INFLUENTIAL midfielder Nathan Hayward has agreed terms to remain with Worcester City.

The 26-year-old was City’s joint-second highest appearance maker with 42 last season and earned rave reviews alongside Brad Birch, particularly during the early part of the season.

It was the ex-Birmingham City trainee’s first campaign with his hometown club having been snapped up from Malvern Town over the summer that saw City drop three levels into the Midland Football League.

Following his release by the Blues, Hayward played 14 times for Kidderminster Harriers and had a loan spell at Redditch United. He also represented Stourbridge and Littleton.

He was blighted by knee trouble during the final few weeks of last season but still performed admirably and missed only seven league matches in total, earning the accolade of manager's player of the year alongside winger Alex Tomkinson. 

Hayward is the eighth City player to agree to be retained and 10th to commit to the club over the summer.

He joins goalkeeper Matt Gwynne, defenders Jamie Smith and Jordan Stoddart, midfielder Mat Birley and frontrunners James Baldwin, Dave Reynolds and Nick Turton in staying put.

Goalkeeper Lewis Gwilliams is set to be brought in from Alvechurch alongside former-Bromsgrove Sporting midfielder Robbie Bunn.

Strikers Benji Robinson (unknown) and Mark Danks (Black Country Rangers), rookie Josh Harris-James and Tomkinson (Barwell) are the confirmed departures.

Former captain Birch, who dual registered with Stourbridge in March last season, has been announced as retained by the Glassboys.