Ashley Hunter

Full Contact Player

Ashley Hunter

Fleetwood Town

Forward

29.09.1995

English

Ashley was at his hometown club Derby until the age of 14, before impressing as a prolific goalscorer in amateur football. He was signed by Burton Albion as a scholar, and despite good performances throughout a long term injury limited his game time and he was unfortunate to not receive a professional contract.

Following a trial with non-league side Ilkeston, Ashley put pen to paper at the Evo-Stik NPL club. Beginning the season with their u21/reserve side, Ashley caught the eye as he scored in every game he played - a total of 13 goals in 7 appearances. Able to play either as a winger, number 10 or striker his first-team debut was to come in the FA Trophy on the 1st November and he made his league debut on the 15th November taking over the shirt from fellow Full Contact client Che Adams (who had the day before signed for Sheffield United).

On that league debut away to Whitby Ashley would score twice in a 3-1 win, and he scored again in his second appearance as Ashley begun the path towards realising his dream of turning professional. An excellent performance on Boxing Day particularly caught the eye and - despite only making 8 League appearances - Ashley transferred to League One club Fleetwood Town for an undisclosed fee on the 5th January 2015, signing an 18 month professional contract.

Ashley's first appearance in a Fleetwood shirt came on 27th January 2015 in an under 21 game away to Leeds; he scored both goals in a 2-0 win. This would have caught the eye of manager Graham Alexander for days later he travelled with the first team squad to Bristol City.

On the 7th October 2015, little more than one month after completing his transfer from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Ashley made his professional debut when he was called off the bench in the 76th minute against Peterborough in League One. Ashley made a good first impression ; a superb and run and cross nearly resulted in a goal and Graham Alexander commented on how Ash had 'lit the place up' after making his professional and League bow. Ashley would immediately become a regular member of Fleetwood's matchday squad, named as a sub in every one of the ten games Fleetwood played since his debut and entering the field of play in five of those games.

Ashley's sixth appearance came on 29th March 2015 in front of the Sky TV cameras; entering the field of play at half-time with his side 1-0 down to Preston, Ash played a key part in securing a 1-1 draw against their local rivals. On his eighth substitute appearance - at home to Yeovil Town on Easter Monday - Ashley scored his first professional goal; a very tidy finish from Proctor's cross in the 83rd minute.

By the end of the season, Ashley had appeared 12 times in League One (3 times as a starter) and a fairy-tale season has set him up well to progress further in 2015/2016.

During the early part of the 2015/2016 season Ashley showed prolific form for Fleetwood's development side whilst he awaited his next first team opportunity - scoring 12 goals in just 8 appearances, including goals against the likes of Burnley, Preston, Glasgow Rangers and even Rapid Vienna. Surprisingly this was not enough to earn him another taste of first team action, and it was not until Graham Alexander's tenure ended that Ash returned immediately - coming on as a sub on the 6th October in the Football League Trophy against Shrewsbury in front of newly appointed Steven Pressley. Ash's cameo performance caught the eye; entering the field of play 1-0 down, Ash scored, hit the post and set up the winner. On the 10th October 2015 Ash was back in the Football League, starting in Pressley's first League game at home to Coventry and on the 17th October he scored in a 4-0 win against the club that released him as a youngster, Burton Albion - his second Football League goal. On Boxing Day 2015, Ash scored with his first touch as a substitute, earning Fleetwood a vital away draw at Shrewsbury and he scored again as a starter on the 2nd January 2016 against Bury - meaning in his pro career to that point Ash had scored a total of 4 League goals in just 6 starts and in the current season in all first team appearances averaging a goal per 82 minutes of play.

In the Football League Trophy, Fleetwood progressed to the semi-finals and Ash starred in both legs - creating Fleetwood's only goal in the first leg and then scoring in the home leg in front of the Sky cameras. Ash's 4th League goal of the season was a super strike against Scunthorpe on the 20th February and his 5th League goal (in just his 9th start) came against Sheffield United in early March. At the end of Ash's first full season in professional football, he had started 12 League games, appeared 12 times as a substitute and scored 7 goals in all competitions.

In August 2016 - under new manage Uwe Rosler - Ash signed a new long-term contract at Fleetwood. He also scored his first goal of the season on the 10th August against Leeds (in the League Cup) with his first League goal coming on the 20th August against Oxford. After another goal against Southend in late August, Ash would wait until late October before scoring three superb goals in successive games - against Millwall, Gillingham and Bristol Rovers. On the 14th January 2017, Ash scored his 10th goal of the season (and 7th League goal) against Bristol Rovers again.






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