South Shields sign former Wales youth international from Blyth Spartans

Alex Nicholson is hoping to make his South Shields debut on Saturday.

Alex Nicholson is hoping to make his South Shields debut on Saturday.

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South Shields have completed the signing of former Wales Under-19s starlet Alex Nicholson from Blyth Spartans.

The 22-year-old, who came through the ranks at Newcastle United and has also had a spell with Preston North End, can play in a variety of roles.

He is best known as a right-back or right midfielder, but he has also proved to be adept at left-back, in the centre of defence or midfield.

After establishing himself in the reserve team at Newcastle, Nicholson left St James's Park in 2013 to join Preston.

A year later, he joined Spartans, where he has spent a successful two-and-a-half-year spell.

He is excited at the new challenge ahead at Mariners Park, having trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Tuesday.

Nicholson said: "I'm delighted to have signed.

"I've worked with Lee Picton before at Blyth, and everyone has heard a load about Shields.

"They try to play football the right way and for me, it's something new to get my teeth into.

"As soon as I found out that South Shields were interested, I got on the phone to Dillon Morse and Louis Storey, who I know.

"They were just singing the club's praises about everything, on and off the pitch.

"As soon as I knew they were interested, I definitely wanted to speak to them."

Nicholson joins less than a fortnight after former Blyth and Newcastle team-mate Michael Richardson made the same move to Mariners Park.

He is hoping to be available to make his debut for Shields in Saturday's Northern League Division One fixture at Washington, which will be subject to final FA approval.

Nicholson is also looking forward to his first taste of action at Mariners Park as a home player.

He added: "I can't wait to play a game. I haven't played for a while, so to play games is something I'm really looking forward to.

"I've trained with the lads and seen what everyone is about. The standard was great.

"I've also heard a lot about the atmosphere with the fans, which I've never experienced here.

"I sent my dad down to watch Shields a few weeks ago, and he was really impressed with the whole set-up.

"I can't wait to see what it's like on a matchday."