WINSFORD United boss Lee Duckworth is confident new recruit Mike Koral can establish himself as a fans’ favourite next season.

The striker’s arrival at Barton Stadium, after ending last term with North West Counties League rivals Congleton, was announced by Blues over the weekend.

“Mike fits the profile of signing we’re keen to make,” said the player-manager.

“He has real quality, is lightning fast and direct.

“He’s versatile too; it’s an addition that shows to everybody that we’re moving in the right direction.”

Koral, now 24, had a brief spell with Witton Albion two years ago.

A former junior at Crewe Alexandra, he has played for Droylsden – as well as the Bears – since leaving there.

Winsford have also confirmed the signing of midfielder Ryan Hopper from New Mills.

Winger Brandon Moores and Chris Middleton, a central defender, are among those from last season’s squad to have agreed terms to stay.

“Ryan has plenty of experience even though he’s still only young,” added Duckworth.

“He can move the ball intelligently, and likes to dictate the pace of a game.

“I watched him a few times last year, and he never disappointed.

“As for Brandon, our supporters only got a glimpse last year of what he is capable of so I’m excited to get him firing again.”

Blues began preparations for a new season last week when personal trainer Ashley Wood, owner of Funk Fitness on John Street, led a training session.

A first friendly, away to Cheshire League side Unicorn Athletic, follows next Tuesday, kick off 7.30pm.