MANAGERIAL duo Russ Penn and Jimmy O'Connor have been backed to bring success - and stability - back to Kidderminster Harriers after being given two-year permanent deals.

Penn, 34, twice took over on a caretaker basis during the past season - briefly after November's departure of John Pemberton and for a longer period after Jimmy Shan left in February.

He was assisted by former Doncaster, Derby and Walsall defender O'Connor, 35, who also had a brief spell as interim boss at the end of the 2018/19 season after Mark Yates' departure.

The duo picked up seven points from 12 after replacing Shan, easing Harriers well clear of National League North relegation trouble.

That was enough to convince interim chief executive Neal Male that they are the men to bring an end to the turbulent managerial merry-go-round at Aggborough in recent times.

Male said: “Both (owner) Richard Lane and I want stability for the club.

"Having had more than five managers in 18 months, there’s a need to put in foundations and build something powerful for the future – Jimmy and Russ have our full backing to do that.

“I’ve personally seen Russ develop and grow in stature during his spell as interim manager.

"With the support of a vital figure in Jimmy, I know they are the people who can bring success back to Kidderminster Harriers with their extensive experience and contacts at this level.”

A club statement added: "As players, Russ and Jimmy have more than 1,000 matches under their belt combined, accumulating vast experience of not only the Football League but, most crucially, non-league football as well.

"In a short space of time, the two also demonstrated their managerial capabilities, working together for the latter part of the 2019/20 season to get results, and bring back some of the club’s feelgood factor.

"The board are wholly confident they are the right people to continue to do this in the future."

Midfielder Penn spent four years in the National League with Harriers from 2005-09 and returned to Aggborough in 2018, having made almost 300 Football League appearances for Burton Albion, Cheltenham Town and York City.

He said: "I’m so proud to be named Manager of Kidderminster Harriers.

"Everyone knows this is my club – I’m a local lad who played over 200 games here, and I know what it means to the people of the town.

“To be given this opportunity at my age shows the faith and confidence Richard and Neil have in me.

"They know what this club means to me, as do the fans. I’ll be doing everything in my power to succeed here, and I know the fans will be right behind me.”

Assistant boss O’Connor added: “Russ and I have built up an excellent working relationship over the last 18 months in some difficult circumstances, and I’m excited to be working with him going forward.

"I know that we share the same vision, passion, and ambition to help drive this fantastic club forward.

“We want to reward the faith Richard and Neil have shown in us, and the best way to do that is by bringing success back to Kidderminster Harriers.”