By Brian Bennett
Ashington’s new striker Lee Mason has set the bar high with the ambitions he would like to see come to fruition at Woodhorn Lane.
Mason was the third signing made by manager Ian Skinner who came through the doors last week – and the Newcastle-born forward was quick to point out that ‘exciting times’ are ahead.
At the beginning of last month, the Colliers ended a barren run of nine years without having won any silverware when they lifted the Ebac Northern League’s Division One Cup with a convincing 4-1 victory over Newcastle Benfield.
And Mason, brought in from Dunston UTS, sees what was a special moment for the club when skipper Ben Harmison held the trophy aloft, as being a springboard for further success: “With the personnel that the manager is bringing in to boost last season’s squad, it’s exciting times at the club – and I cannot wait to get started,” he said, “I’ve personally never won the Northern League title – but that’s got to be our aim next season along with having good runs in all of the cups as well as the FA Vase. It’s not just about contesting in every game either – it’s actually about going all the way in the various competitions and bringing the club more success. We want to give the fans and everybody connected with the club a bit of excitement and something to smile and shout about – and hopefully we can get the crowd behind us.”
The 31 year old continued: “I’m really delighted to be joining. Once I had spoken to the manager, the way he sold the club talking about where they would like to be and their ambitions, it was a no brainer for me.”
Mason who is based at Blyth and who works for Northumberland County Council, has played in front of the new stand at Woodhorn Lane – and the Colliers fans – before: “A couple of years ago I was on loan at Hebburn from South Shields and we played at Ashington,” he added, “I got onto the pitch as a substitute for about ten minutes and in my eyes, the club (Ashington) have the best facilities in the Northern League.”
Manager Skinner was buzzing after Mason had put pen to paper: “Lee is a forward thinking player and when we signed him, the news may have raised a few eyebrows because we scored over 100 goals last season. However when a player of Lee’s quality becomes available it would have been crazy for us not to be interested. He’s a player I’ve chased on numerous occasions and I’m delighted to be successful in capturing his signature this time round.” He continued: “Lee can play anywhere across the front; as an out an out striker; behind the striker as a number ten or he can operate in a wide area. I’m sure the fans will enjoy watching him because he gets the ball and he likes to run at players and go past people and he chips in with his own fair share of goals. He is another good character to have around both on and off the pitch – and on top of that he’ll fit into what is already a very good group of players that we have here at Ashington.”