Chris Iwelumo rebuffed interest from clubs in the Football League to move to the Swansway Chester Stadium.

Iwelumo told The Chronicle that being closer to his daughters and linking up with his friend Steve Burr had been integral to his decision.

He has agreed a 12-month deal and will start pre-season training with the rest of the squad on Monday, July 7.

Reports suggesting Iwelumo was close to joining the Blues emerged last week and the imposing centre forward is excited about the next chapter in his 18-year career.

He said: "You can never really have a secret in football and I know the move out there last week and basically it was a done deal.

"I had interest from clubs in League One and League Two but it was too far away and Chester ticks every box for me."

Iwelumo ended last season with St Johnston in his native Scotland but has now moved back to Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, giving him the chance to spend more time with his two daughters, aged seven and nine.

Iwelumo said: "I've got two daughters and they've followed me all over the UK but they are settled in school now and I want to be close to them.

"I've done the travelling before when I was with Watford and last season at Scunthorpe, and it nearly finished me off. Chester is 40 minutes down the road for me so it's a perfect fit."

Iwelumo's friendship with Burr - the pair became pals through a mutual friend - helped convince the 35-year-old that joining the Blues was the right move.

"He's a top man and he deserves all the praise he gets and I'm looking forward to working with him," said the Coatbridge-born targetman.

Iwelumo has more than 500 senior appearances under his belt and had spent time in Scotland, England, Denmark and Germany.

His career has covered the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two, but is excited about playing in the Conference Premier for the first time.

He said: "That's what football is all about, it's about experiences. I've been in the game for a long time and played all over the world.

"I have scored goals everywhere I've been and I believe I can do that here now."

Iwelumo lives close to Andy Griffin, who made four appearances for the Blues last season, and quipped he had asked Burr to re-sign the 35-year-old fullback.

"I know Griff well and obviously he came here towards the end of last season," said Iwelumo.

"He lives two minutes away from me and I've had a word with the gafffer and asked him to sort something out so we can get a little car school going so we'll see what happens."