By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC skipper Ben Harmison has hailed the signing of Robbie Dale.

The Blyth Spartans legend put pen to paper and Harmison said: “It’s a massive coup for the club. Robbie is someone who has experience and it shows the ambition and direction in which the club are trying to go. I was personally aware that we were trying to sign him (Dale) since we knew he was leaving Blyth – although he wanted to continue playing. Our manager Ian Skinner has been trying his best to get him – and has succeeded – and hopefully a signing like this will lead to a few more players coming in that he (Ian Skinner) is speaking to. Also someone of Robbie’s experience coming into our dressing room is only going to help our young and ambitious squad.”

He continued: “I played at Blyth with Robbie so I know what he is like – and he’ll be coming to Ashington to win things and not just to play. In the negotiations, they obviously sold Robbie the ambitions of the club and he’ll want to be part of it – and want to help push us for promotion. The signing is big – and other lads the boss is trying to sign higher up the pyramid and who are available, once they have seen that Robbie has put pen to paper hopefully the news will persuade them to want to be a part of a club who are really ambitious.”

He added: “To do what Robbie has done in his career, he‘s bringing loads to Ashington – and not just that confidence to see him in the dressing room and give the rest of the squad a boost. The lads who were with us last year will have had loads of attraction from other clubs and the only way you are going to keep them at Ashington, is signing players like Robbie.” He went on: “All the young players who are staying will be really looking forward to starting pre season training – and hopefully we’ll get a few more experienced players on board who have played higher up, now that Robbie has signed for us.”