Dillon Morse is convinced he can make the “next step” in his career after swapping Blyth Spartans for South Shields.
The highly-rated defender, 21, was a regular for the Spartans last season as they finished second in the Evo-Stik Premier Division on 99 points.
“The ambition of the club is massive, and I think I can really take the next step in my career with South Shields.”Dillon Morse
However, along with assistant manager Lee Picton and midfielder Matthew Wade, he has been convinced to swap Croft Park for South Tyneside.
While that represents a drop of two leagues, former Gateshead and Carlisle United prospect Morse feels it will be a case of one step back, two steps forward.
He said: “This is a big opportunity, and one I couldn’t turn down.
“After speaking to the chairman (Geoff Thompson) and hearing about the project, I didn’t want to miss out on the chance of joining.
“The project is huge, and it would have been stupid for me to turn it down.
“The ambition of the club is massive, and I think I can really take the next step in my career with South Shields.”
Morse is particularly excited about linking up with Picton again.
He added: “We had a good season at Blyth, and I really appreciated my time there.
“I’m sad to leave, but this was too big an opportunity to turn down.
“Lee Picton was very good to work with at Blyth, and was a big part of me joining Shields.
“The way he approaches matchdays and gets the team set up, and his coaching sessions are really good. It’s exciting stuff for South Shields.”
Morse is already familiar with the Northern League, having had an impressive spell with Newcastle Benfield before joining Gateshead.
He is Shields’ sixth signing of the summer, joining Wade, David Palmer, Craig Baxter, Gavin Gordon and Liam Connell.
They could make their debut for the club in the Raydale Cup, a pre-season competition taking place in Gretna on July 9 and 10.
As well as the Mariners, Ayr United, Queen of the South and Gretna are also involved.
For details on coach travel to the competition, call 0191 454 7800.