South Shields seal transfer coup as former Gateshead striker joins club

Jon Shaw has spent most of his career in the National League.
Jon Shaw has spent most of his career in the National League.

South Shields have bolstered their front line after completing the impressive capture of former Gateshead striker Jon Shaw.

Shaw was released by the Tynesiders at the end of last season, but was a fans' favourite at the International Stadium over three spells.

Manager Jon King with new South Shields signing Jon Shaw.

Manager Jon King with new South Shields signing Jon Shaw.

The 32-year-old has extensive experience in the National League from spells with the likes of Burton Albion, Halifax Town, Crawley Town, Mansfield Town and Luton Town, as well as Gateshead.

He has also spent time in the Football League with Sheffield Wednesday, York City and Rochdale.

Following his release by Gateshead, Sheffield-born Shaw attracted plenty of interest in the non-league game, but after weighing up his options, he has opted to join ambitious Shields.

He is now hoping to help them challenge for a second successive promotion, this time from Northern League Division One, next season.

Shaw - whose most prolific campaign with Gateshead was in 2011-12, when he netted 35 times - said: "There's a massive project going on here and I want to be a part of that.

"It's in the Northern League for now, but we're hoping that might only be for eight months, maybe.

"I want to be a part of the next three, four, five years hopefully, seeing where South Shields go.

"A few clubs were interested in signing me, including a couple in slightly higher leagues, but there weren't many that were close by and giving me the kind of opportunity I'll get here.

"I could have stayed slightly higher, and I believe I could still play at that level, but coming to South Shields at this time of my career is good for me as well.

"I'm moving into coaching, as everybody knows, my wife is at university and I've got two young boys.

"I'm going to be able to stay at home with them, be able to be a dad and a husband for those, as well as being able to enjoy my football hopefully for the next few years."

The move to Mariners Park will represent Shaw's first involvement in part-time football, having been a professional since 2003.

However, his hunger for the game is as strong as ever.

He added: "A physiotherapist said to me a few years ago, 'you've got a body made for part-time'.

"I'm a little bit 100 miles an hour, and like to give it everything I've got every time I'm on a football pitch or training pitch.

"Sometimes that has worked against me, because I've had a few little muscle injuries here and there.

"My hunger is to play. I want to play for not just the next two or three years.

"I said to the chairman that I'd love to still be playing at 40 years old. That's a genuine thing.

"I want to play for as long as I possibly can, so being part-time is hopefully going to give me that opportunity."

Shaw has also represented his country, having played six times for England C.

However, one experience which has eluded him so far is the chance to play at Wembley.

That is something he hopes to put right with the Mariners as they try to launch a challenge on all fronts next season.

He added: "Playing at Wembley is something I've just missed out on. I've been at a few clubs who I've joined just after they've been.

"Just the opportunity to play at Wembley is a big thing.

"With the success the North East has had in the FA Vase, it's something that I really want to do.

"I want to experience Wembley and I want to win at Wembley.

"The Northern League is a tough league, too. I've seen it first-hand, I know a lot of lads who play in it and it's not going to be easy.

"With the players we've got, though, we've got to look at winning the league."

Shaw will be available to make his debut for Shields next Saturday, against Ayr United in the Raydale Cup.