PHIL Parkinson has made his first transfer breakthrough of the close-season after completing the signing of prolific goalscoring winger Lucas Weaver on undisclosed terms.

The 22-year old wide man arrives at The J.Davidson Stadium after a remarkable campaign for North West Counties League Premier Division side Colne in which he scored 42 goals in all competitions in 43 appearances and carried off both the manager’s and players’ player-of-the-year awards.

He was the Premier Division’s top scorer on 34 goals, and Alty had to see off strong competition to add his lightning pace and lethal finishing to a squad that already has quality on the flanks in Alex Newby and Justin Amaluzor.

As part of the deal, Alty’s first pre-season friendly will be away to Colne on Saturday, July 6 (3pm), and it is hoped that, by then, the club will have been able to cover for the loss of football director Rob Esteva, whose decision to step down is largely due to work commitments as founder and managing director of TSZ Data Services.

“Everybody knows the passion I have for this club, so it was never going to be an easy decision,” he said. “I have a young family I want to spend more time with, and work away from the club is more demanding than ever. I will always look at my time at Alty with immense pride - it’s been great in so many ways. 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.”

Co-chairman, Lawrence Looney, one of the main driving forces along with Esteva behind the momentous decision to go full-time two years ago, said: “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. He left no stone unturned to ensure everything we do is at the highest possible level.”