Lee Ashforth appointed new Harrogate Railway manager

Lee Ashforth (Caught Light Photography)Lee Ashforth (Caught Light Photography)
Lee Ashforth (Caught Light Photography)
New boss Lee Ashforth believes he has all the skills to succeed in management after taking over the managerial post at Harrogate Railway.

Ashforth was announced as Railway’s new manager on Wednesday following Billy Miller’s move to Northern Counties side Tadcaster Albion.

The goalkeeper has been Miller’s right-hand man at Railway for the last three years, and also previously worked under him at Liversedge.

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Ashforth said: “I have worked with him as assistant for five years and Eric Gilchrist another two at Ossett Albion. I feel like I have served my apprenticeship. After seven years as an assistant manager it was about time to put my toe into the water and have a go at it.

“It was always my ambition to go and be a manager. You get stuck in the number two role and be a sounding board more than a decision maker, and that’s something I’m going to have to get used to.”

With Miller set to approach some of Railway’s hottest property, and Rob Youhill and Malachi Farquharson already headed for pastures new, Ashforth knows he has a job on his hands to recreate the successful campaign of 2014/15.

And he said rebuilding the relationship with Harrogate Town would be key to his plans.

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He said: “Last season we probably over-achieved, but we did fantastically well and we were only a few points off the play-offs as it turns out.

“Whether or not we can replicate that, I’m not sure. We will need to rebuild the squad. We’ve lost Malachi and Robbie Youhill, and I’m sure Billy might take one or two with him to Tadcaster. That will leave a few gaps that I will need to fill.

“One of the first things I will need to do is link with Simon Weaver again at Harrogate Town and get that going. I’m sure that won’t be an issue because I have always got on well with Simon.”

Railway held an emergency board meeting on Friday to discuss potential replacements should Miller be handed the Tadcaster job.

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But chairman Nigel Corner admitted the club never looked further than Ashforth, saying he would provide continuity from the success achieved under Miller’s reign.

He said: “Once it became apparent that it was likely Billy was going to Tadcaster, we knew we had to move fast. We didn’t want to be a rudderless ship at this time of year and our players to be available for easy pickings.

“We have Ash who is a continuation of Billy in some respects. He’s a well known person, an FA coach with great contacts and he’s a great lad. I think he’ll do a great job.”

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