Paul Malone has conceded the influence of boss Tommy Wright was one of the key factors in him returning to Corby Town this week.
The popular centre-half has rejoined his hometown club on a 12-month contract having left Steel Park toward the end of last season following the financial problems that struck.
He saw the remainder of the campaign out with Stamford - a club the Steelmen will face next season after they were switched to Evo-Stik Northern League Premier Division.
But Malone has revealed he was in regular contact with Wright, who has now taken sole charge of the Steelmen under a new regime after a consortium of local businessmen completed a takeover from Kevin Ingram soon after the end of the Calor League Premier Divison campaign.
And Malone believes Wright’s influence has also been key in making sure the likes of Connor Kennedy, Paul Walker, Greg Mills, Cleveland Taylor and Kalern Thomas have also agreed deals with Corby following a flurry of transfer activity in the past couple of days.
Malone said: “Obviously the only reason I left in the first place was because of issues with the old chairman, I never really wanted to leave.
“I was still speaking to Tommy on a regular basis but after the season finished I just needed a bit of rest and wanted to see what came up.
“Corby is a good club to be at. It is my hometown club, it’s on my doorstep and I know what Tommy is all about - he is driven by success.
“The other boys signing up just goes to show what they think of the manager as well.
“The likes of Greg Mills and Cleveland Taylor are both very experienced and the fact they both want to come back speaks volumes.
“There was a good atmosphere at the club for a large part of last season and that is the sort of thing that Tommy can create. I am really looking forward to it.”
Wright wasted little time in naming Malone as his captain for next season - a position the central defender can’t wait to take up.
He added: “It is a nice touch to have been named captain.
“I did it for a bit last year when Tommy and Stan (Andrew Wilson) came in because Gareth Jelleyman got injured and was out for a while.
“It is an honour to be asked to do that job and I think a lot of that comes down to the close relationship I have with the manager. When it comes to the team, we both want the same thing.”
Don’t miss more reaction from Paul Malone and Tommy Wright in Thursday’s Corby Telegraph