Jon McCarthy says that securing Ian Sharps as his assistant manager was the first signing that he wanted to secure at Chester FC.

Having served as McCarthy's right-hand man during his caretaker spell, 35-year-old Sharps was confirmed as assistant on Monday following McCarthy's appointment as Blues boss 48-hours earlier.

And McCarthy believes that keeping Sharps on in the role is key to Chester's plans for success in the National League next season.

“That was the first one that I wanted and we have got it done, so I'm delighted with that as I feel it was vitally important for the club,” said McCarthy, who is currently waiting to hear back from his out-of-contract players that have been offered new deals.

“Ian needs to know how much he is valued and how his input is key to what we are trying to achieve, so getting him signed up is a huge positive.

“Ian's an excellent coach and is a big plus on the training ground and he has bags of experience and is extremely well respected.

“We are putting a lot of things in place already and we are paying attention to detail because we want to make sure we are prepared next season.”

Sharps is set to register as a player once more next season but he is expected to focus on his duties as an assistant.

The Warrington-born defender, club skipper last season, joined the club from AFC Telford United last summer having had an impressive Football League career that saw him play more than 500 league games for clubs including Tranmere Rovers, Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town and Burton Albion.