Walsall player 152. Erhun Aksel Oztumer


Erhun Aksel Oztumer (born 29 May 1991) is an English professional footballer who plays for Walsall as a midfielder.

Following nine years in the youth set up at Charlton Athletic, and a season with Fisher Athletic, 16-year-old Oztumer joined Manisaspor in 2008, who at the time were in the Turkish Süper Lig. Despite featuring mainly for the Manisaspor youth team, in 2009 he earned a move to Sivasspor, also of the Turkish Süper Lig, where he signed his first professional contract. Oztumer never played for the first team at Sivasspor, but played 29 times for the reserve team in A2 Ligi, scoring eight goals. In 2011, Oztumer left Sivasspor to join Anadolu Üsküdar in the TFF Third League, the fourth tier of Turkish football, where he played senior football for the first time, playing 35 league games in 16 months, scoring five goals.

Before the start of the 2012–13 season, Oztumer returned to England, joining Isthmian League side Dulwich Hamlet. He went on to score over 60 goals from midfield in all competitions over two seasons, during which time Dulwich won promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division.

In June 2014, he moved back into the professional game, joining Peterborough United for an undisclosed fee, leaving with the best wishes of Dulwich Hamlet manager Gavin Rose.

He played one friendly in pre-season, scoring a free kick against St Neots Town, before suffering an injury which kept him out of the early part of the 2014–15 season. He made his Peterborough debut as a substitute in a 2–2 draw with Oldham Athletic on 4 October 2014. He made his first start for the club on 13 December 2014, scoring the winning goal away to Leyton Orient

On 17 June 2016, Oztumer signed for Football League One side Walsall on a two-year contract upon the expiry of his contract at Peterborough.

Personal information
Full name Erhun Aksel Oztumer
Date of birth 29 May 1991 (age 25)
Place of birth Greenwich, England
Height 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Walsall
Number 10
Youth career
Charlton Athletic
Fisher Athletic
2008–2009 Manisaspor
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2010 Sivasspor 0 (0)
2011–2012 Anadolu Üsküdar 34 (5)
2012–2014 Dulwich Hamlet 78 (49)
2014–2016 Peterborough United 50 (7)
2016– Walsall 0 (0)
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Walsall player 138. Bertrand Bossu


photo SNS

Bertrand Bossu (born 14 October 1980) is a French footballer who plays as a goalkeeper who played for Isthmian League Division One North club Harlow Town.
Born in Calais, Pas-de-Calais, Bossu started out as a boy at small French amateur club US Blériot-Plage, before joining Calais RUFC. When he was 16 he moved to RC Lens but never managed to play for the professional team there as he was confined to the third and fourth teams.
Bossu joined Barnet in March 2000. He made his debut and subsequently only first team appearance for Barnet on 17 May 2000 in the second leg of the play-off semi-final. Barnet were trailing 2–0 (4–1 on aggregate) away to Peterborough United when Bossu replaced the injured Lee Harrison in the Barnet goal. He conceded one more goal, giving David Farrell his hat-trick and confirming Peterborough’s place in the final.
He joined Conference side Hayes on loan in December 2000. His one-man heroics in the 1–0 win away to Boston United on 2 December ended a run of seven consecutive defeats. However, in the process Bossu broke a finger and returned to Barnet to recuperate.
He joined Rushden & Diamonds on loan in March 2001, but failed to make a first team appearance for them and was released by Barnet at the end of the season. He rejoined Hayes in August 2001, but lost his place as Hayes were relegated from the Conference. Although he began the following season as second-choice, he regained his place in the side and went on to win the Hayes Supporters’ Player of the Year Award in 2003. In the midst of this he had also become the first Hayes goalkeeper to score a goal, with a last-minute header in the game away to St Albans City.
Bossu joined Gillingham in September 2003 and made his debut later that month away to Walsall. He played just five more times that season, including the victory at home toPremier League side Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup.
In August 2004 he joined Torquay United on a three-month loan deal playing in the first two games of the season away to Bristol City and at home to Hull City the same month. However, he was sent back to Gillingham by Torquay with a knee injury, prompting a row over who should pay his wages. He joined Oldham Athletic in late October 2004, but failed to make their first team.
He was released by Gillingham at the end of the 2004–05 season, joining Darlington in August 2005. The same month he joined Accrington Stanley on loan, playing one Conference National game away to Cambridge United before returning to Darlington where he played 10 times before being released at the end of the season. He then joined Walsall in September 2006, but was released in May 2008.
After being released by Walsall, Bossu then went on trial with Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen. After impressing goalkeeping coach Jim Leighton, he was offered a contract with the Scottish club. Bossu left Aberdeen in August 2009 after only three appearances for the club.
He signed for Crewe Alexandra on a two-month contract on 28 October following a successful trial. However, he left six days later after asking for his contract to be cancelled.

Bertrand Bossu
Personal information
Full name Bertrand Bossu
Date of birth 14 October 1980 (age 35
Place of birth Calais, France
Height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Gravelines
Youth career
1989–1997 Calais RUFC
1997–1999 RC Lens
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2000 RC Lens 0 (0)
2000–2001 Barnet 1 (0)
2000 Hayes (loan) 1 (0)
2001  Rushden & Diamonds (loan) 0 (0)
2001–2003 Hayes 60 (1)
2003–2005 Gillingham 4 (0)
2004 Torquay United (loan) 2 (0)
2004  Oldham Athletic (loan) 0 (0)
2005–2006 Darlington 9 (0)
2005  Accrington Stanley (loan) 1 (0)
2006–2008 Walsall 1 (0)
2008–2009 Aberdeen 1 (0)
2009 Crewe Alexandra 0 (0)
2011–2013 Harlow Town 22 (0)
2013–2015 Calais RUFC 0 (0)
2015– Gravelines 0 (0)

Walsall player 109. Adrian Littlejohn


Personal information
Full name Adrian Sylvester Littlejohn
Date of birth 26 September 1970 (age 46)
Place of birth Wolverhampton, England

Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Midfielder / Forward

Youth career
1988–1989 West Bromwich Albion

Senior career
Years                        Team                                    Apps       (Gls)
1989–1991                 Walsall                                   44         (1)
1991–1995                 Sheffield United                  69        (12)
1995–1998                 Plymouth Argyle                110        (29)
1998                            Oldham Athletic                  21         (5)
1998–2001                 Bury                                         99       (14)
2001–2003                 Sheffield United                    3         (0)
2003–2004                 Port Vale                                49       (10)
2004–2005                 Lincoln City                             8         (0)
2005                             Rushden & Diamonds           15         (0)
2005–2006                 Mansfield Town                       7         (0)
2006                             Leek Town                                4          (0)
2007–2008                 Retford United                         ?           ?

                                         Total                                  437+      (71+)
Adrian Sylvester Littlejohn (born 26 September 1970) is an English former footballer, who played as a midfielder and a striker. He scored 74 goals in 425 league appearances in an 18-year career in the Football League.
He began his professional career at Walsall, after moving from West Bromwich Albion in 1989. He moved on to Sheffield United two years later, before making a £100,000 move to Plymouth Argyle in September 1995. He helped Plymouth to win promotion out of the Third Division in 1996, before moving on to Oldham Athletic in March 1998. Eight months later he was sold on to Bury for £75,000. He returned to Sheffield United in October 2001, before transferring to Port Vale in February 2003. In August 2004 he switched to Lincoln City, before ending the season at Rushden & Diamonds. In September 2005 he signed with Mansfield Town before moving on to non-league club Leek Town the following year. He retired in 2008 following a brief spell at Retford United.
Littlejohn started his footballing career at West Bromwich Albion, but failed to play a match and was released at the end of the 1988–89 season to find first team football elsewhere. He stayed in his native West Midlands and joined Walsall prior to the 1989–90 season; the “Saddlers” finished bottom of the Third Division under John Barnwell’s stewardship and were relegated into the Fourth Division. They then finished a disappointing 16th in 1990–91 under Kenny Hibbitt. Littlejohn played 54 games, scoring one goal, in his two seasons with the club.
Prior to the 1991–92 season, Littlejohn was signed by Dave Bassett of Sheffield United. He played a part in the “Blades” first ever Premier League season in 1992–93, scoring eight goals in 27 games. He scored three goals in 19 top-flight games in 1993–94, as United were relegated into the First Division. He appeared just 18 times in 1994–95, before he moved to Plymouth Argyle for a £100,000 fee in September 1995.
Bagging 18 goals, he was the club’s top scorer in his debut season at Home Park, which helped Plymouth finish fourth in the Third Division. They were just one point short of automatic promotion, but managed to gain promotion via the play-offs with a 1–0 win over Darlington. The 1996–97 and 1997–98 seasons saw the club involved in relegation battles; Littlejohn had escaped the cycle however, joining Second Division side Oldham Athletic in March 1998.
At Oldham he joined Neil Warnock, the manager who had signed him at Plymouth. Littlejohn scored his début against Watford, however both men’s stay at Boundary Park was brief; Bury appointed Warnock manager in May 1998, and six months later he bought Littlejohn for £75,000. The “Shakers” occupied the final relegation place in the First Division in 1998–99, finishing behind Port Vale on goals scored. They finished 15th in 1999–2000 under new boss Andy Preece, with Littlejohn scoring 10 times in his 48 appearances. He scored five goals in 43 games for the Gigg Lane club in 2000–01, and in total scored 16 goals in 112 games in close to three seasons at the club.
In December 1999, Warnock was made manager of Sheffield United and in October 2001 he brought Littlejohn back to the club, on a non-contract basis. He remained loyal to Warnock, refusing to sign a permanent contract with Carlisle United, though he was to only play three competitive matches for the first team in 2001–02, two of those coming from off the bench. Leaving the club in February 2003 he rejected the chance to sign with Bradford City, and instead signed with Port Vale. After impressing manager Brian Horton, his initial one month deal was extended to the end of the season. He then went on to score seven goals in 41 appearances in the 2003–04 campaign.
In August 2004 he put pen to paper with League Two side Lincoln City. Failing to make at impact at Sincil Bank, he was released by manager Keith Alexander in January 2005. He then joined Rushden & Diamonds on a contract expiring at the end of the season. The ageing striker made fifteen appearances for the club and also gave the younger players the benefit of his experience. In September 2005 he signed with Mansfield Town, making seven substitute appearances in the league over the course of the 2005–06 season for Peter Shirtliff’s “Stags”.
He wound his career down with a few games for non-league Leek Town, playing for the club from March] to October in 2006. In June 2007, Littlejohn agreed to return to playing at Retford United for his old teammate Peter Duffield, before leaving the club at the end of the season.

Walsall player 101. Darren Asherton Byfield


Personal information
Full name Darren Asherton Byfield
Date of birth 29 September 1976 (age 38)
Place of birth Sutton Coldfield, England

Darren Byefield

Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Forward

Club information
Current team Redditch United

Youth career
Aston Villa

Senior career
Years                    Team                                      Apps          (Gls)
1997–1999             Aston Villa                            7              (0)
1998–1999 Loan     Preston North End           5              (1)
1999          Loan     Northampton Town            6              (1)
1999          Loan     Cambridge United               4              (0)
2000          Loan     Blackpool                              3              (0)
2000–2002             Walsall                                77             (13)
2001          Loan     Rotherham United              3              (2)
2002–2004             Rotherham United           65             (20)
2004                      Sunderland                             17              (5)
2004–2006             Gillingham                          67             (19)
2006–2007             Millwall                                31             (16)
2007–2008             Bristol City                          33               (8)
2008–2009             Doncaster Rovers              15               (0)
2008–2009  Loan    Oldham Athletic               8              (1)
2009                      Oldham Athletic                     3              (0)
2009–2011              Walsall                                  55             (12)
2012                       Solihull Moors                        2              (0)
2012                      AFC Telford United                7              (1)
2013–2014             Tamworth                              31              (4)
2014–2016                    Solihull Moors               31              (4)
National team
2003                     Jamaica                                        6                (1)

Teams Managed

2016                       Redditch United
Darren Asherton Byfield (born 29 September 1976) is a footballer whose last club was Solihull Moors where he was a forward.. He is now manager of Redditch United.
Byfield won six caps for Jamaica in 2003, and has scored 110 goals in 484 appearances across all domestic competitions so far in his football career. He was briefly married to pop star Jamelia, with whom he had one child.
He began his career with Aston Villa in 1997, and enjoyed loan spells with Preston North End, Northampton Town,Cambridge United, and Blackpool, before winning a move to Walsall in June 2000. He scored the winning goal in the2001 Second Division play-off final, and then made a £50,000 move to Rotherham United in March 2002. He was traded to Sunderland in February 2004, and then moved on to Gillingham five months later. He transferred to Millwallin June 2006, before joining Bristol City in August 2007. He moved on to Doncaster Rovers in July 2008, before linking up with Oldham Athletic in August 2009, having played on loan at the club during the previous season. His stay at Oldham lasted only a handful of games, after which he returned to Walsall. He left the Football League in June 2011 following an injury-hit 2010–11 campaign. He joined non-league Solihull Moors for a brief spell in March 2012, before moving on to AFC Telford United six months later. He joined Tamworth in January 2013.
Byfield started his career at Aston Villa, and graduated through the club’s Academy to make his Premier League debut on 28 December 1997, in a 1–1 draw with Leeds United at Elland Road. Given his debut by outgoing boss Brian Little, he rarely featured under new “Villans” manager John Gregory. He made six further substitute appearances in 1997–98.
He appeared in the UEFA Cup in a 3–2 win over Norwegian outfit Strømsgodset IF at Villa Park on 15 September 1998. Byfield was loaned out to Preston North End in November 1998, and scored on his debut at Deepdale on 7 November, in a 4–1 win over Burnley. He played four further Second Division games for David Moyes’s “Lilywhites”, and did not feature in the latter half of the 1998–99 season.
He joined Northampton Town on a six-week loan in August 1999, and scored twice in seven games for the “Cobblers”. After the departure of manager Ian Atkins, Kevin Wilson led the Sixfields outfit to promotion out of the Third Division. Byfield meanwhile joined Cambridge United on loan immediately after leaving Northampton, and featured four times at the Abbey Stadium under manager Roy McFarland. In March 2000 he joined Blackpool on loan, in his third such move of the 1999–2000 campaign. He played three Second Division games for Steve McMahon’s “Seasiders”, in a brief stay at Bloomfield Road.
In June 2000, Byfield signed with Ray Graydon’s Second Division side Walsall. He hit 11 goals in 51 games in 2000–01, and scored the winning goal in the 109th minute of the play-off final, giving the “Saddlers” a 3–2 victory overReading. He scored four goals in 37 First Division games in 2001–02, and left the Bescot Stadium soon after Colin Lee was appointed as manager.
In March 2002, he joined Rotherham United in a £50,000 deal. He got off to a flying start to his Millmoor career, hitting two goals in three games at the back end of the 2001–02 campaign. He scored 13 goals in 38 games in 2002–03, and told the media that “Even if the manager (Ronnie Moore) brought in Ruud van Nistelrooy and Alan Shearer it wouldn’t bother me, I am very confident in my own abilities.” His tally included four goals against Millwall on 10 August in a “stunning display” on the opening day of the season. He went on to bag eight goals in 33 appearances for the “Millers” in 2003–04.
After Rotherham rejected a bid from Derby County, he signed with Sunderland in February 2004, after the two clubs agreed to a trade for Michael Proctor. Byfield scored five goals in 17 games for Mick McCarthy’s “Black Cats” in the latter half of the 2003–04 campaign, before departing the Stadium of Light at the end of the season.
Byfield signed a two-year contract with Championship club Gillingham in July 2004, after rejecting offers from former clubs Preston and Walsall. He hit just six goals in 39 appearances in 2004–05, despite maintaining an excellent work rate. The club suffered relegation into League One, as well as a merry-go-round of managers, with Andy Hessenthaler making way for Stan Ternent, who was in turn replaced by Neale Cooper and then Ronnie Jepson. Byfield told the press that his teammates should take the blame for Neale Cooper’s departure in November 2005, and should be “ashamed” of their performances. Byfield scored 14 goals during the 2005–06 campaign, becoming the club’s top-scorer, despite spending two months on the sidelines nursing a knee injury.
He joined Millwall in June 2006, despite manager Ronnie Jepson’s best efforts to keep him at Priestfield. Byfield later claimed he was not offered a new contract by the “Gills”, something which chairman Paul Scally denied. Scally had previously accused Southend United manager Steve Tilson of making an illegal approach for Byfield. Having scored a hat-trick at the start of the month, he was nominated for the League One player of the month award for January, but lost out to Bristol City’s Enoch Showunmi. Despite missing the end of the campaign due to an ankle injury, he scored 16 goals in 31 League One games in 2006–07 to become the club’s top-scorer. However he seemed keen to move away from The Den, and did not appear in pre-season friendlies or photo opportunities. “Lions” boss Willie Donachie had previously rejected an offer of £165,000 from Brighton & Hove Albion chairman Dick Knight.
Byfield was signed by Bristol City for an undisclosed fee (in the region of £250,000) in August 2007The Ashton Gate club exceeded all expectations in 2007–08, and top-scorer Byfield’s eight goals helped them to secure a place in the Championship play-offs. However, the play-off final ended in defeat to Hull City at Wembley; Byfield was a late substitute for Nick Carle. In May 2008, Byfield was released by the “Robins”, having struggled to secure a place in Gary Johnson’s starting eleven after proving himself to be something of a “super-sub”.
In July 2008, he joined Doncaster Rovers on a two-year deal. On 14 November, he joined Oldham Athletic on a one month loan, which was later extended until January 2009. His “Latics” debut came in a 1–0 win over Northampton Town. Manager John Sheridan described Byfield’s performance as “excellent”, and stated that “he caused them a lot of problems with his pace and his touch”. The only goal of his eight game spell came on Boxing Day against Crewe Alexandra; he scored the opening goal in a 3–0 victory at the Alexandra Stadium. He returned to the Keepmoat Stadium at the end of the 2008–09 season, though sat out the end of the campaign after undergoing a hernia operation. He was released from his contract by manager Sean O’Driscoll on 7 May, having failed to find the net in 16 appearances for “Donny”.
On 6 August 2009, Byfield joined Oldham Athletic on a short-term deal However, after four appearances with no goals, he left Boundary Park on 25 August. Byfield re-signed with Walsall three days after leaving Oldham – to the delight of manager Chris Hutchings. He was given a contract lasting until January 2010, with an option to extend it until the end of the 2009–10 season. He formed an effective partnership with Troy Deeney, and won praise from coach Mick Kearns. Appointed club captain, he missed much of the 2010–11 season due to a knee injury,[ and was released by new manager Dean Smith in May 2011.
In March 2012 he signed for Solihull Moors. He featured in two Conference North games before the end of the 2011–12 season, in what was a brief stay at Damson Park. He joined League Two side Port Vale on trial in August 2012, and “proved he could still have something to offer with a busy performance” during a pre-season friendly with Nantwich Town. The “Valiants” were unable to offer him a contract due to financial problems, and Byfield instead signed a six-month deal with Conference club AFC Telford United in September, after manager Andy Sinton needed cover to deal with injuries. He moved on to Conference rivals Tamworth in January 2013, joining on non-contract terms. He scored two goals in 18 games for Dale Belford’s “Lambs” in the 2012–13 season and two goals in 14 games in the 2013–14 season, before departing in May 2014 after the club were relegated out of the Conference Premier.
Though born in Birmingham, his Jamaican heritage allowed him to win six caps for Jamaica in 2003. He was a squad member for the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The “Reggaeboyz” exited the tournament at the quarter-finals with a 5–0 defeat to hosts Mexico.

Walsall player 77. Neil Tolson


 Neil Tolson
Date of birth 25 October 1973 (age 43)
Place of birth Walsall, England

Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Playing position Striker

Club information
Current team Altrincham (assistant manager)

Senior career
Years                                           Team                                    Apps           (Gls)
1991–1992                                 Walsall                                      9               (1)
1992–1993                                 Oldham Athletic                        3               (0)
1993–1996                                 Bradford City                           63              (12)
1995 →      (loan)                       Chester City                               4                (0)
1996–1999                                 York City                                  72              (13)
1999–2001                                 Southend United                     36              (11)
2002–2003                                 Leigh RMI                               10                (1)
2003                                           Kettering Town                          1                (0)
2003                                           Halifax Town                             3                (0)
2003–2011                                 Hyde                                     124               (54)
                                                                          Total              325               (92)
Teams managed
2008–2011                                 Hyde

Neil Tolson (born 25 October 1973) is an English former footballer who is currently assistant manager to Lee Sinnott at Conference National side Altrincham after being sacked as manager of Hyde in May 2011
Born in Walsall, Staffordshire, Tolson was York City’s top scorer for the 1996–97 season, with 17 goals in all competitions, including one as York beat Premier League side Everton 3–2 in the second round second leg of theLeague Cup.
He was released by Leigh RMI in January 2003 and joined Kettering Town in February. He signed for Halifax Town a month later.
Tolson joined Hyde United in July 2003 and was appointed Assistant Manager of the club in July 2007 before becoming Player-Manager in September 2008. After eight years at the club playing roles of manager, player and assistant manager, on 4 April 2011 he was relieved of his duties by the new board of directors. He left having scored 82 goals in 176 appearances for the club in all competitions. He later joined Altrincham as assistant manager to Lee Sinnott in June 2011.

Walsall player 41. Lee Sinnott


Born Aldridge12 July 1965 (50) (or Pelsall) depending which source you believe
Team Games Goals
Rushall Olympic
1982-83 Walsall 40 2
1983-87 Watford 95 2
1987-91 Bradford City 213 6
1991-93 Crystal Palace 55 0
1993-94 Bradford City 34 1
1994-97 Huddersfield 87 1
1997-99 Oldham Athletic 31 0
1998 Loan Bradford City 7 0
1999-2000 Scunthorpe 22 0
1985 England U21 1 0
Teams Managed
2003-07 Farsley Celtic
2007-08 Port Vale
2009 Bradford Park Avenue
2011= Altrincham
Lee came to Walsall as a youngster, from Rushall Olympic in November 1981, he played in Walsall Youth team . 1982 brought his debut for The Saddlers first team. He was able to play full back centre back or sweeper. He won Youth caps for England and gained one cap for England under 21’s. Walsall sold Lee to Watford for £100,000 in September 1983 and he went on to play against Everton in the 1984 F.A Cup final . He was sold to Bradford City for £130,000 in 1987, his next move was to Crystal Palace for £300,000 in 1991, he then went back to Bradford. When Sinnott returned to Valley Parade over the summer of 1993, Bradford were still in the third tier of the English league. He played in most of their first-team games that season, but the “Bantams” missed out on the play-offs and manager Frank Stapleton was sacked. Sinnott followed his manager out of the exit door and signed for local rivals Huddersfield Town. He was made captain of Neil Warnock’s team, and guided them to the Second Division play-off victory in his first season. He spent two more seasons in West Yorkshire before crossing the Pennines and signing for Oldham Athletic, who had just been relegated to the Second Division.
Sinnott played 31 games over two seasons at Boundary Park, but Oldham struggled in a division that they had been expected to win promotion from, and in Sinnott’s second season they narrowly avoided relegation to the Third Division
The 1998–99 campaign proved to be Lee Sinnott’s final season as a Football League player. Upon its conclusion he moved to Scarborough, who had just been relegated to the Football Conference, and played 22 games in one season for a side who finished fourth in the country’s highest non-league division. He then retired from playing after a career spanning almost 20 years.
When he finished playing he moved into management and was still manager at Altrincham at the start of the season.

We’re Back Where We Belong Says Altrincham Manager Lee Sinnott

SPORT - Skrill North Promotion Final - Altrincham v Guiseley AFCHAVING restored a traditional Non-League name back to the top tier, Altrincham boss Lee Sinnott immediately set to work to make sure they stay there.

Alty returned to the Conference Premier three years after relegation.

They’ve come close, with two play-off appearances in the last two seasons, but they finally got back among the big boys last weekend.

That was thanks to Greg Wilkinson’s extra-time winner at the death to help the Robins past Guiseley 2-1.

And while Sinnott enjoyed the occasion, the former Farsley Celtic and Port Vale manager knows he can’t afford to waste any time getting ready for the big kick-off in August.

“Planning has started already,” Sinnott said. “I’ve had a meeting with the chairman to formulate our plans.

“There are some longer journeys and bigger commitments needed from the players. But they can class themselves as Conference Premier players now. That’s a big fillip for them and it’s a box ticked after the disappointment of last year and losing in the play-offs.

Altrincham are back in the Conference Premier

“They’ve broken through the glass ceiling and shown they can come through the tough mental, and not just physical, encounters.

“I felt the desire to go again very early. If you look at our first 12 games we started very strongly. I’d expect the same again now because of the excitement of playing against quite a few ex-League teams.

“It’s a big challenge for them but I’m sure they are looking forward to it immensely.”

Alty’s biggest crowd in 32 years witnessed the play-off glory with 4,632 packing into their Moss Lane home.

Sinnott, who described the support as jaw-dropping, admitted that super-sub Wilkinson had been sent on with the scores locked at 1-1 and the dreaded penalty shoot-out in mind.

Instead he was calmness personified from 18 yards instead of 12, stroking the ball home from the edge of the box to send their support barmy.

And the incredible scenes left Sinnott shocked for 48 hours after the game.

“You’re numb, especially in the circumstances that it did happen,” said Sinnott. “We were putting Greg on with the intention of taking a penalty – within 22 seconds he writes himself into folklore. It worked out perfectly.

“When the dust settles after 48 hours you do think it’s nice to put them back where they were.

“When a club gets relegated there is doom and gloom, of course there is. You look at the playing side of it; some didn’t want to step down to the Conference North, some stayed and you need to bring other bodies in as well so it was a big change.

“The idea was to get the team pointed in right direction and then make progress from there. From an OK first season finishing eighth, the last two seasons have been testament to that progress.

“You can wave a magic wand – look at Liam Watson at Telford. He’s done a tremendous job and they’ve gone straight back up. In the Conference North where only one team goes up automatically and another in the play-offs, it can be achieved but it’s not a given that’s for sure.

“We’ve made progress and the majority of the squad are a good age so we’re looking to push on next season.”

With part-timers FC Halifax finishing in this season’s Skrill Premier top five and the likes of Braintree, Alfreton, Woking and Nuneaton all having good campaigns, Altrincham know they’re not taking on a mission impossible taking on so many ex-League heavyweights.

“Non-League has changed dramatically over the last ten or more years, with so many ex-League clubs being in the Conference at one stage or another,” he said.

“Altrincham has been a very big name traditionally in Non-League football and that’s the most pleasing aspect of getting them back.”