Malvern Town have signed former Bishop's Cleeve and Cinderford Town defender Luke Payne for the new season.

Having recently lost centre halves James Timmins and Jay Saunston to Worcester Raiders, Payne comes in as an able replacement and a player who can fill in across the back four.

"We are really pleased to be able to get this one over the line," added boss Lee Hooper and assistant manager Stephen Cleal.

"Payne has a winning mentality; he is versatile in that he can play in a number of defensive positions and also in midfield if needed.

"He’s also comfortable on the ball and has the experience of over 70 games at Step 4 under his belt, so he fits the profile of the type of player that we are looking to bring in."

The managers are confident Payne's experience at a higher level will help Malvern push on for another tilt at promotion from Step 5 this season.

And that is something echoed by Payne himself.

"The set-up at Malvern Town is impressive and it’s obviously a club that is looking to progress," he said.

"Hoops (Lee Hooper) reinforced those thoughts when I spoke to him, whilst I have played for Sooty (Stephen Cleal) before and he always gets the best out of me.

"The club reached out to me last season but the time wasn’t right then but now I am ready to join the quest for promotion and I am looking forward to getting out there in front of the fans.

"I’d like to think that I will bring loads of energy on and off-the-pitch. The aim has to be promotion and it’s great to be part of it."