Gordon Nicolson says he could not dedicate the time to continue as manager of Strathspey Thistle after taking up a new role within Caley Thistle’s youth setup.
Nicolson has stepped down at Seafield Park having been in charge since September 2018 when he replaced Ally Munro, who he had previously assisted.
The former Inverness youth coach recently took up an opportunity to return to Caledonian Stadium, in a role which will see him work with Caley Jags’ under-15s.
His assistant Tommy Wilson will take interim charge of the Jags ahead of pre-season, before a permanent appointment is made.
After a frustrating Highland League campaign in which Strathspey did not play a single league game, with their only competitive action coming in a Scottish Cup defeat to Buckie Thistle, Nicolson felt the time was right for a fresh challenge.
Strathspey Thistle Football Club have reluctantly accepted the resignation of manager Gordon Nicolson. The club would like to thank Gordy for all he has done and wish him well for the future. pic.twitter.com/yvAN1cl7yZ
— Strathspey Thistle FC (Official) (@JagsStfc) May 20, 2021
Nicolson said: “I have started doing a bit of coaching again back at youth level with Caley Thistle where I was previously.
“My intention was to marry the two together, which maybe seemed like a good idea when we were all in lockdown and I had plenty time on my hands.
“With other commitments I have got it just, like being back at work properly, I wasn’t going to be able to devote the right amount of time to them both.
“I had to be honest to myself and say I was probably taking on too much.
“One had to give, and after five years at Strathspey I just felt a fresh challenge was best for everybody.
“I had to make the decision relatively quickly because we had started making plans for pre-season which we are looking to start on June 5, and we had started speaking to players about contracts.
“It gives somebody else an opportunity to get a bit of time before sorting these things out.”
Nicolson is excited by the chance to return to Caley Thistle, whose youth programme has recently resumed after being put on hold through much of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added: “The opportunity came out of the blue and it made sense to take it up.
“I’m working with the under-15s at the moment. We have had a few games already in our season.
“I have been doing that for the last six weeks or so. It’s great to be back out on the coaching field.
“The last session I personally coached was in December, and then my next one was the middle of April. It’s quite a long time.
“Youth football has been affected and they are raring to get started again.
“It’s a great opportunity to work with Charlie Christie, Ross Jack and Ross Tokely who are all involved there.
“It’s a good group of guys to bounce ideas off. I’m really looking forward to that new chapter.”
Nicolson, who led the Jags to their record tally of 33 points when they finished 14th in the 2018-19 season, ends a five-year association with the Grantown club.
He added: “I certainly wish Strathspey all the best. I will be looking out for their results.
“Given the relationship I built with the players, I certainly want those players to kick on now.
“It has been an interesting five years. I was a youth coach when I started there, before I started helping out under a previous management team.
“I then became Ally Munro’s assistant before ultimately taking the job on myself.
“It’s a new chapter for the club and myself and one both parties will relish I think.”