Dale Tonge hopes to be part of the Chester FC set-up for the foreseeable future because he believes the club is ‘on the up’.
The 30-year-old defender, who left Torquay United at the end of last season, signed a one-month deal this week following an impressive trial.
Tonge lives in Barnsley and drew interest from clubs closer to home, but explained the attraction of coming to Chester.
"I think it’s a club on the up, there are friends I already had here and the management are very positive about everything," said Tonge, who played in the same Rotherham United team as Ian Sharps and spent two seasons with Jordan Chapell at Torquay.
"I think the management have got a good outlook, not just on football but on how things should be run and it’s a positive environment.
"It’s a very welcoming squad and it’s a good atmosphere so it’s been pretty easy to settle in, and they’re a great set of lads so that makes it even easier.
"It’s initially a short term deal but it’s obviously with an eye on moving things forward and hopefully being a lot longer."
Right-back Tonge made more than 200 appearances in the Football League so brings valuable experience to the squad, as well as offering cover in other positions.
He had a knee operation last December which ruled him out for several months but has showed no ill effects during his seven pre-season appearances.
Tonge will compete with Ryan Higgins for a starting place, but boss Steve Burr will recognise the value of having a utility option on the bench too.
Chester kick-off the new season at home to Braintree Town on Saturday (3pm) and Tonge reckons a good start can put down a marker for what he expects to be a successful campaign.
"I think with the fixtures we’ve got coming up, a good start is going to be massive to the season that we’re going to have," said Tonge.
"This is a league I wasn’t really used to but in the last couple of years you can see just how many ex-Football League players are in this division now. There’s a lot because the standard is that good and I think that shows with how hard it is to get out of the league.
"I’m fortunate I can play a few positions and help the team out doing that, but any help I can give the team I’ll be more than willing to do so in whatever position.
"I think we’ve got a good blend of youth and experience, and there’s plenty of talent in the team so I can only see positive things happening this season."