Aris Lokonga Guerin says the ambition of South Shields persuaded him to drop down from Northern League Division One to join the club.
The striker, who played for Division One outfit Consett last season and has previously played for the likes of Jarrow Roofing, Sunderland RCA and Newcastle Benfield, is the Mariners’ fourth summer signing.
The ambition of the club for the future matches my own ambition.Aris Lokonga Guerin, South Shields
The 24-year-old is highly-rated, and has previously had trials at Sunderland, Plymouth Argyle and Bristol Rovers, as well as a spell at Port Vale. He has now opted to drop down to the second tier of the Northern League to join Shields, and is confident he has made the correct decision.
Lokonga Guerin said: “The club has given me a good opportunity to show what I can do, and they have lots of ambition.
“It’s a local team to myself, as I used to live in South Shields with my family, and my mum still lives here, so it’s a club that I know. I’ve played here before and there is something good going on, so I just wanted to be a part of it.
“It was a difficult decision to make to drop down from Division One to start with, but that changed once I spoke to the manager.
“The ambition of the club for the future matches my own ambition, so that’s why I thought it would be a good thing to do. I’ve been learning a lot about people and more about the Northern League over the last few years.
“I’m 24 now and I’ve come to a point now where I’m quite mature to make the right choice, and I think I’ve made the right choice to come to South Shields.”
Lokonga Guerin has joined fellow Division One players Leepaul Scroggins, Jonny Wightman and Daryll Hall in agreeing moves to Mariners Park in time for next season. And manager Jon King is delighted to have the striker on board.
He said: “Aris is an excellent player, and I jumped at the chance to get him.
“The lad has got pedigree. He’s big and strong, and he was once on trial at Sunderland for three months, so that tells you a lot about him.
“He’s a talent, and he’s another lad who’s a winner. He’s another First Division player, and he scored lots of goals for Consett, Sunderland RCA and Jarrow Roofing.
“Those are all in the First Division, and he’s coming down to the Second Division, so hopefully Aris is going to set the league alight and get us lots of goals.”