor second half of the season.

    They are to rebuild in the Southern League with Tim Harris, who has been appointment as Director of Football. 'This will be an integral role within an exciting new first team football management structure, as the club aims for immediate promotion back to step two,' the club said...'[His] notable achievements include overseeing the rise of Newport County from Southern League to League Two, progressing to The FA Cup second round proper with three different clubs, and getting to the final of The FA Trophy...

    'In the new first team football management structure, Mike Fowler will be retained as Head Coach', said a statement. 'Despite a disappointing end to last season, Fowler’s work ethic, passion for the club, and potential are attributes that the club wishes to support and develop further. Key to the decision was Fowler’s existing working relationship with Harris. Mike has worked with Tim extensively over the past fifteen years, and has captained three different clubs under his leadership.'

    The final part of the new first team football management structure will see former club captain Paul Green return to The Lamb in a player-coach capacity."

    22 May 2018


    Press and Media Officer John Edwards writes that "Sean Williams (seen above, in an image courtesy of Mike Ripley), has become an Altrincham player for the second time and expressed his delight by saying: ‘I’ve signed for the champions – what could be better?’

    As the mainstay of Warrington Town’s midfield, the industrious Williams spent most of last season trying to deny Alty the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League title, before doffing his cap to the ‘sheer quality’ that saw Phil Parkinson’s team over the line with two games to spare.

    Now he’s devoting all his energies to building on Alty’s success under Parkinson and making a positive impact on the Vanarama National League North after readily accepting an invitation to become the Robins manager’s second signing of the summer, following last week’s acquisition of forward Anthony Dwyer.

    Reflecting on a mutual respect between himself and Parkinson that developed during an eventful title campaign, Williams said: ‘Warrington and Altrincham played each other four times last season, so we bumped into each other quite frequently and would always have a word.

    ‘It was a bit of a snarling match to begin with, because we were enemies, both going for the same prize! But it was always clear he liked how I played and rated me, and it goes without saying I admired the football Alty played and the way they won the league.

    ‘It was a bit of a rollercoaster for us at Warrington, trying to hang on to Alty’s coattails. We did ok in the head-to-heads, but generally we’d come off after beating some other team, look for Alty’s score straightaway and find they had won three or four nil.

    ‘We all got a bit excited and thought we were in with a shout when we finally managed to narrow the gap to a point, but quality and strength in depth shone through and took Alty clear again. Honestly, you look at that squad, and it is sheer quality. For large parts of last season, they just looked like they were not going to be beaten.

    ‘So it will be really good to work with those boys, and the manager, instead of against them. I’m coming from a really good club and good team, but it didn’t take much thought or persuasion when I got the call to rejoin Alty.

    ‘It’s nice getting a phone call asking you to play for the league champions. That’s the sort of call I like, and I’m really excited about the season ahead. Alty are a club I have always liked, and I really enjoyed playing for them first time round, so I can’t wait to get started again.’

    The energetic midfielder accepts he faces a battle nailing down a staring place but it relishing the challenge.

    ‘First and foremost, that’s what I’ll be aiming to do, but it won’t be easy,’ he said. ‘If you asked me who took my eye most last season, I’d struggle to single anyone out, because there’s so much quality in so many positions.

    ‘There is competition for places in every area, which is what you want. You don’t win the league like Alty did with ordinary players, but if I can add a bit of quality to what we already have, I’ll be delighted.

    ‘You look at the retained list, and a lot of the boys who were doing it week-in, week-out last season have been kept on, and I’m really looking forward to playing with players I rate so highly. I hope, no I believe, we can bring the same good times to the club that we had in the National League when I was here before.’

    Williams vividly recalls how any despondency over two opening defeats in the National League under Lee Sinnott was swept aside by a memorable home win over Bristol Rovers.

    ‘That’s probably the abiding memory of my first spell at the club,’ he said. ‘Bristol Rovers were a big name for that level, a club with a long Football League history, but we saw them off in style. We were 2-0 up before they scored a late consolation goal and were worthy winners.

    ‘That’s when we started believing. From that point on, we all firmly believed we were capable of at least holding our own in that sort of company, and so it proved. A team like Bristol Rovers had come to our back yard and been sent packing – that was a great memory for me.

    'I really enjoyed my football at that time and played with a freedom that was down to the style of football the manager favoured. The current gaffer has a similar philosophy and has instilled a real togetherness among a squad full of talent. There is a good spirit on the pitch and off it. I've kept in touch with some of the Scouse lads, and that comes across whenever I speak to them.

    'It's great to be rejoining the club when there's such a feelgood factor. I'm pleased the fans are feeling positive again after a couple of ropey seasons, and it's great to see the club on their way back to where they belong. The aim will be to keep that going, but, in the meantime, I'm just looking forward to seeing some familiar faces again, supporters as well as team-mates. I hope I get the same welcome I got first time round - and we get the same results that took us into the National League.'"


    Sean (born 20 January 1992, in Liverpool) first signed for Altrincham, from Colwyn Bay, in May 2014. Prior to that, he had another spell with the Bay, and had also played for FC Halifax Town where he was part of their promotion squad from Conference North. Earlier, he also spent time with Stockport County, Vauxhall Motors, Hyde and Skelmersdale United.

    Above: Image courtesy of Michael Ripley.

    After 25(+12) appearances for Altrincham, Sean was released by Lee Sinnott at the end of the 2014-15 season and, like his ex-Alty team-mates Kyle Perry and David Parton, he joined Hednesford Town for 2015-16.

    By the start of 2016-17 season he had moved on to AFC Telford United but, in mid-November 2016, he signed for Warrington Town where he became an important figure in their reaching the promotion play-offs in 2017-18.


    On Sunday, in their final league match of the season, Altrincham FC Youth beat Prescot Cables 1-0. Many clubs in the NWYA Premier Division have a signifcant number of matches to complete so quite when the final table will be known is difficult to say!


    NL Pitchero reports that "Brackley Town, whose league season came to a disappointing finale when they lost 3-0 at Harrogate Town in the Promotion Final a week ago, claimed the Buildbase FA Trophy in a thrilling final at Wembley.

    The Northamptonshire side overcame Bromley from the National League on penalties after a terrific effort from both sides over 120 minutes in searing heat under the arch.

    The first half was largely Bromley`s, although Matt Lowe had an effort blocked for Brackley and James Armson volleyed over the bar. Omar Bugiel had the Raven`s first chance but fired wide. However, in the 20th minute it was the former Forest Green Rovers striker who broke the deadlock. Some neat work from Adam Mekki saw him slip the ball through to Bugiel, whose cool, left-footed finish flew past Brackley `keeper Danny Lewis into the far corner of the net to send over 16,000 Bromley fans into raptures...

    Bromley were 26 seconds from winning the FA Trophy when Brackley’s outstanding skipper Gaz Dean was in the right place at the right time in normal time as a shot from Shane Byrne hit the post and bounced in off him and Bromley's vastly experienced former Wolves defender Roger Johnson.

    So, in searing heat, there was to be another 30 minutes, and with both sides visibly tiring and play becoming lethargic, the extra-time period petered out...

    21 May 2018


    In Sunday's Non-League Paper, Jordan Hulme is interviewed after lifting the National Game Awards Step 3 & 4 Player of the Year trophy.

    "I really didn't like football nine months ago, to be honest", Hulme said. "I fell out of love with it and got on board with Altrincham to see how things went. But to be winning an award now is unbelievable and I've really enjoyed every minute of it. I'm just so happy to win this award.

    "You can go places on a Tuesday night and be questioning whether you want to be doing it anymore and you come to this part of the season and you're absolutely loving it and you can't wait to start again.

    "It's a long season of ups and downs but that's football".

    The NLP reports that "Hulmne had been planning to play in America throughout the summer until a snag with his clearance scuppered the short-term move. But it did mean he could travel to Stamford Bridge to collect his award. As self-deprecating as ever, Hulme joked the nominations must have come from a single performance...

    'I still can't believe it. They must have watched a good game. I feel like I've had a good season but I'm helped by great team-mates, a great gaffer and a great club. I'm taking all the accolades at the minute and I can't complain about that. There's a common goal to do well in football and you need these things to get people together'".


    Altrincham FC's Bonus Ball has twelve numbers avaulable. For just £1 a week, you could win £25 if your number is the bonus ball in the Lotto draw. The remaining stake money goes towards the Football Club's expenditure. The numbers available are 11,12,21,24,25,30,33,34,35,36,47 and 49. Please contact Grahame Rowley or the club office to sign up for any of these numbers.


    Chorley announce that "Club stalwart Adam Roscoe is among seven players set to leave The Magpies following the conclusion of the 2017/18 campaign. Defender Kieran Charnock and forward Jason Walker are the other permanent members of Matt Jansen’s squad to depart, while the loan deals of Matt Urwin, Luke Burgess, Delial Brewster and Lee Molyneux have ended.

    Fan-favourite Roscoe enjoyed two spells at Victory Park, signing initially in 2005, before returning in 2011 during Gary Flitcroft’s reign as manager. Playing a total of 345 games in a black and white shirt, the 32-year-old will be best remembered for his stunning overhead kick against Boston in the 2015 play-off semi-final...

    Assistant manager Jamie Vermiglio told, 'The number of appearances he has is testament to his commitment. His attitude and personality around our changing room has been first class... Adam moves on with our best wishes in search of more regular football as he approaches the back end of his career'...

    Charnock (82 games) and Walker (87 games/27 goals) have spent three and two years respectively at Chorley, playing big parts in a period of sustained success in the sixth tier.

    'Kieran and Jason have been very important to us as we’ve strengthened and progressed as a club,' manager Jansen said. 'Kieran has always been very professional and when opportunities have arisen he’s never let himself or the club down. Unfortunately, he wasn’t going to play as much as he hoped and so it is only fair that he moves on to enjoy the rest of his playing career.

    'With Jason it was a very difficult decision. His experience has been vital for us as we pushed into the play-off positions. He’s a player who’s brought cleverness to our build-up play and who’s contributed with his fair share of goals. Jason will improve whatever team he goes to and we wish him all the best for the future.'

    Of the temporary signings moving on, goalie Urwin made the biggest impact, producing consistently excellent performances while starting 54 of 55 matches in all competitions. He returns to Fleetwood, who executed their one-year contract option on the 24-year-old last week.

    'Matt was incredibly good for us this past season,' Jansen added. 'We were never let down by Matt and I fully expect him to go back to Fleetwood and push for the number one jersey. I feel we’ve helped him progress both on and off the field and a full season under his belt has helped him find his confidence and belief; he is a Football League goalkeeper without a doubt.'

    Guiseley loanee Molyneux made 11 appearances in the first team, acting as a crucial stand-in for Adam Blakeman on the left flank. Former Everton striker Brewster will be best remembered for what turned out to be the winning goal in the Challenge Trophy final at Bolton last month, while midfielder Burgess returns to Wigan after playing a vital role in the Macron Stadium showpiece".

    At Bradford Park Avenue, "After what can only be described as a successful season, albeit the semi-final disappointment, the club wish to maintain the impetus and assist Mark with assembling a squad that can continue the good work of 2017/18.

    Owner in waiting Gareth Roberts stated ‘We are going to continue supporting Mark and maintain the same level of playing budget. Although, the costs associated with running the club are high and, whilst we have to cut some costs, we will be looking to improve our revenue streams to support Mark and improve the Stadium. To start we will be re-launching the Players Fund that assisted Mark and the lads to get to the Play-Offs last season. We are hoping that our supporters, from all over the world will get behind the club and the money donated will be ring-fenced to assist Mark throughout the season’".

    20 May 2018


    Trafford FC report that "Following discussions with manager, Tom Baker, we are very pleased to announce that Mark Derbyshire, Keil O'Brien, Darius Palma and Laurence Taylor have agreed terms for 2018-19 and will return to Shawe View for the forthcoming season".

    All at Altrincham wish both Laurence (right) and Darius every success next season. Laurence made 25(+6) appearances for Altrincham, whilst Darius made 3(+4) appearances. Both players were graduates of the Altrincham FC Youth system and also played for the Reserves.


    NL Pitchero tells us that "Bradford Park Avenue have announced that manager Mark Bower and his assistant [ex-Alty midfielder] Danny Boshell have signed contract extensions that will run until the end of the 2020/21 season.

    Former Guiseley AFC boss Bower was appointed in September 2016 and guided the club to National League North safety in his first campaign. He took the helm again in the 2017/18 season and led Avenue to a seventh-place finish and into the semi-finals of the play-offs. As a player, he made over 200 appearances for neighbours Bradford City and has now established himself as one of the best young managers in non-League football.

    Boshell was Bower’s right-hand man during their time at Guiseley, combining a role in the dug-out with duties in the centre of the Lions’ midfield. He assumed the same role upon joining Avenue in September 2016 and made twenty-eight appearances last season."

    Also at Bradford Park Avenue, "The club can confirm that popular defender and Academy coach Matt Hill has left the club. The veteran left-back has moved on after a two-year spell with the club, during which he had a stint as Assistant Manager and worked closely with the Academy. He becomes the fourth player to leave since the end of the season after the departures of Javan Vidal, Adam Smith and Lee Knight were confirmed on Tuesday.

    Matt joined Avenue from Tranmere Rovers in July 2016 and quickly established himself as an integral member of the playing squad after leaving his post in the dugout. He made 32 appearances in all competitions last season and was an influential figure throughout despite missing out on the play-offs through injury.

    Bower said of Hill, 'He’s been magnificent for us since he arrived. His professionalism, both on and off the pitch, has been a great example to the other players in the squad and he has performed consistently well over the past two seasons... Four players have left us this week and we’re in discussions with the rest of the squad. It is always a difficult time of the year and saying goodbye to players that have given everything for the club never gets easier.

    Javan (Vidal) played in numerous positions for us and always gave 100% for his teammates... Lee (Knight) had a frustrating season with limited opportunities and I hope he finds a club that offer him regular game time so that he can build on the potential he has. Adam (Smith) is a great lad who was unlucky with injury during his short time with us'".

    Back on this side of the Pennines, Chorley report that "Long-serving goalkeeper Sam Ashton has announced he’ll be leaving The Magpies after five years at Victory Park. In a Twitter post the 31-year-old stopper, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Ramsbottom United wrote... 'I’ve had some great times at Chorley FC'...

    Injury curtailed the former Bolton Wanderers trainee from making any appearances for Chorley during the 2017/18 campaign, leaving his tally at a no-less impressive 167 games. 'We had a long discussion with Sam about his future,' manager Matt Jansen explained. 'He’s a very honest person who has expressed his desire to play as much as possible in the next few years. Unfortunately, after his injury, we couldn’t guarantee the playing time he wanted. We did want Sam to come to pre-season so we could assess his fitness level but, with offers from several clubs to be their number one, Sam feels he can’t turn the opportunity down...

    'He’s been a big part of our success over the last few years and contributed greatly to the growth of Chorley Football Club'".

    At Curzon Ashton, the club confirms "the signing of defender Danny Morton from Stalybridge Celtic. Full-back Morton, who spent time at Burnley and Blackburn during his youth, becomes John Flanagan’s second summer addition after winger Connor Hughes joined on Thursday. The defender became a fans' favourite in his two-year spell at Clitheroe after signing from NWCFL side Barnoldswick Town in 2013...

    The 25-year-old earned a move to Stockport County where he spent the entirety of the 2015/16 season and collected their Young Player of the Year award. Danny joined Stalybridge in 2016 from Colne and was awarded the captain’s armband for the 17/18 season at Bower Fold, where he made 77 appearances...

    Manager John Flanagan said... 'Danny is a player that I’ve tried to sign previously but circumstances this time allowed us to get the deal done. He’s a great age at 25, experienced and athletic with some excellent leadership qualities so he will bring a lot to our changing room. As a player, he’s adaptable so he’s able to drop in at full-back, centre-half and centre-midfield'".

    News of a former Alty loanee comes from Southport, where "Defensive player Andy Parry (right) has joined Southport FC on a one-year deal. Andy re-joins Southport FC for his third spell at the Club. The 26-year-old Liverpool-born Parry can play either in defence or midfield.

    First joining in 2011, Andy made 62 appearances for the Sandgrounders in his first spell at the club. The 26-year-old became a firm fan-favourite at Southport, with his performances securing a move to Luton Town for an undisclosed fee. In 2013 Andy featured for England C against the Czech Republic.

    While at Luton, Andy made loan appearances for AFC Telford United, Altrincham, Barrow and Southport, where he added four more appearances to his tally for the Club... Andy earned a permanent move to Barrow, where he has made a total of 22 National League appearances.

    Liam Watson said, 'Andy was one of the first players we wanted. I know what I get from him. He can play anywhere, right-back, centre-back, centre-mid. The fans know him, he was brilliant when he was here and he got sold on my last day to Luton Town, I’m delighted to have him back through the door'.

    Andy said... 'I’m made up to be back. You see all the things happening around the Club and around the ground, it’s a really exciting time'".

    Meanwhile, at Stockport County "County Manager Jim Gannon has confirmed that contract offers have been made to defenders Chris Smalley and Steve O’Halloran, and that positive talks have taken place with Jason Oswell and his representatives.

    However, the manager has decided, at this stage, not to offer a further contract or non-contract terms to Michael Clarke, Harry Winter, Harry Brazel or George West. Both Michael and George have been offered the opportunity to return to the club for pre-season training and talks may continue with those players at that stage.

    Jim said, 'These decisions have been very difficult in light of the good work that the players have done this season. I’ve worked with several of these players over a number of years and the working relationship extends beyond just professional. They’re very good people who’ve shown great heart for the club'...

    Jim explained that one of the challenges lies in planning for a switch back to full-time football in the near future, with the club committed to making that additional investment. He said, 'The difficulties I have are in improving the team for the coming season, but we’re also mindful of any future move to full-time football in the coming years and how the squad will need to be reshaped with a different type of professional who can commit more time to football. Since the turn of the calendar year we have shown that a combined working environment that allows the continued strong performance from part-time players, mixed with a growing environment for the young players committed to becoming better professionals, has worked to make us as effective and high-performing as the full-time and higher budgets teams in the division.

    'I feel that the emerging model at the club is the most cost-effective and efficient model for us to progress with at this stage, but the aspirations of the club are to become more competitive. I feel the main area for improvement is to attract and develop good young players who have proven themselves at least at this level, but have the potential to become better and play higher. But we know we must combine that with a back bone of strong professionals that provide the character, experience and game-craft to progress the club to a higher position this coming season'...

    Jim Gannon also... said, 'I am heavily engaged with a large number of prospective players and we expect to close in on a number of our targets and the best players for us over the coming weeks'...

    Chris Smalley first came to Edgeley Park in December 2015 from Kendal Town in the midst of an injury crisis, and has been a regular in the back line ever since. He made his debut in a 4-0 win at Corby Town and has now played almost 100 games for the club. Chris, 28, previously spent time at Clitheroe and played under Jim Gannon at Northwich Vics.

    Steve O’Halloran is an experienced left-sided defender who began his professional career in the Premiership with Aston Villa, earning two caps representing the Republic of Ireland. He went on to play for Wycombe, reaching the League Cup semi-finals, Coventry City, Carlisle United and Nuneaton. Stephen, 30, first joined the Hatters under Ian Bogie and stayed for two seasons before being released by Neil Young to join Salford City in 2015...

    Jim Gannon brought Steve back to County last May and has now clocked up more than 120 games for the Hatters during his two spells at Edgeley Park".

    The National League reports that "Brackley Town knew if they were going to win the FA Trophy, they would have to do it the difficult way. Ten games later, the little club from Northants are at Wembley and they are determined to make the most of every second of it.

    They aren’t alone in doing the hard yards. Bromley have spent more on petrol than than their 16,000 fans have on tickets combined! The Ravens took in trips to Workington, Blyth Spartans, Spennymoor, Darlington and Gateshead before reaching Sunday’s final.

    Brackley manager Kevin Wilkin knows whoever goes on to lift the iconic piece of silverware under the Arch would have deserved it. 'Both teams have taken some winding roads to get to Wembley,' he said. 'We have had ten games, a fair few replays, and some tough old matches. We learned a lot about ourselves and became stronger for it. This is a huge match for us'...

    Of course it could have been an even better season for Brackley and their fans, with around 6,000 of them expected to be cheering on the Saints. But they couldn’t do the first leg of what they hoped would be a great double, losing 3-0 in last Sunday’s National League North Promotion Final at Harrogate Town...

    'We have got to re-group after last weekend,' Wilkin said. 'We need to find our focus and have one final push. We desperately want to end a great campaign on a high. We have played 61 games this season and we can’t afford to look as tired as we were at Harrogate as the Wembley pitch takes no prisoners'".

    19 May 2018


    Pictured above, (courtesy of Michael Ripley), is Altrincham's first new signing of the summer, Anthony Dwyer, a 21 year-old winger who can also play as a striker. Ironically, his last game of the 2017-18 season was against Altrincham for Hednesford Town, a club he had joined in March 2018 from AFC Telford United.

    Anthony (d.o.b. 13 December 1996) has dual Montserrat and England eligibility. He started out at Mansfield Town in the Stags' under-19s in 2015/16 before joining Stafford Rangers in November 2016. He soon moved on to Matlock Town and, in summer 2017, he signed for AFC Telford United.

    Welcome to the Club, Anthony!


    York City report that "Jason McGill, the owner of J M Packaging, York City's majority shareholder, has issued the following statement in relation to the future funding and running of the football club.

    'The Board of York City Football Club approached me after the 30th April deadline had lapsed, following the lack of any suitable proposals to acquire the J M Packaging interest in York City Football Club, and asked for help. The Board, working in conjunction with Peter Rookes, YCFC Financial Consultant, had been attempting to formulate a break-even budget for season 2018-2019. The Board made it clear to me that this was unachievable if the club was to remain competitive, aspirational and ambitious.

    I was asked if J M Packaging would fund the club until, at least, the expected June 2019 move to the new Community Stadium and if I would become Chairman once more.

    I had put my interest in York City FC up for sale following the successful vote against handing over the Trust’s 25% shareholding in YCFC to J M Packaging, in return for the Company’s continued financial support until occupation of the new stadium. I had thought this only fair and equitable. However, some believed there to be some ulterior motive to the offer. There was none, and there continues to be none, as, perhaps, demonstrated by one party expressing an interest indicating that the shares in York City Football Club were worthless.

    Since there has been no sale of the JMP interest in YCFC and, in my desire to give the club the best chance of success, I have decided to further fund the football club. This will enable YCFC to maintain full-time status, help keep the Academy, and continue the meaningful community work of the Foundation.

    The monies contributed by J M Packaging to the football club from July 2016, when the new stadium was to have been completed, will, hopefully, be repaid, depending on the negotiated value at the time, from the sale of Bootham Crescent but, if there is insufficient equity, then any monies outstanding will have been used to fund YCFC at my risk and, if lost, then it was my decision to do so.

    I will, however, ensure that the football club is protected for future generations and will make every means available to prevent any action from any individual or individuals from undoing or taking credit from all the hard work that has been undertaken over the last 12 years to give York City Football Club a fresh start in the new Community Stadium.

    I am looking forward, together with the rest of the Board, to enjoying everything the new stadium will bring to the football club for many seasons to come. Now that the immediate off-pitch financial uncertainty has been resolved, the Board must now focus on helping provide the Manager with the necessary support to produce entertaining, inspiring performances and successful results that ultimately lead to an upcoming promotion season."

    The National League reports that "FC United of Manchester have delved into the lower divisions for their first three new signings of the summer. Player-manager Tom Greaves has brought in strikers Brodie Litchfield and Kurt Willoughby, along with experienced centre-back [ex-Alty man] Chris Lynch.

    Litchfield [is] from Evo-Stik League South side Stocksbridge Park Steels, whilst Willoughby comes on board from Clitheroe where he finished top scorer in the Evo-Stik League North with an impressive 33 goals. Litchfield re-joined Steels in December 2016 from Mickleover Sports, who received a club record fee for the forward. Once tipped as the 'next Jamie Vardy', Litchfield broke into the Steels first-team at the age of 17 and his performances helped earn him a professional contract at Sheffield United in June 2015.

    Willoughby joined Clitheroe from Hallmark Security League side AFC Blackpool. The 21-year-old served an apprenticeship at Fleetwood Town and underwent a trial with Bolton Wanderers in 2016/17. He appeared for Radcliffe Borough ahead of his spell with AFC Blackpool.

    Lynch joins after enjoying a successful season with Atherton Collieries in the Evo-Stik League North. The experienced 33-year-old had signed for Colls after leaving Altrincham following their relegation from the National League North. He started his career with Wigan Athletic before moving into non-League football with Altrincham and Hyde United, followed by a spell in Australia with Sorrento.

    Upon his return to the UK, Lynch signed for Ashton United... Salford`s then-boss Phil Power brought Lynch to Moor Lane in June 2014 and immediately installed him as captain... He moved to Altrincham in February 2017.

    Along with the new additions, midfielder Jamal Crawford has signed on for the upcoming season after making a dozen appearances in his first campaign for FC United.

    Greaves told the club's official website... 'Lynchy brings with him a wealth of experience, a no nonsense centre half who’s no stranger to the FC United fans. He’s a leader, a winner who wears his heart on his sleeve and will strengthen our back line'".

    As the Boston Standard reports, "Craig Elliott doesn’t want to build a squad of non-league superstars, because the Boston United boss believes the emphasis should be on the team and not individuals...

    Talking about his summer recruitment plans, the Pilgrims boss said, 'You can’t have kneejerk reactions and sign players because of reputations, or because they were good players last year. What I have learnt going through the leagues, the best players don’t always make the best team. You can sign the best 11 players in this league and it doesn’t mean you’ll have success.'

    Elliott firmly believes that the right mental attitude from his squad members is the best way to build a solid team...

    'You have to get a feel for the player and what they want to do for the club first and foremost,' he said. 'I need to know what ambition they’ve got. Being at this club, it’s important that the fans can associate themselves to the right characters, who want to come here for the right reasons...

    'It’s important you get the chemistry right, and characters who can be handled right. Going places in December, being 1-0 down, how do you react to that?... Will they come training when it’s snowing and things like that?'

    Elliott already has a list of targets... He said, 'I’ve tried to do my homework because, if you get it wrong, it can be hard to make it better as the season goes on... You can get agents ringing you up and you become inundated with options. It’s important you have a cool head and you realise what you want to do and create.

    'It’s been more often that I’d like (dealing with agents). It’s a crazy world, it’s non-league football at the end of the day and I do prefer to talk to players. I demand that'".


    From the National League we learn that "Ady Pennock has left his position as Barrow manager, the club have announced. Pennock kept the club in the National League on the final day of the season having pulled the Bluebirds out of trouble. Now they are searching for a new boss and assistant with Jamie Day also departing Holker Street.

    A club statement confirmed the news... 'Discussions have been held between the management duo and the club's management, with the decision made to part company.'"

    From the National League we learn that "New AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan has a big summer lined up for the club. Cowan replaced Rob Edwards as boss at the New Bucks Head last week... Telford will be hoping for a much-improved campaign under Cowan but it won’t be easy in a difficult division...

    Cowan told the Shropshire Star, 'We have big plans for pre-season. Myself and Phil have already devised a pre-season programme for the lads... The format is already set out, we are just arranging some pre-season games now. But I will be sitting down with the chairman and some of the board to decide some of the finer details. A lot of them are almost in the bag but we will be finalising details which is important'".

    18 May 2018


    Altrincham's first new signing of the summer is Anthony Dwyer, a 21 year-old winger who can also play as a striker. Ironically, his last game of the 2017-18 season was against Altrincham for Hednesford Town, a club he had joined in March 2018 from AFC Telford United.

    Anthony (d.o.b. 13 December 1996) has dual Montserrat and England eligibility. He started out at Mansfield Town in the Stags' under-19s in 2015/16 before joining Stafford Rangers in November 2016. He soon moved on to Matlock Town and, in summer 2017, he signed for AFC Telford United.

    In 2017 the NL Paper reported that "AFC Telford United striker Anthony Dwyer delivered on his pledge to boss Rob Edwards by firing the team to victory over Leamington on his league debut. The former Ilkerson and Stafford forward, 20, joined The Bucks in July after a successful trial period, but was banned for the first three games of the season after a suspension picked up at the end of last term.

    However, after persuading Edwards that he was ready to start, Dwyer’s debut was worth the wait as he scored a brilliant brace in the 3-0 win over the Brakes.

    The exciting striker told the Shropshire Star, 'I had a word with him [Edwards] the other week in training. I said "Look gaffer I’m ready to fight for my position and ready to do things the way you want to be done"'".

    You Tube has a video here of a fine goal that Anthony scored for AFC Telford. And there is also an interview with Anthony following his debut for Hednesford here.

    Regarding his move to Hednesford, the Express & Star reported that "The 21-year-old joined the Bucks in the summer, going on to score six times, but has struggled for minutes on the pitch recently under Rob Edwards. With that in mind, the striker has decided to depart, joining the Pitmen and former Bucks' boss Rob Smith in the process...

    'I have decided to leave to get more games to further my career.' said Anthony of his departure from The New Buck's Head.


    FA press release:

    "Ahead of this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium has lit up its iconic arch in the colours of all 737 teams to play in the competition this season, including Altrincham.

    737 teams from Step 6 of the National League system through to the Premier League took part in the 137th edition of the world’s oldest domestic cup competition, involving over 11,000 players and resulting in over 3,000 goals.

    Days before the showpiece Final which will be played at Wembley Stadium connected by EE, the stadium’s arch and big screen lit up to celebrate every one of the clubs, from the 370 who started in the Extra Preliminary Round in early August through to the two Premier League finalists who will be battling it out for the trophy this weekend.

    This season’s Emirates FA Cup Final kicks off at 17:15 on Saturday, 19 May and will see Antonio Conte’s Chelsea and José Mourinho’s Manchester United go head to head for the coveted silverware.

    A time-lapse video of the activity is available here".


    Pictured below are four of the Altrincham players who helped Altrincham to the EvoStik Northern Premier League championship last season. Seen below, re-signing with the club for 2018-19 are, top row, Tom Hannigan (left) and Max Harrop (right) and, bottom row, Simon Richman (left) and James Jones (right).


    Curzon Ashton "announce the signing of winger Connor Hughes from Stalybridge Celtic. Hughes, 25, has a wealth of experience in both the National League and National League North with previous spells at Hyde United, Halifax Town, Bradford Park Avenue and Worcester City.

    A product of Oldham Athletic’s youth academy, the Bolton-born winger went on to make eight appearances for the first team at Boundary Park before joining Hyde United. Hughes spent the majority of last season at Tameside rivals Stalybridge, where he scored ten goals and assisted 19 in 31 appearances for Celtic.

    On his first summer signing, John Flanagan said, 'He’s been a target of mine for a number of seasons but we’ve never been able to get the agreement over the line for one reason or another. He will undoubtedly add more goals to the team, which had been a bit of a problem for us last season. He’s an exciting player, he’s got pace and determination'".

    From NL Pitchero comes confirmation that "Dundee have announced that Elton Ngwatala has signed a two-year deal with the Ladbrokes Premiership outfit. The 24-year-old midfielder has spent three seasons with Kidderminster Harriers but was out of contract at Aggborough. He joined Harriers in December 2015 having previously played for FC Chambly and Beauvais in his home country of France.

    At the end of the 2016/17 season his form was such that Ngwatala had been widely tipped for a move into the Football League"

    At Boston Unitd, "manager Craig Elliott has bolstered his backroom staff by recruiting Richard Boryszczuk as the Pilgrims' chief scout. Boryszczuk (32) has completed a return to The Jakemans Stadium following a six-month stint with rivals Southport. He previously served the Pilgrims between 2014 and 2017."

    And AFC Telford United "confirm Jordan Lussey has left the club following discussions with the management team. Boss Gavin Cowan [said]... 'Jordan played a vital part in our survival last season and is a player I admire. Unfortunately, his circumstances have changed and that made it very difficult for us to retain his services'... The club announced yesterday that Paul Bignot & Bob Harris will not be offered new contracts for next season."


    According to NL Daily, "Salford City defender Michael Nottingham is set to leave the club. The 29-year-old has made an impressive 93 appearances in two seasons at the club since arriving from Solihull Moors ahead of the Ammies’ debut season in the National League North, and lifted the league title for the second time in 2017-18. Despite being a right-back, he notched 11 goals in his first season... In 2017-18, he popped up with four more goals...

    On leaving the club, Nottingham said, 'I’m deeply saddened to say that my time with Salford City has come to an end. It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make because it’s easily been the best two years of my life with so many ups and very little downs. I moved away from home to Manchester, leaving behind family and friends, but gaining new ones at Salford City. I’m extremely proud of my contribution and I’m leaving on the highest note possible. I’m really grateful for the opportunity given to me to play for such an amazing club that is on the rise'".

    17 May 2018


    On Wednesday, Alty striker Jordan Hulme received his award as Step3/4 Player of the Season at the National Game Awards at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea. Above, courtesy of Ian Senior we see coach Chris Parkes, Ian Senior, Stuart Coburn and Jordan Hulme at the Awards event.


    As previously announced, "Altrincham FC's Patrons scheme has been relaunched ahead of the 2018/19 campaign in the National League North after the team gained immediate promotion back into the division. The Club thanks all who have joined or rejoined the scheme, so far.

    "We made a big commitment to Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel in the 2017/18 season to ensure we could provide them with a competitive playing budget and they have duly produced the goods with automatic promotion. Our thoughts now immediately turn to next season as we continue to look forward.

    'With Phil and Neil committed to the club with their recent new contracts, we are now striving to provide them with the best possible playing budget for the new season,” said director Rob Esteva. “Subsequently, all monies raised via the Patrons Scheme will go directly on the squad to boost the playing budget for Phil and Neil.”

    'We already have the forecasts for next season and the playing budget mapped out thanks to Mike Adams's diligent planning, but now promotion has been confirmed, we want to top that figure up and give Parky and Sorvs the best possible chance to succeed in the National League North,” he added.

    'At the last board meeting, we agreed that any funds raised via the Patrons' Club would go directly to boosting that figure allocated to the playing budget.

    'We’ve been working hard on retaining the management team and squad for next season as well as scouting potential new signings, and supporting the team via the Patrons' Scheme will only enhance our chances further.'

    We are looking for supporters to renew or join the Patrons' Scheme for next season which will be the 13th season that it has run.

    For the cost of £50 your name will appear throughout the coming season in the matchday programme and on the soon-to-be-launched new website as a Patron of Altrincham Football Club.

    At the start of the season, every member will be entered into a prize draw, with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with nine guests. Second prize will be hospitality for five people and third prize hospitality for three people in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge.

    If you are interested in becoming a Patron for next season, please forward a cheque, payable to Altrincham Football Club, for £50. Alternatively, you can pay by card by phoning the office (0161 928-1045). If you require any further information please do not hesitate to enquire by e-mail."


    Work started in earnest on Wednesday stripping the surface off the pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium as the accompanying images show.

    Above, we see the early stages of the operation as a tractor and trailer scour the pitch surface before another tractor and trailer take away the grass.


    TASC's Paul Salt writes that the TASC Goal Rush scheme will operate once more in 2018-19. Supporters are invite to join (or re-join) the scheme for 2018/19 by means of the attached form.

    Supporters are asked to sponsor each goal scored by Altrincham next season to a value of their choice. TASC is aiming to raise at least £30 per goal scored next season.


    The Hallmark Security League, [formerly the NW Counties League], reports that "Widnes ended their five-season sojourn in the Hallmark Security League by signing off with a 2-1 win over Burscough in the Macron Challenge Cup final at Fleetwood Town’s Highbury Stadium...

    In a game that was a terrific advert for the league, both sides delivered an engrossing and entertaining 90 minutes of football, played at a brisk pace throughout, with Burscough going toe to toe with opponents that finished 46 points above them in the league table".

    Burscough's goalkeeper in the game was former Altrincham man Joshua Samberg.

    From Barrow comes "A club statement from Managing Director Andrew Casson... As we enter our fifth season, I believe it is important to reflect on what has worked and what has not worked so far... Almost £4m have been ‘invested’ in the club and the return on that has been one promotion, a new boiler system, new floodlights and a nice 3rd round FA Cup tie. While we are proud of these accomplishments, we know we have to do things differently if we want to leave a legacy beyond these. There needs to be a renewed focus on putting money on projects and people that will benefit the town and the club for more than just the short term.

    The second key takeaway is that, currently, Barrow is not capable of sustainably competing for promotion in the National League with its current level of support. The club cannot continue to operate outside its means on the back of crowds around 1000. The club is also limited by not having an academy and having no external facility such as proper training facilities in the town for the first team and youth teams, which can also be used as a revenue stream.

    The third takeaway is that the team needs to represent the town, through its players, its identity and its work ethic. Year over year, the team has seemed to become more and more distant from the town and has turned into a team from elsewhere that occasionally played a home match in Barrow. I think this is why our home record was so poor this past season. I also believe this has had an effect on the commitment and size of our support in the last couple of years.

    The fourth takeaway is that football is changing. The business model we have followed thus far is broken and clubs cannot continue to leverage their future [by] betting on promotion. We saw this nearly broke several teams at our level and below. Money is consolidated at the top and the financial benefits of getting promoted are not what they once were. However, clubs like Accrington and Macclesfield show that a team built on a budget and characterized by team spirit and toughness can experience success.

    All of this means that next season will mark a dramatic transformation in the way the club does business from the first four years. Barrow AFC will go from a club that exists off external investment, to one that runs off the revenue it generates while having an owner who can and will put money in towards projects that generate a return.

    Key changes [include]...

    • The structure and cost for the first team will be closely analysed and brought in line with club revenues. While the scope of the changes required is still being determined, we enter the summer season with a much different ambition for the next year or two. We will be more realistic with our expectations for every season, with our primary aim being to put together a team that works hard, plays good football, and plays with pride for the badge on their shirts.
    • My focus in the next 18 months will be on controlling costs and pushing forward plans to develop both an academy and a secondary facility that can support the football club...
    • In terms of the ground, the idea that we will be redeveloping it or building a new stadium is well and truly laid to rest
    • I will be looking for more contributions from the various supporters' groups....
    • The Community group will be a continued focus, as it is crucial not only to developing and retaining talented local footballers, but to also help people throughout the town develop a positive relationship with the club

    In my brief time working in football, I have learned that a club that is reliant on a single shareholder cannot achieve lasting success. This is because we all work a little less hard than we should because we think the money will bring success... We need volunteers who come down and help make the ground a nice place to come on a match day. We need supporters who convince their friends and co-workers to come down to a match on a Tuesday or Saturday so that we have crowds of 2,000 and not 1,000. All of these things are possible, and the next 12 months will decide what kind of club we want Barrow AFC to be."


    Chester FC report that "Former Salford City Managers Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson have signed two-year contracts at the Swansway Chester Stadium.

    Morley said, 'Our ambition is success. Defining success this year for us will be getting into the Play-Offs. After speaking to the board, they don’t want to consolidate by any means. I’m not up to date with everything at Chester, but I know that they had problems last year and they want to see stability.

    'They want to see good football on the grass, they want us to work with the community and the setup and we’re willing to do that. We got opportunities as 25/26 year old managers, so it’s important we look back where we have come from and make sure that the pathway is clear. We’ve got a lot of energy and a lot of drive. I think you’re born with it. You’re born with what you are, it’s in you. We’ve got that fire in our bellies. We like to drive things and like our players to portray what we are on the pitch. A lot of people would say that’s aggression and that we’re bullies, that’s rubbish.

    'We’re winners. We don’t do consolidation. Whatever people think of us, we get a group of lads together and once they get that shirt on it’s all about high standards. We want to keep that momentum going we’ve had over the last nine years. If lads want to buy into that, then we will be successful. If not, we will shake hands and they’ll go separate ways'...

    Exactly one week after their exit, they were appointed Joint-Managers at Chester. 'We’re delighted to get back into the game. It’s been a bit of an indifferent week – being so successful last year but leaving Salford. It’s been a dull week; it’s been hard. But, as soon as we were made aware Chester might be interested, we drove down and had a chat. We liked what we heard. It’s a great football club, great playing surface – which attracts players – and it was an easy sell for us.'

    'It’s going to be a tough challenge. I know a lot of people realise we had a big budget at Salford last season and they said it was all about the money. Not really. Money doesn’t buy you everything... We love a challenge. We’re not people that like comfy slippers, we like to be on the edge of our seats. While we’re driving it I’m sure we will be successful while we’re here.

    'We were fortunate last year where we worked with a budget that was probably superior to a lot of the sides. But that doesn’t guarantee success. You still have to manage these big players'...

    'If our fans see the work ethic, the desire and commitment from the players on that grass – you start to get the support on side and the results come with it. Myself and Jonno are coming here to win games of football.'

    The appointment was made official yesterday evening, and the hard work began from the very first minute for Morley and Johnson.

    Ryan Astles has already departed the club for Southport, and recruitment will be critical this summer for the Managers. Morley said, '8pm last night when it came out, players and agents were on the phone. They’ll be asking if we’re interested in X, Y and Z and of course we are. There’s some players at Chester still under contract we will inherit that we want to work with.

    'We will be starting from scratch almost though, with getting 12-13 players in over six weeks. It will be tough but players we’ve worked with over the years will vouch for us and hopefully it will come easy for us. I like to think we have a good reputation for our recruitment. It will be a bit different this time from Salford, we had scouts and a Sporting Director bringing players to us to say yes or no. Whereas now we will have to go out and get the players, it’s going to be difficult but we’re looking forward to it'.

    Whilst the First Team season is over, the youth still have a big night ahead of them at Walsall FC. Tonight, they face FC Halifax in the National League Alliance U19 Cup Final. A league title, and also a 4-1 Semi Final win over Boreham Wood Blues, have made it a sterling season for Calum McIntyre’s side...

    The Management Team are excited to work with the system... 'The pathway has to be clear. We’ve said before that if 16/17 year old lads are good enough to play football, they will play. That’s a fact. These lads will get an opportunity if they are good enough, and they are good enough; having done our due diligence on them last night. To get to the final of that competition you have to be good and fair play to Calum who has directed them in the right way.'

    Morley concluded... 'To define that success this year is definitely the Play-Offs. If we can win it, we will go and win it. But we’ve got to be realistic at the start of a new project'"

    NL Daily reports that "New AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan is planning to hold talks with chairman Andy Pryce about the club going full-time...

    The club’s hierarchy and former Bucks boss Rob Edwards were keen on the idea last season. It would see Telford go from being semi-professional to professional, making them more competitive in the National League North.

    Cowan said, 'I will be sitting down with the chairman this week and we will be making a decision about where we go with that. I think a realistic thing will be somewhere in the middle. But I have got a bit of a proposal to the chairman, who has been so supportive and obviously appointed me on Thursday. But since then we have had about a thousand phone calls between us both so we are working very hard between us to get that established'".

    At Bradford PA, "The season may have only finished a week ago but already Mark Bower is preparing for next season. Negotiations are on going with a number of players but Mark would like to announce that Adam Smith, Javan Vidal and Lee Kight have all been released from the club".

    Darlington have "signed midfielder Liam Hughes. Liam, 25, is an attacking midfielder who started his career at Cambridge [United], for whom he made 177 appearances in the National League and League Two, scoring 14 goals...

    He then moved on to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in January 2016 and made 11 appearances for them, before returning to England and signing for Barrow, for whom he made 42 appearances in the National. After a brief spell at Guiseley, he then moved to Essex and joined Billericay, helping them to win promotion from the Bostik League in the season just ended."

    Another club with new management is Guiseley who confirm that they "are delighted to announce the appointment of a new management team with Russ O’Neill and Marcus Bignot taking the reins at Nethermoor as Joint Managers with Paul Clayton as Assistant Manager.

    After a turbulent 2017/18 season, both on and off the pitch, the club will be reverting to a part-time basis to re-group, stabilise and consolidate under new Chairman Gary Douglas. With that in mind they have hand-picked a management team who have extensive experience of working at this level on limited resources but also being successful at the same time and both O’Neill and Bignot have won the division before.

    Guiseley’s recently appointed Chairman, Gary Douglas, said 'We have been a long term admirer of the work Russ did at Alfreton Town along with Nicky Law in gaining promotion to the Premier Division and to the brink of League football at their peak... The fact that he was at the club for 10 years, we feel, says everything not only about the great job he did but also about his loyalty and character as an individual.'

    O’Neill left Alfreton Town to make way for a new investor and manager combination after the club had given him and Law a testimonial to say thank you for the most successful 10 years in the club’s history.

    Douglas added, 'Since leaving Alfreton Russ has been working for Burnley FC in recruitment and has turned down the opportunity to go back into management on several occasions so we feel fortunate to have him as part of our new management team'...

    Bignot’s first managerial appointment came in July 2011 with National League North side Solihull Moors. His five year tenure at the club was a great success... A visionary he also had a desire and passion to build a Community Football Club and not only a football team at Solihull Moors... He was approached by League Two side Grimsby Town in November 2016... He and The Mariners parted company at the beginning of April 2017, when seven points off the play-offs.

    Chester FC appointed Bignot in September 2017, with financial problems announced in January... Bignot gained many admirers within football for the way he managed the situation with integrity and maintained his professionalism. He left Chester FC in April 2018.

    Completing the management team is Paul Clayton who was a thorn in many a team’s side over the years, most notably for Alfreton Town...

    Douglas concluded, 'We were overwhelmed by the number of candidates applying for the post'".

    Nuneaton Town "have agreed an undisclosed fee for the transfer of Luther Wildin to Stevenage FC. The versatile 20 year old leaves the Boro to link up with his former manager, Dino Maamria.

    Wildin became a first team regular after joining the club last summer, making the right-back position his own... His displays at the Boro earned Wildin his first full international cap for Antigua and Barbuda back in March".

    Stockport County boss "Jim Gannon has collected the PFA Fair Play Award on the club’s behalf at the National Game Awards held at Chelsea FC... The award recognises County for having the cleanest record for dissent and foul and abusive language across Steps 1-4. The annual award is decided by the FA’s disciplinary department.

    Jim collected a similar award with County ten years ago, as the Hatters won the equivalent prize for the Football League. He was also honoured with a Fair Play trophy at Dundalk in 2005. Throughout his entire playing career at County, Jim never received a single red card in 505 appearances for the club.

    Jim said, 'I’m very pleased to collected this award because we haven’t had a red card in the league for the last two seasons and, since I returned, not one player has been sent off for violent conduct, serious foul play, professional fouls, deliberate handball, dissent or foul and abusive language. The award is important, because it demonstrates that you can be successful and develop players whilst playing the game in the right way.'"

    16 May 2018


    News of a former Alty loanee comes from NL Daily which tells us that "Following on from the retained list yesterday, Wrexham AFC have announced that they have cancelled Sam Wedgbury’s contract by mutual consent. Manager Sam Ricketts said, 'I have been speaking with all the players who we have under contract to get people ready for next seasons challenge and I only want players who are 100% committed to that journey. Having spoken to Sam it was clear that he has been struggling with the distance of travel in for training and that he could not guarantee me the level of commitment for next season we will require.

    'It was a tough decision to let Sam leave but we understand the reasons for him wanting to move back home and have made the decision in the best interest of the club and the player. Sam has been a popular member of the squad with fans and players alike and on behalf of the club I’d like to thank him for his fine contribution to the club and wish him the very best for the future.'

    Sam Wedgbury spoke to the club website and said, 'I’ve always had a great relationship with the Wrexham fans and it’s been a privilege to play for them at the Racecourse. Living in Sheffield the travel across to Wrexham for training has become increasingly difficult for me, following on from several seasons living away from the family home.'"


    According to NL Daily, "The Chester Chronicle reports that the former Salford City duo Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley are understood to be the front runners to take over the managerial role at Chester FC...

    The duo could be set for a swift return to the game with the Blues, whose search for a successor to Marcus Bignot has been ongoing for over a month, with the club forced to look elsewhere having reached an impasse with their initial chosen candidate, Neil Redfearn. But talks were held with the duo and other candidates over the weekend and the club are understood to have made a decision on who they want to lead the football club in the National League North, with Morley and Johnson in the frame."

    The National League reports that "Russ O’Neill and Marcus Bignot are the new joint managers of Vanarama National League North side Guiseley. The duo are joined by Paul Clayton who arrives as assistant manager. The Lions are also going back to being part-time.

    The ex Solihull Moors and Chester boss is joined by the former Alfreton Town manager. 'We have been a long term admirer of the work Russ did at Alfreton Town along with Nicky Law in gaining promotion to the Premier Division and to the brink of League football at their peak... We are a family club and at this point in time we need everybody connected with the club to pull together as we aim to recover from what was a really testing 12 months for the club' reports a club spokesman.

    Still in God's own county, York City tell us that "Defender Kallum Griffiths has today joined York City after leaving rivals Spennymoor Town. Griffiths, 28, has spent the last nine seasons at Spennymoor helping the club win three promotions and the FA Vase. A right-back, he also scored five goals last season as The Moors narrowly missed out on play-off qualification.

    Griffiths spent eight years on the books at Sunderland as a schoolboy and two years in the youth team team ranks at Bradford City. In 2017, he was voted 'Player of the Year’ by Spennymoor supporters and was also named in the League XI for the Northern Premier League Premier Division."

    Also, "Centreback Josh Rogerson has today signed his first professional contract with York City after graduating from the club's Academy. York-born Rogerson, 18, joined his hometown club seven years ago and has been a regular this season in the reserves. 'It's always been a dream and this is all I have wanted to do since I have been a kid,' he said. 'I am a local lad, I went to Huntington School, and I have played for the club since I was about 10'... Rogerson is the second Academy player to join the professional ranks at the club this week following the signing of midfielder Harry Thompson."

    Spennymoor Town "announce their retained list for the 2018/19 National League North season:

    Retained list for 2018/19: James Curtis, Rob Ramshaw, Jamie Chandler, Ryan Hall, David Foley, Mark Anderson, Andrew Johnson, Shane Henry

    Option taken on: Glen Taylor

    Opted not to sign: Kallum Griffiths and Joe Tait were offered improved deals but chose to move on for their own reasons.

    Option not taken on: Dan Lowson, Chris Chantler, Matthew Dixon, Jordan Porter, Bradley Fewster

    Released: Greg Rutherford, Nathan Lowe (returning to parent club), Adam Curry (returning to parent club), Christopher Mason has agreed to re-sign on a one year deal offered to him by the club.

    Moors boss Jason Ainsley spoke after the announcement, 'It was a very difficult decision for Tommy Miller and myself to not take up the option to retain some of the squad. We felt it was the right decision to let Chris Chantler, Jordan Porter and Matthew Dixon move on. They have been fantastic professionals and have never missed a training session despite the considerable travel. They were unable to force their way into the team towards the back end of the season...

    'Dan Lowson has been a tremendous servant to the club and has been instrumental in getting the club to where it is now, but we still feel that the goalkeeping department is an area that we need to strengthen... “Bradley Fewster has suffered from a lack of opportunities and hasn’t had a run in the team with the way we set up last season. We... have offered him a revised deal, so we will await his decision.

    'Joe Tait has unfortunately not decided to take up a new deal the club offered... Kallum Griffiths has also not opted to stay on with the club after nine years. He has been with myself and the chairman for so long he has been part of the family. Unfortunately, Kallum has decided he wishes to go out and play full-time football with York City, which is something we couldn’t offer him at Spennymoor...

    'Finally, we have opted against offering a contract to Greg Rutherford after he had a short spell with us at the end of last season.... We are delighted to say that Chris Mason has agreed to stay at the club for another year, meaning that Chris is in his 10th season with the club'".

    At Hereford FC, "Bulls' boss, Peter Beadle is set to meet with members of his squad to reveal his released and retained list for the 2018/19 National League North campaign... The Bulls boss will then meet with the remaining players on Thursday evening... Meanwhile, season ticket sales continue to go well, with 300 season tickets sold within the first day and a half of sales".

    Bradford PA confirm that "Adam Boyes has been awarded with the Vanarama National League North player of the month for April. Boyes was instrumental during the final push of the season which saw the team secure 7th place and a place in the playoffs".

    Blyth Spartans "announce the departure of defender David Atkinson, who has joined Icelandic Premier League side IBV Football Club. Atkinson re-joined Spartans in October 2017 after a short spell [at] IBV Football Club, and they have come back in for the former Carlisle United man with a full-time deal that was 'too good to turn down' for both club and player.

    Atkinson first joined Blyth Spartans in December 2016, initially on loan from Carlisle United before joining permanently in early 2017. He’s made 23 appearances this term, adding to the 15 he made in his initial spell with the club. And manager Alun Armstrong was adamant the decision was out of his hand. 'He’s decided to make the move. We’ll never hold a player back from playing professional football. The deal is a good one for the player, and as a club as we’ve generated a substantial fee that will help us build towards next season'".

    Meanwhile Blyth Spartans also have a video as "manager Alun Armstrong speaks to BSAFC TV after signing a new two-year plus year option deal at Croft Park."

    At Boston United we learn that "The FA has placed the names of 137 goalscorers from this season's competition on the Nike Ordem V Cup Final ball to be used at the 137th edition of the showpiece fixture. The Ball For All celebrates players from Step 6 of the National League system through to the Premier League, who all share the accolade of being a goalscorer in the world's oldest domestic cup competition.

    The names included represent goalscorers from every round, beginning at the extra preliminary round through to the semi-finals and also include a selection of the season’s most memorable and impactful strikes.

    Among the names represented on the Ball For All are Liam Pullen of Chipping Sodbury Town, whose strike in the extra preliminary round was the club's first-ever goal in the competition [and] Noah Keats, whose goal in the fourth round qualifying saw Truro City become the first Cornish side to reach the first round proper since 1969... [as well as] James Clifton of Boston United, who scored twice in the Pilgrims' second round qualifying replay at Haughmond in September.

    Andy Ambler, The FA's Director of Professional Game Relations, said 'One of the most special things about The Emirates FA Cup is that a goalscorer in the extra preliminary round shares the same accolade as some of football’s most famous names'...

    At the close of the season, The FA will have distributed a total of £14.6 million in competition prize money to the 737 competing teams".


    According to the Hull Daily Mail, "North Ferriby United have a new owner once again as Jamie Waltham’s often controversial time in charge of the club was brought to an end last night.

    Waltham, who was only at the helm at the Villagers for just short of six months, having taken over from Steve and Eman Forster, has passed the club over to Carl and Terry Chadwick of Chadwick Builders, who have acquired the ground’s naming rights as part of the deal. The move brings an end to a turbulent time in charge for former Ferriby player Waltham, who drew anger from some supporters with his efforts to relocate the club and then upset many in the village with his plans to house travellers on the pitch in an effort to generate money.

    Despite his difficult time in charge Waltham insists he has no regrets taking ownership of the club and says he leaves the Villagers on a far sounder footing than when he found them, having dramatically cut an unsustainable wage bill and reduced the club losses.

    Speaking to the Mail from India, where he has relocated with work, Mr Waltham said 'The forms got completed and signed yesterday transferring 100% of the shares to the new owners. I no longer own the club. I am currently working for the United Foundation in India providing vulnerable children with a good place to live, so I thought it would be better with owners who can be hands on and give it their all. My location means I can’t do that. I could have but feel it’s better for people living in the same country...

    'I’ve no regrets because the job was threefold,' explained Mr Waltham. 'Firstly to severely reduce the £5,000 a week plus wage bill whilst being competitive on the pitch. We achieved this because the club now operates on around £1,600 per week and that includes players, management, kit man, physio and ground staff. On the pitch the current regime picked up exactly twice as many points in the league as the last regime and a lot of credit must go to the excellent management as people in the game would have thought this impossible.

    'Secondly we wanted to bring back the local pride on the pitch. We now have only three players and staff traveling from out of town. Again, credit must go to the management for having the guts to play untested local talent at this level.

    'Finally, we wanted to make the club break even this season. We fell slightly short, with a lot of ongoing commitments from a good while back. We ended up around £20,000 shy which isn’t too bad considering it had been around £100,000 for the past two to three years.'

    Part of the new ownership deal which sees Chadwick Builders take over as owners and stadium sponsors brings with it a £30,000 investment spread over three years, all of which will be put back into clearing the club’s debts.

    While the objectives of the new owners are not yet clear, it’s understood any plans for relocation have now been torn up with Ferriby set to stay in the village and compete in the EVO-STIK Premier Division next season following their relegation from National League North...

    Waltham added, 'Ferriby lost between £300,000 to £400,000 over the last few years and in six months we’ve reduced the costs to below a third whilst becoming better on the pitch. We nearly broke even and as long as the club sticks to this budget it will only make money moving forward. So Ferriby is in the best financial state it has been in for years'".


    The EvoStik League reports that "The Football Association has reshuffled the original allocation of Non-League clubs at Steps 1 to 4 for next season after Andover Town declined promotion to the Southern League.

    As a result of the decision by the Wessex League runners-up and the vacancy created at Step 4 in the Southern League's West Division, officials at Wembley confirmed the knock-on effects and reallocation of a number of clubs at noon on Tuesday.

    AFC Mansfield are arguably the biggest winners after earning a late promotion to Step 4 in the Northern Premier League's new East Division as the Step 5 club with the best points per game average following their third-placed finish in the Northern Counties East Football League.

    Chasetown, due to move into the Southern League's Central Division when the original allocation was released by the FA last Thursday, are now staying put and will kick off in the new EVO-STIK League West Division.

    Brighouse Town's fans, players and officials will also be running the rule over a whole new list of competitors for season 2018-19 after being switched out of EVO-STIK League West and into EVO-STIK League East.

    Yaxley and Peterborough Sports would have been among Brighouse Town's opponents but instead will now start in the Southern League's Central Division after being asked to switch competitions.

    Southern League Cinderford Town are the final club making new plans after they were reallocated a berth in the Southern League's West Division instead of the Central Division.

    In accordance with FA Regulations, club appeals to Wembley over the allocation must be made within seven days of today’s announcement with any subsequent hearings set to take place at the end of May and start of June.

    The FA undertook a major reallocation of clubs this summer following the creation of the new Midlands divisions for season 2018-19.

    Carried out by the FA Leagues Committee to iron out geographical anomalies, cut down on travelling costs and time for fans, players and officials and encourage more Step 5 clubs to climb the pyramid, the biggest shake-up to the structure of Non-League in more than a decade since 2004 has seen the creation of new Step 3 and 4 divisions covering the Midlands region.

    In total, the 276 clubs currently playing in Steps 1 to 4 are increasing by 20 to 296 when the two new divisions kick-off in August.

    Across the board, the reshuffle had seen the three current Step 3 divisions of 24 clubs increase to four divisions of 22 clubs while the six divisions at Step 4 currently run by the Northern Premier League, Southern League and Isthmian League have risen from 136 clubs playing in six divisions to seven 20 club divisions.

    To achieve the FA's aims, only the bottom clubs in the current Step 3 divisions were relegated at the end of 2017-18 season. In addition, only the clubs finishing last in the six divisions currently operating at Step 4 were relegated with 26 clubs set to come up from Step 5.

    As a result of the shake-up, the NPL's clubs at Step 4 voted in March to switch from a north/south geographical split to an east/west allocation for 2018-19 and beyond."

    15 May 2018


    Altrincham FC Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, has submitted the following article for inclusion in this week's Sale and Altrincham Messenger...

    "Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson (left) has given his Evo-Stik Northern Premier League champions a resounding vote of confidence by retaining no fewer than 15 of them for next season.

    After wrapping up the title with two games to spare, Parkinson turned his attention to requirements for the Vanarama National League North and soon concluded the bulk of his current squad were up to making an impact at a higher level.

    There are likely to be key additions during the summer, but there will still be a familiar look to the Alty line-up when the new campaign kicks off after Parkinson went for continuity in the shape of players who repeatedly repaid his faith in them last season.

    The entire defensive unit has been kept on, with the exception of Tim Deasy, who has retired, with keeper Tony Thompson, full-backs Shaun Densmore, Andy White and Connor Hampson and centre-backs Ben Harrison, Tom Hannigan and James Jones all on the retained list.

    Winger John Johnston will again terrorise opposing full-backs with his pace, while skipper Jake Moult, Simon Richman and Max Harrop have all been given the nod to carry on in central midfield. Top scorer Jordan Hulme has committed himself to another season, as reported in The Messenger last week, and he will again be supported by James Poole, Josh Hancock and Tom Peers.

    One well-known face that will be missing from Parkinson’s support staff will be goalkeeping coach Ian Senior, who is stepping down after 11 years in the post.

    ‘Winning the league makes for a perfect swan song, so after talks with Phil, I made the decision to take a back seat,’ said the ex-Alty keeper. ‘I will still be seen very regularly at the club, dealing with all the kit issues as proprietor of SKkits, and also as a supporter of this great club.

    ‘I have worked with some quality keepers and would like to think I have played a part in their development. Stuart Coburn tops the list, while, this past season, I like to think I helped Tony Thompson to be the best keeper in the division.’"


    The identities of all fifteen of Altrincham's retained personnel for 2018-19 have now been revealed (below).

    It is expected that a number of players who played for the Club last season, but who are not in the list below, will nevertheless be invited back for pre-season training.

    Jake MOULT (d.o.b. 10 February, 1989 in Stoke on Trent)

    Lee Sinnott signed midfielder Jake Moult on a 93-day loan from Alfreton Town in late August 2012. Previously, Jake had been a summer trialist at Altrincham in 2007.

    In early November 2012, Jake formally moved to Altrincham on a free transfer. He captained the side for much of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons before being formally named as team captain for 2017/18. Jake is also a very effective centre-back, when required in that capacity.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 259(+27), 28 goals.

    James POOLE (d.o.b. 20 March 1990, in Stockport)

    Midfielder/number ten, James Poole signed from Salford City on 16 May 2017 and was a key playmaker and goalscorer before injury curtailed his season.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 34(+2), 13 goals.

    Tom HANNIGAN (d.o.b. 30 June 1988)

    Tom Hannigan, who was formerly the captain of AFC Fylde, joined Altrincham on 23 May 2016. After a first campaign for the club which was blighted by injury, in 2017-18 he re-established himself as a consistent starter and excellent performer.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 51(+5), 4 goals.

    Max HARROP (d.o.b. 30 June 1993 in Oldham)

    A lively and skilful midfielder, with a tremendous shot, Max joined Altrincham on the eve of the opening game of the 2017-18 season.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 25(+13), 5 goals

    Connor HAMPSON (d.o.b. 23 August, 1992)

    A left-back who can also operate as a central defender, Connor joined Altrincham, initially on a month's loan, from Stockport County on 2 November 2017, before being released from Edgeley Park and signing for Altrincham.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 23, 1 goal

    John JOHNSTON (d.o.b. 28 September 1994)

    Winger John Johnston was manager Phil Parkinson's first signing in mid-May 2017 and, during the season, he added the team's penalty-taking role to his exciting wing-play and goal-scoring from open play.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 49(+3), 20 goals.

    Shaun DENSMORE (d.o.b. 11 November 1988, in Liverpool)

    Signed initially on a month's contract on 12 September 2008, Shaun made his Alty debut on 16th September 2008. After a series of injuries in recent seasons, Shaun re-established himself in 2017-18 at right-back but also showed his versatility with appearances at left-back and in midfield.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 341(+21), 26 goals.

    Andy WHITE (d.o.b 8 October 1992)

    Andy was signed on 21 December 2017 from Southport. Primarily a left-back, he also demonstated that he can operate effectively on either flank.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 15(+3), 1 goal.

    Tom PEERS (d.o.b. 23 October, 1995)

    Tom joined Altrincham in summer 2017 and played in a variety of forward positions, centrally, as a number ten and on the wing. His eleven goals were an excellent return, especially given that nearly a half of his appearances were from the bench.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 26(+20), 11 goals.

    James JONES (d.o.b. 13 March 1997)

    James, a centre/right-back, initially played as a trialist for Alty in July 2017 before making his debut on 23 August 2017. He formed effective partnerships with both Ben Harrison and Tom Hannigan at the heart of the Altrincham defence.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 31(+4), 3 goals.

    Jordan HULME (d.o.b. 23 November 1990)

    Jordan Hulme signed for Altrincham on 13 July 2017, and was the club's leading scorer as well as the NPL's Player of the Season. He was also named as Alty's Player of the Season.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 52(+2), 31 goals.

    Anthony THOMPSON (d.o.b. 4 November 1994 in Liverpool)

    Goalkeeper Tony Thompson joined the club in summer 2017 and made his first appearance for Alty in a pre-season game on 8 July 2017. He was instrumental in the team conceding by far the fewest goals in the division during the season.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 48.

    Ben HARRISON (d.o.b. 29 October 1990)

    Ben, a centre-back, signed for Altrincham, from Nantwich Town, on 16 May 2017 and was ever-present until injured at the back-end of the campaign.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 44, 2 goals.

    Simon RICHMAN (d.o.b. 2 June 1990 at Ormskirk)

    Midfielder Simon Richman became Lee Sinnott's first signing at Altrincham in summer 2011. In addition to his energetic midfield performances, Simon again proved himself as a reliable right-back when required to play that role.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 231(+49), 18 goals.

    Josh HANCOCK (d.o.b. 5 September, 1990)

    Signed from Nantwich Town in May 2017, Josh amply demonstrated his expertise as a goal-scoring midfielder/number ten.

    Altrincham appearances to date: 48(+3), 20 goals


    Southport Football Club "are pleased to confirm that the proposed renovation work on the Merseyrail Community Stadium begins today. As confirmed in late April, the Main Stand seating will be replaced to accommodate our Old Gold colour scheme, the building interior will be redecorated and refurbished, and the Main Stand roof, press box and dugouts will all be replaced.

    The Club expects this first phase of work to be completed ahead of the start of the 2018/19 season.

    Above: Alty lost 3-0 at Southport in August 2015, giving the Sandgrounders their first win of the season. Southport's plans include covering the open end at Haig Avenue, which is shown above.

    In addition to the known asbestos issues, the Club was forced to move back the start date after reports of wildlife habitation (i.e. bats and birds) were received. After complying with industry standard checks, we can confirm none of our feathered or nocturnal friends have taken up residence at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.

    This delay does, however, mean the Club has decided to move back the planned pitch renovation works to the 2019/20 pre-season. Starting the pitch works from today would not give the pitch enough time to recover ahead of the season. Additionally, the considerable work of relaying the pitch drainage systems will also be less disruptive next season, once initial stadium works have been completed, as well as reducing costs.

    The Board again stresses that the full stadium vision has not changed from the designs presented to supporters in March and that by the time the Main Stand opens for pre-season, a large number of cosmetic and functional upgrades will have been installed. The current stadium redevelopment is the most significant ground refurbishment work conducted at Southport FC for decades but, at the same time, this schedule ensures that plans for success, both on and off the pitch, are not jeopardised by the construction".

    Less onerous works are taking place at Hereford where "A temporary one-way system has been put in place on the entrance to the Merton Meadow Car Park opposite the club office / Addison’s Bar to allow for building works and car park/road improvements as part of the new flats being built opposite the ground. Vehicles are permitted to enter via Blackfriars Street, but must exit via the bottom of the car park onto the new inner-city relief road.

    The car parking spaces directly opposite the club are also now unavailable. The works are expected to take around 18 weeks to complete... Supporters are also reminded not to park outside the Players’ Entrance or Radford’s Bar, as these car parks are hired out and patrolled by an external company, you may be given a ticket if you park here".

    AFC Telford United "announce the signing of Ross White on a new one-year deal. White started his career with his hometown club Wrexham... White subsequently went on to join Southport... White signed for the Bucks in June 2017.

    Ross was ever present in the Bucks starting eleven last season, winning the Players' Player award at the club’s end of season awards night in April. Manager Gavin Cowan [said]... 'Ross was a real stalwart in our back line last season and I am pleased to have retained his services for next season... We can now take that experience into what we believe will be a successful season for the club'".

    The Banbury Guardian reports that "Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin blamed poor decision making at both ends of the pitch for his side’s Vanarama National League North play-off final defeat at Harrogate Town.

    A first half brace from Dominic Knowles and a second half goal from the league’s player of the season Joe Leesley sank Saints 3-0 at the CNG Stadium. Knowles took his goals tally to an incredible nine in three home games... And a fine team goal ended with Leesley clinically netting from close range midway through the second half.

    Wilkin said, 'Up until the penalty it was quite a close game and there wasn’t a lot in it. But when the crucial moments came along we didn’t come up with the goods and that’s the reality of it. We allowed the game to move away from us, when you don’t take your chances in big games you end up with a result like that. We always knew it was going to be tough game but we gave away poor goals through poor decision making, that’s what has ultimately cost us...

    Even after going 2-0 down we had chances to get back into the game but we didn’t take them. We had a couple of efforts cleared off the line but Harrogate were always in a comfortable position'".

    Kidderminster Harriers tell us that "Goalkeeper Tom Palmer says he’s relishing his varied opportunities at Aggborough after re-signing with the club. The teenage shot-stopper penned a new contract with Harriers last week. It continues a fine run of progress for the young Academy graduate, who has been regularly involved with the first-team squad and is also assisting with coaching.

    from Stockport County we hear that "It has been another year of growth and further positive steps forward. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the fans for their immense and unyielding support...

    Currently the management team are in discussion with a number of players who are out of contract about their futures at the club and those talks will continue through this week... However, we can confirm that the following players remain under contract for 2018/2019:

    • Ben Hinchcliffe
    • Ian Ormson
    • Sam Minihan
    • Dan Cowan
    • Scott Duxbury
    • Paul Turnbull
    • Sam Walker
    • Adam Thomas
    • Matty Warburton
    • Darren Stephenson
    • Adam Etches
    • Szymon Czubik

    Defender Jordan Downing has agreed terms on his first senior contract with Stockport County. The 6'4" centre-half has impressed everyone at Edgeley Park after coming through the ranks of County’s Academy to earn his first deal.

    Manager Jim Gannon said, 'It’s great to see another young player from the Academy earn a professional contract. Jordan has all the attributes to become a success at our level. For a central defender he has the key physical and defensive requirements. He is tall but technically good in the air. He’s also a ‘front foot’ defender who anticipates and times challenges well with the right aggression to win the ball. Jordan is also a confident footballer who displays a good range of control and passing skills...

    'I’ve always said that youth is the lifeblood of our future, and there are many examples from our recent past of the part that our young players can play in our future growth. The challenge is there for Jordan to follow in the footsteps of Ashley Williams, Michael Raynes, Josh Thompson and James Tunnicliffe who all started their league careers as teenagers at Edgeley Park. The central defence is an area that the first team has to plan well for future improvements due to the current predominance of part-time players in that position. I feel that Jordan has a self-confidence and maturity that well allow him to compete in the first team squad this pre-season and over time will grow into a very capable first team defender'".

    Over the Pennines, York City tell us that "Midfielder Harry Thompson has signed his first professional contract at York City after graduating from the club's Academy. Thompson, 18, joined City after being released by his hometown club Middlesbrough three years ago. He was a regular in the reserve team this season...

    He said, 'I signed for Boro when I was about nine but got released at 15 because of my height. No lad wants to be released but I came back stronger. I wanted to prove myself and it has motivated me to be where I am now'".


    NL Pitchero tells us that "Graham Alexander has been confirmed as the new manager of Salford City on a four-year contract. The former Fleetwood Town boss takes over after the exit of joint bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley last week.

    The 46-year-old left Scunthorpe United earlier this year and he says the challenge of taking the Ammies forward is one he couldn’t turn down. Alexander told the club's official website, 'I was immediately impressed by the scale of the ambition this club and the owners have... There is a great deal of work to be done on and off the pitch to fulfil the potential of Salford City and I can’t wait to get started'...

    Ammies' owner Gary Neville believes he has the right man, 'After what happened last week we had to react quickly. Sporting director Chris Casper led the process and when he made the club aware of the opportunity to secure someone of Graham’s experience and credibility we moved decisively. We have acquired the highest quality of manager in Graham to continue the great work that has been done over the last four seasons. We have had stability at this club and we now look forward to a new chapter with Graham, who has accepted a four-year deal.'

    Casper said Alexander has the makings of a great manager and he is excited that the Preston North End legend has agreed terms. 'When we met with him, we were impressed with his values, his passion and his drive,' the Sporting Director said. 'His wealth of experience will certainly benefit Salford as we look to take on the challenge of playing in the National League. Graham will be joined by Chris Lucketti and we are delighted to have someone of his credibility joining the team also'".


    According to SkySports, "Prospective Sunderland owner Stewart Donald has agreed to sell Eastleigh to open the way for his takeover at the Stadium of Light, the National League club have announced. Donald has a deal in place to take control on Wearside from current owner Ellis Short on behalf of an international consortium, but league rules prevent one person from holding a controlling interest in two different clubs.

    In a statement released on their official website Eastleigh said, "Owner and majority shareholder Stewart Donald has agreed to sell the club to the existing board members, along with a number of senior management staff currently working for the club."

    14 May 2018


    Alty Director, Bill Waterson writes, "On and off the field, Altrincham Football Club have built on the momentum of last season's glorious conclusion. Phil Parkinson has been talking to the title winning squad over the last couple of weeks and we are now in a position to confirm our retained list, the players who will be at the heart of our National League North campaign next season. You will be able to collect your virtual Alty player stickers at 12 noon, 3pm and 6pm on Monday as we release the all important names on social and on the website. And if you miss the fun during the day, the website will have a list of all our retained players by 6pm."

    Bill adds...

    Digital stickers? What are they?

    "Remember those halcyon days of youth where the sun always shone, where people always had a smile on their faces and life was so much simpler? Remember your football sticker collection, and the real frisson of excitement you had as you ripped open the next packet to see if you had any new players?

    Well, for a bit of fun, we thought we would have a go at recreating that drama as we announce the retained list for Alty FC today. So, we are releasing three 'digital' packets of stickers today online at three-hourly intervals from 12 noon to whet your appetite for the season ahead.

    One thing we can guarantee is that you will complete the set with these three packs. And the excitement does not end there – when we make new signings, there will be further stickers released. Of course, the website remains the core repository for information for the football club, so if you just want to see the full retained list at one go, check the website at 6pm and all the players will be listed there".


    When Altrincham kick off the 2018-19 season at Step 2 of the non-League pyramid, it will only be two years since we last competed at National League North level. Nevertheless, in that short period since 2016-17, no fewer than nine clubs have moved out of the division, either up or down. For 2018-19 only six clubs who will play in the division have never played at a higher level than National League North, whilst 13 (including Altrincham) have previously played at one step, or more, further up football's pyramid.

    Those that have moved upwards from National League North since we were last involved are AFC Fylde, FC Halifax Town, Harrogate Town and Salford City, whilst Gloucester City have been moved to a more southerly division, and the following teams have been relegated or demoted and remain at a lower level; Tamworth, Gainsborough Trinity, Worcester City and Stalybridge Celtic.

    None of our opponents in 2018-19 will be playing Altrincham for the first time, though some of our opponents now operate under a different guise from when we first encountered them. Listed below are all of the 22 clubs in the division for 2018-19, suffixed by a zero (0) if they are currently playing at their highest-ever level, or by a minus number the gap between where they are now and where they have been highest in the pyramid historically (whether under their current name or as a forerunner club) e.g. Chester City (-3) indicates that the club is now operating at three steps lower than their highest-ever level, when they were playing as Chester or Chester City.

    The 22 Clubs in National League North 2018-19

    Group 1: EIGHT current National League North clubs who have had to re-form after financial collapse...

    1. AFC Telford United (-1) Formed in 2004, formerly Telford United, who went into administration that year.
    2. Bradford Park Avenue (-5) The original BPA played in the Football League from 1908-70 when they failed to gain re-election; they were liquidated in 1974 and the new BPA was formed in 1987.
    3. Chester FC (-3) Formed in 2010 after Chester City were wound-up.
    4. Darlington (-3) Original club went into administration in 2012. Reformed initially as Darlington 1883.
    5. Hereford (-4) Original club, Hereford United, folded in December 2014
    6. Leamington (-1) Formerly AP Leamington, the original club folded in 1988. The new club was set up in 2000.
    7. Nuneaton Town (-1) - Forerunners, Nuneaton Borough, were liquidated in 2008 and reformed as Nuneaton Town. The list of member clubs of the NLN, issued by the National League in May 2018, calls them Nuneaton Borough again.
    8. Spennymoor Town (0) In 2005, Spennymoor United folded and failed to complete the season. Neighbours Evenwood Town then joined up with the skeleton of Spennymoor United to form Spennymoor Town later in 2005.

    Group 2: TWO current National League North clubs who have been forcibly demoted in their history but have not gone bust (excluding BPA who are listed above)...

    1. Boston United (-2) Entered into a CVA and were demoted to Conference North, saving Altrincham from relegation!
    2. Southport (-3) Southport were not re-elected to the Football League in 1978.

    Right: Elliot Newby is congratulated on his goal at Bradford PA in March 2017, when we were last in the National League North.

    Group 3: SIX current National League North clubs playing at a lower level than their historical highest...

    1. Alfreton Town (-1)
    2. Altrincham (-1)
    3. Guiseley (-1)
    4. Kidderminster Harriers (-2)
    5. Stockport County (-4)
    6. York City (-4)

    Group 4: SIX current National League North clubs now playing at the highest level they have ever occupied...

    1. Ashton United
    2. Blyth Spartans
    3. Brackley Town
    4. Chorley
    5. Curzon Ashton
    6. FCUM

    In 2018-19 Altrincham will not be visiting a single ground where they have not previously played a league match.

    As for mileage, in 2017-18 we covered 2,872 miles to and from our 23 away games. In 2018-19 we can look forward to just 21 away games but more mileage. The round trips to our opponents will add up to 3,330 miles. In terms of average mileage per round-trip, in 2017-18 it was 124.9 miles; in 2018/19 it will be 151.4 miles.


    The National League reports that "In front of a bumper 3,000 crowd at the CNG Stadium, Harrogate Town have finally gained a place in the Vanarama National League after winning the National League North Promotion Final against Brackley Town on Sunday afternoon.

    Harrogate finished second in the regular season, five points in front of Brackley... Harrogate suffered a blow in the 12th minute when striker Mark Beck had to be carried off on a stretcher after suffering an injury and was replaced by Jake Wright...

    Harrogate broke the deadlock when the referee awarded a soft-looking penalty for handball and Knowles coolly slotted home the resulting spot-kick.... Harrogate [made] it 2-0 when Brackley failed to deal with Joe Leesley`s free-kick and the ball fell kindly to Knowles, who beat Lewis from close range to notch his 9th goal in three games.

    In first half injury-time, Harrogate suffered another injury blow when Jake Wright, who had come on early to replace Beck, was also forced off on a stretcher and Lloyd Kerry came on in his place... The game was virtually put to bed by the hosts on 71 minutes though when Ryan Fallowfield`s cross found Leesley, who found the bottom corner of the net to make it 3-0... For Harrogate, the decision to turn full-time has certainly paid dividends as they will be plying their trade at the top level of non-League football next season."


    NL Daily tells us that "Gateshead manager Steve Watson is preparing for next season but is just waiting for the ‘green light’ as takeover talks continue. It’s been a frustrating week for Watson, with four first-team players leaving the club. Russell Penn, Jordan Burrow and Wes York all joined York City while goalkeeper Dan Hanford also stepped down to the sixth tier to sign for Southport...

    'From my point of view, with four players leaving in quick succession, I would just like to reassure fans and say that I’m still here, focused and committed to the club,' said the Heed boss... 'It’s just a matter of being patient for myself, the fans and those players who want to stay and I want to keep at the club... There were players that left that I wanted to keep so it is disappointing but that’s where we are at the moment... Some of these lads will have other offers and they won’t be able to wait around forever. It’s not uncommon at this level to have players leave like they have but what is uncommon is that we are not able to offer any deals ourselves right now'".


    York City report that "Martin Gray is hoping to unveil another new signing after completing deals in the last 48 hours for Gateshead duo Jordan Burrow and Russell Penn. The City manager has not revealed the identity of his target but says he is an 'attacking winger' who will contribute goals.

    Gray is now rebuilding his City squad after releasing nine players and three loanees and has stressed... 'We have to make sure that players coming into this club this summer can handle what this club expects and what the fans expect', he said. 'The demands are massive. We have got to make sure we don't bring in anybody who can't handle the expectations of our club. That is so important'...

    Commenting on today's signing of striker Burrow, Gray said... 'He is an all-action type of centre-forward, he is hustle and bustle, his energy and work ethic are outstanding. I am sure, in this league, he will be a real, real nuisance to defenders."

    On the return of former City captain Penn to the heart of the team's midfield, Gray said, 'It's vital that we go into the new season with players from a higher level with great experience. We need more leadership within the squad and he is now settled in York with his family which is really important. I think he feels he has 'unfinished business' with the club. It's so important that people understand what the club is all about when they come in. He will hit the ground running...

    'We hope to have another big signing... who will help compliment goals going forward as well.'

    Also from Bootham Crescent we learn that "Striker Alex Kempster has signed a new one-year deal with the club after impressing in the final three months of the season. A former part-time player at Whitley Bay, Kempster gave up jobs as a PE teacher and barman to go full-time with the Minstermen in February...

    'I am happy to get everything sorted early doors so I can re-charge my batteries and, hopefully, hit the ground running when I come back for pre-season,' said Kempster... 'We didn't get where we wanted to be last season but I definitely feel promotion is on the cards next season'... Having missed four of the final seven games last season due to hamstring trouble, Kempster has also been given a special exercise programme to work on during the summer.

    And still at York City, "Martin Gray has hailed the 'character' of his three new arrivals and explained his admiration for the Gateshead dressing room. The City manager has moved quickly to secure the services of winger Wes York, striker Jordan Burrow, and midfielder Russ Penn - who have all parted company with the up-for-sale Vanarama National League club. Gray also made personal checks on the players... 'I have got great links with the previous manager up there [Neil Aspin]... and he speaks very, very well about the changing room and how good the changing room was and how good these players were for him... They are the right type of people... We have also got one or two that we are speaking to at this moment in time... But it's nice to get three players signed, who are committed, who have come from the league above, who have all been promoted out of this league, who have great desire'...

    As reported yesterday, striker Alex Kempster has signed a new contract at Bootham Crescent, and Gray said 'He's a kid for the future. I think he needs his first full-time pre-season and he has been given a programme to try and get some strength'"

    Meanwhile, AFC Telford United "are delighted to announce the signing of Shane Sutton on a new 1-year deal. Shane signed for the Bucks from Newton last July and has been an ever-present figure in the Telford defence during the 2017/18 season. Following the management appointment of Gavin Cowan and Phil Trainer, Gavin has moved quickly to secure the former Buck captain as his first signing of the new campaign.

    Shane was delighted to sign for the club for another year... 'I know many of the other lads are desperate to sign and hopefully we can continue on the form from last season with a good core of the lads remaining at the club'".

    Over at Stockport County the club is "to forge closer links with local team Stockport Town FC. The relationship will include a sharing of management and coaching knowledge and extended playing opportunities for the development players at County and those leaving the Academy.

    It is hoped the relationship will provide great benefits to both clubs, but more importantly for the elite young players of the area coming through the Academy. An important and integral part of this relationship is that Alan Lord will combine his role as Director of Youth Development at Stockport County, with the part-time role as Head of the management team at Stockport Town FC.

    County manager Jim Gannon said 'This relationship is a perfect fit and provides a fantastic opportunity for our current young players and the existing players at Stockport Town FC. Our young players have done well at under-19, under-21 and Cheshire Senior Cup level within the club, and the opportunity to add another level of experience playing regular semi-professional football under Alan Lord is exceptional.'

    Over the last six months Jim Gannon and Alan Lord have been exploring ways of extending the football development experience for their Academy players. The Academy staff are keen to provide a greater football challenge to players who acquit themselves well in the under-19 and under-21 programmes or find themselves on the fringes of the first team and need to be playing regular non-league football to further their development. Part of that study also included the ‘potential loss’ of talented young players as they exit the Academy or the football club without the next appropriate step to keep them involved in local non-league football.

    Jim Gannon said... 'All of the young professional players at Stockport County have benefitted from dual registrations and loan experiences, at both semi-professional Hallmark and Evostik League clubs; however, due to a number of factors those playing experiences have been mixed and the opportunities often difficult to create for players unknown to the respective managers... We felt that would be best served by a strong relationship with a local club, at a good level, with a manager who embraces young development players as part of a successful team'".

    Up at Spennymoor Town "striker Glen Taylor has been named in the 2017/18 National League North Team of the Year. Taylor scored 19 times in 39 league appearances for Moors, as well as finding the net four times in seven cup appearances. After learning of his recognition, Taylor said 'I'm over the moon to be selected in the team of the year; to be recognised by the managers of the league over the course of a season!'"

    Southport report that "Former Carlisle United and Gateshead goalkeeper Dan Hanford joins Southport FC as the Club’s first summer signing ahead of the 2018/19 season. Dan brings higher level and international experience to the Club, having made 27 EFL appearances, 59 National League appearances and representing Wales at U17 and U19 level. Dan joins on a free transfer, having signed a 2 year contract at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.

    Dan started his career in Swansea City’s youth set up before moving to Clitheroe in 2010... Dan then joined the Glen Hoddle Academy and spent time at Jérez. The Swansea-born goalkeeper then moved to Hereford United where he spent 2 years. After a spell in Malta, Dan then joined EFL League 2 side Carlisle United, making 33 appearances in two years. Most recently, Dan has played for National League side Gateshead, making 47 league appearances.

    On joining the club Dan told 'After speaking to everyone at the club, I just thought they were going in the right direction... Southport have ambitions to be in the EFL and they want to do it the right way'...

    Manager Liam Watson said of his first summer signing... 'He’s been playing at a higher level. He’s 27-years-old, a good age for a goalkeeper. It gives us two goalkeepers of a good standard and they can fight it out for the number one spot'".

    At Hereford "Bulls' boss Pete Beadle has spoken exclusively to the official Hereford FC website following the announcement that The Bulls will be placed in the National League North next season.

    'We obviously had an idea that we would be placed in the North', said Beadle. 'We’d already started working along those lines, putting feelers out for players in that location, but it’s pleasing for the FA to have made a quick announcement that will enable us to start making solid decisions based on where we will be playing. There are some big teams in that league, some ex-League and former Conference clubs so it’s great for us to be able to compete at the same level week in week out with those clubs.

    'We’ve already played a few clubs in the North, so it’s great to be able to come up against FC United of Manchester, Kidderminster and Telford again. It’s great to be competing against some big clubs, but it means that we need to try and it is really important to sell as many season tickets as possible so that we can ensure the budget enables us to challenge'".

    We learn from Guiseley that "Following a meeting of the Guiseley AFC Board of Directors, the Club is delighted to announce that Gary Douglas has agreed to take over the role of Chairman of the Club, with input from other Board Colleagues. Following the Club's relegation from the National League, to National North Gary will oversee a process to ensure a stable future for the Club, developing a Business Model to underpin the process.

    Some difficult decisions will need to be made to achieve stability and ensure future progress, however the Board is confident that developing both the Business Model and continuing to improve infrastructure is the right way forward for the Club... The Club also expects to be able to announce a new Football Management Team in the next few days."

    13 May 2018



    Altrincham FC is very grateful to successful local company, J. Davidson Scrap Metal Processors for its ongoing sponsorship of the J. Davidson Stadium at Moss Lane as well as for the company's sponsorship of the team's shirts. For their loyalty to their local football club, Davidsons have been rewarded by Altrincham's championship-winning season in 2017-18. Pictured above is Jamie Davidson, celebrating the club's success, with the Evostik League Premier Division winners's trophy in front of one of the company's iconic fleet of trucks.


    Crewe Alexandra report that "David Artell has revealed that his pre-season plans are already up and running. The Crewe Alexandra boss has already confirmed a home pre-season fixture against Blackpool...

    The Alex will also be playing local friendly games against our near neighbours Nantwich Town and Neil Baker’s Leek side. Crewe will also be facing Phil Parkinson's Altrincham side".

    The date is to be confirmed.


    Sunday's play-off between Harrogate Town and Brackley Town decided which of the two reached the national level of non-League football for the first time and which remained in the North division and play Altrincham next season. So, Brackley is on the Alty itinerary for next season; hopefully not on a Tuesday night as was the case when we were last in the same division.

    National League North Play-Offs Promotion Final

    • Harrogate Town (2nd) 3-0 Brackley Town (3rd)

    National League South Play-Offs Promotion Final

    • Hampton & Richmond Borough (4th) 1-1 Braintree Town (6th) after extra time; Braintree won 4-3 on penalties.

    Braintree Town finished 17 points behind second placed Dartford, who only missed out on automatic promotion by a goal difference deficit of three goals to Havant & Waterloovile. For Braintree it is an instant return to the National level, the three other promoted clubs will be newcomers at the national level (Salford City, Harrogate Town, and Havant & Waterlooville).


    With Tranmere Rovers and Macclesfield Town being promoted out of the National League and Chester and Guiseley relegated, the 24-club National League (before Sunday's play-off) has just eight clubs as members who are located north of Birmingham. They are newly promoted Salford City, relegated Chesterfield, plus six "remainers" in AFC Fylde, Wrexham, Hartlepool United, FC Halifax Town, Gateshead and Barrow. Four of those six clubs finished in the bottom ten of the division in 2017-18. Should Harrogate win their play-off, the northern representation rises to nine, which is little more than a third of the total membership of the division.

    The result in Saturday's play-off at Wembley was...

    • Tranmere Rovers (2nd) 2-1 Boreham Wood (4th)
    In the match Tranmere's Ridehalgh was sent off for a foul committed just 48 seconds after the kick-off. Ex-Alty loanee, Josh Ginnelly, who is the nephew of Barwell's manager, was substituted before half time. Earlier he had been hit on the head by a bottle thrown from the crowd.


    Hednesford Town "Football Club Chairman, Steve Price, has this weekend confirmed his intention to put The Pitmen up for sale in order to try and find new investors to take the club forward.

    During an open meeting held with Hednesford Town Football Club Supporters' Association (HTFCSA) members on Friday evening Mr Price confirmed that he would put the football club up for sale...

    Mr Price said, 'I’ve been involved with Hednesford Town Football Club for 24 years and I feel that the time is now right for me to try and sell the club onto someone else in order to take it forward in the coming years. I’m not getting any younger and I’ve always said that I wanted to make sure that the football club can continue to function...

    'Ideally we’d all like one individual to come in and take the club forward but we’re open to hearing from all other avenues as well'”.


    Altrincham FC Ladies finished a very creditable fifth in the North West Women's Regional League, Division One South in 2017-18.

    Meanwhile, the divisional champions FC United of Manchester Women report that "FC’s Women end league campaign unbeaten with a 10-1 victory at Curzon.

    After several postponements, FC United's Women ended their league campaign, (not withstanding a fixture unlikely to be played v Northwich Vixens and awaiting a panel decision), with a 10-1 away victory against Curzon Ashton on Wednesday night. Every credit to Curzon Ashton, who despite the score line, showed some moments of real quality and endeavour, with only 10 players available on the night.

    Maintaining the theme of tens, the result was the 10th consecutive league victory (24 unbeaten in all competitions) and the second successive game the women had registered 10 goals."

    12 May 2018


    Altrincham FC goalkeeping coach, Ian Senior (right), writes that "Following some tough thinking, I have decided to stand down from my role as First Team Goalkeeping Coach after doing the job for eleven years.

    During that time, I’ve worked with some quality goalkeepers and like to think I’ve played a part in all of their development and standard of goalkeeping over that time. Obviously Stuart Coburn tops the list, but the likes of Tim Deasy, Josh Ollerenshaw, Russell Saunders, Tony McMillan, Dave Parton and Craig Dootson all had qualities that I like to think I enhanced. This past season, I’d like to think I helped Tony Thompson to be, in my opinion, the best keeper in the Division. Statistics says so, fewest goals and most clean sheets!

    This season has been a pleasure, working with Phil and his management team, who all made me welcome as new member of their team, having all moved en-bloc from Nantwich Town.

    Winning the league makes for a perfect swan song, so after talks with Phil, I made the decision to take a back seat. Having said that, I’ll still be seen very regularly at the club dealing with all the kit issues as proprietor of SKkits. I now look forward to next season in the National League North primarily as a supporter of this great club".

    Footnote: Ian is a well-known figure throughout the North West having played for more than thirty clubs! Ian's association with Altrincham FC actally extends back to the 1980s when he first played as a goalkeeper for the Club, combining his football with his work as a firefighter.

    Ian rejoined the club in 1999 as cover for Dean Greygoose and became, at 39, the Conference's oldest current keeper when he substituted for Dean Greygoose against Welling on 8 January 2000. This was his first appearance for the team since 1983, so Ian can boast that he did not concede a goal for Altrincham over a period of 17 years!

    As is well known, Ian started up a kit-supply business, which now trades as SKkits, and it supplies Altrincham and numerous other clubs with a full range of football-related merchandise. Ian's company has also sponsored Alty team-kit at various levels and he raised significant funds for a number of charities with his initiatives. Below, we see an article about Ian in the NL Paper during season 2000-01...


    At Telford United, "We are delighted to announce that Gavin Cowan has been appointed first team manager and Phil Trainer assistant manager of AFC Telford United.

    The process to appoint a manager has been thorough and conducted at pace, to ensure that the new manager was appointed early in the close season, to enable work to start immediately on building a playing squad and prepare pre-season for the 2018/19 season. The club carefully considered all applicants and interviewed a short list of five candidates with different profiles.

    Gavin played over 500 games, both full time and part time, at both our level and above, including the Football League and he captained every club he played for including AFC Telford United between 2008 and 2010. On his return to the club Gavin has been our first team coach since October 2016. Additionally, Gavin’s roles as part of the management and coaching staff at both Solihull and Nuneaton were successful.

    Gavin lives in Telford, has excellent formal qualifications in football and other sports. Gavin is passionate about football and in particular passionate about AFC Telford United, knows the club inside out and is already well known to our supporters and the local community. Gavin has a wide network of football contacts both locally and nationally and is widely respected in football circles. This appointment also gives good continuity to build on the much-improved results on the pitch in the latter part of the season just ended and Gavin has a well thought out plan on both retained and new players, his work on this starts immediately.

    Having eventually finished 14th in the National League North, our aspiration is to build on that in a steady and sustainable way and we are confident that we will see a passion for AFC Telford United in any team fielded by Gavin Cowan.

    Gavin Cowan said 'I'm very optimistic about the club’s future and look forward to serving the club to the best of my abilities as I did when I was a proud captain and first team coach'".

    Blyth Spartans "are pleased to announce the following players have been retained by Alun Armstrong and his coaching staff...

    • Goalkeepers | Peter Jameson, Shaun MacDonald
    • Defenders | Nathan Buddle, Andrew Cartwright, Ryan Hutchinson, Michael Liddle, Ian Watson, Jordan Watson.
    • Midfielders | Dale Hopson, Lewis Horner, Jordan Laidler, Damen Mullen, Jarrett Rivers, Sean Reid, Adam Wrightson
    • Forwards | Daniel Maguire, Robert Dale, Jack Butler."

    Meanwhile, the Kidderminster Shuttle tells us that "Winger Emmanuel Sonupé will be remaining with Harriers after extending his deal to stay at Aggborough. The lively Sonupé, who netted 15 times last season, has had an option exercised in his contract... Additionally, goalkeepers Tom Palmer and Nathan Vaughan have been secured for another season.

    Defender Kennedy Digie and James McQuilkin are among those to be offered new contracts following the 2017/18 season, with Liam Truslove, Andre Brown and James Pearson also presented with new terms. Harriers will also forward an offer to Elton Ngwatala but, while the club are keen to retain him, it is understood the Frenchman has firm interest from Football League clubs and will be exploring his options.

    The status of contracted players and those offered new terms is as follows:

    • Already tied to deals for 2018/19: Brandon Hall, Nathan Vaughan, Tom Palmer, Lee Vaughan, Jimmy O’Connor, Joel Taylor, Fraser Horsfall, Sam Austin, Ryan Croasdale, Declan Weeks, Dan Bradley, Joe Ironside and Mani Sonupé.
    • Those offered terms for 2018/19: Kennedy Digie, Liam Truslove, Andre Brown, James McQuilkin, James Pearson and Elton Ngwatala

    The club has thanked forward George Waring after the striker returned to Tranmere Rovers following the end of his loan stint at Aggborough."


    The Warrington Guardian tells us that "Warrington Town will have more travelling to do next season after their opponents were confirmed. Under the newly restructured league system, Yellows will only have 42 league games to play in 2018-19 as opposed to 46.

    However, based upon the shortest routes to the opposition team’s ground from Cantilever Park, Warrington’s players and fans will have 78 miles further to travel over the coming season. The average distance of Yellows’ away trips next year will be 71.8 miles, compared to 62.1 miles last season.

    Their shortest trip will be to Witton Albion - a journey of just over 10 miles - while the 158-mile haul to newly-promoted South Shields is the longest they will face.

    Paul Carden’s men have seven away trips of 100 miles or more... as opposed to just three last year... In total, away trips will total 1,507 miles in 2018-19, compared to 1,429 miles in the season just gone.

    The restructure means that Barwell, Stourbridge, Rushall Olympic, Coalville Town, Hednesford Town, Halesowen Town and Sutton Coldfield Town all join the new Southern League Premier Central".


    From NL Daily we learn that "Macclesfield Town have released six players following their Vanarama National league title win.

    John Askey’s Silkmen have let Shwan Jalal, Courtney Richards, Sam Ramsbottom, Noe Baba, Diego De Girolamo and Koby Arthur leave. Club stalwart and midfielder Danny Whitaker is among the players to be offered new deals. David Fitzpatrick, Keith Lowe, George Pilkington, Tyrone Marsh, Scott Wilson, Kieran Kennedy, Mitch Hancox and Danny Whitehead are the others to be offered new terms. Jared Hodgkiss, Elliott Durrell and Ryan Lloyd are already under contract for 2018/19.

    Loanees Nathan Blissett and Callum Evans will be offered deals after being let go by their parent clubs. Scott Burgess, meanwhile, has returned to Bury."

    11 May 2018


    Altrincham will be joined by Hereford, Chester, Guiseley and Ashton United as the new clubs playing in the National League North in 2018-19. This has been confirmed by the FA National League System (NLS), which has issued the list which allocates clubs to the various divisions which will operate in the non-League pyramid in 2018-19 at Steps 1 to 4.

    Six of the clubs that we met last season in Step 3 have been moved to the newly formed Southern League Central. Matt Edkins, the NLS Manager, writes "I am writing following on from the Leagues Committee meeting of Thursday 10 May 2018, where the Club Allocations for Steps 1 to 4 of the National League System were confirmed.

    You will note your Club's allocation in the attached document and your Competition will be in contact with you in due course to advise of any requirements they may have.

    Any appeals as to the allocation to a League/division can be made, in accordance with FA Regulations, to the Judicial Services department within 7 days of this communication... Please note that dates of 23/25/30/31 May and 1 June have been set aside for any appeals".

    The allocations document is here.


    As previously announced, "Altrincham FC's Patrons scheme has been relaunched ahead of the 2018/19 campaign in the National League North after the team gained immediate promotion back into the division. The Club thanks all who have joined or rejoined the scheme, so far.

    "We made a big commitment to Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel in the 2017/18 season to ensure we could provide them with a competitive playing budget and they have duly produced the goods with automatic promotion. Our thoughts now immediately turn to next season as we continue to look forward.

    'With Phil and Neil committed to the club with their recent new contracts, we are now striving to provide them with the best possible playing budget for the new season,” said director Rob Esteva. “Subsequently, all monies raised via the Patrons Scheme will go directly on the squad to boost the playing budget for Phil and Neil.”

    'We already have the forecasts for next season and the playing budget mapped out thanks to Mike Adams's diligent planning, but now promotion has been confirmed, we want to top that figure up and give Parky and Sorvs the best possible chance to succeed in the National League North,” he added.

    'At the last board meeting, we agreed that any funds raised via the Patrons' Club would go directly to boosting that figure allocated to the playing budget.

    'We’ve been working hard on retaining the management team and squad for next season as well as scouting potential new signings, and supporting the team via the Patrons' Scheme will only enhance our chances further.'

    We are looking for supporters to renew or join the Patrons' Scheme for next season which will be the 13th season that it has run.

    For the cost of £50 your name will appear throughout the coming season in the matchday programme and on the soon-to-be-launched new website as a Patron of Altrincham Football Club.

    At the start of the season, every member will be entered into a prize draw, with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with nine guests. Second prize will be hospitality for five people and third prize hospitality for three people in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge.

    If you are interested in becoming a Patron for next season, please forward a cheque, payable to Altrincham Football Club, for £50. Alternatively, you can pay by card by phoning the office (0161 928-1045). If you require any further information please do not hesitate to enquire by e-mail."


    NL Pitchero confirms that ""Southport have made their second new signing since Liam Watson returned as manager. Port have signed 24-year-old central defender Ryan Astles. The towering 6'4" centre-half spent his junior years at Tranmere Rovers and Chester City before joining Wigan Athletic on a scholarship as a 16-year-old in 2010...

    He then moved into Welsh football, joining Buckley Town and then Rhyl, where he won the manager's player of the year and players' player of the year awards. Following a stint at Northwich Victoria, Astles joined Chester in January 2016, and has since made over 100 appearances for the Blues. He made forty-one National League appearances for Chester in 2017/18.

    Astles, who has signed a two-year contract, told, 'I spoke with the Board. The ambition of the club really drew me in. Seeing all the plans and what the club want to achieve, that was one of the main things'... Astles added, 'Everyone here wants to be pushing for promotion. That’s the main aim. I’ll make sure I give 100% to that, getting the club back to where it wants to be'...

    Liam Watson said, '“Ryan is someone who I’ve watched an awful lot of times. He’s a big, dominant fella. He’s a lot younger than people believe he is, so he’s been doing really well playing in the National League since 21. He’s played a lot of games, and he’s good in both boxes. He’s left-footed, so there’s a balance at the back.'

    Reflecting on his first signings in Astles and goalkeeper Dan Hanford, Watson said 'Well, they’re men, aren’t they? They’re not boys, they’re men. They’ve been there, seen it, they know what to expect. They’ve both got physicality. Astles especially, you need a presence. He gives us that. They’ll both be really good signings for the club'".

    According to the Shropshire Star, "AFC Telford have confirmed that their new manager will be announced on Friday at 3pm. The Bucks have been without a boss since Rob Edwards's departure earlier this month...

    The Bucks had received around 15 applications for the position, with chairman Andy Pryce conducting interviews this week. Telford finished last season 14th in the National League North, but flirted with relegation throughout the season. Following Edwards's exit, the club signalled that they wanted to make a longer term appointment to succeed the former Wolves player and coach."

    Kidderminster Harriers report that "Harriers will be able to renew acquaintances with rivals Hereford after the FA confirmed the Bulls will be part of the 2018/19 National League North. Hereford have continued their red-hot streak since reformation, once again wrapping up promotion last term by romping to the EvoStik South Premier Division title, amassing a massive 113 points in the process, more than a dozen clear of second-placed King’s Lynn Town...

    Next season’s ‘North’ line-up will be completed with either Brackley or Harrogate Town, whoever loses this weekend’s play-off final, with Altrincham and Ashton United also in our division."

    The Chester Chronicle tells us that "It has been the subject of much rumour and conjecture since its announcement last month, but the identity of the individual who wishes to donate a 'substantial' amount of money to Chester FC has been revealed.

    At a press conference at Chester's Grosvenor Hotel on Thursday afternoon, entrepreneur Stuart Murphy was revealed to be the man behind the offer of financial assistance to the cash-strapped Blues. A self-confessed Blues fan with strong links to the city of Chester, Murphy has had previous involvement with the football club in a sponsorship role when his city-based business rates firm Exacta plc sponsored the home stadium for five years from 2010 to 2015.

    Murphy insists that he wants to 'give something back' and stressed that his involvement was not a 'money making exercise' and that the financial help would be used to aid the infrastructure of the football club rather than being added to the playing budget.

    'I'm thrilled to be able to help Chester FC. I love the city and wanted to give something back,' said Murphy... 'Both myself and the CFU board have some really great ideas as to how we could spend the donated funds for the benefit of the club, focusing on improving the infrastructure and maximising revenue streams. Dare I say it, but there are some really exciting things in the pipeline and fans have every right to be excited with what the future may hold.

    'We don't have a city centre location, but we can use that to our benefit and create a vibrant hub to create a real buzz around the area. I'd like Chester FC to be an exciting place for new fans to visit and, crucially, a better place for existing fans to enjoy... We must never forget that Chester FC is more than just the first team. Look at the brilliant work of the Academy and the Community Trust and volunteers. It's truly humbling to see how football can inspire people from all walks of life and we should never underplay the role a football club can play in the community'".

    The Leamington Courier reports that "Paul Holleran has ruled himself out of the running for the AFC Telford manager’s role, saying he still has a job to do at Leamington...

    'The scenario is, there was an approach by Telford for my services which I was flattered by,' said Holleran. 'I declined due to the fact I have not finished the job here. My aim is to establish Leamington as a Step 2 football club which we’re still in the process of doing... I wouldn’t be sticking to my principles if I left'".

    We read in the Wharfedale Observer that "Gary Douglas has stepped up to take over the role of chairman at Guiseley, who expect to announce a new football management team in the next few days. Douglas, who is already a director at the club, succeeds James Ferguson, who left his position last month.

    A club statement read... 'Following the club's relegation from the National League to National North, Gary will oversee a process to ensure a stable future for the club, developing a business model to underpin the process. Some difficult decisions will need to be made to achieve stability and ensure future progress. However, the board is confident that developing both the business model and continuing to improve infrastructure is the right way forward for the club'".

    Reports in the Northern Echo say that "James Caton has been made available by Darlington, who have announced that the forward is on the transfer list. The 24-year-old joined from Dover last summer after impressing in pre-season and then given a two-year contract by then manager Martin Gray.

    However, once competitive matches began Caton replicated little of the form he had shown in friendly fixtures, scoring only once in 28 appearances, 12 of them as a substitute... with Caton playing in each of the first ten matches before losing his way and by the season’s end had become a peripheral figure, so it is no surprise he does not figure in Tommy Wright’s plans.

    Wright gave the player opportunities, mainly as a substitute... He sustained a hamstring injury and, after a period of on the sidelines, he then started only two of the team’s remaining 13 matches but made little impact.

    As well as Caton, also available for transfer is Kevin Burgess, the club’s former captain who finished the season on loan at former club Whitby Town and also has a year remaining on a contract signed last summer. This week Tom Portas, Leon Scott, Gary Brown, Liam Marrs and Greg Mills have left Quakers, plus teenagers Lee Hume and Dale Milburn.

    Excluding Caton and Burgess, Wright has a 15-man squad and has previously said he wants 18 or 19 players to choose from next season. Youngsters Matthew Bancroft, Harry Gill, Bradley Moncur and Jamie O’Brien are not under contract but have been invited to return for pre-season training."

    A recent report in the Echo also told us that "Darlington's squad reshaping will continue this week when manager Tommy Wright speaks to those whose future remains uncertain, but there were significant developments at the weekend. Terry Galbraith and Josh Gillies have agreed one-year deals with the club, following a number of team-mates in recent months in agreeing to extend their stay.

    But five players are leaving and the most notable exits are that of long-serving Gary Brown and Leon Scott, both announcing their departure having each signed for the club in 2012. Also going is Greg Mills, who arrived midway through this season but has agreed to a mutual termination of his contract, and youngsters Lee Hume and Dale Milburn, two players who had been given deals by previous manager Martin Gray but did not make a first-team appearance.

    But it’s the exits of Brown and Scott that are of most significance, marking the end of an era given that between them played 408 games and were part of three promotion-winning sides... This season ended, however, with Brown having lost his place in the centre of defence, while Scott has not started a match since January.

    Brown said... 'The last six seasons at Darlo have been my life, literally, but when your time’s up, your time’s up. I've cried a lot of tears but my next club is getting a fully-fuelled Gary Brown.' Brown, who had a spell with Shildon in 2015, but soon returned made 186 appearances for Darlington, while Scott wore a Quakers shirt 222 times.

    Galbraith and Gillies’ new deals come after Joe Wheatley, Stephen Thompson, Josh Heaton and Ben O’Hanlon all extended their stays several week ago... Galbraith has played at left-back in most of his 236 games since joining Darlington from Dunston in December 2012, but in the second half of the season formed a centre-back partnership with Heaton.

    Season 2018-19 will be Gillies’ third with Quakers, the attack-minded midfielder having joined two years ago from Gateshead. He has scored 19 goals in that time, making 81 appearances... Meanwhile, on Friday Thompson won two Player of the Year awards. He won the fans’ player of the year, as well as the players’ player of the year award. Reece Styche was the manager’s player of the year, and the striker also won the goal of the season".

    The Banbury Guardian reports that "Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin saluted his players after they dug deep to book their place in the Vanarama National League North play-off final.

    Saints will travel to Harrogate Town for next weekend’s final thanks to a solitary extra-time goal from top scorer Aaron Williams which sank Bradford Park Avenue in Sunday’s semi-final...

    Wilkin said, 'We let the game become too open in the second half and Danny Lewis has made some great saves for us along with some excellent defending... It’s our first goal against Bradford this season and what a time to get it! But it took a fantastic save from Danny to stop them from equalising right at the end, he saw it really late through a crowd of players. Now we’ve got two cup finals to look forward to, it’s going to be tough but the players have got to take their opportunity. Harrogate are a very good team but we’ve got to go there and perform.'"

    In the Boston Standard we learn that "Craig Elliott is a self-confessed geek and control freak who [had] always dreamt of making it in management since he was a kid, memorising fixtures and formations from his notebook.

    However, it was a career-ending injury in his 20s that gave the Boston United boss an additional drive and determination to strive for silverware... 'Managing gripped me at a young age after having to retire through injury', admitted Elliott, whose playing days came to an abrupt end when he was just 27. After carving out a career as a non-league striker, picking up an NPL Division One promotion with Harrogate Town, it was a knee injury that forced Elliott, by then turning out for North Ferriby United, to face the fact the final whistle had been blown on his playing days... <> [He turned] his attention to the dug-out, beginning by taking the reins at Kellingley Welfare and then Glasshoughton Welfare... 'I was successful in my first season, four trophies. It just went on from there'... But while the 39-year-old can relish the highs and work hard on ways to bounce back from the lows, he says his experience has left him with little time for players who are wasteful with their talents.

    'I do say this a lot in training,' he said. 'It’s a precious career. It’s not long, it’ll fly by and an injury can just end it. You’ve got to enjoy it and embrace it. Week-in, week-out, give it absolutely everything you can'...

    He told The Standard 'My dad used to be a manager in non-league and I were a bit of a saddo as a 10, 11-year-old. I used to take my book and do all the tackles, shots, formations and know all the teams and goalscorers. I was a bit of a geek, and it’s something I’ve carried on. It was Pontefract Collieries, in the North East Counties. I used to go every week and watch. Teams like North Shields and Spennymoor would come and I knew all the players.'

    Old habits die hard and Elliott still jots down his plans, thoughts and targets. 'My assistants laugh at me,' he said with a smirk. 'I’ve got a little black book and it’s getting bigger and bigger... I am aware of all leagues, all players... I’m a bit of a control freak in terms of looking for players,' the manager continued.

    'Even if they’re recommended, I like to see them myself, get a good feel for them and go early, watch them in warm-ups, get a feel for body language and things like that. My assistants go as well. But I have to live and die by my decisions. You see a lot going to games early, watching players, how they carry themselves around the ground, their attitude... I need to be 100 per cent sure they’re the right characters for us.'

    It’s a method that has worked well. After leaving Glasshoughton for Ossett Town, Elliott’s next step was a move to Shaw Lane, delivering three promotions in four seasons with the Ducks...

    Now, as Elliott prepares for his first full season at the Jakemans Stadium, he wants the club to be more than just also-rans. He said, 'I think any manager can come, be mid-table and work week to week. But since day one I’ve been a manager I’ve been challenging myself to win things. I want to win every week. I’m proud of my record of never losing three league matches on the trot since I’ve become a manager. It’s something I’m keen to keep hold of'".


    According to the Derbyshire Times, "Two men who worked their way up into the National League, only to leave their jobs at Salford City, would be interested in talking to Chesterfield about the managerial vacancy.

    Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson guided Salford to the National League North title last season as joint managers, their third promotion in four campaigns with the club part-owned by a group of Manchester United ‘Class of 92’ legends... They’re currently 10/1 for the Town job, with Martin Allen, who today left Barnet, the bookies’ favourite.

    Johnson says they’ve had no contact with the Spireites, but it’s a job they’d like to talk about because of the club’s stature and its place in a division they were due to manage in next term. 'We’ve been led to believe we’re in the running, in terms of the betting, but we’ve not had any contact from anyone at the club,' he said... 'That’s not to say we wouldn’t be interested, we’d definitely be interested in having a chat. It’s a massive football club, in the league that ultimately we want to be manging in. We’ll be looking to get straight back on the horse...

    'The Alfreton job was up and Billy [Heath] took that, Guiseley are about to announce, Southport have announced [Liam Watson],' said Johnson. 'We feel like we’ve worked damned hard to get out of that league and we’ll want the right opportunity... It’s got to be the right project... We’ve worked our way through non-league, with no budget and with a big budget... We’ve had a few offers to go and speak to clubs,” he said".

    10 May 2018



      The number of people who have signed up as Altrincham FC Patrons for 2018-19 has reached fifty-seven. You, too, can join the scheme, details of which are here.

      As previously announced, "Altrincham FC's Patrons scheme has been relaunched ahead of the 2018/19 campaign in the National League North after the team gained immediate promotion back into the division. The Club thanks all who have joined or rejoined the scheme, so far.

      "We made a big commitment to Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel in the 2017/18 season to ensure we could provide them with a competitive playing budget and they have duly produced the goods with automatic promotion. Our thoughts now immediately turn to next season as we continue to look forward.

      'With Phil and Neil committed to the club with their recent new contracts, we are now striving to provide them with the best possible playing budget for the new season,” said director Rob Esteva. “Subsequently, all monies raised via the Patrons Scheme will go directly on the squad to boost the playing budget for Phil and Neil.”

      'We already have the forecasts for next season and the playing budget mapped out thanks to Mike Adams's diligent planning, but now promotion has been confirmed, we want to top that figure up and give Parky and Sorvs the best possible chance to succeed in the National League North,” he added.

      'At the last board meeting, we agreed that any funds raised via the Patrons' Club would go directly to boosting that figure allocated to the playing budget.

      'We’ve been working hard on retaining the management team and squad for next season as well as scouting potential new signings, and supporting the team via the Patrons' Scheme will only enhance our chances further.'

      We are looking for supporters to renew or join the Patrons' Scheme for next season which will be the 13th season that it has run.

      For the cost of £50 your name will appear throughout the coming season in the matchday programme and on the soon-to-be-launched new website as a Patron of Altrincham Football Club.

      At the start of the season, every member will be entered into a prize draw, with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with nine guests. Second prize will be hospitality for five people and third prize hospitality for three people in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge.

      If you are interested in becoming a Patron for next season, please forward a cheque, payable to Altrincham Football Club, for £50. Alternatively, you can pay by card by phoning the office (0161 928-1045). If you require any further information please do not hesitate to enquire by e-mail."


      As previously announced the following admission prices at the J Davidson Stadium will apply for next season:

      • Adults £13
      • Concessions £10
      • Juniors (12-16) £5
      • Under 12s £1

      Season tickets will be priced as follows:

      • Adults £220
      • Concessions £170
      • Juniors (12-16) £50
      • Under 12s £20

      'Early Bird' pricing will be offered of Adults £210 and Concessions £160 for all season tickets purchased before 30th June.

      Director Bill Waterson adds, "Thank you to all who contributed to this debate, and the board discussed it at some length on Thursday. We have set a price that is below the average pricing for the Conference North last season as we balance thanking you all for your excellent support last season with raising funds for the playing budget".

      You can order your ticket now via the Club Offices although the tickets themselves will not be available from the printers till the end of May. Season tickets cover ALL league games and pre-season friendlies played at the J. Davidson Stadium. They do NOT cover cup matches.


      Following on from an idea by supporter Bob Allan, the "All change for Alty" scheme was launched several years ago as a means by which supporters collected their loose change in a tin and periodically brought it into the Football Club and exchanged it for a new empty one. Following a recent donation this scheme has now raised £5,000!

      If you’d like to get a tin to start collecting please call into the club offices - every little helps!


    Judy henson writes, "As previously reported, we held the Sporting Memories match on 14th April and raised an amazing £270.43 for the Sporting Memories Network charity. Anthony Dawson, AFC member of staff, showcased a homemade highlight show of Altrincham FC’s history in the Sports Hall throughout the day. The feedback was so impressive that he took orders for DVD copies of this footage and sold 35 versions. The additional money raised through these sales reached £175.00.

    The total raised that day has now reached £445.43. I’d like to thank Anthony for his hard work and the money raised will go to Andy Tysoe, the SMN representative, who will donate it towards the charity.


    At Stockport County, "Midfielder Jimmy Ball has agreed terms with Stevenage FC and joined the League Two side for an undisclosed five-figure fee; it’s the highest sum received by County whilst playing in non-league football.

    Jimmy has scored eleven goals for the Hatters this season, having scored eight in the previous campaign. He made a total of 91 appearances for the club following his move from Stalybridge Celtic in September 2016...

    County boss Jim Gannon said, 'There are a lot of emotions when a player leaves the club. The first one is pride for Jimmy. Not pride in our work, but in his. Jimmy has come through the difficulties of leaving a League club and finding his way through non-league football... Jimmy was a big part of our team and replacing him will be difficult, but I’ve always had those challenges as a manager...

    'I have always trusted that there is great talent in the game outside of the League and waiting to mature and develop in the right coaching and playing environment... It is a great source of pride and achievement that we are able to develop players, realise their potential and ambition to be League players, whilst all the time continuing to move forward as a club and improve our position every year'".

    Meanwhile, NL Pitchero reports that "Alfreton Town have confirmed the appointment of Billy Heath as their new manager. Heath, who has managed at North Ferriby United and FC Halifax Town, joins the Reds alongside assistant Mark Carroll ahead of the new 2018/19 season... Heath has guided North Ferriby to two promotions, the first from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League in the 2012/13 season. He oversaw the Villagers FA Trophy success in the 2014/15 season...

    Heath won his second promotion which came in the 2015/16 campaign as North Ferriby beat AFC Fylde 2-1 in extra-time in the Promotion final which secured a place in the National League from the National League North. He then made the switch to Halifax ahead of the 2016/17 season and he guided the Shaymen to promotion back to the National League... Heath then left Halifax in January 2018 by mutual consent.

    Heath spoke with Alfreton`s press officer Amar Sharma after he was appointed. 'Alfreton has always been a good club, I’ve known Wayne Bradley for a long time and there has always been a good feel to Alfreton when I’ve brought teams here, it’s very well run and the club has been successful in the past when they were in the Conference and it’s an exciting project here. There was big expectations last season for the Club and as an outsider looking in last season, I thought Alfreton should have been higher up the table...

    'We want to bring success again to the club and get Alfreton back to where we think it should be. My teams always give 100% and are always hard-working'".

    Up in the North-East, NL Pitchero says that "Tommy Wright, manager of Darlington, has issued his retained list, as well as a list of those players who have been invited back for pre-season training, transfer-listed and released.

    Wright has retained fifteen players for 2018/19. They are Luke Trotman, Chris Hunter, Ben O’Hanlon, Terry Galbraith, Josh Heaton, Dominic Collins, Jack Vaulks, Phil Turnbull, Joe Wheatley, Mitchell Glover, David Syers, Stephen Thompson, Josh Gillies, Reece Styche and Harvey Saunders. Wright has invited Matthew Bancroft, Harry Gill, Bradley Moncur and Jamie O’Brien back for pre-season.

    He has transfer-listed both James Caton and Kevin Burgess and has released seven. Those departing Blackwell Meadows are Gary Brown, Greg Mills, Leon Scott, Tom Portas, Liam Marrs, Lee Hume and Dale Milburn."

    Also from NL Pitchero we learn that "Striker Jordan Burrow has become York City's second new signing after leaving National League side Gateshead. Burrow, 25, has played in the Football League for both Stevenage and Morecambe and won the Buildbase FA Trophy two years ago with FC Halifax Town. The former England C international started his career at Chesterfield but made his senior debut during a loan spell with Boston United.

    He scored 10 goals in thirty-nine appearances for Lincoln City in the 2014/15 season before notching 14 goals in forty-three league starts for Halifax in 2015/16. Sheffield-born Burrow joined Gateshead in November 2016 and scored 10 goals last season ...

    York manager Martin Gray said, 'We have been monitoring him for a long time and he is exactly what we have been looking for in a striker. We are very fortunate to get him to come down to National North as he is a player who could certainly play higher'...

    Burrow said, 'We are not going to beat about the bush. Promotion is what everybody wants who is associated with the club. That’s the reason I have come here... The main thing you are going to get from me is 100 per cent effort. That’s a guarantee... I know quite a few of the lads – having played with them previously; Sean Newton, Simon Heslop, Hamza, and Russ Penn...

    'I know, over the previous seasons, there has been a bit of doom and gloom with the relegations but now it’s time to kick on and get promoted'".

    Closer to home NL Daily, reports that "Chester board member Jeff Banks believes Chester’s ‘brilliant’ supporters will back their new season ticket initiative despite the ongoing delay in appointing a new manager.

    The Blues have taken the decision to significantly reduce season ticket prices for the upcoming National League North campaign, understanding the need to provide ‘realistic and affordable’ pricing in a bid to entice fans back to the Deva following this season’s dismal relegation.

    Tickets went on sale on Tuesday, but many supporters are understandably waiting to see who is appointed as Chester’s fifth permanent manager since reforming in 2010, after talks with number one target Neil Redfearn broke down over the weekend, the former Leeds United head coach refusing to agree terms with the Blues.

    Positive discussions have taken place with up to four new candidates for the job, who are not understood to have initially applied for the vacancy...

    Banks explained... 'We had pricing plans in place for staying up and dropping down, but we knew we had to make the pricing realistic and affordable'".

    9 May 2018


    Altrincham FC will be holding Youth team trials on 10th June for the 2018/19 season. These are for players born between 1 September 2000 and 31 August 2004. To participate, please e-mail to register your interest.


    Altrincham FC Press and Media Officer John Edwards has submitted the following article for inclusion in this week's Sale and Altrincham Messenger...

    "Jordan Hulme (right) has given Evo-Stik Northern Premier League champions Altrincham a major boost by confirming he will remain at the club next season and vowing to hit the ground running in the Vanarama National League North.

    The 27-year old frontrunner looked certain to spearhead another National League North title tilt with Salford 12 months ago until an apparent change of heart by the Ammies alerted Alty boss Phil Parkinson to his unexpected availability.

    A 31-goal return on his debut season at The J.Davidson Stadium underlined his worth, though he had to overcome an initial sense of dismay at not being part of Salford’s transition to full-time status.

    ‘There was some disappointment I had to get over to begin with,’ he said. ‘But it kind of made me get the bit between my teeth to go and prove everyone wrong. I had to prove a point to those who said I wasn’t good enough, and I’m going to take that into the next level next season.

    ‘They said they couldn’t win the league with me up top, so I’m aiming to prove them wrong. I’ve still got a lot to prove. Hopefully, I’ve already started doing that, and now I’ve signed for another year, I’ll continue doing it. I will be a motivated player from the off next season.’

    Hulme paid tribute to the team spirit engendered by Parkinson, saying ‘It has been a great season for me but, much as I have taken the accolades, it’s all about the team. They have been outstanding and have put all my goals on a plate for me. I’m thankful to them and to the gaffer for putting such a good team together.

    ‘They really are a top set of lads, probably the best I’ve ever been involved with. Winning helps, but they are a great bunch – all idiots in their own way, but I love them all. Honestly, there are no bad eggs in there.

    ‘The gaffer has been great as well. He gives you confidence to go out and play, and he has built an unbelievable team which we will now take into next season.’"

    Meanwhile there was shock news from Jordan's former club as Salford City report that "Following a meeting held this morning [Tuesday] Salford City Football Club and joint-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley have agreed to part company.

    A meeting took place between the club’s management and the joint-managers but there were irreconcilable differences around personal terms relating to contract length and performance related matters. We tried to work through these differences but unfortunately no mutually acceptable agreement could be reached.

    Gary Neville said, ‘The last four seasons with the managers have been the most successful in the club’s history and a huge part of that is down to Anthony and Bernard, so this announcement is regrettable. However after a meeting this morning between myself, senior management and the managers it was clear there were differences between us that could not be resolved and it was therefore decided to part ways, and whilst this is disappointing, it is the right decision for all concerned’

    Anthony Johnson said, '“Although we are naturally disappointed we felt the time was right. To go out on a high, after securing another promotion, makes us ready for the next challenge and although that won’t be with SCFC, we are already excited about where that challenge will be. We have had a great time at SCFC with a great set of players who have delivered what we asked and as a manager that is all you want”

    Bernard Morley added, 'We have always given everything to SCFC and although we couldn’t come to an agreement on our future we would like to thank the club for the opportunities they have given us. The fans have been exceptional and we will miss them but want to wish the club every success in the National League'".


    Altrincham Football Club would like to thank everyone who has joined the Patrons Scheme for 2018-19. You, too, can join the scheme, details of which are here.

    As previously announced, "Altrincham FC's Patrons scheme has been relaunched ahead of the 2018/19 campaign in the National League North after the team gained immediate promotion back into the division. The Club thanks all who have joined or rejoined the scheme, so far.

    "We made a big commitment to Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel in the 2017/18 season to ensure we could provide them with a competitive playing budget and they have duly produced the goods with automatic promotion. Our thoughts now immediately turn to next season as we continue to look forward.

    'With Phil and Neil committed to the club with their recent new contracts, we are now striving to provide them with the best possible playing budget for the new season,” said director Rob Esteva. “Subsequently, all monies raised via the Patrons Scheme will go directly on the squad to boost the playing budget for Phil and Neil.”

    'We already have the forecasts for next season and the playing budget mapped out thanks to Mike Adams's diligent planning, but now promotion has been confirmed, we want to top that figure up and give Parky and Sorvs the best possible chance to succeed in the National League North,” he added.

    'At the last board meeting, we agreed that any funds raised via the Patrons' Club would go directly to boosting that figure allocated to the playing budget.

    'We’ve been working hard on retaining the management team and squad for next season as well as scouting potential new signings, and supporting the team via the Patrons' Scheme will only enhance our chances further.'

    We are looking for supporters to renew or join the Patrons' Scheme for next season which will be the 13th season that it has run.

    For the cost of £50 your name will appear throughout the coming season in the matchday programme and on the soon-to-be-launched new website as a Patron of Altrincham Football Club.

    At the start of the season, every member will be entered into a prize draw, with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with nine guests. Second prize will be hospitality for five people and third prize hospitality for three people in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge.

    If you are interested in becoming a Patron for next season, please forward a cheque, payable to Altrincham Football Club, for £50. Alternatively, you can pay by card by phoning the office (0161 928-1045). If you require any further information please do not hesitate to enquire by e-mail."


    Alty TV has produced a 35 minute montage of all of Altrincham's league goals scored at the J Davidson Stadium this season (as well as the two away goals at Grantham.) The video can be viewed on YouTube. It also showcases some of the new graphics for next season.


    Shaw Lane's chairman, Craig Shaw, writes that "I feel it is only right that I justify my comment posted on Twitter on Sunday evening. First and foremost this was in no way directed at Barnsley FC supporters. Most of my friends are Barnsley FC supporters. I work with BFC supporters and even live with BFC supporters. My comment was directed purely at the club’s hierarchy both past and present.

    If I caused offence to supporters then this was not intended and I apologise. My issues with the club have been going on for almost seven years now, going back to a former chief executive who personally phoned me to say that BFC will throw their full financial might behind preventing our attempt to incorporate Barnsley within our football club’s name. We play in a standard of football where our competitors represent towns and cities where the club’s name is representative of that town or city.

    Barnsley FC have blocked our attempts to use the word Barnsley in our club’s name and have therefore prevented any attempt to have an identity and be proud to have Barnsley in our title in some format. The football club have blocked every attempt to try and create a working relationship. All we have ever wanted is to do is to work alongside them, not challenge them but, unfortunately, they see us as a rival who are hell bent on taking their supporters - even to the extent where they refused to send a first team player to our club to present the end of season awards to an under-seven junior team.

    Is it wrong of me to want to offer the town of Barnsley another footballing dimension? One which could have been a feeder club for the town’s premier football club? Is it wrong of me to want to grow a club to a level where Barnsley FC fringe players can gain experience in a man’s game at a very high level that will accelerate and develop them in order to step up to BFC’s first team? A local club where people can watch these players develop rather than loaning them out to other clubs around the country.

    Typical example, we took Ollie Dyson from Huddersfield on loan, a great prospect and a revelation for us over the last couple of months, he will go back to Huddersfield having learnt so much from very competitive men’s football that he simply can’t learn at academy level.

    I am proud to be from Barnsley. I live here. I have grown up here and I have a Barnsley business and employ Barnsley people. There was no one more proud to represent our Barnsley based football club in the first round of the FA cup against Mansfield Town in front of the nation, BBC, ITV, Talk sport, Five Live and many more who all heard me sing the praises of our town.

    For seven years now I have been abused on social media from a section of Barnsley supporters regarding my connection with Sheffield Wednesday. Well am I any different from other kids who went to the football as a small child with his father to watch his team? That’s where my connection to Sheffield or Sheffield Wednesday starts and stops, seven years ago I decided to create a football team in Barnsley not Sheffield.

    We moved to Athersley Recreation in the summer in a ground share deal to the benefit of both clubs. We have made major developments at the stadium over the last 9 months and ultimately we will work together to end up with a community stadium with great facilities for the benefit of non-league football in the town.

    Obviously starting a football team or project from scratch with aspirations like we have needs investment. Fan bases are built over years and years from Miners' Welfares, Collieries, etc. We have tried to do this differently. We want a club to be playing National League football and one for the town to be proud of."

    If I die trying at least I can say I tried!


    From Lincolnshire Live we learn that "Craig Elliott believes his remaining out-of-contract players want to remain at Boston United but wants final decisions soon.

    The Pilgrims’ boss has been handed a major boost after key player Jay Rollins and goalkeeper George Willis accepted new deals, joining Brad Abbott, Ryan Qualter, Jon Stewart and Andi Thanoj in being signed up for next season. Elliott is now awaiting decisions from Stephen Brogan, James Clifton, Ashley Hemmings, Jordan Keane and Jonathan Wafula.

    'It’s pleasing when they make a decision nice and early so both parties can get things sorted,' said Elliott. 'With the others, they’re thinking about it and hopefully there will be more announcements soon. It’s important that I know where I am in two weeks’ time... They all want to come back, but I’m not naïve enough to take it for granted,' he added. 'There are some big clubs out there and they’re all good players. I know there will be other teams after them, but I’d like to think that they want to come back...

    'If they don’t want to come back, I don’t want them anyway. If they don’t want to be at a big club like Boston with a team that’s doing well, then they don’t have the right ambition for me.'

    Elliott will also bring new signings in this summer as he looks to build on an impressive second half to the season which saw United only just miss out on a place in the play-offs. The former Shaw Lane boss expects National League North to be tough again next season...

    'There’s some big teams in this league which we’re never going to compete with [financially],' he said. 'It’s going to be very difficult as there are clubs like Chester and Guiseley coming down. It’s a difficult league and, added to the big budgets, there’s ten or 12 teams which are full-time as well. That’s the biggest obstacle to overcome, rather than the budgets.

    'How do we make up the ground on these teams which are full-time? It does give them an advantage, there’s no doubt about that. That’s why recruitment is crucial as we move forward. We need to sign the right players who look after themselves and are as professional as they can be. I also look into the type of jobs players have got when I’m looking at signing them.'

    Elliott has already received interest from players wanting to come on trial with the Pilgrims. 'I’ve had players and agents get in touch with me about trials, but I will be picky,' he said. 'I won’t be having big numbers in pre-season, I want a tight-knit group. It’s important that I sign the right ones for the right reasons. I’ll probably carry 20 over pre-season, including a couple of trialists, but I want a squad of 16 to 18.' The Pilgrims will be training once a week throughout June before upping to two sessions at the end of the month."

    Meanwhile the National League reports that "Midfielder Russell Penn has re-joined York City after leaving Gateshead. Penn, now 32, made 109 appearances for City between January 2014 and May 2016, many as skipper.

    He joined Carlisle United after the Minstermen's relegation to the Football League, but only made two appearances for the Cumbrians and went on loan to Gateshead and Wrexham, before joining the Tynesiders last summer on a permanent basis. He made forty-one appearances in 2017/18 and scored one goal for Gateshead.

    Meanwhile, striker Flynn McNaughton, midfielder Harry Thompson, and centre-back Josh Rogerson have been offered professional contracts by the Minstermen. The club has released fellow second year academy scholars Josh Berry, Aaron Haswell, Noah Jackson, Joe Kemp, Zac Lawrence and Joe Wilton".

    8 May 2018


    Above: Alty Ladies celebrate their win.

    Keith Edleston, manager of Altrincham FC Ladies provides "A few words from the season overall and also on Sunday's away win at league runners-up West Didsbury and Chorlton...

    Well that's it for 2017/18 and what an amazing season it's been! We have the Development Team winning the Cheshire Women's Division 2 with style and the first team finishing in their highest ever position in the North West Regional League 1, absolutely awesome!

    On Sunday, the first team finished their season with a fantastic 4-1 away victory at runners-up West Didsbury & Chorlton. Make no mistake about it, West are a very good team and for our girls to go there and do that, especially in the sweltering conditions, was nothing short of fantastic!

    Two goals from Jess Hartopp and one apiece from Megan Rowley and Jade Hesketh sealed the win. Every player played her part yesterday and gave her all, and more, for the shirt. We hope both teams have done the Club and all our supporters proud over the season.

    It's time now to recharge and come back next season, aiming high once again. Massive thanks go to all our followers and supporters who have been brilliant this season, home and away, and thanks to all our sponsors as, without them, we would not be in the place we are. There will still be updates on Twitter (@altrinchamfcl) and our Facebook page (Altrincham FC Ladies) during the close season so keep your eyes peeled for some exciting news".


    Like the first team and the Ladies, the Reserves have rounded off thier league season with a resounding win, defeating Greenalls Padgate St Oswald's 4-0, away from home, after they had lost to the same team just 72 hours earlier at the J. Davidson Stadium.

    Altrincham made three changes from the Friday night match, with James O'Hara, Scott Smith, Dylan Scanlan coming into the starting eleven. The squad comprised 1. Andrew JONES, 2. Callum JONES, 3. James O'HARA, 4. Scott SMITH, 5. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. Ethan BROOKS, 7. Darius PALMA, 8. Neil MONAGHAN, 9. Dylan SCANLAN, 10. Joel SWIFT, 11. Tom WESTALL. Substitutes: 14. Joseph ROEBUCK, 14. Tom CLARKE, 15. Chris ROWLEY

    Scanlan (right) put Alty ahead before Joel Swift doubled the lead. Scott Smith then beat four defenders before sliding home the third goal and the scoring was wrapped up by an 87th minute penalty converted by Darius Palma. The win leaves Altrincham ninth but all the teams beneath them have at least four games to play and one has seven! Whether all of those teams complete the season remains to be seen.


    Hereford's Bulls' News reports that "Slough Town won the Southern League Premier play-off final... They beat King's Lynn Town 2-1 at The Walks, with most Hereford fans probably hoping it would be King's Lynn to secure promotion. It's now much more likely Hereford will be in the National League North next season, widely thought to be the more competitive out of the two Step Two divisions."

    From NL Pitchero, we learn that Southport "have announced the return of Liam Watson as first-team manager. Watson needs little introduction to Port fans, being the most successful manager during the club’s non-league era.

    He returns for his third spell as manager having managed the club to the National League North title in both 2004/5 and 2009/10 together with achieving a seventh-place finish in the National League in 2011/12, breaking the club’s consecutive away wins record in the process.

    Watson has won the National League North as manager three times in total, having also successfully managed AFC Telford United to the title in 2013/14. Following his spell on the Board of Directors during the 2016/17 season he has most recently been carrying out a scouting role for Scunthorpe United.

    On the appointment, James Treadwell said on behalf of the Board of Directors, 'We all welcome Liam back to the club and look forward to working with him to achieve our primary target, being promotion back to the National League... We are confident that in Liam and Jon McCarthy we have the management team with the knowledge, experience and expertise to achieve our goals.

    'This will be an exciting summer as we put together a strong squad capable of winning promotion together with the improvements to the ground. Our early season ticket sales have been encouraging, and we look forward to welcoming all fans, both old and new when we return for pre-season.'

    Watson said, 'It is great to be back, and I am looking forward to the challenge. We have the nucleus of a squad capable of winning promotion and we have already identified targets to strengthen. We have the budget available to put together a squad which can play an attractive, attacking style of football and I can’t wait to get started working with Jon McCarthy on that.

    'My desire to manage again has stemmed from watching Accrington Stanley and, my friend, John Coleman, win League Two this season. I was at the game when they clinched the title and the ‘butterflies’ returned. I want that experience again myself. It’s important to me that the club now has the ambition to match my own, and I believe that I can now achieve all of my managerial dreams here at Southport, something I’ve not been able to achieve previously'".

    Meanwhile, NL Pitchero reports that "Boston United duo George Willis and Jay Rollins have put pen-to-paper on new one-year contracts... Willis joined Boston in May 2017 after opting to turn down the offer of a new contract with league rivals Gainsborough Trinity.

    The former Sheffield United youngster progressed through the Bramall Lane system before spending various spells away on loan. Willis, 22, made forty-two appearances during his debut campaign at The Jakemans Stadium, keeping eleven clean sheets in the process.

    Pacey attacker Rollins joined Boston in July 2015 after agreeing an initial one-year contract. The former Askern Villa and Armthorpe Welfare winger impressed during pre-season outings for the Pilgrims to become Dennis Greene’s first outright signing of the summer of 2015... He won the club’s player of the year award in 2016/17 and signed another new deal in August 2017 following a brief sabbatical at the beginning of the last campaign.

    Twenty-three-year-old Rollins has 24 goals to his credit in 109 appearances."

    The National League says that "Guiseley AFC... have extended deals of two outstanding young players in Joe Green and Curtis Morriso... for them to remain with the club for a further season.

    Goalkeeper Green, 21, was signed last summer to compete for the goalkeeper’s jersey alongside Jonny Maxted. For a spell he took over from Maxted but when Jonny signed for Accrington Stanley Green was once again pushed into the wings as understudy to loanee Luke Coddington. Green, however, took advantage of a suspension for the Northampton Town player, keeping a clean sheet in his first game and retaining the jersey for the remainder of the season.

    The Barnsley-based Green joined the club after helping former Lions manager Steve Kittrick’s Scarborough Athletic to rise into the play-offs in the Evo-Stik League North last season. Green played for Sheffield FC at 18 before hooking up with Sheffield United... He took up a four-year football and business scholarship offer at Monroe College, New York.

    He quickly returned to England after finding the football with Monroe Mustangs not living up to expectations. Green was then given an opportunity by John Sheridan at Newport County, who were seeking a back-up ‘keeper... Green made one first-team appearance for Newport in 2015/16, a substitute appearance in an Emirates FA Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers.

    He joined Scarborough in February 2017 after a short spell playing for Handsworth Parramore and Hemsworth Miners Welfare.

    Sheffield-born winger Morrison, 20, figured in Guiseley’s pre-season friendlies ahead of the 2017/18 National League campaign and impressed but was soon shipped out on loan for experience to Buxton. He later joined Matlock Town on loan but was recalled by Guiseley in April and made three appearances in the closing stages of the season.

    Morrison began his career with Chesterfield in 2016 and made his professional debut in a 3–1 EFL Cup defeat against Rochdale.

    In August 2016, Morrison joined Gainsborough Trinity on loan and had further loans at Matlock Town in September 2016 and January 2017, the latter extended to a season-long loan in March 2017."

    According to All4Ashton "Liam Tomsett hailed what he described as his 'best ever season' after his opening goal set Ashton United on their way to victory in the Evo-Stik Premier Division play-off final.

    Tomsett capitalised on Grantham Town ‘keeper Kieran Preston’s error to give United an early second-half lead before Nic Evangelinos’s late goal sealed a 2-0 triumph. This was Ashton’s fourth play-off appearance in the last five seasons and they were finally able to get the job done to earn promotion to the National League North for the first time since 2005.

    Speaking pitchside after lifting the play-off trophy, Tomsett said, 'It’s been a long hard season, everyone’s getting tired, but the feeling doesn’t come better than this. Buzzing doesn’t even come close to describing it.'

    It’s been a tremendous season for the 25-year old former Blackpool, Fylde and Curzon Ashton midfielder whose 17 goals... have been crucial to Ashton’s promotion push. Tomsett continued, 'It’s been the best ever season for me, really. I made the play-off semi-finals with Fylde, but we didn’t make it and I didn’t play as much as I would have liked.

    'This season I’ve been playing regularly, enjoying it and these lads here are different class. They’re the best group of lads I’ve played with and the staff and fans as well have been brilliant. Everyone deserves it... We... got second [place] which is more than we ever thought and now we’ve gone one step further and got promotion'...

    Although the final score line was comfortable, Ashton seemed intent on making life difficult for themselves after passing up a series of gilt-edged chances in the first-half. But Tomsett and his teammates remained confident that if they continued to play their football, the goals would come".

    7 May 2018


    Altrincham FC's Community Sports Hall website reports that "Throughout Sport Relief week on Monday 19th – Friday 23rd March, Altrincham FC Community Sports challenged Stamford Park Junior School to take part in the biggest step challenge, involving over 270 pupils and staff.

    Each pupil and staff member was given a pedometer for the week and they were encouraged to register their daily steps to their form tutor, with Altrincham FC coaching staff visiting daily to help boost step counts with sports coaching sessions.

    AFC Community Sports Co-Ordinator, Simon Dow, said 'Even after the first couple of days, we instantly saw a buzz around the school. Children were running laps of the playground or trying to squeeze in small sprint wherever they could to boost their count, it was amazing to see. We wanted to set a challenge that included the whole school, not just something to please the more active and sport minded pupils.'

    Children were encouraged to raise sponsorship amongst family and friends, with the school raising an overall impressive £1158.65 towards Sport Relief. The final registered step count for the week was 11,266,475, which equates to over two million steps a day, over 8,000 steps per pupil daily.

    AFC Community Sports would like to thank Stamford Park Junior School for stepping up to the challenge and by way of appreciation, all pupils were offered complimentary AFC home match tickets and pupils with the highest step records were given AFC replica home shirts".


    On Sunday, Altrincham FC Ladies won 4-1 away at second-placed West Didsbury and Chorlton. The Ladies have finished the season in a commendable fifth place.


    Altrincham FC Youth had no game this Sunday. They currently lie third in the NWYA Premier Division though others have more fixtures to play. Alty's only remaining game is on 20 May, at home to Prescot Cables.


    Alty's opponents next season became a little clearer after Sunday's play-offs as Chorley and Bradford Park Avenue will remain in the Vanarama North division. The National League reports that "The Vanarama National League North play-off final [will] see Harrogate Town, who finished second in the regular season, take on Brackley Town, who finished third, at The CNG Stadium next Sunday after wins for both in today`s semi-finals.

    Chorley were the visitors to Harrogate today and in soaring temperatures, a goal in stoppage time caused joy for the Yorkshire side and heartbreak for the Lancastrians. Matt Jansen`s Magpies had taken the lead through [ex-Alty midfielder] Josh O'Keefe`s goal after 36 minutes.

    However, they were stung a minute before half-time when the referee issued a straight red card to Lee Molyneux following a high tackle on Ryan Fallowfield.

    Chorley re-grouped at the break but were eventually pegged back just past the hour-mark when Dominic Knowles equalised from the penalty spot after the referee spotted a handball following a goalmouth scramble.

    It looked as though Chorley were going to hang on with ten-men to force extra-time, but in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Josh Falkingham's shot fell kindly for Knowles to slot past Matt Urwin and snatch a last-gasp victory for Simon Weaver`s side.

    At St James's Park, Buildbase FA Trophy finalists Brackley Town were given a really tough test by a Bradford Park Avenue side who only scraped into the top seven on goal difference on the final day of the regular season. However, Avenue had won both league matches between the pair so were confident heading down to Northamptonshire.

    The first half ended goalless and the second period, played in really hot conditions, saw Brackley come close to breaking the deadlock in the 55th minute when Gareth Dean`s header from a corner was headed off the line.

    But it was Brackley keeper Danny Lewis who stood between Avenue and a place in next week's final, producing a string of fine saves to deny Wayne Brooksby, Frank Mulhern and Danny Johnson.

    So, in soaring temperatures, it was to be an extra 30 minutes. Eight minutes in, it was Avenue keeper Steven Drench who came to the fore, making a great save from an Aaron Williams header. But on 111 minutes, the deadlock was finally broken when Williams's initial effort was blocked, but he got hold of the rebound and steered it past Drench into the bottom corner to seal another final place for Kevin Wilkin's side."


    The National League confirms that "Hampton & Richmond Borough will host Braintree Town in the Vanarama National League South play-off final next Sunday at the Beveree after semi-finals wins for both today.

    In boiling hot weather at Melbourne Stadium, a crowd of 1,651 saw Chelmsford City, who finished third in the regular season, beaten 1-0 by Hampton, while at Princes Park, 1,704 saw Dartford, who only missed winning the title on goal difference, beaten by the same scoreline by Braintree, who finished sixth, a massive 17 points behind the Darts...

    Eight minutes into the second half came the defining moment of the game when Chelmsford's Jazzi Barnum-Bobb was shown a straight red card for handling the ball on the line. Max Kretzschmar stepped up and slotted the resulting penalty beyond keeper Jake Jessup to give the Beavers the lead...

    Dartford’s hopes of a return to the National League were dashed, despite only just missing out on automatic promotion to Havant & Waterlooville. Braintree, who came down from non-League football's top competition at the end of last season, now have the opportunity to go straight back up after edging this semi-final 1-0.

    The only goal of a tight, hard-fought tie came in the 72nd minute when the Darts failed to clear the ball and Billy Crook was on hand to stab the ball into the back of the net. That proved enough to condemn Tony Burman`s side to a fourth consecutive season in the National League South."

    6 May 2018


    Sunday 6 May 2018

    Vanarama National League Play-Off Semi Final:

    • Sutton United 2-3 Boreham Wood

    Vanarama National League North Play-Off Semi Finals:

    • Brackley Town 1-0 Bradford Park Avenue - after extra time; winner scored in 116th minute
    • Harrogate Town 2-1 Chorley - the winner came in the 93rd minute; Chorley had ten men from before half-time.

    Vanarama National League South Play-Off Semi Finals:

    • Chelmsford City 0-1 Hampton & Richmond Borough
    • Dartford 0-1 Braintree Town


    In a hastily arranged match at the J. Davidson Stadium, the Altrincham FC Staff overcame the Supporters' team 5-2. After a goalless first half, Sam Heathcote scored for the Staff from his own half, with a quickly taken freekick.

    Two goals from Neil Tolson and one from Chris Rowley then made it 4-0 to the Staff. With ten minutes remaining, Andrew Jones came out of his goal to play an outfield role. The supporters then scored twice before Tom Winn, one of the Club's disability footballers, got a fifth to wrap up a 5-2 win.


    Altrincham clinched promotion with a win at Grantham a fortnight ago and now Ashton United have also secured promotion to the Vanarama National League North division with a win against the Gingerbreads.

    Right: The Northern Premier League trophy.

    The EvoStik League says "Congratulations to Ashton United on clinching promotion to the National League next season as the EVO-STIK League's top flight play-off final winners!

    The Robins beat Grantham Town 2-0 on Saturday in the EVO-STIK League Premier Division's promotion play-off final with second half goals from Liam Tomsett and Nic Evangelinos to go up alongside champions Altrincham after missing out in the play-offs last season when they also finished as runners-up".

    And NL Pitchero adds that "It will be two Robins going up from the Evo-Stik League Premier as Ashton United joined champions Altrincham...

    On a warn, sunny afternoon at Hurst Cross, Ashton beat Grantham Town in the play-off final to return to the National League after a gap of thirteen years. [On that occasion both Alty and Ashton had qualified for the newly formed division after Alty had won a tense game at Moss Lane].

    In front of a shirt-sleeved crowd of 931, the first half ended all-square, with the Robins perhaps edging it with Dan Mooney twice forcing good saves from Gingerbreads' keeper Kieran Preston.

    But it took until the 57th minute for Ashton to make the breakthrough when a long ball forward fell kindly for Liam Tomsett, who beat Preston to slot the ball home. And then with 2 minutes remaining, Ashton completed victory when a John Pritchard cross evaded the Grantham defence and Nic Evangelinos tapped the ball home from close range."

    From the losing side, the Grantham Journal reports that "Town’s dreams of promotion to the National League North came crashing down in the NPL Premier Division play-off final at Ashton United on Saturday.

    Hundreds of Gingerbreads fans made the near 200-mile round trip to see their beloved side lose to two second half goals without reply in the cauldron of heat that was Hurst Cross stadium. On a day truly too hot for football, Grantham generally had the upper hand in the first half, with Ashton venturing forward on occasional counter-attacks that were well defended by Town.

    There were few clear cut chances for either side... The home side did, however, begin to assert themselves more towards the end of the half and Grantham goalkeeper Kieran Preston pulled off a couple of excellent saves to deny the Robins in the last 10 minutes before the break...

    Gingerbreads fans’ hearts sank in the 57th minute when Ashton went in front. Preston appeared to be out of his six-yard box early and Liam Tomsett skipped round him and fired into the back of the net. Grantham sought earnestly for an equaliser... Where Gingerbreads’ singing and chanting had very much ruled the roost, now the Robins began chirping in seemingly ever greater numbers as their side clearly had their tails up ever since the goal...

    Town sent in wave after wave of attacks Ashton’s way, but they were repelled each and every time. At the other end, United struck the bar to the gasps of the whole ground... Devastation came in the 87th minute when keeper Preston saw fit to allow a ball across the face of his goal to roll by, only for Nic Evangelinos to tuck it away with aplomb.

    There was surely no time to recover from that late a blow and the Grantham supporters, who made up the majority of the close to 1,000 crowd, fell briefly silent... Well done lads, you did Grantham proud this season, a truly memorable campaign. Roll on next season..."

    And moving up to the Premier are Bamber Bridge as NL Pitchero tells us that "Bridge, who finished fourth in the regular season, edged out the team who finished two points and a place behind them, Prescot Cables, to win the Evo-Stik League North play-off final on Saturday.

    In front of a terrific crowd of 1,628 at The Sir Tom Finney Stadium, a tight, cagey first half ended goalless...

    It was looking like heading for extra-time in the Lancashire sun, but the deadlock was broken 10 minutes from time when Brig took the lead. Kieran Charnock headed a corner back across goal and sub Chris Marlow took a touch before lashing home past Barnes on the volley.

    Two minutes later, a good run from Waddecar ended with a Marlow effort hitting the inside of the post. But Cables couldn`t respond and it's Bamber Bridge who follow South Shields, Scarborough Athletic and Hyde United into the Premier Division from the North section."


    NL Pitchero confirms that "Tommy Wright, manager of Darlington, has announced that he is releasing Leon Scott and Greg Mills.

    Scott was one of former boss Martin Gray’s first signings when the Quakers were forcibly demoted to the Ebac Northern League in 2012, and since then, he has won a Northern League championship winners` medal in 2013, an Evo-Stik League winners` medal in 2015, and an Evo-Stik play-off winners` medal in 2016 – a terrific record...

    In all, he has made 222 league and cup appearances for Darlington, scoring 20 times...

    Striker Mills joined in in November, following Wright from Nuneaton Town, and made sixteen appearances, scoring once. Also released are youngsters Dale Milburn and Lee Hume."


    Tranmere Rovers beat Ebbsfleet United in Saturday's play-off to meet the winners of Sutton United v Fylde, a game which takes place on Sunday, for a place in the EFL.

    We learn from NL Pitchero that "FC Halifax Town have confirmed that defender Scott McManus has left the club after eight years at The Shay.

    McManus, who was originally on the books at Crewe Alexandra, was the club’s longest-serving current player, having joined in 2011 from FC United of Manchester. After arriving as a central defender, McManus soon made the successful switch over to the left-hand side of defence and has made the position his own.

    The Manchester-born defender scored in the Buildbase FA Trophy Final at Wembley with a stunning strike from outside the area which turned out to be the winning goal".

    5 May 2018


    Ashton United won Saturday's promotion play-off final against Grantham Town, 2-0, to join fellow Robins, Altrincham in the Vanarama National League North next season. Ex-Alty loanee Liam Tomsett set Ashton on their way just before the hour mark, the second goal arrived three minutes from time from Evangelinos.


    Saturday, 5 May 2018

    EvoStik NPL Play-Off Finals:

    • Premier: Ashton United (2nd) 2-0 Grantham Town (4th) att 931
    • North: Bamber Bridge (4th) 1-0 Prescot Cables (5th) att 1628
    • South: Bedworth United (4th) 2-1 Stamford (6th) after extra time

    Vanarama National League Play-Off Semi-Final:

    • Tranmere Rovers 4-2 Ebbsfleet United aet (2-2 after 90 mins)

    Congratulations go to Kevin Ellison and his Morecambe side who stayed up in League Two on Saturday, with a draw; they failed to win any of their last ten fixtures. Barnet are relegated back to the National League,for the third time, with Chesterfield.


    Pictured, right, are the new pitch covers for the J. Davidson Stadium, which were delivered on Friday. Once again, the Club thanks all those supporters who contributed towards their purchase. And, of course, their arrival heralds what promises to be a sunny and warm weekend!


    In their second match in three days at the J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham FC Reserves lost 1-2 to Greenalls Padgate St Oswald's on Friday evening. Alty fell behind just before half-time after they had enjoyed a good spell of play. A cross from the Padgate right was not cleared and the visitors' number ten calmly stabbed the ball home (44 mins).

    Altrincham levelled 12 minutes after the interval when Sam Heathcote smashed home a freekick from just outside the box. But despite having the better of the second half, they lost to a breakaway goal after losing possession ten yards inside their opponents' half (79 mins). Three minutes later Rhain Davis was sent off for an off the ball incident and the visitors rode out the closing stages to keep the three points.

    Match report here


    Altrincham FC Community Sports Company announces that it "has a vacancy for a Community Sports Hall Manager. The job is based at the J Davidson Stadium, and is a full-time position. A job description is here. All applications to be e-mailed to Altrincham FC Community Sports Hall and marked for the attention of the AFCCSC Board. Closing date May 18th 2018".


    The Express & Star reports that "Former Wolves player and coach Rob Edwards has left AFC Telford, less than a year after taking charge of the club.

    Edwards departed Molineux alongside former boss Paul Lambert last summer... The ex-defender then took charge of the Bucks in June, guiding them to a 14th placed finish in the National League North. However, the club regularly flirted with relegation through the course of the season, and Edwards decided to call time on his stay at the club with immediate effect.

    'It's been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make and not one I've taken lightly. Telford means an awful lot to me and it's been a privilege to lead the club this season.' he said. 'It's been a difficult year, I took the job at short notice on the eve of the new season and it took longer than hoped to make the changes I felt were necessary, but I genuinely feel we showed with our form in the last few months we had turned the corner and I truly believe I'm leaving the club in a stronger position than when I arrived.

    'It's a decision I have made for me and my family as I still have strong ambitions to progress in my coaching career'".

    Another person departing his role is former Alty player Tony Sullivan. Marine have announced that their "Assistant Manager and Sports Therapist leave club... Following a review of his staff, Manager Tommy Lawson has informed the club that Assistant Manager Tony Sullivan and Sports Therapist Chris Roberts have left their roles with immediate effect".

    The EvoStik Northern Premier League confirms that on "Play-Off Saturday, the final three Evo-Stik Northern League promotion places will be confirmed as:

    • Premier: Ashton United (2nd) host Grantham Town (4th)
    • North: Bamber Bridge (4th) host Prescot Cables (5th)
    • South: Bedworth United (4th) host Stamford (6th)"

    Finishing third in the league has been a curse in all three divisions, whilst fourth place has proved beneficial to all, so far!

    Ashton United report that "Following the ecstasy of Tuesday night’s win over Farsley Celtic, the Robins must regain their focus ahead of one of the biggest game’s in the club’s history. Second half goals [included one] from Liam Tomsett, who is slowly making a name for himself around these parts, [so] there might be a sculpture being built to compete with Cristiano Ronaldo’s in Madeira Airport.

    Aaron Chalmers doubled Ashton’s lead with 20 minutes to play with Farsley immediate[ly] halving the deficit. However, the Robins' defence remained resolute to earn a Play-Final against Grantham Town this weekend...

    Jody Banim’s men are unbeaten against Grantham this season, picking up four points against the club from Lincolnshire. The Robins picked up all three points in a 2-1 win back in August then came away with a 1-1 draw at South Kesteven Sports Stadium just before Christmas.

    The Robins will have to wary of Grantham leading goal scorer Lee Shaw [i.e. Luke Shaw, who is actually out injured, see below], the striker has played a pivotal role in Grantham’s race for promotion and has bagged 29 goals this season and he will be keen to add to his already impressive tally on Saturday afternoon. Shaw has scored in both games against Robins this season, so Ashton will have to watch the man who had a clean sweep of the club’s Player Of the Year Awards last season, there must be a strong possibility he can achieve the same this time around. ,P> 604 fans came through the gates on Tuesday night, therefore we should expect a larger crowd on Saturday with just 90 minutes separating the sides from promotion to the Vanarama National League North. Therefore we are advising supporters to arrive in good time.

    Ticket Prices: £10 Adults, £6 Concessions"

    From the opposition, we read that Grantham Town "play one of the biggest games in their history on Saturday in the play-off final, where they could clinch promotion to the Vanarama North. After a nervy first-half on Tuesday, Grantham produced one of the performances of the season to secure a 3-0 win away to Warrington and put themselves 90 minutes away from promotion to the Vanarama National League North.

    Goals on Tuesday came from captain Stefan Galinski, who showed real leadership to head home from six yards in a goal-mouth scramble, Danny Meadows whose bobbled effort did enough to cross the line and the final goal of the night, which was arguably the most impressive, a stunning header from outside the box from Jordan Hempenstall which secured Grantham's place in the play-off final on Saturday.

    The Gingerbreads will travel to Ashton United who are the other side with a chance of promotion after winning 2-1 at home to Farsley Celtic. Due to the Robins finishing higher in the league (2nd position), the game will be hosted at their ground, Hurst Cross, after Grantham finished 4th in the league.

    The two previous meetings between the sides have seen the Gingerbreads fail to register a win against the Robins so far, losing 2-1 away from home and drawing 1-1 at home earlier on this season.

    Grantham boss Adam Stevens was quick to praise the fans support and says the side want to do it for the fans, 'Tuesday meant everything to me and the players and I think it epitomised what a great spirit we have here. Saturday is going to be very tough as Ashton will want promotion just as much as we do but, after seeing the great turnout by our fans on Tuesday, we want to give them another memorable day in their lives.'

    Luke Shaw is the only definite absence as he continues his recovery from injury whilst Michael Hollingsworth is a doubt after being forced [off] with injury on Tuesday whilst Andrew Wright will be available after also going off with a slight knock on Tuesday. The rest of the squad is available".


    Thursday 3 May 2018

    Mid Cheshire District FA Senior Cup Final

    • Witton Albion 1 - 0 Winsford United att.359

    Monday 7 May 2018

    Sheffield & Hallam Senior Cup 17-18 - Semi-Final

    • Shaw Lane v Frickley Athletic

    Tuesday 8 May 2018

    Birmingham Senior Cup Final

    • Stourbridge v Hednesford Town, to be played at St. Andrew's, Birmingham City.


    The Leamington Courier reports that "Paul Holleran says Leamington retaining their National League North status was a bigger achievement than when they finished 13th in 2013/14. With their survival already assured, Brakes suffered a comprehensive 4-0 home defeat to Salford in their final match of the campaign on Saturday to finish just one place above the drop zone.

    However, despite finishing three points and six places worse off than in their breakthough season, Holleran said the increased strength of the Conference put this campaign’s survival on a higher plain.

    'Even though the first time we were in this league we got around 50 points, this achievement has been better,' said Holleran. 'The National League North is very close to the National League Premier. It’s not a million miles away. Next season there will be more teams going full-time. Southport and Telford will be full-time teams and full-time Chester and Guiseley are coming down. It’s going to ask a lot of questions but this season asked a lot of questions.

    'This achievement is as good if not better than the play-offs last season but we’ve got to find a way to improve the squad. The last time, the second year in the National League we were weaker. We’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again.'

    Seven successive defeats in August meant the threat of relegation was always hanging over Brakes. And Holleran said that while some of the teams they were battling it out with in the lower reaches had the financial clout to bring about a turn in fortunes it was much more of a gradual process for his side as they scrapped their way to safety.

    'We played Southport over Christmas and they had splashed out £125,000 on transfer fees alone. You see what some clubs can do when they find themselves in a position near the bottom. We brought in Kieran Dunbar and he gave us energy and legs. Jack Edwards coming back gave us physicality and a threat in both boxes plus it lifted the place as he’s well liked.

    'Bringing Junior English into the back four. Nothing major, the DNA didn’t change, it was just little tweaks'.

    However, while Holleran was keen to attribute their improvement to a series of small things, he did highlight the influence of one player. Dan Udoh scored just four times in his three-month spell on loan from Crewe Alexandra but his presence and workrate was key to Brakes’ survival, according it Holleran.

    'You look at the £50,000 (Southport) spent on Jason Gilchrist, that’s what goes on. We got a young lad on loan who didn’t cost a lot... We were able to do a deal with Crewe. February, March, April he’s been key. He’s given us a focal point, energy and power. He puts centre-halves under pressure and he’s a big, strong boy'"

    According to the National League, "Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver says his side know they have what it takes to gain promotion to the Vanarama National League... They now face Chorley at home on Sunday, in the play-off semi-final.

    'Obviously we can be proud of what we have done so far, the quality out there means it will be a tough task, but I have the confidence that we can do it,' Weaver said. 'We know about the depth of the squad that we have, that could be crucial with the two games coming up. If you had told us at the start of the season, we'd be here, I would have taken it that's for sure.'

    Now with the side potentially two home matches from promotion, Weaver says the squad know what is at stake. 'It has been a great journey so far, one we want to continue and that is the aim to have the promotion final at the CNG in just over a week's time.'"

    4 May 2018


    John Edwards, Press & Media Officer at Altrincham FC, conducted a number of post-match interviews after the match with Hednesford last weekend. Alty TV's recording is here.

    Alty TV also has highlights of the Alty v Hednesford Town game, here.


    NL Pitchero reports that "Steve Burr has returned to his roots by becoming manager of the first club be played for, Stafford Rangers. Burr began his career in football as a player with Rangers as a striker and was a prolific goalscorer.

    In the summer of 1984, he moved to Macclesfield Town... Burr went on to play for Hednesford Town, Nuneaton Borough and Halifax Town before he began his managerial career at Nuneaton, firstly as assistant to Brendan Phillips before taking over as manager at the end of the 2002/03 season.

    He moved on to Hucknall Town, gaining instant success as they cruised to the Northern Premier League title. The lure of management at a higher level took Burr to Northwich Victoria where he was dealt a cruel blow as the club were handed a ten-point deduction. Against the odds, he managed to keep the Vics in the Conference only for a non-football related decision saw them relegated. However, he swiftly led the Vics back to the Conference National by winning the Conference North championship...

    Burr was... appointed assistant-manager of the England C side under Paul Fairclough. He moved on to Conference North side Stalybridge Celtic in 2007 where he continued to work his magic as they narrowly missed out on promotion in the play-off final. A move to Conference National side Kidderminster Harriers in January 2010 brought more success... In 2013 Kidderminster missed out on promotion by just a couple of points and Burr was named the Conference manager of the season.

    But he left the club in January 2014 and almost immediately was appointed manager of Chester City for the remainder of that season with the option to extend into the following season. He remained at the club until April 2016.

    A short managerial spell at Southport followed before he took up the reins back at one of his former clubs, Stalybridge Celtic, last season."

    Also from NL Pitchero we learn that "Stockport County, who lost in the Vanarama National League North play-off eliminators on Wednesday night, have released midfielder Bohan Dixon. Dixon, who stands 6`4”, joined the Hatters on a one-year deal in September 2017 with an option for a further twelve months.

    He was virtually a permanent fixture in AFC Fylde’s title-winning side in 2016/17... Dixon also played in the Football League with Accrington Stanley before stints with Marine AFC, Lincoln City, Northwich Victoria, Stalybridge Celtic and Salford City... The 28-year-old scored 2 league goals last season for the Hatters and made twenty appearances, thirteen of them off the bench."

    The Warrington Guardian reports that ec-Alty midfielder "Sean Williams says being at Warrington Town has meant he can play 'with a smile on his face again.' The central midfielder has been an integral part of Paul Carden’s side this year, contributing 15 goals to their promotion push...

    But their season ended with play-off disappointment on Tuesday night... Despite that, Williams says... 'I’m enjoying my football at the moment,' he told the Guardian. 'When that happens, you play with a bit more freedom and less pressure. It’s always nice to play with a smile on your face, that’s the most important thing. If you play with a bit more freedom, you start to play well.'

    Williams’s regular partner in the heart of Yellows’ midfield is the vastly-experienced Steve Jennings, who joined the club permanently from Southport after a successful loan spell earlier in the season. The 33-year-old has played extensively in the Football League for Tranmere Rovers and Coventry City and Williams says that experience is vital in the dressing room...

    'You always need someone like Jenno in and around you when things are going tough,' he said. 'In terms of playing ability, Jenno is up there with the best in this league. He’s certainly one of the best central midfielders I’ve played with. He pulls you into shape, he’s always speaking at half-time and before and after games to encourage the boys...

    'I learn from him every time we play and train'".


    "FC Halifax Town have confirmed that full-back Josh Wilde has left the club along with five other players", says NL Pitchero. Wilde... made seventy-two starts, scoring 3 goals. But he, along with Tom Nicholson, Martin Riley, Cliff Moyo, Danny Clarke and Tom Denton are all leaving The Shay.

    Town boss Jamie Fullarton has Sam Johnson, Matty Brown, Scott Garner, Matt Kosylo, Jake Hibbs and Michael Collins already under contract for next season, while the club has confirmed that Sam Graham has been recalled by his parent club Sheffield United. Discussions are ongoing with the remainder of the squad."

    3 May 2018


    Altrincham FC have placed posters (as above) outside the J. Davidson Stadium thanking their supporters for their role in the promotion gained by the first team in 2017-18.



    Two more of Altrincham's opponents next season became clear on Wednesday night after the first two play-off games which ensured that Kidderminster and Stockport County will not be promoted out of the Vanarama North division.
    • Kidderminster Harriers 0-2 Bradford Park Avenue (Luca Havern played the full game for BPA)
    • Stockport County 0-1 Chorley (Scott Leather and Josh O'Keefe both played the full game for Chorley)
    The play-off semi-finals, on Sunday, will therefore be...
    • Brackley Town v Chorley
    • Harrogate Town v Bradford Park Avenue


    Altrincham FC Reserves had a fixture on Tuesday night at the J. Davidson Stadium, against Whaley Bridge Athletic. Substitute Matt Graetzer netted the only goal of the game in the 71st minute, netting after a corner from the left.

    Match report here.

    The Reserves are back at the JDS on Friday, when Greenalls Padgate St. Oswald’s are the visitors (7.45pm). Above, the Reserves line-up before kick off on Tuesday night.


    NL Pitchero reports that "Craig Elliott, manager of Boston United, has confirmed his retained and released list at the end of the 2017/18 campaign. Four players are already contracted for 2018/19, with a further seven offered new terms.

    A total of thirteen players have been released without offer. Those already under contract for next season are: Brad Abbott, Ryan Qualter, Jon Stewart and Andi Thanoj. Those offered new terms are: Stephen Brogan, James Clifton, Ashley Hemmings, Jordan Keane, Jay Rollins, Jonathan Wafula and George Willis.

    The thirteen released by the former Shaw Lane AFC boss, who led the Pilgrims to within three points of a play-off place are Wes Atkinson, Liam Adams, Brad Beatson, Jack Broadhead, Taron Hare, Benny Igiehon, Brad McGowan, Jamie McGuire, Gregg Smith, Kabongo Tshimanga, Harry Vince, Tyrell Waite and Jan Yeomans."


    Farsley Celtic report that "Following the conclusion of a fantastic season at Farsley Celtic, which ultimately ended in play-off disappointment on Tuesday evening, we caught up with Club Chief Executive Josh Greaves who gave his view on 2017/18 and how the football club can be proud of their achievements, but at the same time look forward.

    'It is a season that we can look upon with great pride...

    'This season has seen a 30% increase on our home gates which has been fantastic and I feel that this is due to a number of factors. Being promoted into the Evo-Stik League Premier Division, seeing a number of old and new faces at the Nest this season and the brand of football and passion that we show on the pitch... It was great to see so many travel to Ashton United on Tuesday and thank you from me for your support this season...

    'We ended the season last year on so many mixed emotions, with gaining promotion and winning the County Cup, but then the bombshell was dropped with both Neil (Parsley) and John (Deecey) leaving the club in such a short period of time. Myself and John (Palmer) found ourselves with a decision of appointing a new manager and felt that due to the time of the resignations and with pre-season not far over the horizon we felt we had to appoint a successor quickly. Within days we had an opportunity to appoint Adam (Lakeland) and what an appointment it has been'

    What Adam and Mark (Bett) have brought to the club over the last 12 months is something that I have not seen at the club for a few years; passion, pride and professionalism... We had to make some decisions early on in Adam's tenure at the club with regards to players. A few of our stalwarts left the club for various reason in pre-season but Adam has brought some quality players in to fill the gaps and it’s shown over the last 38 weeks what great signings they have been.

    Fellow play-off losers, Warrington Town tell us that "Town’s promotion dreams are over after they crumbled to a 3-0 home defeat to Grantham Town in the Evo-Stik Premier League play-offs. The Yellows continued their indifferent form of late as they had no answer to a dominant defensive performance by the visitors, who then made the most of their chances at the other end...

    In truth, the Yellows had been limping to the end of the season in poor form and without several players and their squad finally broke at the death. Already missing the likes of captain James McCarten, Dylan Vassallo, Liam Hynes and Tony Gray, as well as the suspended Rory McKeown and Mekhi Leacock-McLeod, the Yellows were dealt a further blow when Shaun Beeley withdrew due to a family bereavement.

    A bumper crowd of 737 attended Cantilever Park to witness a cagey opening quarter... Neither side could carve out much of an opening... At the other end, the Yellows lacked creativity throughout... It remained cagey and niggly at the start of the second half...

    The visitors would break the deadlock on 59 minutes, a half cleared free-kick made its way back in to the box and as the ball bounced around, it popped up for the excellent Galinski who beat Luke Pilling to it to divert home. Warrington still struggled to carve out openings and the lead gave the visitors momentum and they went for the kill.

    The crucial second goal came on 70 minutes, and again via a deflection. A free-kick was won by Oliver Luto in his own half, and from it the ball bounced around before Meadows steered it home via a deflection.

    It wasn’t to be Warrington’s night and Grantham added more gloss to the scoreline with a fine third goal, Hempenstall heading home from the edge of the box into the top corner.

    It brings an abrupt end to what had been a successful season for the Yellows".


    Wednesday 2 May 2018

    Integro League Cup Final

    • Atherton Collieries 2-1 Coalville Town. Att. 374, played at the Impact Arena, Alfreton.

    Cheshire Senior Cup Final

    • Nantwich Town 3-0 Stockport Town Att. 251, played at Runcorn Linnets.

    2 May 2018


    Altrincham FC will be holding Youth team trials on 10th June for the 2018/19 season. These are for players born between 1 September 2000 and 31 August 2004. To participate, please e-mail to register your interest.

    Meanwhile, details of Altrincham's first-team trials, on 5th May, are here.


    Tuesday 1 May 2018

    Premier Division Promotion Play Offs - Semi-Finals

    • Ashton United 2-1 Farsley Celtic (Att. 604. Ex-Alty loanee Liam Tomsett's goal and a penalty from former Alty trialist Aaron Chalmers won the game for Ashton)
    • Warrington Town 0-3 Grantham Town (Att. 737)

    So, Ashton United now host Grantham Town on Saturday.

    First Division North Promotion Play Offs- Semi-Finals

    • Bamber Bridge 2-1 Tadcaster Albion (Gate 613)
    • Prescot Cables 3-0 Trafford (Gate 695)

    First Division South Promotion Play Offs - Semi-Finals

    • Bedworth United 2-1 Chasetown (Gate 517)
    • Frickley Athletic 1-2 Stamford (Gate 536)


    According to NL Pitchero, "Out-of-contract strikers Alex Kempster and Louis Almond have been offered new deals by York City. Midfielder Clovis Kamdjo, who is also out of contract, has been invited to return for pre-season training after a lengthy absence from the first-team this season with injury.

    City have released the following players whose current deals have expired: Connor Brown, Aidan Connolly, James Gray, Sam Muggleton, Daniel Rowe, Michael Rankine, Luke Simpson, Connor Smith, and Theo Wharton. Striker Raul Correia, defender Jonny Burn, and midfielder Alex Pattison have returned to their parent clubs at the end of loan deals.

    Manager Martin Gray told the club's official website, 'We have tried to act as quickly as we can so players know where their futures are. We have kept some very good players but, equally, we now have to make sure we bring in the right people, senior players who have been there and done it at this level and the league above.

    'One or two players have unfortunately fallen short,' he said. 'There were two or three really good characters and that’s always a more difficult conversation to have. But there is the other side of it, where they are pleased to see the back of me and I am certainly pleased to see the back of them. It’s all about the future now and the future started this morning,' he added. 'I want the players to come back with a new philosophy and a new mentality about what this club is going to be all about.'

    Gray confirmed that the club still has eleven professionals under contract and his aim is to assemble a squad of eighteen players before the start of next season."

    Meanwhile, Lincolnshire Live reports that ex-Shaw Lane boss and current "Boston United manager Craig Elliott is determined to get his recruitment correct as he aims to build on the momentum generated by the Pilgrims over recent months. [Boston] United moved into ninth place in the final National League North standings at the weekend following their 1-0 home win over AFC Telford United.

    It completed a remarkable turnaround from the position which Elliott inherited in November, with the new manager harvesting 44 points from his 24 league matches at the United helm. Former Shaw Lane boss Elliott said, 'Perspective is important and, from where we have come from, everybody can be proud of themselves in that dressing room. League tables never lie and if you finish ninth, you deserve to finish ninth.

    'I backed myself to stay up. I would not have taken the job if I did not believe I could keep the club up. We have gone a little bit further than I thought we would but there’s no way we were getting relegated.'

    The Pilgrims confirmed the re-signing of 25-year-old midfielder Andi Thanoj last week and further announcements regarding the squad are expected over the coming days. 'My hard work starts now,' added Elliott. 'I need to be 100 per cent sure in terms of what I want to recruit and what I want to keep because it’s so important. I do believe recruitment is the most important aspect of management at this level...

    'I have got a clear idea of the type of player. It’s important how they fit into my system and how we go about it next year and I will make sure they are 100 per cent committed... I have got players in mind that I would like to bring in and others that I would like to keep.'

    Thanoj joined defender Ryan Qualter and midfield partner Brad Abbott as being confirmed parts of Elliott’s squad moving forward, with the futures of the likes of Jordan Keane, Jay Rollins and Ashley Hemmings now likely to fall under the microscope. Loanees Reece Thompson and Ben Middleton have returned to respective parent clubs, Guiseley and Harrogate Town, but Elliott has confirmed that he would like to sign both players permanently should the opportunities arise.

    Hemmings, meanwhile, walked away with the club’s player of the year award on Saturday. The full list of winners was:

    • Turnbull Building and Plumbing Supplies Player of the Year: Ashley Hemmings
    • Barbara Singleton Memorial Trophy (for Players' Player of the Year): Jordan Keane
    • BUSA Player of the Year: Ashley Hemmings
    • BUSA Juniors' Favourite Player of the Year: Reece Thompson
    • BUSA Special Recognition Award: Yvonne Barnes (Club Shop)
    • U19s/U21s Player of the Year: Callum Rodger"

    Following the departure of manager Kevin Davies, who is now being linked with relegated League Two side Chesterfield, one of his former clubs as a player, Southport "is now in a position to confirm its retained list ahead of 18/19.

    The following players are under contract for next season: Dion Charles, Dan Cockerline, Jason Gilchrist, Mark Halstead, Nathan Lowe, David Lynch, David Morgan, Elliot Osborne, Billy Priestley, Jordan Richards, Jack Sampson"

    In the Shropshire Star we read that "Goalkeeper Jaz Singh has left AFC Telford United after not playing since January 1. The 28-year-old former Shrewsbury Town shot-stopper was signed by former boss Rob Smith and featured in the early months of Rob Edwards's reign.

    The ex-Solihull Moors and Gloucester man lost his place to loanees as Ryan Schofield joined from Huddersfield and, most recently, Ben Wilson from Cardiff. The loan arrivals have meant Singh, who interested Kidderminster Harriers last summer, has had to make do with a place on the bench as the Bucks staved off relegation. In total he made 22 appearances for AFC Telford.

    It is expected to be a busy period for the New Bucks Head side as Edwards makes the decisions on the futures of most of his Telford squad".


    south Shields state that "The club wishes to clarify its position following rumours which have accelerated online and in the print media over recent days. There is no prospect of the club merging with Gateshead FC this summer, nor has this avenue been suggested or explored. Everyone at South Shields FC is looking ahead to another exciting campaign next season in the Evo-Stik Premier Division".


    In advance of Tuesday's game, the Warrington Guardian reported that "Warrington Town manager Paul Carden has called upon the town’s sports fans to pack out Cantilever Park for their play-off semi-final...

    Town’s average home crowd this season is just 275, but a much larger gate is expected for tonight’s game against Grantham Town. Carden says his players deserve to have a huge crowd roaring them on in their bid for promotion to the National League North.

    'The regulars and diehards are there every week and they are superb, but you just want a little bit more from others,' he said. 'It’s the people who have been before and for whatever reason haven’t come back. We just want that togetherness as a town to try and achieve something positive. We’ve been striving all season to do that, but it’s very rare that the attendance has fluctuated. The gates are obviously something of a concern.

    'Come Tuesday, we need everybody who’s only going to be sat at home watching Coronation Street or Eastenders or whatever to come down and support us. The lads deserve it, and the town deserves it. We want to give this town something to shout about and we’ll be going all out to make it happen'...

    Should Yellows win, the play-off final will be held on Saturday, May 5."

    1 May 2018


    Darren Gregory has kindly supplied details of Sunday's Altrincham FC Girls' Tournament on the pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium...

    "Twenty-four teams entered our Tournament at Altrincham FC's J. Davidson Stadium. It was a completely enjoyable and successful day with some great football on show. None of the three Altrincham girls' teams that entered made the finals but that didn't matter - it was all about the girls having fun and enjoying themselves.

    • Winners of the Under-8s: Rossendale Valley Vixens. Runners up: Litherland REMYCA FC
    • Winners of the Under-9s: Litherland REMYCA FC. Runners up: Bolton Wanderers
    • Winners of the Under-10s: Macclesfield Ladies. Runners up: Brooklands Purples
    • Winners of the Under-11s: Euxton Villa Girls. Runners up: Flixton FC

    "There was some great feedback on Twitter @Altyjfcgirls. A huge Thank you to all our fantastic volunteers who made the day a great success".


    Next season, Altrincham will be travelling once more to Haig Avenue, from where NL Pitchero reports that "The Board of Directors at Vanarama National League North club Southport have announced the departure of manager Kevin Davies.

    Director Phil Hodgkinson said, 'On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Kevin for his effort and hard work over the last thirty-one games since he took charge. Kevin has put his heart and soul into the job and an unbelievable amount of time effort and commitment day in, day out, his work-rate and desire is to be admired, and nobody can question his endeavour. Kevin joined the club at a very difficult time, inheriting a disjointed squad on a run of heavy defeats, and a dressing room which was far from together.

    'Undertaking a mid-season overhaul of that squad was a difficult task. However, following a long run of games without a win, and with the addition of first-team coach Jon McCarthy, results started to improve at the turn of the year, with the club briefly flirting with the play-offs.

    'The Board has made no secret of our ambitions for the Football Club, and those include a quick return to the National League. To do that we need to compete with the teams at the top end of the table. As custodians of the Football Club, we sometimes have to make tough decisions. We feel that to achieve our ambitions for the club, we require somebody with extensive experience of both the level and also winning leagues.

    'We wish Kevin all the very best for the future and have no doubt that he will be a tremendous success as a manager. However, at this time, it has become clear to the Board that this Football Club requires an experienced head to take us up the leagues. The Board are not inviting applications for the post, and it will not be advertised, we have identified a shortlist of targets with the requisite credentials we believe are required to take the Football Club forward, and we will be contacting those individuals (and their current clubs where appropriate) directly regarding the position'".

    And at another former opponent, NL Pitchero tells us that "Gary Owers, manager Torquay United, relegated from the Vanarama National League, has now completed end-of-season reviews with the players and the following decisions have been made heading into the close-season.

    The club has decided to release Reece Mitchell, Conrad Balatoni, Sam Chaney, Yan Klukowski and Jake Gosling, while Josh Gowling, Ryan Clarke and Jon-Paul Pittman have been placed on the transfer list and will be circulated as available to other clubs. Jamie Reid is already under contract for next season while new offers of re-engagement have been made to Luke Young, Brett Williams, Sean McGinty, Ruairi Keating, Liam Davis and Vincent Dorel, and the players have been given a set time period to respond".

    Meanwhile, the Hull Daily Mail reports that "The man who managed North Ferriby United during their one and only season in the top flight of non-league football has been awarded more than £3,500 by an employment tribunal following his sacking. Chairman Jamie Waltham sacked Steve Housham just two days after he took over the running of the club from the Forster family in November 2017.

    Housham spent around 16 months as the Villagers’ manager, alongside his assistant Darryn Stamp who has also received a four-figure pay-out. Both men made legal claims against the club for breach of contract. Claims of unlawful deduction of wages were withdrawn.

    In total, Housham was awarded £3,794 while Stamp was awarded £2,944. Both men were also awarded costs of £1,248 each against the club who did not attend the hearing.

    North Ferriby United have hit the headlines recently after Waltham suggested he was looking at the option to turn the Eon Visual Media ground into a travellers' site on non-match days to increase revenue. However, North Ferriby Parish Council, which owns the land, has said that it could not happen under the terms of the lease.

    The Villagers now ply their trade in the National League North following relegation last summer, but have again found the going tough and are now facing up to their second successive relegation. Next season they will be competing in the Northern Premier League, just four years since they lifted the FA Trophy at Wembley. The club is now managed by former player Chris Bolder who came through the youth ranks at Hull City."


    According to NL North, "Two Boston United players have announced they will be seeking fresh challenges after departing the club.

    Gregg Smith and Jamie McGuire, two big characters in the dressing room, took to social media to thank fans and colleagues. Striker Smith wrote... 'Unfortunately I won’t be back as I haven’t been offered anything'... McGuire added, 'Personally my decision to leave and on to a new challenge'".