Rob Esteva to step down this summer

Words John Edwards | Picture Jonathan Moore

ROB Esteva has informed Altrincham's board that he has reluctantly taken the decision to step down from his position this summer.

Everyone at The J.Davidson Stadium will be extremely sorry to see Rob depart but fully understands the reasons for a resignation that was tendered "with a heavy heart."

A growing workload away from Alty was one of the main considerations behind the decision.

Founder and managing director of TSZ Data Services, Rob has been responsible for football operations at the club since initially joining the board in 2017, barring a brief period away in 2019-20 when his second daughter was born.

During his time at The J.Davidson Stadium, which kicked off with the appointment of Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel back in 2017, Rob's remit has been working on football matters on a daily basis to ensure every aspect of the playing side is functioning to maximum efficiency.

Typical of his dedication to the club, he has offered to make it a phased withdrawal and will continue overseeing player-related matters for another few weeks or so while a replacement is sought.

Reflecting on a decision that has been long in the making, Rob said: "Everybody knows the passion I have for this club and my desire to play a part in helping us reach the levels we want to be operating at, so this was never going to be an easy decision to arrive at.

"I've been mulling it over and giving it plenty of thought in recent weeks and months, essentially since my detached retina in January last year.

"On top of that, I have a young family that I want to spend more time with, and work away from the club is getting busier and more demanding than ever. I will be spending a significant amount of time overseas for work, and when you add all those elements together, there really was only one course of action open to me.

"I will always look at my time at Alty with immense pride, it's been great in so many ways, but I'm going to be around for a little while yet. It is now time for somebody else to take things forward, but I'm happy to assist with a transition period while the board look for the right candidate to step in and join us.

"As I prepare to leave, I have to say the football operations could hardly be in a healthier state – I believe it's the best squad we’ve ever assembled, run by a stable and high-calibre management team as part of a fully-established full-time professional outfit."

Rob and Co-Chairman Lawrence Looney were two of the main driving forces behind the momentous decision to go full-time two years ago, and the strides the club have taken since is testament to their vision and dedication to making it work.

"On behalf of the board and everyone at the club, I would like to express my gratitude to Rob for the time, effort and commitment he has devoted to making us such a success on the pitch, as well as off it," said Lawrence. "He left no stone unturned in striving to ensure everything we do is at the highest possible level, and the strategy that developed under Rob, Phil and Neil has paid dividends many times over.

"There is tangible evidence of that in the form of two promotions and a fourth-place finish that took us into the National League play-offs for the first time in only our second season as a fully-fledged professional club.

"We appreciate all you have done, Rob, and are sorry to see you go, much as we fully understand why the decision has been taken. People do come and go. It is part and parcel of football. The important thing is making certain that, as a club, you keep moving forward, and, be in no doubt, that's what we will do.

"We wish Rob well with his growing work commitments away from the club and trust he won't be a stranger, which I'm sure he won't be, given his two daughters play for our junior girls' team! All the very best, Rob."

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