Ex-South Shields midfielder Josh Gillies becomes Blyth Spartans' latest addition
Former South Shields midfielder Josh Gillies has become the latest player to join National League North club Blyth Spartans.
The 30-year-old was one of four experienced players to leave the 1st Cloud Arena last month after the Mariners confirmed they were finalising their transition to full-time, professional status.
Gillies had interest from a number of clubs but has accepted an offer to step up to non-league’s second tier with the Croft Park club.
The move sees the former Gateshead, Carlisle United and Darlington winger move back to the club where he scored one goal in 26 appearances during the 2009/10 season.
Gillies revealed that he held talks with Spartans manager Michael Nelson last summer before deciding to remain at South Shields – but has immediately set his sights on helping Spartans move on from two challenging seasons after belatedly re-joining his former club.
“I spoke to the manager last season but ending up signing back at Shields,” he told the club website.
“Then I spoke to him again this season, the players he has brought back in, it’s exciting.
“Hopefully we can have a better season than the last couple of seasons.
“I played here before, the fans are good up here as well, and when he mentioned the players that are coming back, you get excited about playing with those players.
“Hopefully we can have a good season.”
In joining Spartans, Gillies will return to the National League North for the first time since he left Darlington to join South Shields in the summer of 2018.
The winger will now be part of the Spartans squad that will face the likes of York City, Kidderminster Harriers and Boston United in one of non-league football’s most challenging divisions.
Gillies revealed the prospect of playing against bigger clubs was a big factor in his decision to move back to Croft Park.
“You want to play at better grounds and stuff like that,” explained Gillies.
“There are some big teams in this league, and you want to play in front of bigger crowds in better stadiums.
“That was a big part of it.”