VERSATILE defender Alex Penny has agreed a new two-year deal to stay at Kidderminster Harriers after fears he may leave Aggborough.

The popular performer, 27, has been with Harriers, who were relegated back down to the National League North last season, for over four years and racked up more than 100 starts.

Manager Phil Brown said: “The re-signing of Alex was absolutely paramount as far as I’m concerned.

“Alex has been in the US and there was a distinct possibility that we were going to lose him but the powers that be have worked very well behind the scenes with Zoom calls, etc.

“I’m absolutely delighted with that as I think he’s one of the better players in the National League, let alone in National League North, so that’s key.”

Chairman Richard Lane said: “Phil has been adamant that Alex is a player he wants to tie down so we’re delighted to have been able to support him in achieving that goal and securing him for the long-term amid a lot of interest from elsewhere.

“Alex knows we want him to continue to be a leader for us and to drive us on to success in the future.”

Meanwhile, long-serving goalkeeper Tom Palmer, 24, will remain with Harriers for the new season while also increasing his coaching duties.

Palmer, who first signed a professional contract as a teenager, has been a regular fixture in the first-team squad and as a coach with the academy which he graduated from.

He will now add more first-team keeper coaching responsibility to his role.

Brown said: “Tom still wants to be a goalkeeper, there’s no doubt about it.

“I improved as a player when I started my coaching badges. I can’t emphasise that to any player, regardless of how old you are.

“Tom taking his coaching badges and being a coach will make him a better player, a better goalkeeper, and he’s probably got a better chance of being the number one because of it.

“Christian Dibble will know he’s still in a scrap and I’m hoping Josh Bishop will push through as will so the goalkeepers' union, for sure, is in a good place.”