Chester FC have secured the services of imposing defender Ryan Astles for next season.
Astles, 22, has signed a one-year deal with the Blues having impressed since joining from Evo-Stik Division One North side Northwich Victoria in January.
The 6ft 5ins Birkenhead-born centre back formed a formidable partnership with Ben Heneghan at the heart of the Blues defence during the season run-in and has been rewarded for his form, becoming the first player to put pen to paper on a new deal since Jon McCarthy took over as Blues boss.
The club are hopeful that Astles, whose deal was completed prior to him going on holiday, will be the first of several Blues players to agree new terms for next season, with the majority of last season's squad offered new contracts by McCarthy.
Left footer Astles began his career in the academy at Chester City before moving to Wigan Athletic. He left the Latics in 2013 and signed for Buckley Town, spending a season at Globe Way before switching to Rhyl.
During his time at Belle Vue, the Birkenhead-born defender scored six times in 60 appearances and was nominated for Welsh Premier League Young Player of the Season in 2014-15.
Astles made 16 appearances in the league for Chester last season, scoring twice, including a what proved to be the winning goal against Grimsby Town last month, where a 2-1 success at Blundell Park ensured the Blues' National League survival.