South Shields’ togetherness can take us far – Graham Fenton

South Shields' players and staff celebrate winning the Evo-Stik North Division title, with Graham Fenton far right. Picture by Peter Talbot.
South Shields' players and staff celebrate winning the Evo-Stik North Division title, with Graham Fenton far right. Picture by Peter Talbot.

Graham Fenton hailed the ‘special’ atmosphere around South Shields after the jubilant club celebrated winning the Evo-Stik North Division title.

And the Mariners’ joint manager insists it is vital that the club maintains its current togetherness if it is to continue having success.

Shields brought the curtain down on another successful campaign with a 2-1 win over Colne at Mariners Park on Saturday.

It saw them end their debut season in the Evo-Stik North Division on 103 points, with the final game played in front of a superb crowd of 2,104.

Fenton – who joined the club from North Shields in September 2016 and manages alongside Lee Picton – is tasked with ensuring the Mariners continue their rise up the football pyramid in the coming years.

He says that job is being made so much easier with the backing of the community.

He said: “This football club is special. It has got a real together feeling about it.

“The feeling around the place is really good, and we’ve got to keep that.

“We’ve got to keep this togetherness as a football club all the way through.

“However high we achieve, whether it’s Football League, National League or whatever, we need to stay together as a community and a football club.

“Saturday’s scenes were magnificent.

“To have 2,100 people here when there was nothing really riding on the game and it was just a celebration of what is happening at the club, was brilliant.

“We need to keep that going.”

Shields will be aiming for promotion again in the Evo-Stik Premier Division next season.

Fenton says the club is hoping to attract “a few” new signings over the summer ahead of their next challenge.

He added: “We need to keep progressing.

“I think it’s fair to say that last year we dipped our toes in the transfer market, knowing that the squad we had was probably good enough.

“Stepping up another level now, we may well have to have another look and see if we can attract a few faces who can improve the squad.

“If you don’t improve, you stand still, and we don’t want to stand still at this club.

“We want to push on and progress, because everyone who plays at the next level will want to beat us again.

“Scarborough and Hyde will know what is coming when they play against us, but everyone else will see us as a scalp next season, even though we’re going to a league higher.

“We need to progress, we need to get better.

“The lads have earned a rest for the next couple of months, but they’ll be chomping at the bit to go and do well again next year for the club.”