By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC’s vice captain Karl Ross said it was’ hard to put into words’ his reaction to the news that manager Ian Skinner will be stepping down from his role as manager at the end of the season.

The 25 year old said that the players were told of the decision by Skinner ahead of training on Tuesday night: “We were getting ready (for training) when Ian came in and got us together in a huddle – then he broke the news to us,” he said, “It was emotional and it’s hard to put things into words because I’ve been on this journey with the boss for over five years and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. We are a tight knit group and it was a bombshell because we just didn’t expect the news.”

Skinner took over the managerial reins in January 2019 when the club were going through a challenging period but three years later he guided the Colliers to silverware as they won both the Northern League Cup and Cleator Cup.

Last season the Wansbeck outfit reached the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup before gracefully bowing out against National League North outfit King’s Lynn.

However on the final day of the Ebac Northern League campaign, Skinner’s side clinched second place in the first division after securing a 1-1 draw at Bishop Auckland and only a week later were promoted to the Pitching In Northern Premier League East Division following an emphatic 3-0 victory over Glossop North End.