Ashington FC have been rocked by the departure of two of their playing staff – club captain Craig Scott and midfielder or striker Dale Pearson – ahead of the forthcoming 2018/19 campaign.
Manager Steve Bowey and his assistant Gareth McAlindon – who took over in mid October last year – are looking to build on last season’s top ten placing in the Ebac Northern League and Stanley-based Bowey readily admitted that his search for replacements for the pair is already underway.
Ashington return for pre season training in three weeks and Bowey said of Scott: “I’m gutted that he has left. Craig has been at Ashington for six years and felt he has gone stale and needed a fresh challenge. It now means that apart from looking for a new centre half, I also need to appoint a new club captain.”
He added: “For the last few months of last season, Craig did really well and we will miss his presence. However we wish him all the best and the door at Woodhorn Lane is always open.”
Scott said: “I’d like to thank the players, staff and most importantly the fans for their unrivalled support during my time at the club.
“I leave with some great memories such as playing Grimsby in the 2011 FA Cup qualifying rounds and the Senior Cup final win in 2013 but I felt the time had come for a new challenge.”
He continued: “Good luck to Ashington and I will look forward to returning to Woodhorn Lane to catch up with many friends I have made during my time there.”
Scott – signed from West Allotment Celtic - made his debut in the away game at Norton at the start of the 2011/12 during Gary Middleton’s tenure as manager and clocked up 162 appearances for the club scoring 15 goals.
Pearson - who joined the Colliers from Morpeth Town two seasons ago - netted 13 goals in 39 appearances.
Meanwhile, Ashington have announced five pre season friendly matches to be played next month. The list reads: Friday 6 July – v Gretna away 7.45pm; Saturday 14 July – Tow Law Town away 3pm; Friday 20 July – Bedlington Terriers away 7.30pm; Tuesday 24 July – Seaton Delaval away 7.30pm; Saturday 28 July – Esh Winning home 3pm.