Despite plenty of interest from elsewhere, Craig Mahon says Chester FC was always where he wanted to ply his trade next season.
The Irish winger penned a new two-year deal with the club at the start of the month, a contract that will take him up to the June 2019.
The 27-year-old joined the Blues in the summer of 2013 from Vauxhall Motors and has gone on to make 150 appearances in all competitions and is set to surpass the tally of 159 set by former skipper George Horan who lead Chester to three consecutive league titles in his time at the club.
A firm fans favourite at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium, Mahon was forced to watch from the stands for much of the latter part of the season owing to a muscle injury.
He was prescribed plenty of rest and he is determined to come back next season in fine fettle to help the Blues banish the misery of the way the 2016/17 National League campaign ended, where Chester finished 19th and just two points above the drop zone.
“I was delighted when the gaffer asked me to sign again as this club is the only one I wanted to play for, I love the place, the people and the fans,” said the former Wigan Athletic man.
“There was interest from quite a few clubs at the end of the season and people had rang me to see what was happening, but I knew that if Chester wanted me to stay then that was where I would be.
“I just want to try and get myself right now for pre-season so I can come in and give it a good go and get back to playing football.”
Mahon, whose last Blues appearance of the season came in the 3-2 home loss to Tranmere Rovers at the beginning of March, says that he has been unable to even watch football owing to his injury.
“I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch football, it just made me sick because I wanted to get out there and play so badly,” he said.
“I’ve just had to rest and that is what I have done. To not be able to play and have a ball at my feet has absolutely killed me! But I’ll be back at it soon enough and just focused on making sure we have a better season next time around.
“The lads know they let themselves and the club down in some games towards the end of the season and we will be wanting to put that right and show that it isn’t what we are about as a football club and show that we don’t think that it’s acceptable.”
And Mahon was full of praise for the decision to hand midfielder Tom Shaw a player/assistant manager role from next season, insisting that the 30-year-old has the necessary attributes and character to be a success.
“Tom Shaw is a great appointment and he has he character that you need and I think him and the gaffer will really do great things,” he added.
“He (Shaw) already rang me to say that we best have a chat before we are no longer friends. Joking aside, though, he’s a great coach and knows the game. It will be shame to see him step back from the playing side a little bit but I think he’ll be a huge success.”