Harmison looking to stay clear of injury in 2016

James Harmison.

James Harmison.

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Ashington defender James Harmison has made no secret of the number one footballing priority on his wish list for 2016 - to stay clear of injury.

The 34-year-old will be in the Colliers squad for Saturday’s home clash against Washington after making a full recovery from a hernia operation in November.

“I’ve certainly had plenty of ops over the past five to six years and I’m hoping the surgery I had a couple of months ago will signal the end of the road for injuries,” he said.

“My groin is OK and my fitness fine, and all I need now is to play games.

“I’ve played in two friendlies and have had no reaction, so I reckon I’m in the same boat as the other lads whereby I’m itching to get under way again.”

Ashington–born Harmison added: “We need game environment and to hit the ground running, starting against Washington on Saturday.

“We let ourselves down on the opening day of the season against them in a 3-1 defeat, and it’s not so much a case of looking for revenge, more that we don’t want that to happen again.

“Exiting the FA Vase was a big disappointment as we had big hopes of going far in the competition, then a few days later we lost against Seaham Red Star.

“We want to get momentum going in the second half of the season and to look to get on a winning run as we aim towards a top four finish, and just about everyone in the squad is fit.”

In the history of the Northern League, 2015 was the first occasion for at least 20 years where Ashington did not play a single fixture during December.

“It’s also a first in my career,” said Harmison. “Even going back to my days with Bedlington I cannot recall a season whereby the club did not fulfil at least one game in the whole of that month.”