Altrincham are delighted to announce two massive pieces of news about Jordan Hulme - he's staying next season and he is the new club captain!
The 31-year old striker proved he has lost none of his aggressive, purposeful and highly-effective frontrunning skills after rejoining Alty on loan from AFC Fylde at the beginning of January and scoring two goals, as well as providing four assists.
When it emerged Fylde would not be retaining him, Alty moved swiftly to reunite him with a manager who always had the happy knack of getting the best out of him during a hugely-successful first spell at The J.Davidson Stadium.
The mutual respect between Jordan and Phil Parkinson has never wavered, and the Alty boss elevated it to a new level by not only offering Hulme a new deal but installing him as successor to Jake Moult as club captain.
After impressing on loan over the past four months, Jordan was delighted to agree a deal that means he will start next season as a fully-fledged Robins player for the second time in his career. And, in a move that came out of the blue but could well prove another managerial masterstroke, he will do it wearing the captain's armband.
It may surprise some, but, given Jordan can be counted on to wear his heart on his sleeve, as well as the armband, and is more than capable of inspiring those around him, it has every chance of working to Alty's advantage.
Phil certainly thinks so after welcoming the breakthrough by saying: 'Jordan is a real driving force on and off the pitch, Altrincham through and through. He is the best box player I've worked with, and he knows where the back of the net is.
'He is a real cult hero at Altrincham and a player with a point to prove at this level - and he will do it as our club captain next season.'
With midfielders Isaac Marriott and Elliot Osborne already secured on new contracts, Jordan's return is another significant step forward for Alty boss Parkinson as he continues to build a squad for the dawn of full-time football at The J.Davidson Stadium.
Hulme was in on the start of the Parkinson era five years ago, and what an impact he made, leading the line brilliantly and scoring a remarkable 31 goals in 54 appearances in a title-winning campaign to be named EvoStik League player of the season, as Aly climbed back up into the Vanarama National League North at the first attempt.
His exceptional hold-up play and ability to lay on chances for others, as well as create for himself, played an integral part in a second promotion to the National League before Fylde stepped in and lured him away nearly 20 months ago.
By his own admission, it didn’t work out for him at Fylde, and when the opportunity arose to return to The J.Davidson Stadium on loan on January 7th, he didn’t hesitate.
Interviewed by Alty TV at the time, he described Moss Lane as ‘home’ and you could tell he meant it by the way he reflected on his first spell at the club and said, simply: ‘Great times, great lads, great manager.’
Jordan added: ‘As soon as I got the call from the gaffer saying get yourself over here, I wanted those special moments back again. This club has always felt like home, and I’m so glad to be back.’
A larger-than-life character off the pitch, Jordan soon showed he hasn’t lost his touch on it, brilliantly setting up Ben Pringle for Alty’s goal in a 1-1 draw on his debut at Barnet and following up with trademark goals against Dagenham & Redbridge and Eastleigh.
His Alty stats are impressive, indeed - 152 appearances, including 144 starts, and 72 goals - and the good news for all Robins fans is there’s more, hopefully much more, to come from this great crowd favourite after he agreed a new deal for next season. Welcome aboard, skipper!