JAYSON Leutwiler put club before country so that he could concentrate on Latics' bid to overcome a tough start to the season.

The goalkeeper joined up with Canada for the CONCACAF Gold Cup soon after signing his initial contract at Boundary Park, only to have to enter re-negotiations on his return after the English Football League opposed the deal under the conditions of the monitored loan agreement the club took out.

Canada have been in action again this week, with World Cup Qualifiers away to Jamaica and at home to Panama.

But following discussions with Canada's goalkeeping coach, Leutwiler felt it would be better if he concentrated on his domestic duties as Latics bid to climb out of League Two's bottom two.

The former Blackburn Rovers and Shrewsbury Town stopper did not feature during Canada's run to the Gold Cup semi-finals, with Vancouver Whitecaps' goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau starting ahead of him. And with no guarantees that he would be involved in the latest Qatar 2022 qualifiers the 32-year-old instead focused on crucial League Two clashes at Mansfield last weekend, and Saturday’s visit of Stevenage.

“I would like to be in every game in every tournament. Every time I could be there I would like to be there,” said Leutwiler when asked if he enjoyed being involved in the international arena.

“But here in League Two, and League One, there’s no international break. I always keep in touch with the goalkeeper coach there (with Canada) to make sure it’s the right way to do it and maybe it’s better to stay here and play rather than go away and not play.

“We are constantly in touch so that’s good.”

Leutwiler’s Gold Cup call-up was the third time he has been involved in the tournament with Canada.

The Switzerland-born stopper, who played for the Swiss youth age groups but qualifies for Canada through Canadian citizenship, has been capped three times at senior international level.

His last appearance was away to Scotland in a friendly in 2017, when he came on at half-time.

And Leutwiler felt it was more important to stay with Latics after a delayed start to the League Two season.

It was only after he returned from the Gold Cup, where Canada missed out on a place in the final after losing 2-1 to Mexico in Houston, that he learned that his initial contract had to be scrapped and renegotiated.

“When I came back we had some issue before the first game (of the season), that’s when I found out I wasn’t able to play,” Leutwiler explained.

“We were trying to sort it out as soon as possible but it took a bit longer than we expected. But we got there in the end.

“I was just training every day as normal, training hard with the team so that I was ready to play."

Leutwiler, who made his Latics debut in late August in their first win of the season, away to Sutton, added: “It’s gone now. We signed the new contract and it’s all behind me.”