CARL Macauley has agreed to an extension on his contract as Witton Albion’s manager until the end of next season.

The proposal was ratified by the club’s board on Thursday and he told the team following a 1-1 draw with Hednesford Town on Saturday afternoon.

Gary Martindale, his assistant, will stay at Wincham Park too.

The duo’s deal had been due to expire this week and, although they wanted to continue, talks over a revised wage budget for the players have taken longer than expected.

“It’s a relief,” Macauley told the Guardian.

“Now we’ve got a figure to work with and we have some hard graft ahead because ideally we wanted to know it sooner.

“The lads have been asking us what is going on for the past couple of months and they haven’t wanted to commit to anything until our situation was sorted.

“To be able to break the news to them after the game was great for us and we’ll now talk each and every one in a bid to keep as many of them here as possible.”

Witton have finished inside the Northern Premier League Premier Division’s top 10 for a second successive season with Macauley and Martindale in charge.

They also guided Albion to promotion from the First Division South two years ago following a play-offs final victory against Spalding.

It was earlier in the same season, in January 2017, that the duo signed an 18-month contract that will now be extended until May 2020.

“We’ve done a dance over the past few months,” said John Salmon, Witton’s chairman.

“But Carl and Gary have delivered what we asked of them, there is no question about that, despite tight financial restrictions being put in place midway through the season that made their task even more difficult.”

Northwich Guardian: Gary Martindale, left, and Carl Macauley have been Witton Albion's management team since they were appointed in October 2015. Picture: Karl Brooks PhotographyGary Martindale, left, and Carl Macauley have been Witton Albion's management team since they were appointed in October 2015. Picture: Karl Brooks Photography

Macauley and his players have brought in close to £40,000 in prize money during the current campaign after runs in both the FA Cup and the FA Trophy.

In the former, they were denied a first-round place only by opponents who have since finished as runners-up in the National League.

They finished the campaign unbeaten in six league games – their longest sequence this term – and with a single defeat from their final 11 matches.

Indeed, if the season started on New Year’s Day they would have finished fourth.

"We’ve had a fantastic season,” said Macauley.

“And that makes us excited for where we can go next.

“If we can keep most of these lads together then I firmly believe we can make hay.

“I’m not a manager that is here to fight against relegation or to fester in mid-table; I’m more ambitious than that and I want to see Witton Albion competing against the best teams at this level like we have done this year.

“I think we can move upwards, and not down, and we’ll give it our best shot to do that.”