South Shields have pulled off a double swoop on their South Tyneside rivals by agreeing deals for Wayne Phillips and Lee McMahon.
Winger Phillips will join from Jarrow Roofing, while midfielder McMahon is to sign from Hebburn Town.
They are the latest signings for the ambitious Mariners, who are aiming for promotion from Northern League Division Two next season.
Former Gateshead, Harrogate Town, Blyth Spartans and Whitley Bay player Phillips, 29, won the FA Vase and Northern League during his time at Spennymoor Town.
And the left winger is welcoming the pressure which is set to be on Shields next season.
Phillips said: “I’ve lived in South Shields for 15 years, so it will be great to now play for the club. I only live about five minutes away from the ground.
There seems to be a buzz in the town at the moment, so hopefully people will get behind us, and it will be up to us to make sure it stays that way.Wayne Phillips, South Shields
“The only thing which made me think twice about coming to the club was the fact I’d be dropping down to the Second Division.
“However, having seen the plans of the club and the very good First Division players that have already come in, I’m confident this is the right decision.
“We want to win promotion next season, and we have to get a winning mentality early. It will be good to have a bit of pressure on our shoulders, and it will be up to us to meet the expectations.
“There seems to be a buzz in the town at the moment, so hopefully people will get behind us, and it will be up to us to make sure it stays that way.”
McMahon, meanwhile, counts Jarrow Roofing, Ryhope CW and Washington among his former clubs, and the 26-year-old, from Boldon, admits he is leaving Hebburn with a heavy heart.
The midfielder captained Scott Oliver’s side last season, and said: “The main reason I decided to come here was because it was a new challenge, and an exciting one.
“It was a very tough decision to leave Hebburn, as there is a really good set of lads there and I get along really well with the management team.
“Eventually, though, I decided to come to Shields because of the ambition of the club. I was just excited by this challenge.
“My main hope is to help the club get back into the First Division and win things.
“That’s certainly going to be the target, and I’m really looking forward to it.”