Former Sheffield Wednesday and Gateshead frontman Jon Shaw aims to fire South Shields to success
Jon Shaw has set his sights high after joining South Shields '“ and says the Mariners must attack on all fronts next season.
The striker has agreed to move to Mariners Park after being released by Gateshead over the summer.
The former Burton Albion, Sheffield Wednesday and Luton Town frontman has achieved much in his career so far, but insists his hunger remains as strong as ever.
And the 32-year-old is convinced he can help Shields have a successful season in 2016-17, with the Northern League Division One title and FA Vase in his sights.
Shaw said: “The Northern League is a tough league. I’ve seen it first-hand, I know a lot of lads who play in it and it’s not going to be easy.
“With the players we’ve got, though, we’ve got to look at winning the league.
“We must get minimum promotion, but we’ve got to look at winning the league.
“The other side is if we can go on a good cup run and get ourselves a nice day at Wembley in the FA Vase.
“Playing at Wembley is something I’ve just missed out on during my career. I’ve been close a few times.
“Just the opportunity to play there is a big thing, and with the success the North East has had in the FA Vase, it’s something that I really want to do.
“I want to experience Wembley and I want to win at Wembley.”
Shaw started his career with hometown club Sheffield Wednesday and played for them in the Championship, but really found his feet with Burton Albion.
Prolific spells with the likes of Halifax Town and Gateshead – over three spells – followed, and he has been a professional since 2003.
However, the former England C international feels a move to the part-time game has come at the perfect time.
He added: “A physiotherapist said to me a few years ago, ‘you’ve got a body made for part-time’.
“I’m a little bit 100 miles an hour, and like to give it everything I’ve got every time I’m on a football pitch or training pitch.
“Sometimes that has worked against me, because I’ve had a few little muscle injuries here and there.
“My hunger is to play. I want to play for not just the next two or three years.
“I said to the chairman (Geoff Thompson) that I’d love to still be playing at 40 years old, and that’s a genuine thing.
“I want to play for as long as I possibly can, so being part-time is hopefully going to give me that opportunity.”
After he had made the decision to move into part-time football, Shaw was not short of offers.
So what made him decide South Shields was the ideal destination?
He said: “There were a few clubs interested, including a couple in slightly higher leagues, but there weren’t many who were close by and giving me the kind of opportunity I’ll get here.
“I could have stayed slightly higher, and I believe I could still play at that level, but coming to South Shields at this time of my career is good for me as well.
“I’m moving into coaching, my wife is at university and I’ve got two young boys.
“I’m going to be able to stay at home with them, be able to be a dad and a husband for those, as well as being able to enjoy my football hopefully for the next few years.
“There’s a massive project going on here and I want to be a part of that.”