SAM Ashford’s move to Vanarama National League South side East Thurrock United can be a pathway that others at Witham Town can follow according to manager Mark Ashford.
Mark has seen his son’s excellent form for Witham this year earn him a move up two steps in the non-league football pyramid.Sam has also claimed English FA representative honours when he played under England C manager Paul Fairclough in two games in the Falkland Islands in November and the Witham boss said it was a deserved move
The final contribution Sam had in a Witham shirt was scoring the winning goal in their 1-0 Bostik League division north victory at Maldon & Tiptree last weekend and it is form like that that has caught the eye of East Thurrock.
It is an exciting opportunity for the former Tottenham Hotspur and Mark said it encapsulate the philosophy that his club should have in encouraging young players on to higher levels.
He said: “Sam has had a few options and has turned down a lot of clubs in our own league who have been looking at him but this is a good move with a step two club and we wish him well.
“He’s 23 and he’s ready to be moving up to the next level.
“Now it’s the turn of the next ones coming through and that should be the philosophy of our club.“We want to attract some of the best youngsters in football, who will know that they’re going to play and that they’re going to get a great education in football.
“They will know that they are going to be better players for it; stay two or three seasons and we’ll help them move on.
“They won’t be held back and that is the philosophy of our club.
“Resources dictate that we can’t bring in the most experienced and big-name players in this league so we have to be very clever in our recruitment and the development of our youth structure.
“I’m really excited about that.
“I want to be here for some time so I can leave a real legacy where there is a proper culture and identity left behind.
By Simon Spurgeon
Updated 16:43 - 2 Jan 2019 by swifty