Ryan Astles admits he would have liked the chance to speak to Chester’s new management duo before deciding on his future.

The bruising centre-half, 24, joined Southport last month on a two-year deal, after his contract expired with Chester, where he made 112 appearances since arriving from Northwich Victoria in January 2016.

The Birkenhead-born defender, named captain last season following John McCombe’s departure, would have welcomed a chat with new bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley, but insists he has no regrets about joining the Sandgrounders.

“From my point of view, from the last day of the season I didn’t receive one phone call from the football club. It would have been good to know what was happening, but I didn’t know what their plans were,” he said.

“I would’ve listened to what Chester had to say and I would have liked to hear what the two managers had to say. But that’s gone now, and we move on from it.

“They’d offered me a contract towards the end of the season, but the offer came in from Southport and it made sense to make the move. It’s a two-year deal and there’s security that comes with that. I had a few phone calls from elsewhere and it was a tough decision but opted to go to Southport.

“I wish Chester all the best and I hope they can get back up at the first attempt, I really do. I’ve played pretty much every game over the past two years and captained the team, so I hope they do well, just not against Southport!”

Astles thanked former Blues boss Steve Burr for the positive impact he had on his career, going on to play over 100 times for the Blues.

“Of course, I’m sad to be leaving Chester. I spent two and a half years with the club, I was there as a kid too, so it’s always going to be close to my heart,” he continued.

“Chester gave me my chance, I wouldn’t where I am without the club. They gave me my chance in the National League, Steve Burr believed in me 100 per cent and I’m grateful for that.

“I’m thankful for all the managers I worked under, but Steve took me from Northwich and gave me that opportunity and the chance to step up.

“Last year was tough. Going through two managers and two caretaker managers, it was difficult for anything to settle down.

“We thought we had a good squad in pre-season, good players brought in. But we found it tough from the start and didn’t recover.

“It was never for a lack of effort, but results didn’t go our way. I still think we could have got out of trouble, around January it looked possible, but then things slipped again.”

Astles will now link up with former Blues boss Jon McCarthy at Haig Avenue.

“I enjoyed working with Jon and look forward to linking up with him again,” he added.

“He’s a good coach and we had a good relationship at Chester.

“Southport is a new challenge, a different environment. It will be tough in National League North, but I’m just going to try and claim a place in the first-team and try to keep that consistency going.”