St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke insists it was an easy decision to welcome back two of the club’s stars of last season.

St Ives Town defender Jarvis Wilson in action against Barwell last season. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONTSt Ives Town defender Jarvis Wilson in action against Barwell last season. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT

The Saints chief initially expected to lose central defender Jarvis Wilson and attacking talent Andrew Osei-Bonsu to clubs at higher levels.

But both players have now signed for another Southern League Premier Division Central season at Westwood Road.

"I fully understood the reasons why both lads looked to be moving on," said Marheineke. "They are both ambitious players who want to progress in the game.

"Jarvis spent a couple of weeks with Oxford City in the National League, but then decided he wants to stay with us.

"As soon as he picked up the phone, it was a no brainer to bring him back - and the same went for Andrew.

"He is someone who showed glimpses of his ability last season, but we didn't always get the best out of him.

"I'm confident we can now do that when having a full season to work with him."

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The signing of another defender, Charlie Johnson, has also now been completed by Saints.

Johnson is a former Cambridge United youngster who was released by the League Two club at the end of last season.

Marheineke has opted against offering midfield trialist Jonny Kaye a deal, but full-back Jeff Woodward does still feature in Saints' plans.

Saints were due to go to Wellingborough Town for a friendly last night (Tuesday) and then complete their group games in the Hunts Premier Cup this Saturday when hosting Cambridge City at Westwood Road, 3pm.

Both clubs have beaten Huntingdon Town and Godmanchester Rovers so far, so the winners' will advance to the final of the 125th Hunts FA anniversary competition.

Josh Dawkin and Jake Newman scored for Saints in their 2-0 win against Huntingdon before Newman and Dylan Wilson found the net as they eased past Rovers 2-1.

Saints then entertain Ely City on Tuesday in their next friendly as they build up to the new Premier Division Central campaign which begins with a touch of déjà vu.

Marheineke's side host Tamworth in their opening league fixture on August 10 and then go to Lowestoft on August 13 - just as they did at the start of last season when winning both games 1-0.