REDDITCH United manager Darren Byfield has swooped to make Worcester City stalwart Danny Jackman player-coach at the Trico Stadium.
The 34-year-old, who made more than 100 appearances for City, was a player and caretaker assistant boss as the Blue & Whites narrowly failed to avoid relegation from National North.
Since then, the financially stricken club requested to drop three levels and begin next season in the Midland League Premier Division, from which Alvechurch have been promoted as champions.
Byfield has made his move to bring Jackman to the club, which coincides with the departure of coach Delton Francis who has taken on a new role at West Brom.
“I’m delighted to bring Danny to the club as player-coach because he comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge of players at this level and above and will bring a lot to us in both parts of his role,” said Byfield.
“It’s a good opportunity for Delton moving on and Danny is someone who I am really looking forward to working with.
“Regards an assistant manager, I am still undecided on that one. It’s an important appointment and I need to bide my time to make sure I can get the right person in alongside Danny and myself.”
Jackman arrives at the Reds boasting a CV which includes more than 300 Football League appearances for Stockport County, Gillingham and Northampton Town and is sure to be of help to Byfield as he rebuilds his squad ahead of the 2017/18 Southern League Premier Division campaign.
So far, it has very much been a case of releasing players before bringing in new additions, with veteran defender Duane Courtney the latest to depart this week having made the switch to Worcestershire rivals Bromsgrove Sporting, for whom Jordan Jones has also signed.
Their fellow defender Jordan Cullinane-Liburd will also be leaving the Trico, as has midfielder Max Loveridge and striker Luke Keen.
Goalkeeper Brad Catlow will be staying, as will attack-minded players Dior Angus, Donnell Benjamin and Arjun Jung. A decision is still to be made on left-sided player Jhai Dhillon and negotiations are continuing with right back Jack Coates, who impressed at the end of last season on loan from Aston Villa.
However, Byfield is now stepping up his efforts to bring in fresh blood and negotiations are continuing with a number of players.
“As is always the case, I must get the best out of my resources, so I am determined to take my time and get the right players in,” added the manager.
“We were close with a couple of players, but their demands were too high and I won’t be held to ransom. I want to bring in the best quality possible of course, but the side needs strengthening throughout so it’s no use me using all the resources on two or three players.
“In particular we need greater quality in attacking areas, but we need to bring the numbers in too, so it’s a balancing act in some respects.
“I will take a look at a number of trialists in training towards the end of the month and in the opening two or three friendlies, before hopefully having the squad more or less in place by the third week of pre-season in mid-July.
“We were the youngest side in the division last season and even more so now Duane Courtney and Luke Keen have left, so I do need more experience through the door.
“I’d like a squad of 15 or 16 ‘first team’ players and then five or six youngsters who can ‘do a job’ for us.”