Football / Non-League Notebook: Ashurst brings breath of life

Rupert Metcalf
Friday 18 December 1992 00:02
Comments

LEN ASHURST is a veteran at the manager's game. In a long career at all levels of the Football League, he guided Newport County to the quarter-finals of the European Cup-Winners' Cup and also had spells at Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland and Cardiff, writes Rupert Metcalf.

Now, however, Ashurst has taken on a tough challenge with a once-proud non-League club. Weymouth were founder members of the Alliance Premier League in 1979, and were often regarded as a good bet for advancement to the League - especially when they moved to their smart new Wessex Stadium in 1987. Two years later, though, they were relegated to the Beazer Homes League, and then they slipped even further, from the Premier to the Southern Division, in 1991.

The Dorset club were promoted back to the Beazer Premier at the first attempt last season, but they have struggled this term and currently lie four points adrift at the bottom of the table. All is not well off the pitch, either, as Dorset police are investigating alleged financial irregularities.

Weymouth's tradition and reputation remains strong, however. When they advertised for a new manager last month, Tony Barton, who won the European Cup with Aston Villa, and David Armstrong, the former Southampton and England midfielder, were among a distinguished list of applicants.

They offered the job to Leighton James, the former Burnley and Wales winger, who at first accepted it, then turned it down for personal reasons. A permanent appointment is being lined up for the new year, but for now Ashurst is in charge as a temporary 'consultant' manager.

'My job is to bring in new players and improve the playing standards of the club, as we are well adrift of a safe place in the league at the moment,' Ashurst said this week. 'There is a good set-up here with the new ground and training pitch, but the team is not up to scratch.'

Last week, Ashurst led Weymouth to their first league success of the season, a 1-0 home win over Hastings. 'He has brought a breath of fresh air in to the club,' Lionel Griffin, their secretary, said. 'He is a very professional manager.'

Ashurst's last club was Pahang, a state side in Malaysia, but illness forced to him to curtail his stay there after four months. 'Pahang went on to win their league after I left,' Ashurst, who hopes to return to League management in this country, said. 'I hope I can leave Weymouth in a similarly healthy state.'

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in