03 Jul 2019 by John Edwards

What a cracker! It's York at home on day one

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Altrincham will launch their Vanarama National League North campaign with an attractive but distinctly difficult test at home to York City on Saturday, August 3rd.

Despite last season's mid-table finish, big-spending York have been installed as short-odds title favourites with the bookies - and with good reason after a summer signing spree that underlined their ambitions for the campaign ahead.

Manager Steve Watson received an early boost to his squad-strengthening plans towards the end of April, when Hartlepool midfielder Paddy McLaughlin agreed to remain with the Minstermen after completing a loan move with them.

Former Newcastle midfielder Watson followed up with a double raid for two of Blyth Spartans best players last season, Kieran Green and free-scoring striker Danny Maguire, who gave up his job as a plumber to go full-time at Bootham Crescent.

Within the last fortnight, Watson has added pedigree and experience to the ranks by snapping up midfielder Andy Bond from AFC Fylde and centre-back Steve McNulty from Tranmere Rovers.

Bond, a 33-year old attacking central midfielder with over 100 League One appearances to his name for Colchester United, and 35-year old defender McNulty, fresh from helping Tranmere best Newport County in the League Two play-off final, will significantly bolster an impressive-looking York squad.

But Alty have good cause for feeling they are well placed to counter that after the business Phil Parkinson has completed over the course of the close-season.

The Alty boss has, importantly, retained the nucleus of the squad that came so close to a second successive promotion last season and has reinforced it with proven quality and exciting potential, in the form of Nathan Arnold, Conor Branson and Toby Mullarkey, as well as re-signing striker Tom Peers from FC United of Manchester.

The start of the away programme is scarcely any easier - a Tuesday night trip to Chester on August 6th - and Alty will be clocking up the miles early on, with visits to Gloucester, Brackley and Boston, all before the end of August.

The festive fixtures will be against Curzon Ashton, who host Alty on Boxing Day and visit The J.Davidson Stadium on New Year's Day, while there is a home fixture against Southport in between on December 28th.

Our 2019/20 Vanarama National League North fixtures are now confirmed.

August

Sat Aug 3 York City H

Tue Aug 6 Chester A

Sat Aug 10 Gloucester City A

Tue Aug 13 Alfreton Town H

Sat Aug 17 Brackley Town A

Sat Aug 24 Darlington H

Mon Aug 26 Boston United A

Sat Aug 31 Farsley Celtic H

September

Tue Sep 3 Southport A

Sat Sep 7 Leamington H

Sat Sep 14 Kidderminster Harriers A

Sat Sep 21 Emirates FA Cup 2Q

Sat Sep 28 Gateshead H

October

Sat Oct 5 Emirates FA Cup 3Q

Sat Oct 12 Guiseley A

Sat Oct 19 Kettering Town A Emirates FA Cup 4Q

Sat Oct 26 AFC Telford United H

November

Sat Nov 2 King's Lynn Town A

Sat Nov 9 Blyth Spartans H Emirates FA Cup 1

Sat Nov 16 Hereford H

Sat Nov 23 Buildbase FA Trophy 3Q

Sat Nov 30 Spennymoor Town A Emirates FA Cup 2

December

Sat Dec 7 Bradford Park Avenue A

Sat Dec 14 Buildbase FA Trophy 1

Sat Dec 21 Kidderminster Harriers H

Thu Dec 26 Curzon Ashton A

Sat Dec 28 Southport H

January

Wed Jan 1 Curzon Ashton H

Sat Jan 4 Leamington A Emirates FA Cup 3

Sat Jan 11 Guiseley H Buildbase FA Trophy 2

Sat Jan 18 Gateshead A

Sat Jan 25 Bradford Park Avenue H Emirates FA Cup 4

February

Sat Feb 1 AFC Telford United A

Sat Feb 8 Kettering Town H Buildbase FA Trophy 3

Sat Feb 15 Blyth Spartans A

Sat Feb 22 King's Lynn Town H

Sat Feb 29 Hereford A Buildbase FA Trophy 4

Wed Mar 4 Emirates FA Cup 5

March

Sat Mar 7 Spennymoor Town H

Sat Mar 14 York City A

Sat Mar 21 Chester H Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Final / FA Trophy SF(1)

Sat Mar 28 Alfreton Town A Buildbase FA Trophy SF(2)

April

Sat Apr 4 Gloucester City H

Fri Apr 10 Boston United H

Mon Apr 13 Darlington A

Sat Apr 18 Brackley Town H Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final

Sat Apr 25 Farsley Celtic A

May

Sun May 17 Buildbase FA Trophy Final

Sat May 23 Emirates FA Cup Final

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