RUTHIN TOWN Football Club manager Chris Hardy says he's "had to learn quickly" after being thrown into the job at the start of the 2019/20 campaign.

With Chris Williams having stepped down after the club's 1-1 draw in their Cymru North opener against Llanfair United on August 17, Hardy took the manager role soon after.

The 32-year-old said: "To say it was a shock that Chris decided to leave would be an understatement. We all knew we had to move on quickly and stay focussed on getting the best possible start we could to the season, which I believe we did.

"I’ve had to learn quite a lot and quickly as obviously I wasn’t expecting to be manager this season, but I’d say the biggest thing I’ve learnt so far is just how competitive this league is."

Before becoming manager at Ruthin, Hardy, originally from Bolton but now living in Pwllglas, had coached at academy level, having roles at Prestatyn under 14's and Bala Town under 16's respectively.

He then went on to manager Ruthin Reserves, enjoying three successful seasons with them - even winning the league and league cup.

Speaking on how he thinks his debut season with the firs team has gone, Hardy said that, should the season return, the club can "finish in a very healthy position".

He added: "The season so far has been good and we still have seven games to play - with five of those at home.

"The highlight I’d say was probably either the win over Corwen over the Christmas period or, although it was a defeat, our performance in the Welsh Cup against Aberystwyth was outstanding. We were heading to extra time against a top-flight side before a wonder strike in added time knocked us out.

"The low point has to be the heavy defeat to Flint, we had a man sent off early and we never recovered from it.

"The quality in the league in general is very high but if I had to name a few players that have impressed me personally I’d probably say Richie Foulkes at Flint had a great game when we played them at their place and Ben Maher at Prestatyn also impressed when we played them at home."

When asked about the importance of club stalwart Llyr Morris to Ruthin FC, Hardy added: "I think everyone knows how important Llyr is to Ruthin, we’re good mates away from football so I don’t want to praise him too much as he already thinks very highly of himself.

"However, you don’t finish with the golden boot two seasons in a row for no reason. He’s clinical and a constant threat in front of goal and he’s a big part of why this club has been successful since returning to the Cymru North.

"He’s also turned down a lot of offers from other clubs over the past few seasons due to his love for playing for Ruthin which I think he deserves an enormous amount of credit for."

Asked on whether he thinks the season should resume, Hardy said: " I think realistically it needs to be 100% safe to return, we can’t just return for the sake of finishing the league.

"Every football fan is missing it immensely but there’s a lot of people seriously ill with this virus so until the government advise us differently I can’t see a return.

"Obviously if and it’s a big IF the season starts again our aim is finish as strongly as possible and target that top six or seven places."