ANDY Preece plans to accelerate his activity on the transfer market this week as he puts together a team capable of reaching the play-offs.

The Northwich manager will ask for an answer from players from last year’s squad still pondering whether to stay at the Victoria Stadium.

Their verdict will determine what business he does next.

“They’ve had enough time now,” he said.

“Offers have been on the table for a couple of weeks and they need to make a decision.”

Four players are contracted for next term – strike pair Michael Clarke and Tony Evans plus defensive duo Graeme Law and Steve Woods – while Raphale Evans and David Fitzpatrick signed before Preece’s break.

The former Worcester City boss told the Guardian that he has also exercised an option to renew deals for Player of the Year Andy Fowler and Wayne Riley.

John Disney, who has had a cast removed from his right leg following a second break in April, will return this summer too.

Midfield trio Michael Roddy, Brian Summerskill and Nathan Woolfe are among those still to commit to Northwich’s next bid to return to the Football Conference.

Preece wants them all to stay though.

He confirmed that goalkeeper James Spencer, captain for the early part of last season, is set to leave after securing the signature of a replacement.

“James has been great for us [the past couple of seasons],” he said.

“We couldn’t offer him the same terms as last year and that’s something he had to consider carefully before making up his mind on what to do.

“I felt that with the budget as it is we could go with a less experienced keeper and spend the money better elsewhere in the squad “That wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I think it’s the right one.”

Ex-Stockport custodian Spencer, 26, is the club’s longest-serving player after Riley.

The club will wait to unveil its new shot-stopper plus the identity of two other recruits – a central midfielder and a forward –until the Evo-Stik League has filed their registrations.

That is likely to happen only when the forms for the new term are handed out at next weekend’s annual meeting.

Preece said the club’s transfers policy is different this summer after tying too many players to contracts at this time last year.

The likes of Jonathan Crane, Kiel O’Brien and Kingsley Williams proved difficult to move on after he had identified better quality alternatives.

“I learned a lot,” he said.

“The circumstances were different because we were building a team from nothing for a league we knew nothing about; it’s completely the opposite this time around.

“I enjoy this time of the season because it’s a great challenge trying to persuade players to sign who you feel can improve upon what you’ve got already.

“It can be frustrating as well while you wait for an answer from an individual or club or he decides to sign for a rival, but it makes you more determined to get your next target.”

Winger Mark Peers and front man John McAliskey are unlikely to be offered new deals after failing to hold down a regular starting place in the team during the second half of last season.

Mike Byron is expected to reject an offer of reduced wages while Pedro Monteiro, who lifted the Cheshire FA Senior Cup following April’s 2-o in against Altrincham in the final, is seeking a new club.

The 33-year-old stopper this week added his name to the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) transfer list in the hope of playing full-time again.