MATT Gardiner has said he and new manager John Eustace have hit the ground running after joining Kidderminster Harriers.

Gardiner's move from Worcester City to take up his head of coaching role at Aggborough was completed on Tuesday night.

The former Torquay, Redditch United and Bromsgrove Rovers defender met Eustace when they watched the relegated side end the season with a 4-3 win at Southport in the final match of the season in the Vanarama National League.

The club’s new-look management team have begun planning in earnest for the 2016-17 campaign in the National North.

Fans will be expecting the Reds to bounce back immediately from their relegation and Gardiner’s experience of the division will be a useful asset for Eustace.

“I really enjoyed my time at Worcester City, it’s been a great club to work for but the chance to get into full-time was something I have dreamed of,” said Gardiner, who is currently working three months notice before officially taking over the role on July 1.

“John’s definitely his own man and will do things his way.

“He has a clear idea of how he wants to play and it’s my job is to support John and make sure there’s a common thread connecting the first team and the academy.

“He’s new to theNational North but he’s already done his homework.

“The National North is going to have Darlington and Salford in it next season and already has the likes of Brackley and Stockport in it, so there’s going to be a lot of well-resourced clubs.

“But we’re going to be doing everything we can to make sure we have a good season.”

The duo were set to be watching the National North play-off semi-finals this week.

The pair are currently assessing what players from the current squad will be kept although the likes of Ousmane Fane, Arthur Gnahoua, Elton Ngwatala, Tyrone Williams and Zaine Franics-Angol are already contracted for next year.

Gardiner added: "Carl Heeley and I worked very hard at Worcester and I like to think I added some value with the players I helped to find.

“I have a network of contacts and I will be helping to find the kind of players John wants to bring into the club.

“The hard work has already started for next season.”

Meanwhile, season tickets sales have stared briskly, despite the club’s relegation.

Aggborough is also hosting the FA Women’s Premier League Cup final between Cardiff City and Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday (2pm ko).

l Meanwhile, departing on-loan Bournemouth attacker Ben Whitfield has said a fond farewell to the club.

The forward, who was was joint top scorer with six goals and also provided nine assists, was a shining light in a depressing campaign.

He said: "I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

“From training to playing, the lads have welcomed me ever since I arrived and that’s continued throughout the whole of the season.

“Colin and staff, and all the players have been very good to me and I’m very thankful for it.”