King relishing test as South Shields start with eight away games

Jon King
Jon King

Jon King insists South Shields are not daunted by their tough start to the season after being handed a run of eight consecutive away games.

The Mariners will kick-off their Northern League Division One campaign at Dunston UTS on Tuesday, August 9, followed by seven more fixtures away from Mariners Park.

We can’t wait for the start of the season.

That follows a request by the club to start the season away from home to ensure their new drainage system and pitch is fully ready.

Shields’ first home league game is against Washington on Tuesday, September 6, but manager King insists his newly-promoted side will be more than ready for the test ahead come August.

He said: “The club requested that we play the first few games of the season away so that the new pitch will be ready, and that’s what has happened.

“It means we’ll have lots of home games to play later in the season, and we have to look at those first eight games as an opportunity to get off to a strong start and make a statement.

“They are all difficult games in the First Division, and we’re under no illusions as to the task ahead.

“If we can pick up a strong number of points in those opening eight away games, though, that would give us a great platform to build on.

“When we eventually get back to playing at home, we play Washington, so that will be one that we greatly look forward to when all of the new facilities are ready. We can’t wait for the start of the season.”

Shields have already announced six pre-season friendlies, with trips to Bedlington Terriers, Whitby Town, Hebburn Town, Seaham Red Star, Crook Town and Boldon CA planned.

More games are expected to be announced in due course.