- Created on Sunday, 01 July 2012 16:08
- Written by Gareth Coates
Jamie Lawrence (Jamaica)
Jamie Lawrence was appointed player-manager of Ashford Town (Middlesex) in November 2009 following the resignation of Mark Butler. When he made his First Team debut in a 2-1 win at Harrow Borough on 7th November 2009, he became the first Full International to play for the club, having won 24 caps for Jamaica in an illustrious professional career that saw him the League Cup while at Leicester City as well as play in the Premier League for Bradford City.
Jamie's managerial career got off to a stunning start, as a twelve match unbeaten run in League games lifted the team to the brink of the play-off places. However, off-field issues sparked the departure of several players and a late season sequence of eight successive defeats dragged the team into the relegation zone. By the final day of the 2009-10 season, a win would see the club avoid relegation, while a draw would see the club finish in the relegation zone but almost certainly receive a reprieve due to issues at other clubs. A 6-2 home defeat at the hands of Harrow Borough saw the team relegated.
Jamie led the team through the 2010-11 campaign in the Southern League Central Division, which was ultimately a frustrating campaign. Although the team played some spectacular football, most notably in a 4-1 demolition of promoted Hitchin Town, consistency was a problem and Ashford eventually finished 16th in the League. The highlights of the season came from cup football, with the club enjoying a record-breaking run in the FA Trophy, reaching the last 3-2 before bowing out at home to Dartford in front of 500 spectators. The season also ended on a high note as Ashford won the Southern Combination Cup by defeating Hanworth Villa 1-0 in the Final. Jamie resigned in June 2011 for personal reasons and continued his playing career with Banstead Athletic before transferring to Cobham.
Jones Awuah (Ghana)
One of Jamie Lawrence's first signings, Jones Awuah arrived at the Robert Parker Stadium having played in the Football League for Gillingham and been capped twice for Ghana during his time as a professional. After leaving Priestfield, Jones played for numerous clubs including Sutton United, Beckenham Town, Dover Athletic, Bromley, Dorchester Town, Carshalton Athletic, Fisher Athletic, and Winchester City. In March 2009 he moved from Bognor Regis Town to Weymouth before transferring to Ashford. Jones scored three times in 13 appearances at the end of the 2009-10 season but found his feet during the following campaign, scoring 20 times in 39 games to end the season as the club's leading goalscorer.
Jones left the club in the summer of 2011 and joined Burgess Hill Town.
Alain Behi (Ivory Coast)
Alain Behi arrived at the club from Danish club Randers FC having won five caps for the Ivory Coast during a career that saw him play in France, Belgium and Greece. Alain is a defensive midfielder who holds both French and Ivorian citizenship and is the half brother of French international Florent Malouda and both Behi and Malouda began their careers at French club Châteauroux.
Alain was known for his combative approach to the game and scored twice for the Tangerines in 27 appearances before leaving the club and returning to France at the end of the 2010-11 season.
Andray Baptiste (Grenada)
Andray Baptiste had a brief spell with the club on a dual-registration basis during the 2010-11 season but holds a special place in the history of the club, as he became the first player to win an international cap while a registered Ashford Town player when he played for Grenada early in 2011.
A goalkeeper best known for his time at Harrow Borough and his sometimes flamboyant style, Andray Baptiste played eight times for Ashford before joining up with the Grenada squad and remaining in the country to work on the soccer school he has set up there.
Theron Wood, Luigi Hernandez, Donald Solomon and Mark Ebanks (Cayman Islands)
Theron Wood, Luigi Hernandez, Donald Solomon and Mark Ebanks travelled to England having been identified by the Cayman Islands FA as having the potential to improve by playing abroad. All three have played for the Under-23 and full national teams and were involved in the qualifying tournament for the 2012 Olympic Games (see team photo, below) and World Cup qualifying. Theron Wood was a skillful winger who made 13 appearances in Tangerine & White, scoring once and has played 9 times for his country's national team, scoring once. Luigi Hernandez has eight full international caps but made only four First Team appearances for Ashford. Mark Ebanks suffered from injury problems during his time in England and made only one appearance for the club, although he has 3 goals in 7 appearances for his country. Similarly, Donald Solomon made one subsitute appearance for the club and has won eleven full caps for the Cayman Islands. All four returned to the Cayman Islands in the spring of 2011 and registered with clubs in their home nation's top division.
Theron Wood and Luigi Hernandez both had short spells with Evesham United on trial in 2012, Hernandez having also trialled with Swindon Town during his second spell in England.
Georgie Giddings (England)
The first female international player to represent Ashford Town (Middlesex) and the first of either gender to have worn the Three Lions of England, Georgie Giddings signed for the Ash Trees in order to gain match fitness following an injury-hit final year at the University of Connecticut, for whom she made 48 appearances, scoring five times. Before studying in the United States, Georgie spent seven years at Chelsea. While at the Blues, Georgie represented her country at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-23 levels and she played in a European Under-19 Championship.
Georgie made her debut for Ashford in a 3-1 win over Northwood Ladies, playing in midfield and scoring a fine goal, although she is equally happy in defence. Georgie then moved to Sweden and played for IK Sirius before returning to England in July 2013.