By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC central defender Ryan McKinnon has said that it was a ‘no brainer’ to sign for the Colliers.

However McKinnon, who joined the Woodhorn Lane outfit from Tow Law Town, has still to make his debut – more than a fortnight after putting pen to paper!

The 26 year old played for the Lawyers against Ian Skinner’s side in their FA Cup preliminary round tie which Ashington won late in the contest thanks to a Robbie Dale penalty and has obviously missed out on the continuing run in the competition by the Wansbeck side as he is cup tied.

McKinnon said this week: “I know a lot of the lads at Ashington like Dean Briggs, Liam Smith and Craig Spooner and played against them earlier in the season. I know how good an outfit they are – so when I spoke to Ian Skinner it was a no brainer to sign for them. It’s a great set up including training which is all I’ve been involved in with the group so far because of the cup run – and I’m happy to be here.”

However McKinnon admitted that he is frustrated and is a bad watcher when his new team are in action: “I love watching football in general but when you are on the sidelines for the team you play for, you are kicking every ball because you want to be involved in the game,” he said, “I get too invested and when it’s a big occasion like this FA Cup run, it’s something which you want to be part of. They are big games which attract loads of spectators – and that’s what you want. From my point of view it’s frustrating – but on the other hand it’s positive times for the club and it’s great to see the lads doing well.”

Manager Ian Skinner said: “Ryan signed for us about two and a half weeks ago and he hasn’t kicked a ball yet! We had the replay against Ashton United – and he’s ineligible – then the West Auckland game was postponed due to the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and then we played Bradford Park Avenue in the next round of the FA Cup. Ryan has trained four times since he joined the club and he looks everything we thought he was. He’s big and strong and is good on the floor in terms of the way we try to play out but he’s also strong in the tackle and good in the air – but I knew that and that’s why I brought him to the football club. Any player who comes to us has got to be the real deal – and Ryan is. I had a bit of a chat with him after training just to make sure he was settling in alright and he’s enjoying it – although he’s desperate to get out there on the park.”

Casting an eye towards Saturday’s Ebac Northern League clash against Penrith in Cumbria, Skinner added: “I’ll be having a long hard look in terms of everyone’s playing time which I keep a log of because we’ve got some players who have played a lot of football. These boys have played in two physically and mentally tiring cup ties against Ashton United and Bradford Park Avenue and there are lads who are chomping at the bit to get some minutes – so it might just be time to freshen things up.”