KIERAN Charnock has described Steve Burr as ‘one of the best managers I’ve worked under’ as he prepares for the rigours of full-time football at Chester.

The 29-year-old centre-back, who is among six new players captured by Blues boss Burr this summer, signed a one-year contract after leaving Stockport County.

Under Burr, Charnock developed into one of the best defenders in non-league during three excellent seasons with Northwich Victoria that included a Conference North title-winning campaign in 2006.

His success at the mid-Cheshire club, where he was also a team-mate of Chester assistant boss Jon McCarthy, led to international recognition and 11 caps with England C, for whom Burr has long been a key member of the coaching staff.

After making the leap into the Football League with Peterborough, and later stints with Accrington Stanley, Torquay and Morecambe, Charnock is happy to be reunited with his former boss.

“Steve Burr is right up there among the best managers I've worked under,” said the Preston-born player.

“Since I left Northwich, I’ve always wanted to play for him again and here I have that opportunity.

“I've always kept an eye on where he's been. It's hadn’t been possible to team up with him again until now. As soon as he spoke to me, and told me about Chester, then I was more than happy to join.

“I spoke to him before I went on holiday earlier this summer and he put an offer to me.

“There's lots of players out of contract at the moment and not sure of their future, so it was good to have it sorted out quickly.”

Charnock added: “I know what Steve Burr is all about and he knows me as well. I played for him for three years at Northwich Victoria and they were really good times.

“In the first season, we would have finished mid-table in the Conference Premier.
But we were deducted 10 points and relegated because of what happened off the field.

“We won the Conference North the next season and then finished mid-table again in the Conference Premier in my last season.”

Charnock was the captain at Stockport County but spent just one season with the Edgeley Park club in the Conference North.

After spending a long period of time playing at a professional level, he admits it was difficult adjusting to life as a part-time footballer with the Hatters.

Chester’s decision to become a full-time club was a key factor in Charnock signing up for the Blues – while he combines family life with his sports physio studies at Salford University – and now he can’t wait for pre-season training to begin on Monday.

“I've been full-time for a long time and it took a bit of adjusting switching to part-time at Stockport,” he said.

“We trained three nights a week – Monday, Tuesday and Thursday – but some of the sessions didn't start until quite late at night.

“I was getting home very late and it wasn’t ideal. There are other things going on in my life – I’ve got a little girl and I’m studying at university.

“I know at Chester we’ll be training during the day. I’m much happier with that.”

He added: “Chester is a great club. I've played against them a number of times so I know how big they are. I've spoke to other lads and they've told me what a good club it is.

“The have a good history and good fanbase.

“They are also reasons why I wanted to join Chester.”