By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner said that the club had ‘monitored’ the progress of Ross Coombe and Cameron Gascoigne ‘for a while’ before the pair put pen to paper for the Woodhorn Lane outfit last week.

Coombe is a goalkeeper whilst Gascoigne is a forward.

Skinner said: “Ross (Coombe) is somebody who we’ve monitored for a little. He was at South Shields then went to Consett where he competed for the number one jersey last season with Mark Foden. He played his fair share of games in the league we are going into so he has got experience. Goalkeeping was not a department we were looking to strengthen if I’m being honest but Kyle Hayes’s work commitments have a significant impact on his availability so with the level of competition that we will be playing week in week out, I thought it was important to make sure that we had an opportunity to have two goalkeepers who were available who could compete with each other (the other being Karl Dryden) and we thought Ross fitted the bill perfectly for what we were looking for. We were delighted when we could get a deal done and he was very enthusiastic and really keen to join the club which was really pleasing as well.”

He continued: “Cameron Gascoigne – formerly with Newcastle Benfield – is another player we have monitored since he was playing at Newcastle Elite and one of the football education programmes. He’s a young and hungry player – somebody who wants to try and play at the highest level he can. He looks after himself and takes the game seriously and is receptive to coaching. He has got ambitions and represents England Universities and plays at a good standard within that. When we thought he was available or potentially was looking to try and play a little bit higher up in the pyramid than he was last year, we got in touch. Again he is another person who was enthusiastic and really keen to come to the club. He turned down two other clubs in preference to us and he liked the set up; the management team; what we are trying to do at the club and he thought it gave him the best opportunity to develop so we are delighted to have him on board and hopefully we’ll be able to add one or two more to the squad in the coming weeks.”