Tom Shaw hopes he will be more an assistant manager than a player for Chester FC next season.
The Blues midfielder was named as number two to Chester boss Jon McCarthy earlier this week but will combine his duties with playing but admits it is the coaching aspect that will take prominence.
Chris Iwelumo, who took over as assistant to McCarthy following Ian Sharps’ departure to Walsall in November, has been offered the chance to remain with the coaching staff and is considering an offer to coach the Blues strikers, a role he would assume alongside his existing media commitments.
Shaw, 30, who picked up the Football Writers Player of the Year accolade at the club’s end-of-season awards, has signed a new one-year deal where he will combine his roles but he hopes summer recruitment will see new faces arrive to challenge his first-team place.
“Me and my family are absolutely delighted with it and I never imagined I would get the chance to do this at a big club like Chester,” said Shaw, who joined the club from Alfreton Town in the summer of 2015.
“I love being a player and I will be playing a big part next season but I am totally obsessed with coaching and it is where I see my future.
“Ideally it would be great if we manage to bring in someone who is better than me and keeps me out of the team as I want to be playing a role alongside the manager as much as possible this season. But I’m not retiring or anything like that, I just want to see this club improve next season.
“It will be strange being on the other side of things a little next season but the players have been great with me so far and wished me luck. I’ve told them to stop sucking up to me, though, as it just won’t work.
Shaw has been coaching at the Derby County academy over the past season and is held in high regard in coaching circles.
He added: “Coaching is something I am passionate about and I am honoured to be given the chance to do it at this club. Chester means a lot to me.”
Having been as high as seventh in the Vanarama National League this season, the Blues ended up finishing just two points above the drop zone after a miserable post-Christmas run and they ended the season without a win at home in 2017.
But a flurry of activity this week at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium with several players signing new deals and the club securing the services of striker Harry White from Solihull Moors has seen the mood shift to a slightly more positive outlook.
And while Shaw admits there is much to be done he believes that the club will be in a strong position come the start of next season.
“We know it wasn’t good enough towards the end of last season and it was disappointing for us all,” said Shaw, who has been coaching in Derby County’s academy.
“But you can already see from this week that we mean business and want things to change for the better next season.
“Signing someone like Harry White shows what we want to do next season and we have managed to get some key players on board with us already.
“It’s up to the manager and me to make sure we get a strong group together for the start of the season so we can turn some of the negativity from the end of the season into positivity.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge and I can’t wait to get started.”
Goalkeeping coach and former Chester City favourite David Felgate, a Uefa A licenced coach, will also have an increased role with the Blues from next season.