With a wealth of promising midfield talent coming through at Auchenhowie there’s has been much written about the career prospects of players like Billy Gilmour, Jamie Barjonas and Liam Burt but one player who has quietly went about things in the background with the minimum of fuss is Max Ashmore.
The young central midfielder has been a key part of Graeme Murty’s Development League squad this season, making 23 starts and a handful of sub appearances, typically operating as the holding midfielder and protecting the back four while allowing others to get forward in support of the attackers. Throughout the 2016/17 campaign Ashmore has been one of the most important players in Murty’s tactical system and has rarely put a foot out of place and has shown a high level of consistency in his performances regardless of opposition.
After joining the club seven years ago, the 18-year-old has progressed through the various age groups in the Academy and is pushing for a place in Pedro Caixinha’s first-team squad as he aims to continue his development and kick on to the next level; both Dumbarton and Clyde wanted to take him on loan in January but the moves were knocked back by Academy head Craig Mulholland.
Strong in the tackle and with a fantastic range of passing, Ashmore has all the tools to make a very good career for himself at Ibrox, however, with his contract up at the end of the season it may be that he’s forced to take a step back to take two steps forward long-term. He’s also one of those player who are VERY vocal on the pitch as he cajoles his team-mates and, on occassion, takes out his frustration on officials without putting himself at risk of a booking.
Like a number of other Auchenhowie prospects, Max has been regularly training with the first-team squad and in recent weeks even found himself shunted out to left-back in the U20s in the absence of Myles Beerman but, with him noticeably missing in central midfield, it was a short-lived experiment and he was quickly restored to his usual berth. Max has also found himself captaining the U20s recently with Ross McCrorie out on loan at Dumbarton and Aidan Wilson unavailable.
With rumours of major changes at Auchenhowie in the coming weeks, hopefully it sees the midfielder’s Ibrox stay extended long into the future.