14 Oct 2020 in First Team
By Brian Bennett
It didn’t take Luke Salmon very long to realise that his decision to join Ashington was the right one! The left sided full back or wingback - who was at Woodhorn Lane a couple of seasons ago - returned to the club this week and ironically was included in manager Ian Skinner’s squad for Tuesday night’s clash against Whitley Bay – one of his former clubs.
After leaving the Colliers, Salmon linked up with the Hillheads outfit but in the summer moved across the water and put pen to paper for Hebburn Town. However, The Hornets made him available for transfer and Skinner moved swiftly to secure his signature. North Shields-born Salmon – a teacher – speaking minutes after the 4-4 thriller against the Bay said: “It’s nice to be back and see some familiar faces as well as some new ones. I could see in the warm up tonight that Ashington are shaping up to be a good side because they were pinging the ball around. The lads made me feel comfortable but after seeing them in action before kick-off, I know that I face a challenge to get into the side.”
The 29 year old added: “As soon as Hebburn released the news of my release, Ian (Skinner) approached me and it was deja vu of the summer really where I had been so close to returning to Ashington.” Salmon was named amongst the substitutes at Whitley but his first appearance came earlier than he anticipated as Ben Sampson – who had replaced Thomas Kalthoeber – pulled up with a recurrence of a hamstring injury and Skinner summoned Salmon: “I got the call up to go on and was just trying to prepare myself in the mirror because I’m used to playing on the left side,” he said, “Apart from right back, I’d played in every single position on the field including goalkeeper so it was a new experience for me. It felt weirdly comfortable on the right and I could cut inside and get a bit higher up the pitch – just like I do at left back.”
Skinner said: “I tried to get Luke in the summer and we were really close - them Hebburn came in for him at the 11th hour. We had an honest conversation and Luke thought a move to Hebburn might be the better option for him. As with anybody, I always wish them ‘all the best’ and I said to him if anything changes let me know. We got a whisper first before Hebburn announced that Luke was available – so we made the enquiry, got permission to speak to him and basically I re-iterated to him what I had said in the summer - and I’m delighted he has chosen Ashington as his next destination.”
Skinner continued: “Luke went straight into the squad tonight and made an appearance as a substitute just before the end of the first half which neither he nor I expected to happen. He probably didn’t expect to play the best part of 50 minutes at right back either but he did alright in the role having just met his new team-mates before kick-off. We know what Luke is about and he will come in and strengthen the squad and we’ll look forward to working with him.”