Press officer John Edwards has submitted the following article for inclusion in this week's Sale and Altrincham Messenger.
Phil Parkinson has called on Altrincham fans to turn out in force and help create a carnival atmosphere for the Robins’ eagerly-anticipated first home pre-season friendly against local rivals Stockport County at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday (3pm).
Fresh from a resounding 5-1 win over FC Isle of Man in Douglas on Saturday, Alty are stepping up their preparations with far and away their biggest test so far against last season’s Vanarama National League champions.
The signs are that Stockport will have a huge support behind them, and Alty boss Parkinson underlined the importance of Robins fans turning out in similar numbers by saying:
“Pre-season has been going really well, with signs of improvement game-on-game, and now we’re all relishing stepping out at The J.Davidson for the first time for what is sure to be a tough challenge against a Stockport side who are flying.
“I know tickets for the away end are being snapped up at a brisk rate, so it would be great to see the ground packed with Alty fans as well, as it was so often last season when our average home gate topped 2,000.
“That sort of figure used to be a stand-out attendance when we hosted a big-name club with a big away following, but last season it was the norm, which is a fantastic reflection of the progress we are making as a club.
“But there can be no resting on laurels. Pre-season is important for making sure we are in the best possible shape for the new campaign, and we want to make the most of each game.
“It may be classed as a friendly, but it’s Stockport, so we know it’s going to be competitive, just as we know how important our fans will be for helping us rise to the challenge.
“The players always respond when our fans turn up the volume, and I never tire of saying they are like our 12th man. Everything else is in place - the pitch is looking fantastic and the ground is in great nick after volunteers helped tidy up over the weekend - so let’s make sure it’s Alty voices ringing out the loudest when we kick off.”
Payment at the turnstiles on the day is available, but tickets can be bought in advance from the club’s website at www.altrinchamfc.com.
*Could any season ticket holder who has opted to collect their ticket from the ground, please do so before Saturday if they wish to attend the Stockport game? With a bumper crowd anticipated, it is unlikely anyone will be available on the day to deal with season ticket enquiries. The office at the stadium will be open between 10am and 4pm tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.