TFF Non-League chats exclusively to one of the latest recruits to the Salford City revolution. Josh Askew talks us through his career to date, his idols and what he hopes to achieve during his time at the club.
It’s been a very busy few weeks for Salford City as they go in search of promotion from the National League North next season. The Ammies have already signed 10 players this summer as they look to bounce back from the heartbreak of losing the playoff semi-final to Halifax on penalties.
Josh Askew was the ninth man to come aboard. The 19-year-old left-back has spent the majority of his career at Blackburn Rovers. Askew worked his way up the club’s youth academy and has spent time on loan at both Ramsbottom United and Warrington Town in order to gain first team experience.
Q: Growing up or now do you or did you have an idol? If so, who?
A: Growing up I looked up to many players. If I was to choose one it would be Roberto Carlos as he is the left back I want to become and he plays a lot like the way I want to play. I love to watch Georgie Kinkladze on YouTube in the late 80s/early 90s. The way he ran past players mimicked the way Messi plays today and I love that. When you look at today, Danny Rose or Hector Bellerin would be players I’d want to learn from.
Q: How does it feel signing for an ambitious club like Salford?
A: Amazing. The feeling I have right now, watching people react to the news on social media such as Gary Neville is very special to me. You’ve just got to look at the signings Salford have already made to know they mean business.
Q: How much did you enjoy your time at Blackburn?
A: My nine years at Blackburn have been a roller coaster of emotions. Having so much attached to the club such as the area I first learnt to pass my driving test whilst living there with the football team for two years with four amazing house parents. I’ve grown up with my teammates from the age of 11 onwards and this has created lifelong friends and friends who I will hopefully play against or with in the future.
The club offered me everything to develop mentally, physically but also socially as well. They opened the doors for me to become the player and person I am today and I have to thank the club, the coaches and the staff for that. It was sad to leave but this is what football’s about. It’s dealing with decisions like being released which then opens doors such as Salford. This club’s aims to be in the Football League and you’d be daft not to be part of the journey.
Q: How much do you feel your loan spells at Ramsbottom and Warrington help you develop?
A: Both loan spells has had a massive influence on where I am today. I’ve learnt a lot from them. I wanted to come into it and thrive upon competitive games, playing in front of fans and having an influence in games. I believe I did that and I enjoyed football there more than ever before. Both clubs were very welcoming from the players, to the staff, to the fans and I have to thank them for their kind words and support. When I went on loan to Ramsbottom, it was the start of a story. I went from not playing for seven weeks and falling out of love with football and becoming frustrated as a result to then making the loan move and loving it again. Now, I believe signing for Salford is carrying on the story of Non-League. Loving football, loving game time and having an attachment to the fans which I’ve learnt is a massive part of being a footballer. It makes it all more worthwhile.
Q: Do you feel you have a good chance of achieving promotion with Salford in the forthcoming season?
A: I don’t want to tempt fate. There is a lot that we need to do, such as settle into the club and also gel together and most importantly achieve results. We need to start the season well and continue that for the rest of the campaign. With the players we’ve signed already, I believe if we can get things right we stand a very good chance of promotion. With the mass of signings we’ve made, it’ll be a massive underachievement if we don’t make it.
Q: Finally, looking ahead to the future, what are your career aspirations?
A: Looking into the future, I want to have a long and happy career to start off with. I want to win trophies and gain promotions wherever I go and whoever it is with. I want to play regular football because I have learnt it the hard way. Game time is where the enjoyment of the sport is for me. It’s not picking up a pay cheque, it’s playing in matches, making a difference and entertaining the fans, who are there supporting you every week through the good and the bad. Personally, I want to climb the leagues with Salford and make it into the Football League and during this period, I want to find my limits and push for success, wherever that is. Not everyone will play in the Premier League but I’d like to find my limits and play in the highest league possible for my ability and hopefully, that will happen at Salford.
I would just like to make a special appreciation message to all of my family and friends who have pushed me to achieve the likes of Salford being interested in me. At the start of the season, I felt this would not have been possible. I’d also like to say a massive thank you Gareth Seddon and the DRN team who’ve worked alongside me during my time in Non-League. They’ve offered me the support I needed for making my move to Salford possible.
We are very thankful that Askew has taken time out to answer these questions and wish him the best of luck next season with Salford and for the rest of his career.