Andy Halls says the need for security and to get out of his comfort zone were motivating factors in him making the switch from Macclesfield Town to Chester FC .
The 25-year-old right back signed an initial one-year deal with the Blues on Tuesday after turning down the offer of a new deal to remain with the Silkmen.
Urmston-born Halls skippered Macclesfield in the National League last season and had lead his side out at Wembley earlier in the month in the FA Trophy final defeat to York City.
But the chance for a change and more stability was too good an offer to turn down for the former Stockport County man and he was sold on the club as soon as he spoke to Chester boss Jon McCarthy.
“I’d had some contact with the gaffer pretty early on and he was keen to get me to come here and I was keen to sign,” said Halls.
“Chester has always struck me as a great club, one that is run really professionally and it is something that I wanted to be a part of.
“Everything I had wanted at Macclesfield, a professional set up, had been achieved at Chester in the space of 12 months or so and the whole feel around the place was great.
“I had four great years at Macclesfield but it was time for a change and time for me to get out of my comfort zone. I was named captain last season and it was a season that I really enjoyed but I knew I needed to try my luck elsewhere and test myself a bit.
“There wasn’t really the security I was looking for at Macclesfield with some of the things happening behind the scenes and I didn’t get the contract I had hoped.
“It’s a great club and I’ve had plenty of happy memories there but now all I am focusing on is making some happy memories here at Chester.”
Halls arrival strengthens manager McCarthy’s options in defence and provides them with proven quality and experience in the right back position, something which they lacked for large parts of last season.
Signing a club captain of a team who were challenging for the play-offs and reached the FA Trophy final last season represents good business for McCarthy, who is closing in on further targets as he looks to piece together his squad for the 2017/18 Vanarama National League season.
Halls has four England C caps to his name and made over 100 appearances for both Macclesfield and Stockport.
And having been part of teams challenging at the right end, Halls believes that the Blues may surprise a few next season.
“I know they didn’t finish the season that well but I think that this is a club going in the right direction,” said Halls, who has headed off on holiday before coming back ready for pre-season on June 19.
“The gaffer and the chief executive (Mark Maguire) really sold the club to me here and I can’t wait to get started.
“This is a big club and it is making strides to close the gap on the top teams in the league. I didn’t come here to be battling at the wrong end of the table, I want to be successful here and help give the fans something to cheer.
“Everyone says that they want to be challenging for the play-offs at the start of the season but I really do. There is no reason that this club can’t kick on and do that in time.
“I’m delighted to be here and part of a great club and it’ll be good to get to know the lads.”