Former Blyth Spartans manager Tom Wade will work alongside Steve Harmison after being named as joint-manager of EBAC Northern League club Ashington.
Wade led Spartans to the FA Cup Third Round in the 2014/15 season but left Croft Park in September last year after nearly five years with the Northumberland outfit.
He is now back in work after extensive talks with the Colliers and will work with Harmison as the club’s management team.
Speaking to the club’s official website Wade admitted that they had a great challenge ahead of them.
He said ““It’s a great challenge. Ever since I was a young kid and as a Blyth lad, I always looked forward to the derby games against Ashington. They are a big club just as I would say the same about North Shields and we need to get Ashington to that level.
There is a strong football base in Northumberland with the likes of Morpeth Town, Blyth Spartans, Blyth Town, Bedlington Terriers and Seaton Delaval – and Ashington needs to be a major part of being under that umbrella as well. They need to push on and be a successful side so as to make their supporters proud of the team.
The club have a fantastic set up and a new stand and I’m hoping the future is going to be rosy as we look to get things right on the pitch.”
Harmison was appointed as manager of his hometown club in February 2015 and helped them move away from the relegation zone, finishing in thirteenth place.
His first full season in charge saw the club finish a place higher in twelfth.
Last season they finished in sixteenth position, thirteen points clear of the relegation zone and following an end-of-season evaluation of the club’s performance chairman Ian Lavery MP has brought in Wade to help the former England cricketer.
Harmison described himself as “really pleased” that Wade would be joining him in the dugout and hailed it as a “massive coup” for the club.
He said “I just see it being very good and positive and for the club to get Tom on board is a massive coup and I’m really pleased.
“We need to grow the club – because we have got people running the club who have got bigger things on their plate at the moment including myself. The chairman [Ian Lavery] is running a campaign for the Labour party for the forthcoming election but if it wasn’t for him, Ashington would struggle to run a football club so we have to realise and understand where we are.
I missed five to six games last year and people don’t get the true perception of where Ashington FC is. They just think because they have a high profile chairman as well as myself that everything is rosy. Next season with a few additions to make us a better side, we’ll go in the right direction.
Tom will bring his experience and knowledge and I am going to stand side by side with a guy who I respect because he has given me so much advice and help over the years. He has managed in the Northern League and enjoyed success with Blyth Spartans. I think it’s a great step for Ashington FC but we have got to be patient – it’s as simple as that.”
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily) Image: Reuters Media