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Altrincham axe summed up my year, says boss Jim Harvey

JIM HARVEY says a tumultuous 12 hours last week epitomised his topsy-turvy 2016 as he hit out at Altrincham’s decision to sack him after just ten league matches in charge.

Harvey wasn’t able to turn the club’s National League North season around and they remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

The Irishman took over from Neil Young following his sudden resignation in September and took them to their only victory, away to his former club Stalybridge Celtic.

Harvey, last Sunday night, was collecting a prestigious Football Writers’ award for taking FC Halifax Town to FA Trophy glory at Wembley in May.


Famously, he found out before the final with Grimsby that he would be out of a job at full-time with North Ferriby’s Billy Heath coming in.

Last Monday morning, the ex-Forest Green and Chester boss was told Alty were going to make a change by chairman Grahame Rowley – but the 58-year-old questioned if he had been given enough time to turn their fortunes around.

Harvey told The NLP: “On Sunday night I was at the Radisson Blu hotel in Manchester picking up an award from the football writers for the FA Trophy and the next morning I get the call saying my time is was over at Altrincham.

“It maybe sums up how this year has been, ups then downs. It’s been difficult but that’s the nature of football.

“I do think that they have acted hastily. I wasn’t given enough time and that really disappoints me. I think they should have allowed me more than ten league matches – I took over a team who had just been relegated and who had a poor start to the season. Things weren’t going to improve just like that.

“There are too many players in the squad who have maybe been at the club for too long, on good money.

“I was trying to change things but when players are under contracts, good contracts – you can’t move them on.

Green shoots

“It’s their club, they can run it how they like, but it’s a shame because I felt I would have kept them in the league.”

Stand-in boss Matt Doughty, Harvey’s assistant, took charge of Saturday’s 3-2 win at Blyth Spartans in the FA Trophy but the Robins won’t be rushed into confirming their new boss.

Rowley said: “Jim was very disappointed when I told him the news. He seemed the perfect fit, but it hasn’t happened and something had to be done.

“I accept he took on a very difficult task but the plain fact is, three months down the line, there’s is no sign of progress. We have been waiting for things to improve, but there were no green shoots of recovery.”

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