After a career spanning 13 years and more than 400 games, Tom Shaw was unsure about just how he would feel when the time came to hang up his boots for good.
The 31-year-old played almost 100 times for Chester FC and served as player/assistant manager at the beginning of last season and caretaker boss for three games before leaving for Tamworth in January in the midst of Chester's financial woes .
He had long made his desire known to make the step into coaching and a miserable season that saw him end the campaign relegated to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League with Tamworth made his decision to end a career that has also taken in spells at Rushden & Diamonds, Mansfield Town, Kidderminster Harriers and Cambridge United easier to bear.
And while there is little doubt in his mind that taking a full-time job with Lincoln City's Academy , where he will be the lead PDP coach, is the right move to make for him and his family, Shaw would have liked to end his time at Chester on happier terms.
"I'd wondered what it would feel like once I hung up my boots and finished playing but, to be honest, I feel quite relieved," said Shaw, who arrived from Alfreton Town in 2015.
"Last season was a pretty miserable one. I had so much optimism going into it but it didn't turn out how we all hoped. Once I left Chester and went to Tamworth it was a struggle and I didn't enjoy it there if I'm being honest. We were relegated and the reality was I would have to look to part-time football and play in the Evo-Stik. My best years were behind me and once the job presented itself at Lincoln it was a pretty easy decision.
"But there aren't too many clubs that I have really felt fondness for like I did with Chester. It was a club that were good to me and my family and the fans were always first class. It was wrench to leave as I loved my time there. I had really hoped to end my playing career with Chester as it was the place where I have felt most at home, but it wasn't to be.
"But you can rest assured that as soon as I've checked the Forest score on a Saturday I will be looking for Chester's and I will be willing them to bounce back. There are a lot of good people there who deserve some good times."
And Shaw believes that the appointment of joint-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley is a shrewd move by the football club and backs the duo to help the club climb back up the pyramid.
"I think it is a really astute appointment," said Shaw.
"When I saw that they had got the job I was really pleased because I think that they are the right type of characters for the football club and the type of people the club needs at this point in time. They have a track record of getting results and you can see how passionate they are about what they do. Hopefully they can bring the fans back and get the club back into the National League."
Shaw will be in charge of developing the next crop of young stars at Sincil Bank.
Under the stewardship of manager Danny Cowley the Imps have reinvigorated a city with its football club and they have lofty ambitions to continue their ascent.
And ex-England C international Shaw, who holds the UEFA A Licence and has coached since 2015, which has including working at Championship side Derby County and serving as Head of Football at Nottingham Trent University, is keen to be a part of the journey.
"It really is a club on the rise," he said.
"Danny Cowley invited me to the play-off semi-final at the end of last season and the atmosphere was unreal. I'm a Forest fan and I don't think I'd ever seen anything like it. The whole city is into the football club again and the place is buzzing.
"I've got a chance to be part of an elite coaching set-up at a club on the up and I can't wait to get started. I have always wanted to get into coaching and the experiences that I have had elsewhere and my time at Chester will stand me in good stead and help me improve.
"I've not thought too much about not playing again, I'm just really excited for this new challenge and to see where it takes me."