Football / Non-league Notebook: Altrincham call upon Rowlands: Managers come and go in the Conference

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The Independent Online
ALTRINCHAM's quest to regain the position of prominence they enjoyed a decade ago led them to dispense with their manager, Gerry Quinn, this week. The Moss Lane club have turned to Paul Rowlands, a former player, as they seek a revival in their fortunes.

Altrincham won the Alliance Premier League in 1980 and 1981 - when most observers agreed that they deserved to progress to the Football League - and the FA Trophy in 1978 and 1986. However, they currently languish in 19th place in the GM Vauxhall Conference, after several seasons of under- achievement. Quinn, a former manager of Emley, was dismissed after 18 months in the post.

Rowlands, a 32-year-old central defender, returns to Moss Lane after a spell as player-manager of Bangor City, of the Konica League of Wales. He will continue to serve as a player, and his assistant, John Hulse, also makes the move. Bangor's goalkeeper, Nigel Adkins, formerly with Tranmere and Wigan, becomes caretaker-manager at Farrar Road.

Another Conference club under new management are Gateshead, one place below Altrincham, who have appointed Colin Richardson to replace Tommy Cassidy, after his resignation last week. Richardson, who recently resigned from the troubled Northern Premier League club, Bridlington Town, is one of the most respected managers in the North-east, having won numerous trophies with Whickham, North Shields and other local clubs.

Bridlington, who have lost the use of their ground, many of their players, their chairman and their major financial backer as well as their manager since last season (when they won the FA Vase and the Northern Premier League First Division), may be about to end their tenancy at Doncaster Rovers.

Last Saturday's 'home win' over Fleetwood at Belle Vue was watched by 18 paying punters, lending an urgency to Bridlington's desire to return home to their Queensgate ground, which was deemed unsuitable by the NPL last summer for Premier Division football. Now, though, Bridlington have secured a promise of fresh financial support and have resolved some disagreements with their local council, and hope to gain league approval for a move back to Queensgate within a month. However, they still face a league penalty for failing to fulfil a fixture against Emley last week.

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