NEW signing Chris Fawcett faces a race against the clock as Ashington CFC prepare to open their new 2011-12 STL Northern League first division season with an away trip to face Norton & Stockton on Saturday.
Fawcett is the Colliers’ only concern for the 3pm kick-off after picking up a knee injkury during the pre-season programme.
Manager Gary Middleton said: “Chris picked up a knee problem against North Shields in one of our friendlies and did not play in the game against a Newcastle United XI.
“We’ll monitor his progress this week but he is rated as being very doubtful.”
Fawcett moved to Woodhorn Lane in the summer following a three seasons with Whitley Bay, having previously played for Newcastle Blue Star.
Should the left-sided midfielder miss out on Saturday, he will be hoping to be fit at the earliest opportunity to secure a place in the Colliers’ starting line-up.
Middleton is nevertheless optimistic about the new campaign and is looking for the club to progress.
“We’re looking forward to it,” he said.
“We’ve done the hard work in six weeks of training and playing friendlies but there is nothing like the bread and butter matches.
“It is a nice pitch at Station Road and Norton will be a tough proposition – as we found out last season when they beat us 1-0 at our place in the first game of the season.”
Looking ahead to the future, Middleton added: “We want to keep moving forward and trying to develop the team and to be progressive.
“The players we have brought in during the summer has proved that we are taking the right steps.
“In the end we are judged on results and it is up to the players to make sure things happen on the pitch.”
Following Saturday’s opener on Teesside, Ashington open their home campaign on Tuesday, August 16, when Newton Aycliffe arer the visitors to Woodhorn Lane.