Phil Parkinson has significantly strengthened Altrincham’s squad for their return to the Vanarama National League next season after snapping up keeper Matt Gould and attacking midfielder Matty Kosylo.

Gould arrives from National League North Spennymoor and will put pressure on Tony Thompson for the number one berth, while livewire winger Kosylo will bolster Alty’s attacking options after being released by AFC Fylde.

Kosylo, who scored 24 goals in 76 appearances in a hugely-successful three-year spell at Halifax prior to joining Fylde, timed his move to Alty on a two-year deal to perfection, less than a week after winger Elliott Durrell left for the chance of full-time football with Wrexham.

Though Gould is only 26, he is already looking beyond his playing days and will act as specialist goalkeeping coach as well as competing with Thompson for a starting place.

Son of former Celtic and Scotland keeper Jonathan and grandson of ex-Arsenal striker Bobby, he revealed how he helped set up his latest move.

“I have played against Phil Parkinson teams eight or nine times over the last few years, so I messaged him towards the end of last season, and he replied that he was a big fan of mine,” he said.

“We spoke a few more times in recent weeks, and it was all agreed. I’m really excited to be here, and I’m ready to push Tony and give him a run for his money.

“I spoke to my dad about it as well, and we both felt it was the right move at the right time. Even though Spennymoor were really put to the sword when we lost here 4-1 just before lockdown, I have always really enjoyed the way Alty play their football under Phil. Not just Alty, but Nantwich as well, when he was manager there.

“I’m looking forward to coaching as well. I see that as my pathway in the future, and I’m hoping I can bring some of the youngsters on and develop some good young keepers to play for Alty in the future.

“I know Tony after playing against him a fair few times. We have always got on well after games, but I am here to compete for a place, and I am ready for that challenge.

"I know that from the outside it may look like I’ve got a lot to live up to, given my dad played international football, but there has never been any pressure from my family. They have always been brilliant with me, always supportive.

"I’d say my dad’s my harshest critic. We go through every goal I concede, and if he feels I should have done better, he will tell me. We discuss everything related to football, from preparation to what happens out on the pitch, and that helps me think about how I can improve my game.”

In a further boost for Alty ahead of next season, striker Jordan Hulme and long-serving full-back Shaun Densmore have both signed deals that will keep them at The J.Davidson Stadium for the next two years.