Care­taker chief Matt Doughty says the sea­son starts here for Na­tional League North strug­glers Al­trin­cham

The Non-League Football Paper - - NEWS - By Matt Badcock

MATT DOUGHTY has given his Al­trin­cham squad a sim­ple mes­sage: The sea­son starts now.

Alty are strug­gling at the bot­tom of the Na­tional League North ta­ble fol­low­ing rel­e­ga­tion out of Non-League’s top flight last sea­son.

Sum­mer ap­point­ment Neil Young left at the end of Au­gust and re­place­ment Jim Har­vey lasted three months be­fore he was sacked at the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber.

For­mer player Doughty – af­fec­tion­ately known as ‘Buzz’ – took over as care­taker hav­ing as­sisted Har­vey, and on New Year’s Day was con­firmed as boss un­til the end of the sea­son.

Rob­bie Law­ton and leg­endary ex-Alty man­ager Gra­ham Heath­cote are as­sist­ing the 35-year-old, who says it’s time to move on from a tor­rid 2016.

“I’m very proud,” Doughty told The NLP. “Neil Young has won leagues, in­clud­ing this one, but it didn’t work out. They went for ex­pe­ri­ence and they don’t come any more ex­pe­ri­enced than Jim Har­vey. That didn’t work out.


“So why not go for a young, hun­gry man­ager who loves the club. Why not? That’s why I’ve got Rob­bie Law­ton in and Gra­ham is there to help me as well. Every­one pulls in the same direction at Al­trin­cham.

“The first thing I said was, ‘I don’t want any neg­a­tiv­ity around the club’. It’s the last thing I need and the last thing the club and play­ers need.

“We’ll give ev­ery­thing. It won’t be with­out com­mit­ment, de­sire or pride to wear the badge.

“It’s my job to get the be­lief back in the chang­ing room, which I’ve done. Every­one who I played with or un­der will tell you the same – the dress­ing room is my do­main.

“My main aim was to get peo­ple mo­ti­vated. The chang­ing room is a to­tally dif­fer­ent place to when Jim and Neil were here.

“The club have given me time now. I know what we’ve got to do. I’ve told the lads that 2016 has gone, we don’t want it back. The sea­son starts now.”

Doughty, who is also a coach at Ever­ton’s Academy, has a strong rap­port with the fans af­ter a suc­cess­ful play­ing spell, where he helped the club to pro­mo­tion to Step 1.

But he’s al­ready learn­ing about life as a man­ager.

“It takes over your life – in a good way,” he said. “I’ve not had much sleep be­cause I’ve been get­ting phone calls from the physio, other man­agers and agents! But I want to be a man­ager and that’s all part of it.”

PIC­TURE: Action Images

FAN RAP­PORT: Matt Doughty, right, in his Al­trin­cham play­ing days

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