Mark Maguire says that the Chester FC board were ‘blown away’ with Marcus Bignot during the interview process.
Bignot was unveiled as the new Blues boss yesterday , succeeding Jon McCarthy who was sacked a fortnight ago following a dismal start to the season.
Ever since being first linked with the post and stating his desire to take on the Chester job in an interview with the Chronicle, Bignot, 43, has been one of the leading contenders.
But he had plenty of competition for the top job from the likes of Chester legend Graham Barrow, ex-Cambridge United boss Richard Money and former Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn.
Club chief executive Maguire and members of the Blues board spent Monday and Tuesday grilling the shortlisted candidates at a hotel just outside of Chester and were wowed by the level of quality of the candidates.
And Maguire admitted that he didn’t think the bar could be raised much higher – until Bignot arrived.
“It has been an intense few days and two days of interviews with an exceptional – and I mean exceptional – group of candidates,” said Maguire.
“The very fact that Marcus came out on the top of those says everything about him and the way he presented. During the course of yesterday [Tuesday], which was the longest day of interviews, the candidates seemed to get better and better as the day went on.
“It was the case that at one point we thought it couldn’t get any better and then Marcus came in and blew us away with his presentation and understanding of the club, his professionalism, his dynamism, knowledge of the squad and how he felt he could make a difference straightaway.
“The way he bought into the culture of the club and some of the good work that has gone on already, he blew us away.
“We are delighted to have secured him. It says a lot, beyond the job he did at Solihull, that he was headhunted by the team in the league above [Grimsby], and that is a compliment to his abilities and reputation.
“He has all the attributes and qualities, not to mention the personality, to make an immediate impact.
“It is testament to the stature of Chester FC that we have attracted candidates of such high calibre. Marcus convinced the panel that he has the combination of skills to deliver results whilst building for the long term and enhancing the culture at the football club. We are looking forward to working with him.”
Bignot’s first game as Chester manager will be Saturday’s home encounter with Alan Devonshire’s Maidenhead United (3pm).
Bignot is expected to name a new assistant manager in time for the visit of The Magpies, with Tom Shaw stepping down from the role but remaining as part of the coaching staff but also having a playing role.