ANDY Preece has persuaded defender Tom Smyth to return to Northwich for a second spell.

The 20-year-old leaves Blue Square Bet North strugglers Workington after a month-long stay and is available to play for Vics in tonight’s Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division match at Burscough.

“I’ve kept an eye on him [since he left],” said Preece.

“We made an initial approach when it became clear that Ian Kearney would be out for a while and it’s great for us that Tom has decided to sign.”

Smyth, released by Football League outfit Accrington Stanley in the summer, replaces Raphale Evans following his departure to Salford City.

Preece told the Guardian that the ex-Preston North End junior can fill in at full back as well as in the heart of the backline.

He said: “Tom will give us options.

“I’ve told him that he might have to be patient now that Kearns is fit again, but he’s happy to fight for a place in the team.”

Smyth made three starts for Northwich at the end of their Blue Square Bet North campaign in 2010, scoring a goal in the Mid-Cheshire FA Senior Cup final success against Winsford United.

Meanwhile Preece confirmed too that he has made full back Graeme Law available for transfer.