New club captain Tom Ward is optimistic about the future for St Neots Town.

The classy central defender has agreed a new deal at the Premier Plus Stadium and is confident Saints can leave their struggle to secure Southern League Premier Division last season behind them.

St Neots eventually finished one place and four points above the drop-zone after a campaign which featured a plague of injuries, a managerial departure and a major shift in style under interim boss Andy Davies from January onwards.

Former Boston United and St Albans man Ward, 25, said: “It was a proud moment to be asked to become club captain and I was honoured to accept.

“I've chatted in detail with the management about the plans for the future and it is something I want to be involved in.

“I think everyone looks back at last season as a disappointing one as the expectations were high after losing in the play-off final the previous year.

“Things just didn't come to pass for one reason or another, but the new regime changed the style of play and I think the fans were happier with that.

“I had 14 weeks out after having a car crash and there was a very different feel in the dressing room when I returned to what it had been before.

“We grew week by week and there is a lot of optimism again going forward. We need to be competing in this league and hopefully we can do that.

“The club is geared up to be successful with the right structure in place.”

Interim boss Davies, who has been assured he will also be part of the Saints' first-team management next season, believes it was essential to tie down the influential Ward.

Davies said: “Myself, the director of football Iain Parr and the chairman Lee Kearns all agreed that persuading Tom to stay was a big priority.

“I'm delighted we've been able to do that. He is a great lad who has bags of ability and potential, and is still only 25.

“We're working hard on our list of summer targets and it is great to have the captain signed up.”

St Neots hope to unveil their new managerial structure soon.