THE co-manager duo of Lee Hooper and Stephen Cleal have committed to Malvern Town ahead of their first season at Step 4 in 14 years.

Having guided The Hillsiders to promotion via the play-off two weeks ago, the pair have confirmed they will be staying on for the next season.

"Stability, continuity and having the right people in place is so important," said Chairman Chris Pinder.

"They have both spearheaded the football aspect of our project superbly well and seeing them both commit for the next phase of the journey is great for the club.

READ | Kidderminster Harriers promoted to National League after Hemmings double

"It keeps us on the front-foot and I know that they are both relishing the challenge that stands before them. Their passion, know-how and understanding of the club and where we want to be will stand us in good stead."

For Hooper, it has been a lifelong association with his local club, which began as a supporter during his childhood before quickly progressing to seeing him turn out for the first-team aged just 15.

He was part of the playing squad the last time Malvern competed in the Southern League before taking over the helm, initially alongside Dene Whittal-Williams in 2018.

"I am really excited by what next season holds in store for us," he said.

"Having Sooty (Stephen Cleal) commit alongside me is fantastic news and the hard work and planning can now really begin.

"We complement each other well and whilst it’s going to be a tough challenge ahead at a higher level, we will both face it head-on and continue to give our all to moving this club forward.

"Getting Sooty involved with the club was one of the best decisions that we made."

Cleal has a wealth of playing and managerial experience at Step 4 to draw upon as he looks to cement Malvern's place in the level above.

"I am really pleased to continue managing this fantastic club," he said.

"To work alongside such a top man as Hoops and with the tremendous players, backroom staff and supporters we have here made it an easy decision for me.

"It will be great personally to be back trading blows with some top managers at Step 4 and working hard to establish Malvern Town at this higher level.

"These are exciting times for all involved with the club and I am so happy to be part of it."