Ashington High School Sports College Under-18’s football team manager Marc Nash has given his squad some homework over the Christmas break.
He wants them to reflect on what they have achieved so far this season, especially an historic march in the ESFA National Cup.
However, Nash has warned them that they face a ‘tough ask’ when they travel to Leeds to face Wetherby High School next month with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.
Nash’s side had a comfortable 4-1 success over Castle Howard on Wednesday and he has told his pool of players to chill out and pause for thought over the festive season.
“Wetherby High School in Leeds have had a few good victories,” he said.
“I think they are a pretty big school in a big city so I’m anticipating that we will face our toughest opponents yet, especially as we are away from home in what will be our first game on our travels since the second round.
“Playing at Woodhorn Lane – and we cannot thank Ashington CFC enough – against Castle Howard and getting such good support in our victory turned it into a great day for the guys.
“Despite the result, the visiting fans enjoyed themselves and were in buoyant mood, and we need our supporters to try and give our lads the same vocal backing in January.
“The beauty at the moment is that we have played in this competition every few weeks and now have a month break which will allow us to sit back and reflect on what we have achieved.”
Ashington High are currently second in the Northumberland under 19’s schools league, but Nash admits that the National Cup will pray on the players’ minds.
“The league has a long history and is very well organised and very competitive,” he said.
“It’s probably as tough a level as you will find anywhere around the country to be honest.
“The title race is very tight but the way the table looks at the moment we are in with a shout.
“The National Cup will be a distraction for us so keeping the lads focused will be a priority.”