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South Shields seal signing of ex-Hartlepool forward David Foley

David Foley has agreed to join his hometown club.
David Foley has agreed to join his hometown club.

South Shields have pulled off a transfer coup after completing the signing of former Hartlepool United forward David Foley, subject to international clearance.

The 28-year-old, from South Shields, is the youngest player in Hartlepool’s history, having made his debut aged 16 years and 105 days in 2003. He went on to make over 100 appearances for Pools before departing in 2010 for Puerto Rico Islanders, who play one division below MLS in the USA.

I was debating whether to get back into the game, and this opportunity sounded perfect. It was like fate

David Foley, South Shields

While there, he played in the CONCACAF Champions League, scored in a 4-1 win over an LA Galaxy team featuring American legend Landon Donovan and won the CFU Club Championship twice, as well as the USSF Division Two Professional League.

In 2013, he moved to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers – who are now part-owned by Brazilian icon Ronaldo – but Foley departed the Florida-based club last year after struggling with injury.

Foley has now been given the opportunity to return to the game with his hometown club, and has described it as “fate”.

He said: “I’m very happy to have joined South Shields, and pleased to be getting back involved in football.

“I had to take a year out because of an injury, but everything is good now and I’m confident again. When I was approached by the club, it was perfect timing. I had just played football again and was debating whether to get back into the game, and this opportunity sounded perfect. It was like fate.

“For it to be my hometown club, as well, is fantastic, and with the direction the club is going in, it’s definitely something I want to be a part of.”

Foley’s finest moment in a Hartlepool shirt came in 2009, when a thrilling long range effort sealed a 2-0 FA Cup giant-killing over Premier League outfit Stoke City.

The forward added: “I’ve just turned 28, and I’m thinking very much of the long-term at this club, which I really believe could be going places. There will be pressure on us from day one, because every team is going to want to beat us and every player is going to want to play for us, so there will be pressure to keep your shirt.”

Manager Jon King said: “David is another fantastic signing for us, and we’ve beaten off a lot of strong competition to get him.

“He’s another player who ticks all of the boxes for us in terms of his quality and the fact he is local, so we couldn’t be happier to have signed him.”