Wayne Buchanan - 04.05.2018

05 May 2018 in General News

Wayne Buchanan - 04.05.2018 Wayne Buchanan - 04.05.2018

BUCHANAN: “I’M NOT HANGING MY BOOTS UP YET!”

By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC’s ageless defender Wayne Buchanan scooped a notable double on Friday night when the Woodhorn Lane club held their annual presentation evening in the clubhouse. And the hugely popular 36 year old – who lifted the highly prestigious ‘Players Player of the Year’ award as well as the ‘Supporters Player of the Year’ trophy – said afterwards that he has no plans to hang up his boots.

The former award is the highest individual accolade achieved by Buchanan, born in Banbridge, Co Down, who said: “They (the rest of the players) told me to bring my wheelbarrow to the ceremony. To be honest when the boys were saying that, I thought I had a bit of a chance but you never know. I’ve said on record before that I love Ashington FC and to take the award voted by the rest of the lads in the changing room was very nice. I try to encourage and help them and they know that if I say something on the pitch that I’m going to be by their side. I’m also delighted to receive the trophy from the supporters. They come along and watch every week and appreciate what you do and what effort you put in. I give everything in training and on match days and even if I’m not at my best, I always give 100 per cent. I feel that I’ve played well this season and it’s just nice to be appreciated.”

Team Valley-based Buchanan acknowledged the support he receives from his family: “I’ve got my little girl Faith here tonight along with my father in law John and although my wife Laura and mother in law Wendy couldn’t be in attendance, they come along to watch the matches all the time and there support counts as well. They will be chuffed too. With training and playing matches, you are away from your family, especially near the end of the season and to bring awards back home to them speaks volumes about hard work paying off.”

Although in the autumn of his career, Buchanan says that normal service will resume when the new 2018/19 season kicks off in August: “I’m going to continue to play for as long as I can,” he said, “I’ve no plans to hang up my boots and feel really good and fit. I’ve had a good relationship with all the management staff here at Ashington. I had – and still have - a lot of respect for previous boss Steve Harmison, Ian Skinner and Lee Anderson but Steve Bowey and Gareth McAlindon, have instilled in us to get the ball down and play. One of our defenders Ryan Bell – who was out through injury at the time - actually said at one game when we drew or lost, ‘I’ve been sitting watching and the fans are appreciating what you players are trying to do - so don’t keep your heads down.’

Buchanan added: “I felt that even if we lost, the fans gave us a good reception because they could see that we were trying to be creative and attack; mix things up and be brave on the ball. Although it maybes cost us at times, the fans want to see 100 per cent effort but they also want to see you exciting them and once they see that you are giving everything they are going to come back and support you.”

The former Blyth Spartans lynchpin cast an eye towards next term: “I think the club have got loads of potential and it’s a matter of keeping confidence going and maybes bringing in a few extra players on board to have a go next season. Like our goalkeeper Conor Grant said recently, we should have broken through the 70 points barrier in the league this year. We dropped points when we shouldn’t have done - but there is something to build on here and hopefully we will do that.”

Manager Bowey said: “The Players player of the year award is probably the one you want to win because it is from your fellow players and Wayne definitely deserved it. It’s a great achievement for him and even more so because of his age. He has been fantastic and a rock at the back and like an old style professional, he goes into every match as if it were his last.”

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