Altrincham FC manager Phil Parkinson with his latest column for Altrincham Today…
Whilst I was delighted to receive the Vanarama National League North Manager of the Month for October, I do feel a bit uncomfortable with individual awards, when the award has been achieved collectively both by the players on the pitch and all of the backroom staff off it. I certainly felt more comfortable receiving the Evo-Stik Premier Division Team of the Month awards that we won twice last season.
We’re certainly going to need a strong collective effort from everyone on Saturday as we travel to take on Chester, who are flying at the moment and are unbeaten in 11 games since August Bank Holiday weekend, eight of which they have won.
Highlights from the game at Hereford:
Bernard Morley and Antony Johnson, who won this league last season with Salford City, have put together a talented squad over the summer and they look likely to be involved in the shake up at the top, come the end of April.
We should be very confident though as it’s our results in October that have resulted in the recent award and we started November with a hard-earned, but very important, point at Hereford last Saturday. Despite not hitting any great heights with our display, we definitely deserved something out of the game and Josh Hancock won us a point with a clinical finish to equalise in the 89th minute.
The attendance was over 2,200, more than 2,000 of whom were cheering on the Bulls, making for a really good atmosphere, particularly in the second half as darkness descended, yet our fans, like the players, kept the faith throughout and there were a number of times when we could hear them in the dugout, making more noise than the Edgar Street faithful, which was really heartening.
There is a huge difference in the numbers that we are seeing at away games and the volume of support compared with last season, when our fans often outnumbered, matched or nearly matched the number of home spectators.
James Poole is still a week or so away from returning from his hamstring injury and whilst I know that some fans are not happy that we went out of the Cheshire Senior Cup at home to Congleton Town on Tuesday, it was a real opportunity for the likes of Simon Richman and Shaun Densmore to get a full game under their belt and also for fringe players, reserve team and youth team lads, who have done so well in this year’s FA Youth Cup to gain valuable experience in a first team environment. That is an important part of the player pathway that we are trying to develop at Altrincham Football Club.
Pictures: Michael Ripley (Congleton) and Jonathan Moore (Hereford)