South Shields snap up Blyth Spartans midfielder
South Shields FC have made their second signing of the summer after midfielder Matthew Wade agreed to join from Blyth Spartans.
The 24-year-old opted not to extend his stay at Croft Park at the end of last season, and has now made the move to Mariners Park.
Wade has been a regular with Spartans since joining in 2013, and was involved in their run to the third round of the FA Cup in the 2014-15 campaign.
Last season, he was part of the Blyth side which finished second in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division on 99 points, and were also runners-up in the Northumberland Senior Cup.
The former Washington and West Allotment Celtic man says he is now relishing a new challenge with the Mariners, where he will again link up with assistant manager Lee Picton, who joined Shields from Blyth earlier this month.
Wade said: "I spoke to the manager, Jon King, as well as Lee and everyone at the club, and I was really impressed with the ambition shown.
"I was looking for a new challenge after being with Blyth for three seasons, and this seems like a very good fit.
"A couple of other clubs were onto me and I've had a lot of interest, but it was the project of Shields which swung it in their favour.
"Everything about the club is going in the right direction, and when I've spoken to Jon and Lee about the way they want to play football and their plans, it has sounded really exciting and it suits me."
Wade is dropping down two divisions to join Shields, but insists he has no trepidation about playing Northern League football.
However, an immediate promotion is his aim.
The defensive midfielder added: "I think the Northern League is a really good standard, so for me there's not much difference moving down.
"There are really good quality players in the Northern League, so it will be a good challenge.
"To get promotion is definitely the challenge here after speaking to Jon and Lee.
"It's very exciting, especially with the town and everyone getting involved, and the crowds going up. It's really exciting times here, and I can't wait to be a part of it."
David Palmer was Shields' first signing of the summer, with the midfielder having joined from Seaham Red Star.