MIDFIELDER Jai Stanley has committed his long-term future to Worcester City.

The 27-year-old club record signing was the last of City's retained players to agree new terms to stay at St George's Lane.

It was thought Stanley may look for a clean break elsewhere after a frustrating two-and-a-half year City stint, during which time three serious knee injuries curtailed his appearances.

But after two weeks' deliberation, the Coventry-based playmaker is staying on to try and steer Worcester to Nationwide North promotion.

"It's great that Jai is staying," said player-manager Andy Preece. "It's like making a new signing. There was a couple of things for him to think about, but he still wants to be a success at Worcester.

"I think we've still got to see the best of Jai. He's shown glimpses of it over the last couple of years, but he needs a trouble-free season in terms of injury.

"He needs a good pre-season behind him. If he gets that, then we've got a good player on our hands -- a player that can unlock defences and produce telling passes.

"That is sometimes the difference between winning and losing."

When Stanley joined from Moor Green for £10,000, he was touted as one of non-league's top midfielders.

Preece has every faith Stanley can reproduce the form that had City shelling out a record fee.

He added: "It's a big season for him. Jai needs to reach the potential he reached a few years ago when he was the best player in the league bar none.

"He knows what we want from him and he's worked hard on adjusting his game.

"He's determined to get better and prove what a good player he is. He's confident he can do it.

"He would not agree to stay at Worcester if he did not feel that way.

"We need goals from our midfielders and Jai can provide us that. He's also got the quality to see a pass. He's a little bit different to other players that we've got."

Stanley was sidelined for almost six months -- missing City's entire FA Cup campaign -- after damaging knee ligaments in September last year.

It required a third operation on his right knee in the space of two years, although Preece admits the club acted slowly in diagnosing the injury.

"Hopefully, that's behind Jai now," said Preece. "As a club, we've got to learn from that experience.

"Last season, we could have cut his absence by a half if we had it diagnosed much quicker."