By Brian Bennett | Photo: Rachel McDonald
Ashington FC’s newly appointed coach Andy Coyles, said at the weekend that he had ‘no hesitation’ in joining the Woodhorn Lane club.
Coyles had a ‘watching brief’ at Northallerton on Saturday where a goal in the first half goal by striker Dan Maguire resulted in the Colliers winning their fourth league game in a row.
Until recently, Coyles – a UEFA ‘A’ license coach – was manager at Consett and led the Steelmen to promotion to the Northern Premier League Division One East following a play off win against Histon at the end of last season: “They say a week is a long time in football but I didn’t think five days was – and that’s how long it took before I got back into football with Ashington,” said Coyles, “I had no hesitation in wanting to join the club. They are making all the right noises and their ambitions and aspirations match mine and when you commit 100 per cent into something you want to know that there is a purpose behind it. I only had a 15-20 minutes conversation with Ian Skinner and he sold the club to me really well and you only have to look at their social media platforms and the crowds which they are generating for home games. Everything that Ian (Skinner) has done has been to a certain level – and that’s something which I would love to immerse myself in and be involved with.”
The 37 year old – an assistant professor in sports coaching and PE at Northumbria University – continued: “Funnily enough at the start of the season we (Ian Skinner and myself) both actually tried to get each other to join allegiances with our respective clubs – but I didn’t think it would be me making the switch to Ashington! We’ve got a good level of respect between each other. We’ve both been around the footballing scene for a lot of years and I’d like to think that our styles and the way we look at the game will marry up well and will compliment each other.”
Whitehaven-born Coyles says it is ideal that the Colliers are without a midweek fixture for the next two weeks: “It’ll be nice to start working with the lads at training on Tuesday and Thursday nights,” he said, “It’s a good project with a good club and great people and I’m looking forward to it.”
Coyles – who is based in Richmond in North Yorkshire – said Saturday’s 1-0 win at Northallerton was ‘scrappy’: “These are the type of days and games where you just need to come out with the three points – it doesn’t matter how you do it,” he added, “It was very scrappy but it was a good victory in one of the furthest travels the club has to make in their league programme.”
Manager Skinner said: “Andy (Coyles) was somebody who was available and I know his qualities and his strengths. His CV speaks for itself in terms of qualifications and the job he does. He’s got experience in getting teams promoted out of the Northern League -which is what we at Ashington want to do. Obviously we needed to bring somebody in to help – Andy fitted the bill – and I’m delighted to have him on board. He’s had a bit of a watching brief today (at Northallerton) but he’ll feed back on his overall thoughts from the minute we arrived in terms of preparation to leaving the ground. Andy will be a big asset for us and is somebody who I’m sure the players will enjoy working with. He’ll also offer Robbie (Dale) and myself another set of eyes and ears.”
He continued: “With no midweek games for the next two weeks, it gives Andy (Coyles) a good opportunity to form a relationship not just with the squad but with Robbie (Dale) and myself and it’ll be good that he’ll get an opportunity to do that on the training pitch ahead of the next game against West Allotment Celtic on Saturday. However, we are obviously slightly mindful that we’ve got a really busy period coming up so we are starting to plan for that as well.”