Ex-South Shields duo sign for Dunston UTS
Former South Shields duo Craig Baxter and Phil Turnbull have joined Northern Premier League East Division club Dunston UTS.
The completion of the Mariners’ transition to a full-time, professional status meant that both players brought an end to their time at the 1st Cloud Arena.
Baxter joined South Shields following his departure from Gateshead in the summer of 2016 and was a key part of Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s side as they claimed a historic quadruple in his first season with the club.
The experienced defender continued to be integral as the Mariners secured promotion from the Northern Premier League North Division and helped establish the club in step three of the non-league pyramid.
South Shields-born Turnbull has been recognised as one of the most talented midfielders in the North East non-league game over the last decade.
After becoming a firm favourite at Gateshead and Darlington, Turnbull joined his hometown club in the summer of 2018 and went on to make 85 appearances over the following two seasons.
Following their departure from South Shields, they will both be reunited with former Gateshead team-mate Chris Swailes, who has helped Dunston progress from the Northern League during his time as manager at the UTS Stadium.
Swailes believes the addition of Baxter and Turnbull shows how far the club has come over a “hectic” three years.
He told The Gazette: “Both lads bring great experience, knowhow and professionalism with them.
“They have played at a higher level; they have got clubs out of this league and that is very much our aim for this season.
“They are two great additions, and we are absolutely delighted to have them in our squad.
“As soon as South Shields made the move to full-time, you do wonder who you might have a chance of bringing in.
“I’m just delighted that Phil and Craig liked what they saw of the club, they liked the developments we have made at the ground and hopefully they can help us on to the next level.
“It’s a big move for us and it shows how far we have come as a club over the last few years.”