Shakers boss Dave McNabb reckons Efe Ambrose can have a big impact on the squad over the coming season.

The experienced defender arrived at Gigg Lane last month following a spell at Scottish club Queen of the South.

Ambrose has a wealth of experience, having won four Premiership titles with Celtic and the AFCON in 2013 with Nigeria.

“It was a deal that came out of the blue,” McNabb told The Bolton News. “We had discussions with an agent and were thinking, ‘Could this really happen?’

“We sat down and spoke to Efe. What a guy, what a character. His love for the game is infectious.

“He just wants to play football and I think the chance to play for Bury – such a big club that he knows a lot about, particularly with the fan base – that is all he was interested in.

“The last time I watched Efe live was actually at the Nou Camp back in 2012! It is a really positive signing in terms of his background and pedigree.

“With his personality and character, I really think he will help some of the younger players too. He has that experience of being in big games.

“He has won the AFCON and played in huge Champions League games, he has played in title-winning games for Celtic and that experience is massive.”

McNabb is taking charge of his first pre-season with the Bury squad after taking charge at Gigg Lane last September.

The Shakers are aiming to build on their penalty shoot-out heartbreak against Wythenshawe Town in the play-off final.

“You will always look back at key games and think maybe we should have won or drawn them,” the boss continued.

“We tried to get over the line but ultimately, the table doesn’t lie at the end of the season and we didn’t do enough to get promoted.

“We have learnt a lot of lessons and we must make sure we are in a much better place to go again next year.

“There are a few things that were a little bit outside of our control when we came in. The new pitch going in, that will become our training venue which is really important.

“We will have a full pitch to train on and plenty of time to work through stuff. Trying to recruit through a summer period is much easier than during the season.

“We will get the full six-week pre-season in and are really excited about how we can integrate the new players.”

Bury kick off their league campaign with a trip to the Brian Addison Stadium to face Squires Gate on Saturday, July 27.

McNabb’s men also head to the Ruby Civil Arena to face Padiham on Tuesday, July 30. Both fixtures are being played away from home at the request of the club due to the ongoing work to the Gigg Lane pitch.