Midfielder Andrew Stephenson '˜buzzing' to join Shields' adventure

South Shields have completed the signings of midfielder Andrew Stephenson and defender Gavin Caines.

New South Shields signing Andrew Stephenson
New South Shields signing Andrew Stephenson

Stephenson, who can play anywhere across the midfield, joins from Evo-Stik League Premier Division side Spennymoor Town, having had a hugely successful four-and-a-half-year spell at the club.

Centre-back Caines, meanwhile, has signed on a dual-registration deal with Blyth Spartans, having joined the Croft Park outfit from Rushall Olympic in the summer.

Both players are available for today’s Northern League Division One match against Ashington at Mariners Park.

Stephenson, 26, won the Northern League title and FA Vase during his time at Spennymoor, and leaves the Brewery Field with a record of 51 goals in 190 appearances.

He has expressed his excitement after linking up with the Mariners.

Stephenson said: “I’m absolutely buzzing to be here and really excited as to what lies ahead.

“I can’t wait to get started.

“I know all about the ambition and where the club wants to be, with an aim to go up through the leagues, and I want to be part of trying to help the club grow.

“The club has a good support and I know a few of the lads who are already here, including Gavin Cogdon, Wayne Phillips and Robert Briggs, who I played with at Spennymoor.

“I spoke to them and they had got nothing but good things to say about the club.

“I achieved a lot at Spennymoor and only have great memories from my time there.

“It was a very difficult one to leave them, but I’m excited about the challenge ahead.”

Caines, meanwhile, is a 33-year-old defender who has bags of experience in the professional career, having started at Walsall before being a regular for six years at Cheltenham Town.

He was part of the Cheltenham team which took on Newcastle United in the fifth round of the FA Cup in 2006, and also played at the Stadium of Light a year earlier in the League Cup against Sunderland.

The Birmingham-born player has also played for Kidderminster Harriers and Forest Green Rovers in the past, and moved to the North East in the summer.

Kick-off at Mariners Park for South Shields’ clash with Ashington today is at 3pm.

Admission prices – to be paid at the turnstiles – are £6 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.