10 Jun 2019 in First Team
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner – looking to strengthen his squad - has conducted his first piece of recruitment during the close season by making a double swoop to sign midfielder Karl Ross and striker Callum Johnston.
Both players need no introduction to the supporters at Woodhorn Lane. Ross was on a dual registration with South Shields and the Colliers last term whilst Johnston makes a return to the Wansbeck outfit after spells with Whitley Bay and North Shields.
Twenty year old Ross said: “I’m happy. Obviously I was with the club last season and enjoyed it. I got loads of minutes and hopefully I can kick on next season.”
Twenty-one year old Johnston said: “Ashington are my hometown club and I am buzzing to be back. When the manager (Ian Skinner) said he was interested in bringing me to the club, it was a no brainer. I live in Ashington so it’s on the doorstep and I have got family who will want to come along and watch me play.”
Manager Skinner said: “We met both players who were keen to get involved with us again and basically the two lads fit perfectly into what we are trying to do at the club. Both have had good footballing education after coming through systems where they are receptive to coaching. They are at a great age where they have great attitudes; want to listen; work hard and improve as players and that’s what we are after – we are not looking just to recruit on talent, we believe character and attitude are equally as important. Karl (Ross) was great for us last year. I’m delighted he wanted to come back and we thought we’d show some loyalty to him and tie him up on a contract - as well as Callum (Johnston) who is a player I have known for quite a while. By offering both of them contracts also sends out a statement of intent and there are reasons - including the seven day notice of approach rule which absolutely infuriates me - why I’m a firm believer of one year deals. To have players committing from now until the end of the season gives us some good foundations to build on.”