View From The Dugout

View From The Dugout: Time for players to show they want a future with us

By Matt Doughty at

The latest column for Altrincham Today from manager Matt Doughty.

Our Easter schedule is two games in four days with a short trip to Tameside today to take on Curzon Ashton at 3pm, followed by a visit from second-placed Kidderminster Harriers on Easter Monday, which is also a 3pm start.

I am planning on giving as many of the squad some game time as possible as we need to give players a chance to show that they want to be at Altrincham Football Club next season.

The club’s fate is sealed but individual players who are not contracted beyond the end of this month have everything to play for and Robbie and I particularly want to have a look at the likes of Clayton Macdonald, Will Foster and Harry Cain, who has now returned from his successful loan spell at Prescot Cables.

Watch highlights from Alty’s defeat last week:

We played very well in the first half of the 3-1 defeat against Brackley last week but they came out all guns blazing in the second half and could have put the game to bed, at that point, had it not been for some great goalkeeping from Stuart Tomlinson, who was caught a little out of position for the second goal when he was lobbed but otherwise had a terrific game.

I doubt that Stuart will be with us next season as I suspect that he will get an offer from a National League or possibly Football League club, but I have been delighted with his performances since joining us at the beginning of March.

James Lawrie in action last week

Laurence Taylor was magnificent again for us last Saturday. He’s a special talent and is definitely going places. He’s also a very bright lad, keen to learn, implements instructions and is always asking questions… he will be a big asset to Altrincham next season.

I put Darius Palma from the youth team in for his first start because I need to know if he will be able to cut it against the likes of Workington or Coalville in the Evo-Stik League and I think that he has enough talent to be able to make an impact in that league.

Sam Patterson on the ball

As far as the management position is concerned, Robbie and I just have to do as much as we can in the remaining four games, to convince the board that we are the right choice for next season.

We know that interviews with other candidates will be taking place at some point, but I really do hope that we get the job and whilst we have obviously fallen short overall, we have improved things defensively, which had to be the first priority with the number of goals that we had been conceding.

This has meant that we haven’t been playing the way that I would like us to play, which is to play good football, with power and pace… something that I am sure that we will be able to do, if we are at the helm next season.

Pictures: Michael Ripley