26 Jun 2019 by John Edwards

Jordan's ready to put a shift in! Players to join working party this Saturday

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They got the job done more often than not on the pitch last season, and now Altrincham's players are out to show they can do the same off it after volunteering to help tidy up The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday.

Alty bosses were hoping for a positive response to their appeal for help in sprucing up the ground but may not have expected it to come from the changing room as well as the club's fan base.

In a move that typifies the togetherness cultivated by manager Phil Parkinson, though, those players not involved in the seniors versus youth practice game at the Manchester Health Academy on Saturday will, instead, line up alongside supporters for stage two of Operation Clean-Up at Moss Lane.

Around a dozen or so volunteers offered their services for the opening session earlier this month, and it is hoped many more will report for duty second time round for the chance to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with members of Parkinson's first-team squad in the cause of preparing the stadium for another Vanarama National League North campaign.

Top marksman Jordan Hulme, keeper Steven Drench, full-back Andy White and reserve team forward Curtis Miller will all be at the ground, ready to muck in, and chairman Grahame Rowley said: 'We got through quite a lot a couple of weeks ago, but there is still plenty of work that needs doing this coming Saturday.

'It's things like cleaning all the seats and disabled shelters, general tidying up and weeding. Thanks to Allen's for providing us with a skip - now the challenge is to make sure we fill it before it's taken away.

'It's great that some of the players are coming along to give us a hand, though it remains to be seen whether they will be getting their hands dirty or just brewing the tea! I'm sure they will get stuck in, and we're hoping it will be an incentive for more people to come along and work side by side with them to ensure the success of what is a very important initiative.

'It's vital the ground looks the part when the season starts, but it does take a lot of hard work. Hopefully, with the players pitching in and as many volunteers as possible turning up, we will get lots done. There will be tea, coffee, biscuits and a bit of lunch laid on, so we will look after everyone.

'It's a great gesture by Phil and the players to get involved like this, and it's a measure of how much Phil wants to demonstrate that when we refer to the club, it means everyone. He is the manager, in charge of the team, but he notices other things away from the pitch, like these working parties, and he wants to show we're all in it together.

'For instance, there was a planning meeting on Friday, and he came down to that and saw some of the volunteers who attended. We discussed various things, like improving the Community Sports Hall on match days to make it a more enjoyable experience, and we hope to have news on that soon.

'He does seem to have a squad who are receptive to the idea of going over and above the remit of most players, and that is great to see. They contribute off the pitch as well as on it and get involved in ventures like fun weeks and this one. The day runs from 10am to 4pm, but the players will probably leave soon after 1 o'clock, so they can watch the game at the Manchester Health Academy in Baguley, which kicks off at 2.

'It would be helpful if people could let us know if they are coming along, as the club's caterer Richie Bentley will be laying on food and could do with an idea of numbers. A quick call to 0161 928 1045 or email [email protected] would be appreciated.'

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