Altrincham Football Club News Archive
20 to 28 July 2003

28 July 2003


Altrincham extended their unbeaten pre-season run to five games with this efficient victory against St Helens Town. Match report here.


This is Brighton reports that "Ryman League Division One South club Lewes (Sussex) are on the verge of signing former Manchester United striker Marc Whiteman (right). 20-year-old Whiteman spent five seasons at Old Trafford without breaking into the first-team and then had spells at Bury, Altrincham and, more recently, Dr Martens League Premier Division side Weymouth... Lewes boss Steven King said: "He will be a massive asset to this club".


If Alty get into the Conference North, there could be some long journeys in 2004-05 as "Ryman League Premier Division club Hitchin Town could find themselves as unlikely northerners if the Nationwide Conference cut goes against them next season - assuming of course that the club finishes in the top 13! With the three current feeder leagues comprising a heavy contingent of southern teams, Hitchin, as one of the most northernly Ryman Premier sides, may be cast into Conference North", says their website. Hitchin lies just 8 miles NE of Luton and another borderline club may be nearby Bedford.


Alty play Mossley next Saturday. Mossleyweb confirms that "Cameroonian goalkeepers Jean-Paul Ndjebayi and Mewada Aziz have both signed for Mossley. Ndjebayi (pronounced Djeba-i) is 23 years old and was previously with Port FC (Cameroon), Gonyela SK (Cyprus), Roda JC (Holland) and Oryx de Douala (Cameroon). 19 years old Aziz previously played for Cameroon clubs KSA Aspores, Coqrouge and Rail de Douala. Mossley {also] gave trial debuts to midfielder Craig Coote (recently released by Bury) and former England u-15's winger Jamie Almond (previously with Scarborough and Manchester City)".
27 July 2002


Stuart Scheuber, an ever-present in midfield for Altrincham under Mark Ward two seasons ago, has gone to Stafford Rangers, for whom he scored in a friendly this week against Crewe Alexandra. Crewe, who drew 2-2 with Stafford, play Alty on Tuesday at Moss Lane (7.30pm).

Former Alty manager Bernard Taylor is quoted by the Non-League Paper as saying of new signing Rhodri Giggs, brother of Ryan, "We had a look at him and were impressed but he does need to get fit".


Mossley, whom we play (away) next Saturday, have two African under-21 international goalkeepers currently with them; each played 45 minutes in a 3-3 draw with Radcliffe on Saturday. They are Aziz, a Nigerian, and John Paul Najebeyai from Cameroon. Mossley's former Manchester City player Ciarhan Kilhenny hit a hat-trick in the same game.


Ashton United have taken on Jimmy Brooke, their third player to come this summer from Yorkshire side Storthes Hall. Spennymoor United have signed 20 year old goalkeeper Jonathan Collinson, who was formerly at York City.
26 July 2003


Members of SAFE, the Altrincham supporters' association, are invited to submit items, via the club, for the agenda of the SAFE AGM by 7 August. The AGM will be on 9 August at 1pm, before the Blackburn Rovers friendly. It will take place in the Noel White Suite and all members of SAFE are urged to attend as a vote will take place to decide whether or not to disband SAFE now that there is a supporters' trust, STAR, in existence. Members who wish to vote by proxy should send their name and address and the way they wish to vote by post to SAFE, c/o the Club (address above).


The Frickley site says that "Player/Assistant Manager Mark Hancock will shortly be leaving the club to take up a coaching post at newly formed AFC Barnsley where he will team up with his brother. However, as AFC Barnsley only play matches on a Saturday, Hancock has indicated he will be available for midweek matches if he is needed".

This is Bradford reports that BPA hope "to gain some measure of revenge for a defeat that ruined Avenue's season... when Bridlington came to Horsfall Stadium and dumped them out of the FA Cup. It not only cost Avenue £10,000 in much-needed prize money it also put a spanner in the season and prompted a run of defeats... Meanwhile, former Avenue goalkeeper Lutz Pfannenstiel is currently considering his next move abroad with Iran and Norway the two main possibilities". He was the German keeper who made his BPA debut at Moss Lane two years ago.

The Southport Visiter says that Southport "were encouraged, and rightly so, by Tuesday night's performance against Paul Jewell's First Division Wigan Athletic squad. A 3-0 scoreline to the Latics did not do the Port justice... Keeper Mike Bingham (ex-Blackburn and Hednesford), James Williams at right back (Swindon Town), Paul Haddow left back (ex-Blackpool and Lancaster), Tony Hallam at centre back (Preston N E), Mark Byrne on the right wing (Burscough), with feisty Chris Bennett (Lancaster), Lee Clitheroe (ex-Oldham) Andy Iro (an imposing rookie of just 18 from the reserves) and Danny Jarrett, all made their Haig Avenue bows... Shaun Teale was a spectator on Tuesday night as he continues to conclude his contract negotiations with Burscough".

25 July 2003


Lancaster Today refers to "trialist Tony Sullivan", who was at Alty at the end of last season. The report adds, "New goalkeeper Kevin Welsby has played in both games after becoming another player to join from Wilson's former club Southport... Tuesday night goalscorer Tony Sullivan could take that Southport connection up to five if he links up with Wilson again... Other trialists who have turned out for City in the last two games include former Morecambe defender Neil Uberschar, ex-Blackpool midfielder Phil Clarkson, experienced former Tranmere man Kenny Irons and former Stockport County trainee Ryan Elderton. No terms have yet been agreed with any of these players. Going in the other direction, winger Lee Clitheroe has left Lancaster and Graeme Atkinson has also been released". Lancaster City manager, ex-Alty player Phil Wilson, added "It's more about the way we play rather than the results at this stage and I'm very pleased with what we're doing".

The Harrogate unofficial site says that "Harrogate Town player Dave Merris featured as trialist for York City in their 1-1 draw against a full strength Leeds United team at Bootham Crescent... Also featuring as trialists for the Minstermen were released Sunderland 'keeper Craig Turns and Whitby Town striker Aaron Wilford"

This is Bradford quotes Bradford PA manager Trevor Storton after his side's error-ridden 0-4 defeat by a young Wigan Athletic XI "You have to make these sort of mistakes and hopefully you can learn from them".

This is Lincs reports that "ex-Gainsborough Trinity manager Phil Stant has been appointed Director of Football at Newark College" and the current Trinity boss "Paul Mitchell has refused to rule out a move to bring long-time friend and former England star Chris Waddle to Gainsborough Trinity this season. It is rumoured the former Alfreton Town boss wants to bring Waddle to the Northolme after the pair had worked closely together at Worksop Town. 'I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Chris turning out for us at all', said Mitchell".

Hucknall Today says that "beanpole striker Mark Sale [of Tamworth] is the latest ex-professional to be linked with a move to Hucknall Town as the new season approaches... Sale (31) is the subject of transfer speculation after appearing for Town in their first pre-season friendly last Saturday. The 6'5" hitman played the second 45 minutes... Prolific West Brom legend Taylor (36) was [also] still locked in talks with [Hucknall boss] Burr this week". Sale "amassed 235 league and cup appearances and scored 44 goals... His career was rudely interrupted by cancer but he recovered before moving into the non-league game... Burr is also chasing a new centre-back after receiving the news that veteran Stuart Hicks is unlikely to figure at all this season. Ex-Mansfield Town defender Hicks (36) is still plagued by an ankle-injury... Fellow centre-back Michael Savage has suffered a hairline fracture of the ankle too that is almost certain to rule him out of the start of the new season. So this week Burr made a move for 21-year-old Paul O'Neill, who was at the boss's former club, Macclesfield Town... However O'Neill has now received an offer from Raith Rovers... and is likely to join them". On trial at Hucknall is "tall and pacy defender, [Adrian] Brevett, who was released by Burton Albion last term, and is the nephew of West Ham United full-back Rufus Brevett".

Transfer: John Robertson (Leigh RMI to Lancaster C.)

24 July 2003


Alty fans will be delighted to hear today's news that last night's hat-trick scorer, Mattie Hughes (left), has now re-signed with Altrincham on a one-year contract.


Tony Sullivan (right) is to be released by Altrincham and he will move to Lancaster City, where he will rejoin manager Phil Wilson for whom he played at Southport and Stalybridge. Indeed, last Tuesday, Tony played in a pre-season game for Lancaster at Mossley and scored one of the City goals in a 4-1 win. 28 year-old Sullivan played 7(+7) games for Altrincham and scored 1 goal.


Members of SAFE, the Altrincham supporters' association, should be receiving postal notification this week of the SAFE AGM, which will be held on 9 August, before the Blackburn Rovers friendly. Meanwhile, STAR, the Altrincham supporters' trust, is running a Premier League prediction competition once again this season. For details, see the STAR website.


Altrincham gave an increasingly impressive performance as the game wore on, despite heavy rain which fell for much of the proceedings. Mattie Hughes hit an excellent hat-trick before being substituted. Match report here.


Two UniBond Premier sided defeated League opponents in friendlies recently. Alfreton defeated Mansfield Town 2-1 in front of 719 on Tuesday and 1,042 saw Harrogate Town beat a Manchester City XI 3-1. Kasper Schmeichel, son of Peter, kept goal for City. After he had been substituted, Town hit three goals in five minutes, reports the Harrogate unofficial site. Elsewhere, relegated Gateshead won 4-2 at promoted Spennymoor.
23 July 2003


Up to today, Alty have fielded eight of last season's youth team during their three pre-season games. For those unfamiliar with these young players, George Heslop's profiles of them (written early last season) appear here.


On 31 July we have a friendly at Cammell Laird FC, (near Birkenhead). An Alty old-boy, Jordan Burke, hit a hat-trick there last Saturday playing for Skelmersdale United in their 3-0 win. The excellent Skelmersdale website has a picture of the Cammell Laird ground and also a report of Burke's hat-trick.

Ex-Alty youngster Vernum Rowland scored a penalty last night in Nantwich Town's 2-3 defeat to a Stockport County XI.


Marine's Neil Black is one of several UniBond players involved in the World University Games football competition, according to NL Daily. Kris McHale of Burscough and Phil Denney of Ashton are other participants.

The UniBond League reports the following moves:

  • Curtis Bitton-Price (Harrogate Railway to Harrogate Town)
  • Steve Jones and Andy Scott (Southport to Lancaster C.)
  • John Robertson (Leigh RMI to Lancaster C.)

    This is Lincs says that Gainsborough Trinity "Manager Paul Mitchell promised his mini-spending spree at Gainsborough Trinity would continue". He has now added goalkeeper Jamie Holmshaw, from Bradford PA, and left-back Adam Burley (23) from Stocksbridge PS.

    The website of Whitby Town states that the club's "top scorer last season, Aron Wilford, has been training with York City over the close season. He played against Sunderland in a friendly that the Minstermen lost 5-0. It is unclear as to whether or not he will be returning to the Blues for next season". This is York confirms that Wilford is one of several trialists "handed an extended opportunity to impress" by York City.

    Whitby Today adds that Town's "Manager Harry Dunn said he was hoping to play a number of newcomers including defender Mark Batey and striker Steve Manson, who have been released by Hartlepool, striker Chris Garbutt, from Middlesbrough, midfielder Trevor Tierney, who was at Barrow last season, centre-half Brian Linegan, who played for Worksop last season, Scott Nicholson, the new signing from Tow Law and Adam Reid and Paul Campbell, who were at Darlington last year. The squad will also include a second new signing, centre-back Michael Jameson, from Guisborough... Two teams selected from a 27-strong Whitby Town squad played in a trial game at the Turnbull Ground on Saturday".

    22 July 2003


    The first round of the Cheshire Senior Cup on 16 September sees Altrincham drawn at home to Stalybridge Celtic. The other ties are Witton A. v Macclesfield T. (on Monday 15th); Vauxhall M. v Cheadle/Alsager; Tranmere R. v Northwich V.; Crewe A. v Hyde U.; Woodley S. v Stockport C.; Warrington T. v Nantwich T.; Congleton T. or Winsford U. v Chester C.

    So, Alty's scheduled league game on 16 September at home to Lancaster City is now postponed.


    The Conference has finally issued the criteria which clubs, such as Altrincham, have to meet to gain entry to the new Conference North and South feeder divisions for 2004/05. The main points include:
  • "A club in Membership of the Isthmian Football League, Northern Premier League, or Southern Football Leagues Premier Division for season 2003/2004 must meet all of its fixture and financial obligations to the competition".
  • "A club must at the end of the 2003/2004 playing season in the Premier Division of its competition, after the Champion club has been decided, finish in 2nd to 13th Position to qualify in the first instance for inclusion. The remaining promotion position of 14th in the Northern Premier League and 14th and 15th in the Isthmian and Southern Football Leagues will be determined following a series of play-off matches involving the remaining clubs in the Premier Divisions".
  • "A club must provide the two previous years audited accounts as approved by shareholders or management board at an annual general or duly constituted meeting of the club by 1st April 2004".
  • "A club must by 1st April 2004 provide a Budget and Cash Flow Plan for season 2004/2005 based on membership of Conference North and Conference South".
  • "An applicant club at the end of the playing season or after noon on 16th August 2003 which:(a) have a manager, receiver, or administrative receiver appointed in respect of that club or any part of its undertaking or assets: (b) have an administration order made in respect of that club; (c) have a winding-up order made in respect of that club ... will not be eligible for inclusion in the Constitution for Membership of the Football Conference".
  • "When making application for Conference North or Conference South a club must forward a cheque to the value of £500 plus VAT (£587.50) made payable to the Football Conference Limited, by noon on 16th August 2003",
  • "Should any of the top 13 Member clubs in the Premier Divisions of the Isthmian League, Northern Premier League or Southern League fail to meet the necessary Criteria or full Application requirements for membership for whatever reason then the Club finishing the playing season in 14th position of the Premier Division of the respective competition and thereafter on a sliding position, excluding the clubs due to be relegated, below will be eligible for inclusion in the Conference North and Conference South season 2004/2005".
  • "The Grading Document 'Category B' is the ground grading membership requirement for all Member Clubs of Conference North and Conference South which must be achieved by 1stApril 2005. A club should receive confirmation of its ground grading status between 1st September and 30th October 2003 in writing from the Football Conference Limited on behalf of the Alliance.
  • Clubs will be visited by a Grading Party appointed by the Alliance Committee to Ground Grade a club which has not previously received or been subject to a Football Conference Grading Visit and/or report within the past two years... All applicant clubs that have been visited should receive a full report on the Ground Grading visit made by 30th October 2003".

    So a club finishing 20th could still qualify for the Conference North via the play-offs with the top clubs from UniBond One and its counterparts in the Ryman and Dr Martens leagues. The net result is that 14 UniBond, 15 Ryman and 15 Dr Martens sides will make up the 44 teams in UniBond North and South.

    Fuller details are on the UniBond League website.


    The Altrincham supporters' trust, STAR, has so far raised £2300. It holds its AGM on 31 October and is seeking volunteers to join its Board. Board members must be 18 and members of STAR. Writing on the Alty Fans' Forum, STAR's Mark Murray explains that "Board meetings have to take place at least 4 times a calendar year and as a board member you must be committed to attend these meetings. Meetings normally take place in a local pub before or after home matches and have been known to last a couple of hours although they are run to an agenda and fully minuted... For STAR to continue and thrive we need a strong board committed to maintaining a strong dialogue with the club for a better future. To stand for election, contact the Acting Secretary Mark Murray on 0161 976 3170, or at 65 Fulmar Drive, Sale, Cheshire M33 4WH or via e-mail. You will be sent a nomination form by post". For more see the STAR site.


    "The kings of semi-pro football" was the description of Altrincham FC on posters advertising last Sunday's game at West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC. We must visit this friendly club at Brookburn Road again if we get a welcome like that!


    Gainsborough have signed Adam Burley (23), a left-back/midfielder from Stocksbridge PS. Former Worksop Town midfielder Kristof Kotylo (25) has also joined Trinity as has midfielder Carl Smith, who made 65 appearances for Burnley before joining Worksop Town.

    "Gainsborough Trinity boss Paul Mitchell "was left purring over trialist David Rew following his performance at Glapwell Town on Saturday... Although Rew never made the first team at Field Mill, he was a regular fixture in Mansfield's reserves", says This is Lincs. Ex-Alty captain Chris Timons was in the Trinity team.

    "Harrogate Town supremo John Reed believes he has a great squad at his disposal and his sole target is promotion to the Conference... He said: 'Last year we were always chasing the pack, but we have a great squad this year and if we stay clear of injuries we will do well'... Town currently have 22 players... 'We have 2 goalkeepers, 6 defenders, 9 midfielders and 5 forwards... Everything will go through Mark Atkins... Reed has pin-pointed Southport, Barrow and Workington [I think he means Worksop!] as the contenders for the league... He said: 'The division is the strongest ever and I'm convinced that a team may lose as many as ten games and still win the league', as reported by Harrogate Today.

    Barrow boss Lee Turnbull "will hold talks later this week with trialist striker Ian Stevens (36) after the veteran hitman scored for Barrow in their 2-0 win at Penrith. The strike was Stevens' third goal in four pre-season matches for the Bluebirds", according to the NW Evening Mail.

    Hucknall Today reports that "Hucknall Town have turned their attentions to a former Premiership star after missing out on their daring swoop for striker Marco Gabbiadini... Now they are holding talks with Bob Taylor, who was with West Bromwich Albion last season in the Premiership... Astonishingly he is said to be seriously considering a move to Town after being approached by new boss Steve Burr". Gabbiadini, who joined Hartlepool recently told the Hucknall chairman, "Keep the job open for next season. But I told him he might have missed the boat", the chairman replied. Two pre-season matches at Watnall Road, against Leicester City and Barnsley have now been cancelled. "The cash-strapped Yorkshire club are said to owe so much money that the FA has suspended them from playing any games, including friendlies, until their debts are reduced". Hucknall's "new vice-chairman will be businessman Keith Smith, owner of Rutland Windows... Smith is a major sponsor of Derbyshire County Cricket Club. It is hoped he will plough money into Town and inject yet more business expertise into the progressive club".


    Caernarfon Town have re-signed former Alty winger Danny McGoona on non-contract forms.
    21 July 2003


    Altrincham's next game is away at Abbey Hey on Wednesday, 7.30pm. On Saturday, our UniBond rivals Ashton United played there and lost 3-1, albeit with an experimental team.

    Abbey Hey, of the NW Counties League, play at Goredale Avenue, Gorton. To get there, take the A57 towards Hyde and 1.5 miles after Belle Vue, turn right into Woodland Avenue. Turn right again into Ryder Brow Road and then after bridge, turn left into Goredale Avenue.


    Those Altrincham fans who went to West Didsbury & Chorlton of the Lancashire & Cheshire League on Sunday afternoon to see Altrincham win 1-0, thanks to a 12th minute goal by Andy Tunnicliffe will have enjoyed their visit to a well-run club with an excellent modern clubhouse and a neat ground in the Mersey Valley at Chorlton. Above, a WD&C freekick is deflected past Alty keeper Harrison and Mark Griffiths prepares to clear off the line. The other Alty men are - from left- Rose, McEvoy, Byrne, Ryan, Lunt, Tunnicliffe, Aspinall and Matthews. Match report here.


    Ex-Alty man Tony Hemmings equalised for Alfreton from the penalty spot in their 1-1 draw at Halesowen Town on Saturday.


    Radcliffe's Jody Banim has been given a one-match ban (for the first game of the league season) for a sending off last season. Also suspended for the trip to Whitby will be central defender Dave Brown, banned for 3 weeks by the Manchester FA according to the club website. Alty fans will recall that our own Mattie Hughes is also suspended for the first game of next season for an offence whilst at Salford City last season.
    20 July 2003


    Gary Scott is on the ball as Stephen Rose and Rob Matthews look on during the game with United.

    A good performance from Altrincham earned them a deserved 3-3 draw with a Manchester United XI at Moss Lane yesterday, in front of 852 spectators. For Alty, "There was much to indicate a good season ahead", says the NLP today. Match report here.


    "Mossley manager Ally Pickering has re-signed skilful utility player Matty Taylor after a spell with Trafford" according to Mossleyweb. Matty was linked in the press with Altrincham at the end of last season. "The highly rated player, who made 16 appearances scoring 2 goals early last season before returning to his former club Hyde United, has pledged his future to Mossley after much to'ing and fro'ing last term". Alty travel to Mossley for a pre-season game in a fortnight.

    Next Saturday Alty travel to financially troubled St Helens Town of whom club spokesman John McKiernan has said, "The club will continue to play at our home of the past three seasons Knowsley Road. The club hasn't folded, resigned or any of the other suggestions that have been banded around. We have appointed a new management team of ex-pro Paul Lodge (Manager) and Saint Helens College Football Academy manager Alex Wright as his assistant". Until recently, former Alty favourite John Davison was the St Helens manager.


    Courtesy of George Heslop there is a brief report and update on the Youth team's pre-season game last weekend, here. Woodley Sports have a brief match report of last Thursday's game with Alty on their excellent website.


    Our neighbours Trafford drew 2-2 away against a reportedly strong Burscough side on Saturday. In the Trafford side were ex-Alty youth players Dale Newbrook, Ben Ashmole, Rico Richards, Paul Tilley and Levi Kennedy, as well as former Robins Mike Turner and Gareth Strange. Alex Hay featured in yesterday's friendly for Tranmere Rovers against Vauxhall Motors whislt former Alty reserve, Eric Seekie has moved from Denbigh Town to Llandudno.


    Following the recent resignation of their Chairman, Worksop Town have announced that the club's chief backer "Mr Howard Raymond has agreed to act as Temporary Chairman in the interim". Also, "Lisa Hamilton-Clark today (17th) tendered her resignation as Director and Company Secretary". However, the Club has subsequently announced that they have a new "executive", "Peter Robson, who ... prior to joining WTFC, worked for Barclay's Bank/Barclay Card for a period of 30 years until he left in 2002. A former captain in the Territorial Army, Peter served with the 3rd Battalion Worcester and Sherwood Foresters and was a Commander of the Home Service Force from 1982-93".

    Wakefield and Emley have been granted £140,000 by the Football Foundation to improve the Belle Vue ground.