NICKY Clee clocked up 200 appearances in Altrincham colours at the weekend and insisted he couldn’t hope to be at a better club.
Snapped up from Hyde in July, 2009, the 30-year old’s dazzling skills on the left flank soon made him a firm favourite with Alty fans, and they were in evidence again in a 3-0 win over Gainsborough that bolstered promotion hopes at the J.Davidson Stadium.
A pinpoint pass led to a penalty opener for James Walshaw, and it was vintage Clee in the second half, as he weaved his way past a defender before laying on a cross that James Lawrie converted into a third Alty goal.
As he reflected on his double hundred, the popular winger said: “I have had five great years at this club and enjoyed every minute. It is a brilliant club with brilliant fans and a brilliant board. What more could any player ask for? I have been made so welcome by everyone, and it really is a top club to be at.
“There have been so many highlights, from my first goal against Salisbury to last season’s FA Cup run. Now the target is to go one better than last season and get back into the Conference national, though we can’t afford to look any further than the next game. That is what we are focused on, and we’ll give it our best shot.”
Clee was typically modest about his contribution against Gainsborough and made a point of sharing the accolades with his Alty team-mates.
“I thought we played really well to make it such a comfortable victory, and it was good to be involved in a couple of the goals,” he said. “We had a few problems with penalties last year but not this time, the way James sticks them away.
“It is always enjoyable when you try something and it comes off, so to twist past their defender and pick out James Lawrie with the cross for the third goal was pleasing. I lasted 90 minutes as well, so that was good.
“But the main thing overall was that it was a good team effort. We looked solid at the back and we turned scoring chances into goals. James (Walshaw) and Damian Reeves linked up well a few times, and there is also Kyle Perry’s ability to hold the ball up. It looks a decent strike force. If we can keep going the way we are, who knows where we will finish? The aim must be to go on a similar run to last season and end up as high as we can.
“The important thing is to keep picking teams off and gathering points, because we are building some momentum and need to keep that going.”