Cheshire Independent Issue 181

NOVEMBER 2023 24 To advertise in the Independent, contact Robin Atkins on 07767 840274 Independent LOCAL SPORT Neil joins Macc coaching staff LOCAL CRICKET ROUND-UP LOCAL FOOTBALL ROUND-UP HOW RAIN TOOK ITS TOLL THIS SUMMER Sporting grants make a difference MAKING EXPERIENCE COUNT MACCLESFIELD FC have brought more experience into their back- room operation with the appointment of Neil Baker to Mark Duffy’s coaching staff. He was in charge of Leek Town last sea- son as they pushed The Silkmen all the way in the Northern Premier League West Division before losing out to Runcorn Linnets in the semi-finals. Baker, who was also a part of Crewe Alexandra’s coaching team when Silkmen director of football Robbie Savage was at the club, joins Macclesfield following Paddy Byrne’s departure to Chester- field. In a statement announcing the appointment the club said: “His expe- rience within the game will provide a real asset to The Silkmen’s promo- tion push. “Adding to an already strong coaching team, Neil’s knowledge will prove invaluable.” Baker told the club’s official website he was hoping to play a role in player develop- ment as part of the coaching setup. He added: “There is expertise at the club already. They feel I can add some- thing to it and that will be my aim.” During his time as Leek manager he guided the club to a number of play- off appearances across the Northern Premier League divisions. MACCLESFIELD director of football operations Robbie Savage has once again under- lined the financial challenges facing football club owners. Writing in his column in national newspaper the Daily Mirror he said: “Since I became director of football operations at Macclesfield, I’ve had to openmy eyes to the frightening costs of running a football club. “Even in the seventh tier of the English game’s pyramid, we need to come up with £2.4million a year just to open the doors and fulfil our fixtures.” He added: “Our squad wage bill this season is one of the highest in our division, and on social media people sneer that we are trying to buy a third consecutive promotion – but it’s only 20 per cent of the total cost of running the club. “On top of the playing budget, we employ 85 staff at the club in coaching, administration, cater- ing and the gym, plus match day stewards and security. “We could run a more skeleton operation, but three years ago the town didn’t even have a football STRIKER DANNY ADDS FIREPOWER A LOOK back at this sum- mer’s Cheshire County Cricket League campaign and one thing dominates proceedings – the weather! The end of season statis- tics highlight the impact of weather interrupted and can- celled games. As a result point tallies and run scoring were some way down on last year. In 2022, nine sides finished with more than 400 points, but only Division One champions Bow- don, with 408, managed that this year. However, the rain couldn’t dampen some standout per- formances. Grappenhall’s New Zealand all-rounder TomMac- Rury became the first player since Simon Normanton in 2013 to score 500 runs and take 50 wickets in the Pre- mier Division. With 62 wickets and 387 league runs, Simon Norman- ton also enjoyed a fine season for Stockport Georgians in Division One. The overall Fair Play trophy was shared between Upton and Hale Barns, with Hyde topping the Premier league table for the second successive year. THE draw has been made for the Second Round Proper of the Isuzu FA Vase with a num- ber of local clubs still hoping to progress in the competition. Games are scheduled for Saturday November 11 and the prize fund at this stage is £900 for winning clubs while the los- ing teams receive £275. Cheadle Town will travel to former NWCFL side Carlisle City should they win at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion in their first round tie. The winners of the Stockport Georgians v Droylsden game will also face a Northern League side with the famous non-league side Bishop Auckland awaiting the winners. VASE DRAW IS MADE SPORTING clubs across Cheshire are celebrating after sharing in a £6,400 grant pot designed to keep young people playing the sports they love. The recently relaunched Everybody Foundation charity has handed over grants to 26 clubs across the area. Kerry Shea, director of health and communities at Everybody Health and Leisure, said: “When we started to hear reports of local sport clubs seeing a drop-off in numbers of young peo- ple attending sessions, we knew this was where the Everybody Foundation comes in. “Having provided multiple grants to local clubs over the last few months, we have started to see how this support has had a beneficial impact to the club and young people involved.” AFC Alsager was among the clubs to benefit. It was awarded £250. Club chair- man Andy Miller said: “For a volunteer club like AFC Alsager, a donation like this means we can continue encouraging the young people and adults of Alsager to play football in their community. “Football is essential for the mental and physical health of our members. This donation will fund the equipment we need to keep playing on.” Handover: Everybody Foundation trustee Kimiyo Rickett presenting Andrew Miller and AFC Alsager their grant FORMER Chesterfield, AFC Fylde and Bradford City striker Danny Rowe is the latest addition to Mark Duffy’s squad as he looks to ramp up its promotion push. The 34-year-old left Chesterfield earlier this month and has now agreed a deal with promotionchasingMacclesfield. Rowe has spent the bulk of his career in the non-league game although his eye for the goal while at AFC Fylde earned him a chance in League Two with OldhamAthletic. He also had a brief spell in West Yorkshire in 2021, scoring five goals in 18 appearances before returning to non-league football at Chesterfield. Meanwhile, Macclesfield have confirmned that striker Tom Peers has completed a move to join National League North side Chester FC Forward Hayden Campbell has also left the club after he completed a move to rejoin National League North side Curzon Ashton. The cost of being in the game club.” He added that club owner Rob Smethurst “had worked his socks off to give the people of Mac- clesfield their sporting hub back, and we’ve chosen to be major employers in the town.” Savage said moving games from Saturday to midweek meant the club facing a finan- cial hit and he revealed that 55 per cent of the club’s income comes from non-football activ- ities. He said: “That’s our life- blood. Our 3G pitch is a huge community asset and a vital revenue stream.” He added: “We could cut the playing budget, but if that makes us less competitive on the pitch, attendances would drop off, sponsorship would drop off and then you’re on the slippery slope.”