After two successive relegations and then two successive promotions, Altrincham have found themselves back in the National League. After winning the Northern Premier League two seasons ago, The Robins secured promotion via the play offs, after finishing 5th in the National League North table. Dan Mooney’s play off final goal against Boston United sent The Robins flying back into the Vanarama National League.
Name: Altrincham FC
Nickname: The Robins
Stadium: Moss Lane
Manager: Phil Parkinson
2019/20 National League North position: 5th – promoted via play offs
Notable Honours: National League - Champions 1979–80, 1980–81
The Story of Altrincham’s 2019/20 Campaign
Altrincham started the 2019/20 season in the National League North as newcomers, but it was also a return teemed with a need for redemption. Most promotion sides’ first aim is to avoid being relegated straight back down. Altrincham easily achieved this task, as they finished 5th and secured a play-off spot. King’s Lynn Town and Spennymoor Town were the only teams to score more than Altrincham and that was only by one goal (63 goals). Although they were leaky at the back, sides would fear Altrincham going forward. Altrincham managed to beat Chester in the play-offs eliminator and then they surprisingly pushed aside York City with a 2-0 win in the semi-finals. To win three play-offs in a row after no football due to lockdown is a tough feat, but the Robins managed to beat Boston United in the final to secure promotion back to the National League.
Ones to Watch
Jordan Hulme | The 29-year-old can be considered nothing else other than a serious threat in front of goal. He bagged a cool 14 goals in the National League North last season and should be treated as a serious threat to any team this season. Last season cannot be thought of as a one-off either, as the forward produced a 16-goal season in 2018/19 for Altrincham.
Josh Hancock | Hancock can be considered Hulme’s partner in crime, as he celebrated a 17-goal season in the division too. The forward scored two less goals than the season before, but after the season was cut short by 9 games, one can assume he was set for a 20-goal season, which any top striker craves. The partnership up front will be and should be feared across the National League for the upcoming season.
Phil Parkinson | Groundhog Day had struck again in 2018, and Altrincham were relegated from the National League North. Phil Parkinson overtook the club after a successful couple of years at Nantwich Town and had the job of resurrecting the Greater Manchester town. The highly thought of manager managed to secure top spot in the Northern Premier League and then reach 5th in the National League North, where the team went on an outstanding run, winning three play-off games in a row for promotion. The Sports Science lecturer should not be underestimated, as he plans to tackle the National League.
In league competition, these sides have only ever met in the National League. Wrexham and Altrincham haven’t faced each other in Non-League football since the 2015/16 season, where Wrexham finished 8th, after tailing away from the play offs. Wrexham eased to a 3-1 win at the Racecourse that year, with fan favourite Dom Vose bagging an assist. The return fixture at Moss Lane saw both sides come away with a point in a 1-1 draw, which was seen as two points lost for the Reds amidst their fight for a play-off position. Wrexham very rarely beat sides home and away, especially with the poor away form last season, so Dean Keates will be hoping to improve on that.
Moss Lane | The J. Davidson is a multi-purpose stadium for Altrincham FC, which is also used by Manchester United’s U17s and Women’s Development Team. The two all-seater stands allow for 1,323 seated fans, with a max capacity of 6,085. Blackpool Borough’s Rugby League team also used the Lane for matches in the 90’s, hence the multi-purpose aspect of the ground.