WHEN it comes to squad building, this summer will be tough for Worcester City.

In the past, it was a case of who manager Carl Heeley wanted to keep. Now it is who he can afford to keep.

Budgets often fluctuate but next season Heeley is facing having to work with considerably less resources than he has this term as a result of anticipated lower crowds at Kidderminster Harriers.

Finishing seventh in 2011-12 was an exceptional achievement and raised the bar of expectation but ending up 15th this time around, despite having again flirted with the play-offs, was perhaps more in line with the money available. Next season will be even tougher at Aggborough.

As ever, having players that can operate in more than one position will be crucial to making the books balance.

A further shift towards youth is also on the cards, with perhaps a smattering of experienced campaigners blended in.

But, under such restraints, keeping hold of newly-crowned players’ and supporters’ player-of-the-year Tom Thorley will be top of the agenda.

Building around him and fellow midfielder Rob Elvins, similar to when Kevin O’Connor partnered Thorley, could be a starting point.

They have two able keepers in Matt Sargeant and Glyn Thompson but keeping both on the books might be tricky.

Defensively, City will be keen to hold on to Tyler Weir and young player-of-the-year Ellis Deeney, while Shabir Khan’s loyalty to his home-town club could see him stay and Josh Smith may get pre-season to prove himself.

Elsewhere in midfield, a fully-fit Matt Birley can unlock defences and winger Danny Williams looks a good prospect but Kieron Morris has returned to parent club Walsall.

Matt Breeze, who has the distinction of scoring the club’s last ever goal at St George’s Lane following his header against Hinckley, and Charlie Reece have both been in and out of the side.

Up front, Ethan Moore and Michael Taylor will hope to stay, but Danny Glover is likely to be at the upper end of the pay scale and that could be a stumbling block to him returning following his Halifax loan, while the goals of Mike Symons, who has been top-scorer for two seasons running, won’t come cheap.

Of the rest, captain Stuart Whitehead is out of contract and having two other centre-halves in Jacob Rowe and Lee Ayres might be one luxury too many.

It is also difficult to see how versatile left-sided player Danny Edwards can be accomodated as he is facing up to a year out with cruciate ligament damage.