Robinson steps up at Hurst Cross
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Ashton United have unveiled Craig Robinson as their new manager, writes Jez Sayle.
The Premier Division Robins say the Liverpool-born defender, pictured, has taken over at Hurst Cross with immediate effect as the permanent replacement for Danny Johnson following his exit to Nantwich Town.
Robinson, 30, joined Ashton in 2008 and was player-assistant manager to Johnson over much of the last two seasons. He will be registered to play next season should he need to add to his 176 appearances for the club.
In a triple announcement on Tuesday, Ashton completed their managerial reshuffle by naming former Glossop joint-manager Paul Williams as assistant manager and confirmed that keeper Paul Phillips has been offered a coaching role while continuing to fight for the number one jersey.
Williams, 43, enjoyed a long professional career at Stockport, Coventry, Plymouth, Gillingham and Bury before moving into Non-League with Leigh RMI. Phillips won multiple awards this season and also played alongside Robinson at Droylsden.
Ashton United Chairman David Aspinall revealed they'd originally feared Robinson might follow his old boss to The Weaver Stadium or not want the role yet while continuing to play.
Aspinall said: "As soon as Danny advised us he was leaving for Nantwich our thoughts turned to Robbo as a possible replacement. However, we advertised the position because we were under the impression that he wanted to continue playing above considering a player-management role at this moment in time.
"Craig's passion and commitment were qualities that we [the Board] admire tremendously and as soon as he indicated to us that he would like to be considered for the post, we knew we had our man."
Aspinall added: "I've contacted all the other applicants thanking them for their interest in the vacancy; it was heartening to receive applications from a wide range of quality managers - both experienced and up-and-coming - but we feel we have the right person in Robbo to build on the stable platform created by his predecessor and take the club forward."
Management is nothing new to the Robinson family. While his father played in and managed teams in and around the Liverpool area, brother Karl - a semi-professional footballer at the likes of Marine and Prescot Cables - became the Football League's youngest manager in 2010 when he took over at MK Dons.
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