Leonard James Ashby
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
|West Torrens||SANFL||1921-1928, 1932-1933, 1936||121||31||0.26||—||—||—||—||—|
|Total||1921-1928, 1932-1933, 1936||121||31||0.26||—||—||—||—||—|
Immensely solid and reliable, Len ‘Buck’ Ashby was a key player for West Torrens for much of the 1920s and on into the 1930s. His 121 league games (the first of which was played in 1921) for the club included a useful performance in the back pocket in the winning challenge final of 1924 against Sturt (briefly reviewed here). Ashby also played, as a ruckman, in Torrens’ second premiership side in 1933, when he was the only survivor from the club’s victorious 1924 combination.
Club captain and joint coach (with Johnny Karney) in 1928, Ashby spent the 1930 season as non-playing coach, only to oversee a dismal year that yielded just three wins from 17 matches, and the club’s first wooden spoon of the twentieth century. Len Ashby’s four interstate appearances for South Australia came at the 1927 Melbourne carnival.
Having retired after the 1933 season, he was in 1934 appointed non-playing coach of Port Adelaide, and spent two years at the helm, guiding the team to consecutive second place finishes. His final stint in league football came at South Adelaide, where he spent the period between 1937 and 1945 (excluding the war time competition years of 1942 to ‘44) as non-playing coach, guiding the team to a flag in 1938, and to losing grand final appearances in 1937 and 1940.
Author - John Devaney