Altrincham to become a full-time club next season in quest for the Football League

The Robins will be hoping the move from part-time will see them earn a place in the Football League.

<p>Altrincham celebrate a goal at the J.Davidson Stadium against Dagenham & Redbridge in February. Credit: Jonathan Moore. </p>

Altrincham celebrate a goal at the J.Davidson Stadium against Dagenham & Redbridge in February. Credit: Jonathan Moore.

Altrincham have announced they will become a full-time club next season in hope it will lead to the eventual promotion to the Football League.

The Robins, who have been a part-time club since being founded in 1891, currently play in the National League, the fifth-tier of English football.

A new chief executive officer position will be created in light of the change to professional football this summer.

Altrincham co-chairman Bill Waterson said the following on the club’s ‘bold’ move: “As the most successful part-time club ever, we are always striving for success both on and off the pitch. We have bold and ambitious plans to grow and shoot for success – Alty leads the way, you win the day!

“In Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel, we already have great leadership on the pitch. However, what we’re asking our players to achieve on a part-time basis is becoming more and more challenging.

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“With access to a high-level training facility from next season, we feel that now is the time for full-time and this is a massive step in the right direction, not just for the club but also for our community as a whole."

The Robins won’t fear the challenge of Football League opposition if promotion is achieved, with them holding the record for knocking the most clubs in the top four-tiers out of the FA Cup (17).

Phil Parkinson guided his side to a 17th-place finish in the National League last season, their first campaign in the fifth-tier since 2016.

However, there could be a downside to Altrincham’s move to full-time football, with some members of their squad having to depart due to work commitments.

Lawrence Looney, the Robins’ co-chairman added: “The move to a full-time model means that some players will be unable to make the transition due to other commitments and as a result, our playing squad will evolve.

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“The management team has a plan in place to strengthen the squad ahead of the new season and the Club looks forward to keeping supporters updated as this process continues.”

Altrincham have won the National League title twice before, lifting the trophy in 1980 and the following season as well.

However, promotion to the Football League wasn’t determined by finishing top of non-league back then but instead by a voting system.

The Robins missed out on the Football League by one vote in 1980 after both Luton Town and Grimsby Town didn’t cast a vote on which clubs should remain or become part of the set-up.

Altrincham suffered the same fate the following season when they were denied entry to the Football League through the voting scheme again.