By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Ashley Allanson will use his new player-coach role at Northern Counties East League Premier Division side Bridlington Town to aid his own future.
Allanson, who holds the UEFA B coaching license, was appointed to the job after the return of his father Gary as Bridlington manager last month.
The midfielder holds the role alongside player-assistant Wayne Aziz and having been a coach at the Hull City Academy for eight years, Allanson believes the time was right to get involved in coaching at semi-professional level.
He said: “With me being down here for nearly six years and having a bit more responsibility and having coaching qualifications, he (father Gary) asked if I wanted to step up and do a bit more of the coaching side as well as playing.
“I said it sounded good and took the role and to start with in the first few sessions I was just bedding into it and helping set up while my dad took the sessions. Recently though I have had a bit more confidence and I’ve took a few warm-ups.
“It is a role that I wanted to take for my own development.”
Allanson remains a key player in Bridlington’s midfield. He joined the club in July 2008 after his father and Tim Hotte were appointed as joint-managers.
He won the Premier Division title in 2010 with Bridlington and been involved in East Riding Senior Cup triumphs.
When asked on whether he did think he was too young for the role, he said: “Yes and no. I’ve 26 now and nearly 27 and there is a lot more young coaches getting into the game.
“I know Mark Jackson at Farsley and I know he is a bit older than me, but he has done really well since he has gone into coaching.
“Because I have been coaching a long time and at the level I have coached with the Hull City academy lads, I think it may be the right time. I know some people may say I’m a bit young. But because I have the experience playing-wise as well the coaching at Hull, I thought the role was something I could implement and incorporate into my own personal development.
“It is something good to have on the CV and it is going to be difficult from a young age to get the respect of the players, but luckily because I’m a well-established player here, you are hoping you have the respect anyway. To be fair the lads have responded quite well.”
Until joining Bridlington, former Scunthorpe youngster Allanson had been playing for then Conference National outfit Farsley Celtic. He had been loaned out to North Ferriby United in January 2008 before being released by Farsley the following summer.
Despite dropping four divisions to play for Bridlington, Allanson has always remained loyal and he explained why: “When I left Farsley I was at Hull University doing my studies and I wasn’t getting much game-time so I had to make a decision to whether get some game-time or be happy sat on the bench getting bit-parts.
“At the time, rightly or wrongly I decided to go to North Ferriby and it didn’t really work out for me. I struggled to get to grips with the level and the intensity. It is a bit different as you drop down the leagues.
“I fell out of love with the game and I was 20-21 and I didn’t have a clue where I was going to go. That’s when my dad took the joint manager role at Bridlington and he asked me to come and get my enjoyment back.
“I’ve loved it here ever since and I have had a few offers to move to a higher level and move on, but I’ve always stayed here because it is right for me. I love the club and before my dad came back in, I had a good two years with Mitch Cook. And with my dad coming back in, it was right to stay on again.
“The level suits me down to the ground in terms of travelling distances and I’ve always felt it was a good family club. I get on well with the staff, the fans and the chairman Pete (Smurthwaite).”