ANDY Partner says he will be striving to drive Stanway Rovers forward after being appointed as the club's new Director of Football.

Partner, who has been involved with the Thurlow Nunn League club's youth section for the past 15 years, will step down from his position as Stanway Rovers YFC chairman in order to take up his new role.

His main focus will be developing a structure which will stretch from the under-13s right the way through to the first team, at the Hawthorns.

Partner said: "It’s great to be involved in senior football after 15 years with Stanway Rovers YFC as a coach of teams from under-sevens to U18s – as well as being chairman for the past 11 years.

"I’m a Stanway lad, so being part of this wonderful club is a real pleasure.

"My thanks to the club committee for appointing me as Director of Football, and also my best wishes to all at Stanway Rovers Youth as I’m stepping down from my role as chairman and will finish coaching my youngest son’s team at under-16s in the coming months.

"I see the Director of Football role as a continuation of what has been implemented throughout the youth set-up during the past 15 years, with a vast number of lads going on to play semi-pro football.

"Now, under the leadership of Dave Jones and Kevin Mather, there is a clear pathway for players to progress their football careers with Stanway Rovers which (for one reason or another) wasn’t there in the past.

"We have an excellent management team already in place with manager Danny Slatter, assisted by coaches Adam Munn and Craig Hughes, and my role will be to support those boys whilst putting in place a structure from under-13s to under-23s which will see some really exciting, talented local lads progress to the first team.

"We also have a fantastic girls set-up that is priming itself for a ladies team so there is a real prospect of Stanway Rovers Ladies playing alongside the men at The Hawthorns in the not too distant future – all of our sides are brimming with local talent which makes that prospect all the more heartening.

"The message is clear and the outlook is full of potential; I think anybody who knows Stanway Rovers understands that my appointment has signalled a change in the wind.

"Maybe the sleeping giant has finally awoken? Who knows?

"There’s a couple of clubs around who could be that, but I firmly believe the combination of our senior sides, our youth set-up and the Stanway community makes us a different prospect.

"Stanway Rovers are capable of being big hitters in the non-league scene; the club can attract key individuals and organisations, and it’s my job to unlock its footballing potential and give it a real go.

"I’ve received some great support already, and I know that there’s some real diamonds within the club who can help with infrastructure and knowledge.

"I am always eager to hear opinions as my football background has largely been about that, so I’ll be listening and taking on board the best bits with the mission of driving the club forward. It’s a really exciting time!"

Stanway Rovers chairman Dave Jones is confident that Partner can help the club achieve their targets.

He said: "Andy has been part of our wonderful youth set-up for many years doing management work and much more.

"This led to him becoming chairman of our youth section and he has since guided our youth to a level that, as a club, we are all so proud of.

"We have asked Andy to join our ambitious team at senior level as our new Director of Football.

"I have no doubt that, thanks to his tremendous dedication and knowledge, he will help us to achieve our targets that we are all working towards.

"Our committee, our management staff and I are very much looking forward to working with Andy. I am hopeful that a great future beckons as soon as the game we all love returns."