Sport & Leisure

Former Northern Ireland assistant manager replaces Young as Altrincham FC boss

By David Prior at

Altrincham FC have appointed former Northern Ireland assistant manager Jim Harvey as their new manager.

The Robins have moved quickly for the 58-year-old after Neil Young’s departure last week after only six games in charge.

Harvey, who led Halifax Town to FA Trophy glory last year before being sacked following The Shaymen’s relegation, was the “overwhelming” choice of the Altrincham board.

“We had a high-calibre field of applicants for the job, which again shows the stature the club has in the eyes of a lot of people,” said chairman Grahame Rowley.

“In the end, after due diligence and a lot of discussion, the board felt that Jim was the number one candidate.

Neil Young resigned last week

Neil Young resigned last week

“With his experience in this league, we felt he was the ideal choice to steady the ship and take us forward. He presented a long-term plan, full of good, positive ideas for progressing the club, and we are looking forward to seeing them put into practice. I would like to thank everyone who applied for the job and wish them well in their future careers.”

Harvey will leave team selection to caretaker trio Jake Moult, Shaun Densmore and Alan Goodall against Chorley at The J Davidson Stadium tomorrow night before taking full charge at Gloucester on Saturday.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be taking the job at Altrincham. The team are at the wrong end of the table at the moment, but we will be aiming to remedy that as quickly as possible.

“There is a good job in hand here, and I am really looking forward to cracking on with it. A job needs doing, but that suits me fine. I’m up for it and ready for the challenge.

Highlights from Alty’s defeat to Stockport on Saturday:

“I saw Altrincham at Halifax earlier this season, and I know a few of the players, but I will have a better idea of things when I have seen them again and worked with them close up.

“I’ve seen how results have gone in recent weeks. Confidence is a big factor in football. Clearly something is not right, so we will come in and have a look at that and see what can be done. We will try and resolve the problems and get the club going forward again.”

Alty nearly pulled off a first victory of the season at Moss Lane on Saturday before succumbing to a late 3-2 derby defeat to Stockport County.

And Harvey added: “I thought there was a good shape about them against Stockport on Saturday, and they were a bit unlucky. So I will leave the three lads in charge against Chorley. I’ll be at that game, of course, and take the reins after that.

“It attracted me straightaway, this job. Whoever you speak to or wherever you go, it’s clear Altrincham are still a big name in non-League football. The club’s history speaks for itself, renowned Cup fighters and giantkillers. I would like to get that good feeling back in the club again. That’s what we will be trying to achieve.”

Harvey began his playing career as a midfielder with Glenavon before joining Arsenal in 1977 and making three league appearances and one in the UEFA Cup. He made nearly 300 appearances for Hereford and almost 200 for Tranmere, prior to a move into management with Morecambe in 1994, where his decade in charge included a spell as Northern Ireland assistant-manager, before going on to manage Forest Green Rovers.