The 2022/23 National League season will once again see 24 teams once again fight for two promotion spots to the EFL.
We will take an in-depth look at the other 23 clubs in the league. Today, we look at Altrincham…
Full Name: Altrincham Football Club
Year Formed: 1891
Nickname: The Robins
Stadium: The J. Davidson Stadium
2021/22 Finish: 14th in the National League
Review of the 2021/22 season
Altrincham looked to build on a solid 2020/21 season and improve on their tally of 47 points. They picked up three wins out of their first five games – with victories against Torquay United, Dover Athletic and Notts County. Phil Parkinson continued to reach new heights as Alty lingered around the play-offs. However, the Manchester-based team struggled between November and January as they were knocked out of the FA Cup, and they started to slide down the table. As their play-off hopes diminished, Altrincham started to play some really entertaining football with big wins against Dagenham & Redbridge, Weymouth and Eastleigh. The Robins finished the season an equal number of victories, draws and defeats as they secured a highly respectable 14th place.
Manager – Phil Parkinson
Following a short playing career, Phil Parkinson took the manager’s job at Nantwich Town in 2015. At the time, the Dabbers were considered as contenders to go down. However, he turned the fortunes around at the Weaver Stadium and moulded Nantwich into contenders for promotion. Parkinson moved to Altrincham in April 2017 – just as the club was relegated to the Northern Premier League. At the first attempt, Alty won promotion back to National League North. Parkinson immediately guided the club to the play-offs where they lost to Chorley in the semi-finals. The disappointment was short-lived though as Altrincham beat Boston United 1-0 in the 2019/20 National League North play-off final. The Robins have since enjoyed two solid seasons in the fifth tier and are now looking forward to their first year as a full-time football club.
Star Player – Jordan Hulme
For over a decade, Jordan Hulme has caused chaos for non-league defences. Following stints at Padiham and Ramsbottom, the striker joined Salford City in 2015. Hulme was part of the Ammies’ rise through the divisions. In his two-and-a half-years at the Peninsula Stadium, he helped Salford to the NPL Division One North and NPL Premier Division titles and to the National League North play-off semi-finals. The forward joined Altrincham in 2017 and helped them to the National League with two promotions in three years. Just before Alty’s first season back in the fifth tier, Hulme moved down a division to join AFC Fylde. He made 22 appearances during the 2020/21 season before struggling to get game time in the campaign after. Loan moves to Ashton United and Altrincham followed before Hulme permanently re-joined the latter for a third spell ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Overall Head-to-head Record
P4 W1 D1 L2
Since Altrincham won promotion back to the National League, the Spireites have struggled to get the better of Phil Parkinson’s side. Things were looking good during last season’s fixture at the Technique Stadium with goals from Liam Mandeville and Kabongo Tshimanga. However, two dramatic late goals from the visitors secured a share of the spoils. Alty came away from the second meeting of the season with all three points after Matthew Kosylo’s deflected strike.
Played for both – Marcus Dinanga
After spells at clubs such as Burton Albion, Matlock Town and Hartlepool United, Marcus Dinanga joined the Spireites on loan from Stevenage in January 2021. The striker was part of the squad that saw Chesterfield secured a play-off spot during before losing out to Notts County. He played 12 times during his loan spell with his only goal coming in a 4-1 win away at Woking. Upon his release from Stevenage, he joined fellow National League side Altrincham. The 25-year-old was a regular in the Robins’ side as he scored three times in 15 games by the end of November. Dinanga spent the majority of the second half of the 2021/22 season out on loan at Kidderminster Harriers and Dartford – impressing during his time with the Darts.
*Photos courtesy of Jonathan Moore.