Hebburn Town have completed the signing of midfielder Michael Richardson after his release from South Shields.
The Hornets moved to add the 27-year-old to their squad in the latest high-profile capture for the resurgent club.
Richardson joins fellow ex-Mariners Louis Storey, Graeme Armstrong, Luke Sullivan and Andrew Stephenson at Hebburn, and becomes manager Scott Oliver’s 10th signing of a busy summer.
Richardson will go straight into the team for Saturday’s Northern League Division One opener against Penrith at the newly-named Energy Check Sports Ground.
Oliver said: “Michael has been a big part of South Shields’ success and we are delighted to have him.
“He is close friends with Graeme Armstrong and Louis Storey and they have told him how impressed they are with the set-up we have here.
“He will go straight into the team on Saturday.”
Shields decided not to extend Richardson’s contract this week to bring an end to his successful 19-month spell at the club.
Richardson joined the Mariners from Blyth Spartans in November 2016 and went on to make 69 appearances for the club, scoring 20 goals, helping them to the quadruple in his first season, including a substitute’s appearance at Wembley in the FA Vase.
Joint manager Lee Picton said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Michael since he joined the club.
“He has played an important role in our successes over the last two seasons and it was an extremely difficult decision not to offer him a contract extension.”
Richardson has been joined at Hebburn by former Team Northumbria forward Ben Dibb-Fuller.
Oliver, however, will be without the suspended Paul Chow, Craig Malley, Jack Donaghy and Dan Smith for the weekend’s game.
He added: “We are being patient with striker Luke Sullivan who is slowly recovering from sciatica and is not at his usual levels yet and will decide whether he starts or comes in from the bench.
“Andrew Stephenson and Dan groves are available after returning from holiday.
“We have made some great signings, but it will take time for this team to gel. There will be probably only two players starting Saturday from the team that finished the season .
“Pre-season has been mixed and performances below par. A lot of our signings have won plenty of leagues though so I’m confident things will go well come Saturday.”