HOT on the heels of Scott McGowan, another 1874 Northwich favourite has returned to the club.

Full-back Mike Koral is back at Townfield having spent last season with Nantwich Town, like McGowan.

He was a key part of Wayne Goodison and Paul Bowyer's squad that moved to the brink of promotion during the 2019-20 season, only for Covid-19 to end the campaign prematurely.

Now the club have been moved into the Northern Premier League as part of an FA restructure, however, Koral says the opportunity to represent the club at a higher level appealed to him

“I’ve never enjoyed my football as much as I have done here and it’s an opportunity to finish off what we started a few years back," he said.

“We were top of the league in the 19/20 season, and I think everyone knew that we might go on to win the league that year and now we have the chance to test ourselves at this level.

“On top of all that I get on great with all the players and the management team, so I’m delighted to be back."

The squad are back in pre-season training, with their first friendly match against Cheadle Town tomorrow.

Ahead of their first ever NPL season, Koral believes 1874's possession-based style of play will suit the division

“We’ve all come back for pre-season in good shape and that’s because we’re a competitive group and excited by the new adventure we’re on," he said.

“Making the step up a league suits our style of football especially when it comes to the pitches we will be playing on.

“We’ve shown in the past that we’re capable of competing against teams in the leagues above so I fully back us to do well.

“Wayne and Paul have put the sessions in place for us to make sure we can start the season right."