WORCESTER City head into the new year with a number of squad changes as two new faces come through the door, one leaves and another extends his stay with the club. 

City kick-off 2022 with a trip to Walsall Wood in the Midland Football League Premier this afternoon and do so with their talisman Billy Shaw after he had his loan spell extended until the end of the season.

The Halesowen Town loanee was initially brought in by City boss Tim Harris until January back in the summer but after enjoying his time at Claines Lane, in which he has been a consistent starter, he will see out the 2021/22 campaign in blue and white. 

It comes as a massive boost to the club and manager Harris, who will be keen to keep this current squad together as much as possible as they approach the second half of the season.

The boss was clearly keen on keeping Shaw as long as he could and believes he has a bright future.

He added: "I would like to thank Paul Smith and everyone at Halesowen Town for extending Billy's loan period. He has been an integral part of the squad so far and a very popular member on and off the pitch with players and supporters alike.

"Billy is still a youngster, he has much to learn and if he continues to develop, listen and work hard he will have a very good future in the game."

Shaw has made the second most appearances this season with 19 and has scored six goals.

But more importantly, he has made them too, with nine assists, making him a big favourite with the supporters.

"When the opportunity came to remain at Worcester, it was an easy decision for me, especially with the way the team has been playing," said Shaw. "Hopefully I can continue to contribute and we have a successful end of the season.

His situation was made even more crucial after the club also confirmed the departure of the popular Chris Withington.

The versatile midfielder has also filled in at right-back this season, but that has epitomised his career at City; a player who will always do a job wherever he is picked and that is a characteristic that will be missed.

Withington has been offered a new work opportunity in the United States with his partner and was one they could not pass up.

" I am gutted to be missing a large part of the season however it is an opportunity we both feel we cant turn down," he said.

"The squad and atmosphere around the club is superb and that makes it even more disappointing to be leaving at this time."

Harris commented: " Everyone I spoke to when I came to the Club spoke very highly of Chris, he is a model professional, has shown total commitment and his performances have been there for everyone to see.

"We will miss him that's for sure and he will always be welcome back."

City head into the new year in second place in the MFL Premier, two points clear of those beneath them.

They face Walsall today with two new signings confirmed over the weekend.

Malvern Town defender/midfielder Curtis Smith has joined the club as, you would assume, a replacement for Withington's versatility.

The 20-year-old is currently out with a hamstring issue but is hoping to be fit for this weekend.

This comes a day after Worcester also announced the arrival of former junior player Ben Tilbury from Stourport Swifts.

Tilbury, 22, is another who can play in a number if positions and it is expected he will be involved against Walsall.