Ashton United’s Ryan Crowther will not kick a ball in the 2017-18 EVO-STIK League campaign.
The EVO-STIK League Premier’s Robins urged their midfielder, pictured, to “stay strong” on Twitter on Thursday after he was ruled out for the upcoming season following a scan confirming torn medial and cruciate ligaments in his knee.
Ahead of his side’s trip to Hednesford Town on Saturday’s opening day, Robins manager Jody Banim told fans he was “absolutely devastated” for the midfield dynamo who scored 15 goals last term and suffered the serious injury during the first half of the club’s pre-season friendly against Radcliffe Borough.
After describing the 28-year-old as “a shining light for us last season”, Banim told the club’s website: “I was really looking forward to watching him and Matty Chadwick pick up where they left off. The club will offer its full support in Ryan’s rehab and we’ll hopefully have him back fit for the start of the 2018-19 season.”
After making 22 appearances and scoring three times in 2011, Crowther is in his second spell at Hurst Cross after rejoining in 2016 from Altrincham. Born in Stockport, he kicked off his career at Stockport County before moving to Liverpool in 2007 and featuring for their reserve team during season 2007-08. He has also had spells at Stalybridge Celtic, Hyde, Fleetwood Town and Halifax Town.
Banim has already moved quickly to find a replacement for Crowther after re-signing Jack Dyche on loan from League One side Scunthorpe United on an initial six-month deal.