LEE SINNOTT is looking forward to the challenge of breathing new life into one of non-league football’s most famous names.
The 45-year-old former Huddersfield Town skipper took over as Altrincham manager in the wake of the Cheshire club’s relegation from the Blue Square Premier in May.
He will be aiming to repeat the success he enjoyed in his first job at Farsley, who won three promotions under his guidance.
A shot at Football League management with Port Vale proved less successful, but Sinnott, who then bossed Bradford Park Avenue, is confident about his latest mission.
He has remodelled a Moss Lane squad which includes Huddersfield- based winger Nicky Clee and said: "I wanted to get our business done early.
"There are still a couple of positions we’re looking at, primarily a centre-half and maybe one or two forwards, but the squad is shaping up.
"We’ll be looking at the youth team as well and that’s important. There were a couple of the younger lads involved at the end of last season and it’s vital to keep giving them chances.
"Coming in after a relegation you know you’re going to be lucky if everyone wants to stay, and a few players have left us.
"But getting their replacements in early gives us the chance of getting a good pre- season behind us going into the first league game on August 13."
Sinnott, above, whose side gave Burnley a test before going down 4-2 at Moss Lane on Saturday, has fixed up a string of testing friendlies for a club whose noted FA Cup runs have included a couple of clashes with Town (in 1982-83 and 1990-91).
Manchester City’s second string and Town’s League I rivals Tranmere are among their opponents and Sinnott added: "We’re looking forward to the matches.
"We’ll be looking to learn and assess with each game and make sure we’re fully prepared ahead what will be a tough league campaign.
"Altrincham are one of the prestige names in non-league football and I think we will be a scalp for other clubs in this league so we will have to be strong.
"I think the players might find they have less time on the ball than last year and teams certainly won’t be rolling over for us.
"But we’ve got to impose our own style on the other teams and dictate the pace of the games, and we’re all looking forward to that challenge."
Altrincham start their league campaign away to Harrogate Town