STRIKER Glen Taylor has returned to Ashington CFC while the player who replaced him, Phill Bell, has rejoined Whitley Bay – nine months after the pair were involved in a swap deal.
Taylor returns having witnessed the Seahorses’ march to an historic third successive FA Vase triumph from the sidelines after being cup tied earlier in the campaign.
Bell, meanwhile, enjoyed his stint with the Colliers, netting 18 goals, but Ashington supporters will forever cherish his debut strike against Spennymoor, albeit in the 6-2 league defeat at Woodhorn Lane, as well as his effort where he ran from the halfway line which put the seal on a 4-2 victory away to New Mills in the Vase.
However, both players have crossed paths with each other along the A193 with Taylor declaring that he has got a second chance to prove himself with the Colliers.
Ashington-born Taylor, 21, who is on a three-year sports studies course at Sunderland University, said: “Obviously I’m happy to be back to have another opportunity at Ashington.
“I did not prove much at Woodhorn Lane the first time because I did not play enough – but now I have another chance.
“Whitley Bay are one of the best sides in the Northern League and when I had the opportunity to join them, it was too good a chance to turn down.
“I did well at the start and thought I would be there for years to come – but football can change.”
Taylor, pictured, described Whitley’s Vase success and trip to Wembley as being his best experience in football, but added: “I was cup tied – and I reckon if I had not been then I would have played more regularly.
“Yes, I did the warm-up on the Wembley turf and it was some experience – but I was obviously not in the squad itself.”
Colliers boss Gary Middleton said: “I spoke to Glen and he told me he wanted to come back and play for Ashington, which is good enough for me.
“It was so refreshing to hear that because the amount of times I have been knocked back by players literally wanting too much money to play football is unbelieveable.
“Players should want to play for the club, the manager and it should not be money orientated.”
Bell, 27 said of his move: “It was a tough decision and I would not have left Ashington for any other club but Whitley Bay.”
“The previous success at Hillheads had a lot to do with my choice but I have a lot of good friends there and I live only five minutes from the ground – so it makes sense to play for the club.
“I turned down a couple of offers from other clubs but then Whitley Bay became interested and I thought about the good times.
“Ashington boss Gary Middleton understood my reasons and I have left them on very good terms.
“Now one of my aims going into the new season will be to try and help the Bay to lift the FA Vase for a fourth successive year.
“To do that would be an incredible feat, but I reckon we’ll have as strong a squad as any other club.”