Former FC Oswestry Town boss Nathan Leonard believes difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic are partly the reason why he decided to part ways with the club.

Leonard took over as boss of his hometown club last season, and challenged for the title in the North West Counties Football League Division One South.

Despite a strong season which saw his side spend most of their time in the top two places in the table, the curtailment of the season meant they missed out on promotion to the Premier Division.

He believes having such a successful season come to a stop earlier than expected because of the pandemic, was very disheartening.

"I haven't got a bad word to say about the club and its committee," he said. "They do a fantastic job, but some things out of their hands we have struggled to sort out.

"The players have been magnificent too.

"Hopefully the club can get the right person in to take them up the leagues.

"Again, it isn't the club's fault it didn't happen, but not going up this season after doing really well really took the wind out of the sails.

"I didn't think about it too much at the time, but I think that did have a big impact."

It was Leonard's decision to part ways with the club, and he insists it was a tough one to make.

"I'm really disappointed I haven't been able to stay on, but it was my decision," he explained.

"It is because of several reasons, not football related – I believe my future lies elsewhere ultimately.

"There are a number of things that haven't helped the situation. Obviously we are in a really unusual situation and a lot of things have had to be put on the back-burner.

"In terms of planning for next season, it was pretty much impossible for me to plan and keep the players I wanted to keep and recruit players, so in the end it was very stressful for me, and in the end I decided to take the decision.

"I will openly admit, perhaps it is an easy option or a selfish decision, but I think with this enforced break during the pandemic it gives you a lot more time to think, and you've got to be happy with what you're doing."

Having been denied the chance of promotion this season, Leonard hopes the club is able to push up the leagues in his absence once football resumes.

He said: "As much as I didn't want to leave FC Oswestry Town, being my hometown club, I'm looking at the bigger picture and at this moment in time it just isn't right for me.

"Like I say, it is a decision made not related to footballing reasons –it could be an absolutely unbelievable club to take up through the leagues if a few things are ironed out.

"It's a club that should be in the top leagues of lower-league football – it's got the capacity to be a club like Telford – people might think that's a crazy thing to say, but if you look at the size of the town, the number of people here and the football tradition.

"You only have to look at how it used to be for the old Oswestry Town years ago – it was a huge club and that still could happen.

"I'd really like to see a big club in Oswestry meaning people don't have to travel to Shrewsbury or Liverpool to see big games of football in the English leagues."