07 Jan 2018 in General News
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC's players did a spot of first footing last week - but after exchanging yuletide greetings, the squad walked straight into a lecture from team boss Steve Bowey. Bowey who took over the managerial reins in October had already taken a glance at the Ebac Northern League’s first division fair play league table - and didn't like what he saw.
The table is compiled from the accumulation of yellow and red cards as well as other disciplinary issues - and the Colliers are on the basement with 135 points. However Bowey was unrepentant when he said: “We’ve got to clean up our act and improve our onfield discipline considerably – that’s for sure.
We are half way through the season and find ourselves bottom and there’s no hiding place because it’s in black and white for all to see and doesn’t make good reading. Certainly if we are still at the bottom of the pile come the end of the campaign, it’ll be nothing to be proud of. I’ve already voiced my opinions to the lads in the dressing room and spoke about it again at the weekend when we trained as we were without a game.”
He continued: “Some of the yellows have been harsh - others unnecessary and deserved - but the lads need to be smarter and learn from experience of not diving into a tackle. I’m a great believer of standing up as long as you can and only go to ground as a last ditch option.”
Bowey admits that the game has changed “massively” over recent years: “Over a 15 years period, I personally have served only one suspension for five accumulated bookings - and I maybes got four or five yellows a season when playing between 40-50 games,” he said, “Admittedly the game has changed massively over the course of several years - but nevertheless, our discipline needs to be addressed and has got to improve.”
On Saturday, Bowey and his assistant Gareth McAlindon put the players through a lunchtime training session - before the duo went their separate ways on scouting missions: “We are consolidating now until the end of the season,” added Bowey, “We have a portfolio of around a dozen players who we are trying to take a look at.”