DEPARTING midfielder Sam Youngs has been told he is more than welcome to play for Redditch United again.

The young midfielder, who was a key member of last season's squad, will no longer be available for the Reds after completing his studies in Birmingham and getting a job in finance in the centre of London.

United boss Liam McDonald made provisions for Youngs' departure and drafted in replacement Liam Spink from Rushall Olympic.

He said: "We're sad to see Sam move on because he played a big part for us last season.

"He didn't want to stop playing but his time in Birmingham was over and he's working in London now.

"The travelling would be too much but I told Sam he's welcome to come back and play for us.

"I knew this may happen so we signed Liam who is a like-for-like replacement."

Meanwhile, United's new season in the Southern League Premier stepped up as the players returned from training on Saturday.

Twenty-seven players attended the first session with the likes of Tom Fishwick and Jamie Spencer looking sharp.

Meanwhile, Redditch have been handed a derby after the league agreed to let crisis club Hereford United into the Premier.

The Bulls were expelled from the Football Conference after being unable to pay back their football creditors, thought to be in the region of £148,000.

Despite a host of problems, Hereford have started to pay back the money owed to managers, players and admin staff and have satisfied Southern League demands.

That's a boost for Redditch, who saw derby rivals Halesowen and Stourbridge move to the Evo-Stik Northern League Premier.