THE new manager of FC Oswestry Town knows he has big shoes to fill as he takes on the role vacated by Matt Burton.

Nathan Leonard is taking over as the new boss of the side currently sitting top of the North West Counties Football League (NWCFL) Division One South table, after the club parted ways with the former manager on Monday because of a change in work circumstances.

Burton, a former Town player, took over as manager in the summer of 2018, and guided the side to a successful 2018/19 season which saw the team finish sixth.

Leonard is now hoping to build on the work done by his predecessor.

“The work Matt has done at the club over the past few seasons has been superb,” said Leonard.

“You always look at a club when you’re taking them over and when you leave, and think ‘is the club in a better position now?’ – and the answer is definitely yes in Matt’s case.

“I know Matt well and I played for him when I was at Ellesmere – he’s a great bloke.

“He’s been great already; I’ve had a number of conversations with him about the role here.”

Town have won 12 of their opening 14 league fixtures this season under Burton’s guidance, and are top the table as the midway point of the season grows closer.

The great start is encouraging for the new boss, who insists the side should be aiming for nothing less than the top spot.

He said: “I don’t think promotion is the ultimate aim – I want us to win the league.

“Promotion is a must, I’ll put the pressure on myself by saying that, but I do really want to come here and push for winning the league.

“If we don’t win the league and we do get promoted, it’s not a failure, but I think we should always be aiming for the best possible outcome.

“The team has been doing very well, I don’t need to go in and drastically change a lot.

“There’ll hopefully be a couple of new faces coming in over the next few weeks because we are short of a few players, but we’ll continue trying to play football the right way.

“I know quite a lot of the players through either watching them in the past or playing against some of them when I used to play.

“I have a good idea of what they play like, so I know there’s a good base here so I won’t be coming in and looking at drastically changing anything.”

Leonard said he hopes to continue the work done by Burton to develop the club off the pitch, as well as on it.

He continued: “It’s a very proud moment for me to be taking the role as manager at a local side.

“Hopefully I can work alongside the committee to help the club to grow off the field as well as on it.

“I want to help it grow and hopefully help to develop the team to a point where it is something the people of Oswestry can be proud of and that they want to watch.”

“I grew up in a pub in Oswestry and I used to hear all the old stories from ex-players and coaches.

“It would be great to bring some stories like that back to the town.”

Leonard will lead the team in their TJ Vickers Premier Cup first round tie next Wednesday, November 20 away at Shawbury United (kick-off 7.45pm).