21st Jul, 2019

City make first signings to start squad revamp

Rob George 25th May, 2017

WORCESTER City have begun building a new squad by signing three recruits and a talent-spotter.

After the club were placed in the Midland League Premier Division, a drop of three levels from the season just finished, joint-managers Lee Hughes and John Snape have started their quest for success by signing Brad Birch, Matt Birley and Nathan Hayward.

Local lad Birch became City’s first signing of the summer after making the move back to his home city from Northern Premier League side Stourbridge.

The 25-year-old is a tenacious central midfielder who likes to get forward and made 26 appearances for Stourbridge last season and featured in their FA Cup run and in the play-offs.

“I am over the moon with the opportunity to play and win games for my home town club,” he said.

Hughes said: “We’re delighted to secure a local talented footballer and a player who would run through a brick wall to play for his home town club”

A familiar face will once again don the blue and white kit after former City ace Matt Birley confirmed his return to Worcester.

Birley needs no introduction to the City fans as he donned the famous blue and white stripes from 2009-2013.

He has recently been at Halesowen Town but has jumped at the chance to return to the club.

“I spoke to Snapper (John Snape) and Lee with in regards to joining my home town club and jumped at the opportunity when it was given to me,” he added.

Snape said: “I’m really happy to be working with Matt again and Lee and I believe he will bring a big attacking threat.”

Worcester-based midfielder Hayward has also signed for City after a spell with Malvern Town.

The 25-year-old began his career as a trainee at Birmingham City and has played for Kidderminster Harriers, Redditch United, Stourbridge, Westfields and Stourport Swifts.

Both Hughes and Snape hailed Hayward as a player with a good pedigree and someone who will give his all from the first minute to the last.

The management duo have also bolstered their scouting system by linking up with Aaron White.

White is an experienced football scout who has spent the past eight years at Stourbridge and is responsible for bringing the likes of Sean Geddes and others into non-League football.

White, who is good friends with Lee Hughes outside of football, has a keen eye for players in the non-League pyramid and jumped at the chance to join the club.

“Lee and John are looking to bring in players from the local areas and who fit the mold and style of play they are looking to achieve for the coming season, not to mention a winning mentality,” he said.

“They have a three year plan in place and I cannot wait to get started.”

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