Altrincham bosses have defied the current uncertainty over football’s future by boldly declaring they will press ahead with plans to have an Academy up and running for the start of next season.

The scheme was plunged into doubt by the far-reaching effects of the coronavirus pandemic across the country.

But while cutbacks have been the norm elsewhere, Alty have bucked the trend and pledged that they will open up a potential pathway to manager Phil Parkinson’s first-team squad for the area’s emerging young talent.

Buoyed by emphatic evidence of the club’s importance to supporters, in the form of an appeal fund that now tops £17,000, and eager to reap the benefits of producing homegrown talent, director Lawrence Looney explained the board’s stance by saying: “We had a tough choice. Do we go ahead and launch the Academy in these uncertain times, or play safe and wait until next year? Our decision was clear – we go ahead.”

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