Chester FC have been handed a welcome boost after manager Jon McCarthy put pen to paper on a new two-and-a-half year deal.

The Blues boss has received plenty of plaudits this season after guiding Chester to ninth in the Vanarama National League, just six points off the play-off places ahead of Saturday's long-trip to one of the sides occupying those places, Dover Athletic (3pm).

The Chronicle revealed earlier this month that the Blues were keen to extend McCarthy's stay and they have acted swiftly to tie their man to a longer deal.

Chief executive Mark Maguire said: "We are thrilled to have secured the services of Jon for an additional two years.

“He is an outstanding manager and an outstanding individual who has transformed things both on and off the pitch.

“I wish to make clear that the reward of this new contract is not only about the results on the pitch - which have exceeded expectations - but also because of the impact he has had in creating a culture off the pitch which has brought the whole club together.

“He has created a clear footballing vision and integrated that throughout the First Team and Youth Team set up with intelligence and understanding of the club.

“It is a privilege to work with him and his young squad and, as chief executive, I'm looking forward to matching his progress commercially in order that together we can create a platform which will position the club in a place where we can have a real go at getting back into the Football League.

“There's plenty of hard work ahead but this new contract is a fantastic first step!"

The City Fans United board welcomed McCarthy's decision to commit to the club.

CFU chair Alan Povey said: "Having worked with Jon for some time now, I know first hand how passionately he feels about the club and how he much he buys into our community ethos. The board's hope now is that all supporters continue to get behind Jon and the players, and help us in achieving his goals."

McCarthy signed a one-year deal with Chester in the summer, taking over from Steve Burr, initially on a caretaker basis towards the end of the season after Burr was dismissed after a series of poor results and the club battling relegation.

McCarthy won three of his four games in charge of the Blues to earn himself the role on a permanent basis and he has continued to impress this season, guiding Chester to a number of fine results and a run that saw them lose just once in 17 games.

The 46-year-old former Port Vale, Birmingham City and York City winger has achieved much on a limited budget and has now been backed as the man to lead Chester forward and front their bid to return to the Football League.

Of his 33 Vanarama National League games at the helm, McCarthy has won 14, drawn 10 and lost nine.

The news was announced at a 10am press conference at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium today (January 26).

More to follow.