WORCESTER City boss John Snape is hoping to finally succeed in his long-running pursuit of prolific marksman Nick MacPherson.

The Worcester-based striker, known as the Ginger Pirlo, racked up 28 goals in 50 appearances with City’s league rivals Stourport Swifts last season.

It was his first campaign in non-league football’s fifth tier having stepped up two levels from Worcester Raiders over the summer.

MacPherson was also the Worcester Sunday League Premier Division’s top scorer with 32 goals in 27 matches for Callow End.

The hotshot rejected the overtures of City and higher-ranked Alvechurch during the second half of last season and Snape admitted his latest quest could be scuppered by more offers from above.

“Nick caught the eye last season and with him being a Worcester lad I have made known our interest,” said Snape.

“His progress as a goal scorer has been proven at this level and I believe he is someone who will only get better.

“We put in an approach for Nick last season but he declined because he wanted to stay loyal to Stourport Swifts.

“He has a lot of attributes. He can play with his back to goal or go in behind, has good strength and physicality and can become an all-round forward player.

“Like a lot of the attacking players we look at, we’re confident he can play in a variety of forward positions.

“Talks are underway but he has indicated there are some clubs from higher levels in for him.”

Former youth prospect Joe Bates yesterday agreed terms to become City’s third new arrival and 11th committed player of the summer.

The striker plundered 14 goals for bottom club Bishop’s Cleeve in Southern League West last season having initially committed to City.

“Joe left under a bit of a cloud but was always dual registered,” said Snape.

“He wanted to play and had the chance to do so at a higher level with Bishop’s Cleeve. He is aware of the depth of the squad and has fell into line with regard to the finances.

“I am happy to announce he will be back in pre-season having been offered terms based on him being in the 16-man squad.”

Another player set to rekindle his City career is Niko Thompson.

The winger suffered a broken ankle in his first match for the under-21s against AFC Redditch in August, an injury that ultimately brought an end to his season.

“He is well on the way to a full recovery and hopes to be available for us in pre-season,” added Snape.

“The lad has had a tough time and we look forward to giving him another shot at showing what he is about.”