WORCESTER City have appointed former Redditch United boss Matt Gardiner as their new assistant manager.

St George’s Lane chief Carl Heeley has quickly moved to bring in the ex-City defender following the shock departure of Mark Clyde.

Gardiner, who left the Valley Stadium in February after the Reds’ playing budget was slashed to zero, spent part of last season scouting for City.

Heeley had asked the 37-year-old to join the coaching set-up at the Lane for the coming Blue Square Bet North campaign.

However, following Clyde’s decision to leave the club earlier this month, the City boss has moved to make the ex-Hereford United player his number two.

“I’m delighted to have Matt on board,” Heeley said. “Losing Clydey was a bolt out of the blue.

“So I’m pleased to have Matt as my new assistant. He knows the league and the local scene.”

Heeley revealed he spoke to several candidates to fill the void left by the former Northern Ireland international before opting to appoint Gardiner.

“Matt headed up a scouting network for the last couple of months of last season,” Heeley said.

“I had asked him to join the coaching set-up for the new campaign.

“When Mark left, I had a number of options but I felt Matt was the best candidate and I’m delighted he agreed.”

However, the news of Gardiner’s appointment was tempered by midfielder Simon Richman informing Heeley he will not be returning next season.

The Liverpool-based former Port Vale player has told the City chief he will be joining league rivals Altrincham.

“I’m sorry to see Simon leave,” Heeley said.

“But it was a long journey for him and he’s joining a club closer to his home.

“He thanked everyone at the club and said he thoroughly enjoyed his time with Worcester.

“But there is nothing we can do about where he lives and also Altrincham have just appointed his old Port Vale manager Lee Sinnott.

“He’s an absolutely smashing lad and goes with our best wishes.”

Heeley is still finalising his pre-season plans.

With no friendly dates announced yet by the St George’s Lane outfit, the City boss is hoping to release details in the near future.

“We have got a few possibilities in the pipeline and hopefully soon we can let everyone know,” Heeley added.