KARL Duguid says he ‘enjoyed every moment’ of his time at Heybridge Swifts.

The Colchester United legend surprisingly quit as Swifts boss last month, in order to spend more time with his young family.

Duguid had spent a year in charge at Scraley Road, leading his side to fourth spot in Isthmian League division north prior to the season ending prematurely last month, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 42-year-old had previously assisted Julian Dicks during his spell at Heybridge and Duguid says he has good memories of his time at the club.

Duguid said: “Heybridge is a club I was very pleased to manage.

“I’ve had some great messages from all of the lads since I took the decision and the chairman (Gary White) and everyone else at the club have been superb.

“The feedback that I’ve had off the back of it has been really nice.

“It’s a fantastic football club and I’ll definitely stay in touch.

“I’ve enjoyed every moment of it and I’ve made some good friends there.

“I’ve met a lot of good people there along the way.”

Duguid has been in the game for 27 years, having started out as an apprentice at Colchester.

His playing career also took him to Plymouth Argyle in between his two spells at the U’s and he had also managed Stanway Rovers, prior to arriving at Heybridge.

“It's a fantastic club and my decision isn’t for football reasons,” said Duguid.

“Over the last few weeks, I’ve been going out for a lot of walks and bike rides with the kids and spending time with them and you sometimes take that family time for granted.

“It’s taken this situation that we’re all in at the moment to make me realise that I should be doing more family stuff.

“I also have a grandson on the way any day now, so I’m looking forward to being a grandad.

“For 27 years, football has been my job and makes your realise that people make a lot of sacrifices for that to happen, over the years.

“The only time you get your break is the off season.

“It might be different when the new season starts but I’m looking forward to going to watch games of football, whether it be Heybridge, Colchester United or Kemi’s team (Brightlingsea Regent) - I can make that choice when I want to.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every minute of it but I’ve found that I’m out when the kids are in and they’re out when I’m in.

“I was pleased with how everything went.

“I think it’s come as a bit of a shock to people but perhaps had Heybridge been 11th in the league and I’d have walked away, no-one might have batted an eyelid.”

Meanwhile, Duguid is backing his successor Stuart Nethercott to do well at Heybridge.

The former Spurs and Millwall defender has taken over in the Swifts hot seat, having assisted Duguid last season.

Duguid added: “I think Stuart is the natural choice and it’s a fantastic job to have.

“They’re looking for continuity and they’ve got that with Stuart.

“I think he’ll do very well, especially with the staff that they have got there.”