Lee Picton and Graham Fenton have set their sights on an era of success at South Shields after signing new two-year contracts.
The management duo have produced outstanding results since taking over last September. With just one defeat from their 42 matches in charge, and having led the Mariners to three finals and into title contention, their efforts have now been rewarded with extended deals.
The club’s managing director, Michael Orr, said: “Although no silverware has been won yet, this is the ideal time to recognise their efforts with new contracts.
“Their methods, professionalism and work ethic are, I believe, unprecedented at our current level and they share the club’s goal of moving up the football pyramid at the earliest opportunities.
“I know the playing squad have fully bought into their coaching methods, and that is borne out in the solidarity and camaraderie within the dressing room.”
Shields are well on course to win promotion to the Evo-Stik First Division North this season, and Fenton wants to see the club continuing to rise over the coming years.
Although no silverware has been won yet, this is the ideal time to recognise their efforts with new contractsMichael Orr
He said: “Including this season, the ultimate goal is to go promotion, promotion, promotion. With that, there’s a lot of pressure and expectation.
“We set high standards, and we’ll be setting targets at the start of next season.
“That’s the ultimate goal, but we have to see what happens this season first and then take it from there.”
Picton, meanwhile, has told of his excitement at the challenges ahead.
He said: “We’re over the moon to sign the new contracts.
“Anybody that has been near this football club can see what progress has been made, and hopefully will continue to be made on and off the field.
“It’s a fantastic place to be and be part of.
“Myself and Graham are incredibly excited about the next two years ahead, which is what we’ve signed up to, and hopefully we can go beyond that.
“The initial focus is on the next two years. We’ve had a lot of success so far this season and hopefully that will continue.”
Orr added: “It’s excellent to get the contracts sorted.
“With the work they’ve put in this season and the position the club is in at the moment, it was really important that we tied them down now rather than waiting until the end of the season.
“There is a lot of planning to do over the next couple of years, and to get them tied down now means we can start that in earnest.”