What a 24 hours for Altrincham fans. First, Jordan Hulme agrees a new deal - as skipper, no less - now it’s Toby Mullarkey confirming he will be part of the club’s new exciting era by signing on the dotted line.
There has been Football League interest in Toby, but that has been seen off in some style after he pledged himself to Alty while on holiday in South America!
Alty’s widely-admired central defender has been taking in the sights in Cusco, a city in the Peruvian Andes, but he broke off to sign new forms electronically, much to the delight of everyone at the club.
Not least manager Phil Parkinson, who promptly named him vice-captain!
Confirming the news, the Alty manager said: ‘Toby will be vice-captain this coming season. He is a player we’ve developed, and everyone has enjoyed watching him grow into an accomplished National League centre-back.
‘He has shown great belief and loyalty in us, and we’ll do everything in our power to help him achieve his potential of playing in the EFL.’
So, that’s Jordan as captain and Toby as vice-captain - what a team within a team!
Approval ratings for Jordan’s appointment as Jake Moult’s successor were still going through the roof when news filtered through this morning that Toby had committed to being part of the Robins’ first-ever fully professional squad.
It has been drama all the way since the final weeks of the 2021-22 campaign, with the momentous decision to go full-time followed by the Magnificent Seven riding into the sunset amid emotional scenes and now this - one of Alty’s most prized assets signing on from thousands of miles away!
Never a dull moment at Moss Lane, and there can be no doubting the significance of retaining the services of a player whose consistently outstanding form last season had the inevitable effect of being noted at Football League level.
Signed from Nantwich Town three years ago, he has, under the tutelage of Phil and Neil Sorvel, developed into the complete central defender - strong in the air, sure in the tackle, confident enough to marshal those around him and adept at bringing the ball out to launch an attack.
And that’s not to mention an explosive shooting ability that Torquay United were acquainted with last season when Toby stunned them with a spectacular strike at Plainmoor on the opening day and scored against them from distance again in the return match at The J.Davidson Stadium.
Securing the 25-year old on a full-time basis is another significant step forward for Alty’s 2022-23 ambitions, following hot on the heels of Jordan becoming a fully-fledged Robin for a second time and key midfielders Isaac Marriott and Elliot Osborne also signing new deals.
Enjoy the rest of your holiday, Toby, in a city that was once the capital of the Inca Empire but is now known for its archaeological remains. What a contrast when you return to find a new Alty squad being constructed very much to modern-day specifications!