28 Jun 2020 in First Team
By Brian Bennett
Ashington FC announced their first signing of the summer in midweek when teenager Thomas Kalthoeber put pen to paper.
The young full back has come on leaps and bounds since joining the club the season before last from fellow Ebac Northern League outfit Whitley Bay – and his progress and consistent performances have not gone unnoticed by manager Ian Skinner with the Colliers boss delighted that one of his young fledglings has penned a one year contract.
The deal is an early birthday present for Newcastle-born Kalthoeber who turns 19 next month – and the student who switches from TyneMet College in Wallsend to Northumbria University in September – was quick to thank Skinner: “It’s nice to be gifted a contract but my focus is just to play football,” said a nevertheless delighted Kalthoeber, “I’ve got to thank the boss immensely because he trusted me and played me in the Northern League against good players and I’ve proved to him how good I can be. There is more to come from me because I am always learning and know that I’ve got to be consistent and continue to play as I have because if I have a bad game, there is someone eager to step in and take the shirt.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic Ashington’s season came to an abrupt halt in mid March when they had nine games remaining - the league campaign was later declared null and void - and Kalthoeber added: “At the time the entire team were outstanding – they were class - every single player.”
No definite date has been set for the start of the 2020-21 campaign – but Kalthoeber cannot wait: “My life is football – I coach three times a week and my life revolves around it,” he said. Manager Skinner was delighted to wrap up the signing of Kalthoeber who joins Curtis Coppen amongst the contracted players – Ashington’s club captain having penned a two year deal last season: “Since Thomas came to the club, he has grasped the opportunity with both hands,” said Skinner, “He has been a consistent performer for us in the right back position and almost made it his own - and the offer of a contract is a worthy reward. His performances have shown maturity beyond his years in what is a tough league and he was very much someone we wanted to retain and as a recompense for his consistent performances, the club were delighted to offer him a one year contract and equally pleased when he signed it.”
He continued: “The offer (of a contract) goes to show the confidence the club have in Thomas’s ability and we hope - and are sure - he will develop into a quality player. There was interest from other clubs and we are thrilled that Thomas has shown loyalty - which is sometimes in short supply in the modern game – by choosing to stick by us after we have given him a chance.”