South Shields make two more big signings

Carl Finnigan
Carl Finnigan

Carl Finnigan and Ben Clark are hoping to make their debuts for South Shields tomorrow after completing moves to the club last night.

Both have signed for the Mariners, and will be available for the trip to Chester-le-Street Town, subject to final Northern League ratification.

I can’t wait to play my first game.

Finnigan, from Jarrow, had been training with the Mariners since the start of pre-season, and has now received international clearance.

The forward, 29, most recently played in Botswana with Township Rollers, but has also played for the likes of Falkirk, St Johnstone and Gateshead during his professional career.

Clark, meanwhile, was Gateshead’s captain between 2010 and this summer, and has signed a dual registration deal with Shields, allowing him to continue with the Heed while also playing for Shields.

The 33-year-old defender started his career with Sunderland before also having successful spells with Hartlepool United and Gateshead.

Both players are available for Shields’ trip to Chester-le-Street Town in Northern League Division One tomorrow as they look to build on their 2-1 win over Seaham Red Star on Tuesday.

Finnigan was particularly pleased to get his deal done after a frustrating period waiting for clearance to come through.

He said: “It’s a relief that the international clearance has come through, because it has been frustrating having to watch from the sidelines in the first few games.

“That has just made me even more hungry to get started, though.

“I can’t wait to play my first game.

“I felt really sharp at the end of pre-season and managed to score a few goals in the friendlies, so it has been unfortunate to have a few weeks without a game.

“Hopefully I can hit the ground running, though, and make a difference for the team.”

Shields are facing a double-header this weekend, with a trip to Penrith on Monday to follow tomorrow’s game.

Assistant manager Lee Picton is expecting a tough two matches, but is hopeful the team can continue to progress.

He said: “It’s two games in three days, and I think now we’ve got a couple of other lads over the line, it’s going to help us enormously.

“It’s never easy to go to Chester-le-Street or Penrith, so they will be two good tests.

“Hopefully we can be spurred on from what happened on Tuesday, and another four or six points from these two games would set us up nicely.”

Shields are expected to be without Gavin Cogdon (hamstring) while Stephen Ramsey is a doubt for tomorrow’s 3pm kick-off at Moor Park, which has a post code of DH2 3RW.

Seats on supporters coaches to tomorrow’s match and Monday’s 2pm kick-off at Penrith are available by calling 0191 454 7800.