Kidderminster Harriers have brought in Worcester City joint manager Matt Gardiner from their Aggborough rivals as the club’s new head of coaching.
The experienced 42-year-old becomes the first appointment made by new Harriers manager John Eustace.
Gardiner officially starts work when relegated Harriers begin pre-season training on 1 July, ahead of their first season in National League North.
“The vision, infrastructure and plans for the future are exciting,” he said.
“It’s been a big decision for me. However, the opportunity to coach and develop players in a full-time environment has always appealed to me.”
Harriers, who will remain a full-time operation next season, finished the season on Saturday with a 4-3 win at Southport, their sixth game without defeat.
“We have some momentum to take into next season, which is excellent,” said Gardiner. “John and I are looking forward to hitting the ground running now.”
Harriers chief executive, Colin Gordon, who has run the first team for most of this season, added: “Matt is forward-thinking, someone who works his socks off. He has a great eye for the game and, knowing him like I do, he needs this opportunity.
“He is meticulous in the way he plans things and that suits a full-time job in football. I’ve been fully aware of him for a long time and am a big admirer of his. He feels he can succeed as a full-time coach and I believe he can.”
Harriers will no longer be sharing their Aggborough home next season with Worcester City, who have agreed a new rental deal at another of their Worcestershire neighbours, Bromsgrove Rovers.