Michael Barron admits former Hartlepool United teammate and friend Michael Nelson played a massive part in his decision to join Blyth Spartans.
The pair hold a close relationship following their time together at Pools, where they amassed 680 between each other.
And the former right-back explained the key role Nelson played, having initially turned down a coaching role at Croft Park earlier this year.
Barron told blythspartans.com: “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Nelse. I don’t think I would have come in if it was someone I didn’t know very well.
“I know Nelse, how he works and what he wants to do. We’ve been friends for a long time and he trusts me.
“It’s really important you work alongside people you can trust. He knows we have very similar thoughts on how to play football and what we want from individuals and a team.”
He added: “My role is to help Nelse in any way I can but also develop individuals as well.
“I know there are quite a few young lads in the team this season, so hopefully we can use my and Nelse’s knowledge to help progress them as players.
“If we can do that, that will be absolutely brilliant so we can get as high up the league as possible. “
Barron, in total, spent 17 years at Pools as a player and coach before leaving the club in 2013.
Barron previously coached at Northern League side Shildon and carried out external coaching alongside his job as a PE Teacher.
He’s been out the game since December 2018 – but Barron can’t wait to be back in the dressing room environment.
“When you’re out of football, it gives you a time to reflect on things you don’t usually do when you’re in football,” said Barron.
“It’s been a couple of years but sometimes it’s good to give yourself a break – it gives you a chance to refresh, come back and try again with the things you’ve learned in the time you’ve been outside of football.
“I love the coaching side of it. I love being among the players and the dressing room is the best place to be at a football club.
“It’s absolutely brilliant when you have games to look forward to, talking about things that have happened in previous games – just everything that goes with it really.
“I’m really, really excited to get back amongst it and do some real coaching.”