2 July, 2002
Altrincham season tickets are now being distributed. The white ticket-books of recent years have been replaced by black for this campaign! For details of how to get yours, please click here.
MARINE ON MONDAYS
Marine's web site reports that the club's midweek games this coming season will be played on Mondays. This is to try to avoid the impact of televised football. Alty's away games at Marine are usually midweek affairs so this is likely to affect Robins' fans. The Crosby side have signed Burton Albion striker Alan Bailey. Bailey was unable to stay at Burton due to the travel commitments of being in the Conference. The 24 year-old has had spells at Stockport County and Manchester City. He played for the last five minutes against Alty in the 1-1 draw at Eton Park last season. Marine's veteran John Gautrey has joined Southport as coach but will still play for Marine. Elsewhere in the UniBond, Frickley have been fined £250 for a breach of FA rules in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup game with Doncaster Rovers last season. Stalybridge have confirmed the signing of Dave Ridings from Leigh RMI- their ninth acquisition of the close season.
1 July, 2002
UNITED SWITCH TO MOSS LANE
The Teamtalk web site has reported that Manchester United Reserves will be playing at Altrincham next season. The Reserves' switch to Moss Lane from Bury's Gigg Lane was largely due to the poor state of the Bury pitch and could cost Bury £35,000 a season. United's Director of Communications, Paddy Harverson, said: "The state of the Bury pitch was a problem for us. We played some matches at Altrincham last season that went well. We had good crowds there and the ground is also nearer to our training complex. Altrincham did well for us and we felt Moss Lane was better suited to our needs." Last season Alty hosted three United Reserves' games in the Manchester Senior Cup which featured big names such as Denis Irwin, Wes Brown and Diego Forlán.
Manager Kenny Lowe and assistant Lee Turnbull will sign three-year
contracts shortly. After Barrow's relegation from the Conference the duo
have brought stability to the Club. Manager Phil Stant has signed four players for Gainsborough Trinity including St Kitts international Dean Walling (as player-coach) from Cambridge United. Also joining are defender Darren Knowles, formerly at Northwich Vics, striker Mark Anderson from Scunthorpe and midfielder Andy Brownrigg from Hednesford Town. Stant said "I want to have a squad of 17, that would be ideal".
30 June, 2002
The FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round, when the UniBond Premier clubs enter, will be on 28th September, for which the draw is on Monday 16th September. Dates of later round matchdays are:
3rd QR: Oct. 12
4th QR: Oct. 26
1st Round: Nov. 16
Trophy match dates are:
2nd Round: Nov. 30
3rd Round: Jan. 11
4th Round: Feb 1.
FURLONG GOING UP?
Colwyn Bay report that ex-Al ty striker Carl Furlong "has expressed an interest in staying at Llanelian Road but has recently been accepted for trials with Stockport County and Torquay and is waiting to see how things develop before committing himself". However, another former Robin, Marc Limbert, as well as James McIlvogue has already agreed to resign for Bay for the forthcoming season. "Limbo had been in talks with Rhyl", says the website. The Bay have signed 21 year old midfielder Andy Jones from Rhyl and "negotiations are continuing with two UniBond League strikers and...with two goalkeepers with Paul Smith due to miss the opening weeks of the season due to knee surgery".
Ex-Alty defender Mark Ogley has moved from Frickley Athletic to Belper Town as player/assistant-manager. To replace the exodus of players from Lancaster to Stalybridge, the Giant Axe side have signed Celtic's Chris Perkins and have taken Celtic's striker Ged Courtney and Matt Woods for a 3 week trial. Celtic are expected to sign Leigh's Dave Ridings shortly. Completed moves include:
Ian Blackstone (Harrogate T. to Farsley Celtic)
Gary Ingham (Gainsborough Trinity to Belper Town, as goalkeeper-coach)
Dean Jones (Frickley A. to Belper T.)
Today's NLP has an article in which John Davison recalls Alty's win over Birmingham City in 1986, when Alty won 2-1 at St Andrews against a side including David Seaman in goal.
29 June, 2002
NEWS FROM MEETING
Last night's helpful meeting between the new Board and the supporters addressed the club's financial plight as well as providing information on players leaving or staying at the club. The meeting certainly revealed a unity of purpose from those present as the Board underlined the major problems facing the Club - but they need every supporter's help to carry us forward. Click here for details.
Non-League on the Net, the original national non-league football website has closed down. Also, Clubcall, the premium rate phoneline which gave news updates about many football clubs, including Altrincham, has apparently ceased operations on its existing platform. Whether it reappears in another guise remains to be seen. The Clubcall service generated useful income for many clubs, including Altrincham, but it has been hit by the advent of on-line news channels.
UniBond Division One side Stocksbridge Park Steels are aiming for a better season by recruiting experienced goalkeeper Jamie Holmshaw from Worksop Town, centre-back Gary Middleton formerly at Ilkeston and Gainsborough, and Mick Norbury, the much travelled Emley midfielder. Staying at the Steels is ex-Robins' player Jeremy Illingworth.
28 June, 2002
SUPPORTERS' MEETING WITH BOARD
A report of tonight's meeting between the new Board and the supporters is to be found here.
FA's CUP & TROPHY DRAWS
The FA have made the draws for the FA Cup, Trophy and Youth Cup. So far, only the Youth Cup draws include Altrincham and details of Alty's opponents in the first three qualifying rounds are on this site's Youth Page. In the FA Trophy, the draw has only been made up to the 1st Round; Alty enter in the 2nd. Those UniBond Premier sides in the 1st Round on 2 October are:
Blyth v N Ferriby/ Matlock T.
Burscough v Marine
Droylsden v Ashton Utd
Chorley/ Stocksbridge v Whitby T.
Gateshead v Hyde U.
Kidsgrove v Frickley A.
Rocester/ Workington v Colwyn Bay
Gainsborough T. v Kendal T.
Rugby U. v Hucknall T.
In the FA Cup, the draw has only been made as far as the 1st Qualifying Round.
Paul Edwards, (right), who played nine games for Alty at the end of the 2000-01 season has joined Wrexham after spending most of last season at Swindon Town.
OUR NEIGHBOURS Former Alty
Reserves' manager Joey Dunn, who now manages Trafford, has appointed
Stuart Humphries as his assistant-manager at Shawe View. Flixton, who host
Alty Reserves' games and whom we meet in a friendly on 25 July at Valley
Road, have been reprieved from relegation from NW Counties Division One.
This reprieve is a knock-on from Gretna's move to the Scottish League from
the UniBond First Division.
Whitby Town are to demolish their main stand before 1
April 2003 to avoid possible relegation from the UniBond Premier for
having a sub-standard ground. A new stand will cost £275,000. The Club has
£70,000 and hopes for grants of up to £160,000. They are seeking the
missing £45,000 via £100 sponsorship for each seat in the new stand.
THREE FEEDERS TO STAY
The F.A. is to confirm its proposals for restructuring of the national non-League System at the annual National Leagues' Conference in Birmingham (12th-14th July). After extensive consultation it is expected that the system of three feeder leagues to the Conference will be retained, rather than the two-feeders alternative which had been proposed. However, some changes are expected to the current UniBond/ Ryman/ Dr Martens set-up.
The Frickley Forum
claims that nine of the club's players have left or are planning to leave
the currently managerless club. Amongst those named as going are ex-Alty
striker Leroy Chambers as well as former Emley man Rory Prendergast.
27 June, 2002
Alty should come into the FA Trophy in Round Two of the FA Trophy this
coming season instead of Round One as happened last year (when they played away at Spalding United). It is believed that teams finishing eleventh or higher in the UniBond Premier last season are exempt from Round One. The draw should be known this weekend.
NON-LEAGUE MEDIA As reported
earlier, Non-League Media, the company which produces the excellent
Non-League Paper and Directory is seeking to go onto
administration to secure its future. The Daily Telegraph yesterday
explained that the company's problems had arisen after the founder of the
company "had transferred £569,000 out of the company into two other
companies. The money helped his wife buy a house. About £300,000 has since
been returned to Non-League Media". The person in question has now
resigned and the company's spokesman has stated that "none of our titles
should be affected", which is good news for all supporters.
26 June, 2002
LIVING WITHIN OUR MEANS
SAM carries an interview with new Alty Director Grahame Rowley in which he says the new Board's "first priority is to stabilise the club's financial situation. We have set a realistic budget that will hopefully see us break even. We still want to aim high in the league, but the reality is that if £5 comes into the club, we can only spend £5 - there's no sense spending £10". Grahame added that "Friday's meeting is an opportunity for everyone connected with the club to ask any questions they want". The fans' meeting on Friday is at 7.30pm in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane.
The UniBond League fixtures for next season are expected to reach Altrincham and other clubs in about ten days time. In the meantime, there has been a change to the pre-season friendlies affecting the Leek Town game. This is as a consequence of a friendly game having now been arranged against a Blackburn Rovers side. Click here for details of all the friendlies.
Altrincham season tickets are due to arrive at the Club from the printers by the end of June so should be despatched to subscribers soon after that. For ticket price details click here.
As reported yesterday, Alty are exempt from Round One of the UniBond Challenge Cup. However, the draw has been made and one known local tie is Hyde Utd v Trafford. Colwyn Bay report that they hope to sign two new strikers and that "both players are believed to have played in the UniBond League last season". Whether this affects Carl Furlong remains to be seen as the ex-Alty striker ended last season at the North Wales club. The Bay's goalkeeper Paul Smith is out injured so like Alty (and Gateshead), they are seeking to sign a new keeper before the start of the season. Glen Graham, Craig Hogg and Paul Jones are amongst Bay players definitely staying for next season.
25 June, 2002
In the UniBond Challenge Cup for 2002-03, the top 10 from last year's Premier League (including Alty) will be exempt from Round One, as will the top 9 from Division One. The remaining 26 UniBond clubs will reduce themselves to 13 after the First Round. These 13 will then be joined by the 19 exempt teams to make 32 in Round Two. These will compete on knock-out basis to the Final. The Chairman's Cup will apparently only be contested by the 13 clubs knocked out in Round One of the Challenge Cup, whilst the President's Cup field will only comprise the 16 losers from Round Two of the Challenge Cup. The quarter- and semi-finals of all three competitions will be played on the same date. It has yet to be decided if the early cup rounds will be regionalised.
VICS HAVE PROBLEMS TOO
Like Altrincham, our Cheshire rivals Northwich Victoria are facing financial problems. The This is Cheshire website reports that Northwich Victoria's Financial Director Jim Rafferty has told his club's supporters that although they are not "on the verge of going bust", they do need to address the likely drop in income from playing next season at Witton Albion's ground. Because of the Drill Field planning problems the club are a year behind schedule in completing their move to a new ground. "It's not desperate and there's no talk of going into administration but we need to act and act quickly so we can make ourselves viable for the future", said Mr Rafferty. "We only get £4.80 of the gate money that comes through after paying VAT, match officials and the St John Ambulance", he added.
Because of Gretna's move to the Scottish League, Kendal Town have been reprived from relegation to the N.W. Counties League from the UniBond First Division.
24 June, 2002
EMLEY CHANGE NAME
The Annual General Meeting of the UniBond League has confirmed that next
season Emley will play under the name of Wakefield Emley F.C.. It has also been confirmed that the UniBond League Cup competitions will be held on a knock-out rather than league basis in 2002-03.
RICO'S WINNER IN KOREA
Rico Richards, a regular for Alty Youth before he left for Hyde United, scored the only goal to win the international Budweiser Cup for six a side teams, held last week in South Korea. 18 year-old Rico's goal secured the trophy for his side, Legends Sports Bar of Sheffield. Despite their name, the team is Manchester based.
HUCKERBY JOINS HUCKNALL
Scott Huckerby, brother of Manchester City's Darren Huckerby, has joined Hucknall Town from Hinckley United. Scott played against Alty for Telford in the Conference in 1999-2000. As well as re-encountering Huckerby when Alty next visit Watnall Road, improvements to Hucknall's ground should also be evident.
23 June, 2002
Non-League Media plc, publishers of the Non-League Paper and the Non-League Magazine, are to go into administration. However, NLM stresses that the publications will survive and that current cash-flow problems are resolved.
SEAMAN'S OTHER NIGHTMARE
In the NLP an e-mail from Felix Tode reminds readers of David Seaman's darkest moment before the recent World Cup clanger against Brazil. This was in 1986 when he was Birmingham City's keeper as Altrincham won 2-1 at St Andrew's in the FA Cup.
McKENNA'S POLISH DRAW
Former Alty striker Ken McKenna will be taking his TNS side into Europe in the UEFA Cup First Qualifying Round in August. His League of Wales side will play Amica Wronki, who finished third in the Polish League.
22 June, 2002
NORMAL SERVICE RESUMES
This site's normal daily news service resumes from today after a short break.
SAM reports that Altrincham's three new Board members Grahame Rowley, Geoff Goodwin and Andrew Shaw were nominated, respectively, by major shareholders Graham Heathcote, Gerry Berman and Len Rosenfield. Grahame Rowley will be well known to Altrincham fans as joint editor of The Robins' Review, the Club's matchday programme, whilst Geoff Goodwin is also known to supporters as he runs the Go Goodwins coach firm which transported the Altrincham football team for much of last season. Andrew Shaw is probably less widely known. He is a quantity surveyor with Jones, Lang, LaSalle an international property company which has produced a document entitled An achievable goal: stadiums, arenas and urban regeneration.
Leek Town, whom Altrincham play in a pre-season friendly on 3 August are now managed by John Ramshaw the former Hucknall boss and are coached by a former Hucknall player, Paul Cox. Ramshaw has already brought in new players Gary Sucharewycz from Matlock Town, Nathan Fletcher from Arnold Town, Matthew Johnson from Buxton, Tom Simpson, Danny Bainbridge, and Craig Weston from Belper Town. Another of our pre-season opponents, Abbey Hey, have lost star player Sean Pickering to Mossley, managed by his brother and ex-Alty player Ally Pickering. Mossley have also signed defender Mark Bradshaw, from Droylsden whilst Pickering's new assistant manager is ex-Manchester City star Jason Beckford. For a list of the pre-season friendlies, click here.
Danny Bainbridge (Hucknall T. to Leek T.)
Paul Burke (Hucknall T, to Harrogate T.)
Paul Cox (Hucknall T to Leek T.)
Keiran Darlow (York C to Harrogate T.)
Danny Farthing (Pickering T. to Harrogate T.)
Michael Nelson (Bury to Harrogate T.)
Ben Rhodes (York C to Harrogate T.)
Despite the above signings, newly promoted Harrogate Town are likely to lose their captain and 28-goal striker Robbie Whellans, as he has rejected a new contract. Hyde are expected to sign defenders Danny Webster, from Vauxhall Motors and Paul Challinor, a former Bury defender from Ilkeston Town. Gateshead are struggling to find a keeper after Adrian Swan left for Blyth and Sam Russell has returned to Middlesbrough.
WITTON'S THAI FESTIVAL
The NP reports that from July 16th to 20th our Cheshire neighbours Witton Albion will host the first Manchester International Football Festival, featuring under-21 teams from Manchester City, Oldham Athletic and the Thailand national team. The event will be televised live to Thailand and is hosted by Manchester City Council in conjunction with the Manchester-based Thai Trade and Cultural Organisation. The fixtures are: Tuesday, 16th July- Manchester City v Oldham Athletic (2pm); Thursday, 18th July- Thailand v Oldham Athletic (5pm); Saturday, 20th July- Thailand v Manchester City (11am). Tickets are £6, or £3 for under-16s.
The FA's proposals to restructure the feeder leagues into the Conference are expected to be in place for the 2003-04 season. It is likely that there will then be two rather then the current three leagues (UniBond, Ryman, Dr Martens). The FA plans to announce its final decision before the end of June, 2002 and is reportedly already drawing up the possible composition of the leagues for the 2003/04 season.
19 June, 2002
GRETNA LEAVE UNIBOND LEAGUE
Gretna are to leave the Unibond League after 55 years in English football in order to enter the Third Division of the Scottish Football League, replacing the now-defunct Airdrieonians. Gretna were chosen to take this place ahead of six other contenders by the remaining 27 chairmen of SFL clubs.
18 June, 2002
NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS
A new Board of Directors were elected for Altrincham Football Club at the Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders held last night (Monday 17th). The new Board comprises Grahame Rowley, Geoffrey Goodwin and Andrew Shaw. A statement released by the shareholders states: "It is hoped other Directors will be appointed in the future. It now means the business of preparing the club for next season will take immediate priority. The new board will be assisted by the major shareholders to put the club on a sound footing which will auger well for the future. It is hoped all supporters will rally round to assist in ensuring Altrincham Football Club's future." The new board members also released a statement which said that "they have already declared their intentions to pursue all avenues to improve the financial situation. Discussions with supporters and their representatives will take place within the next two weeks. A meeting with Bernard Taylor, Altrincham's Manager, will also take place upon his return from holiday to discuss the future. The Board hope that everyone will rally around and help with the survival of this famous football club."
A supporters' meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Friday 28th June in the Noel White Suite. All supporters are invited to attend to discuss the future of the club.