Jon McCarthy has been named as the new manager of Chester FC .
Having led the Blues to three wins in his four games in charge as caretaker manager, a run that ultimately secured Chester's National League status, the former Northern Ireland international has been handed the reins on a permanent basis.
McCarthy, who had served as assistant manager under Steve Burr until the latter's sacking last month following a dismal run of results, has signed a one-year contract with the option of an extension and is expected to name club skipper Ian Sharps as his assistant in due course.
McCarthy beat off competition from ex-Blues player Paul Carden, former Eastleigh manager Richard Hill and one-time Everton and Newcastle United man Steve Watson to the top job, unanimously getting the nod, the Chronicle understands.
The 45-year-old former winger, who counts Birmingham City, Port Vale and York City among the clubs he played for during a 20-year playing career, is understood to have already begun his role in earnest and will sit down with Chester's out-of-contract players in the coming days in a bid to sort out their long-term future.
Players including leading scorer Ross Hannah, Ryan Astles, Ben Heneghan, John Rooney, Johnny Hunt, James Alabi, Kane Richards, Ryan Higgins and Tony Thompson are all free to find new clubs this summer after their deals with the Blues expired.