Josh Ashby signs long-term deal

Ashby
Article by Dan Church

Youngster Josh Ashby has signed his first professional contract at Oxford United.

The highly-rated midfielder has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at the club, with the option of a further two years at the Kassam Stadium.

The 17-year-old has been an instrumental part of Chris Allen’s Under-18 side with his great composure, creativity and ability to score important goals.

The Oxford-born youngster follows the likes of Max Crocombe, Sam Long, David Lynn, Callum O’Dowda and Tyrone Marsh in breaking into United’s professional ranks.

Ashby will also take great encouragement from teammates Matt Bevans and Josh Ruffels, with the Us pair impressing for the first team this season after breaking away from the clubs development squad.

Boss Allen said: “Josh fully deserves his chance. He listens to advice, works hard at his game and has been outstanding for us.

“He really underlined his potential in the FA Youth Cup games against Swansea and Cardiff and he has done well when he has trained with the first team. We think he has a very bright future and are pleased that it will be with Oxford United.”

Meanwhile Oxford chairman Ian Lenagan was also keen to add his congratulations for the youngster: “It is great to see talented young footballers from Oxford as part of the first team squad.

“Josh is a player we all hold in great regard. He knows he has a lot of hard work ahead of him but at 17 he has a wonderful opportunity to be part of what the club is trying to build for the future.”

After becoming the first player of this campaign’s youth team to secure a professional contract, Ashby was delighted in fulfilling his ambition.

“It is something you dream of; to be a professional footballer at your local club. I will not get carried away though. Chris Allen has been great and has always said that if you work hard enough you will get your opportunity” said the 17 year-old.

“I just want to keep working at my game and make the step up from youth team games to training and playing as a professional.”