ASHINGTON CFC have signed winger Chris Fawcett from Whitley Bay.
Despite stiff competition from clubs who finished in the top six of the Northern League’s first division last term, and receiving overtures from higher status outfits, Fawcett said he only ever wanted to sign for the Colliers.
The 23-year-old, who has already donned the black and white stripes of the club earlier in his career, said he “cannot wait” to start a new spell at Woodhorn Lane.
Fawcett originally joined the Ashington set up from Berwick Rangers but left to further his career with the now defunct Newcastle Blue Star before moving on to the Bay where he has been a member of the history making squad which has lifted the prestigious FA Vase in the last three seasons.
Fawcett, pictured, said at the weekend: “I’m really excited about rejoining Ashington. The fans were great to me at the old Portland Park and I’ve really missed them.
“When l knew I was leaving Whitley Bay, there was only one club I wanted to join and that was Ashington.
“I’m looking forward to working under the management team of Gary Middleton, Neil Winskill and Ritchie Bond and I cannot wait to start.”
As Whitley lifted the Vase three seasons in a row, Fawcett reckons he was one of only six or seven players who went to Wembley for all three and that he did not visualise a move.
“When the season finished, I did not want to move, but due to certain circumstances I felt I had no choice,” he said.
“However I have left on good terms.”
Fawcett came on as a substitute against Glossop North End in the 2009 Vase final but missed out the following year in the 6-1 success over Wroxham after picking up a hamstring injury on the eve of the final when the team stopped off for a training session at the Watford Academy.
Then in May he was left out of the 16 who participated in the narrow 3-2 victory over Coalville.
Although Fawcett remained tight lipped about the ‘circumstances’ which prompted his exit from Hillheads, he nevertheless said he has enjoyed the past three years.
“I do not think what Whitley Bay have achieved in the Vase will ever be done again and I’m over the moon to have been part of it,” he said.
“But now I cannot wait to play for Ashington where I’m hoping my experience in the Vase will help the club to improve on last year’s eighth finish in the league as well as advanced runs in the cup competitions.”
Ashington boss Middleton said: “Chris is a superb addition to the squad.
“Obviously when we found out he was available we got straight onto him and it did not take him long to make his decision.
“It was refreshing to hear that he wanted to play for us. He has been a major part in what Whitley Bay have achieved over the past few years but we have stepped in to sign him and I’m thrilled to bits.
“Chris is a young player and one who will give us lots of pace and skill going forward, and he can also adapt to playing in several postitions.
“He was chased by a lot bigger clubs than Ashington – and higher status outfits – and this is a major signing for the football club.
“I’m not going to say Chris will be my last pre-season signing as I’m always on the lookout, especially if a certain player jumps out. But at the moment, he is the final piece in the jigsaw.”