Words by Joe Ward, Photo by Jonathan Moore
Alty’s 2022/23 Vanarama National League campaign will kick off this Saturday afternoon when we host Maidstone United at The J.Davidson Stadium (3pm kick-off).
The match will be a landmark moment for Alty as we take on our first 90 minutes of competitive football since turning fully professional.
Phil Parkinson’s men go into the first game off the back of a successful pre-season which included three wins out of six, competing against the likes of Stockport County, Stoke City XI and Manchester United XI.
Our final game of pre-season saw the Robins come out impressive 2-1 winners against Manchester United XI that was essentially their FA Youth Cup winning team, showing real promise heading into the new campaign.
Midfielder Isaac Marriott sustained a knee ligament injury in training last week and is expected to spend a lengthy spell on the sidelines. However, it’s confirmed the 22-year-old will not require an operation.
He will join team-mate Matty Kosylo, who also sustained a knee ligament injury. However, following his successful surgery, everyone at the club looks forward to seeing both him and Isaac back in action later this season.
In an interview with AltyTV earlier this week, manager Phil Parkinson gave his views on the injury situation.
He said: “Injuries have gone against us with Matty and Isaac, but there’s not much you can do with freak injuries like that.
“It shows the training's right. It’s not muscular injuries, soft tissue injuries, chronic injuries, it’s just injuries that have come about from nothing. So, it’s very disappointing from that viewpoint, but I’m delighted going into the season with the squad we’ve got.”
Summer signings Aaron Bennett, James Jones, Alex Sami, Ollie Byrne, Chris Conn-Clarke, Liam Brockbank, Ross Barrows, Aidan Roxburgh, Lewis Baines and Josh Lundstram all could potentially feature for the Robins in the season’s curtain raiser.
The gaffer Phil Parkinson caught up with AltyTV in the lead-up to Saturday’s game and spoke about his excitement on going full-time.
About The Opposition
Maidstone United are one of five newcomers to the National League after winning the National League South last season to get promoted.
The Stones enjoyed a three-season spell in the National League between 2016/17 and 2018/19 before being relegated back down to the National League South.
In this time, Altrincham and Maidstone’s paths never crossed as we battled our way through two consecutive relegation campaigns.
Maidstone have enjoyed a successful pre-season, going unbeaten in all six of their games, albeit against largely lower division opposition.
However, following a 2-2 draw in their final pre-season match against Dulwich Hamlet, manager Hakan Hayrettin will be preparing his boys in their final three training sessions this week before the trip up north to Moss Lane.
Recent signing James Alabi could make his debut for the Stones this Saturday. The 27-year-old was part of the Leyton Orient side that won promotion to the Football League at the end of the 2018/19 season and joined the club from Bromley this summer.
Maidstone will be without last season’s top scorer, Joan Luque, who scored 20 goals in 33 games. The winger picked up a serious knee injury in April and will be out for some time.
In other team news, a calf injury could keep defender Joe Ellul out of the opener this Saturday, after not wanting to risk further injury, while Jerome Binnom-Williams is a question mark after being forced off against Dulwich with a knock.
£19 – Adult
£15 – Concession (Over 65/ Students / NHS Workers)
£7 – Junior (12-18)
£2 – Child (Under 12)
Buy in advance to save time queuing for both home and away tickets here
Turnstiles will be opening at 1:30pm
Season ticket holders who have yet to receive their physical cards can use their digital cards. If you have not received one, please contact us. Co-Chairman Bill Waterson has contacted all supporters whose cards are available for collection - please go to the red door to collect yours pre-match.
Some cards are still to be printed - the majority of those ordered since July 12th. If yours is available, you will receive an email today or tomorrow. The final batch will be delivered to the club late next week and will hopefully be available for the Yeovil game. Digital access should be available to all season tickets holders so access should not be an issue.
Please note we do not accept cards on the turnstiles so please buy online in advance or use the ATM opposite the ground at the convenience store.
The match will be segregated so please ensure you buy a ticket in the correct part of the ground and 'select home or away' as applicable when buying a ticket online.
We kindly ask all supporters – home and away – to arrive early to ensure you are in the ground in plenty of time for kick-off and avoid late queues.
Please note, all supporters will be searched with a metal detector on entry to the stadium for your own safety.
Full food menu is available in all three food outlets offering a wide range of options to home and away fans, and you can check out the offering below.
The bar in the CSH will be available and the VP Lounge for our LoyAlty VIP and Elite members.
There will be a free pint of Oranjeboom available to all LoyAlty VIP and Elite members and special guests Matty Kosylo and Isaac Marriott will be in the Lounge between 2-2.30pm.
LoyAlty cards (Premium, VIP, Elite) will receive an email from Bill Waterson tomorrow. All members should either have their cards or they will be available for collection on Saturday.
For wheelchair or pushchair access please enter gate 5 and you will be looked after.
The first matchday programme of the season will be available to purchase around the stadium and the club shop will be open.
Parking is street only.
And last but not least …
We sincerely hope that both sets of fans enjoy the game! Please respect each other, the players, the staff, and the stewarding team and let’s enjoy the first game of the 2022/23 season between two great clubs.