Southport manager Alan Wright says midfielder Jamie Milligan is his most important signing of the summer.
shortly after being released by Fleetwood.
Milligan, who played alongside Wright at Highbury, won promotion to League Two with the Cod Army in 2012.
"With the system that we play and his ability on the ball, he's pivotal to how we play and how we perform," Wright told BBC Radio Merseyside.
"That's not to say that the other lads around him aren't important to the team, because they obviously are.
"But he sees things on the pitch, with his experience, that he can get through to the lads rather than me trying to shout on from the side."
Under previous boss Liam Watson, Southport finished one place and four points above the Conference Premier relegation zone in 2012-13.
Ex-Blackburn and Aston Villa full-back Wright was and in his first season in charge.