Versatility helps Brown take Ashington Colliers’ award

David Brown with his player of the year trophy.
David Brown with his player of the year trophy.

David Brown won the player of the year award for Ashington Colliers after playing in all of two matches for the Northern Alliance Premier division side out of position.

The 32-year-old is a striker who reverted to a centre half role.

He said: “I thought I had a reasonably good season considering I played out of position. On only two occasions did I operate as a striker, the rest was in defence.”

Ashington-born Brown, an engineer, added: “Two years ago I won the committee player of the season but this is the first time that I have lifted the club player of the year and my dad, who is joint manager, was not involved with the decision.

“From a personal point of view, it’s a great award, but when I look back it was not a vintage campaign considering where we finished in the league and how quickly we exited the cup competitions.”

Youngster George Hayton scooped the players’ player trophy whilst Joe Moscrop took the award as top goal scorer.

Meanwhile Ashington-born David Leightley, who with Steve Jones, came in alongside David Brown to form a three-man management team last November, reckons the Colliers have a lot to look forward too next season and hopes they will kick on.

The 45-year-old said: “We came in with the club exactly half way through their league games.

“They were second from bottom with nine points and had been comprehensively beaten by basement side Hebburn.

“The first game we were in charge we played North Shields, who were third top and deservedly won 3-1.

“We went seven games unbeaten which moved us up into the top half of the table, even though we had played a lot more games.

“We went on a poor run towards the end of the campaign before ending the season with a 1-0 win at Whickham.”

“To be fair we lost Dave Mackenzie and Glen Bolton with long term and career threatening injuries, and we have a lot of young and inexperienced players for the level at which we are playing.

“I’m hoping the experience of last season will bring those players on and be a massive benefit to everybody, whilst amongst the positives, nine of our players were involved in the first team.

“The lads were involved in a lot of close contests and if our points haul in the first half of the season had matched the second, we would have finished fifth in the table, so there is a lot to look forward too.

“I’ve personally enjoyed it. The outfit have their own committee but the management side of things is left between the three of us.

“Our goal next season is to finish as high up the table as we can – and to have a few cup runs would be a massive bonus.”