“NUMBER-one target” Liam Lockett has signed a one-year contract extension with Worcester City – and a fellow youth graduate is set to follow suit.

The tricky playmaker was handed a deal ahead of his first season in men’s football last term and proved to be one of City’s few shining lights in a flat campaign.

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He featured 44 times in all competitions, more than any of his colleagues, with his form yielding the manager’s, players’ and young player of the season gongs.

The departure of manager John Snape on Wednesday fuelled fears that Lockett could move on but former assistant and new gaffer Ashley Vincent revealed talks with the highly-rated midfielder had been refreshingly simple.

“Someone like Liam is always going to have interest but he is such a genuine lad,” said Vincent.

“He didn’t use that which is such a credit to him, he just came in and said he wanted to play for Worcester and for me. That came from his mouth when we sat down face to face.

“He thinks I can help to develop him into a better player than he already is. He has ambitions of playing full-time football and whether that is in the immediate future or a little bit down the line, I think he has the ability to do that.

“It shows he is not about the money or using other interests to get a better contract.

“We offered him a fair deal based on him being our best player last season which he accepted.

“With all due respect to the other boys, some of whom I will be trying to keep, Liam was the number-one target for me and the club because we think he has a really bright future ahead of him.”

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Lockett joins goalkeeper Dan Jezeph, striker Jordan Harrison and playmaker Ethan Moran on contracts for next season with a deal for Josh Willis also in place.

“Josh has agreed a contract and we just need to finalise that,” said Vincent.

“He is another player with a huge amount of potential who I think will come on leaps and bounds next season when he will get more football.

“Ethan has a lot to learn but there is a theme with the players we have contracted, they all have huge potential and I think that is part of the reason why I got the job.

“It is down to me to maximise that while they are here so if and when they do move up the leagues – and hopefully they will do that with Worcester City – they are ready to fulfil that promise.

“For them to move on up the levels they have to do well for us first. Securing their immediate futures can only benefit everyone.”

Goalkeeper Matt Gwynne has moved on to Pershore Town.