ALTRINCHAM’S players have underlined the club’s enduring appeal as one of non-league football’s biggest names by declaring to a man that they want to stay at Moss Lane.

There were rumours, in the wake of relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier, that whoever succeeded Ken McKenna as manager would arrive to find contracted striker Michael Twiss as the only player on the books.

But, as he continued an interview process that should be completed early next week, chairman Grahame Rowley revealed how the truth could hardly be more different.

“We received more than 70 applications for the post and have whittled the list down to 10,” he said.

“Two have already been interviewed, because they are going on holiday, and the other eight will be seen on Monday.

“So we are looking at an appointment early next week, and I have to say it has been really pleasing to see how the calibre of applicants has proved Altrincham remain a big draw in non-League circles.

“I’ve been just as pleased with the response from the players. I spoke to them when Ken left and again this week to tell them about the interviews. Each and every one of them said they were happy to wait for the appointment to be made and wanted to speak to the new manager before deciding what to do.

“They all said they wanted to stay. Whether that will be possible remains to be seen, but I thought that was fantastic. They are all free agents, except for Michael, but no-one has jumped ship, and some even told me they have turned down offers from other clubs, because they want to see what is happening with us first.”

Season tickets are on sale at the club (0161 928 1045), with a £20 discount for anyone buying one before the end of this month. The club would also like to hear from any potential sponsors interested in having their name on the back of the team’s new-look shirts.