THERE might still be the best part of two months before Worcester City return to competitive action but already you can sense a new-found optimism about the club.

Just a few weeks ago, City looked to have thrown the towel in — they had reluctantly left their home of more than a century and the future appeared decidedly bleak with apathy among supporters.

Battle-weary, the club were ready to call time on themselves and remember City for what it once was.

That was until news broke of a deal having been struck with developer St Modwen to release the club from the contract that tied them to a move to Nunnery Way until 2017.

Although negotiations had been ongoing for months behind the scenes, few would have expected to see anything happen in time to help the club.

Announced at the match against Liverpool Legends, it sparked a dramatic shift in people’s attitudes and served to galvanise fans ahead of the ground-share at Kidderminster Harriers.

The much-trumpeted but poorly supported £100 season tickets began to sell and have continued to do so ahead of the end-of-month deadline.

Suddenly, good news abounds.

Player-of-the-year Tom Thorley has agreed to another season, citing a loyalty all too often missing among footballers, and has quickly been followed by striker Danny Glover.

Allied with six more of last season’s squad re-signing and talks at an advanced stage with several summer targets, the new campaign can’t come quickly enough.

It will be tough, no-one is pretending otherwise.

The budget has been slashed and it is likely, through a combination of compensation and capital gains tax, that City will have virtually nothing left of the £1.2million they are due to get back from St Modwen.

But, crucially, they are at least free to go it alone without the burden of a ground move they have no hope of affording.

Considering where they were when the final whistle sounded after the Chester game, that is reason enough for optimism.