*Alty director Rob Esteva provides a personal insight into how he has come to appreciate the relevance of the FA Trophy to everyone who follows the Robins.
Well, well, well….here we are just 24 hours away from the biggest game any of us can remember, and if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket, you will doubtless be feeling that same buzz of excitement in your stomach as I am!
I'm referring, of course, to our Isuzu FA Trophy semi-final with FC Halifax Town at The J.Davidson Stadium tomorrow afternoon, and it has become increasingly apparent to me that our run to this late stage of the competition means an awful lot to so many people in and around this club.
I don’t think I realised just how much the Trophy means to you, our fantastic set of supporters, until the tie at York City, where around 700 of you cheered us on to a fantastic 2-1 win.
The support that day was sensational, and do not underestimate how much it meant to Phil, Neil and the lads when it came to yours and their performance that day. The two were interlinked, believe you me.
The buzz around town, leading up to tomorrow, has been fabulous. Living locally and having two young children – Iris is six-and-a-half and Martha soon-to-be-four – I’m well and truly in the thick of the community, and there's been only one talking point since the semi-final draw was made.
I've honestly lost count of the number of people I've bumped into who have kicked off a conversation with thoughts, questions or opinions about this game. It has been unparalleled, excitement from everyone I've spoken to, whether that be at school, in town or at the club.
I also know just how much it means to the management team and group of players who see Wembley as an incredible goal and target to fight for. None of them will have an ounce of sweat left to give tomorrow, that is one guarantee I can make.
In addition, I know just how much it means to the board and all the directors. Everybody has a spring in their step these days and we’re all determined to keep pushing to keep this club growing and developing. That will continue, whatever the result.
If you, the fans, the management, the players and the board cannot enjoy an occasion like this, we may as well pack up and go home. The butterflies will be there in all of us, come kick-off, but enjoy it, take it all in and savour it. This is what it is all about - it's why we all put our blood, sweat and tears into the shared objective of making Altrincham FC as successful as possible.
Enjoy the day!