Director of football Rob Esteva reflected on Jordan Hulme's move to AFC Fylde and considered the prospects for the season ahead in his column, reproduced below, for Saturday's online Robins Review match programme against Weymouth.
The new season gets underway today, and we’re all ready to go against Weymouth this afternoon. I won’t bore everybody with the usual standard programme notes, as we may as well get straight to the news that broke last night about Jordan Hulme departing for AFC Fylde.
I’ll kick off by wishing Jord all the very best at Fylde. Nobody (other than the odd referee perhaps!) in and around the club has a bad word to say against him. He came in at a difficult time and played a key role on and off the pitch for the club.
This deal has been in the making since earlier in the week, so while the timing of Friday night seems bizarre, that was out of our control. None of us wanted this to come out on a Friday evening, but the standard protocol these days is to agree the media release with the other party and the buying team typically get priority.
Ultimately though, the deal is a good one for the football club and a good one for Jordan, who made it clear to us, in our talks with him, that it was something he had to do and he wanted to leave.
Similar to the departure of John Johnston, we are well aware of the sentiment from the fans towards Jordan. We did, however, replace JJ well and strengthen the squad, and we will do the same now following the significant monies received.
As with all these moves, the proof is ultimately in the pudding, but we will not start making rash decisions and kneejerk signings, as that is when mistakes happen, more often than not. We have our processes, we know what we need with our style of play, when it comes to recruitment, and we know how to go about it.
At the same time, we have confidence in our squad, and in Tom Peers, who finally has a chance to prove himself with a real run in the side. He has looked incredibly sharp in pre-season, he knows exactly what Phil and Neil demand of a striker at Alty, and he has shown some lovely link-up play with Matty Kosylo at times.
Phil’s team always score goals. We’re thoroughly excited to see the likes of Josh Hancock, Yusifu Ceesay, Dan Mooney and Matty Kosylo create plenty of chances in this division, and the goals will come. It may not be Jordan on the end of all those chances, but I can assure you, they will come.
Enjoy the game today and the season ahead.