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Non league clubs eye up ex-Crewe, Bolton and Blackpool forward

Non league clubs reportedly eye up an ex-Crewe Alexandra, Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool forward who has just been let go by Altrincham.

26 year old Max Clayton only joined the National League side back in August, however things haven’t worked out between the two and he has now parted company with the Robins.

He made just one appearance for Altrincham, which was on the opening day of the season against Weymouth, which finished goalless. He was the interview on signing for the club…

He came on as a substitute on the 82nd minute, swapping with Yusifu Ceesay, but couldn’t make immediate impact with minutes on the clock remaining.

Alty said in their statement via the club website: “Former England under-19 striker Max Clayton has left Altrincham by mutual consent after making just one Vanarama National League appearance for the club.

“After signing shortly before the start of the pre-season programme, the 26-year old frontrunner underlined his determination to recapture his old form and fitness, following a couple of injury setbacks that seriously curtailed his progress during his time at Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers.

“He featured in the pre-season games and made a brief appearance as substitute towards the end of Alty’s opening National League fixture against Weymouth at The J.Davidson Stadium.

“But opportunities have since proved elusive, and it was felt it would be in the best interests of both parties to cancel his contract and allow him to seek a fresh start elsewhere.

“As he moves on in a bid to rebuild his career, he does so with the very best wishes of everyone at Altrincham FC.”

He launched his career at Crewe Alexandra, initially at youth level before going onto sign a professional deal with the Cheshire based club. He made a total of 92 appearances for the Railwaymen, and also scored 16 goals, majority of them at League One level.

Back in 2012, Clayton scored an important goal in a 2-2 draw against Southend United to send Crewe to Wembley for the League Two play off final on a 3–2 aggregate score.

2012–13 season was his best season, playing 42 matches and scoring 9 times. His impressive display in August saw his pick up the Football League young player of the month award for August.

Then on the 7th of April 2013, he scored in the 2013 EFL Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium, as Crewe beat Southend United 2–0.

He unfortunately suffered a legnthly absence due to a broken ankle sustained in November 2013,

Clayton started negotiation for a new contract to stay at Crewe, believed to be a three-year contract. However, Clayton instead refused to sign a new contract at Crewe and subsequently left the club.

Clayton had trials at other clubs, including Wolves and Sunderland, and reports stated that Crewe would receive a six-figure compensation fee if he was sold to a foreign club.

Instead he went to Bolton Wanderers in September 2014, officially moving for a fee worth £300,000 which had been set at a tribunal due to him being under the age of 24.

He made his debut for the club on in October of that year in a 2–1 home defeat to AFC Bournemouth. After making four substitute appearances, he scored on his first start for the club in a 3–1 win at home to Wigan Athletic. After coming off injured in a 0–0 draw at home against Ipswich in December 2014, Clayton was ruled out for the rest of the season. Becoming a rather unlucky habit.

He then departed Championship side Bolton for league below Blackpool in July 2017 after his contract at Bolton expired. In May 2019, Clayton was released by Blackpool having only played seven games in his debut season and none in the 2018-2019 season due to continued hamstring problems.

After spending the 2019-20 season out of action, Altrincham came calling in August 2020, however as stated earlier in the article, he was released by mutual consent after making just one league appearance for the club.

Where will he go next? We’re sure that he’s still English Football League quality, and some League Two clubs as well as National League sides are taking a look at him especially after news of his departure. Just need to keep him injury free and he can really show how much of a handful he can be.

Youth career
2001–2011 – Crewe Alexandra

Senior career
2011–2014 – Crewe Alexandra – 74 games (9 goals)
2014–2017 – Bolton Wanderers – 27 games (2 goals)
2017–2019 – Blackpool – 2 games (0 goals)
2020 – Altrincham – 1 game (0 goals)

National team
2010 – England U16 – 5 games (2 goals)
2010–2011 – England U17 – 21 games (4 goals)
2011–2012 – England U18 – 2 games (0 goals)
2012–2013 – England U19 – 4 games (1 goal)

Fans were left surprised that the experienced ex-Crewe, Bolton and Blackpool forward is now a free agent so soon having just joined the club a few months ago, non league clubs eye him up as he seeks a fresh start elsewhere.

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