Ashton recognised for Reserves achievements

Date published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011

OLDHAM RL Club have publicly recognised Paul Ashton’s “fantastic” work as John Hough’s assistant coach at reserve-team level.

The number of RFL winners’ medals Roughyeds received for their under-23s’ championship final triumph over Widnes Vikings didn’t stretch to the coach’s No 2, so Oldham got on to the RFL and had an extra one made specially.

“Ashy did a fantastic job and played a massive role in the squad’s trophy-winning season,” said club chairman Chris Hamilton. “He deserved a medal, so we took steps to get him one. I know how much he will treasure it.”

Revealing that 32-year-old Ashton was not on the club’s pay-roll, the chairman added: “Like a lot of other clubs, we rely on volunteers. Ashy is one of those. He works for us for no money. I’m not particularly proud to say that, but it is a fact.

“Money or not, he worked wonders alongside Houghie and the players will tell you the same.

“He cajoled, bullied and coaxed them because he wants these lads to go as far as they can in rugby league.”

A former scrum-half with several pro clubs, including Halifax, Keighley, Rochdale Hornets and Oldham, Ashton was also a leading player for both Saddleworth Rangers and Oldham St Anne’s.

He said: “Houghie and I complement each other. We bounce ideas off each other. They don’t always work, but if you don’t try these things you’ll never know.

“I get a great kick out of seeing reserve-team lads move up to the first team and do well. We’ve had a few this year, and I hope we can bring more through next year and keep the conveyor belt running.”