Ashington face tough start to season says manager Skinner

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner has warned his outfit that they face a hectic start to the new Ebac Northern League season.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 1:06 pm
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 1:07 pm
Ashington manager Ian Skinner.
Ashington manager Ian Skinner.

The Colliers begin with an away trip to Cumbria to face Penrith on the opening day – Saturday July 31 - and Skinner said: “It’ll be a hectic start. I’ve got no problem with the league looking to put in as many fixtures in as early as they can but we’ve got nine games in August which is a big ask.”

Included in the month is a trip to face Guisborough Town on a Wednesday night and Skinner added: “It’s not ideal – but we cannot do anything about it and have just got to get on with the situation.”

Unusually, the new fixtures give a vast majority of teams – including Ashington - a three week break over the Christmas period: “It’s not a bad thing,” added Skinner, “but you tend to find that February and March are the wettest months or when we get snow. However, fingers crossed we get a good run at the programme and are able to complete the season.”

Meanwhile the boss revealed that he is not looking to bring in a plethora of new signings: “We did alright in some games last season so we are certainly not looking to make massive changes,” he said.

“We may add a couple of players but they need to be players who are going to come in and make a big difference and those type are hard to come by. I don’t know if it’s because of the current restrictions and the pandemic but non league football in general is relatively quiet at the moment.”

He went on: “We had a good run last season although we finished with a couple of indifferent results against Hebburn Town and Consett - who are good sides - just before the season was curtailed. If we can get a couple (of players) in then great – if we can’t and we kick off with the same squad we had, would I be disappointed? Probably not.”

*In their first pre season warm up game against Birtley Town on Saturday, Ashington won 6-3. Goals came from Dean Briggs (2), Bobby Taylor (2), Paul Robinson and Luke Heppell.

Meanwhile, Blyth Town got their pre-season off to the perfect start when they won the inaugural Coquet Cup at Rothbury. After beating the hosts 9-2 they beat Burradon & New Fordley in the final.