Quadruple winners South Shields have made their first signing of the summer after announcing the arrival of former Newcastle United midfielder Matty Pattison.
The South African international has joined the Mariners from Blyth Spartans after a one-year spell at Croft Park which saw him help the club win the Evo-Stik Premier Division title on 101 points.
The 30-year-old started his career with Newcastle United, playing for the club in the Premier League before a one-and-a-half-year spell with Norwich City.
A six-year spell in South Africa followed, with Pattison playing for Mamelodi Sundowns, Engen Santos and Bidvest Wits in the country of his birth.
During that time, he also broke into the South Africa national team’s squad, making five appearances.
He returned to England and joined Gateshead in 2014, spending two years with the Tynesiders before moving onto Blyth last season.
Pattison joins the Mariners just three days after they completed a quadruple of trophy wins with victory in the FA Vase final.
He said: “I’m very excited to be here. Once I heard of the interest and came and spoke to those at the club, I was straightaway keen to get signed.
“I’m over the moon it has happened and looking forward to getting started.
“I’ve followed the club a lot over the last couple of years and have got a lot of friends who play for the club and have had a lot of good things to say about it.
“Speaking to the management team and chairman, it’s a club that’s certainly on the up, and they’ve got real vision and ambition.
“That is what really sold it for me in the end.
“It’s not about where they are now, but about where they want to be in the years down the line.
“That really excites me and I’m looking forward to getting my career back on track and really cracking on with things.”
Pattison was born in Johannesburg, and moved to England with his family when he was 11, before joining Newcastle’s academy three years later.
After breaking into the first-team squad at St James’s Park in the pre-season of 2004-05, he missed the entire campaign with two knee ligament injuries, which at the time put his career under threat.
However, he bounced back and made a successful professional career for himself before his move to Blyth last summer.
The midfielder is now looking forward to the challenge of living up to the Mariners’ successes of the last year next season.
He added: “It will be very tough to mirror what the club has done this season, because they’ve been brilliant.
“They’re moving up a level and are going to be playing against better players and better opposition, but I’m sure we’ll do very well and that the lads will be looking forward to the challenge.
“As a player, you want to play at the highest level you can and keep challenging yourself.
“I’m sure the whole club, and especially the players here, will be looking forward to that.”