I love being at Alty - top guy Gouldy signs new deal!

Words John Edwards | Pictures Jonathan Moore

ALTRINCHAM will head into next season with one of the Vanarama National League's best goalkeeping partnerships safely intact after Matt Gould signed a new contract at The J.Davidson Stadium.

A more than capable stand-in for Ethan Ross, as was demonstrated last season, Matt's input at Alty extends way beyond simply providing competition for the number one spot.

In his other role as specialist goalkeeping coach, he was instrumental in helping Ethan not only hit the ground running on his arrival from Stockport County but quickly establish himself as a vital cog in a campaign that so nearly delivered promotion to the Football League.

Ethan himself readily acknowledged the importance of having Matt alongside him when he sat down with AltyTV last August to discuss a loan move that subsequently became a spectacularly successful permanent transfer.

Speaking ahead of his Robins debut, Ethan said: "Gouldy actually lived with me for a while when I was at West Brom and his dad was my goalkeeping coach, and we've got on great ever since.

"We've known each other for eight years now, and it just seemed a natural progression for me to come to Altrincham and work with him again. I know what Matt is about, and I know what our sessions on the training ground will be like. They will benefit me and improve my game, and it's great being round him again."

Now Alty fans who marvelled at an exceptional debut season for Ethan can look forward to more of the same after Matt happily accepted an offer to continue pushing him for the number one jersey as well as supervising coaching sessions aimed at maintaining standards that are second to none in the National League.

Signed from Spennymoor Town in August 2020, Matt has worked hard at keeping his own fitness and sharpness at the level required for fulfilling both aspects of his player-coach role, as he showed last season when Ethan was sidelined for several weeks with a rib injury.

"This will be year number five at the club for me, and it was a no-brainer," he said. "I love it here, and I love being a full-time footballer-coach. The gaffer and Sorvs have put a lot of belief and trust in me, and it’s an honour to work and play for them. We are going places as a club and the whole community can feel it, so let’s have another great year.

"Last season, working with my old friend Ethan was brilliant, and his performances throughout the season were top notch. It was also great to play the amount of games I did. It’s important we don’t rest on our laurels, and both of us will work to take our game to another level, so we can keep more clean sheets and produce high-level performances."

The squad for 2024-25 just keeps looking stronger and stronger, with news over the past two days that Elliot Osborne and Matty Kosylo have also committed to new deals, and manager Phil Parkinson hailed 30-year old Matt's decision to stay as another important breakthrough.

"Gouldy is a player who is a consummate professional," he said. "He has shown myself and the football club ultimate loyalty to stay with us when he could certainly have gone and played elsewhere in his dual role as coach and player.

"He has served the club ever so well with his performances on the pitch last season and the way he has taken Ethan on to another level. I'm delighted that Gouldy has decided to stay for another season."

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