EXCLUSIVE: David Wetherall will be named captain when City begin life after Stuart McCall.

The commanding centre-half, who nearly joined Manchester City in November, is ready to fill McCall's boots as skipper next season.

Boss Nicky Law said: "Dave is the obvious choice with his experience and good temperament. He leads by example."

Wetherall, 31, missed more than half of last term with his long-running groin injury but returned for the final seven games - and had a huge impact on tightening up the previously leaky defence.

He said: "Captaincy would be a great honour and hearing the manager say nice things is a huge fillip for me.

"It's going to be very strange for everybody to be around the club and not see Stuart. But nothing lasts forever, changes are being made and hopefully they will prove positive.

"But first off, I've just got to make sure I'm in the side. There are lots of players vying for two or three places at centre-half.

"Mark Bower did ever so well when he came in, Andy Myers quite rightly won every player award and you will have Robert Molenaar and Peter Atherton coming back from injuries.

"I need to come back in reasonable shape and be challenging for a place. I was thrown back in initially before I would have liked but with our situation then, it was almost a case of muddling through.

"What I need more than anything is a good pre-season to prove myself fully fit."

Law is plotting a hectic summer reshuffle with the emphasis on bringing in younger players to the club. Wetherall is hopeful the revamp will pay off.

He said: "I keep hearing a lot of names who we might sign in the summer and we're being linked with the likes of Chris Greenacre and Michael Boulding. We need a good few players and numbers coming in. If the manager and chairman can get in some good quality then we have the basis of a team that are well capable of challenging next season.

"I played against Norwich and look at them in the play-off final now, thinking if they are there then we can certainly be next year. It all depends on the changes we make and the luck with injuries.

"After all the problems we had last season our luck is surely due to change. I'd like to think we have turned the corner."