Phil Parkinson rally cry in Altrincham Today

PHIL Parkinson has issued a heartfelt rallying cry for Altrincham fans to turn out in greater numbers than ever to help his squad achieve the club's dream of a first-ever promotion to the Football League. Writing exclusively for Altrincham Today, the Alty manager said:

We are rapidly approaching the final furlong in another eventful Vanarama National League campaign, and, for everyone at The J.Davidson Stadium, the finishing line represents a golden opportunity to turn a memorable season into the greatest in the entire history of Altrincham FC.

No-one paid much attention back in August, when we briefly flirted with the play-off places before slipping out of contention and dropping to 12th in the table after a 3-0 defeat at Barnet at the beginning of September. To many, that was little Alty put in their place.

By the end of September, we were back in the top seven, and we've been there ever since. That's 22 games unbroken in the play-off zone, culminating in a 3-0 dismantling of Rochdale last Saturday that restored us to fourth position, within touching distance of the top three.

What a transformation in the Robins' fortunes, particularly during a dramatic season that has validated our play-off credentials in the eyes of so many. A promotion unprecedented in the club's 130-year existence can no longer be dismissed as a pipedream.
It is an aspiration driven by an ambitious, forward-thinking board, along with myself and Neil Sorvel, and it has gathered momentum and credibility on a weekly basis in a season lit up by some of the most exhilarating performances in living memory.
I'm fully aware there is a huge challenge ahead and work still to be done, but there is a strategy in place, and it includes a role for a fan base that stretches across the Altrincham area and beyond.

It's a key one, at that. The fans can be our 12th man. The sight of Alty supporters packing the stadium and the sound of loud, sustained vocal backing from the first minute to the last is like having a 12th player out on the pitch.

I've seen it for myself on several occasions. Minutes ticking away and signs of fatigue creeping in. You look at players and wonder if there's anything left in the tank. Then there's a roar from the crowd, and it transmits to the players. Suddenly, there's strength and energy back in their legs, and it makes all the difference.
We've won games that way with virtually the last kick, and it's no coincidence.
So, with that in mind, my message to fans throughout the region is I want more of you here, because you can help us achieve something special. It's brilliant that more are coming through the gate, but I want to see even greater numbers filling the ground and making plenty of noise at every home game between now and the end of the season.

If we're averaging 2,000-plus home fans now, can we make it 2,500-plus? To those who already attend, do you know anyone in the area who follows football but doesn't already come to our games? If you do, bring them along and get them hooked on watching us. You know they will enjoy it - if you can't enjoy watching Alty at the moment, you never will.

We want to be a Football League team, and one of the requirements for that is building support, so get along and make this place a fortress, because it really does make a difference.

I can promise you the Moss Lane matchday experience is one to savour. We have scored no fewer than 23 goals in our last seven league and cup home games and have put an opposing side to the sword 6-1 twice this season, including Solihull Moors, who currently sit just one place behind us in fifth.

The good times are rolling, a fitting reward for a board of directors who had the vision and self-assurance to take the club into the challenging environment of full-time professional football 18 months ago, and there's every reason for believing the wheels will keep turning, particularly if attendances continue to flourish.

So, whether you are from Altrincham, Hale, Bowdon, Sale, Timperley, Wythenshawe or further afield, get yourself along to The J.Davidson Stadium and be part of what we are all hoping will prove an historic end to the 2023-24 season.

We all love this region we live in. There are so many facets of Altrincham and surrounding areas that instill a sense of pride, and it is our fervent hope that we may be able to enhance that by qualifying for the play-offs, making it all the way to Wembley for the final at the start of May and heading back home with a newly-won status bestowed on us. What a badge of honour that would be.
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