Nicholls born in Ipswich, started his career in the youth of his home town club. Towards the end of the 2001/02 season, whilst still in the Tractor Boys youth set-up, he was loaned out to Canvey Island where he made 2 appearances scoring a single goal. Ipswich Town decided not to offer Ashley a contract at the end of the 01/02 season. |
Darlington manager, Tommy Taylor gave the midfielder a trial in pre-season where he did enough to impress, and so in the summer he joined Darlo on a free transfer. He stayed for two seasons, tallying 76 games and 7 goals, also picking up a young player of the year award. On his debut for The Quakers, he scored against future club Cambridge United.
February 2004, saw Nicholls go out on loan to Cambridge United, who he joined permanently in the summer. Ashley stayed for two seasons turning out in over 50 games for The U's.
Former Cambridge United boss, Barry Hunter, now at Rushden & Diamonds, re-signed Nicholls on a three-month loan deal in August 2005. He then signed for The Diamonds permanently in the following January transfer window.
"Everyone has seen how popular he is within the squad. What you see is what you get as he always gives his all in every game and each training session." praised Hunter.
Ashley was then signed by Frank Gray for The Blues in the summer of 2006, he played 42 games in a variety of competitions. These include the Nationwide Conference, the FA Cup, the FA Trophy and the Essex Senior Cup. The midfielder's contract expired at the end of the 2006/07 season and he was released from the club, much to the disappointment of the fans.
Details correct as of 31st May 2007