ELLIOTT DURRELL lifted the lid on how another former Wrexham favourite played a key part in his move to Altrincham.

Durrell was on the lookout for a new club earlier this year after a brief spell at National League North title favourites York City came to an end.

And the 30-year-old revealed how Lee Fowler helped convince him that a move to Moss Lane was the right one.

“Lee told me to watch Altrincham,” said Durrell. “He told me they were a proper football team before the move came about.

“I know Fowls from my time at Tamworth and I’ve learned a lot from him.

“I went to watch a game at Alty and sat with Fowls. We had a good chat and it was clear to see that they were right for me football-wise.”

Altrincham have a reputation for playing some of the best football in the entire National League, something that Durrell was keen to be a part of.

“Altrincham’s style of play is frightening for the level,” said Durrell. “I didn’t want to sign for another National League North team to be honest.

“But when I was at York we played them twice in the cup and they battered us. The result was only 1-0 on both occasions, but they were superb and probably had 80 per cent possession, which stuck in my mind.

“I went to watch them to make sure that they were as good against someone other than York and the style of football caught my eye again.

“The goalkeeper, Tony Thompson, rarely kicks it long and if he does it’s a 30-yard clip to the full-back. They want to play out from the back and it was something I wanted to experience.”

The chance to work under Phil Parkinson was another reason behind Durrell’s decision to sign for Altrincham.

“He says: ‘As long as you work hard I don’t mind what you do, just do what you do best’,” said Durrell. “The whole team has a licence to play and it’s great.

“I’ve been told things like that by managers before and then inside 10 minutes when you’ve lost the ball you are on the end of a rollicking.

“But the manager here doesn’t stop encouraging you. If you lose the ball he just says ‘win it back and go again’.

“I was close to signing somewhere when I got the call from the manager, who suggested I could be the missing piece in a promotion push and it was great to hear.”

Prior to the season being suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, Altrincham and Durrell were in fine form, the former Wrexham and Chester playmaker scoring in his first four games for the club.

Durrell was showing the form that helped him forget a “mad old year”, which saw him leave Macclesfield in disappointing circumstances and endure a frustrating stint with York City.

“It was very strange at Macc,” said Durrell, one of six players who petitioned for the club’s winding-up due to unpaid wages.

“I was offered a new contract and accepted it initially, but they weren’t able to make assurances going forward, so I opted to leave.”

Durrell dropped two divisions to sign for York at the end of September, although game time was hard to come by with Steve Watson’s Minstermen.

“I spoke to quite a few Football League clubs and National League clubs, but they’d done their budgets,” said Durrell. “I went into York at a difficult time as they were flying and the manager was rightly loyal to the players that were doing well.

“The travelling didn’t help. It’s a long old jaunt from Shrewsbury to York and when you aren’t happy it doesn’t help you play your football.

“I’m lucky that I’ve not had to move in my career, but that commute on a daily basis was tough.

“There’s no bad feelings and I moved on to Altrincham, where I was starting to show what I am capable of.

“It was only a matter of time before I got back to the levels I know I’m capable of.”