ANDY Preece will remain as manager at Northwich Victoria next season following talks with the club’s owner Jim Rushe.

The former Bury boss will be charged with the task of taking his team into the Evo-Stik League Premier Division play-offs, a feat they did not accomplish last time out.

“I needed to know we continue to sing from the same hymn sheet and it’s clear that we are,” said Rushe.

“I wanted to make sure that Andy’s vision for what we can achieve next season matches mine and how he sees his role in helping the team to reach those targets.

“That’s taken a bit of time, I know, but now we can move forward.”

Preece, 44, had been linked with the vacancy at Vics’ neighbours Altrincham, but the Robins have asked former Bradford Park Avenue manager Lee Sinnott to pick their team instead.

In any case the Northwich manager has spent most of the past seven days talking to players, both from last year’s squad and fresh faces too.

Rushe said: “There’s a budget in place now and we’re drawn up a list of targets we’d like to sign.

“We’ve spoken to some of them already and feel positive about the course those conversations have taken so far. It’s encouraging.

“Each of them fits the profile I talked about earlier this month.”

The Guardian understands that the club has exercised options to renew deals for Player of the Year Andy Fowler and Wayne Riley.

Terms have been put to a handful of others from last year’s squad who are expected to make up their minds in the coming days.

“It’s inevitable that some players will leave as they do every season,” added Rushe.

“But I’m confident that number will be significantly lower this time around because we’re happy with the base on which we can build.”

Four players – Michael Clarke, Tony Evans, Graeme Law and Steve Woods – are under contract already.

Meanwhile David Fitzpatrick and Raphale Evans accepted offers on Friday to continue at the Victoria Stadium for a second season.

Assistant manager Andy Morrison, who came to Northwich with Preece in February 2009, has yet to pledge his future to the club though.

“I’ve not agreed terms with him yet,” revealed Rushe.

“Andy Morrison is a hugely valuable asset to the management team and I’d like to think he’d be happy to stay along with Andy Preece.

“They came as a package and I want it to stay that way.

“Now that Andy [Preece] has confirmed his position, I hope Andy’s situation can be made clear shortly too.”