By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC skipper Ben Harmison spoke of his ‘surprise’ – after he scooped the ‘Players Player of the season’ award at the club’s presentation night which was held in the Woodhorn Lane function suite on Saturday.

The 36 year old was unable to attend the event but said: “I received the news via a message from manager Ian Skinner – and it came as a surprise. However I’m over the moon to be honest. It’s nice to win something and with the Player’s player award it is recognition from your fellow players after having a good season with them.”

Manager Skinner said: “Sometimes with end of season presentations you see that one player tends to scoop the majority of the awards – but tonight ours are spread and I think that reflects the season we’ve had where we have had a number of consistent performers.”

He continued: “Obviously the players’ player trophy is the one which players really look too because it is their team mates who have voted – and that’s gone to Ben Harmison tonight. I don’t think its any secret what Ben brings to the team at both ends of the pitch – and not only on the pitch but off it as well. He obviously has the experience and has played higher up the pyramid and in a sporting context having been a professional sports person, he knows what it takes to ‘get the job done.’

At the beginning of this month, Harmison was the proud captain who held aloft the Ebac Northern League’s Division One Cup after the Colliers had clinched a 4-1 victory over Newcastle Benfield at North Shields’ Daren Persson Stadium which brought the Wansbeck side their first piece of silverware for nine years. Ashington will also have the chance to defend the trophy after the ENL announced at the weekend that due to the increased number of teams in the second division, they will run with a Division One Cup and the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup (which is for second division clubs) next season.