CHRIS Herbert is in the process of shaping the 1874 Northwich squad in his image – and that work is starting to bear fruit.

Greens will bid to bounce straight back next season following relegation from the Northern Premier League’s West Division, and they will be hoping new signing Jacson Coppack helps them do just that.

With club legends Matt Woolley and Mark Jones also agreeing to stay put along with forward Joel Jones and goalkeeper Mike Shorthouse, Herbert’s squad is starting to come together.

Woolley passed the 400-appearance mark for 74 towards the end of last season and along with fellow stalwart Jones, who has made 247 appearances since joining in 2016, he took interim charge of the first team on two occasions last season.

“It was huge to get Jonah and Woolley across the line – they love this club, they know what is needed to be a success at 1874 Northwich,” Herbert said.

“They are leaders on the pitch and command the respect of the players around them as well as the fans.

“If we are to challenge for honours, it was imperative that we keep them both at the club, they will take us in to battle next season leading from the front.”

Young striker Joel Jones was promoted from the club’s under 21s side midway through the season while 17-year-old stopper Shorthouse started all three of the games Herbert took charge of last season after being appointed Greens manager.

“Joel has bags of potential as a striker – he’s brave, strong and he doesn’t give defenders a second to think, he is on them,” Herbert said.

“We will get him fitter than he has ever been and you will see an even better version next season, with the likes of Mark Reed coaching him we expect him to come on leaps and bounds for sure.

“Getting Mike and Joel to commit was big – they are the future of 1874 Northwich.

“Mike was very good when I came in to the club. He was tested a lot in the last three games of the season with the problems we had, but he kept us in games more often than not.

“He never made a mistake for any goals since I came here, so long may it continue.

“His distribution and shot stopping as well as his handling were top-drawer, he will still fill out more and is still growing.

“He is another boy with a big future if he can keep up the standards he has set for himself.”

“The future is exciting at this club and it’s our job to constantly improve them and guide them the right way.”

A player comfortable in defence or midfield, 20-year-old Coppack spent time in the academies of both Everton and Burnley while he also earned youth caps for Northern Ireland.

More recently, he has been playing in America while attending Stony Brook University in New York and Herbert believes he will add some much-needed physicality to the squad.

“We are going to be a tight-knit squad this season with a tough, togetherness mentality,” he said.

“Jacson straight away fits that. His versatility is huge for us.

“We were very small last season and sometimes we could not cope with the physicality, which we cannot have at this club so Jacson adds that height and strength with and without the ball.”

“First and foremost for me, he is coming as a central midfielder, but if we choose to play a four or a three at the back, he can play those roles with comfort if we choose to do so.

“He will be a great addition to our current plans to get the club back to where it should be.”