Report by John Edwards
Picture by Jonathan Moore
Altrincham have moved quickly to solve a potential goalkeeping crisis by signing Manchester United under-23 prospect Dermot Mee on an emergency loan.
With Matt Gould joining Ollie Byrne on the sidelines after suffering concussion on Saturday, swift action was needed, and the club are delighted to have secured Dermot in time for tonight’s Vanarama National League clash with Maidenhead United.
Highly-rated by United’s coaching staff, Dermot has travelled down to Berkshire and is available to play at York Road in the Robins’ second lengthy away trip in the space of three days.
Though still three months short of his 20th birthday, Dermot does not lack experience after establishing himself in United’s under-23 team, including the pre-season friendly against Alty at The J.Davidson Stadium at the end of July, and having trained regularly with the Old Trafford club’s first team.
He was born in Birmingham but has been capped at international level by Northern Ireland in the same under-19 set-up as Chris Conn-Clarke, meaning there will be at least one familiar face in the changing room, as he awaits his Alty debut.
The young keeper’s arrival could not be more timely, with the club still needing international clearance to enable Ollie to launch his Alty career and Matt sustaining an injury at Bromley on Saturday that will require a period of recuperation.
Landing heavily after bravely leaving his line to punch clear a dangerous cross, Matt suffered a concussion and multiple facial injuries and was taken to hospital for a full assessment. He continues to be monitored and is in good spirits, and everyone at the club wishes him well for a speedy recovery.
Alty are doing everything in their power to have Ollie’s move from Connah’s Quay rubberstamped and officially approved, but, as is always the case when input is required from other parties, the club’s hands are tied, to an extent, over the time frame involved.
It is a frustrating scenario, not least for Ollie himself, who is desperate to start playing competitively for his hometown club, but it is hoped the matter will be concluded before long.
In the meantime, welcome to Alty, Dermot, and best wishes for a successful stay with the club.