When Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley were handed the task of rebuilding Chester FC 's squad to compete in the National League North this coming season they already had a list of targets in mind.
Already they have started to work through that list and they have had a pretty high strike rate so far with Dominic Smalley, Matty Hughes, John Pritchard, Jon Moran, Scott Burton, Steve Howson and Grant Shenton all arriving and all having been on that target list that the managers had compiled.
And one name who was pretty high on that list was central midfielder Gary Stopforth, with the 31-year-old's arrival at the Swansway Chester Stadium adding to a Chester midfield that looks high on quality, experience and leadership next season with the likes of Burton and Gary Roberts.
Stopforth's arrival had been scheduled to be confirmed last week but a delay on paperwork completion held things up. But he is now a Chester player and Johnson couldn't be happier.
"Me and Bernard have talked a lot about the type of player that we want to bring here and Gary Stopforth is another to fit in that bracket," said Johnson.
"He is a quality player who is 100% committed in everything he does. There is no jogging around with Gary, he is sprinting everywhere, he is all over the pitch and everything he does is with a high intensity and he is one of those players that sets the tempo in midfield and he is just the same in training as he is on a match day.
"He's someone that we knew we wanted to bring in as soon as we came in. He has played a lot of games in the National League North and he wants to come here and do well. It isn't about what we can do for him, he knows what an opportunity it is to play for this club and play in front of big crowds. He adds to the quality we have already got in the centre of midfield."
Stopforth had been finished the season playing for Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Colne FC having previously played for Stockport County. He began his career as a junior at Burnley and then Blackburn Rovers before taking in spells at Clitheroe, Kendal Town, AFC Fylde as well as a stint in the USA.
"Gary has a real desire to be here and be a part of this club and what we are doing," said Johnson.
"He bought himself out of the remainder of his contract at Colne so that he could come and join us and that shows what he is about and how much he wants to be here."