Keith Curle has revealed the Cobblers had to fight off competition from higher division clubs to secure the signing of Scunthorpe United central defender Charlie Goode.
The 23-year-old has joined Town from their Sky Bet League Two rivals for an undisclosed fee, and has agreed a three-year contract.
But Curle says league one clubs were also chasing the Iron player, who spent the last four months of last season on loan at the PTS Academy Stadium.
And it was that experience, and the fact he enjoyed his stint with the club, that persuaded him Northampton was the right place for hom to continue his career.
“We had to work hard to get this deal done, there was sustained interest in Charlie from higher division clubs but he enjoyed his time here last season,” said Curle.
“When Charlie was here on loan, the staff and myself were negotiating and trying to get Charlie to buy into it that this was the right move for him and for his progression in his career.
“He has had offers from league one clubs, good league one clubs, and it has taken a long time.
“This was probably the hardest courting I have had with a player for a while, and that’s not because of Charlie not wanting to come here.
“It is because of the competition we faced from league one clubs, who had also identified the potential Charlie has.
“What I have said to Charlie is, that he needs to be in an environment where people have a good understanding of what his strengths and his attributes, and what he brings as a player, as an individual, and also as a personality.
“We think we can grow all of those things.”
And he added: “He has followed our work over the summer and he very much wants to be part of taking this club forward.
“From our point of view, we are very pleased that Charlie will be part of our new look squad for next season.
“He will fit in well in the dressing room and we are delighted to have him on board.”
Goode has signed for the Cobblers a week after fellow central defender Aaron Pierre was sold to Shrewsbury Town, and Curle is pleased to have been able to fill that sizeable gap so quickly.
He also believes that Goode is a ready-made fit for the Cobblers squad, and proved exactly what he is all about during his loan spell between January and May.
“Charlie is an excellent signing for us,” said the Cobblers boss. “Supporters know all about him from his loan spell with us.
“He is a wholehearted, committed, big and strong defender, who has a winning mentality.
“I think his outlook was highlighted when, as a loan player last season, supporters will remember he played through the pain barrier, wearing a face mask to protect an injury, showing his commitment to the club.
“That’s the sort of spirit, determination and commitment you need to be successful and we know we are getting that with Charlie.”