23 Feb 2020 in Reserves
ALAN HAS PLENTY OF TALENT IN RESERVE
By Brian Bennett
He was a prolific goal scorer as well as being a fans favourite during his ten year career with Ashington FC. Now legendary ex striker Alan Hogg is enjoying his time off the pitch in his first spell of management - with Ashington reserves.
The Woodhorn Lane outfit re-launched a second string in the Bluefin Sports Insurance Northern Alliance Development Division this term and the youngsters are thriving. Hogg initially returned to the club as assistant to Doug Thoburn but when the latter left due to other football commitments, it provided Hogg with a quick fire move up the ladder - and he is relishing it.
On Saturday, Liam Hornsby hit a hat trick and Karl Ross a brace in a 5-0 drubbing over Whitley Bay Sporting Club A which cemented a sixth consecutive league victory and moved the Colliers up to fifth place in the table. But whilst he is delighted with the progress, Hogg - alongside assistants Gary Bell and Paul Forster - is keeping his feet firmly on the ground amid talk of promotion: “Things are going really well and if I’m honest better than expected because of the age of the group,” said Ashington-born Hogg, a weighing and calibration engineer, “we have a talented squad who have settled down. One of the challenges is trying to get the balance right and we are looking for the senior players to help guide the youngsters. Unfortunately we have just lost Liam Davison - one of those senior players - to an injury over the weekend and that’s a big blow because he has been so influential.”
Hogg, 42, continued: “We reached the semi finals of the Neville Cowey Cup and have an outside chance of promotion which would put the icing on the cake in our first season. However we have had so many games called off that we know our run in programme is going to be heavy and it’s the old well worn cliché of taking one game at a time.”
Hogg - who plundered 187 goals for Ashington wearing the number nine shirt - praised the Woodhorn Lane based club in general: “We have had great support and encouragement from chairman Brian Shotton, the executive board, first team manager Ian Skinner, coach Lee Anderson, Lynne Bell, Alan Brown and indeed all the staff - and the lads definitely feel they are part of the club.”
Pictured: Ashington reserves in action with manager Alan Hogg (left) and one of his assistants Gary Bell in the background discussing tactics. (Picture Ian Brodie).