Ashington kicked off the new season at Washington on Saturday without teenage striker Dylan Armstrong.
The North Shields-born front man flew out to the US last week to start a four-year football scholarship and admitted it had been the hardest decision of his life.
However the 18-year-old, who joined the Colliers from Hartlepool United, had no hesitation in declaring that he will rejoin the Woodhorn Lane outfit on his return.
“I was looking forward to the beginning of the new season after enjoying the end of the last term,” he said.
“I was devastated when I was released by Hartlepool where I was a youth team scholar.
“It was always a dream to become a professional footballer, but after being released, the reality kicked in.
“However with people watching you, there is always a chance.”
“An opportunity arose for me to go to America and as much as I had lapped up pre-season, I thought the best option for me in terms of ‘life’ was to go over there and get a degree and to graduate.
“It was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make because everything at Ashington has been top class.”
Armstrong jetted out of Heathrow airport to Austin, Texas.
He added: “Pre-season starts on the 14th with the campaign proper kicking off a week later.
“I will be playing for St Edwards, the university team, and they face all the colleges over America so I will see a lot of good places as there is a lot of travelling.
“However, when I return it will be a no brainer in terms of coming back to Ashington.
“I would have no hesitation in signing on again as I have loved every minute of it.”