The new campaign is finally underway for Altrincham's youngsters, with three different age groups in action for the first time this season over the weekend.
There is a new under-16 squad, competing mostly against players who are a year older in the North-West Youth Alliance Development Division, while Alty's under-17s are playing in a NWYA Premier Division that is made up mainly of under-18 teams.
The Robins' youth team, meanwhile, are in the North-West U-21 Development League, and the club are delighted to see that last season's trend of players writing reports of matches they have been involved in has been carried into the new campaign.
Ben Taylor composed the following account of the opening fixture for our under-16 squad (pictured).
The selected players representing Altrincham FC travelled to Wythenshawe for their first game of their season against Wythenshawe AFC.
A fast start from Altrincham led to early chances for Harrison Howells and Henry Murphy against the compact defensive block of Wythenshawe. However, none of these chances produced a goal, with one being scrambled off the line.
After the half-time team talk, Wythenshawe came out stronger and the more aggressive of the two sides and ended up taking the lead after a corner that was pulled back across the penalty area for an easy finish.
After a tough 20 minute period, Altrincham started to pick up again, creating some more chances before Charley Jarrald placed a great finish into the bottom corner after a controversial challenge from Henry Shaw left Wythenshawe furious.
Overall a solid performance from the Altrincham players, who will be keen to build on this 1-1 draw as what looks like being an exciting season continues to unfold.
Alty squad: 1. Louie Fallon, 2. Henry Shaw, 3. Lincoln Goddard, 4. Lewis Lambkin, 5. Harry O’Gara, 6. Ben Taylor, 7. Afernee Denise, 8. Kian Gonzalez, 9. Harrison Howells, 10. Henry Murphy, 11. Jack Chandler, 12. Teddy Woolland, 14. Oscar Cooper, 15. Mo Elnagi, 16. Corey Ferry, 17. Charley Jarrald.
George Raftery put together the under-17s report.
What an excellent start to the season for the under-17s, who faced West Didsbury & Chorlton in their opening league game.
There was a very positive and direct start to the game, with Altrincham exploiting the play down the channels and breaking the deadlock after around 20 minutes, when Cata cut in from the left hand side and slotted home a well worked goal.
After a great start to the game by the Altrincham players, they continued to apply the pressure, and when their opponents failed to clear a free-kick floated into the danger zone, McCarthy sprang the offside trap to make it 2-0 with a controversial goal.
Just before half-time, West Didsbury scored a well-worked goal, after the ball was lost in midfield, meaning Altrincham went into the break with a 2-1 lead.
There was some pressure on the Altrincham goal after that, but the young Robins settled down well and made it 3-1 when Ceesay finished off a beautifully-worked counter-attack.
Then, after some good play down the right hand side, Altrincham won another free-kick in a dangerous position which was headed home by Gray to extend the lead to 4-1.
There was to be no let-up for the West Didsbury back line, and when yet another dangerous counter-attack led to the ball working it’s way to Raftery, he scored a wonderful goal into the top left hand corner for 5-1.
It was a great display from the players and a positive start to the season with a convincing win.
Alty squad: Abdulelah Nassief, Joel Bailey, Alfa Balde, Edson Cata, Oliwier Fiedor, Thomas Higgins, Alfred Igbinake, Harrison Jarvis-McCarthy, Ajani Oshodin, Niyah Richards-Gray, George Raftery, Peter Arogun, Modoulamin Ceesay, Oliver Dixon, Will Spencer, Ian Vasconcelos Jose.
The youth team report comes courtesy of Ben Atkinson.
Altrincham started quickly - on the front foot immediately and creating numerous chances - but they just couldn’t quite find the finishing touch, with the Linnets' keeper making several brilliant saves.
Altrincham continued to keep up the pressure and dominate possession, and a goal seemed inevitable.
It finally came midway through the first half, after some great build-up play down the right hand side between Tom Jones and Sam Chambers, leading to a cross that flashed low across the face of goal and was met by Adam Lynch, who flicked it into the bottom left corner, past the outstretched keeper's hand. Altrincham had several more opportunities to double their lead before half-time, but failed to take their chances.
After a good first-half performance, Altrincham began the second half slowly, giving away numerous opportunities to Runcorn.
Altrincham keeper Noah Tyson made a few fine stops to prevent Runcorn drawing level, after which the young Robins managed to regain their composure and dominate possession again.
It led to a second Alty goal, as Tom Jones latched on to a ball over the top and used his pace to get away from the Linnets’ defenders before slotting home low to the keeper's left to make it 2-0.
This was quickly followed up by a Charlie Behan goal, which was enough to ensure Altrincham the three points, as they saw out the last 20 minutes to secure a clean sheet and a well-deserved victory.
Overall, a strong performance and good result for the young Robins, who could have had more than three goals in their first league game of the season but were nonetheless happy with a clean sheet and positive outcome.
Alty squad: Noah Tyson, Sam Chambers, Ben Atkinson, Sam Murphy, Lucas Aldcroft, Mike Comber, Sekouba Camara, Tom Jones, Adam Lynch, Loui Williams, Kareem Majzoub, Charlie Behan, Edson Cata, Sheriff Njie.