NORTHWICH Victoria head into their Midland Premier League clash at Tividale having made four new signings.

Central defenders Brandon Barski and Joel Bembo-Leta are back on board, while midfielder Kobe McWilliams has been recruited along with striker Jack Coop.

The 29-year-old Coop has joined the club in dual registration terms with Prestwich Heys and is a player that manager Steve Pickup and his assistant Matt Barnes have admired for a long time.

In fact, Coop has played under Barnes before at Prestwich, Barnoldswick Town and Runcorn Town, while he has also turned out for Bury AFC, Wythenshawe Town and Maine Road.

He has produced goals wherever he has been, particularly with Prestwich Heys for whom he has scored 12 goals in 24 matches this season and over 50 goals in his time with them.

McWilliams, 19, is a tough tackling competitor who started his career at Rochdale's academy before signing up for Nantwich Town in September 2021.

He moved to Ramsbottom for the 2022/23 season and has played 13 matches for Padiham this campaign.

“I am very excited to have got this one over the line,” said Pickup.

“Kobe is a very talented midfield player with lots of potential, a very good ball player, with high energy levels.

“He has trained very well, and will fit into the squad perfectly.”

Bembo-Leta, 31, started his well travelled football career at Oldham Youth and then Stalybridge Celtic Youth.

He made his debut for Stalybridge first team in 2011 and made 150 appearances for them until he left in May, 2014.

Since then he has been at Colwyn Bay, Marine, Buxton, Glossop NE, Altrincham, Bangor City, Ramsbottom, Ashton United and Vics, whom he joined firstly in November, 2021 and made 20 appearances.

Bembo-Leta has already made one appearance for Vics this season when he featured against Romulus in October.

"This lad is a great addition to the squad,” said Pickup.

“I've worked with Joel in the past, and he's a very quick and powerful centre-back who can also play full-back.

“This lad has so much to offer in terms of ability and I'm sure he will enjoy being back at Vics."

Barski’s return to the Vics is expected to be popular with the fans.

He starred for Vics for five years after signing under the then new manager Steve Wilkes in December, 2017.

He quickly became a fans’ favourite, winning Supporters Player of the Season three years running.

Although best at centre-back, Barski is equally capable on the left side of defence and has a great habit of scoring important goals on his forays forward.

He started his career at Colne FC before moving in July, 2015 to Clitheroe and then subsequently Padiham where he played under Wilkes.

He made 223 appearances and scored 24 goals during his five seasons at Vics before leaving at the end of the 2022/23 season when Vics were transferred over to the Midland League.

Barski went to play for his local club Barnoldswick Town and has made 22 appearances this season before deciding to team up with Pickup at Vics.

Pickup said: "Well, where do I start with this one?

“Not only is this lad one of the best centre backs around, he is also a very good friend and the loyalty he shows is unquestioned.

“I've been waiting months for this one and it's my early Christmas present to the fans. I know that they will all be very excited.

“When we spoke, he said many times he wanted for me and my fantastic management team and loved the club and its fans.

“He was also very excited to be back and the big comment he made was that 'He missed it’".

Barski said: " Firstly I'm delighted to be back at the Vics, coming back to a club that means so much to me was a no brainer having had a successful five years at the club.

“I can't wait to get back in those green colours and carry on where I left off. I have such a great relationship with Pickup, it was a match made in heaven for me to come back."

Vics will be seeking their first away win of the season at Tividale and exacting revenge for the 3-0 loss suffered at their hands at the U Lock It Stadium earlier this season.

Witton Albion are not in action today, but their ground is.

The U Lock It Stadium will host the Mid Cheshire FA Cup clash between Winsford Town and Middlewich Town, kick-off 2pm.

Meanwhile, 1874 Northwich visit in form Runcorn Linnets in Northern Premier League West, 3pm, looking for their first points under caretaker bosses Matt Woolley and Mark Jones.

Winsford United are away to high-flying Abbey Hulton United, 3pm, in North West Counties League Division One South.