Altrincham Football Club News Archive
10 to 16 August 2002

16 August, 2002


Barrow have signed Chris Ward from Birmingham City today and he will play tomorrow against Hucknall Town where he could be partnered by another new signing, Neil Tarrant, from Boston United. Still only 21, Ward hit 43 goals for Lancaster City, when last playing at our level. He failed to make a first-team start for Birmingham after being signed for £25,000. Barrow have also re-signed midfielder Tony Hopper who was a regular player for Carlisle last season. He was previously at Holker Street as a youngster. Manager Kenny Lowe said "We have a full squad. It's the best we've ever had. I think it's the strongest squad we've had if you look at age related to experience as well. We have a lot of young guys and we've some good experience". Dean Calcutt, Bradford's midfielder, who impressed in BPA's 4-1 win over Alty in April, has joined Accrington Stanley today for a £5,000 fee. The BPA site says this follows "recent disciplinary problems". BPA have themselves signed Gareth Holmes, aged 20, a midfielder from Derby County.


Vauxhall Motors, whom we meet next Tuesday, have applied for promotion to the Conference, even though their Rivacre Park stadium is not up to standard. The Motormen would hope to play their Conference fixtures at Chester's Deva Stadium. Vauxhall are also hoping to establish a player link with Chester. Their chairman said, " it could be useful if we had the option to take some of [Chester's] players out on loan...I don't want Vauxhall to become someone else's reserve side but with financial restraints we must explore such avenues of adding to our relatively small first-team squad". Vauxhall already have a similar arrangement with Tranmere Rovers. Gateshead have released defender and former captain Sam Kitchen. 36 year-old Kitchen, is reported to have been unsettled since Gateshead signed defender David Goodchild from Whitby Town. The Northern Echo reports that UniBond First Division side Spennymoor United have been suspended by the F.A. so may have to postpone tomorrow's home game against Leek Town. The F.A. are concerned about the club's change from a private club to a limited company. The club had only just resolved a clash with Spennymoor Town Council and the UniBond League about the lease on their ground. The club could now be fined by the UniBond League for failing to fulfil fixtures.
15 August, 2002


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger has launched a welcome new campaign with the slogan, "We're backing the Robins, are you?". The Messenger editor Lynn Hughes says, "a football club and a local newspaper are essential aspects of any local area, and this link-up signals how much we want Robins to thrive and be successful. Altrincham is a very friendly club, and it's time the public came out in force to show their support". Altrincham Director, Grahame Rowley welcomed the initiative, saying, "We're very pleased that SAM is getting behind the club. Any extra support is greatly appreciated and can only help the club in the long run. Altrincham is a friendly, local club where the atmosphere on the terraces - terraces being something our more illustrious companions in the top divisions of football no longer have - is second to none".


Both Alty's right-back Neil Murphy (left) and centre-back Peter Band will be suspended for Saturday's league opener against Harrogate Town. Band's ban, which is for three games, stems from his dismissal whilst playing for Hyde United at Hucknall last season. Murphy presumably acquired his one-game ban whilst playing at Blackpool, for whom he made one first team appearance last season and six the year before. Manager Bernard Taylor, speaking to SAM said "It's a shame that we will be starting the new season two players down. We've only got a thin squad as it is. We are still struggling to get a squad together - there's plenty of players out there who want to come but we can't match their price". In addition Mark Maddox remains a doubtful starter due to his knee injury. However, Ryan Hevicon (right), the left sided trialist from Blackburn Rovers, has contacted Bernard to indicate that he wishes to return to Moss Lane, having recently gone for trials at Carlisle United.


Ian Senior, the former Alty goalkeeper, has now joined Stalybridge Celtic as cover for Craig Dootson. Celtic have also signed Chris Denham, a striker from Stand Athletic, Darren Bowman, a defender from Rossendale United and Gary Parkinson, a very experienced 34 year-old defender from Blackpool.


Barrow have a new goalkeeper, Neil Bennett from Airdrie and are reported to be interested in former Lancaster striker Chris Ward on loan from Birmingham City. Ward has played in two pre-season games for Barrow. Thanks to Richard Ingram for this information. Whitby Town have three ex-league players on trial including Simon Coleman (34), a centre-back who once moved from Middlesbrough to Derby County for £3 million. The others are Whitby-born Steve Swales (29) and a former Reading and Hull City midfielder and midfielder Phil Brumwell from Darlington. Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman is pleased to have signed Barry Shuttleworth, who was on loan from Macclesfield to Altrincham last season, on a two-year contract. "Barry has got a good attitude and he works hard, he delivers a good ball and has a good left foot. He has experience at a higher level but that is not a prerequisite of joining us - it is all about how a person performs for us and I think he will be a valuable member of the team". However record signing Gary Williams may be leaving Stanley, after joining for £25,000 from Doncaster Rovers two years ago. He has recently been on loan to Rossendale United. Droylsden have played all their friendlies away from home as drainage work is taking place at the Butcher's Arms. Marine were "less than impressed by the protection offered by the referee" in their recent pre-season game at Leek.

The Lincolnshire Echo reports that Gainsborough Trinity have released 13 players since manager Phil Stant took over as manager last season. Joining the club have been former Lincoln City defender Dean Walling, ex-Northwich men Darren Knowles and Andy Brownrigg, as well as Mark Anderson, Luke Staton and Max Nicholson, all on free transfers. A further recent acquisition is ex-Lincoln goalkeeper Barry Richardson. Stant is also keen to develop the club, saying, "It's important that we make the right moves in the community. I have big plans. We have the soccer schools coming up in August and I want to have a youth system set-up for next season". Trinity have already set up a Soccer Academy.

14 August, 2002


The Barrow Forum reports that the Cumbrian club has signed ex-Aston Villa forward Neil Tarrant, who was in Boston's Conference-winning squad last season.
13 August, 2002


Last season's Alty Youth players Paul Tilley and Ian Horton, as well as last year's Alty Reserves' captain Keith Mairs and former Reserve goalkeeper Ryan McMahon, all played for Trafford against Manchester United under-19s on Saturday. Kevin Hulme does not seem to have figured in Mossley's recently friendlies, unlike four other ex-Alty men Robert Trees, Ricky Harris, Sammy Harris and David Wills. Stuart Coburn returned after injury for Leigh RMI's win over Lancaster on Saturday, in which City's Andy Whittaker was "sent off" for ten minutes.


Colwyn Bay's new signings for this season are Andy Jones, (midfielder from Rhyl), Ross Jeffries (striker from Flexsys Cefn Druids), Matthew Boswell (goalkeeper from Rocester), John Stannard (winger from Rhyl) Lee Kissock (striker from Radcliffe Borough) and ex-Moss Laner Carl Furlong, whose summer trials at Luton and Northwich seem to have come to nothing. Frickley have acquired six new players in the last week; Mark Hine (new player-coach formerly at Doncaster Rovers, Scunthorpe and Peterborough) plus five local players Antony Jackson and Craig Elkin (both from South Kirkby Colliery), Lee Morris (a 32-goal striker from Hallam), David Jones (from Armthorpe and Doncaster Rovers) and forward Kieran Darlow (from York City). More signings are expected, too. Accrington Stanley left back Barrie Hart has left to work for the Prison Service and Paul Burns has also gone. Gateshead's veteran midfielder and assistant manager, Steve Agnew, will miss the first two games of the season with a recurring groin injury.
12 August, 2002


The times and fares for the first away SAFE Supporters' Coach of the season are now on the Travel page. This is the trip to Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday, 20 August.


Match report here. See also yesterday's news, below.


Hyde United report that they havesigned Mike Lomax, a central defender who has been playing in Singapore,Peter Crookes, a goalkeeper who has played for Halifax, Paul McGuire aformer Morecambe defender and another former Morecambe player, DaveSwanick, who was of course at Alty last season. 21 year-old Zambian striker Jimmy Haarhoff, once at Birmingham City, has been released by Chester City and joined Droylsden, who beat Winsford 7-0 at the weekend. Haarhoff is at least the fourth Chester player to join Droylsden since Stephen Vaughan left the Bloods to become Chairman at Chester. The other players are Chris O'Brien, Darren Wright and David Kerr. Like Altrincham, who had a lively friendly at Leek Town last week, Marine lost what sounds like a rather similar game there on Saturday, 2-1, in which they had two players "invited to leave the field".


After the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Altrincham Leisure Centre is to host the European Shito-Ryu Shukokai Union Karate championships on 23-24 November this year. Altrincham FC are at home to Frickley Athletic that weekend so if there is not a timing clash, we may get a few extra on our gate at Moss Lane!
11 August, 2002


There appears to have been a problem with the server for this site today which has affected access during the day; hopefully all is well now. Apologies for any inconvenience caused by this.


Alty were without Rod Thornley, Neil Ryan, Chris Adams, Vernum Rowland and Ian Craney in their starting line-up, as well as the four departed trialists (see above). However, the Robins' small squad, which included trialist right-back Neil Murphy from Blackpool (right), were far from disgraced by Conference side Southport.

Match report here.


The Pink today says "it promises to be a long, hard season for the rocking Robins who, after a summer of boardroom upheavals and talk of further wage cuts, are now looking a shadow of the club they used to be...It would take a supreme optimist to deny troubled waters could lie ahead for Taylor and his new coach...Andy May. Verdict: a solid mid-table finish would have to be considered success in the present environment". In the NLP Alty are set at 66-1 to win the FA trophy.


The NLP reports that Gary Talbot (right) has signed for Altrincham, though the club has yet to confirm this, as well as noting the following moves:
  • Steve Ball, Ian Blackstone (both Harrogate T. to Farsley Celtic)
  • Scott Emerson (York C. to Blyth Spartans)
  • Carl Macauley (Southport to Burscough)
  • Scott McAuley (Marine to Burscough)

    Other transfers include:

  • Wes Kinney (Droylsden to Runcorn FC Halton)
  • Mike Edwards (Widnes to Runcorn FC Halton)


    After being portrayed as Macclesfield's "hard man", an article in today's Pink portrays ex-Alty defender Danny Adams as a "changed man". It reports that Danny has this week left his parents' home to live with fiancée Claire. She says, "Danny is just lovely. He's had my dinner on the table when I come home and comes to pick me up from work". Danny is also reported to have lost two stones since last year. "He is now a player that combines aggression with fabulous touch and great vision, even if his pace remains at military medium," says the Pink. Danny states "My aim is to get in the play-offs, play as well as possible and hopefully get a move".


    Leroy Chambers scored the winning goal yesterday in the pre-season game between his new club Belper Town of the UniBond First and Bridlington Town. Niell Hardy scored Radcliffe's goal in a 2-1 defeat at Bognor Regis Town and Barry Shuttleworth netted for Accrington. St Helens Town where John Davison is now manager, has appointed Bill Foulkes of Manchester United fame as its new Honorary President. As well as Lee Poland from Alty, Davison has signed no fewer than five of his former players from Burscough (Ged Nolan, Billy Knowles, Stephen Leahey, Michael Mason and Gareth Evans). Leon Smith, the midfielder who was briefly with Altrincham last season, has joined two other ex-Robins (Anthony Hargreaves and Dave Swanick) at Hyde United. Smith and Swanick were previously together as youth players at Morecambe. However, another ex-Robin, Sammy Harris, who signed for Hyde recently, is now allegedly moving to Mossley. Ex-Robin Craig Skelton scored both goals as Whitby beat local side Norton 2-1 last Tuesday. Paul Ellender made his league debut yesterday for Boston United- and was booked!


    In yesterday's friendlies, Vauxhall Motors lost 0-7 to Chester City with Mike Twiss, who this time last year was on trial with Alty, scoring one of the City goals. Runcorn FC Halton's new captain will be Mike Tomlinson, who replaces Paul McNally who has moved to Marine. The vice-captain will be Dominic Morley. A strong Wakefield & Emley side beat Flixton 3-2 yesterday in a friendly. Whitby are giving a trial to Halifax Town's released player Steven Swales who has recently been at Scarborough on trial. Whitby are also trying out Simon Coleman, a former Middlesbrough and Derby County centre-back. Worksop Town hope to have injured players Darren Bradshaw and Matty Caudwell fit by the first week or two of the new season but Darren Roberts will be sidelined for about a one month with a torn hamstring. Hucknall put in the "performance of their lives" according to the NLP to draw 4-4 with Manchester United Reserves yesterday.
    10 August, 2002


    No fewer than four of Alty's trialists left the club this week. They were keeper Chris Williams (ex-Bolton Wanderers), Derek Ward, who is believed to have gone to Vauxhall Motors, Stuart Locke who has reportedly joined Droylsden and, as previously reported, Ryan Hevicon (to Carlisle).


    Match report here.


    The Altrincham supporters' association S.A.F.E. raised £9,500 for the club last season. Abridged notes of the recent S.A.F.E. annual general meeting, can be found here. If you are an Alty fan, why not join S.A.F.E. or Alty in Exile by clicking here?


    Following a trial, it is now reported that Carlisle United have signed Ryan Hevicon on a one-month loan from Blackburn. Ryan played in six of Alty's pre-season friendlies this year.


    Frickley have appointed midfielder Mark Hine as player-coach. Hine was at Northern Counties (East) club Armthorpe Welfare, from where ex-Doncaster Rovers midfielder David Jones and striker James Batchelor have also joined Frickley. Droylsden have signed Chris O'Brien, formerly with Chester City, as well as 19-year-old ex-Bolton Wanderers' striker Chris McDonough and former Emley and Bradford P.A. striker and Lebanese international Wael Nazha. After joining Harrogate Town, former Barnsley and Hull forward Clint Marcelle has gone to Trelleborg in Sweden for a trial. UniBond First club, Kidsgrove Athletic, still have ex-Alty defender Paul "Coco" Robertson on their books for this season and hope to sign another ex-Robin, Martin McDonald.