By Brian Bennett

Ashington manager Ian Skinner admitted that the departure of Damen Mullen from the club is a ‘part of the job in football management which isn’t very nice.’

Mullen left the Woodhorn Lane club at the end of last week and Skinner was quick to praise the midfielder: “Damen is someone who I have known personally for a very long time,” he said, “I coached him as a young player and I consider him to be a personal friend. Whenever he played for us this season he never let us down and one performance which sticks out was when we went to Cleethorpes at the end of September. We had all of those suspensions and Damen played in a back three. However he has found minutes difficult to come by and he’d probably argue that on those occasions when he played well, that he should have stayed in the side. We decided to go with alternative teams which we thought on the day would stand us in better stead to get a result.”

He continued: “Damen was getting frustrated with his lack of game time and wants to play as much as he can. We had a couple of conversations and it probably came to the point whereby it was in his best interests to look elsewhere to play more regular. It’s the part of the job in football management which isn’t very nice – sitting down and having those conversations – but the interests of Ashington FC have got to come first and friendships put to one side. Damen will be a big miss because he was the ultimate professional if you like. He never caused any problems; he was always on time; he was a great trainer; he was good in the dressing room and he’s as fit as he’s ever been.”

Meanwhile on Sunday it was announced that Declan Bisset has left the club to try and gain regular first team football elsewhere with the club “wishing him the best of luck for the future.”