Report by John Edwards
Altrincham have made a significant addition to their backroom staff after appointing Michael Clegg as chief scout.
Michael is renowned for identifying and developing young talent, and Alty wasted no time offering him the chance to spearhead the club’s scouting network after he left his post as Ashton United manager earlier this week.
In announcing the appointment, Alty football director Rob Esteva said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Michael to the club. He has an unparalleled eye for young talent in the area and has played a key role in the development of so many young players.
‘We have closely followed his time at both Atherton Collieries and Ashton United, and it is clear his football philosophy is very closely matched to that of the management team here at Alty and how we operate.
‘We know Michael will be a valuable asset to the club moving forward, and we are all very much looking forward to working with him.’
Alty had a close up of the remarkable impact Michael had on Atherton’s fortunes when Phil Parkinson took his side to Alder House in July 2019 as part of the Robins’ preparations for a season that ended with promotion to the Vanarama National League.
The Colls had just been promoted to the Northern Premier League’s top division for the first time in their history, and they were a match for Alty in what proved to be a hard-fought 2-2 draw for the Robins.
Appointed in 2014, Michael led the Colls to three promotions in five years before accepting an offer to take over from Jody Banim as manager of Ashton, a post he relinquished on Monday.
Though he has an enviable record of success in league and cup football as a manager, his forte is working with young players, spotting their strengths and assessing their potential, as he alluded to in a personal message to Ashton fans after his departure from Hurst Cross.
‘I am thrilled to have played a small part in some exceptional young footballers’ careers,’ he wrote. ‘Connor Taylor, Billy Sass-Davies, Adam Senior, Milli Alli and Harvey Macadam are all lads who I am convinced will go on to big things.
‘Seven trophies in seven years is something I am really proud of, and I am excited to see what the future brings.’
A warm welcome to The J.Davidson Stadium, Michael, and all the very best in your new role with Altrincham FC!