NATHAN Hayward revealed how a desire to realise Worcester City’s promotion dream had fuelled his decision to stay after off-field uncertainty “hindered” last season’s bid.

The 26-year-old midfielder was an influential figure in his first campaign at City, making 42 appearances and donning the captain’s armband 15 times.

The ex-Birmingham City trainee’s non-league CV features Kidderminster Harriers, Redditch United, Stourbridge, Littleton and Malvern Town with the man himself admitting his career has taken in more pit stops than he may care to recall.

But along with wanting to “repay” the faith shown by boss John Snape and being impressed by City’s summer recruitment, the Worcester-based fans' favourite plans to place down roots with a club close to his heart.

“When I first met the gaffer last season he placed a lot of faith in me from the off,” said Hayward.

“He has been good to me and I wanted to repay him. I enjoy playing for the gaffer and for the club so it was a no-brainer for me.

“In the past I have not stayed with a club for more than one season but felt like I wanted to show commitment to Worcester City and go on to achieve things.

“I want to do the best I can in football and with us signing the likes of Robbie Bunn, a top player who I have played alongside before, it shows the club’s intention is to do well.

“The gaffer is doing a really good job with the resources he has been given. I always wanted to be here and with what is planned, I am looking forward to the season ahead.

"Hopefully, we can achieve what we set out to last time.”

Snape has been quite open about needing to cut City’s cloth this term and Hayward, who was named manager’s player of the season alongside Alex Tomkinson and supporters’ player of the season last term, reckons the retention of so many prized assets is down to the squad’s respect for the boss.

“The lads that have signed from last season have shown commitment to the gaffer. Regardless of the financial situation, they want to do well for him and the club,” he added.

“What happened last season with the talk of the financial stuff, I personally think it hindered us and was one of the reasons why we did not go up.

“These things happen, unfortunately. You have to try to take the rough with the smooth and I am looking forward to cracking on with the lads now because it is a new season and a fresh start.

“The resources have been managed well with the signings we have made and we have a squad that is capable of pushing on."