YORK City manager Steve Watson believes he has signed “one of the best leaders in the business” following the arrival of experienced centre-back Steve McNulty from Tranmere.

The 35-year-old defender has won six promotions with four different clubs - Barrow, Fleetwood Town, Luton Town, and Tranmere – captaining all of them in the process and clocking up nearly 600 senior appearances.

He leaves Prenton Park, meanwhile, with back-to-back promotions, having been a member of the Tranmere teams that have secured Wembley victories over Newport and Boreham Wood during the respective League Two and National League play-off finals.

McNulty was prominent in both campaigns, making 43 league starts in 2017/18 and 27 last term, with City chief Watson enthusing: “I’m not surprised by the positive response we have had to Steve’s signing, because every club needs a leader and I think we have got one of the best in the business in and around this level.

“People might look at his age, but he’s looked the same player for the last three seasons and is by no means finished yet. He didn’t want to go to another club where he felt they wouldn’t have a chance of challenging for promotion and he’s very, very hungry to add to the success he has had during his career.

“Wherever he has been he has left his mark and you only have to read about what Tranmere and Luton fans think of him to know how well respected he is in the game. Whether he wears the armband or not, he won’t approach games any differently and everybody knows about his professionalism and the way he reads the game.”

Watson added that McNulty might be handed a different workload to younger members of the squad, reasoning: “Similarly to David Mirfin, who we brought in last season, Macca knows how to manage his body at this stage of his career and that was the same with Mike Williamson, who we worked with at Gateshead.

“He might need a different programme to the likes of Sean Newton, Joe Tait and Tom Allan, but that won’t upset the group because of what he will be bringing to the squad. Mirf steadied the ship when he came here, as did Mike Williamson, and Macca is another who is a born organiser who prides himself on clean sheets.” But the former Liverpool youth-team skipper is also renowned for his ability to play out from the back, with Watson arguing he could help the team switch to a back-three formation or also operate in a four-man defence is required.

“He can do both and gives us balance and options,” Watson declared. “He’s also a very good player, who is assured on the ball and very confident.

“He’s a calming influence in that respect and, with us having two relatively young keeper, I think that will help them too.”

Liverpool-born McNulty was on the books of his home-town club for 12 years from the age of seven, captaining the Champions League winners’ under-19 team before his release in 2003.

A trial at Blackpool was followed by spells with Burscough and Vauxhall Motors before he moved to Barrow in 2007 and, as skipper, he led the club to promotion into the National League via the play-offs.

In 2009, he signed for then sixth-tier outfit Fleetwood Town, setting a new club record transfer fee of £17,000.

He enjoyed another play-off final triumph with the Cod Army and also wore the armband as the coastal club won automatic promotion to the Football League in 2012.

Moving on to Luton in January 2013, he marshalled a defence that kept a club record 23 league clean sheets to win the National League title during the following campaign and his importance during that season was demonstrated by his Player of the Year and Goal of the Season awards – the latter for a 30-yard volley against Southport.

He became the Hatters captain back in the Football League, before moving to Tranmere in October 2015.